Posted March 16, 2003
Bush's Military Record
...I wonder if the antiwar movement can bring some attention to Bush's own military record removal from flight status for refusing to show for his flight physical, 18 months AWOL (by regulations any AWOL over 30 days is actually 'desertion' and this was during the Vietnam conflict). ...The military says that desertion charges, like unsolved murders, remain open and potentially chargeable in a military court. GW should explain his own AWOL before he sends anyone to do something he ducked out of years ago.
Regarding "What's It All About, Ari?" by Justin Raimondo:
...I'm an Antiwar.com fan although my political views are a good deal further left. You guys are completely right about who is behind this nutty colonial warmongering, and the US left is completely wrong. What is a 21st century superpower trying to turn the clock back to Teddy Roosevelt and Sykes Picot? Answer: It's proxying an unfinished colonial war that started in 1948.
One reason why the US is such a convenient Golem is its taste for war. Colonizing means killing civilians, a lot of them, as former Israeli defence minister Mordechai Gur made clear. That's why the US is so attractive to Israel, since it has the biggest war machine on the planet and likes to kill millions of civilians at a time (Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Iraq). Wohlstetter was the godfather of the US the corporatist war machine sort of like the Dulles brothers and Albert Einstein rolled into one. He was also the Likudniks' Padrino, Richard Perle being his son-in-law and capo di tutti capi and Wolfowitz being second-in-line after Perle.
sicced his whiz kid Wolfowitz on Saddam at the point where the butcher
Saddam was showing signs of becoming a new Nasser. Never mind that Saddam
Iraqi communists for the CIA and turned Iraq into a US client, he
had outlived his usefulness. Arab leaders cannot be allowed to grow beyond
a predetermined height about the height of King Hussein and his
son Abdullah and Arab nations in prospect of becoming prosperous
and powerful (like Iraq in the '70s) must be brought to their knees. Fouad
Ajami can always tell us later on why it's all the Arabs' own fault.
"That they have been the progenitors of the neoconservative movement in American politics is hardly surprising; what is surprising, however, is that these same people have so openly taken up the cause of Israel, knowing full well that it would raise the issue of 'dual loyalty' seeming to provoke if not welcome what they invariably refer to as 'rising anti-semitism' in Europe and America."
Justin touches on an interesting point here. The response to external threat is often manipulated by authorities attempting to inculcate a stronger sense of group identification and thus enhance commitment to the group. Maximizing this "siege mentality" and separating the "in group" from the "out group" is a carefully nurtured and very effective way to keep the tribe together and keep the traditional power structure intact. It has long been apparent to evolutionists that highly cohesive, altruistic groups would out-compete concatenations of individualists. But what has evolved from this competition has now fostered enormous waste and threatens all life on this planet. That has been the price of putting the collective (state) over the individual. I for one wish to see the equation reversed so that the individual and individual rights have primacy over the state. That should be the mantra of the new millennium. Pursuing their individual destinies without interference from totalitarian governments every man, woman and child can be a star.
Regarding "One Battlefield, Two Wars" by Justin Raimondo:
I respect your position that you believe all war is unjust. I disagree and believe sometimes war is justified in self defense and preservation of democracy.
Although you make a compelling argument, one fact you left out is the connection between Saddam and Osama in the terrorist training camp called Salman Pak. According to the NY Times, NY Sun, The Observer, and Aviation Now (supports the satellite photos of a 707 fuselage south of Baghdad), Saddam has set up a camp training terrorists from around the globe including Al Qaeda on how to take over an airliner with simple utensils. This proves there is a direct link between Saddam and September 11. Therefore, the U.S. is within her rights to defend herself against Saddam just as it was within her rights to go into Afghanistan and go after Osama.
While we can all commend the courage of a GOP official in Missouri, Jack Walters, when he resigned to protest the war we can also lament the one man who if he had resigned could have stopped this insane war dead in its tracks Gen. Colin Powell. For some unexplained reason he had been portrayed in some quarters as being a 'dove' in this war. Actually his actions have exposed him as being merely "a dove in khaki clothing."
His presentations at the U.N. were knowingly replete with outright, blatant lies all made to stimulate the American people's war juices. Entertainer Harry Belafonte was the first to openly expose Powell's hypocritical jingoism in this war which has now been supported by much of the mainstream African-American news media. Seeing the various military experts saturating the TV news shows tells me that there is few things in life more insidious than seeing them supporting this war. For a fee, of course.
Regarding "Whose War?" by Pat Buchanan (The American Conservative):
When asked if he was a nationalist or a Europeanist, Pat answered "I am a Catholic." Therefore according to his own definition of loyalty Pat Buchanan is loyal to the Vatican not the USA. Why is no one questioning his loyalty to the pluralistic secular country that swears separation of church and state, while he describes himself not as American but as a Catholic? ...
Regarding "Missouri County GOP Chairman Resigns Over War" by Jack Walters:
I just heard your interview on Pacifica Radio, and I want to express my most utmost and profound gratitude for your courage and patriotism.
Jefferson wrote that at the end of the day, it is the citizenry who ultimately are responsible to safeguard democracy, knowing the effects of power to corrupt.
While you are undoubtedly experiencing harsh blow-back for your action of conscience, you must be assured that there are literally tens of millions of people who are inspired and heartened by your choice to stand up and speak the truth. Not the least among are the innocent prospective victims of US militaristic arrogance worldwide.
If more Republicans contact you to know what to do, tell them what you told the first. And that slaughter and murder is not foreign policy, and the destruction of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution is not homeland security.
I have no doubt your conviction of conscience, soul, and heart will keep you strong, and energize you even further.
They are people such as you in these times of unprecedented peril who raise hope for reason and sanity beyond jingoistic media and slothful pseudo-patriots. We can only hope also for massive impeachment efforts to arise soon. What has happened to this country since November of 2000?
Thank you again, sir, for your welcome and direly needed forthrightness. Such acts help put cracks in the media prop of Dan, Tom, Peter and The Wolf.
You are in the prayers of many faiths.
Jack Walters replies:
About time someone joined Jim Jeffords rather than stay with the thieves. Thank you, Jack, a great letter! Many liberals have been saying these things, now what can Rush (the great lobotomizer) say? May Peace win the day (and this administration impeachment).
Jack Walters replies:
The Moab bomb unmistakably screams out Judeo-Christian Crusade.
Moab was the incestuous product of Lot (of Sodom and Gomorrah fame) who drunkenly f*cked both of his self-sacrificing daughters, since Lot's wife was turned to stone and unavailable for keeping the family's bloodline going. His descendants were known as Moabites. (The other son from Lot/Daughter2 incest gave rise to the Ammonites).
Important Moabites in the Judeo-Christian Biblical universe included Ruth (Ruth 1:4), whose great grandson was King David (Ruth 4:13-22), who formed one of the lines that gave rise to Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38).
Moab, the land was located to the east of the Jordan River (i.e. modern day Jordan).
Moses died in Moab. Jericho was in the plains of Moab.
Moab signifies two important themes:
1) A pragmatic, ruthless determination to continue the People by any means necessary even drunken incest.
2) Moab also represents a maximalist Zionist programme of taking the land on both sides of the Jordan River to fulfill God's Abrahamic Covenant which provides from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates for the descendants of Abraham. Somehow along the way, it has been conveniently forgotten by Zionists and Christian fanatics, that Ishmael was the first-born son of Abraham. Thus, God was promising that land (Moab) to monotheism broadly speaking which is now understood to include both Jews and Moslems.
bomb follows consistently other aptly named systems such as the Crusader
missiles and Operation Infinite Justice. However, Moab is a far more insightful
statement that captures the grandeur and the chutzpah of the Empire
being given birth to in the coming days and months.
Of course the Arabs are upset about this I believe I saw an article about this a few days ago (perhaps on this very site). The most relevant part of the Bible that deals with this topic is Isaiah 15 it talks of total destruction in one night, the armed men of Moab wailing (as well as the women), the men of Moab being forced to shave their heads and remove their beards (this would be very upsetting reading to a serious Muslim not to mention how this must be thrilling the very soul of Osama Bin Laden talk about great PR for his cause), and it goes on and on about all the horrors for the Moabites.
I would not be happy if I were Muslim or Arab upon finding that we named this behemoth of a bomb, Moab. How can they not think one of two things:
Either the Bushies knowingly are taunting them in a pretty ugly (not to mention dangerous) way, or
The Bushies really mean it as a Biblical prophecy that the President has been called by his god to act out in the Middle East now.
Obviously Bush et al. knew that the name was absolutely offensive to the Muslim and Arab communities in the Middle East. They weren't in the dark as to the connections with the Bible not these Scripture quoting, God-fearing, Born Againers. ...
Regarding "Awe Shocks" by Joseph Stromberg:
Thanks! It seems to be essentially a matter of doing God's work. When you are prosperous, what better proof could there be that God is with you? When you are spreading prosperity to confused, ignorant and backward people, tied in knots by their traditions, superstitions and medieval morality, you are really helping them enormously by bring to them God's Will: Heaven on earth :Plenty of entertainment, consumer goods and proper government supervision. It's like a well ordered farm.
Regarding E. Harvey's letter posted March 13:
I agree with E. Harvey's overall point: the U.S. government's wars have not been for our freedom, but to promote the interests of the elites that run our corporate state. But I take issue with one statement:
One might argue that the American Revolution was fought for freedom. But that is not correct. The Revolution is more rightly termed the War of Independence. That war only achieved independence from England. Though independence can be thought of as freedom, it is only a freedom for the state and not necessarily for the people. North Korea is a free and independent state yet its people are far from free. All of what we think of as our individual rights and freedoms came about through philosophical discourse, social agitation, political debate, court decisions, and legislative action.
This is certainly the reading of the Revolution the schoolmarms would like to teach us. As it is portrayed in the State's pubik skool textbooks, the Revolution was just a foreign war against England. As Voltairine de Cleyre pointed out in "Anarchism and American Traditions," the average schoolkid has to wonder, based on the textbook version of history, why it isn't just called the "Anglo-American War" instead of a Revolution.
But in fact, it was a Revolution in every sense of the word. The legal governments of the colonies were thirteen monarchies, established under their various charters, which promoted the interests of the plutocratic elites. Besides the popularly elected lower houses, most colonies had an appointed upper house or council and a royal governor responsible to the ministry in Britain. The Americans took up arms against their own constituted governments. In some colonies, the royal governors dissolved the legislatures. The lower houses responded by assembling in revolutionary conventions. Local government functions were carried on illegal by committees of public safety.
And it was a social revolution as well, as the Beardians rightly teach a revolt by the artisans and yeoman farmers against the plutocrats who wanted to establish an American version of Walpole's Whig Oligarchy. The militiamen who assembled on Lexington Green were direct predecessors of Captain Shays a decade later. Independence was followed by radical populist movements in the state legislatures, recounted ably by revisionist historians like Merrill Jensen. What happened in 1787 was a counterrevolution.
We just need to get back to the Articles of Confederation.
~ Kevin Carson, Mutualist.net
Regarding Abraxus Maxus's letter posted March 13:
When I'm confronted with the infantile knee-jerk idiocy that encompasses "All humans are evil and should die" crowd, the only response I can come up with is: "Put your money where your mouth is, and kill yourself! Set a good example for your beliefs." Of course, that never seems to count themselves. That kind of arrogance puts this guy right at home with Rumsfeld, Perle, Bush, Cheney, et. al.
Abraxus, you are right, the sooner the end comes, the sooner humankind is gone, the better. After all these centuries of evolution, of fighting to better our lot, we've come up with McDonalds, Rumsfeld, Bush and Blair. If this is what we evolved slowly and painfully for, then rather homo sapiens becomes nothing more than a memory.
I'll be partying when the bombs drop.
Regarding "Postwar Blues" by Justin Raimondo:
Justin Raimondo writes:
"This is the Pentagon's worst nightmare a factional free-for-all in postwar Iraq and a major source of resistance to this war in the top echelons of the military."
Surely, a unified liberation movement against the Anglo-American imperialists would be more of a nightmare for occupying forces. Many examples of 'nation-building' through struggles of national liberation appear in the literature from Germany through Yugoslavia, Algeria, etc.
By the same token, imperialist powers more or less consciously deepen ethnic divisions and rancour in their colonies, as the British allegedly did in their Indian empire. See also 'Samir al Khalil' (Kanan Makiya)'s Republic of Fear, 1989 edn, p 171: Husri said "Sir Samuel Hoare described each and every Iraqi minority he spoke of as 'interesting'". Makiya adduces this to help explain his view (p 170) that: "The Assyrian pogrom (of 1933) was the first genuine expression of national independence in a former Arab province of the Ottoman Empire."
Jared Israel (tenc.net) goes further and argues that the American Empire consciously instigates Islamism (not just Islam) e.g. in Afghanistan and in Bosnia (both under the aegis of Zilmay Khalilzad) as well as pan-Albanian nationalism so as to destabilize its current opponents (Soviets/Russia, Serbs). Lack of regard for the consequences/blowback is actually functional for the Empire, since its inherent double standards destabilize those opponents, as they do not know what constitutes 'good behaviour' in the eyes of the Empire (Saddam's movement from 'our bastard' to just a bastard in only a week in late July/early August 1990 is so quick it arouses conspiracy theories).
Regarding William K.'s letter posted March 13:
I am really impressed that you heard the powerful MOAB blast from hundreds of miles away.
Living only 35 miles away, I hear the bombing range at Eglin AFB all the time even with the windows closed; sounds like distant thunder. Well, if this was the "mother" of all bombs, it seems she had a miscarriage. Never heard anything out of the ordinary, just the usual pops from the range and several of them at that. Apparently, the way success is measured by our Administration is if the bomb manages to detonate and kick up some dust, not whether it fulfills its expectations. You will also note that there has not been at least a few days of intense public announcements and media coverage on this new, awesomely expensive weapon as would be expected.
And if it was meant to scare Saddam Hussein, well, I don't think so. The joke is on us, the taxpayers, who have paid for this "mother," the ultimate proof that you don't always get more bang for the buck. If we are going to have our tax dollars extorted from us anyway, why not spend it on our schools, our environment and our medical system. Our nation is systematically going to hell in a handbasket.
I suspect you heard a sonic boom, probably choreographed to synchronize with the expected blast. The basis for my suspicion is that recently, residents here have been subjected to an uncommon series of sonic booms for which the military has apologized, somewhat. Sonic booms are generally not permitted over heavily populated areas because of the disruption and damage they can do, especially in our terrified state of affairs. However, this may have been exactly the objective, to practice creating them over pinpointed areas to instill awe for, what seems to have turned out to be, a nonevent.
Regarding IM Fletcher's letter (March 11 Backtalk):
Thank you for your response in this very important debate on the morality of US foreign policy.
If you recall, aggression was Hitler's premier war crime as judged at Nuremberg. Hitler's justification for his aggression was a Bush-like preemption against a Stalin who had committed aggression against places like Spain and Rumania, not to mention Poland and Finland. Bush uses the same justification against Iraq regarding Kuwait.
Part of Hitler's justification was Stalin's threat to Rumanian oil, Hitler's primary source. That is quite analogous to your concern for Saudi oil. You are concerned about that when you worry that Saddam threatened 30% of world oil in 1991, are you not?
I agree with you when you say the Eastern European Axis believed they chose the lesser of two evils when they chose Hitler over Stalin. You seem to suggest that Hitler was indeed the lesser evil than Stalin, yet you also argue that the US was right to ally itself with the greater evil, Stalin.
You are correct that both Hitler and Stalin were murderers of innocent civilians. Could you please tell us how that differs from Bush who has said that "collateral damage" will be the unfortunate result of his preemptively aggressive war? Is it simply a matter of numbers of murder victims? Surely you would not exonerate Bush's murders because they still only number thousands instead of millions. But give him a few years of war like Hitler had, and how many "collateral" murders will Bush commit?
Is it simply a matter of the degree of the crime that allows you to distinguish between one mass murderer and another? You also make a curious distinction of degree when you cite the number of accomplices in the two alliances of aggression. If you actually knew your history you would know that there were 12 Axis partners, not 6 or 7. You say that Bush is virtuous by comparison because he has 30 in his alliance of aggression. If you were to actually name the 30 the laughter would increase as you went beyond Spain and Bulgaria. If Bush does actually retain Britain in his alliance, those will be the only 2 real military powers, somewhat similar to the 2 main Axis partners, Germany and Japan.
Oh yes, Bush appealed to the international community, but you say Hitler did not. Are you saying that Nazi propaganda did not try to persuade other nations as to its cause? Now, if Bush cannot persuade the international community, he has said he will ignore it.
You are correct that Hitler was an aggressor, as was Saddam in 1990, as were many US presidents, including the current one. Saddam's aggression in 1990 was quite analogous to Stalin's against Rumania in 1940. Hitler believed that that aggression threatened his main supply of oil, just as Bush I believed the same regarding Saddam's move.
Just as Hitler found collaborationist governments in his conquered territories, so have the Bushes in places like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. And just as with Hitler, terrorist resistance movements attack the unwanted occupiers.
The analogy between the US empire and the Nazi empire is too close for comfort, which is why you turn your blind eye to it.
US and Nazi imperialists both claim to be liberators, as all conquerors do and have. Hitler sought to liberate Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Baltics from the Soviet grip, and those captive nations welcomed Hitler. But many "liberated" Afghans are daily shooting at US occupation troops. Do you really think no "liberated" Iraqis will?
The madness of imperialists comes from obvious sources: a profound ignorance of history, and an inability to think logically and without prejudice. Murdering imperialists like Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam devastated their own countries. The same kind of US presidents Truman, LBJ, Nixon, and Bush all similarly failed and were thrown out by the electorate.
~ Richard F. Hill, author of Hitler Attacks Pearl Harbor: Why the US Declared War on Germany
Ignorance, Hate, and the Slide into Fascism
As a resident of Florida I am saddened, but not surprised by the contents of a bill that congresswoman Brown-Waite seeks to introduce that will allow the heirs of servicemen killed on the battle fields of Belgium and France to be returned to the U.S. as a slap in the face to those countries for opposing the push for war on Iraq by the Bush administration. I'm deeply saddened because she apparently does not understand what France hopes to accomplish, the disarming of Saddams' regime without a war that will most likely kill many civilians, and possibly destabilize the entire world.
I called the congresswoman's office today and got her voice mail. I left a message stating that perhaps the US should cut up the statue of liberty and send it back to the people of France that gave her to us as a gift many years ago. As long as so many of our leaders are willing to "scrap" our liberties, why not just scrap lady liberty too? I'm sure this will come a a complete shock to so many goobers eating "freedom fries" and flushing their French wines. Yes, the French gave us lady liberty as a token of their appreciation.
The definition of fascism is: a one party system of government marked by a centralized dictatorship, stringent socioeconomic controls, and an often belligerent nationalism. It looks were are headed in that direction.
I'm afraid the I.Q. of America took a terrible hit on 9/11. Call the French embassy and offer an apology on behalf of our less cerebral brethren.
I like very much your site with the ample variety of news sources and opinions. So far in my opinion once you find this site you do not have to go anywhere else for the news around the world. Backtalk shows that most of the people are well-informed and educated what is going on in today's world.
One thing is of great mystique to me about the Americans sudden antiwar feeling about the Iraq. The same people did not react when Yugoslavia and their people were bombed for 78 days and night. Also, the country was under sanctions almost from the beginning of the war for one reason or other. Also, in one time Yugoslavia had over million refugees of all nationalities even "the enemies" sent there their families. That tells you about the"intolerance" of the Serbs.
I would like to make a point: where were the "peacenics" when are Serbs in questions? I was a child refugee from fascist Croatia during World War II in Serbia. Also after losing most of my family and home again in Serbia. I can't tell you enough about generosity of the Serbian people. Do they deserve the same feeling reserved for the other "victims"? They had been even bombed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia for the humanitarian reasons of all other pretexts. Where is outrage of the people? I have a funny feeling that, in all my respect for the the people who do not make a distinctions about "right" and "wrong" victims.
Again, I have a funny feeling that American people are duped again of the same people who paid well PR to demonize Serbs. It seems to me that the "victims" are always the same religious/ethnic groups. If anybody doubt about it they s could go to Croatia and look for the Serbs and to Kosovo to look for the Serbs. Their centuries-old churches, monasteries, cemeteries are in way to disappear in such s short time since NATO "liberated" Kosovo.
Managing Editor Eric Garris replies:
I totally agree with you. Many of today's "peaceniks" were either silent or cheering the war when Clinton bombed Serbia. Many of these people were silent or supported the 1998 bombings of Iraq by Clinton. It appears that too many people on both sides are motivated more by partisan politics than by true feelings about war and peace.
Antiwar.com was strongly against the war on Serbia in fact, that is when we went to a full-time operation.
Barbara Duggal (Los Angeles): Your headline "MTV Refuses Antiwar Ad, Says Movement is 'Loathsome'" [originally titled "MTV Refuses Antiwar Commercial," New York Times] was extremely misleading. Nowhere in the article are MTV executives quoted as referring to the antiwar movement as "loathsome." In fact, MTV has in place a very reasonable policy that protects them from having to accept paid advertising from "loathsome" political points of view in general. That they chose to air the commercial discussed in the article in a news segment, giving the antiwar point of view free airtime, speaks to a totally different stance than your headline suggests. Please don't engage in the same game mainstream media plays.
Eric Garris: It says right in the first sentence that MTV cited their policy of refusing ads from groups whose cause may be "loathsome." They could have used a different excuse, and it is their right to refuse ads for any reason. On the other hand, it is our right to publicize their decision in the hopes that people will bring pressure on the network.
Barbara D.: Let me begin by saying that I have no affiliation with or interest in defending MTV. My hope is much broader, that Antiwar.com and other "alternative" news sources can hold down the fort on ethical journalism where mainstream media is failing us.
Here is the direct quote: "MTV has refused to accept a commercial opposing a war in Iraq, citing a policy against advocacy spots that it says protects the channel from having to run ads from any cash-rich interest group whose cause may be loathsome." Let's break it down.
A policy is meant to determine action taken regardless of the competing interests brought to bear on any given issue. This particular MTV policy affects advocacy spots all advocacy spots, be they right, left or center in political orientation. It states clearly that the channel is most interested in protecting itself from having to accept advocacy spots from "cash-rich interest group(s)." Now interpretation is everything, isn't it? Exactly who are the "cash-rich interest groups" in the political arena? That would not be any antiwar, left-leaning power-to-the-people group I know. What I read from this is that MTV is guarding against a scenario in which any individual executive might be seduced into accepting spots pushing a "loathsome" cause (read between the lines and one may interpret this to mean right-wing corporate-sponsored public policy issues meant to benefit the few at the expense of the powerless) just for the big bucks. This is a policy one could see as protecting the cash-poor (that would be our side) from being left in the dust in terms of coverage.
This is a somewhat rhetorical, perhaps even specious argument, because I have no delusions that this policy is rooted in entirely noble concerns. MTV is a huge corporation after all. But reread the actual words of the quote. It simply does not say "the antiwar movement is loathsome" no matter how you read it.
Why is Fox News Network such an abomination? Because they are ultra-right-wing conservative assholes? No. Because on public airwaves belonging to us they make billions presenting lies and obfuscations as truth.
These are dangerous times, and shouldn't we be taking every effort to be clear-headed and accurate, especially when our leaders are not? We have the horrible truth on our side. There is no need to distort or misrepresent it.
I am otherwise grateful every day for your site.
Eric Garris: I really think you are taking this out of context. One has to realize that the Pentagon is now MTV/VH1's biggest advertiser. When they first started advertising big-time on the network a couple of years ago, there were a number of stories about the fact that they were trying to pressure the network to shed their elements of their antiwar image.
If they didn't mean to infer that the antiwar cause might be loathsome, why did they emphasize that particular sentence from their policy? They could have just as easily stated the policy without highlighting that point.
I am Japanese and live in Japan. I have not heard about any criticism for helping and supporting Bush financially. Our prime minister and government start not listening to us. Could you find out how much we will support for this time, and what will happen if Bush can get any financial support from Japan? We are supposed not to have any weapons and involve any war, but paying and supporting for the war should be a crime?
Eric Garris replies:
Mr. Koizumi has been trying to walk the fence on this issue, but his most recent statement is that Japan won't help pay for the war. See "Japan Won't Help Pay for Military Action," Reuters, March 11. It is important to keep up the pressure, since I am sure that Bush will be putting his own pressure on Mr. Koizumi to reverse his most recent stand.