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Posted November 6, 2003

Irony-Impaired Neocons

I thought you all at Antiwar.com might enjoy the following short email exchange I had with Frank Gaffney, who is president of the Center for Security Policy and held senior positions in the Reagan Defense Department. Gaffney wrote a commentary article for WorldNetDaily, entitled "Grover Norquist is No Reagan," bemoaning the fact that Norquist was given the "Ronald Reagan Award."

Gaffney concedes that, yes, Norquist has worked hard to promote Reagan's legacy, and has been a tireless advocate of tax reduction; but Norquist must be some sort of terrorist sympathizer, because – good heavens! – he has "energetically campaigned against the USA PATRIOT Act" and opposed the use of secret evidence in trials.

I didn't know who Grover Norquist was before, but if he's really guilty of all the things Gaffney condemns him for, he sounds like a great guy. I wrote Gaffney the following note in response to the article:

"Thank you for your wonderful article published on WorldnetDaily, 'Grover Norquist is no Reagan.' It's nice to know that somebody is still sticking to his principles, is still committed to the cause of liberty and preservation of the Constitution in these dark days. And it's good to know who the backstabbers are, the people who pretend to be conservatives devoted to limited government and the protection of individual rights, but are quick to toss the Bill of Rights in the dustbin at the first mention of the phrase 'national security.' "

Here is Gaffney's response:

"Thanks for your very generous note. Pass it on! Best, F."

As instructed, I am passing on this example of neocon cluelessness.

~ Kevin S. Van Horn

Casualties in Iraq

Have you compiled or found a source for a state-by-state breakdown of our KIA and WIA in Iraq? I want to ask my "we need to stay the course" Senators and Representatives if they have been attending the funerals or visiting their KIA WIA constituents who have actually been on the crappy end of the royal "we." Forcing our elected representatives to have to peddle their pathetic justifications directly to the next of kin will give them a reality check about what their bromide really means to survivors and friends who can still vote.

~ PT

Mike Ewens replies:

No, but this is the closest one can get: http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/iraq/ny-iraqsoldiers-datesorted.cdbresult?.

Or you could search this database: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/Iraq/casualties/.


My version of protest consists of a sign on my front gate. I post a flag, bleeding, above the continually updated numbers of Americans dead in Iraq.

I had planned to keep the updated postings current, but have been unable, recently, to obtain the updated numbers.

I have been increasingly frustrated by the lack of consistency in information about American deaths and wounded soldiers in the War on Iraq. At first, numbers could be gotten from the news services. Occasionally, NIGHTLINE gives the figures. For the last few weeks, though, the numbers are being distorted and are infrequently given out.

Yes, we may hear that two died today, but no totals have been given through the media for some time, and when totals are offered, the criteria changes. Lately, the tactic for reducing the numbers of reported deaths has been to report only those who died in an actual combat situation.

We all know that the others who died from accidents, ambush or illness in Iraq would not be dead if not for Bush's war, his little cowboys and Indians game built upon lies and guaranteed to make America bankrupt and his buddies more wealthy.

Thank you for your website, hopefully, I can now keep daily updated, current postings.

People are already asking what the numbers on my gate are all about.

~ K. Mondale

Mike Ewens replies:

You're welcome. Keep up your protest!

Do you know of any site listing the names of the wounded in Iraq? I received an email from a friend that his son was seriously injured earlier this week and they were taking off to Germany to be with him. Since I can't talk to them, I'd like to find out as much as I can.

Thank you for your help, and your excellent, informative website.

~ Sandy B.

Mike Ewens replies:

All that I know of are names of those killed. Perhaps you can try to contact CentCom:

Phone: (813) 827-5894.

Or try Walter Reed Hospital, where most wounded troops are eventually sent: (202) 782-3501.

Hope that this helps.

How about a direct link to http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx at the top of your page, showing, in large red numbers, total casualties to date (378). That may wake people up a bit.

~ Neil Lowrie

Mike Ewens replies:

We have a page that keeps track of the causalities, with its own big logo on the front page: https://antiwar.com/ewens/casualties.html.

Lunaville.org is linked on the above page.

Letter from Israel

I have just started to read some of your articles, via Anti-war.com and much appreciate them.

I am wondering, are there any official declarations, or policies stating, that the ultimate goal of Israel is the removal of the Palestinian population from the Occupied Territories? The subject came up in a discussion group I am involved in.

I understand that it is an original Zionist goal, and that to that end many harsh policies are currently being implemented under other pretenses. But is it a blatantly stated goal?

~ John Harvey, Olympia, Washington

Ran HaCohen replies:

Israel has been careful enough not to make the removal of the Palestinians an officially stated goal. There are political parties – including within the present coalition – that say it more-or-less clearly in their platform. But if you are looking for an official open state document, I don't think you'd find one – for obvious reasons.

"The Deadliest Day"

As usual, Raimondo makes a lot of sense. However, I disagree on one small point. How can the US exit from Iraq "with honor"? It invaded against the wishes and advice of it's best allies and friends, using a translucent veil of lies, deceit and blackmail. Exit sure. The sooner the better for the real America, if it still exists. But hardly with honour. There is nothing honorable in the school yard bully walking away from his victim, leaving him broken and bleeding on the ground.

~ Chris Cahill, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Justin Raimondo replies:

The honor is in having downed a tyrant – and this is a reality that many in the antiwar movement think they cannot afford to recognize. The irony is that we will have made ourselves less free in freeing others.

What happened between May 26th, 2003 and now that would indicate a turn in course towards the worse? I list the following two quotes from you and then a comment.


"As our old Republic sinks slowly into the horizon of history, until only the topmost banners and part of the main sail are visible, it's nice to have a good laugh now and then. Laughter, too, is a weapon."


"I don't know if I'd call it a descent. The descent started when we went off the course set by the Founders, and traveled down the road to Empire. If we have the courage and the common sense to retrace our steps, and get back on track, perhaps we can ascend to a new level – and uplift much of the world by sheer force of example."

I too find laughter at times while looking back at the divergent course we have been on, and that just recently reached it's climatic effects. But I only find that laughter now by looking at our situation from the standpoint of your May 26th column, which would seem to produce an image like the following:

"As we sail back in from the horizons of four tumultuous decades, guided by the lighthouse that is our Republic, with our hull battered and our sails slowly rising from the deck, it's nice to have a good laugh now and then."

I think your efforts and those of others have been far more effective than your last line would indicate. Indeed, there is no option but the one presented in your May 26th column. Do you see it otherwise?

Thanks for your continuing commitment to inform the public.

~ John McPherson

Justin Raimondo replies:

I have my moods. Some days I'm an optimist, others a pessimist. I get more pessimistic, however, the longer our occupation of Iraq goes on – and the longer our President seems unwilling to face up to the unfolding disaster.

I have been logging onto the Antiwar.com site for the better part of a year now, for the most part, due to the quick links to informative articles, and the “unique” and persuasive insights of J. Raimondo. I take all web-sites with a grain of salt, of course, but nevertheless I am somewhat confused about the position Raimondo has taken with the “Israeli spy ring.”

Obviously, somebody knew something (I should note that I am from the state of New Jersey and can confirm the existence of the Bergen Record and Star Ledger), but it is entirely unfathomable to assume that the Mossad people were working independent of the U.S. government agencies (Pollard aside). Therefore, a logical and probable assumption is that the Mossad /US “on the ground” agents had done their duty and notified the upper levels of the US government.

I am somewhat offset and discomforted that Raimondo has constantly focused on pushing blame to the “neocons” and “Israeli spy ring” without so much as connecting the logical dots once, but as I have previously stated, I take all websites with a grain of salt.

~ Kev M.

Justin Raimondo replies:

The Israelis did warn us, in August, but said that the terrorist attack would be targeting an overseas US facility.

Thanks so much for everything you are doing, I read your site daily and contribute when you need funds. I print out your article and take it to lunch with me each day. Why don't you offer a print-friendly version? Most Internet articles have this, so it is frustrating to have to copy, paste and then fix the margins.

~ AA

Eric Garris replies:

Most of our articles do offer a printer-friendly version. They are identified on the top or on the right on columns like Justin's. It is also repeated at the end of the articles.

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A Concerned American Patriot

LK: I am a former Marine and a very patriotic American, and I am curious about something. How do pacifists and antiwar individuals like yourselves propose we deal with the fanatical terrorists of the world who only believe in killing Americans?

Mike Ewens: We believe that we deal with them by attempting to understand their hatred. Individuals do not fly planes into buildings because they "hate our freedoms" or "can't stand that we (America) are prosperous." If not, then what? We believe that their hatred and desire to kill Americans is rooted in the distaste for American foreign policy, which many Arabs throughout the world consider intrusive, contradictory and immoral. Some of their conclusions are correct. For example, the US supported Saddam in the 1980s, created a humanitarian disaster with the sanctions on Iraq and gives unconditional military aid to Israel.

So we deal with the terrorists as individuals irrationally responding to a stimulus: interventionist American foreign policy. We at Antiwar.com advocate a radical shift in American foreign policy that is inward-looking and respectful of the sovereignty of foreign nations. Within in this framework, defensive war may still legitimately occur, however, the likelihood of the it is lessened by the change in policy.

LK: If not through violence or war, then how do we make them understand that killing Americans is not acceptable? I am not writing this e-mail to be inflammatory or to start an argument. I really would like to know if you have a different or better solution to the problems this country is facing right now pertaining to terrorism. ...

ME: As I stated, violence and war can be legitimate means of defending oneself. However, carpet-bombing Afghanistan in the search of 1000 terrorists is, well, immoral. The deaths of innocents is always wrong, no matter circumstances. If while chasing a bank robber, the cops decide to strafe the crowds of people that the thief weaves through and kill dozens of innocent bystanders, the cops have committed murder. Hence, we advocate directed violence against responsible individuals. "Make them understand" should never involve the use of 2000 pound bombs dropped in highly-populated residential urban areas where said criminals "may" be near.

Moreover, we cannot rid the world of those who hate us by trying to eradicate them. A better policy is one that limits the numbers of our enemies. This equates with a noninterventionist foreign policy. What pissed off bin Laden? Sanctions on Iraq. Troops in Saudi Arabia. Unconditional support and aid of Israel. Even if his (and millions of other Arabs) grievances are not the "real" reasons, such things should not be. America – a Republic – should not have troops outside her borders, distribute foreign aid or blockade third world nations (an act of war). If a noninterventionist foreign policy was adhered to, it will inevitably lessen the hatred towards this nation.

"The Axis of Hubris"

You have an interesting way of focusing on only US and Israeli "violence" while completing ignoring violence against Jews not just in Israel today (which began before Israel even existed as a state) and the Middle East (all the countries there have committed violence against Jews in their own countries and hence have few Jews left if any), let alone the violence against Jews in Europe historically for example, which is again at the highest point in history since World War II. Where is your rhetoric against the violence or the hatred for Jews that is taught throughout the Moslem world and acted on with financing from Europe as well as the wealth from the Middle East. Where is your antiwar rhetoric for the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, or "honor" killings by Palestinians on their own, Iraqi murder of their own, etc.

Your agenda is way obvious.

~ Charles Wigle

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

...To the effect that violence is not an answer to terrorism, I quote an Israeli prime minister, a speaker of Israel's parliament, Israeli newspapers, a prominent Israeli commentator, and Charles Wigle concludes that these Israeli quotes are evidence that I have a pro-Arab, anti-Israeli agenda. Let's see, Rabin was a secret anti-semite, Burg is a secret anti-Semite . . .

No wonder Sharon cannot hold peace talks. He would be accused of anti-semitism.

Jeremy Sapienza replies:

This is one column on one subject. If PCR had to mention every awful thing that ever happened to Jews everywhere in all times, plus honor killings, plus Syrians in Lebanon, in order to be able to simply mention Israeli aggression, that wouldn't be anything even remotely coherent as an article, and probably not even doable considering his probable time constraints and his attempt to just make one single point – about Israeli aggression.

This is a common but extremely lame tactic people use to defend their pet causes from criticism. It's the "oh yeah? well what about" argument. "Israelis shot a 6-year-old? Well, why don't you talk about the settler that was killed the other day? HUH!?" I don't need to talk about every thing the other side (if there is even a definable "other side") did to condemn an act of aggression. Especially if I pay for the Israelis to do it – which I do.

And sir, your use of quotes around the word "violence" – but only when it follows the word "Israeli" – shows your bias GLARINGLY.

American Soldiers

I see where Bush plans to meet with firefighters in California. Why can't he do the same for the soldiers fighting his war in Iraq? Why can't he meet with some of the families of the dead and wounded soldiers?

Why can't he attend at least one funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq? Why can't the returning bodies draped in coffins be photographed or televised to let the public feel the pain and grief this war is unnecessarily causing Americans. Unlike Jessica Lynch, there are some real heroes in this war. It's all about where the votes are coming from.

~ Jeff Morgan, US Army, Retired, Rochester, Minnesota

"The Preocons"

Over the millennia, the Philippines have been liberated by Indonesians, Japanese, Chinese, Arabs and Spaniards. The Philippines (its name comes from Philip of Spain) were first liberated from Spain by the United States after the Spanish-American War (1898). The U.S.A. consummated freedom in the Philippines by putting down the Filipino rebellion (1899-1901) that followed liberation. Then the Philippines were liberated from the United States (1942) by Japan. Shortly after that liberation they were liberated from Japan by the United States (1945).

~ Morley Evans

"A High Price for a Hollow Victory"

Thank you Sen. Byrd for standing up for democratic ideals.

As an American Vet and retired person, we need someone like you, that understands what America is really all about. My father fought in WWII, my brother fought in Korea and I was lucky to be in-between wars, but we went to defend our country, Now we have people in charge that will not help Vets, will not acknowledge the dead. This is a disgrace.

~ Thomas Riker

Senator Byrd is the only brave, truth-telling person in the Senate! He should be one of the candidates for the president of the United States. More Americans need to hear his wise comments.

~ John W.H. Chi

Hypocrisy walks in the executive corridors of power. And Senator Byrd's comments are right. I do support our troops but I do not support this administration's policy of attacking sovereign nation, however despicable. What this administration and its supporters fail to grasp, is that if attacked we had been attacked as Iraq was we would turn into guerrilla fighters. I do believe the American Revolution backs this up.

~ Gary L. Brown

"‘Something’ felled an M1A1 Abrams tank in Iraq – but what?"

And they wonder why people are resisting the Iraq occupation? This article, in a nutshell, implies that as long as we have superior firepower it is O.K. for Americans to be blowing the crap out of some poor devils whom our president deems to be "evil" but when they start to use weapons for which we have no defense, "it is no fun." Violence begets violence. This is an irrefutable axiom that the morons who now control our government seem to have forgotten.

~ KW

Iraqi Crusade

If the United States of America would not currently elect a Muslim leader, why should we expect that Iraq would accept a Christian one? The problem with the whole concept of governing a foreign people, even by appointing or "selecting" a Muslim leader widely perceived as being under the thumb of the US government, is that the Iraqi people will refuse to respect it.

While there can be a multitude of reasons for the US to have invaded Iraq in the first place, once an occupying force, it becomes a religious war of necessity. We should depart, and seek peace with whatever government arises from the people of Iraq.

~ Mike Goldman

"The Iraq Dilemma: An Illegitimate Occupation"

My question is why was the religious right so blind when Bush was elected and why are they not now acknowledging their mistaken trust in him? It might go a long way to putting an end to this administration and the damage it has done. I am a Christian but I saw through him from the beginning and was made to feel like a traitor – as were many other moderate to liberal Christians – but it appears we were right. Too late unless the rest of America's Christians wake up and smell the coffee.

~ Jan Hagen

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