Posted January 27, 2003
Regarding 'Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions' by Ran HaCohen:
Wonderful article. I am an admirer of the Jewish culture through the age but not a Zionist. I hope Israel will finally fulfill its vocation: a lighthouse of humanity and civilization in a Moslem world that needs it, and not a country who is hated by everyone in a 1000 miles radius.
Another brilliant article. HaCohen is guaranteed to never be a guest on Fox, The Dennis Prager Show or the Michael Medved show, because their propaganda, like Israel's itself, "is refuted by the slightest critical analysis." This is one person who would make their arguments so transparently baseless, immoral and just plain ridiculous, that the game would be over.
Regarding 'Israel's Amen Corner' by Justin Raimondo:
Good for you Justin! Actually, Lutheran theology doesn't go in for the whole millennial spiel. We believe when the end comes, the end comes. All according to God's design, and God's design alone. However, I am often horrified how many of my fellow Lutherans just blindly support Israel and the 700 Club nonsense. Thanks to you and Antiwar.com for providing me with a wealth of information. The process is way too slow, but I am slowly changing a fairly significant number of minds. Please realize not all conservative Christians have bought into this madness.
Mr. Raimondo developed an interesting perspective of this coalition of neo-conservatives and conservatives and their support of Israel. However, I see this alliance as yet another manipulation by the American corporate oligarchy.
The establishment of the Jewish State after World War II accomplished two goals; a homeland for the displaced (we don't want them) European Jews, and the introduction of a pro-western military presence in this oil rich region.
This Jewish return has been bolstered and supported by the oligarchs under the guise of biblical authority to justify military and political support. They are the masters of manipulation, particularly adept in religious (political) indoctrination. American occupying forces are now deployed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, soon in Iraq and eventually in Iran. The pipelines from the fossil fuel rich former Soviet States are protected by American troops in Afghanistan. It is the year 2010, the state of Israel has more Palestinian residents than Israelis. The Intifada continues to grow in intensity and breath. The oil fields are secured, oligarch governments established and Israel's strategic importance diminished. Israel is now in uncharted waters, swimming, swimming alone.
Wouldn't it have been nice if these issues had come up during the last Presidential election? Instead, we were buried under an avalanche of other stuff. For whom are you voting, John Q. Public, and why are you voting for him? World War III may be the last hurrah for the State as we have known it. The "world's only remaining superpower" may turn out to be the world's last superpower. Good riddance! Washington would be immeasurably improved if the budget were one one trillionth of what it is today. Of course, even that much would still be enough to corrupt some people, but they couldn't do very much to harm us.
Let me get this straight. Kerry votes to give his constitutionally mandated authority to the president and now he wants to criticize Bush for using it? Before last Fall's vote on Iraq I would have voted for Mr. Kerry if he ran in a future presidential election. We should remember that just because you were a war hero doesn't make you an exceptional leader. Think of U.S. Grant and Ollie North for two such examples. It seems that the power of the presidency and all the perks that go with it , makes many of our elected leaders act like fools.
Regarding 'Going Too Far' by Charles Sheehan-Miles:
I think it is time we cut the umbilical cord with Israel. There is a silent majority of Americans who would not tolerate any foreign government using our sacred soil as a killing ground!
Wellstone comes to mind.
I do not wish to sound crazy but one possibility could be that Bush is not in charge any more. That the power has been transferred to Israel bit by bit as they bought our Congress and also now have the ghost from the Bush's family closet and are using them. Something to consider, is out government run by people being intimidated by the Israeli scandals and assassination policy?
Trashing the UN
When the USA lead NATO into an attack on Serbia without UN approval that was a complete violation of the UN treaty to which the USA is a signatory. No country can threaten another country or attack another country without Security Council approval.
When George Bush made his September speech to the UN he threatened that unless the UN Security council voted his way concerning Iraq then the UN would be irrelevant.
George now says that the USA will attack Iraq even if the Security Council does not approve.
You guys a very serious about your beliefs, that is great, I am against war too, but learn the word of God and know the God who created the book and you will see war is going to happen right there in the Middle East. You can't stop it, you're waging a battle against war, but its a waste of time. It has been written thousands of years before it occurs by a supreme being as he has seen it beforehand.
The Bible is a fascinating book once you get deep into it. It's all explained, know God, know Peace. A different kinda of Peace. If you don't know him, you will never understand it.
It's the only thing that makes any sense today.
Why did the Greek government participate in the war against Serbia when their people were 98% against it?
Why do the governments of Australia, Spain, England and Italy support a war against Iraq when the majority of the people in all of these countries are against the war? Please, I don't understand.
Nebojsa Malic replies:
I haven't talked to anyone in the Greek government about this, so I obviously cannot say for certain, but please understand that the governments really have no obligation to do what their subjects (a.k.a. 'citizens') desire. They have power and force at their disposal that is, at best, limited in theory by a piece of paper called the Constitution, and the laws which they themselves write. So when the people oppose something the government wants, they are deemed 'misinformed' or 'misled', and the government does what it wants anyway. The people go along, because to actually physically oppose the government has harsh consequences: imprisonment, or even death. This is also why various governments around the world go along with whatever Washington tells them: they look at Iraq, or Serbia and think that's what will to happen to them if they refuse. And so they support the very system they fear.
Another Soldier Sounds Off
I thought that I would write this letter to express a concern I have with the Reserve deployments that are taking place right now. I am a Reservist; I became a member of the Reserves in 1998. I joined the Army to help defend my country. I was already in college but still excited about the opportunity to serve; that is really why I joined, not for the money, because my parents paid my college expenses out of their pocket, but for the life experience. Well I guess that is what I got, because after Sept. 11th I was placed on active duty from Oct. 2001 to Sept. 2002. I am not going to complain about being sent away, I knew it was coming and it is part of the job. Also, I wanted to do my part after the attacks (my part consisted of checking ID's at a medium size military base). Im only upset about missing 3 straight semesters of college, and realizing the unfortunate fact that the vast majority of active duty service members are not only unintelligent and ignorant but quite literally brainwashed.
What I am really upset about is that I am about to be deployed again. I may end up missing five or six consecutive semesters of school. Ironically enough, I finally just started back to school ten days ago. I am almost positive that I am going to get activated, because I was just "involuntarily transferred" to a unit that is on alert. I am not a coward, I'm not afraid, I am not even trying to get out of going, if the call comes I will go, I have to go. I just want to bring this situation to your attention, because there are many more in this same situation. I can only speak for myself, but the disruption this deployment and possibility of deployments has caused in my life is astronomical (do you think I can really concentrate on school?). I understand the role of Reservists in our defense, but wonder if we might bear a disproportionately large burden in the upcoming war. Are we possibly being overtaxed as a resource?
I do not support or agree with our efforts to provoke a war in the Middle East. I sometimes feel helpless and that our country does not see what is really going on. Unlike most of your viewers and contributors I believe that in some cases war may be the only answer, but a diplomatic effort can solve 99.9% of all conflicts.
Have we even attempted a truly diplomatic solution? Do you think that the President even wants to? Our presidents entire term has been one big sham. He was not elected by a popular vote by our citizens and he barely won the electorate because of voter irregularities in Florida. Before September 11th he was vastly unpopular and already considered a one term wonder, but fortunately for him terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into our buildings killing many Americans. After America stood behind our President (and rightly so) his administration used the horrible events of Sept. 11th as a podium from which to construct a war that would ensure a second term. Isnt war the lowest form of humanity while peace is the highest?
Regarding 'Target: Scott Ritter' by Justin Raimondo:
My minister is a friend of Scott Ritter's. He has spent years on the street working with the poor, disenfranchised and the hungry. He has gone to Iraq and he speaks out against the war with passion. I wonder when his turn is coming and what sort of sleazy sex-scandal they will try to pin on him. The government has already fined him $10,000.00, along with Bert Sachs, a Holocaust victim and another friend of my minister's, who has also gone to Iraq in defiance of the sanctions. By the way, they promptly raised the money and then they gave it to doctors who are also defying the sanctions. They use it for medicine to cure dying babies of dysentery, an illness that would at most give an affluent couple's child a day's worth of diarrhea. And I wonder what else they will try to do to destroy whatever dignity they can using base and vile accusations like they've aimed at Mr. Ritter rather than answer the pointed questions he and others like me ask which beg a comprehensive answer. I wonder why they respond with this kind of cr*p when people are dying and our children are being taken to Iraq to die with them in what they call the Land of Weapons Of Mass Destruction.
I cannot help but be amused that they actually think most Americans with a whit of sense don't know the Iraq war is a golden opportunity for greedy corporate welfare queens of which some are at the heads of this government. They are not hiding very well their true intentions. They are so caught up in their greed, they actually think we don't notice how they use this stuff to hide that they are nearly slobbering in glee at the coming billions they will reap in exchange for the lives sacrificed in the name of their profits? They think we don't know they will lie, steal, kill and do whatever it takes to make those profits as they have been doing all along? Anything for a buck, huh? So they try to come up with this pap instead is this the best they can do? (Sigh.)
I guess I will just keep in mind that the same people like those who immolate each other at places like MSNBC, Fox, CNN, the NYT and the like as well as other dying media idiots think this is credible news. I will hold it close to my heart that they are the same ones who spend hours hogging the airwaves and reams of pulp with trite and ridiculous frothing at the mouth about things of little importance to average American's lives. I will try not to snicker when they breathlessly report about the people who think George Bush is a "compassionate conservative" and not a school yard bully and a sock puppet.
These are the same people I was outright laughing about who were glorifying the uptight, hypocritical, pursed lipped, carrot-up-their-butt conservative's $63,000,000 fascination with Bill Clinton's genitals. The very same ones who spent months talking about it, analyzing his penis shape, screaming headlines about stained blue dresses, while "forgetting" to talk about such trite and silly things as to what is being passed in Congress, what was going on in the rest of the world and the corporate scandals that were happening right in front of their faces. I guess I will take it with a grain of salt because I know these are the same people who ignore the dichotomy between a $63 million dollar fascination with penises and a paltry 3 million instigating the odd goings on with 9/11 though it is hard not to notice it costs them nothing to use 9/11 as an excuse for everything from the bad economy to corporate greed, to how "Christian" they all are, or, perhaps why it is so right to be killing thousands of innocents and reaping billions.
As a fellow church attendee, I have one piece of advice to them: read your Bible don't just quote them while ignoring what it has to say. Then read the Koran. Both of them say something to the effect of: "It is harder for a rich man to get into heaven then for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle." (Hint, hint: your greed is corruptive not only to you, but your society, You are using your power to create millions of people's misery, destruction and death. From what I read there, God does not like that).
Then I will continue to ignore them and occasionally taunt them by sending quotes from press releases abroad about what a laughing stock they have made of themselves. I will let them know I am laughing at them myself when I write about where most reasonable and intelligent people get their real news about the war. We can find decent comment about someone who has stuck their neck on the line like Scott Ritter, my minister, Bert Sachs and the doctors who have bravely defied what is in reality a cruel, mindless and disgusting elitist practice which I do not want this done in my name. Millions of us refuse to listen to them anymore and there is little wonder as to why. We find real news and commentary in places like Antiwar.com. Keep it up!
Sadly, I believe you are inaccurate in your take on Scott Ritter. I admire Ritter's political courage and believe him correct in his analysis. I live in upstate New York, in the Albany Capital region where Mr. Ritter resides. And I too, upon hearing of his arrest initially thought "setup." But as more details emerged via many local media sources, some quite liberal and with antiwar editorial stances, I realized the situation was more nuanced. Mr. Ritter had a prior arrest for similar behavior in the same geographical area and that arrest was made considerably before he became so well known as an antiwar advocate. In that case he met a girl, a young teenager, on the Internet and arranged to meet her for sex. Specifically "to watch him perform a sex act on himself." Her parents discovered the arrangement and notified the police.
The charge against Ritter was busted down to near zero and he walked away with little penalty. That arrest and the outcome would have inclined local police to launch a sting operation. There is a great deal of concern in the area about Internet predators preying on children. You can certainly debate the ethics of sting operations. And though I think the sting grew out of other causes, you can question its timing. But if Ritter did indeed respond to the sting, he must be called stupid and reckless with his reputation. A reputation which now represents something far larger than just himself. But sexual compulsives are reckless. Consider Bill Clinton.
Also, the hubbub in the Albany region's media about Ritter's unavailable arrest records, stems from public suspicion that when prominent local citizens break the law, they are shielded from the consequences. A year or so ago, a well known heart surgeon was arrested buying crack in an Albany ghetto. There was an outcry at the time regarding the kid glove treatment he received within the D.A.'s department. The latter case has been referenced consistently in local media coverage of Ritter's arrest. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
...Ritter virtually created the antiwar movement in Seattle, where I live. We show his talk at University Temple Methodist Church to people who are looking for a kind of information not available in the corporate news. And now this. If Ritter is innocent, he should demand that documents sealed as a result of his agreement with Preiser be opened, to exonerate himself. If he is unwilling to do that, and I say this without any personal judgment of him, he has p*ssed away a fund of authority on the subject of weapons inspection, sanctions, etc., not easily replaced.
Never a Doubt
There has never been a doubt that this administration intends to go to war with Iraq. The steady march has been uninterrupted from it's onset as has the rhetoric. The bombing to knock out Iraqi air defenses to soften up our approaches, the movements of personnel and equipment. The one thing that could make a difference and that the US and Britain steadfastly refuse to divulge is their so called proof against Iraq. Yesterday the US administration sent it's war dogs Wolfowitz and Bolton out to spread the propaganda that the US and Britain have "very convincing evidence" of the weapons that Iraq possesses. I say prove it! And I say that it's time that the world and all it's concerned people unite in delivering a common message prove it! These warmongers seem to think that "ratcheting up" the pressure works only one way. Let's unify in our message and turn the tables, prove it!
Regarding "On the Eve of War?" by Alan Bock:
I read your article with a great deal of enthusiasm. I agree with your insights for the most part. But it seems to me that we have a president who is bent on avenging his father's failure to do away with Saddam when the chance was there during the Gulf War. Let's hope that the American people are smart enough to see that. Maybe the antiwar demonstrations should begin to emphasize this approach. We can't wait until the body bags begin to come back this time.
I wonder if there are any Bush children who are willing to lead the charge against Baghdad. (Ha.)
Regarding "Ethnic Cleansing: Past, Present and Future" by Ran HaCohen:
...It seems to be the case that anyone who suggests that Israel is doing something wrong is automatically accused of anti-Semitism. I frequently criticize America and its domestic and foreign policies. That does not mean that I am anti-Angloceltic. Israelis often confuse "playing the ball" with "playing the man".
My major problem with Israel, and to some extent the Palestinians, is that both sides seem inclined to base arguments about policy and territory on interpretations of their respective holy books. While this practice continues, it seems unlikely that any solution can be found.
As for "right to exist", I tend to agree that a country for the Jewish people should exist, particularly after the ravages they suffered before, during and after World War II. It may sound trite and a little mischievous, but I would have favoured partitioning part of Germany for a Jewish state.
Just think we could by now have a sophisticated, wealthy and influential European power. Palestine would have remained a peaceful Middle Eastern country, welcoming Jewish visitors to Jerusalem and other holy places, in much the same way as Mecca plays host to Muslims.
Food for thought?
Regarding "The Dalai Lama's Politics of Race" by Bevin Chu:
I cannot help but be appalled at Antiwar.com publishing such naked self-serving propaganda as Bevin Chu's number on the Dalai Lama.
Bevin (his name but an Anglophile affectation among the Western-veneered but in reality Imperial Beijing-worshipping Hong Kongers) has definitely not pulled any punches in blaming the victim. Trying to portray the Dalai Lama as a racist because he has issues with the alien Han hordes overrunning his erstwhile independent nation (Tibet) is typical of the vicious self-serving amorality at the core of Chinese character.
There were hardly 20,000 Han scattered all over Tibet before Mao (yet another Han imperialist masquerading as a Communist) invaded in 1950. China's claims on Tibet have always been questionable, but reinforced by typically duplicitous British diplomacy against Russia during the Great Game and later by the US letting its lapdog Chiang Kai Shek getting away with phony claims during World War II.
In the last 50 years since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the demographics of Tibet has been forcibly changed by the Han scum intruders (there are now 4 million Han settlers in Tibet) who claim to be developing their backward Tibetan brothers!
Han Scum like Bevin Tcchu should first learn to wipe their own dirty bottoms before aspiring to teach the far more civilized Tibetans! Get the F__K out of Tibet and stick to your "high" culture of sucking Tiger Pen_s.
And AntiWar.com please get an education to develop some rudimentary historical perspective.
Bevin Chu replies:
Anyone who has ever entertained any doubts whether Tibetan independence was "for real" owes it to himself or herself to read this letter from a real live Tibetan independence advocate. It speaks volumes about the heart and soul of the Tibetan independence movement, about the level of spiritual evolution actually attained by these humorless fanatics. Pay attention to the nuances of his words, but even more to to the energy behind them, to the seething ethnic hatred.
This is exactly what I have been struggling to expose all these years. One can almost feel the spittle from this sad individual splashing one in the face. This is the true face of Tibetan independence, not the benevolent smiles of "His Holiness" on Larry King Live.
Reject any political movement grounded in ethnic identity. Nation states do have a place in our world, but only as alternative social/economic/political systems based on individual values, not as macro versions of primitive tribes, with membership rooted in racial identity.
Regarding "In Search of Monsters" by Justin Raimondo:
Like you, I certainly do not believe that the United States should go around imposing their justice on other countries. Just because a culture differs from our own does not mean that they wrong. This article deals with the case of Amjad Radwan, the 19-year-old American who cannot leave Saudi-Arabia. To quote you, What should be done about this? In a word: Nothing. I believe that this is a case where America should use its influence to bring about an end to what I feel is a violation of a right as important as the right to a trial by a Jury or the right of peaceful assembly: Freedom of Movement.
There are some basic human rights that should be protected, such as the right to exist. Should you and I and the Government, sworn to uphold the Constitution, stand by if Ms. Radwan was held without trial and then executed? If the answer is yes, then who are you to say that Palestinians should be allowed to move freely in the West Bank? Why are we so concerned about what the government of Israel is doing? Palestinians arent even Americans.
At a time when Bush and company are eroding the civil rights of all Americans and the Constitution is truly nothing more than a piece of hemp, I would suspect that one who writes about injustice in the world, would be all over the case of Amjad Radwan. I do not believe that this is, a simple custody dispute, any more than I believe that Palestinians being cut off from sources of clean water is a simple infrastructure dispute. ...
I am writing a book about War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity that focuses on the Israeli and American contribution to the subject. America, Israel and other war profiteering countries are a lot like alcoholics the first step is to admit you have a problem. Then, and only then, can you take steps to stop the abuse. I am looking forward to reading more of your articles and your upcoming book. Thank you for taking the time to read a simple man's letter.
Regarding Bryan M.'s letter, Backtalk, January 23:
Bryan, if you actually do some checking on facts beyond what's filtered to you by the AP and the corporate TV networks, you might find that the U.S. government has helped the "ruthless dictators" more often than it has stopped them. Saddam was just as ruthless and bloodthirsty when the US supported him as he is now the difference was, he was better at taking orders then. On the other hand, top candidates for replacing Saddam in the new "democratic" regime Bush installs include 1) the general who used gas against the Kurds, and 2) the general who carried out the invasion of Kuwait. But so long as they take orders, none of those other inconvenient facts exist in the official US view of the world.
If the US has been giving military aid and training to Satan's legions, and Satan stops taking orders tomorrow, you can be sure that Ari Fleischer's next press conference will be full of all sorts of atrocities and horror stories that have only just been "discovered" in Hell.
In country after country, you will be surprised to find that the dictators who slaughtered tens or hundreds of thousands of their own people have had arms, training, and advice from the US When Suharto took over Indonesia and massacred at least 500,000 "communists," the CIA station chief in Jakarta provided the military with a roundup list. When Indonesia invaded East Timor and committed genocide on the scale of Cambodia, Henry Kissinger gave them the go-ahead.
I challenge you to read William Blum's Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995). It's a very heavily annotated, country by country study of how the US has aided military dictators, secret police and death squads on behalf of big business interests overseas. If you read it, your picture of the US role in the world may be turned upside-down. Of course, if you're afraid, then just forget it, go back to sleep, and keep right on reassuring yourself that the official version of reality is the truth.
~ Kevin Carson