Day: In Memoriam
You might do better
to quote British poet Wilfred Owen especially "The
Parable of the Old Man and the Young" and "Dulce
Et Decorum Est." Owen was a true peace advocate, although a member
of the military himself. As you may know, he was one of the last killed before
the end of World War I. In contrast, "In
Flanders Field" seems highly aggressive, advocating as it does the
passing of the torch to cannon fodder to come.
~ Rosemary Molloy,
Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Thank you for
your suggestions. I do recall Wilfred Owen's poems from my high school days.
They are quite powerful.
I agree with you
that "In Flanders Fields" seems highly aggressive. And notice that
you correctly used the word "seems." The reason Owen's poem did not
work for my purposes is that my purpose in the article is to show how the quintessential
Veterans Day poem lends itself to a much more antiwar interpretation, not necessarily
one that the author would share but one follows from his admonition not to "break
faith." I want to get the reader thinking about what it would mean to "break
faith." I found myself moved by that poem at a young age and when I started
thinking about it later in life, I realized that what moved me was the other
part of the poem I quoted, namely that these were vital young men in the full
of life. How do we increase the probability that future such young men will
survive and not even have to go to war? Not exploring this question is the ultimate
in breaking faith.
Behind the PKK?
is important that Justin Raimondo's article NOT stand as a reliable source for
those opposed to the war and occupation of Iraq. The history of the PKK goes
back 30 years and the actions of the Kurdish government in response to it has
included the arrest of Kurdish mayors, the disappearing of PKK fighters and
other Kurds, the imposition of emergency rule in the Kurdish provinces, the
repeated bombings and prior invasion of southern Kurdistan, the forced dislocation
of thousands of Kurdish villages and the joint intelligence operations of Turkey
and the U.S. to assassinate PKK leaders based in the Kurdish Autonomous Region.
In his zealotry to oppose U.S. occupation he mistakes a social movement for
independence for a U.S. puppet. The tag of puppet belongs much more appropriately
on the Turkish military regime. Article 301 of Turkeys Constitution has
empowered the Turkish government to arrest journalists and writers for "insulting
The Turkish military
is already working with the United States, as revealed by columnist Robert Novak,
to assassinate PKK leaders and violate Kurdish territory. The justification
for its actions lies in its opposition to Kurdish independence and in the acquisition
of a stable economic resource that would be acquired by integration of Kirkuk
into the Kurdish Autonomous Region. There is no NEED for any Turkish invasion.
The Turks had the right to prevent U.S. troops from going through Turkey to
invade Iraq. They certainly do NOT have the right to invade now. Not to assassinate
President Barzani, not to seize Kirkuk, and certainly not to prevent the referendum.
The 1998 CIA Factbook states that Turkey spends about $7 billion a year on the
war with the PKK, which contributed to a 99% inflation rate for 1998 and a national
debt equal to half the governments revenue. The situation in northern
Kurdistan has changed significantly since the cease-fire declared unilaterally
by the PKK.
There are certainly
plenty of criticisms to go around, but it is hardly news that Turkey and the
U.S. have been actively engaged together in attempting to crush the PKK and
destroy any Kurdish political resistance that might lead to independence. There
is right now a Kurdish Regional Government. There is right now a Kurdish Autonomous
Region. There is right now a Kurdish Region Guard for self-defense. This is
what Turkey wants to change. Its agenda is no less than to destroy and undermine
ANY Kurdish national entity that it does not dominate or control. Mr. Raimondo
might also want to recognize that between 1980 and 1999 the U.S. exported $11.551
billion in arms, $4.627 billion in grant aid (none since 1992), and $1.982 billion
in direct loans (none since 1997). Further, transfers of U.S. weapons to Turkey
under the CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty, 1991-1993, included: 264
M-60A1 main battle tanks,658 M-60A3 main battle tanks, 250 M-113 armor personnel
carriers and 72 M-110 Artillery. Between 1994 and 2003, Turkey took delivery
of more than $6.8 billion in U.S. weaponry and services. Ending military aid
for Turkey is certainly a preferable option to assassination of Kurdish leaders.
It certainly demonstrates that the Kurdish movement is not simply an appendage
of U.S. foreign policy.
~ Martin Zehr
Not Only the Israel Lobby
I find saddest about the whole modern fiasco of liberal vs. conservative, is
that people who oppose the fiasco in Iraq remain afraid to attack the obvious
conservative Christian liars where it counts. For example, in a recent appearance
by Ann Coulter on Hardball, Chris Matthews, who professes to be a practicing
Catholic and thus, should know better, just let Coulter rant on and on about
how "godly" and "biblical" she and her side supposedly is,
without once bothering to point out that what Coulter claims and what Jesus
said are entirely opposite.
Basil Utley in this article does not one time bother to point out that what
conservative Christians promote and what the New Testament actually teaches
are polar opposites. ...
~ Richard Aberdeen
Your point is
well taken. However, almost no one has written more on that subject than myself
and my previous article on Antiwar.com was all about "America's
Armageddonites." Regarding the last article, there is only so much
space and I wanted to bring up other important arguments. People who read my
commentaries mostly know of my other writings on the points you mention.
Thanks for your
and Bomb With Hillary and Rahm
Pew survey similarly indicates
that war hysteria is on the rise, with ... two-thirds believing Iran is likely
to attack the US."
the link it says:
or more of those polled said they think that if Iran develops nuclear weapons,
it is likely to attack Israel, Europe or the United States."
Which is not exactly
what you wrote. Still, alarming, I will grant, but slightly less absurd than
saying two-thirds thinks Iran is likely to attack the U.S. Keep up the good
work, though. I still get the newspaper for sports and some local news and the
crossword puzzles, but all my "real" news I get from Antiwar.com.
It's a bit of a joke what's in the newspapers, which is very sad.
~ Eric Spencer