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Posted December 8, 2003


I would just like to say, you all run one bad ass f*ckin news distribution center. I am a service member in the USAF and would like to say that this is where I go to see what the f*ck has gone wrong in this administration.

~ T. Henigma

'Go F*ck Yourself, Mr. President'

Justin Raimondo expresses the outrage that many of us feel about the ridiculous Republican attack on antiwar policy toward Iraq, and the President's equally ridiculous argument for preemption.

The President and the Republican National Committee are trying to coerce Americans into agreeing with them about the doctrine of preemption. What can sane Americans do?

Here is one defense:

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. This was, as FDR said, "a day that would lived in infamy."

Why was this "a day that would live in infamy"? Was it because the Japanese attacked America preemptively?

What is the difference between the Japanese preemptive attack on Pearl Harbor and the American preemptive attack on Iraq in terms of the doctrine of preemption.?

This is the kind of question that decent universities propose to their students to make them learn to think. Sadly, George W, a privileged child, cruised through the overrated Ivy League without being taught to think.

Every time that Bush espouses the doctrine of preemption. On the presidential campaign, he should be asked to compare the doctrine of preemption. Between Pearl Harbor and Iraq.

Every speech, every press conference, every town meeting, every appearance.

Bush is too limited and too dishonest to figure this out. What we are fighting over is the American public, who can, potentially, see the difference.

~ Bruce Hayman

Concerning Mr. Raimondo's comments about whether libertarians should vote; Lysander Spooner said:

"The secret ballot makes a secret government; and a secret government is a secret band of robbers and murderers... Under it, a man knows not who his tyrants are, until they have struck, and perhaps not then... This is the kind of government we have; and it is the only one we are likely to have, until men are ready to say: We will consent to no Constitution, except such an one as we are neither ashamed nor afraid to sign; and we will authorize no government to do anything in our name which we are not willing to be personally responsible for."

The question is how do we get to that point? Do we vote for more robbers and murderers? Do we endorse the continued existence of institutions we find to be immoral and evil by saying, with our vote "I want this person to hold this office"? I don't want anyone to hold any office – that's what makes me a libertarian. I think the way to get to the desired point is to simply ignore the state as much as possible. The best way to ignore it is to stop voting.

If everyone stopped voting, there would be no winners in elections, and the institutions would (presumably) cease to exist. At that point, libertarianism would take over. When are we going to give up the absurd notion that we can just vote for 'the right guy' and fix the state? It won't happen. I would not even trust Ron Paul with the presidency, since the power of the office is far too great for even him to resist. And then there are the agencies that are far more secret than the White House. Maybe if we get the right people in the Pentagon, and the service departments, and all of the intelligence agencies, the US government will cease to be a secret society of robbers, tyrants, and murderers.

There are no right people – they do not exist. On the other hand, the fewer people who vote, the less legitimate each officeholder will be, and that further strengthens the libertarian position. Besides, not voting gives me a unique ability to criticize politicians, because if I criticize someone I voted for, someone could say "yeah, but you wanted him there, right"? If I criticize someone I voted against, someone could say "You didn't want him there, so of course you disagree with him." If I criticize a politician now, I'm not only criticizing him, but also the state institution he represents, and anyone who voted for him.

~ Brandon J. Snider

I access Antiwar.com every day. I am an ardent noninterventionist. I think Bush is probably the worst president we have ever had. Nevertheless, I think the title of your article for today is inappropriate.

Regardless of what Bush is as a person, he does hold the office of President. This does not at all exempt him from criticism or political opposition. However, we have to be careful that, in criticizing him, we do not show disrespect to the office. This is precisely what Republicans did under Clinton. He was a scoundrel and deserved exposure, but it should have been done in a more delicate way, and the Presidency should not have been dragged through the dirt.

Furthermore, this title is counterproductive. I am sure you get a significant number of conservative Republicans who come to your site, and may be waffling between supporting the neocons' jihad and backing away from it. This kind of language will alienate potential supporters.

~ Jason van Boom, Berkeley, California

The above title is also appropriate for Tony Blair, Mr. Prime Minister!

~ Azlan Carrie

I don’t know how the U.S. is going to extricate itself from this mess in Iraq. I don’t think it’s possible even though more and more hints and signals are coming out of the US government that it just wants to hand the whole can of worms to the U.N. or a group peace keeping nations or even to Iraqis themselves. The US is simply in too deep to leave without putting everything in order. Imagine what would happen if the US does leave – there’s going to be lots of scores to settle and the US will be blamed for cutting and running.

It’s amazing – many of the things Patrick Buchanan warned you about a few years ago are coming true. He is a true conservative, not the people in the present administration.

~ F. Reb

Major cojones! I'll BUY your T-shirts; one for every day of the week. I'll wear them proudly throughout 2004. Minister Tom Ridge may feel indignant at being excluded. Surely he also can be accommodated!

~ Tay Chardin

Funny how we can spend hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq, which has very little impact on the overall war on terrorism, while here at home our cities and states are laying off public safety forces. Case in point, the city of Cleveland, OH is now cutting 15% of its police and firemen, including K-9, Mounted Patrol and Lake Patrol, as well as 7% of our paramedics, to balance its budget. Will someone please ask our clueless President how the hell we are supposed to protect America from terrorism and crime in general by cutting domestic public safety forces?

Until 9/11 I had basically retired from politics. I figured I had 'done my time' and just wanted to live a quiet, peaceful life. It's obvious that is no longer possible and that all Americans how care about the future of our country had better start speaking out and taking action. ...

~ Dan Ciammaichella

Thanks to Justin for his latest essay. I have also felt more drawn to the not-voting view recently. It just seems that every political party becomes co-opted by the seductions of power. I've been more and more reluctant to vote over the last few elections. What draws me to the polls, usually, are the propositions (I live in California). Rarely does a candidate interest me enough to go to the polls just to vote for a particular individual.

In the past I have viewed the Voluntaryist position of not voting as self-serving, just as Justin has viewed it. But I am beginning to think that the opposite might be the case; that voting is self-serving but ultimately futile.

~ Jim Wilson

'Playing the Fear Card'

This article as his others are based on realism and common sense. A wonderful sentence he wrote recently which fits into this current article is, "We are simply choosing people on a temporary basis to operate the machinery of government that they cannot change."

This article shows there might be a plan to make those recently appointed, not chosen, to operate the machinery of government on a permanent basis. As stated in this recent article, our civil rights are being eliminated.

To do this they must change the machinery of government, the Constitution /Bill of Rights, the essence of what was America? How can this be done under our noses. As stated in the article, "terror" is the tactic." Then the question becomes terror for whom, perhaps we will be next. Terror is the tactic being used to dismantle the US Constitution /Bill of Rights and written law as we know it. This amorphous fight on terror, a common noun, justifies all. As he said in the article, an old tactic that works.

~ Deana Jewett, Ft Myers, Florida

The Iraq War and Conservative Opposition

This Bush War is, of course, an outrage to anyone of the "Old Right." I would advise your energies to be applied toward finding an antiwar candidate against Bush for the 2004 election where ever you can find him. Whether it is Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan the challenge is to find an alternative and you must find one soon. Then the "old right " must rally around him. I would much rather see a Democrat win from a split vote than conservatism be perverted from within by Bush and his neoconservatives who are the real enemy.

~ Dave S.

'The Bizarro Effect'

"On the other hand, this may not be an example of the Bizarro effect at work: it's about what you might expect from the Brits, come to think of it. Yet the effect, in this case, could be more subtle. Why is this courtier surprised that the President's security is 'obsessed' with the possibility of an airborne attack?"

I don't know for sure, however I think the courtier was surprised not so much be the possibility of an attack, but by the reaction. It has to do with normal etiquette of hospitality, and the palace are probably the world's top sticklers for etiquette. The things that are expected of a host is providing adequate accommodation, food, towels, etc. However the making structure modifications to your home to satisfy the whims of your guests isn't on the list. This is essentially the case in a historic building like Buckingham Palace were any such modifications may destroy things that are irreplaceable. Indeed such modifications are often illegal if the building is "listed" and I am sure Buckingham Palace is.

It is also worth pointing in that Dubya allegedly requested a lot of other things that have been refused. He supposedly wanted:-

1 Large areas of central London closed to the public.
2 A number of London's Underground lines closes.
3 USAF fighters patrolling the sky. (USAF is known more for its friendly-fire incidents than anything else over here, so this wasn't a popular idea; RAF is quite up to this and is doing it)
4 Some battlefield (rather than merely small arms) weaponry for his personal bodyguard.
5 Immunity from prosecution of his body guard should they kill someone.

The impression is that Dubya expected to be allowed to completely annex the whole of central London as his private fiefdom for the duration.

In the final analysis if George was really windy about the prospect of airborne attack, he had the option of stay in Washington. I for one wish he had.

~ Ian Miller, UK

Legal Action Against War

The invasion of Iraq was illegal in national and international law. By ordering British military forces to attack Iraq using indiscriminate high explosive weapons and thereby killing at least 20,000 Iraqis, Tony Blair and other British political, civil and military leaders committed the most serious crimes known to British law; the criminal offences of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Elected Members of Parliament and Ministers of State have an overarching duty to the people of Britain and the international community to comply with the law and international treaty obligations, to uphold the administration of justice, to protect the integrity of public life and to enhance the nation’s standing in international affairs. On March 18th 414 MPs voted in favour of an attack on Iraq. In doing so they abused their duty, lost the trust of the electorate and committed the most serious crimes in Britain’s long and turbulent history.

By invading and occupying the sovereign state of Iraq, the British Government violated the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Genocide Convention, the Geneva Conventions and the International Criminal Court Statute. Arguably, by using depleted uranium munitions and cluster bombs it also transgressed the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions and the Landmines Convention.

Tony Blair, Members of Parliament and the British Government know that the willful killing of another human being is a crime. The only exception is when an individual has been tried in a duly constituted court of law and convicted of an offence for which the preordained sentence is death. Not one of the 20,000 people who died in Iraq was accused of any crime, afforded the right to a trial, legally represented, convicted of an offence or shown any mercy before their lives were brutally and savagely extinguished. Willful premeditated killing such as occurred in Iraq, is an act of murder. In British law (The International Criminal Court Act 2001) the murder of 20,000 members of a national group is an act of genocide, and, if carried out as part of a systematic attack against any civilian population in furtherance of a state policy to commit such an attack, is a crime against humanity.

Every citizen has a duty to report crimes to the police. The police have a duty to investigate those crimes and to arrest and charge the offenders. The Crown Prosecution Service has a duty to prosecute those charged with crimes and it is the Judiciary’s duty to conduct a fair and impartial trial. In Britain no-one is above the law. Now that the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and other members of the British Government have committed the most serious criminal offences known to law, it is the duty of our law enforcement authorities to investigate the crimes and arrest the offenders.

By abusing duties and obligations under the world’s most important international treaties, and at the same time violating Britain’s most important war law, Tony Blair and all those involved with the order to attack Iraq, lost the right to govern the nation. Not only must they resign from government, but they must surrender themselves to law enforcement authorities to account for their war crimes in court.

~ Chris Coverdale, LAAW

'Occupation Is a Lose-Lose Proposition'

It was a pleasant surprise to be able to read Charlie Reese again after loosing sight of him for more than two years. When they took his column` out of the local paper here in Burlington, North Carolina, I called the editor to complain and to cancel my subscription.

Charlie tells it like it is, and that is becoming a rarity in much of the news media today.

~ Wel State

I just found your website today and I'm glad to see it.

I agree with your article, however I believe that the US will maintain four or five bases throughout Iraq for the next 20-25 years. Maintaining a permanent presence in Iraq will ensure that the "war investment" keeps the oil flowing and repels any rise in insurgency. Also, bases in Iraq will provide an excellent opportunity for future military action against other "rogue" nations.

~ Ed Stepanic

'Imposed Government Will Create Its Own Opposition'

Your emphasis on the Constitution is well placed and important.

However, it is not any fad for diversity that is destroying the Constitution. (And I write here as a former professor of American history, and a former career Marine Corps officer, and, for that matter, as a former CIA estimates officer.) The abandonment by Congress of its sole power to declare war – something that occurred in June 1950 and has continued ever since – is probably the greatest blow to constitutional rule. The War Powers Act is unconstitutional on its face. As the 1934 Schechter decision (the sick chicken case) made clear, Congress cannot waive to the executive a power reserved to it by the Constitution.

As I mentioned, I am a former CIA officer. The Constitution requires that all public expenditures be made public. The US intelligence budget has never been officially published. An annual violation going on since 1948.

Going back even further, the 1893 Supreme Court decision that corporations are citizens – an absolute mockery – has led to the current situation where the financial contributions by corporate citizens exercising their right of "free speech" (!) has corrupted the electoral process to the point where a majority of eligible citizens no longer even bother to vote in national – let alone in state and local – elections. They figure the result has been bought and paid for.

Most recently, the shameful manner in which the presidential election of 2000 was decided dealt yet another blow. Watergate and Iran-Contra, where in both cases Congress made the prior decision that the president (and his senior officials) responsible for the high crimes and misdemeanors would not face impeachment. God forbid the emperor should be punished for abuse of power. Clinton's impeachment was a farce, but at least the constitutional machinery was oiled up and used.

Now we have what should be a constitutional crisis over the manner in which the current usurper in the White House lied us into the invasion of Iraq. (Gosh, what is that old constitutional clause saying that treaties entered into and approved by the Senate are the supreme law of the land? Inconvenient.) Of course, as noted above, the constitutional crisis exists because Congress unconstitutionally waived its sole power to declare war and merely told the President to do what he thought best.

I suppose I could go into the Patriot Act and a few other things here, but I hope I have made my point. It doesn't matter how well or ill the Constitution is presented to school children. What does matter is that our elected representatives in Congress – the representatives of the people, as the Constitution-makers intended them to be – assume their proper constitutional role and do not act as merely the partisan followers or opponents of the party that has placed its man or woman in the White House. What does matter is that they not openly sell themselves to the highest corporate bidder. What does matter is that the judiciary and law enforcement, both at the federal and lower levels, be required to act in accordance with the Constitution. No more merely declaring an American citizen to be a "enemy combatant" (whatever the hell that is) and denying him or her the exercise of constitutional rights.

By the way, I enjoy and profit from reading your commentaries.

~ David MacMichael

'America's New Agenda'

...Get this Roberts article in front of every American yesterday! How can the citizens of the United States tolerate this sort of behaviour from the one group they depend on to keep them alive! How do they not see the actions of their government forever subjecting them, and their children, to the threat of – (I'm not even going to use the word terrorists it has been so overused by Bush and Blair) – attacks from America-haters? As Michael Moore so accurately put it at his recent book launch in London "If we don't get rid of Bush in the next election, America and the rest of the world is in big trouble."

It is terrifying to think that the whole Iraq war was based on Saddam's threat of wmd and none whatsoever have been found? An independent, honest, propaganda-free media, please.

This is of course,only the latest and most blatant act of power abuse in an administration that knows no boundaries.

Come on Americans, the whole rest of the world depends on you to put a stop to the actions of your government and its close allies, stop the campaign of fear against you. You can change the course of history.

~ G. Tir

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