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Posted March 6, 2003

Regarding "Libertarianism in the Age of Empire" by Justin Raimondo:

Justin Raimondo says that this possible war in Iraq is being fought for Israel. The question I have is "were is the proof"? The fact of the matter is if Saddam Hussein is killed and Iraq becomes democratic, it will not stop terror. The biggest threats against Israel are Iran and Syria. Iran sends money and weapons to Syria who thus end it to the Lebanese based terrorist group Hezbollah. So if Iraq becomes democratic Israel will have these enemies. If this war was really being fought for Israel, then why are we not going after Iran and Syria? Also does anyone remember how Saddam Hussein refused to retaliate against Israel in 1981 after the Israel's bombed and destroyed Hussein's nuclear weapons production plant? Also the only reason why Saddam Hussein launched scud missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war was to draw Israel into the war and thus break up the anti-Iraq coalition. It didn't work. Israel is not scared of Iraq and Hussein knows this. To suggest that thus war is being fought for Israel is nothing but anti-Semitic propaganda from both the left and the right. Raimondo better hope that Iraq never does destroy Israel, for if they did, what would Raimondo write about for a living?

~ Max Brown, New York

Justin Raimondo replies:

Check out the proof, Max: "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." See also: "A Bush-Sharon Doctrine?"

Quit the victimological whining about "anti-Semitism" and face the (geographical and political) facts: Israel wants the U.S. to off its enemies, not just Iraq but Syria and Iran (they're next) along with the Saudis. You might also check out our page on the Israeli connection to 9/11 – I'm sure you'll find it illuminating.

Thanks, Justin, for once again taking on the self-described "anti-idiotarians" (or neolibertarians, or warbloggers, or whatever they call themselves).

I sometimes wish antiwar.com would spend more time addressing their propaganda and countering their influence in the libertarian movement. But then, I'm not sure they have enough influence to merit the attention. The libertarian hawks strike me as a relatively incestuous community, who spend most of their time preaching to the choir (and linking to each other's blogs). When most people in the general public think of a "libertarian" position on Iraq, they probably still think of Harry Brown or Ron Paul. So why give the neos free publicity?

The "anti-idiotarians" like to refer to us old-fashioned libertarians (the kind who don't worship the State) as the tinfoil hat brigade. Meanwhile, these new libertarians spend their time recycling agitprop from NRO and FrontPage, and mindlessly cheerleading for the State and its wars.

As Jim Henley pointed out not long ago, the neo-libertarians fill the same role in the GOP as blacks do among Democrats: a captive constituency that doesn't have to be treated with respect, because it has nowhere else to go. With all their gung-ho enthusiasm for any imaginable carpetbombing of any imaginable country, has their sycophantic adulation of the Bush Administration resulted in even a millimeter deviation from the jackbooted police state policies of Ridge and Ashcroft? Did Bush alter USA PATRIOT one iota to reward the anti-idiotarians for their service? And they call us "useful idiots"!

~ Kevin Carson, Mutualist.Net

I am not a libertarian, but as a Southern paleoconservative, we're probably fellow travelers. I just wanted to say that your speech to the Illinois Libertarians is one of the most inspirational pieces I have ever read. It was truly energizing, and have new confidence in the battle ahead. Go get 'em!

~ Mike Tuggle

Repeatedly, Justin Raimondo mentions that the ranks of the neo-conservatives comprise of ex-communists and ex-Trotskyists. Quite ironic, isn't it? All of my life I have been hearing conservatives accuse everyone on the left of being a communist. Yet, all of my life, I have embraced the ideas and the spirit of liberalism, as has most of whom I associate with. Still, I am no communist and have never met anyone who, by their attitude, rhetoric, or self-proclamation was a communist. I've always thought of communism, as instituted by the Soviets, the Chinese, and others, as being a very right wing thing – a lot for those at the top, a little for everyone else, and a great deal of homogeneity. Now, I find that the communists in the United States now go by the label neo-conservative and indeed they are very right wing. Surprise, surprise.

Now, I suppose, the conservatives are going to start accusing the left of being terrorists. Oh wait, they already are. This war (terrorists, what terrorists?) is fast evolving into a war of ideology. All wars, regardless of the excuses, tend to be over who gets to make the rules. ... Fortunately, the rest of the world is a lot more liberal (at least in Europe), a lot less Christian, and a great deal more peace loving than those who control the United States. See, there is hope after all. Now , if I could just figure out a way to keep conservatives (and libertarians) from slandering liberals. Perhaps that is too much to hope for.

~ E. Harvey

Regarding "What's the Real Key to Our Freedom?" by Alan Bock:

Kudos to Alan Bock! Our armed forces dropping bombs on Iraqis will have no effect on our freedoms one way or the other. Saddam, even if he possessed an arsenal of nukes equal to the Israelis would have no affect on our freedom, much as the Soviets did not nor the North Vietnamese, nor the Sandanistas, nor Noregia, nor that Cuban construction company in Grenada.

If our armed forces really want to protect our freedom they should be lined up in front of the Justice Department and demanding the surrender of John Ashcroft.

According to Bill O'Reilly once the shooting starts we should all shut up and support our troops. (O'Reilly apologized for calling those who don't un-American. He shall henceforth call us bad Americans: "Bad Americans, no tax rebate!"). Somehow once the war starts we are suppose to shrug our shoulders and say, "Oh, well, let us cast our conscience aside and get on the war wagon." Huh? The best thing I can to support our troops is to oppose the war and demand that they be brought home. So shutting up is not the answer.

We are too eager to believe the fighting for freedom myth. It soothes our consciences and lets us sleep better knowing that killing Iraqis is a just and noble cause.

~ Dan Leyde

Regarding "The Edge of Life" by Maha Sbitani:

What is happening to the Palestinians is a crime against humanity. Never do the hypocrites at the U.N. step in, and say enough is enough. Even those Americans who might want to contribute some funds to assist these destitute families would not do so because of the draconian new laws to prohibit such actions. My sympathies to the these destitute people especially the children.

~ J.S.

I sympathize with the problem. It is not caused by moderate Palestinians and they are the ones who suffer. I believe I must invest the time to understand a situation before I can earn the right to express an opinion. I have tried to do that by looking behind the rhetoric and examining the history.

I don’t want to say who is right and my opinion will not change people. My basic rule for truth is to view the past walk and ignore the present words. The past walk of the Palestinian leadership has been consistent, peaceful words and warlike actions. Until that changes radically, my sympathy remains as words. My actions do not support Palestinian leadership.

This situation is much like the actions between a parent and a spoiled child. If a parent rewards antisocial behavior they will raise a social misfit. Like the parent, accepting terrorism in the past has brought the world to the present turmoil. Palestinian schools, media and Mosques are not teaching peace and until they do the situation will not change. Terrorism can never be accepted as a means to any end.

If one is to place the blame for the present circumstances in Palestine on Israel, that is either ignoring reality or condoning terrorism. Either way, it is not a means to a solution.

I don’t like to see people suffer but the solution lies within the Palestinian leadership. Terrorism must stop and there must be a change in the mindset of the people for peace. The government and Mosques must accept a positive leadership role. ...

~ Karl Markuson, Lenoir, North Carolina

General Kamel

...United States President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair continue to tell the world, day in and day out, that Saddam Hussein has not disarmed, that he has significant amounts of weapons of mass destruction. But what they refuse to tell the world is the fact that the same person that they continually use as their reference for this information, namely Gen. Hussein Kamel, the deceased son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, said that Iraq's weapons were destroyed. The complete transcript of the interview with Gen. Kamel is contained in the document "An internal UNSCOM/IAEA document marked Sensitive." Kamel states categorically. "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons – biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed" (p.13).

The Official UNSCOM/IAEA Document marked "Sensitive" can be seen here (PDF file link):
http://www.fair.org/press-releases/kamel.pdf ...

I am not a professional writer, just an ordinary concerned for the world, individual. For a professional analysis of the UNSCOM/IAEA Document, please see Dr Glen Rangwala's analysis of the transcript linked here: http://middleeastreference.org.uk/kamel.html. ...

There is no imminent danger to the US There is no reason to go to war now. Saddam Hussein can be disarmed by peaceful means through the UN inspections process.

~ A Concerned Citizen Of The World

The Case Against the War

The UN Charter is very clear. The UN Security Council "has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security". It certainly does not provide for the Security Council to start or endorse wars. More importantly, Article 27 of said Charter states unambiguously that "all Council's decisions regarding matters other than procedural must be adopted by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring vote of the permanent members". Since when is an abstention "a concurring vote". Moreover, the same article provides that "a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting". From the above, it is clear that all resolutions concerning the sanctions (as most UN resolutions) are null and void. Iraq should remind that fact to those who talk about violations by Iraq of said resolutions.

At any rate it is apparent that, as was the case for the Korean war, the US wants to use the UN as a launching pad for its dirty wars. The Iraqis don't have a navy and don't have an air force. Their long distance missiles have been destroyed. All they have are 90 or 100 miles missiles and weapons they can't deliver. That's exactly why the US wants to attack Iraq. Jokes apart, why doesn't it attack some country its own size like North Korea? Could it be because North Korea has intercontinental missiles that can hit the US and it probably has a few nuclear weapons already? Obviously, the Americans wouldn't dare attack that country. Now they want to attack Iraq, using even nuclear weapons, and they don't even want to go it alone! It's the oil and world domination that are at stake. It's so obvious! Moreover it is clear that the decision to go to war has been taken a long time ago.

The US Government is blatantly ignoring public opinion and the opinion of other states. Recently, Colin Powell said that "there was some opposition to the war". Indeed! Actually, every country except for Israel, the UK and a few starving so-called democracies are dead against it.

The US wants Iraq to give up the few weapons it has and which are not even weapons of mass destruction in order to conquer it more easily. The US is upset at Iraq for political and economic reasons. As you may remember, Iraq demanded to be paid in Euros instead of dollars and it awards its contracts to countries other than the US and the UK. The Kuwait issue was a clear case of setup. Doesn't anybody recall that the Iraqi problem coincided with the departure of the Soviets and their fleet from the Gulf region? As far as terrorism is concerned, things will only get worse if (or should I say when) the war starts.

On the moral aspects of the issue, I forgot to mention the fact that nobody at the UN or elsewhere was shocked by the fact that Syria and Turkey committed blatant aggressions against sovereign states (Lebanon and Cyprus respectively) and still occupy big chunks of said countries.

The coming war, beside being inhumane and unfair, will probably lead to World War III. It's not too late to change course. Europe should not allow a clear case of aggression against a sovereign state (another one after Mexico, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Yugoslavia, etc.) To beat the US at its game, I suggest that the countries of the world outbid that country with the Members of the Security Council that are still undecided and with the countries in the region. As the French say, and they know about wars, "l'argent est le nerf de la guerre" ("money is the (nerve) fuel of war"). There is talk of the Pope going to Baghdad and staying there for the time necessary to stop the war. This could be a great idea and give the Church the clout and the moral authority it has lost in the last centuries.

~ Albert Zarka, ex-UN official and author


Why has no one filed an injunction seeking to prevent President Bush from acting unconstitutionally if he seeks to start a war without UN approval? Since treaties are "the law of the land," President Bush is obliged to proceed only with UN approval lest he violate the UN Charter. Perhaps even if such a suit was doomed to fail (as a "political question"), its filing would garner publicity and alert the public to this potential violation of the President's oath of office. Can anyone help me proceed with such a suit?

~ Nick Chrisos

Something to Think About

First, I want to see if you people have the guts to post this!

I would love to support your views, but I can only do so under the following conditions. You, and all who believe in your political agenda will agree to sign legal documents which will consist of binding contracts and agreements that state that you will financially support all victims and immediate victims survivors for the rest of their lives, if a weapon of mass destruction is used against Americans, on or off American soil, and said weapon is found to have originated in Iraq. You would have to supply monetary funds that are commensurate with the victims life style at the time of the incident.

If you people believe so strongly that you are right, then this should not bother you in the least. After all your position is that you're right and every one else is wrong. Here is your chance to prove it...

~ Prof. Jim F.

Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:

A common theme in pro-war letters to Backtalk is that publicly opposing one's government's wars is cowardly, while posting letters that support government policy is somehow "gutsy." This seems odd since we've received numerous threats, usually anonymous, in response to the former and none in response to the latter.

Prof. F.'s suggestion – creating an insurance company for the purpose of financially supporting American victims of terrorism – is intriguing. Of course if opponents of military aggression are willing to accept responsibility for potential negative results of non-interventionism, then we should also reap the benefits of such a policy. The fund could be seeded by the billions of dollars in foreign military aid that would be eliminated and the money no longer spent stationing tens of thousands of US troops overseas. In an audit a few years ago, the Pentagon was unable to account for how it spent over $1,000,000,000,000. A policy of non-interventionism could probably squeeze out a few hundred billion dollars from Defense Department programs unrelated to defense, over the next few decades.

Finally, polls indicate that a clear majority of the world's people are currently opposed to a US-and-allies' invasion of Iraq, so it's not a question of us being right and "everyone else" being wrong.


The recent talk of bringing democracy to the people of Iraq reveals just how hypocritical the war hawks are and how little knowledge the American public (and the news media for that matter) has of recent history. I recall the free and fair elections won by Islamic fundamentalists a few years ago in Algeria which were quickly overturned by that nation's military with America's blessing. The result, a bloody civil war which has killed thousands of innocent civilians. I think I get it. "Democracy" is great when the result is the one desired by the war hawks but it can be discarded when Moslem fundamentalists win elections or when a Parliament in Turkey fails to endorse collaboration with American imperialism.

~ Mario E. Lan, New Jersey


I've always thought of us women as being more nurturing and caring and less violent and warlike. But it seems that's no longer true.

Janet Reno burned people, children included, in order to stop or prevent alleged child abuse. Madeleine Albright doesn't lose any sleep over the sanctions which have produced 500,000 deaths per year in Iraq, with most of the victims being children. From her perspective "it's worth it."

And now Hillary Clinton has declared her support for an attack on Iraq, which will kill many innocent children. She should talk Chelsea into enlisting in the army for this noble cause.

~ E.O.

Mordor Rising

Tonight, I was struck with the thought of how illogical the current line of reasoning taken by Bush & Co. actually is. While watching Lew Dobbs on his CNNFN Moneyline show, up popped a former military colonel who is now an "expert" of one sort or another. During the interview, he and Dobbs went into some detail about the recent actions of the North Koreans and how "provocative" they were. In light of these actions, he went on to say, this has now become an "international" problem and that Russia and China should get involved and bring pressure to bear upon the N. Koreans to get them to back off.

I would interpret this as akin to poking a stick into a hornets' nest and then crying for others to bring the bug spray once they started swarming out.

Let us backtrack a bit. Has not Bush recently stated that American policy is now to wage "preemptive" war upon any country or group that it perceives to be a threat to American security? In other words, if we don't like what you are doing, "we're coming to blow you away" – before, or if, you ever decide to attack us. If becomes a very subjective word here; kind of like "is" and Clinton.

In the process of redefining our foreign policies Bush has also declared that, along with Iraq, Iran and N. Korea were members of an "axis of evil" and thus were a threat to American security. Now if you were Iran or N. Korea and you were watching what is presently transpiring in regard to Iraq, I think that you would be reasonably justified to have some concern over the future of your nation. Iran has been fairly quiet but N. Korea has responded by throwing out inspectors, firing up their nuke plants, hazing our spy planes and running missile tests. In other words, they are taking what Bush is saying seriously and not waiting around for him to finish Saddam so they can become the next course for dinner. They are calling his bluff and telling him put up or shut up.

Since Bush took office there seems to have been a short circuiting of all past pursuits at maintaining reasonable relationships with our allies and reasonable deterrence towards our enemies. Should it be any surprise that a large portion of the civilized world has come to the conclusion that America has gone crazy and that we are having to twist arms and buy off nations in order to get them to support our actions? Bravo to Turkey for having the brains and guts to say no.

~ Ken Wooley

Israel and US Promote Islamic Fundamentalism

The litany seems to be that Islamic fundamentalism is a threat to the west and Israel.

However events bear out just the opposite. The big threat to Israel, the one that the US wants to eliminate is actually Secular Regimes. The Mossad and CIA have sponsored and created everything from the Madrassas in Pakistan and the Taliban to Hamas and probably Islamic Jihad movement.

There is a reason for this. A united but secular Arab regime is potent, and that's why Saddam has to go, or as Dan Rather put it in his interview with Saddam, that He (Saddam) was a hero on the Arab streets. Such hero's have to be neutered, taken down. On the other hand the thousands of Ayatollah's and Imman's are continuously squabbling with each other, and when they do take power they drive their countries back into the dark ages of dependency (e.g. Afghanistan, Iran). And they also serve as a fertile recruiting ground for CIA and MOSSAD black operations whenever they need yet another convenient "terrorist" operation.

Little or no attention is given to the fact that the Zionists actually promote and favor radical Islamic fundamentalists, and attack and deconstruct progressive secular regimes. ...

If this were indeed a Christian Crusade against Islam, then the Christians would be attacking Fundamentalist Islamic regimes and movements, but the opposite is true, they promote and put in power first this and then that Fundamentalist Islamic regime. The reason is obvious: Islamicists are in perpetual combat, competition and conflict with each other, are disorganized, divided and by their excesses (terrorism) provide the Washington / Tel Aviv axis with yet another excuse to haul before the world court of opinion justification for harsh action, in the ongoing and to date successful campaign to subject the world, and especially the Arab and Islamic world. ...

~ CE Wenzel

Regarding Glenn Farber's letter posted March 3:

...Why is Israel signaled out? Well, if you add up our aid to the other countries you named you still don't come close to the aid we've given Israel. And if you really believe anyone cares about the Arabs 80 year pogrom to rid the middle east of the Jews you are sadly mistaken. First I would remind you there are Jews living in Syria, Iraq, et al. Second, ask yourself this, 95% of US aid to Israel came after the '73 war. In other words, we started aiding Israel only after she proved she could stomp her neighbors. Why do you suppose this is? I'll give you this to meditate on, Kissinger basically said regarding Israel, that Israel is 'our' cop on the beat there to keep the Arab rabble in line. In other words, in Israelis time of greatest need we give little if anything, but once we saw Israel could be a useful tool the purse strings opened up.

If we really cared about the Jews in the middle east we should tell them to abandon the state of Israel and come here. What kind of country can they maintain surrounded by hostile powers? How long before Israel is bathed in nuclear or chemical weapons? According to Pat Buchanan, when Richard Nixon was asked about Israel's long term future, he put out his thumb like a Roman emperor and turned it down.

~ J. Vinsel, Oregon

War on Iraq

I write to express my admiration for your cause. I am a student from England and I too vehemently disagree with war on Iraq. I am deeply saddened by my country's possible participation in this affair, as I am sure you are too. I am devastated that in years to come people will think of my people as the ones who stood by and allowed thousands of innocent people be killed. I write to say that I very much admire what you are trying to do, and that it is nice to know that not everyone in America is so eager to go to war. We are led to believe that the majority of Americans want to go to war, and being so far away and with no contacts in America, I have no way to know if this is merely propaganda. ...

~ Sian M., U.K.

UN Contacts

I did a search of all the contact info for the UN "middle six" delegations targeted for surveillance by the National Security Admin, according to a memo and news story published in the Observer on Sunday, March 2.

If anyone is interested in faxing, calling, or emailing these guys, here is the list of contact info, names where I have found them. These nations are likely to represent any swing vote, and a chance that some wacky UN legalese will get us into a war in Iraq. The front page of your site today shows a child crying in her Navy dad's arms. Let's help bring that father home where he belongs.

Here are the contacts. These are very important nations. Russia, China, France and Germany already said they were opposed to war.

Here we go:

Ambassadors Juan Gabriel Valdés and Cristián Maquieira
[cmaquieira@yahoo.com]; Claudia Heiss, Chile press agent, cheiss@un.int
tele: 212-832-3323
fax: 212-832-8714

MEXICO UN MISSION [currently on the fence]:
Amb. Adolfo Zinser, mexico@un.int
tele: 212-752-0220
fax: 212-688-8862

GUINEA UN MISSION [As of March 1, Guinea holds the presidency of the UN Sec
Mr. Mamady Traoré, President of UN SC.
tele: 212-687-8115
fax: 212-687-8248

Amb. Ismael Gaspar Martins, ang-un@angolamission.org
tele: 212-861-5656
fax: 212-861-9295

Ambassadors Martin Belinga Eboutou, ambassadeur@cameroonmission.org
and Iya Tidjani, iya.tidjani@cameroonmission.org and counselor to the
mission, Blaise Banoum, blaise.banoum@cameroonmission.org
tele: 212-794-2296
fax: 212-249-0533

Amb. Munir Akram, pakistan@un.int
tele: 212-879-8600
fax: 212-744-7348

~ Kenneth R.


My son, who is an inactive reservists, received orders to come back to the military this month. My son proudly served for four years while receiving many medals. Now, he has had to cancel his college classes, give up his apartment, and basically stop his entire life to become active. Neither of us believe we should be going into Iraq. We always felt that he would only be called back if World War III broke out – if America were attacked such as when Japan attached Pearl Harbor. We are all shocked. ...

Personally, I don't agree with many of the tactics that the "antiwar" movement does in getting their point across, however, I am shocked at the determination of the government to go into this conflict.

~ LT

Regarding "Enjoy Your War" (originally titled "The Last One") by Charlie Reese:

Having devoured nearly every one of Charley Reese brilliant antiwar articles, well thought out and almost faultless as they have been, you can imagine how stunned I was to read in today's column on your indispensable website that once the war starts he will put down his pen and "support the troops." With that one sentence Mr. Reese has simply undercut everything he has written about this forthcoming madness. I am disappointed beyond words.

Support our troops? To do what? Kill innocent women and children? Is he kidding? I'll be damned if I'll support our troops (which include two nephews of mine). What "support" could I give anyway? Go out on the street corners and lead rah-rah sessions? The mind boggles.

Sorry, Mr. Reese, I cannot agree with you. You should write even more and better antiwar columns if this horrible war begins. Can you not see that?

~ D. Guenzel

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