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Posted August 8, 2003

Israeli Fence

"What if your neighbor decided that his fence will encompass half of your backyard, leaving your pool in 'his' yard? Would you call that a 'just' fence?"

So therefore your objections are not to the fence itself, but rather to the boundary of the fence. In that case, rest easy, Sharon has heard American and Palestinian objections and is considering rerouting the fence to avoid Palestinian "swimming pools".

But let's be honest. The anti-Israel crowd has dishonestly labeled this the "Berlin Wall", not admitting that the exact opposite is true. The Israeli fence/ wall is meant to keep terrorists OUT, while the Berlin Wall was meant to keep innocent Germans IN.

~ David Batlle

Mike Ewens replies:

Simply, I have no problem with property owners using their own property... which includes building fences. Of course, the property lines in question are a bit difficult to ascertain.

Please stop associating us with the "anti-Israeli" crowd. If you have things to say to those people, I am sure that you can talk to them about it rather than telling us what you would say to them.

This article – "Is it a Fence? Is it a Wall? No, it's a Separation Barrier" – has pictures which ought to enlighten Stanley C.

~ Elizabeth Wisniewska

"What Does Bush Have to Hide?"

After a White House Summit of top Bush administration and Saudi officials, it was announced that the now famous "28 pages" would remain classified and that the Saudi "government would make al-Bayoumi available for questioning by the FBI and the CIA, but only in Saudi Arabia." See: "Saudis accept decision on report."

Why all this secrecy? "Sources: 9/11 Report Explores Saudi Ties": Omar al-Bayoumi's former "employer" is Saleh Abdullah Kamel. "Kamel has been sued by families of some of the Sept. 11 victims who allege Saudi support for terrorism. The families allege his name appeared in a late 1980s document recovered in Bosnia identifying potential financial support for bin Laden's mujahadeen fighters when bin Laden was still a U.S. ally fighting Soviet occupation of Afghanistan."

In other words, Kamel was identified as "potential financial support" for CIA operations, i.e. in Afghanistan & Bosnia. This document was found in Bosnia because the same CIA-directed money trails through the Bin Laden organization's Saudi "charities" and other fronts, which financed CIA operations in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation, have been used in the CIA's Balkans operations against the Serbs. Justin Raimondo, you did a lot of good research on the CIA & Bin Laden in the Balkans during the Clinton administration!

This is a great Deliso article: "Bin Laden, Iran, and the KLA: How Islamic Terrorism Took Root in Albania" What is your take on this Bayoumi-Kamel connection, Christopher Deliso?

~ Diane S.

Christopher Deliso replies:

First of all thank you for bringing up this interesting issue. I must say, however, that I am not "up" on the issue of Saudi charities these days and can't really comment. Of course, we are aware of corrupt and perhaps mujahedin-cover charities in the Balkans, but whether or not this reflects official SA government policy is not clear. Regarding the "connection" between the two men you refer to, I have not investigated this but it looks somewhat circumstantial at those point – though of course it could always change.

However, and forgive me if I'm wrong, but it seems that you're suggesting the president is "hiding" something that might implicate the SA government. Why then were the Saudis practically begging him to release those pages? Would they have done so if the 28 pages were really so damning?

Perhaps we will never know. However, it seems entirely plausible that this timely release of an unproven international cover-up is merely more Saudi-bashing, designed to intimidate the kingdom at a time when they're in a strong position on oil prices.

Apartheid Wall

I very much appreciate the comments given by E. Nevo and John Kalter.

I can understand their desire for a wall that would keep Palestinian militants out of Israel, however, in my opinion, and to many Palestinian civilians, this isn't the issue. The real problem is how much Palestinian territory is taken by the wall (an additional 10% according to some sources, and that doesn't include all settlements), as well as how many Palestinians are separated from their land, communities, etc.. By extending the wall beyond the 1967 Green Line, Israel seems to be engaging in an act that it knows will anger the general Palestinian community, as well as the militants.

The best solution is one agreed upon between the two conflicting peoples and a mutual understanding of the economic, social, and religious ties to the land west of the Jordan.

~ Nateman

Normally I would not write to comment on a line in a letter, but I am compelled to respond to a line in Mr. Nevo's missive.

He writes "Jews were never wanted, no matter where they went..."

Well, I can think of one place where the Jews were in from the very beginning, where there were never any expulsions, any laws discriminating against them, where they were always free to practice their religion, attained almost every high position, and contributed mightily to the society, and did very well for themselves. They faced only some social intolerance, and by comparison, very little of that.

That place is the good ol' U.S.A. Heard of it?

I just hope we don't wear out our welcome with the combination of arrogance and self-pity implied in your statement.

No religion needs "an army to defend themselves" – isn't that what we keep telling the Muslims?

~ J. Zwick

"Respect the Troops – Not Their Spineless Leaders"

Thank you for your article – I wish more people could see it – the truth.

My son in law is in Ward 57 at Walter Reed. Lost his right leg to an RPG attack – the press is ignoring the number of injuries – especially amputees.

Except for the Washington Post article they want to forget it. When I asked at Walter Reed why in my son-in-law's attack near Kirkuk on July 9 did the Army Public Affairs officer say no one was seriously hurt – I was told it would not be good for the President. My son-in-law was then in very serious condition in a field hospital in Kirkuk flown shortly later to Germany in very serious condition. Yet the public announcement was "no one seriously injured."

The other story is how the guys and gals in Ward 57 are being treated. Outside of Jessica Lynch. The nurses have to scramble and snag wound vacuums that work – some of them don't – canisters for the vacuums are in short supply. The nurses, most of them, try very hard. So does the infections doctor – a great guy. But the ortho surgeons – well, basically it is – do what is quick, get it over, get them out – so they have room for the next one. Right now though my son-in-law has about 5" left on his right thigh – and a VA doctor in Denver who has 30 years experience says with time and no infection a stump can be made to fit a computerized leg. And one doctor at Walter Reed wanted to try – and has been trained to make stumps for protheses – well. Yesterday the same Dr. G... – who by the way is an oncology doctor, his speciality.

~ DS Wayman

Christopher Deliso replies:

My heart goes out to you. Hearing stories like yours leaves me amazed – how can the government spend so much money and be so efficient at getting our soldiers into harm's way – and at the same fail to have an adequate medical response in place for their return? Why are they having to commandeer rooms from nearby hotels to service all the wounded? Should we interpret the obvious failure to plan in advance for a large number of casualties as proof of the low prioritization the government is giving the troops?

"How to Mislead a Nation Into War"

Dennis Hans' analysis of the SOTU speech and the Bush team's techniques of deception are on spot. The lies were obvious to me at the time, as were Powell's lies before the U.N. I'm not even a journalist or an investigative reporter. I'm simply an interested computer professional who reads, listens and pays attention. However, I read more than my local paper and listen to more than Fox and CNN.

The real scandal here is not that an American President would lie the nation into war. That's been happening since 1848 or possibly even 1812. The real scandal is that Congress and the U.S. media are so complicit. They had every opportunity to clue the American public into what was really happening. If a lay person such as I could be so aware of the lies and distortions, then it's not possible the Congress or media were simply asleep. With the exception of those few who spoke out like Dennis Kucinich, Molly Ivins, Ron Paul and Bob Novack, they were either cowering or cheering.

~ William J. Rood, Rochester, Minnesota

I read Mr. Hans piece, "How to Misled a Nation Into War". No doubt he is accurate in his commentary, however, the Congress of the United States gave President Bush full authority specifically to go to war in Oct. 2002 against Iraq. Whether Bush lied or not he was given prior authority to take preemptive action against Iraq. The larger issue is Congress because they and only they provided the authority to go to war with Iraq. My column on Congress includes its actions in permitting war against Iraq.

If you are interested you may link to the column below:
"Help Wanted: $150,000 Salary Plus Lavish Perks And Expenses – No Experience Required."

~ Henry Pelifian, Vietnam veteran, US Army ('66-'68)

Anthrax Anniversary

The story of an Al-Qaeda operative showing up in a doctor's office with symptoms consistent with cutaneous anthrax has always been inconsistent on its face with the same being involved in preparing an anthrax attack. It was basically an advertisement and a threat to the entire 9-11 operation. It is nonsensical.

Likewise, the murder by spores of a photo editor connected indirectly to Atta makes no sense. If it was an experiment, who was to benefit once the symptoms broke out? Bio-attack Al-Qaeda cells distinct from the 9-11 perpetrators? If it was a rogue US operation (the Hatfill story), how could there be a direct link with 9-11 plotters?

In addition we have the refuted report of Atta meeting a top Iraqi officer in Europe.

Only one country has a bio-weapons program that may be closely connected to the US program. Only one country had spies shadowing the 9-11 operatives. Only one country had citizens caught cheering the 9-11 massacre. Only one country has a government led by a war criminal with a rogue intelligence cell run out of his office. Only one country wanted the US to wage war on its Middle Eastern neighbors. Israel.

~ Humbert Humbert

Stephen Hatfill may be guilty or innocent, as may be Dr. Ayaad Assaad, but the following assertion by Justin Raimondo is patently absurd:

"The truly nightmarish aspect of all this is Hatfill's glaringly obvious innocence. The case against him is entirely circumstantial."

Even with a crime committed at a time certain and a suspect with an airtight alibi for that time, there is rarely if ever such a thing as "glaringly obvious innocence." Given the unknown time and even place of this crime, the ability to divine "glaringly obvious innocence" can only mean Justin is possessed of some higher power not available to the rest of us. And while it's certainly true that cases with only circumstantial evidence are harder to prove, they hardly mean that the suspect is innocent.

~ Eli Stephens, Cupertino, California

"Jonah Goldberg, Bottom Feeder"

In a story referring to Canada as “Canuckistan”, Justin also referred to Canada as a unitary state. This is completely wrong. Canada is not and has never been a unitary state. It is a federal state consisting of a national government (Ottawa) and provincial governments which existed for 150 to 200 years before Canada ever became a country. I might add the provinces are far more powerful within Canadian federalism than a state is within US federalism. Quebec in particular is even stronger and it is as close to being a separate state as possible while still being a part of Canada. On top of that, our constitution contains a “notwithstanding clause” that allows any province to pull out of any federal mandate or decision, political or judicial, that a provincial government disagrees with or feels goes against local standards, sensibilities etc. From what I can see, US states are hardly “states” at all and your federal government seems to be encroaching more and more on the rights of states.

A Canadian province is far stronger within Canada, than Scotland, which is no doubt a separate nation in itself, is within the U.K. ...

~ Ef Reb, an un-touchy Canadian

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