Posted March 12, 2003
Besides the recent attempt to discredit Hans Blix with this "drone" business, I honestly think that this breaking news about Iran having nuke capability is to further sway the American public by confusing them with the Iran/Iraq similarities.
I hate to say it but most people in this country are easily mislead (the Iraq/Hussein/Bin Laden non-connection that Bush keeps trying to put forward) and they rarely read beyond the headlines. Of course the sound-bite reporting that passes for serious journalism rarely helps with these matters.
Keep up the pressure, I believe we're beginning to take some ground.
Regarding "Reckless Warmongers" by Justin Raimondo:
I have enjoyed your columns ever since I stumbled over them last fall. ...
You know that Yeats poem with the line 'things fall apart, the center cannot hold?' It is a centrifugal poem with the image of a falcon not being able to hear the falconer and thus gyrating out of control. 'The Second Coming' it's called, Didion snatched the final line 'slouching towards Bethlehem' for the title of one of her essay collections. Well, here is our beast of a government, a 'rough beast,' with 'lion body (the 250,000 troops) and the head of a man' (George Bush as drawn by Tom Tomorrow), 'a gaze blank (because clueless to a pathological extreme) and pitiless as the sun' (pitiless as in the rich have no pity except for their golf game), 'moving its slow thighs (you can say that again, the thighs of Barbara Bush the original butch roué), 'while all about it reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.' The desert birds, it turns out, are not just various Arab peoples and nations, but practically everybody on the damned planet. And this beast isn't slouching towards Bethlehem, it's slouching towards Baghdad to be born there as the spanking new excalibur United Kingdoms of American Empire.
But today Monday, March 10, I have this tickling sense that the closer this beast gets to Baghdad the heavier it gets and the heavier its eyelids. Suddenly there is half a chance that we might hear a thud broadcast live on Al-Jazeera, if not on CNN or Fox, the vibrations of a thud broadcast live. Buuumpfff! The beast has keeled over somewhere in the desert sands: The Second Sphinx!' The fabled Cheney heart attack writ large! To my mind, the presiding force of the present world is centripetal not centrifugal; toward the center, toward consensus and global agreement, not into polarization and out-of-control hostilities.
But even so, it isn't daisies and tea muffins. It is a whirlpool getting tighter and tighter and weirder and weirder. This is where we are at right now. And I can tell you one thing, if this Iraq crisis gets resolved peacefully my long-standing prediction that Bush will be out of office in April, 2003 shall be realized. He may not be technically removed (although he may) but the game, as he likes to say, will be over. And then the desert birds will zone in to start filling up on flesh. Or is that too gory? or too improbable?
Ways to Stop the War
Here's a link to the wonderful letter by Jimmy Carter in the NY Times yesterday: "Just War or a Just War?." And here is more obscure article about another ex-prez cautioning against unilateralism George Bush Sr. Amazing.
And do this now: Write to these newspapers demanding non-biased coverage. As Robert Fisk said in a recent interview in the Texas Observer, "The American press is unredeemable." Yeah, but let them know we know it! And demand more. E-mail 21 of the major U.S. news sources in seconds: http://www.voice4change.org/stories/mailMedia.asp.
You can download two of my peace/poem/posters now. This is a website under construction, but it's a fast way to get the posters. ...
If you haven't done these follow the links:
Regarding "Missouri County GOP Chairman Resigns Over War" by Jack Walters:
admire and applaud Jack Walters' decision to resign as Boone County Republican
Chairman. It's a sad reflection on our society and the Republican Party
that more Republican representatives do not seem to have the values and
courage that Jack Walters manifest. What he said reminded me of Thomas
Jefferson's statement to the effect that he trembled for his country upon
his reflecting that God is just. As a conservative and a Republican who
feels betrayed by both this president and the part, my only question to
men such as Mr. Walters is where do we, as Republicans, go from here.
The party no longer represents my values, principles or beliefs. Though
I will not join the Democratic Party, I can no longer consent to Republicans
who simply betray the trust I placed in them. Again the questions remains:
where do we go?
Where's the Evidence on Iraq?
I was recently having a clear out and came across an issue of Time, dated May 14th, 2001, in which there is a major feature on Donald Rumsfeld. In this there is an inset entitled, 'Nuclear Threats'. Using evidence from the Arms Control Association, US Centre for Defense Information, and the US Department of Defense, it states: "IRAQ could have warheads by 2010. Iran is believed to be on the brink of developing a warhead. And some observers believe Israel may already have a couple of hundred nuclear warheads." From this it can be deduced that Iraq, by America's own admission, does not possess a nuclear capability.
Conversely, the United States, it boasts, is the, "Top dog in the nuclear pack, the US set off the world's first bomb in 1945, and has done more testing since than the rest of the world combined."
It is clear who poses the greatest threat to world peace, the one with the largest stockpile and the country whose President unilaterally withdrew from the long standing Antiballistic Missile Treaty in order to embark on a 'Star Wars' defence shield. That country is the United States of America.
Get Me to the War on Time
Get me a war on in the morning, Ding dong! My polls are gonna shine, Federal taxes down, state taxes up, No impeachment today? I must be okay! Just get me to the war on time!
God Bless Big Business and the Oil companies, Unemployment and gas prices are arising. Enemies are everywhere (I do believe in prayer!), Im bankrupting the nation maybe I need another months vacation? No, just get me to the war on time!
I had no agenda before 9/11 I may not even get to go to Heaven, 60 Minutes has Clinton and Dole, but I have Colin Powells soul! World War Three might start just because of me! So, remain quiet and just get me to the war on time!
Im Enroning the national budget in the morning, You may have more brains, but Ive got all the planes, If I can find an "enemy" then I dont have to work, (And many of you thought I was a simple cowboy jerk?). Well all be mourning in the morning! School districts are floundering, deficit spending is astounding, Education, health and social security arent the issue, Weve got a bigger one with WAR! Im exceeding Hitlers and the Roman Empires military budget, (In Gods name, Im just killing for peace!). So, get me to my war on time!
Criticism becomes treason I wont listen to reason, Ive got Limbaugh and corporate TV, No other thoughts are gonna count! My wife is afraid of poets, but Ive got all the bullets, Im not a moron. Let me get my war on. Dont try me for treason I have my reason. Dont get mad Im doing this for Dad! So, get me to the war on time!
What if they threw a war and nobody protested?
With all the information, opinion, and speculation about war in Iraq these past few months, we've lost focus on the war in Afghanistan.
It's difficult even to find any news about the US campaign in Afghanistan, though the US continues to kill civilians and take and hold prisoners of war (two of our POWs recently died while in custody, their cause of death listed as "homicide").
Don't let the prospect of a shiny new war keep us from investing a little energy in the war that apparently has become too stale for public consumption.
War should be replaced by simulation or a game whereby all the participants agree (further reinforced by mandate e.g. UN or other countries) to follow the rules after the game is finished. It will be a game with a win-lose situation whereby the winner can be clearly distinguished. The game could be anything ranging from chess to tests of physicality. It could even be a simulation of a war game themselves.
Why wouldnít countries do this? Isnít war just a game to declare who has won or loss. This way we would avoid all casualties. This idea might be absurd because which country will decide national matters into a single game. Yet they would rather devote thousands of lives, resources, and time for this game. This idea is absurd because it is impossible. Yet it is possible for them to launch missiles millions of miles away to destroy cities with people living in them. Why is this idea so absurd? Why canít it be possible?
If you have US Currency in your possession and wish to protest against the war on Iraq, simply convert that currency to any other currency of your choice. Inform the person with whom you are dealing that the transaction is in protest against the war on Iraq. In this way you send a very strong message to Washington.
The US dollar is often used in the developing world as an unofficial currency. This is especially true where the local currency is weak. As a result Billions of US dollars are in circulation outside of the United States. This is in effect an interest-free loan from the rest of the world to the US Government. By cashing in those dollars we effectively foreclose on that loan. By linking the rejection of US foreign policy to a rejection of their currency we also send a very strong symbolic message to Washington. If the United States Government chose to ignore the opinion of ordinary people around the world, then we in return can refuse to handle their currency.
Day Without Oil
If a war with Iraq begins, one way to register a nonviolent protest is to have a Day Without Oil the day after the war starts. Walking, biking, using mass transit or not going to work or school can be an empowering act.
Bush is not listening to protesters. If words and reason will not move him, perhaps money will restrain his aggression. Gandhi and King had an economic boycott as part of their resistance; it's time for the peace movement to do the same.
is getting short the boycott should be wide spread. Below is a list of
contributors to the Bush campaign. Each contributed more than $100,000
and these are the corporations, which are effected by public purchases.
If Bush does start a war, many will then be afraid to protest, but a boycott
is a private act of resistance. Would you please support and promote this
Bushcott by withdrawing all business with the companies listed below?
Regarding "What's the Real Key to Our Freedom?" Alan Bock:
Three quick points about Alan Bock's excellent article:
1. An article by an American historian in The Nation (I am sorry that I can't remember the date or her name, but I think it was last year) showed that there is no, that is no, historical evidence that she could find from the Vietnam era documenting that US servicemen were ever spat upon by antiwar protesters. No government reports, no newspaper stories, no contemporary written records of any kind. What "evidence" exists is totally after-the-fact and based upon someone's claim; but that is the same for UFO sightings and abductions.
2. We can argue that the War of Independence did not expand the freedoms of African-Americans. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in the 1830s, as I recall. If the Americans had lost the war, it would arguably have been a net gain for the cause of human liberty. Samuel Johnson asked, "Why is it that the loudest yelps for liberty come from the drivers of Negroes?" Like Washington and Jefferson.
3. The Mexican War expanded the reach of slavery. Slavery was illegal in Mexico at the time. The Mexican War was no doubt designed to enable the southern slave states to expand westward to the Pacific, preserving the Henry Clay system of balance in the U.S. Senate.
Questions for President Bush
Just a couple of questions I wish someone would ask.
1) After we go to war and "liberate" Iraq, what will the Bush administration do if terrorists attack us again?
2) How can anyone believe that we are going to Iraq to help the people when one knows anything about the "Shock and Awe" plan of attack?
3) Since the real threat of Iraq is not clear (It's not. If it was clear there would be no need to debate) why can we spend billions on an ordeal that will kill many people and may not make us any safer when this money could be put into real health care and education?
4) How can anyone say they love democracy when they are unwilling to listen to their own people? Democratic leaders are there to represent the will of the people not to dictate what we should believe. ...
Kurdish Struggle and Antiwar.com
Congratulations to Antiwar.com for highlighting the situation of the Kurds. This is something that Commondreams hardly would have thought of doing. That, and the continued coverage of the situations in Korea and India/ Pakistan, along with the reporting of US attacks on the Palestinians, the Philippines, Colombia, etc. makes Antiwar.com stand out above the rest.
As a 'commie', the thought of donating to Antiwar.com has been a hard item to fathom. But I got to say that I am now leaning in the direction of sending you guys money. Damn the world is weird!
We can sing, strip,"demand," commit cd and clever acts of puppetry, perform Lysistrada and march our tushies off, but all this serves is to keep us busy, help us feel like we're doing something useful and connect with like-minded folks. All good and important things, to be sure, but if "the big boys" aren't responding and the media buries not only our message, but even the events (as it definitely does) are we really gaining ground?
I suggest it's time to morph into furious constituents calling, writing, faxing, emailing and raising hell in general for the immediate impeachment of Bush and Co. According to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, we can toss the lot of them.
Let's get together on this! It's the only way we can use our power to effect real change. And let's face it, there's a hell of a lot more we need than an end to their aggression against Iraq. Wouldn't we like our civil rights and our money back as well? ...
The New American Century
On Nightline on television last week, there was a show about "The New American Century." The show implied that there is a report called the New American Century which was put together by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and many others many years ago (even before the current Bush became President.) This report seems to be the foreign policy for George Bush!
The report called for the overthrowing of the Iraqi government as the first of many more countries in the Middle East. The US had planned this attack on Iraq long before 9/11 even happened. This has nothing to do with Saddam! The report states that the US intends to take over the Middle and Saddam appears to be a scapegoat.
I went on
the Internet and put in keyword The
New American Century and sure enough there is information available,
however, I have not heard anything else about this in the media. ... I
think the American people need to know about this.
Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:
Regarding "From Kosovo to Baghdad" by Nebojsa Malic:
I was born in Bosnia, in what was than Yugoslavia; in 1992 I ran away to Canada just before the war and every day I dream of returning, so I'm hoping that Serbia's economy will recover.
I like your views about Kosovo but I don't like how you explain the reformist government in Serbia and how you call them ass-kissers. If they have to kiss America's ass, let them, as long as the people in the country get higher living standards the ass-kissing doesn't matter.
Nebojsa Malic replies:
Actually, it does. Reports from over there are pretty clear: the actual standard of living is dropping. More importantly, the current government mercilessly plunders the populace and hinders any sort of activity not under its control. The only way for things to improve is to change the system, so no individual or group could have this much power to steal, kill, extort, or suck up to Americans or whoever else.
I served during Desert Storm. I'm on the fence with this War. I would like to see some indisputable evidence that can justified this war. But after 9/11, are we suppose to just sit and wait for another attack, with the possibility of even greater damage than 9/11 that can take place? One of the biggest stories after that day was, the Government having some knowledge of the attacks beforehand and did nothing. Do we make that mistake again? Saddam can make all this go way. That's the one thing people aren't talking about. But I guess the one question I have for you is, Given their histories, do you truly believe from your heart, that people like Saddam and Bin laden can really be reasoned with? Saddam has had the inspectors running around for months. Now over the last few weeks, with the deadline coming up, he has made some weak gestures. I am definitely not blind to the imperfections of the US and it's leaders. I use the word "leaders" loosely. But there can be no peace, so long as people like Saddam and Bin Laden have the mentalities they do, the deep desires to pursue terror. I could go on, but if you could answer my question, I would appreciate it.
Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:
Regarding Larry Wallace's letter posted March 7:
I like your site but why do you print letters on Backtalk from people who are for war. Shouldn't they write to a site that is "ForWar" for instance?
Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:
The argument against posting pro-war letters is clear: it uses the limited resources of Antiwar.com and our readers. There are also good reasons to post some pro-war letters. We can learn from our opponents' criticism, learn to debate war supporters, and possibly even help change some of the pro-war letter writers' minds. Actually, there's not a clear line between pro- and anti-war opinions (see Albert B.'s letter above). A strict pacifist would probably object to the ideas expressed in many Antiwar.com articles. Some people (like Larry Wallace) reject many of the administration's claims regarding Iraq but still support an invasion. Others accept some of the hawks' claims but reject their conclusions. Many of those currently opposing an invasion will change their minds if the UN approves it, if weapons of mass destruction are discovered or "discovered," or once the war actually starts.
Larry Wallace wrote in with his answer to a question that's much debated in the antiwar movement: why is the US threatening to invade Iraq? If we agree that the US government is at least somewhat influenced by public opinion, then the opinions of enthusiastic supporters of the war constitute at least part of the answer to the "why Iraq?" question and we do receive many letters like Mr. Wallace's. On the other hand, his short letter would have been more compelling had Mr. Wallace provided some supporting facts, rather than just opinion, so maybe we should have skipped it.
It is wrong to curse a flower and wrong to curse a man. It is wrong not to hold any man in honor, and it is wrong to ridicule any man.
When you curse another, you curse yourselves, and the curse returns to you. When you are violent, the violence returns.
When every young man refuses to go to war, you will have peace. As long as you fight for gain and greed (and, Larry, revenge) there will be no peace. As long as one person commits acts of violence for the sake of peace, you will have war.
There is no man who hates but that that hatred is reflected outward and made physical. And there is no man who loves but that that love is reflected outward and made physical.
Yours is the best page on politics around. I access it daily.
Here is my complaint: the headlines in red that epitomize selected articles frequently overstate the contents. This garish hype is totally unnecessary. It detracts from the shimmering excellence.
We won't beat the War Party because the antiwar movement cannot unite. Not until you have the flag-wavers on the platform with Jesse Jackson or Jim McDermott and not until you have a Ron Paul telling America that Patrick Henry would march on Bush before attacking Saddam will we make a decisive difference. That day will not come soon enough.
What Goes Around
I am 16. You know, we all have our own opinion about everything and some opinions might differ from others. Well, my opinion about the war is that you people are wasting your time protesting against war. Why are you even going to have a second thought about war after what they did to us on 9/11.
I say we need to strike at them before they have another chance to strike at us. If we didn't go to war and there was another major bombing or so I bet you'd feel pretty bad knowing that your protest helped innocent people die, that your protest didn't help or protect them. Well, anyway, I think we should take them for all there worth. What goes around comes around.
Eric Garris replies:
The Iraqis did nothing to us on 9/11. Saddam is a secular socialist who is hated by the fundamentalists like Osama bin Laden. The perpetrators of 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They planned it in London. Iraq was never involved.
I would join your group except for your views about President Clinton. He was and has been the best President the United States has ever had or will ever have. His intelligence is unequaled, and his charisma can not be denied! Anyone that denigrates him is an intellectual moron! The current administration we have in the US with Bush is a farce! We have no press conferences because Bush can't speak he has no vocabulary! He is stupid! We have a non-elected person running our country! And he can't even speak properly!
Backtalk editor Sam Koritz replies:
Well, we don't have a group to join, anyway. The "Join Us" link on the homepage refers to joining our daily email list.