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Posted January 11, 2004

Leave Revolution in Saudi Arabia to Saudis

Excellent article, so true and I personally think the real reason for the US aggression in the middle east. It's main target being Saudi Arabia or more importantly its oil.

What better way, than to demonise Saudi society and its leaders, which, if it goes on long enough will brainwash the world into thinking they should also be replaced.

If it can get all the countries to give up the Chemical and WMD, it can invade who ever it wants. As soon as the arms inspectors said there were no WMD in Iraq, this was like a green light to the US.

Conclusion: In the next 20 years the US and it allies will control the entire middle east Oil supply.

And if it is necessary to have a few Terror attacks against western targets to help solidify support for the cause from the world population, then this seems like acceptable collateral damage to Dick and George and the Oil Conglomerates.

The only way out of this Armageddon is to Hillary to get herself into the race for 2004 and stop GB & DC in their tracks, no one else has the ability to do it.

~ Shaun M. Brogan

Amir Butler replies:

I don't think even the most deranged warmonger would think of attacking Saudi Arabia. Well, they probably do think about it, but I don't think they would do it militarily. Whilst the much-feared Arab street didn't erupt with Afghanistan or even Iraq, I think an attack on Saudi Arabia (and with it, the Holy Places of Mecca and Medina) would generate a big reaction. It's also important to remember that the key reason why Bin Laden got annoyed with the US and the Saudi government was when the US troops arrived in the Kingdom. It therefore seems pretty obvious the effect that a US invasion of Saudi Arabia would have on US security.

Also, I'm not sure that Hillary is necessarily the answer, but I agree with your sentiment.

Butler wrote:

"The idea that the entire Iraqi invasion and occupation could be retrospectively justified by Saddam's past human rights violations insults the intelligence of every American..."

If only that were true. Unfortunately the reaction of the American public to the capture of Saddam with Bush's polls shooting up, seems to show many Americans have, in fact, accepted this logic.

~ Mike Syvanen

Amir Butler replies:

Whilst America pulling Saddam out of a hat (on in this case, a hole in the ground) might momentarily boost public support for the war, the fact is that "nation building" abroad will be done at the expense of "national maintenance" at home. Empires cost money to build and maintain, and at some point, even the most hoodwinked citizen is going to start feeling the pain.

When that happens, then I think we'll see public opinion turn. Or to use a phrase with which the neocons would themselves be familiar from their socialist origins: "the worse, the better".

Nothing Radical

After you "proved" that democracy is an "idiotic idea" (that is nothing new), that all the West is morally, politically and generally corrupt, etc. would you be so kind to explain to us what is your alternative? What do you propose would be the best for Serbia (except 3 cents for 2.2 pounds of bread – pre-election promises of your beloved Serbian Radical Party?). And the world?

If Democracy was so bad why is the West so superior to all the tyrannies of the world? Why almost all inhabitants of the these "happy countries" (including Serbia) are dreaming in living in EU or USA /Canada? (I am not claiming of course that all is perfect in the "West.") Are you aware of the fact that probably more than 100,000 young, the best educated and most able, people left Serbia to live in the West, probably for good. They left the Serbian "Paradise" of Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Seselj.


You had read many books and articles and are good at arguing, but you are very unwise in your political world views. Maybe? You had chosen to live in the "Hell of Democracy" instead of "Paradise of Serbia under Serbian Radical Party", as well? It seems that your deeds are speaking more clearly than your words?

By the way, what are you doing on Antiwar.com? It seems to me, from your writings, that you are all for the new "holy wars" for "old" Serbian lands under your favorite leader – "duke" Seselj and his Radicals? So we shall all live in a "radically better" (SRP – election slogan) world?

(If the fact that democracies very often end in tyrannies is true, the opposite is true as well.)

~ Danilo Stojanovic

Nebojsa Malic replies:

I really love when people put words in my mouth, especially after I express myself very clearly. But no matter.

Democracy is a tyranny – of a majority over the minority. The reason the West is better off than the rest of the world is capitalism, and democracy is the reason the West is crumbling under Imperialism, corporatism and welfare /warfare adventures. I've linked to numerous arguments to this extent, and constraints of space prevent me from explaining in more detail right now, but the heart of the matter is: do you believe in sanctity of individual life, and private property that proceeds from it? If yes, then democracy is your foe. If no, then by all means don't listen to me, and keep dancing to your current tune. I'm sure following those who try to mimic Western tyrants while promising the impossible (not to mention wrong) will truly usher in a Brave New World of a better tomorrow...

Wait... That's stupid.

Quite contrary to your very much mistaken belief in my affinity towards the Radicals or the Socialists, I vehemently oppose anyone advocating State involvement in the economy. They are wrong on this principle, and many others (as are just about all political parties in Serbia, and almost all over here, for that matter). One thing they are not wrong about is refusal to subject Serbia to foreign tyranny. Whatever their motives, that's a goal worth supporting – unless you actually support tyranny, for the sake of some utopian tomorrow. But that would make you a Socialist, then...

Abusing 'Anti-Semitism'

Mr. Cohen, I just read your article and I cannot help but I must comment it. To be more exact, I read the article first in the German magazine Junge Welt, where somebody had translated it in order to prove his own thesis. Then I read your article and also about you. So you grew up in Israel where you also work. You are about my age. I live and work in Vienna in Austria, a country where now live approximately 10,000 to 15,000 Jews (in the Kultusgemeinde there are about 8.000 members). With a general population of about 8 million inhabitants the Jews are about 0.1 percent. So you want to tell me what is anti-Semitism? That it is practically not restricting, not dangerous, you call this an "unlimited BELIEF of anti-Semitism"? You live in Tel Aviv (where I have been sometimes, so I know how it is there a little), telling me in Vienna that this is only a "belief" – that at school I was ridiculed because of my Jewish name, that I learned very early by myself to say that my family "died in the war", because when I said they were murdered then I had to explain and had to deal with the anti-Semitic reactions.

So this has nothing to do with anti-Semitism that all my classmates (at age 18) didn't want to go to a concentration camp (Mauthausen) for one day and collectively said they wanted to stay in Vienna instead, or go somewhere else – and I was the only one who said it is important to go there. I then left the class and stood outside, feeling very alone and disappointed but also knowing I had to say this. This is just my "belief", I guess, that I consider all this anti-Semitic

During the Waldheim period (some years, he was president after a generally considered very anti-Semitic election campaign) I was every day afraid of the headlines of the newspapers (reading about Die Juden) it is just my belief too, that a politician who said about the Holocaust, it is "ordered" to believe that it had happened, is sitting in the Austrian Parliament today again – after a short scandal when he had to resign for sometime.

Only my "belief" that Joerg Haider's praise of Nazi politics years ago is still defended now by many politicians, also members of the parliament and the government.

So you live in Tel Aviv, telling me living in an anti-Semitic environment all my life now with a tiny community of 0.1 percent Jews, that all this is just my "belief". ...

~ KA

Ran HaCohen replies:

Again: I never claimed anti-Semitism did not exist, and my impression has always been that Austria is indeed one of the most anti-Semitic societies in the West. As I said in another column, "Anti-Semitism certainly exists – on the right, on the left and in the centre. It must be fought wherever it is found." What I wrote against was the abuse of anti-Semitism to silence every criticism of Israel. Of course I am writing from an Israeli perspective; but from this perspective, all your outrageous suffering you write of – and I am not underestimating it is any way – is a Kleinigkeit compared with Palestinian suffering described in a single weekly column of Gideon Levi in Ha'aretz. I have a lot of sympathy to your suffering, but I think that precisely from your perspective you should fight not only against the racism that you experience, but against the much greater racist atrocities committed by Israel. I find it pity that so many Jews who read my column concentrate on refuting the claim I never claimed, as that anti-Semitism did not exist, and ignore my central argument about the abuse of alleged and actual anti-Semitism to defend Israel's policy and silence its criticisers.

Buckley Gets It Wrong

What do you think of Rand's position that it would be morally justifiable to invade any communist country? As this particular article appears sympathetic to Rand, I am curious how you would respond to Rand's position given this site's own antiwar position.


Justin Raimondo replies:

It is typically loopy Randian ideology when it comes to foreign policy. On abstract questions derived from a priori axioms, the Objectivists got a lot right. Where they went wrong is where Rand went wrong: assuming that everything can be derived in a similar manner. Completely separated from any empirical facts, totally divorced from reality, Rand was a fervent cold warrior, even though she shied away from fulsomely supporting the Vietnam war, which she rightly deemed a "quagmire."

According to Barbara Branden, and Rand's own scattered references, the young Ayn was passionately opposed to U.S. intervention in World War II, as were most conservatives and certainly all libertarians of the time. Why didn't her moral exhortation apply in that case? Or did she change her mind?

Certainly Rand opposed foreign aid, now called "nation-building," and had nothing but disdain for a foreign policy of international altruism, which seems in many ways identical to the transformative schemes of today's neoconservatives.

Unfortunately, Rand's present-day acolytes – the "hard" Objectivists around Leonard Peikoff, more than the "soft" variety gathered in David Kelley's Objectivist Center – have taken her more uninformed pronouncements and dogmatized her vast ignorance on the subject of foreign policy. No more grotesque example mindless warmongering exists than the Ayn Rand Institute's argument that it would be "moral" to incinerate the entire Middle East – except Israel, of course – with nuclear weapons. Demonic evil doesn't even begin to explain the half of it.

Media and Middle East Peace

The notion that we Americans cannot impose a settlement on the Israelis and Palestinians sounds reasonable, except that we virtually finance the state of Israel and its decades-old occupation and destruction of Palestine. To say we cannot impose our will is like saying parents can't discipline their own children. As long as Israel is on the tit, we can not only demand they do what we desire, it is our duty to do so. The notion that these two sides, one with the full weight of the US behind it, and the other weak, voiceless and poverty-stricken, can some how work this out equitably without our help is ludicrous, unless all aid to Israel ceases. Mr. Bock makes some valid points in his article, but the obvious seems to escape him.

~ M. Johnson, Hawaii

Alan Bock replies:

Sorry I can't cover everything in every article. I'm on record for decades in favor of eliminating all foreign and military aid to Israel (and every other country), not only because it rapes the American taxpayer, but because it gives some Americans the idea that it gives the US the right to dictate policy and in the long run weakens the recipient. P.T. Bauer convinced me of this and much more long ago.

A Visit to Israel

"My experience with their organizations is that they have not tried to censor or proselytize me once they figured out I was unlikely to be a convert. But they do have what I consider an unusual theology, and I know some people consider any contact with them to be suspicious. So take this with whatever ration of salt seems appropriate."

As a Unificationist I do not appreciate your patently bigoted remarks.

You imply that our motives in inviting you to our conference were illegitimate on their face and were solely an effort to "proselytize you." We only cut off the subterfuge when we apparently realized you were beyond hope. Gads, how insulting!

You claim to know for a fact that our theology is "unusual." Excuse me, are you a student of theology? Some would say ALL theologies are a bit unusual. Why do you single out our theology, say it is "unusual" without ever specifying what, in your assessment, makes it unusual and in comparison to what measure? When I hear the term "unusual theology" I think of airplanes flying into buildings.

You are implying that something is inherently disordered with affiliating with individuals of our faith. You further that notion in your statement that "some people consider any contact with them to be suspicious." They do? So do many feel that way of almost anyone outside their own group, however I thought that such attitudes were to be roundly repudiated as manifestations of ignorance, intolerance and bigotry.

I would suggest to you, sir, that there is nothing in our clear public record over the course of almost 50 years in this country that indicates that we are not, in good faith, seeking to make positive contributions to our world irrespective of whether or not people choose to join our faith as a result. That is why no one proselytized you. It was not the purpose for having you there.

You should be ashamed of yourself for implying otherwise.

~ Kevin McCarthy, Senior Pastor, Washington Family Church

Alan Bock replies:

Good heavens, there's just no pleasing some people. I thought I was being nice and open-minded and I'm accused of bigotry. FYI, I've dealt with and known Unificationists off and on for the last 30 years or so, and defended Rev. Moon in print in the 1980s when the IRS was doing its witch-hunt. To be sure, nobody tried to proselytize me at this conference but in previous years some have, which I didn't resent, simply didn't respond to positively. As a person who believes in liberty I have often defended the rights of religions I don't believe in, and I guess I'll continue to do so. What I was trying to say was that while the Unificationists have beliefs I consider dubious, they've been decent to me and I think they do some positive things in the world. Perhaps I didn't say it clearly enough.


Your casualties in Iraq page is great information. Do you or anyone else have something similar on Afghanistan? You have any links which might give me similar info?

~ Gio Tatti

Mike Ewens replies:

Here is a page that keeps track of Afghanistan: http://lunaville.org/OEF/default.aspx.

Israel's Taliban

I'm Jewish and totally ashamed to have Perle's, Wolfowitz's, blood in my veins. However I think you're out of line about the Israeli Taliban. Shame on you! Have you ever seen a map of the Middle East, take a look. Israelis can't even own land, i.e. a house, etc.

It's all on a 49 year leases. The Arabs that didn't leave in 1948, own their land and the Jews don't, even though it was purchased by the Jewish National Fund and American Jewry with hard cash.

Do your homework and learn that there's no such thing as a Palestinian anyway, it was invented. They're Arabs and don't have a Palestinian language.

Also Arafat is one of the richest men in the world. Put Arafat Finances in your search engine unless your mind is made up and doesn't want to be confused with the facts. He's robbed his supposed people and the camps are run by the UN not Israel.

Every Palestinian child born in Israel is on the Israeli welfare rolls, do know that fact?

~ Lori Robertson

Justin Raimondo replies:

No Israeli Taliban? Check out some of your own extremists: didn't one of them kill a Prime Minister who thought he could achieve a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue? Oh, I forgot, there ARE no Palestinians. Yeah, riiiigght. Try telling them that. Oh, but they don't exist....

Okay, so Palestinian are Israel's welfare rolls – and Israel is on OUR welfare rolls. So don't get uppity with me.


Inter Press Service stinks. Their story, which they refuse to answer questions about, on how scud missiles from North Korea, intercepted by the Spanish last December supposedly on their way to Yemen, ended up in – Libya?

This is ludicrous, that the US would allow Libya to have missiles that could reach the US? How can you take anything from these characters seriously? Take a look ... at what they did in regards to providing cover for the US coup attempt against the Chavez regime in Venezuela, let alone the bullsh*t they spew covering up the CIA's dirty work in the Horn of Africa.

Please, quit damaging your credibility by giving these liars and fabricators space on your widely respected site, a site many of us have come to depend on.

~ Thomas C. Mountain

Eric Garris replies:

As with many organizations, IPS is a mixed bag. We mainly subscribe to IPS in order to get Jim Lobe's columns (which are mostly excellent), but run a few others. They have over 100 writers, and we only carry 4 or 5. They offer us 30 stories a day, and we run a few a week.

Quo Vadis?

I don't see how you can be against closer cooperation between Republika Srpska and the Federation BiH? This will lead to better things for both entities in BiH. Bosnia and Herzegovina was created to be ONE country, therefore having two armies in this supposedly ONE country didn't make any sense to me!? In order for it to function as ONE country there was a need to establish a unitary armed forces, wasn't there? Joining NATO will benefit Bosnia in that that it will provide security, I see how your Serbian point of view regarding NATO plays into this.

The passing of Alija Izetbegovic in October had surprisingly little effect on the Bosnian political scene, testifying to the staying power of his ideology. The expected power struggle within his SDA party appears to be taking place in private. With the current viceroy firmly on their side, as his eulogy for Izetbegovic demonstrated, there is little danger of the SDA losing its grip on power. Endorsements from former American potentates didn't seem to hurt, either.

I'm in no way a supporter of SDA and Alija Izetbegovic, but isn't it kind of hypocritical to just blame one party for the mishaps in BiH, when SDS and HDZ, where they hold a majority, do the same thing? The current "viceroy"as you would describe Paddy Ashdown perhaps, is a man that needs to be respected. Without him not much would be done in Sarajevo or Banja Luka, with SDA, HDZ and SDS in power one can imagine what the country would be like if all went as they pleased. And I do have a lot of experience with those three national-socialist parties "solving" problems; overall the situation in BiH is improving, it just isn't going as quickly as it should, but then again most things that have improved there were either a direct product of Western intervention or aid, or the pushing of Paddy Ashdown doing his best "baby sitting" the SDA, HDZ and SDS "babies"!

~ Golden Boy

Nebojsa Malic replies:

I am not against cooperation, but isn't it. This is forced centralization – I thought as much was clear. When Bosnia-Herzegovina was created (and that's a very good use of that verb, there) in Dayton, it was created not as 'One Country,' but as a compact of two entities with clearly delineated authority, one aspect of which was the military. So obviously, neither is it 'One Country,' nor should it have one military. As a libertarian, I think the state does not need a military, least of all a conscript one, when volunteer militia can be mustered for self-defense (and what other war would be legitimate?).

What sort of security can NATO provide? Certainly not from itself, yet it is the biggest danger to any country's sovereignty and integrity. Not to mention that the already poor Bosnians would have to fund with their taxpayer money Bosnian troops serving in Imperial occupations elsewhere in the world – which pretty much describes NATO's current role. I do not see how this is a 'Serbian viewpoint', unless you imply ad hominem that a Serb cannot make a rational argument against NATO. You offer no argument as to why Ashdown deserves respect, while his conduct offers a host of arguments as to why he does not. Just about everything Ashdown and his predecessors have 'done' in Sarajevo or Banja Luka has increased the power of the State (their own as well as the native government's) and actually hurt the people. I agree that leaving Bosnia to nationalist-socialists would be a mistake, but that's not good enough of an excuse for Imperial occupation. I also disagree with your claim that things are improving, as well as that any improvements are the work of the OHR; information coming from over there indicates otherwise.

Coming Thaw with Tehran?

Pat, you cleverly left out the fact that the United States Of America has more WMD than ANY other nation INCLUDING the Israelis.

When you bluster about al Qaeda's threat, if they took over Pakistan, perhaps you should inject the fact that the AWOL kid's administration has ALREADY used atomic weapons in the form of depleted uranium bombs and shells. The U.S. with its unlimited atomic arsenal is a threat to the peace of the world.

Think about it.

~ Albert C. Mezzetti

The Neo-Conning of America

As usual, Raimondo dismantled the absurd arguments of David Brooks' about the nonexistence of the neo-conservative movement and its alarming influence over American foreign policy. But, in his enthusiasm to do so, he neglected to identify the most hypocritical aspect of Brooks' column.

Brooks described the application of the term "neo-conservative" to high-ranking Bush appointees and their supporters as a form of collective dehumanization. Certainly, a strange argument, as it implies that any form of cultural, political or religious identification must be, by its very nature, dehumanizing, as noted by Raimondo.

In this instance, however, the hypocrisy is more crude, more vicious, more dishonest. On November 4, 2003, Brooks wrote the following in the New York Times about the war in Iraq:

"It's not that we can't accept casualties. History shows that Americans are willing to make sacrifices. The real doubts come when we see ourselves inflicting them. What will happen to the national mood when the news programs start broadcasting images of the brutal measures our own troops will have to adopt? Inevitably, there will be atrocities that will cause many goodhearted people to defect from the cause. They will be tempted to have us retreat into the paradise of our own innocence."

Here it is, on the record. Brooks, the man who purports to compassionately care about the dehumanization of the individual through labeling and categorization, as if he is a conservative contemporary of Edward Said, advocating war crimes in Iraq, and the need for the public to be sufficiently desensitized to accept them. Apparently, Iraqis do not belong to the community of individuals worthy of protection from dehumanization and death. Pre-9/11, such a perspective would have been recognized as racist.

Furthermore, many of the "brutal measures" alluded to by Brooks are frequently collective ones. Already, American troops have in engaged in crop destruction, house demolitions, mass detentions, including the detentions of relatives of suspected resistance fighters, not to mention numerous random shootings and killings. As amazing as it sounds, Raimondo let Brooks off easy. He is propagandist committed to justifying the most horrific atrocities in support of the neo-conservative cause.

~ Richard Estes, Davis, California

The War Prayer

I have many times had the thoughts expressed in this prayer by God's messenger. I never imagined they could be could delivered with such clarity depth. This must have truly been a message from God. This prayer should be delivered to a number of today's government, and military leaders. This prayer refers to the present time, as well as when Samuel Langhorn Clemens, A.K.A. Mark Twain put pen to paper to tell this story.

~ Michel Savoie, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Don't Throw Away Liberty

Charley Reese is one of my favorite journalists. I'm glad to see his article on your website.

As usual, he is right on the money with his comments. The abuse of power by our Congress always leads to unrest and strife nationwide and now even worldwide.

I place the predominance of blame for the current mess we are in on our Congress. Executives ALWAYS look for competitive advantages, even immoral ones. This is the very reason we have a Congress, to check the natural Executive inclination toward success at ANY price.

Rather than continue to beat up on the President and his cronies (deservedly so), we should be HOWLING at Congress to stop this madness. Why are THEY not being harangued in our public square and held accountable?

If I let my eight year old play with my .38 caliber pistol shouldn't I be held responsible? ...

~ Will Blalock, Brazoria, Texas, 14th District

Backtalk Reprint

Are comments published in Backtalk protected at all? I guess they wouldn't be copyrighted like the columns are, but it does say letters become the property of Antiwar.com, so maybe they don't have the right to just take them.

I happened to enter my name in Google and found that a letter I wrote to Backtalk back in August was on all these independent media sites. A couple examples are:



Would you be able to explain to me how this sort of thing happens? I mean, did some random person decide they wanted to post my letter on these independent new sites? Or is it the sites themselves that are responsible?

I'm not to clear on how this works. I don't understand why anyone would waste their time. It bugs me that they did it without my permission and they made a stupid title to my letter: "Defending Dean against the Mean."

That's really dumb and now if anyone googles my name, they will think I thought up such a dumb title. You'd think I could sue them for that alone.

Also, they used a picture of Raimondo, the one from his column, which I suppose they didn't get permission for. We should sue them. It would be fun.

~ Jessica Woelke

Eric Garris replies:

These were posted by an individual. Sites like IndyMedia allow members to post almost everything and don't usually pay any attention to copyrights, falling back on the Fair Use laws (which are pretty vague when it comes to the Web).

Yes, it does seem silly that someone would spend their time posting this type of stuff out of context, but that is exactly what many people do. Most times that I visit these bulletin boards, I have no idea what is going on and everything seems out of context. I think the only way they make sense is to read every post for a period of months.

We are reluctant to play the heavy and attempt to enforce our copyright in most cases, especially if it is just someone's posting on a bulletin board. However, if you wish us to contact the administrators on your behalf and ask them to remove them, we will do so.

Healing Iraq

The Healing Iraq blog was set up after the war seemingly as a direct propaganda counter to authentic Iraqi blogger Riverbend, who titles her blog 'Baghdad Burning' and has a quote at the top of the page the HI quote is mimicking with pro-war sentiment.

This blog has been an occupation mouthpiece since day one. It has consistently promoted pro-occupation attitudes, exclaiming "Allah save President Bremer, may he stay in Iraq and lead us forever!" and explaining why the Islamic women who threw a fit when a dog was given her Koran to sniff was "just a misguided kook".

I can only assume this particular piece was put in to counter the growing denunciation of the blog on the Internet over the last few months. Really, it's embarrassing for you to promote it because this one time it is saying something you want to hear.

Credibility factor = zero in this instance, AND you're giving it free publicity. I also sent this as a letter to the editor but it would be lovely to see this taken down ASAP. ...

~ Danielle Georgette

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