Posted January 29, 2003
Regarding "Forged Memories" by Nebojsa Malic:
My applause for this article! Great job, why don't you write a book on the "real" history of Yugoslavia? Just for prosperity purposes, so when everyone is browsing all the propaganda books and outsiders' views of a country they know nothing of they will also have an unbiased look at the history of Yugoslavia. ...
Nebojsa Malic replies:
I have to say, I've thought about this before. At the present, I have not the resources to do it, but that might change.
Regarding Nebojsa Malic's columns:
I am an American of Bosnian descent. I had an opportunity to witness the brutality of the war that the Serbs waged against innocent civilians in Bosnia in 1992 and 1993 (although the war lasted from 1992 to 1995, the Serbs from Bosnia had by mid-1993 pillaged, ethnically-cleansed, raped and massacred virtually all Muslim villages and towns that they were able to conquer with the aid of Serbia's regular and paramilitary hordes so that the number of their crimes had diminished after 1993 simply because they ran out of victims). I have great respect for Antiwar.com and its commitment to offering "the other side of the story" as a matter of journalistic integrity. However, I feel that seeking to uncover the "truth" still requires of your contributors to remain true to the ideal of writing what is fair.
Nebojsa Malic, I am afraid, has violated that ideal. I've read some of Nebojsa Malic's contributions and I must say that I am appalled. He is, it appears to me, yet another true Serb whose idea of waging diplomacy is to always deny any wrongdoing and play victim despite the existence of overwhelming facts proving otherwise. ...
During the war, indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic and his junior partner Radovan Karadzic, used such blatant lies, deception, and denial in the face of overwhelming evidence of their crimes, for who knows what end. The confidence with which these two told such lies to cover their heinous crimes was truly puzzling to foreign observers who, on many occasions, witnessed Serb brutality firsthand. It truly seemed bizarre. I would imagine that such disregard for people's intelligence could only be some sort of a psychological game, some mind-controlling tactic intended to somehow hypnotize the observers and make them believe that the mass graves, the concentration camps, the burned villages, the raped women, the starved prisoners, the thousand-plus minarets destroyed, even Srebrenica, were all a part of a well-orchestrated Western-Islamic World fabrication designed to destroy Serbia because well, nobody really knows.
They would have us believe that what the observers like myself saw with our own eyes was not really what had happened. What we saw were not minarets blown up by Serbs. Muslims were the ones who blew them up themselves as part of their ploy intended to make the Serbs appear a demonic people bent on violent and brutal campaign to once and for all eradicate any remaining remnants of the Ottoman Turks. It was actually the Muslims who really burned down their own houses by the tens of thousands. And concentration camps? What concentration camps? The images the world saw of emaciated Muslim men behind barbed wire fences were again just images of some criminals in jail who are just naturally extremely thin! What about Srebrenica? Again, it did not really happen. It's the ploy again. Nothing really happened. When Milosevic said: "We will kill every Turk (referring to Muslims in Yugoslavia)" in 1989 to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, which the Serbs lost to the advancing Ottomans, his true intentions showed. ...
In his most recent articles Nebojsa attempts to paint a picture of how Bosnia is developing into an Islamic fundamentalist state to show that the West made a huge mistake in deciding to put an end to Serb atrocities. He construes every Muslim attempt to assert their own identity as a sign of insidious fundamentalism. ... He fails to realize that it was his own people's fanaticism that destroyed the mosque and strengthened Bosnians' identity. As the Bosnians are rebuilding their distinct cultural heritage, they are becoming labeled fundamentalist by the same fanatics who massacred them because of that very identity.
He recently wrote that a Muslim youth who shot and killed three Croats a few weeks ago was acting in accordance with jihad. The man was, needless to say, a man whose reason left him a while ago. ... He does not realize that it was the Serbs who acted out of fanaticism when they set out to eradicate every last bit of Bosnian identity and every single Bosnian. It was the very head patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose name I do not recall, who gave numerous blessings to Karadzic's vile and brutal tactics to rid Bosnia of Muslims. Some twisted fanaticism! ...
Nebojsa thus tries to show that the West itself is responsible for this fundamentalist flourishing in Bosnia. He never tires of blaming the West for doing what is really morally right: defending the true victims. ...
Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:
We have received a lot of letters like this one, and, in the interest of fairness, have occasionally posted the more articulate ones. It should be noted, though, that accusations should be supported by links and quotes; unsupported accusations are seldom interesting or useful and it's unreasonable to expect a columnist to prove that he hasn't written something. (Incidentally, I would be particularly interested in seeing a link to the Milosevic "We will kill every Turk" quote; I've read hundreds of articles on the Balkans wars and haven't seen it.)
Contrary to your claims, the upcoming attack is all about the oil. Scroll down to the Guardian Unlimited story about "US Frantically Buys Iraq Oil" and get your facts straight. No doubt a cabal of Waspy/Judeo jackals within the White House has a plethora of self-serving agendas but the grab for oil is the chief factor. How else would you explain the connections between the oil industry and people with power in this administration? All evidence and common sense says this is a cynical grab for a scarce resource by greedy-a**holes who don't give a damn about Iraqi civilians or American soldiers.
Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:
Debate is usually more fruitful when we avoid exaggeration. Judging by your letter, you believe that the threatened invasion is chiefly motivated by oil greed, not that it's "all about oil."
Brendan O'Neill's article was originally titled "Being antiwar isn't about the oil," a title that implies that those who oppose the invasion shouldn't be motivated by the oil greed explanation, not that oil greed isn't a motivating factor for the interventionists. What O'Neill argued against is "the antiwar movement's obsession with oil," "the trend to shout 'oil!' to simplify conflicts," and "the simplistic oil argument."
Regarding "Destroying the Village to Save Weapons Manufacturers" by Heather Wokusch:
Ms. Wokusch's article is quite illuminating. But she should entertain the possibility that people behind the use of DU really want to wipe out local populations. Their purpose is to do genetic damage and reduce world population in those areas where the US and friends think population must be controlled. DU is to the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq what AIDS and Ebola are to Central Africans. If the purpose behind the use of these nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction is not to wipe out local populations, then those commanding their use must be ignorant and unintelligent. I think I am not alone in believing that the powers behind Bush are neither. So what is so wrong with genocide when world control is the agenda?
Regarding "Growing Up" by Justin Raimondo:
As an ardent critic of the Israeli government, and one who has long worried about the national security implications of our governments funding of a theocracy/apartheid, atomic weapon state, I object to Justin Raimondos commentary regarding the alleged hate crime fabrication of Rabbi Farhi in France. ...
The seemingly bizarre story of Rabbi Farhi notwithstanding, to assert that the rise of anti-Semitism is something that needs to be "conjured up" is, at best, absurd, and at worst, heartless. There is no question that the brutalization, and wholesale degradation, of Palestinian human life at the hands of the Israeli government foments anti-Semitic sentiment worldwide. By illuminating one isolated case of a hate crime fabrication, Mr. Raimondo seems to suggest that anti-Semitism is unreal, and equally disturbing, something that social justice oriented individuals, like readers of Antiwar.com, should not concern themselves with.
While it is wholly unacceptable for Israel defenders to paint critics of Israel as anti-Semites, people who care about the sanctity of all human life should never underestimate the threat that anti-Semitism poses. At any given moment, in many places on this planet, there is a person, good and loving, and wearing a yarmulke, who is yards away from someone else, no doubt a male, whose rational capacities have been burned away by rage. To forget which of these two is vulnerable, and who we are obligated to protect, is a tragic moral failure.
I remember several years ago there was a case of a lesbian couple who reportedly fabricated a hate crime at their home. As a gay person, I certainly hope Mr. Raimondo would never use that instance to dismiss the very real threat of anti-gay violence in our society. Based on his choice of words, however, I am not optimistic. For I wonder if Mr. Raimondo would dismiss the gay man who was shot in Miami Beach on New Years Eve as just another "professional victimologist."
Sarcasm can be splendid in political discourse, but when used to dismiss real threats to the physical safety of vulnerable people, it is utterly vile.
Regarding "On Some Rhetorical Devices of the War Party" by Joseph Stromberg:
I think Mr. Stromberg is being too hard on the liberventionists. Although I agree that war libertarians are mistaken and that U.S. intervention will lead to disaster, I think its a mistake to subject them to such ridicule as is common here. I dont believe most of them are fundamentally irrational, and if we patiently reason with them, using our arsenal of well-documented historical evidence, they may eventually be persuaded to help us in our cause. Mr. Strombergs article, as with many others here at antiwar.com, will merely inflame and anger these people, and will be of little persuasive value. We have a goal here stopping the war and we need to ensure that our rhetoric recruits rather than angers new people.
As long as government exists there will be the temptation to use its power to fight the enemies of freedom usually other governments. We need to understand this temptation in others so that we can convince them of the need to resist it.
Regarding "Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions" by Ran HaCohen:
God Bless you for putting peoples' (any and all peoples') human dignity first while exposing foolish ethnic pride and ancient hatreds for what they are: base human tendencies which we must all work together to transcend for the betterment of all mankind. We are all brothers, and I am proud to call you my brother too, sir. Keep championing the cause of the downtrodden, wherever they may be, and may other peoples grow to be understood and to be loved and appreciated the way the Jewish members of American society have finally been accorded long-overdue respect and appreciation. No one can be free until we are all free! God bless you.
Regarding "Ethnic Cleansing: Past, Present and Future" by Ran HaCohen:
Thank you for this extremely important article. I wish there were many like you.
I am a Palestinian who has been living in the diaspora since 1948. My parents did not want to emigrate, they took me and my younger sister, our governess and a servant to Damascus in order to find us a house and a good school, then return to Jerusalem.. The time to find both school and house, Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Zionists! In this case, there was no transfer or people fleeing Jerusalem. King (Emir at the time) Abdullah of Jordan had agreed with the Zionists leaders to give them West Jerusalem and keep East Jerusalem for the Palestinians (he was killed as everybody knew what a traitor he was). True, the Arabs asked the Palestinians to leave but only for 2 weeks as they thought they would win the war. For this reason, the majority of the refugees still have the keys of their homes! Like you, I do not understand how people who have suffered at the hands of the Nazis can be so unfeeling as to kill or watch the massacres of an innocent people who wants nothing but to live in peace! I cannot understand how can this young generation torture a man or a boy so savagely before killing him! I cannot understand how can young boys in the IDF army enter a house and take off the eye of an 8-month-old girl (this took place more than once). I wonder how these boys have been educated and what did the Palestinians do to deserve such savagery?
Very few believe or even know of the intention of the transfer. Nobody can stop this horrible act but the Jewish people and I doubt anyone would stand and speak out against the transfer. I am one who believes that one day we will return to our homes, for sure not in my time but my grandchildren will return, without this hope we couldn't have been able to live. I also believe that there never be peace until all Palestinians return to their homes. I believe that as long as there will be a young man and a young girl who cannot return to their home, their child will come to this world carrying an arm.
But why all these sufferings on both sides (surely, more sufferings at the Palestinian side) when we can live together in peace? My mother used to tell me of our Jewish neighbours who were very kind and friendly. We once lived together without differentiation between Muslim, Jew or Christian. What demon has taken over the souls of the Jews living in occupied Palestine?
Sorry, I didn't want to give you more headache as you must feel chagrin from knowing of the atrocities and those to come. I wrote to thank you for your honesty and straightforwardness. I shall distribute your article widely to show the Arabs that there are still Jews who are honest and disapprove of their leaders behaviour and that there are still good people among our enemy.
(By the way, I kept asking for a permit to visit my country from 1972 till the first Intifada but was always denied the permit.. Hope will be able to see my beloved country before I die.)
Regarding "Continued Inspections Get US Nod," (Washington Post):
The position of the Bush Administration that a second UN Security Council resolution beyond UN Security Council resolution 1441 is not required to authorize the "use of force" in Iraq is surreal, if not ludicrous.
Clearly, resolution 1441, passed November 8th, 2002, does not authorize the use of any force whatsoever, asserting only that if Iraq continues to violate its obligations it will face "serious consequences".
And certainly 1441 does not authorize individual members of the UN Security Council to unilaterally decide for themselves whether or not to invade Iraq. Indeed, such an act of unilateralism would defy the very nature of the United Nations, and the purposes for which it was created.
Further, and perhaps most importantly, according paragraph 14 of resolution 1441, the UN Security Council remains "seized" of the matter. In other words, all 15 members of the Council, including the USA, have agreed that the Security Council retains its jurisdiction over the question of Iraq's compliance with UN resolutions.
In other words, any attempt by the Bush Administration, or others, to act without the approval of the Security Council by attacking Iraq will be a gross defiance of the Council, not to mention the "rule of law", so often proclaimed by President Bush and others.
Further, in the case of the USA, it will also be a gross violation of the US constitution, and the "rule of law". This is because all duly ratified treaties, such as the UN Charter, are part of the "supreme law" of the land, by virtue of Article VI of the US constitution. As such, the unilateral invasion of Iraq without UN Security Council approval would be a violation of America's own domestic constitutional law notwithstanding the (unconstitutional) war-authorizing resolution from Congress which, not incidentally, cannot "legally" override the constitution.
If civilized nations can't be trusted to adhere to the "rule of law" which they helped create, how can we expect brutal dictators, often supported by us, to do the same? Talk about "serious consequences".
Internet Peace Conference
Why do we have wars? It's an age-old question and one would think that we have gained enough wisdom from our collective history so as to avoid war. Not so. Here's how it plays out.
There are people who want war, for various reasons, everything from the acquisition of resources to protecting one's machismo. Most people don't want war but at some point they yield because they have engaged in a war to end war, a fight against those who want to have war, and it becomes obvious that the harder they struggle against war, the more war they produce.
The argument has been made many times that if we had a war with Hitler before he built up a vast military machine, it would have been less expensive in terms of lives, money and resources. But because so many were opposed to US involvement in the conflict, it grew and grew until it became an even greater challenge to defeat the Axis powers.
So the people who fight for peace may actually be making it possible to have bigger wars. It's something to contemplate for a moment as we rally our forces to prevent a war which has not even begun. Perhaps we are doing the wrong thing.
What's the right thing to do? Present alternatives, perhaps. Rather than resisting war, we should "own the peace" by enlightening our brothers and sisters that peace is possible without war. In other words, make those who want war look silly and immature; educate them out of their ignorance. It's trite and true: education is the solution.
If you fight something, you bond with it in a negative way, increasing its reason to exist in the first place. It's a great drama being played out between good and evil, peace and war, cooperation and domination. See it any way you wish, but take time to see the play between the two forces. It's when we "own our power" that we transcend out of the drama and create real peaceful solutions.
How does this apply to our current situation? The problem is about power and justice. George Bush claims the power to force Saddam Hussein to comply with his wishes. Saddam Hussein claims the power of a tyrant who holds his people hostage to his megalomania. It's an old song, an old drama, which has grown tiresome over the years.
How do we free the people without the expense of war, in lives, money and resources? How do we preserve the peace and liberate the nation of Iraq? For simply doing one or the other thing will not suffice in the end.
The solution is to educate each other about the nature of the problem and the nature of the solution. Krishnamurti said "the solution is in the problem" which means we should seek understanding first and foremost, since the insights which will work to solve the problem will be found by close examination of the problem itself.
This is about oil; this is about Arabia; this is about Islam. This is about Israel; this is about international law; and this is about weapons of mass destruction. All the components are there to examine. The wise solutions will satisfy and bring peace to all of the components.
This is what we have resisted: looking at all the elements. Israel has been off the table of discussion, when it is so clearly a part of the problem which is leading us to war. Any solution for the Iraqi problem must also solve the Israeli problem. It works that way.
The solution must be one which furthers the cause of International Law, forming a precedent for how to deal with similar problems in the future. Any viable solution must respect Arabia and uplift the culture of Islam. Any solution for the problem of weapons of mass destruction must apply to all nations, not just one.
These are some guidelines for thinking about an alternative to war which will resolve the problems of the Middle East, including the ending of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fair distribution of world oil resources, the liberation of people living under tyranny, and the modernization of Islam.
Do you see a solution emerging here? I do. I see a "great conversation" as the way to discover the solution. We need to be open and communicate whatever we have to share which would be helpful. We need to put war in its place by bringing enlightened understanding to the situation.
I suggest we have a Peace Conference for the Middle East region and that we start it now on the Internet. ...
~ Steve Moyer, PeaceRoom.net
A Reason for War
Although I don't think I consider myself "antiwar" I have not been much taken with the excuses given for why we have to go into Iraq. At least, until listening to "The Radio Factor" the other day. It goes like this:
1. If Iraq
has WMD, they will share them with Al Qaida.
This seems eminently sound. I would support the war on Iraq for the sole reason that I don't want the possibility of Iraq sharing WMD with Al Qaeda! ...
A Real Action
We would like to make a proposal regarding what can be done for the Iraq war. As we all know, war is being made for oil. If all citizens of this world agree not to use their cars even only for one day, the oil companies behind this war will lose millions of dollars. It is known to many that during one single day, 20 million barrels of oil are consumed only in the States. We estimate the same amount or more to be consumed in Europe. If we multiply that with 30 dollars a barrel, you will see what will be the cost for the multinational companies behind this war.
We hope that you will promote this idea, which is the minimum we can do to prevent the war from happening. This is a real action that can hurt them. Shouting and demonstrations are something but we believe that out proposal, if brought to action, could have immediate results.
Regarding 'Israel's Amen Corner' by Justin Raimondo:
Many thanks. Your excellent article (actually, I've enjoyed many of your on-line articles that find their way into the LP Hawaii discussion!) reminded me of a parallel: Firstly, the "born again" zeal to save souls and wash away sin through Jesus and conversion (very Southern UMC). ... Then the pattern continues with US superpower ideology that is duty-bound to go in and thrash the sinful (protecting the righteous) then save their souls with superior democracy (not to mention hard earned US tax dollars lavished on those who see the light with the gift of Heaven's firm hand).
Justin Raimondo is right on target as usual. I am one of the few evangelical Christian conservatives who has had it with Bush, the Israeli lobby, the neo-cons, the dispensationalists, et. al. I think these guys need to return to the New Testament to really understand what Jesus thought the Kingdom of God was all about. It didn't involve AIPAC, the Mossad, or Halliburton Oil.
Your readers may profit by reading the late O. T. Allis's book entitled Prophecy and the Church. Allis taught at Princeton Seminary and helped Machen found Westminster Seminary. He saw where Darbyite Dispensationalism was leading the church and the world several generations ago. We are now here.
Something just as important as opposing war is to formulate a policy for the United States and its proper role in the world. What we need to do is come up with an alternative to Empire.
Should we rely on an international community (as some on the antiwar Left would have) which puts Libya in charge of the committee to monitor human rights? Or should we return to the isolationism that the Founding Fathers advocated and is today advocated by Pat Buchanan? At this point, given that too many nations are not even on the same page as the USA, isolationism is the only answer.
I sense in some antiwar columnists, especially on the Left, an attitude that if the US would just leave the rest of the world alone, or act only in the framework of the international community, the situation would magically get better. I do hope this is not shared by the folks here at Antiwar.com.
I am isolationist (and hence antiwar) for the reason that America should not contaminate itself with the ethnic conflicts of the rest of the world, not because America would somehow contaminate the rest of the world.
Obsessively dwelling on past mistakes of the USA and its pernicious influence in the world will do little do convince Joe and Jane Sixpack of the rightness of their movement. Most people (myself included) view the USA as an overall positive force in world events, and at the least a preferable place to live than many of the hellholes the antiwar movement winds up defending, if only indirectly.
Rather, Americans must be convinced that American Empire will be a danger to America itself. Remember, Pax Romana lasted 200 years. Pax Britannia lasted perhaps 75 years. I find it difficult to believe Pax Americana can last much longer than 50 years.
Enclosed please find a $100 donation to your fine site.
How to Stop the Invasion
On CBS the other night it was revealed by Dan Rather what the military plans are for the invasion of Iraq. The operation is nicknamed "shock and awe." The plan is for 300 to 400 guided missiles to rain relentlessly on Baghdad every day for three days, knocking out water supplies, electricity, communication, government buildings, roads, bridges, etc. The idea is to destroy the city and kill a huge amount of the population. Nobody would be safe anywhere, and the horrific onslaught would be something the likes of which has never before been seen. After three days, the remaining population and the military would be entirely demoralized, on their knees, and the catastrophe at an end. The oil fields would be secured by US military forces while the dead are still warm.
What can we do to stop this evil, sadistic plan? The only thing I can think of is to become a human shield in Iraq. But millions of volunteers would be needed before a presence would make any difference to these invasion plans. The only thing I can think of is for Jimmy Carter to go over there as a human shield and make a major speech to all the world that war is not the answer, and that to plan to kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of people for devious and greedy purposes is simply evil. Then Mr. Carter should situate himself in some Iraqi school or hospital and await the outcome, keeping his precise location secret. I sincerely doubt the US will proceed with their ugly plans under these circumstances. Would it send missiles to risk killing a former president, a Nobel Peace laureate, a man whom many consider to be Christ-like, saintly? I really doubt it. I wrote to Mr. Carter at email@example.com and asked that the message be forwarded to him. I implored him to volunteer. If you agree, please write to him. We must do everything we can to stop this invasion.
I thought it may be interesting to note that according to the writings of the prophet Daniel in chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel, two major wars precede a key event prophetically alluded to by Christ in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 24 about a dire warning of massive, social, political and economic upheavals that plunge the entire globe into the mayhem and destruction described in the last book of the New Testament, the Apocalypse of Saint John the Divine.
What is chillingly curious is that these two major wars, described thousands of years ago between two ancient adversaries equivocally called the "king of the south" and the "king of the north", began with a major victory by the king of the south who had invaded the north through a kind of military trickery and betrayal. (Like how the U.S. originally tricked Saddam Hussein into believing he had the U.S.'s blessing to invade Kuwait?) Dan 11:5,6
The passages in question from verses 5 through to 16, although steeped in the obscurifications of interpretive generalities, nevertheless seem to suggest that as a result of the original trickery and betrayal by the king of the south, first a war severely cripples the king of the north, who is more or less defeated by the king of the south and then "after certain years" (Daniel 11:13) there is a second major war, but this time the king of the north not only defeats the king of the south but manages to invade and "consume" the "glorious land" (Israel?). Daniel 11:16
What follows after that is more or less the allusions of the infamous Endtimes that Christ warned of in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, in response to questions his disciples had asked, of which he had specifically alluded to in those passages from the Book of Daniel, regarding this prophetic image known as the "Abomination of Desolation". Matthew 24:15
If indeed this gifted interpreter of dreams, Daniel (who the king of ancient Babylon had first enslaved from childhood, from the siege and captivity of Jerusalem) truly was capable of somehow "seeing into the future" by a marvelous gift from the Creator, what is described in Daniel chapter 11 does not bode very well for whoever is this "king of the south" nor the "glorious land" which shall be consumed. If the "king of the south" does prophetically represent the American Empire and its designs to militarily overthrow Iraq, then the Endtime that both Daniel and Christ alluded to may certainly be self-fulfilling, but not in the way the dispensationalists and the Amen Corner have imagined. God have mercy!
Human Shields Contact
Who do you contact to find out more about people putting their bodies to stop the bombings in Iraq?
Webmaster Eric Garris replies:
Here is the contact info: http://www.humanshields.org.
Correction: In IM Fletcher's letter, posted January 25, the word "exist" was originally posted as "exhaust," due to a poor spell-check replacement of a misspelling.