Beneath the Flag-Waving
every word of Paul Craig Roberts' 4th of July essay decrying the death of American
morality in the face of the Bush administration's criminality is 100 percent
I never thought
I would see our once-great nation so turned on its head – becoming, ourselves,
what we grew up deploring. Following in the fascist footsteps of Nazi Germany,
we are now a nation of gutless fools, allowing preemptive war, torture, extraordinary
rendition, and the evisceration of the Bill of Rights, among other travesties
of justice. As Roberts states, the USA will, one day, pay a very heavy price
As a former soldier
who served proudly with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during the
Persian Gulf War, I am grieved that I no longer recognize my Army. Not so long
ago, it was an institution that upheld the highest standards and rule of law.
Our leaders were wise and courageous. They are now, obviously, few and far between.
Herr Rumsfeld, the war criminal, does not allow true, experienced leaders who
speak the truth. Therefore, I grieve for my fellow soldiers who have been, and
are currently being abused, thrown into the hellish nightmare of Iraq.
It's past time
for those gutless wonders, the architects of this Iraq disaster to be held accountable,
to be tried for their crimes. Until we the people demand this, we are no better
~ Rochelle Reynoldson,
agree with the reader. The Bush regime has made innocent Americans complicit
in its war crimes. Americans can never recover their heavily soiled reputation
unless they achieve Bush's impeachment and turn him and his criminal government
over to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague.
to Paul Craig Roberts for so well describing one of the most disturbing aspects
of the irresponsible debacle in Iraq. Imagine the press being criticized for
the monstrosities taking place in Iraq and our catastrophic failure there, and
not those directly responsible! Beyond belief! Imagine, in the 21st century,
in the age of education and science, so many Americans childishly believing
the propaganda coming out of the White House and being unable to understand
the very basics about Iraq and the Bush administration! Frightening!
~ Carl Mattioli
the messenger is the traditional policy of failures.
Assault on Freedom: What's to Stop Him?
Craig Roberts finally comes out of the closet – the fascist closet, that
is. He shows his true colors by saying "This is partly the fault of the ACLU
and left-wingers, who go to extremes to make a point."
Perhaps in future
columns Mien Fuehrer Roberts will enlighten us as to what extremes the ACLU
and those dreaded "left-wingers" (What a classic smear!) suggest. Defending
the Bill of Rights? Or is it mildly suggesting that all Americans have access
to health care?
It helps to remember
that Roberts served Reagan in an earlier incarnation. Once a Nazi, always a
neocons, who believe that they have a monopoly on virtue, this reader believes
virtue lies entirely with the Left and its issues. The reader lacks the intelligence
to understand that the left wing has defined civil liberties for the right wing
as homosexual marriage, abortion, racial quotas, flag burning, and lax punishment
for criminals. The important civil liberties – the ones actually spelled out
in the Bill of Rights – have to do with the security of the individual, such
as habeas corpus and the requirement of warrants for invasion of privacy. Consequently,
both Left and Right have lost sight of the civil liberties that protect individuals
from the power of the state. When I mention civil liberties, the right wing
thinks I am talking about homosexual marriage. At the time when the president
declares an end to habeas corpus and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,
the ACLU wastes its resources on pledge-of-allegiance cases in schoolrooms and
the display of Christian religious symbols in public places.
Only a total fool
would call Ronald Reagan a Nazi. Reagan never threatened our civil liberty and
he never claimed immunity from law in the name of national security. When the
neocons made a mess, he fired them.
People like "Stan"
are the reason for the resentments on the Right that are buttressing Bush's
assault on civil liberty. The left wing's responsibility for brewing right-wing
resentment is heavy.
We Drop Even One Alliance?
Bandow deserves a wide audience for this well-reasoned article. It is indeed
time for America to reassess our many alliances in view of the fundamental geopolitical
changes of the past 20 years. Mr. Bandow makes a good case for our military
withdrawal from Korea, now.
I will add one
more point in favor of bringing our 33,000 troops home. We should bring them
home because they are bad for business, especially the American auto manufacturing
business. Every dollar we Americans are taxed to help Korea defend itself is
a dollar the Korean government can divert from their defense budget into something
else – say, health care and retirement for their auto workers. The American
auto industry, saddled over the years with astronomical health care and retirement
obligations, is stampeding toward bankruptcy. It needs every break it can get
if it is to survive. The biggest break would be a reduction in the cost of labor
vis-à-vis the competition, but that is hard to pull off when most of our international
competitors have their health care and retirement expenses paid for by their
governments. That would seem to be handicap enough for our domestic companies,
but the case with Korea is compounded by the fact that we are helping them pay
their defense bills. Meanwhile, Hyundai adds to its slice of the American pie
chart at the expense of GM and Ford. How does it make sense for our government
to collect tax money from American car companies and their workers, our fellow
Americans who are struggling just to keep their heads above water, and then
send that tax money to Korea to subsidize the competition? It's just downright
~ Ed Patterson,
A Case Study in Interventionism
otherwise excellent piece on Somalia would have been greatly improved by more
insight into the "clan alliances" he shrugs off as simply the way things are.
In fact, these clans have a very libertarian way of life known as "kritarchy,"
similar to the Icelandic Commonwealth of 920-1260 and the Irish kritarchy before
complete subjugation by Cromwell in the 17th century.
Justin seems to
imply that these clans would use Islamic courts; however, the Islamic court
movement is separate from the clan-based system of justice, just as in Ireland,
where the ecclesiastic law system was different from the clan-based system.
a modern experiment in a very natural, ancient form of anarcho-capitalism. Libertarians
would do well to understand it, and to that end I suggest Justin read the excellent
book The Law
of the Somalis. Or Google "kritarchy."
Excellent studies on the Icelandic and Irish kritarchies can be found on the
Mises.org Web site.
~ Brendan Trainor
While Afghanistan Slides Away
I could not disagree
more than with your statement that "The war in Afghanistan
Iraq, was justified, given the Taliban's hosting al-Qaeda terrorist training
is not going well." Your position ignores the fact that war in
Afghanistan had been planned long before 9/11. At a UN-sponsored conference
on Afghanistan in Berlin in June of 2001, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Niaz
Naik told BBC that American officials warned that "military action would take
place in Afghanistan before the end of October 2001." Your position also ignores
the many overtures presented by Taliban officials to the U.S. to solve the bin
Laden impasse that were unceremoniously ignored by both the Clinton and Bush
administrations. Furthermore, your position ignores the fact that the U.S. was
duly warned by Sudanese intelligence officials that bin Laden was en route to
Afghanistan with his precise itinerary, information that could have easily led
to his capture. In 1997, Osama bin Laden's redoubt was revealed by an American
journalist to U.S. officials with precise information, which also included a
map. The European press contends that the Taliban's fate was sealed when they
gave UNOCAL the boot in favor of Bridas of Argentina to construct the TAP, Trans-Afghan-Pipeline.
To support this hypothesis, two French journalists reported that in early 2001
(see: Forbidden Truth) that
officials in the Bush administration threatened Taliban with bombing when pipeline
negotiations began to falter.
Your mention of
"Karzai as a man with impeccable fashion sense" reads like tabloid journalism.
For the record, Karzai's writ does not extend much beyond the muzzles of his
American bodyguards' MP5 submachine guns. You also note an expanding drug trade,
but fail to mention that drugs were mostly eradicated under Taliban or that
the president's brother, Wali Karzai, has been arrested for drug trafficking
and released by his brother the president.
I also note your
statement that the warlords that ruled supreme have been disarmed. Nothing could
be further from the truth. Rashid Dostum has a army of 35,000 armed soldiers,
MiG 23 and SU-17 attack aircraft, Scud-B missiles, and hundreds of T55 and T-62
MBTs. And what's more, Dostum enjoys the support of Iran, Uzbekistan, and Russia.
Lest we take comfort in the fact that Dostum aided the U.S. invasion, let us
remember too that Dostum once before had sold out his country for Soviet gold.
And there are other warlords that continue to hold sway in the country as well.
Therefore, I believe
your position that Afghanistan somehow deserved to be attacked is unsupported
by fact, and certainly does not reflect the reality on the ground, but rather
sounds like more of the same bovine scatology emanating from administration
sources to put the American people, the Congress, and the world to sleep.
~ Bruce G. Richardson,
author: Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror