Posted February 22, 2003
Regarding 'Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions' by Ran HaCohen:
I applaud your courage to speak out against injustices committed by Israel. There is very little or no discussion at all about this subject in the western media. It seems there is a conspiracy to silence all such justified claims.
In Muslim countries we also place all the blame on the Jews for the misery of the Palestinians. Israel alone was not responsible for the misery of the Palestinian people. Egypt,Jordan and Syria all three of them also had the intention to take over parts of Palestine for themselves. Shame on the Arabs for the situation Palestinians are in.
I applaud your stance. My husband and I have been saying this same thing to each other for years. You don't dare talk about it openly, because then you are considered to be anti-Semitic.
I never cease to wonder at the low level to which self-loathing Jews are willing to stoop. Thus, to the list of mail flowing from Israeli "refuseniks" to that unsavory publication, the Guardian, and the Jews who organised the academic boycott of Israeli universities (the Roses), we now have ... one Ran HaCohen, telling you how evil we Israelis and PM Sharon are.
Blood libel against the Jews is deeply imbedded in our enemies' minds, and is randomly brought to the surface, when required, for the sake of accusation. If, as HaCohen alleges, Israel carried out "ethnic cleansing" in 1948, why were five regular Arab armies sent to invade the infant state? These were heavily equipped and armed to the teeth, and pitched against a small, pitifully equipped force. They were led by British and Nazi officers. Let me remind you that the entire Jewish population was then 600,000. In six months of severe fighting in which the Israelis persevered, we lost 6000 fighters, or if you prefer, 1% of our entire population, and a much higher percent of mature youths. Do you understand the significance of this?
It stands to reason that those who planned "ethnic cleansing" at the time were the Arabs themselves, who invaded the country. Sorry to spoil the picture! This intention was repeated then and ever since, with promises to "throw the Jews into the sea" and "itbakh el Yahud" ("slaughter the Jews"). Threats to destroy the "Zionist Entity" are a daily routine in Iraq and Iran. ...
I was born in Belgium and my family was deported to Auschwitz while the majority of the Belgians did very little or nothing (except the just few who risked their necks to save us) This little irrelevant and unimportant country, centre of chocolate and pedophiles, suddenly decides to play God and to judge the "criminals of the world" and to tackle the USA as well. Have they gone nuts?
So you see we're never short of hatred, even from our own. Our foes must be exhilarated to have such publications as yours and the Guardian in which to spill their anti-Israeli diatribe and slander. The likes of you have had a great time glorifying anti-Israeli libel, in a frenzied orgy of hatred.
Do try to be evenhanded. I know it's difficult for you but try.
myself never cease to wonder at the low level to which people are willing
to stoop in order to preserve their self-image as eternal victims, against
all contrary evidence. You may be right when you speculate that "it
stands to reason that those who planned 'ethnic cleansing' at the time
were the Arabs themselves." May be. However, the sheer fact is that
those who carried out ethnic cleansing were the Israelis, not the Arabs.
My column is based on facts that happened, not on speculative scenarios
that could have happened but did not. As for the Holocaust (done by the
Germans, not by the Palestinians), it did not give us any right to commit
war-crimes ourselves; on the very contrary.
Firas seems intent on presenting Islam as this peaceful religion that has patience and tolerance for all of God's children. I wonder if you would ask him to balance his statements against the newly released call from Iran to kill Salmon Rushdie. I have no opinions on Islam one way or another, but allow me to relate this. I once covered a Ku Klux Klan rally and while reloading film their "preacher" took to the mic to give his spiel on the Klan and why people should support it. I thought, how could a man of God be part of such a hate filled entity? As I look back on that event I can honestly say I never heard this man threaten or suggest anyone be killed. I see correlation in this versus the situation regarding Mr. Rushdie and the Islamic Madras's. Extremism on two sides I suppose. Can Mr. Al-Atraqhi explain Islam's penchant for death and why killing is looked upon as so honorable and acceptable and does he honestly believe that a righteous and merciful God would sanction this in his name?
Firas Atrqchi replies:
Simply put, do not fall for the temptation of ostracizing a faith because some of its followers are misled by whichever clerics are in a position of power and can manipulate religion for political agenda.
If we are to judge a faith by its followers then all monotheistic religions can be seen to be warmongering and violent.
While atrocities were committed against Jews, Muslims, and Eastern Christians during the Crusades, I am able to resist calling Christianity a violent faith. It is not one.
By the same token neither are Judaism nor Islam.
Faiths are pure. Adherents are not.
In that regard, it is misguided to say Islam has a "penchant for death".
Do I honestly
believe God can sanction this in His name? I am not one to judge God,
but if my reading of holy texts (Torah, Talmud, Quran, New Testament)
is worth any measure, then my answer would be absolutely not.
Regarding 'Rallying for War' by Justin Raimondo:
Excellent article. I talk to my German friend in Frankfurt on a weekly basis. He thinks we Americans have gone nuts. I tell him it is not the people but the Republicrat leadership and intellectual/media elite who are determined to have this war to:
a foothold in the Middle East
All the neocon talk about exporting democracy is pure bullsh*t. If that was the case there are a number of countries in Africa who would welcome our intervention.
Keep up the great job!
Thanks, many thanks for your efforts sometimes Antiwar.com has kept me from getting over the edge about this moronic, reckless administration. The corporate media are so disgusting in their bias that it is impossible for me not to scream abuse at my own TV set.
I was at a peace rally in Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday. Very well run affair with about what I would guess 300 to 500 attending. It was at a corner of a busy city intersection. People with signs stating "Honk for Peace" received an almost nonstop honking of horns. Many motorists appeared to be elated to see us there and honked their horns in delight. Of course, there were also some scowls and frozen, tunnel-vision stares. One young man in a pickup glared at me and emphatically gave me the "finger" while accelerating away. I guess that is the best that a Rush Limbaugh dittohead could come up with.
This is not a specific comment for this article, but for all your effort: You have being doing an excellent job, sir!
Thank you, and God (I hope He is still somewhere up there) bless you, and all of the Antiwar.com people. You have many friends here in Greece. ...
(If you remember, back then, with my petition for you to march again, when I read through "I ain't marching any more"? Thank you for keeping your patience! ...)
Do not dare to call the antiwar protesters the "voice of America." They are of course entitled to their opinions and I am bound to respect their opinions. But my own opinions differ greatly than theirs. America does not have a unified voice in this matter. Those that support war have just as much a right to express their feelings as those who do not.
I like reading your sharp commentaries, it is good to know that the great American nation is not completely fooled by the powerful media "owned" by the Administration.
We Old Europeans have little hope left that much can still be done to prevent this absurd war, but the growing awareness of the people will in due time generate the right solutions. Much power is in the hands of the wrong persons and institutions, but they still may find out that the "We are One" consciousness is no irrelevant factor in world affairs. Real justice for all,a new breed of honest politicians, ethic-minded scientists, courageous teachers and progressive disarmament are more than just a dream. We are on our way to a better world for all and we are many. We shall overcome.
I was at the Philadelphia march, and while I can't prove it, I suspect the number of marchers was closer to 10,000 than 5000.
The pro-war contingent was ludicrously small. I would guess there were 30-40 people in that group. Most people were either pointing at them and giggling, or simply turned their backs and ignored them.
Thank you for your opinions, however, I support my government. I thank my lucky stars every day that I live in the U.S., the most powerful country in the world. I also thank the fact that even if the US is the most powerful country in the world it doesn't take advantage of that fact and it takes care of its people (including protesters) instead of oppressing them as do countries such as Iraq. It would be nice if you gave Iraq equal opportunity by protesting the way they treat their citizens.
As far as putting our military in harms way, well anyone who joins the "all volunteer" military is well aware (or should be) that "military service" = "the possibility of fighting," yes fighting in a war.
I went to the antiwar demonstration on Saturday in Seattle estimated at 40,000-60,000 by those counting on the scene, and 20,000 by the local pro-war media and the police.
We took a break from the march at Westlake Center for at least half an hour, and rejoined the end of the crowd that was still passing by. Imagine my surprise when I read in the Sunday paper that a counter-demonstration was supposedly present at Westlake Square at the same time we walked through it, and we didn't even notice!
Anyway, your commentary on the pathetic pro-war counter-demonstrations is right on, except in one respect. They get too much coverage. Were the numbers reversed (60,000 pro-war demonstrators and (generously) 25 antiwar demonstrators), do you think that the smaller march would even be mentioned? I don't.
Kudos to your site for some of the best consistent antiwar coverage out there.
Regarding 'New York to Build 'Dark Tower of Barad-dur' on WTC Site' by J.P. Zmirak:
This is great! I've sent it far and wide. The best way to deal with these puffed-up turkeys is to laugh at 'em.
If I were to live that long and get to visit NYC will I be able to get to the top (that is if I can get a top clearance from Uncle Sam) to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty?
...My husband is in the US Army. He is getting on a plane today to go to Saudi Arabia. He however just got back from a year long tour in South Korea. Our daughter and I only got to spend 3 months with him and now he has got to go. I don't understand why he's got to go. At this time all the military wants is the numbers to report of how many personnel they have in the Middle East. I don't understand why President Bush wants to go to war with Iraq. As a military spouse and American I oppose this war very much.
May I make a modest proposal? If no illegal weapons are found in Iraq after the war then the leaders and advisors who pushed for war should be prosecuted for murder putting their money where their mouth is.
Better than Marching
million of us marched in London against the war. Blair ignored us. So
now we should try his way. He calls it Democracy. Democratically, the
same two million should join the Labour Party (it costs as little as 25
pence per week). Democratically, we would then swiftly remove Blair, Straw,
Hoon et al from office. Democratically, we would force their impeachment
for War Crimes. And all this for far less than the cost of a tube ticket
and a long futile march.
It seems to me that many more people disagree with this war but for one reason or another feel powerless.
We all have power. My suggestion for a simple and powerful protest is based on one carried out in Turkey on Saturday evening. If every person against this war, in every city across the globe, were to turn off their lights at 11pm on Sunday the 23rd of Feb a wave of darkness would pass across the time zones. Itll only take a few minutes and you can do it at home.
I suggest we all boil the kettle the following evening at 11pm and create A power surge to re-enforce the fact that we are not convinced.
Recently, a group of students and I started an antiwar group at school. In that time, we've been called to defend and express our opinions, and we find ourselves constantly coming back to your website for new and fresh information. A small group of us went to the march in San Francisco yesterday, figuring we could learn somethings, however, we had already gathered enough information to understand everything that was being said. The sad thing is, no matter how much we shout and scream, he's not going to listen to us. But hopefully, other leaders in other countries will listen (as it seems Tony Blair is starting to). But, I digress. The point of this letter was to thank you for providing such a different view on everything (although it might be a tad biased, I think that's the point). Instead of hearing how the President's Crusade is being halted by those hippies in France and Germany, I read about the rulers of those countries who are saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Thank you.
War is Terrible
I am twelve years old and I feel that I have more sense than Mr. George Bush. A few nights ago I had a dream that I went to go visit hell. The person that I saw as the devil was Hitler. When something gets published about the war and all the bad ideas that President Bush had about war and kids my age learn about the war they are going to see President Bush as the devil. I see this how you might ask? When someone is payed to kill someone, that someone who payed for the hitman goes to jail with the hitman when he gets caught. In our case George Bush is the man with the money and our proud brave soldiers are the hitmen. The soldiers have no choice but to go kill more people because it is their jobs and that is how they feed their families. The soldiers don't say it will be fun to go to war and get blown to smithereens, they say I will defend my country proudly! George Bush does not see the heartbreak that these families have and he really needs to see that because the war is terrible.
The World Needs a Policeman
It is not a bad thing at all to be against the war. At its best it is an admirable position to take. However, if that position is taken it must be justified by not just objecting to an idea or action, it must also be accompanied by an alternate idea or action. This is where the antiwar philosophy fails. The individuals that protest should also offer a real solution to the problem. Yet I hear no solution to a problem that will not go away, which is that Iraq has weapons they should not have and that they are failing to live up to an agreement they made after they invaded a country that had never showed any aggression against them. I believe we can all agree that Iraq does have these weapons and that Hussein is a truly evil person. Given that, the problem will not go away by ignoring it and obviously it will only get worse over the course of time if unchecked. ...
Additionally, contrary to what you believe, the world does need a policeman just like your neighborhood does. Think for just a minute what the state of the planet would be like if there were no checks and balances. Also, if you truly cared about the innocent people of Iraq being killed by war then remember what they face every day. Living in a nation that would punish protest, the very thing you did today, by imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering them just for speaking their minds. This is the country you stand to protect. I respect what you believe in but at the same time I have to point out the lack of thinking that accompanies it. I hope that you all put more thought into why you are against the possibility of war. Is it for any other reason than hatred of the president or the republican party? I truly doubt it because when President Clinton bombed Iraq with cruise missiles and joined forces with the UN in Serbia I did not hear a single complaint, not a single statement by a celebrity, not a single visit to Kosovo by Sean Penn. Why? Because the president was a democrat and these same protesters hip deep in hypocrisy were comfortable with the same type of killing and the same violence that they now say they hate. But then I am still listening for any ideas that can bring about a true solution to this insanity. If you truly have a solution then the world is also waiting for your wisdom.
With such an uproar against war in many different countries there is still no hope that Washington is willing to listen. Maybe a million sacrifices from different countries could make a difference. Why could not we, who believe in peace, go to Iraq in millions ahead of the conflict? With people from all countries on the battlefield holding peace placards, it would be a glorious moment for us and the future.
A Monkey-Wrench Game
Game: Since the US Government illegally intercepts the whole world's communication, the world should play a "spy/commando game." In the course of normal communications on the Internet, fax, voice, etc., talk about "operations," "surveillance," "planting devices," etc., etc.
For example, Mom can do a "recon" of the site (shopping mall or grocery store), and plan an operation for Thursday (a grocery shopping trip.)
It has been widely reported that many of the intercepts rely on key words which filter which communications are stored for analysis and interpretation. This proposed game would overwhelm the system. Big Brother empire spent countless billions over the years on this Orwellian capability ordinary people can render it virtually useless at no cost. Arabic speakers in particular could have fun playing "the game." Would be extremely difficult to differentiate between the game and "real" conversations. ...
Antiwar Protests and the Fall of Democracy
I participated in an antiwar rally/march yesterday. I live in a city of about 65,000 within a larger country of perhaps 110,000. There were at least 1200 people at the rally. By the time of the march (due to cold, wet weather), the number was about 1000.
Let me state this plainly. I live in a small city. To have so many protesters turn out in a small city is not usual. Especially since we are only 1 1/2 hours away from Seattle. A number of our people did go there instead. This type of smaller rally in smaller cities happened all over America with no news coverage except in local papers on Sunday. There will be no additional coverage unless another large rally occurs. How do I know this? Because in my city, we have been having rallies of 75-150 people every Friday for about 2 months now (smaller numbers earlier) and there hasn't been much comment on this at all.
We are being ignored. Just as the Italians, Spanish and the British are being completely ignored. We all supposedly live in democracies. It would seem that our elected officials think (or know) that come election time, our "mental midget" brains will not remember that they ignored the majority opinion in their decision making entirely. Hardly any of them even gave credence and weight to our concerns publicly.
Well, I want to start waking up my country, America. We need to review the Declaration of Independence which we celebrate as our founding Doctrine every July 4th. Does anyone know anymore what are the reasons why we decided we had the right and moral duty to cast off England's rule? Here are a few:
"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
"But when a long train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under Absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."
Such is the history of the present Administration of America, "a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States."
Examples of this are (only using examples from the Declaration of Independence):
"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good."
"He has endeavored to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither."
"He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People."
"He has affected to render the Military independent of, and superior to the Civil Power."
"For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury."
"For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offenses."
"For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments."
"He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation."
Just something to think about, friends.
If he's nothing else, George W. Bush is a true politician with that most powerful of all politician's motivations the desire to be reelected.
sign of the administration considering any other approach but to invade
Iraq, it's time for the antiwar groups to take the gloves off. Antiwar
groups should start a campaign to appeal to Americans who either have
fierce feelings against war to those who just want to slow down the rush
to war make a formal pledge to vote against Bush in '04 and to convince
at least one other voter to do likewise. Using the Internet, antiwar groups
could tally the number of people pledged to vote out Bush in '04 and keep
announcing the results to the press. They'll be on top of you for each
week's tally. I bet there will be more press coverage of the movement
to oust Bush in '04 than there will be on what's going on in the U.N.
It should be easy enough to set up a website just for handling pledges
for votes against Bush. The URL could be www.VoteBushOut.org
A Modest Proposal
I would like to make a modest proposal that will solve our deficit problem and also be an improvement over the Patriot Act Part II. My solution is quite simple. I would suggest that all citizens of the United States prove their devotion to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by posting a $10,000 cash bond to retain their civil and voting rights.
The Attorney General could appoint a secret court to oversee the compliance of the citizenry. Anyone tried and convicted of abusing his or her civil and voting rights to either betray or embarrass the United States or its leaders would forfeit their bond and their rights for a period of up to ten years. At the end of that time they could apply for reinstatement of their voting and civil rights. With the approval of the secret court, the Attorney General and the posting of a $100,000 bond they could be given temporary rights subject to proper surveillance.
If 100,000,000 people post $10,000 each, the treasury will have a trillion dollar windfall which should be enough to pay our war deficits for the next several years. You might ask what about the poor? The working poor could charge it to their credit cards. Most students would not have a sufficient credit limit to participate in the political process which would be a good thing as they are usually troublemakers. And the police will benefit from unrestricted access to the teenage criminal class who will no longer be eligible for legal and court protection. Now that we are in a state of perpetual war it is the duty of the citizens of America to prove their devotion to their rights, their nation and their destiny to rule the world by posting a bond to demonstrate their affection for liberty. Anyone who agrees with my modest proposal should congratulate themselves for having the wisdom to see the world as it is rather than as they were told it was by their high school civics teachers.
Who is Lying?
Colin Powell gave a good prewar pep talk at the UN a couple of weeks ago, and he showed some aerial photos which were supposed to be evidence that the Iraqis were moving munitions around in secret. At the UN on February 14 the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, stated, "The reported movement of munitions at the site could just as easily have been a routine activity..."
In regard to another matter, where Powell had stated that Iraq had cleaned-up suspect sites before the inspectors arrived, Blix reported, "In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew in advance we were coming."
Powell obviously wanted us to believe otherwise. The Sunday morning papers of February 9 carried a story and pictures of a site in Iraq that Powell labeled as a poison factory and a training camp for a group linked to al Qaida. A group of about 60 journalists invited to the site could find no evidence to support Powell's claims.
Our president and his spokesmen have repeatedly stated that Saddam Hussein is so evil that he has gassed his own people. However, the senior political analyst for the CIA during the Iran-Iraq war, Stephen Pelletiere, stated in a Jan. 31 nationally syndicated article that our government's report was a "distortion" of the facts. Both sides were using gas and apparently the Kurds had the misfortune to be caught up in an exchange of mass destruction weapons.
The "distortion" about the gassing has been repeated so often that it has taken on a life of its own, and many news people continue to pretend the original reports were factual. Pelletiere has been generally ignored or is treated as a liar. The "smoking gun" evidence of blatant lying with intent to deceive the public has not been clearly established yet, but the reports from our political and military leaders seem to look a lot like the pattern of distortions and lies that led up to the war in Vietnam. I don't think I am alone in thinking that this march to war is being orchestrated by professional word jugglers and by leaders who honesty deserves to be carefully examined!
Vinny Mac to the Rescue
Suggestion to the PR people for the Bush team:
Fire the Uncle Ben's Rice lady, Charlotte Beers and hire Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Federation Z(WWE) to do your phony publicity releases. Since the phony Bin Laden and Saddam links aren't working and the al Qaeda threats of pending biological warfare proved to be a hoax, it's time to change strategies. Since we're talking about pro-wrestling, perhaps we should use the word "stragety" instead and make it more comedic.
I am sure Vince could do a better job of cooking up a story about Mullah Omar, Osama Bin Booby and Saddam Hussein being tied to the infamous Iron Sheik and build a much better conspiracy theory or at least a much more entertaining one. With the imminent return to action of Stone Cold Steve Austin at this year's Wrestlemania, the possibilities are endless! Perhaps we can settle all of our "concocted" feuds with all the evildoers of the world in the wrestling ring and Vinny Mac is the perfect guy to provide the vehicle! ...
Regarding "The New Leninism" by Chad Nagle:
Just read your piece and stumbled on the earlier one from Year 2000, "Patrick Buchanan and The American Reformation." Naturally, it attracted my interest. My thanks for a tough and generous defense of my book, A Republic Not an Empire, and for defending my name against the charges of fascism.
Regarding "Hardly Even Au Revoir" by Christopher Montgomery:
American drive towards controlling the oil supplies of the middle east
has taken precedent over any notion of sovereignty that any other country
may have. The use of kneecap diplomacy in the drive toward maintaining
the US dollar as the fiat currency of world oil sales is a sign of an
empire in decline. The Americans have little choice in regards to how
they proceed because inaction, at this stage, would not only signify weakness,
but could also precipitate a rush on the part of oil producing nations
to adopt the Euro as the preferred fiat currency of the oil trade. Saddam
recently transferred his reserves into Euros as a sign of defiance and
must be made an example of, in the eyes of America. It's the same reason
that Venezuelan politics have been interfered with by the Americans in
recent months. Look for the rhetoric to be turned up as the window of
opportunity for an attack grows near. Waiting for another year is not
an option. If the public knew about the currency issue, I don't believe
that the support would reach beyond the far right and the ruling elite.
Regarding R.E. Rex's letter posted February 15:
If the left is truly doomed I would advise Rex to start praying to God, whatever he conceives him to be because it'll be one hell of an unpleasant world. Since when is it outrageous to believe in a 'just war' theory. I was taught this was what my country was all about, even though I'm not naive enough to believe we always followed that path. Most of us ordinary Americans do care about what happens to innocents caught up in the violence and destruction of war regardless of who they are. Aren't we in a new century and a new millennium, and isn't war supposed to be a 'last resort'? What is the matter with you people?
What makes you think God cares about this nation above all others? As a matter of fact I don't think He cares much for arrogant, selfish, warmongering people. We are pretty damn lucky to be here and I think it's time we realized it before all Americans are viewed by a large percentage of the world with a huge bullseye on the forehead and heart.
~ Merle B.