HNN Poll: Your Views on the War





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HNN is setting aside this page to give readers an opportunity to provide running commentary on the war with Iraq, which began Wednesday night, March 19, 2003, just before President Bush addressed the country from the Oval Office at 10:15 PM EST.



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More Comments:


Antonio Calabria - 9/7/2004

Ed, really, you need to see a vet really soon. You must have skipped your last rabies vaccinations and you're foaming at the mouth, Ed.


Kenny Glover - 1/20/2004

First of all I would like to give a big congrates to the U.S. Troops. Why didn't you shoot him when ya'll caught him? That's mest up he blows up half of uptown N.Y. and then ya'll keep him hostidge.


DANNY hopson - 1/20/2004

DANNY HAS A BIG WEINER AND LIKES YUMMY FOOD AND LOVES GIRLS!!!!!


cody stemper - 1/20/2004

girls are nice because they have boobs and i like them


Brando Stephens - 1/20/2004

People eat because daniel hopson like nasty food and likes boys and has a small weiner


Brando Stephens - 1/20/2004

Basketball is fun bcuz u get to play with guys!!! Dont worry i like to play with girls too


jennifer nutter - 1/20/2004

cats poop in the yard while dogs fart!!!!!


DANNY Hopson - 1/20/2004

IT IS NEAT AND I LIKE FOOTBALL ALOT!!!


Brando Stephens - 1/20/2004

I agree with everything he did!! Did you see how happy all those iraq people were whenver they foud out they were free. Bush helped alot of people and has a great heart!


Elizabeth McGarry - 1/18/2004

when you have a partner not in a sexual way and they say that they wil help you on the project that you are assinged to do TOGETHER and they do didaly squat andthe 3 dfays befor it is due you have to finish up your part of teh work and then staryt hers ecause they forgot that they had to go to the mies or that they were so dizzy that they could go in cyrcley in the ari hugging a firend but not show up to school and work on the report that you were supposted to do tegether wel you know what alex you ae a laim person that will get no were in lifeand will live at home w/ her mom because she will never amount to anything like you


lindahh - 12/14/2003

i would like to have a look at what the "thinking cap" like.Is it convinient for you to show me?


Arrow - 11/22/2003

Why is it that (at least to me) it seem all the anti-iraqi conflict and well possible future conflicts talk about how the Goverment just "can't wait to cause more causulties". This war was not about that in fact I believe the U.S. tried to prevent civilian causulties. Dropping bomb will always have it's problems but it would be worse to have troops go in. War always has its prices unfornatuly it cost lives, lives that are dear but are we forgetting about the man running the reguime? The man that had thousands killed all the time for looking at his view on the world wrong? Yes this make him a tyrant and well this is not reason to go war with Iraq the violations of UNSCRs do make it a reason to. Bits and peices of WMD have been found but not together as whole. (Kay Report 3/10/2003). Also what do you expect to happen after the U.S. overthrew the reguime? Peace and order dosen't happen overnight. Also any one remember Bio and Chemical weapons are banned but the Geneva on 17 June 1925 Protocol? Yes alot of countries made these anyway but not in the fasion that Iraq has. Unaccounted for since after the Gulf-war is at least 8,400 liters of anthrax, 19,000 liters of botulinum and 2000 liters of Afatoxin and Clostridium. Heck 1/30 of an ounce contains 1 trillion spores of anthrax which if info serves me right can kill 100 million people. Personally I feel with the threats and measure Saddam has done to the U.S. Time to sit back and wait for something to happen to strike is wrong and those days are over. The past history may have been the best offensive is a strong defense but now we must look on the offensive side before we have another massive American causulties.


Shane Murray - 11/18/2003

Hrmm... ok my post is rather disjointed and all over the place just read it anyway.

The war on Suddam should of been over in the first Gulf war, America should of finished of the barstard then, if America didn't tell the citizens of Iraq to rise up and we will help you, then abandon them to be slaughtered, then they people of Iraq would love America, america fucked up, but now they have a chance again, and hopefully they will do it right this time.

Anyway Bush is doing the right thing regardless of wether he finds weapons of mass destruction or not. He's getting rid of one of the worlds greatest tyrants and the people of the world should be greatful, instead of hyping up the anti american jargan just for the hell of it, which they seem to do everytime america does something.

The vast magority Australians don't hate Americans (certainly not), and most don't hate Bush either. Hell after 9/11 America had to get proactive, it was a nasty wake up call. In Bush's latest visit to Australia only 2,000 people protested against him! That is bugger all mate.

Ok ok back on topic.
America has made ALOT of bad foriegn policy decisions, IE : arming suddam with weapons for years, giving asama bin ladin training from the CIA, not signing the kyoto protocal (americans produce 40% of the worlds green house gases), declaring north korea on the axis of evil and effectively HALTING the union of north and south korea (which is a VERY big issue in korea) and making koreans pissed at them. Let me see, what else... Ok, selling everyone shit in both world wars to make lots of money and only getting involved when ya got attacked, then claiming all the glory for the victory (where it was actually britian and russia (and france in WW1) who did the bulk of the fighting, and america just came in with a entirely fresh forces to take down a german force already worn (hell the russians lost 2 million men), ok so you all get the point, america has fucked others over and been arrogant and ignorant from time to time...

But if they can transform Iraq into a free and wealthy country then even their critics will have to bite their tongues.

The real test for America is how they do Iraq, if they fuck this up, all those people will be like 'I told you so', and America's rep will only get worse. If on the other hand they do this properly and stay for the long hall then they would of done something very just and noble.

Hell who does hte UN call when they want peacekeepers? American's.
Who contibutes the bulk of international aid? American's

If it wasn't for America the world would be a fucked up place, even if some people don't like you, they should at least respect you.

Having a nation of 270 million odd made up of multiple races, religions and ethnic groups living together in relitive peace, freedom, and harmony is a testament to america as a great nation.

As for the economy, they fluxuate with time, its just a trend that WILL happen no matter what you do, though given time it will pick up again, just pray it doesn't take as long to pick up as the japanese economy.


Shane Murray - 11/18/2003

Hrmm... ok my post is rather disjointed and all over the place just read it anyway.

The war on Suddam should of been over in the first Gulf war, America should of finished of the barstard then, if America didn't tell the citizens of Iraq to rise up and we will help you, then abandon them to be slaughtered, then they people of Iraq would love America, america fucked up, but now they have a chance again, and hopefully they will do it right this time.

Anyway Bush is doing the right thing regardless of wether he finds weapons of mass destruction or not. He's getting rid of one of the worlds greatest tyrants and the people of the world should be greatful, instead of hyping up the anti american jargan just for the hell of it, which they seem to do everytime america does something.

The vast magority Australians don't hate Americans (certainly not), and most don't hate Bush either. Hell after 9/11 America had to get proactive, it was a nasty wake up call. In Bush's latest visit to Australia only 2,000 people protested against him! That is bugger all mate.

Ok ok back on topic.
America has made ALOT of bad foriegn policy decisions, IE : arming suddam with weapons for years, giving asama bin ladin training from the CIA, not signing the kyoto protocal (americans produce 40% of the worlds green house gases), declaring north korea on the axis of evil and effectively HALTING the union of north and south korea (which is a VERY big issue in korea) and making koreans pissed at them. Let me see, what else... Ok, selling everyone shit in both world wars to make lots of money and only getting involved when ya got attacked, then claiming all the glory for the victory (where it was actually britian and russia (and france in WW1) who did the bulk of the fighting, and america just came in with a entirely fresh forces to take down a german force already worn (hell the russians lost 2 million men), ok so you all get the point, america has fucked others over and been arrogant and ignorant from time to time...

But if they can transform Iraq into a free and wealthy country then even their critics will have to bite their tongues.

The real test for America is how they do Iraq, if they fuck this up, all those people will be like 'I told you so', and America's rep will only get worse. If on the other hand they do this properly and stay for the long hall then they would of done something very just and noble.

Hell who does hte UN call when they want peacekeepers? American's.
Who contibutes the bulk of international aid? American's

If it wasn't for America the world would be a fucked up place, even if some people don't like you, they should at least respect you.

Having a nation of 270 million odd made up of multiple races, religions and ethnic groups living together in relitive peace, freedom, and harmony is a testament to america as a great nation.

As for the economy, they fluxuate with time, its just a trend that WILL happen no matter what you do, though given time it will pick up again, just pray it doesn't take as long to pick up as the japanese economy.


Herodotus - 5/1/2003

Boy, even the accounts of looting were exaggerated. Methinks everyone protested too much.

NEW YORK TIMES




May 1, 2003



Loss Estimates Are Cut on Iraqi Artifacts, but Questions Remain

By ALAN RIDING

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 30 ? Even though many irreplaceable antiquities were looted from the National Museum of Iraq during the chaotic fall of Baghdad last month, museum officials and American investigators now say the losses seem to be less severe than originally thought.

Col. Matthew F. Bogdanos, a Marine reservist who is investigating the looting and is stationed at the museum, said museum officials had given him a list of 29 artifacts that were definitely missing. But since then, 4 items ? ivory objects from the eighth century B.C. ? had been traced.

"Twenty-five pieces is not the same as 170,000," said Colonel Bogdanos, who in civilian life is an assistant Manhattan district attorney.

There is no doubt that major treasures have been stolen. These include a lyre from the Sumerian city of Ur, bearing the gold-encased head of a bull, dated 2400 B.C.; a Sumerian marble head of a woman from Warka dated 3000 B.C.; a white limestone votive bowl with detailed engravings, also from Warka and dated 3000 B.C.; a life-size statue representing King Entemena from Ur, dated 2430 B.C.; a large ivory relief representing the Assyrian god Ashur; and the head of a marble statue of Apollo, a Roman copy of a fourth century B.C. Greek original.

Even if the damage may not be as widespread as originally reported, there is still no clear answer to the most important question: just how much has been taken?

"I don't know exactly," said Jabbir Khalil, chairman of the State Board of Antiquities.

John Limbert, an American diplomat who is a senior adviser in the new Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq, concurred. "How bad was it?" he asked. "We just don't know yet."

While many museum officials watched in horror as mobs and perhaps organized gangs rampaged through the museum's 18 galleries, seized objects on display, tore open steel cases, smashed statues and broke into storage vaults, officials now discount the first reports that the museum's entire collection of 170,000 objects had been lost.

Some valuable objects were placed for safekeeping in the vaults of the Central Bank before the war; the bank was bombed and is in ruins, but officials say its vaults may have survived.

Other objects were placed in the museum's own underground vaults; only when power was restored this week could curators begin assessing what was lost. Even in some of the looted galleries, a few stone statues are intact.

Still more encouragingly, several hundred small objects ? including a priceless statue of an Assyrian king from the ninth century B.C. ? have been returned to the museum, in some cases by people who said they had taken the treasures to keep them out of the wrong hands. In addition, a steel case containing 465 small objects was confiscated by soldiers of the Iraqi National Congress and returned to the museum.

But some items that have been handed back to the museum are copies. "One of the storerooms that was looted contained almost entirely documented authenticated copies," Colonel Bogdanos said. "I got six items today. They were all from the gift shop."

The difficulty in determining what is missing is compounded by the lack of a master list of the museum's collection. Although inventories survive, they were compiled department by department and not computerized. And in some cases, they are not complete.

Nor is there a clear consensus about how much of the looting was organized. As evidence of a planned assault, museum officials say they found keys and glass-cutters. One official said he saw two "European looking" men enter the museum with the mob, point to various treasures and leave.

"Behind the looting there were wicked hands," Mr. Khalil said. "They took precious pieces and left less valuable ones."

For Mr. Limbert, the case is undecided. "One theory is that this was done by people who knew which were the best pieces and came equipped to get them," he said. "I'm told 27 pieces were taken from the actual galleries. But the other theory is that this was a smash-and-grab operation, mostly by people from the neighborhood. What supports this is that a lot of very good pieces have been returned. If you like conspiracy theories, you can go on forever here."

Antiquities experts, foreign museums and governments have mobilized to block traffic in smuggled treasures. At a meeting in London on Tuesday, representatives of some of the world's leading museums vowed to work to rebuild Iraq's plundered cultural institutions. Donny George, the research director of the Baghdad museum, said he was convinced that a significant part of the looting was organized.

Officials at the National Museum, whose scholars and scientists are widely respected, dismissed the idea that the museum was targeted as another symbol of Mr. Hussein's rule. They conceded, however, that particularly in recent years, the government had supported the work of the museum, which reopened in 2000 for the first time since the 1991 gulf war.

Colonel Bogdanos said that some Iraqis returned looted objects to him, rather than to the museum itself, which was identified with Mr. Hussein. "It has been a challenge to us that the Iraq museum is closely identified with both the prior regime and its Baathist Party," he said. "Everyone says this looting was anger at the regime."

Supporting that thesis is the destruction of numerous other cultural institutions where nothing but furniture and computers were stolen. The National Center of Books and Archives, also known as the National Library, was destroyed by fire, although Mr. Limbert said he had heard that 90 percent of its books and documents had been removed for safekeeping. The Awgaf or Religious Endowment Library, however, was burned, and it lost 6,500 Islamic manuscripts. The Central Library of Baghdad University and the Science Academy were also looted and destroyed by fire.

One piece of good news is that 50,000 Islamic and Arab manuscripts, dating back 14 centuries, were saved from the Saddam House of Manuscripts. Osama Nassir al-Naqsa Bandy, the director-general of manuscripts in the Ministry of Culture, had his entire collection removed to a safe place one week before the war began in March. He also took 150 boxes of books and catalogs from the library of the National Museum for safekeeping.

"The House of Manuscripts was attacked by saboteurs who took all the installations and furniture but everything important was gone," he said. "The library of the museum was bricked up and it also escaped vandalism."

Colonel Bogdanos said he had visited the hiding place of the manuscripts and books and was satisfied they were well protected by the local community.

"We had planned to bring them to the museum, but community members were insistent it would be a mistake," he said. "I was assured they were safe where they were. We took an inventory of the locked cases and left."

Word of what happened to regional museums is only just reaching Baghdad. Mr. Khalil, who is responsible for all national antiquities museums, said he had been told that the museums in Nimrud, Ashur, Hadra, Samarra and Nineveh had not been looted, but that serious damage, including looting of storerooms, was done to the museum in Mosul in northern Iraq.

"We were about to open a new museum in Tikrit, but it was bombed," he added.

Information is also just trickling into Baghdad about the situation at the 32 excavation sites operated by the National Museum.

Hanna A. Khaliq, general director of excavations, said the sites had been well protected from looters until the beginning of the wars. She said that she had so far heard from nine sites. In five ? Mosul, Kirkuk, Nadjaf, Baa-Kuba and Ashnuna ? buildings linked to the sites were looted, but she had no detailed information of the extent of the theft of recently found objects.

Ms. Khaliq said that it was hard to work because her department's entire fleet of 40 new cars as well as trucks had been stolen. At the museum itself, where administration offices were vandalized, Mr. Khalil said the staff needed material assistance, from cars to laboratory equipment for restoration.

"We have the people, but they have nothing to work with," he added.

The Iraqi cultural officials cannot help looking back to April 8 and 9, when their appeals for American military protection of the museum went unheeded. In conversation after conversation, the subject resurfaces, invariably with a bitter reminder that American forces were already protecting the nearby Ministry of Oil.

"I asked some soldiers why they did not stop the looting," Mr. Naqsa Bandy recalled. "They said, `This is not our duty.' "

Mr. Khalil said his experience was similar. "The U.S. forces and tanks were near the museum," he said. "They could have done as they did at the Ministry of Oil. Why didn't they? I don't know. We asked them. They said they were in the middle of a war."

The American response since then has been to try to fix what has been broken.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | Help | Back to Top


Brian Kelly - 5/1/2003

Thought Pseudonius might like to see this list, from the US Congressional Record, of chemical and bioligical agents supplied to Saadam's regime by the "liberators". Its the sheer hypocrisy of the chickenhawks that stands out here.

From the Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate)


Per our previous conversation, after reviewing the
available licensing records of the Bureau of Export
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, related to
biological materials exported to the government of Iraq,
additional information identifying the genus species, and
strain or origin (if known) of the following viruses,
bacteria, fungi, and protozoa for which export licenses were
granted is requested.
Date License Approved, Consignee, and Material information:
02/08/85, Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, Ustilago
02/22/85 (2 each), Ministry of Higher Education, Fungi
Histoplasma
07/11/85 (2 each), Middle and Near East Regional A, Fungi
Histoplasma
10/02/85 (46 each), Ministry of Higher Education, Bacteria
10/08/85 (10 each), Ministry of Higher Education, Bacteria,
Clostridium, Francisella
03/21/86 (18 each), Agriculture and Water Resources, Fungi,
Alysidium, Aspergillus, Hypopichia
03/21/86 (21 each), Agriculture and Water Resources, Fungi,
Actinormucor, Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Rhizomucor,
Talaromyces, Fusarium, Penicillium, Tricyoderma
02/04/87 (11 each), State Company for Drug Indust, Bacteria
Bacillus, Bacillus, Escherichia, Staphylococcus,
Klebsiella, Salmonella, Pseudomonas
08/17/87 (2 each), Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, Bacteria,
Escherichia
03/24/88 (3 each), Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, Bacteria,
Escherichia
04/22/88, Sera and Vaccine Institute, Bacteria, Salmonella
(Class I), Clostridium (Class II), Brucella (Class III),
Corynebacterium (II), Vibrio (Class III)
05/05/88 (1 each), Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, Bacteria,
Escherichia
08/16/88, Ministry of Trade, Bacteria, (12 each) Bacillus
(Class III), (6 each) Bacillus (Class II), (6 each)
Bacillus (Class III), (9 each) Clostridium (Class 10)
11/07/88 (2 each), Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, Bacteria,
Escherichia (Class I)
12/19/88 (3 each), Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, Bacteria
Escherichia (Class I)

The above listing includes only those material for which
export licenses were granted from January 1, 1985, until the
present. A number of requests were returned without action.
If any information is available as to the specific materials
requested by the consignee in these cases, it may also prove
useful. A listing of materials for which export licenses were
approved between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1984
follows. I understand that record may no longer be available
for these items, however, if any specific information is
available which identifies these materials please forward it
as well.
Data License Approved, Consignee, and Material Information
08/14/80 (20 each), Ministry of Health for College, Bacteria/
Fungi, not further identified
09/11/80 (45 each), University of Baghdad, Bacteria/Fungi/
Protozoa, Virus/Viroids (15 each), not further identified
03/17/82 (1 each), University of Mosul, Bacteria/Fungi/
Protozoa
04/09/82 (6 each), General Establishment/Drugs, Pseudomonas,
Salmonella, Aspergillus
04/09/82 (6 each), General Establishment/Drugs, Pseudomonas,
Salmonella, Aspergillus
07/30/82 (3 each), State Co for Drug Industries, Bacillus
08/08/84 (2 each), Ministry of Health for College, Bacteria
Corynebacterium
11/30/84 (59 each), College of Medicine, Aspergillus,
Epidermophyton, Microsporum, Penicillium, Trichophyton,
Alternaria, Neisseria, Clostridium, Bacteroides,
Escherichia

I understand that information for those items exported
prior to January 1, 1985 may be unavailable. Please feel free
to contact me if you have any questions regarding this
request at 202-224-4822.
HEADLINE: Ustilago nuda (Jensen) Rostrup, ATCC 34718. TEXT:
CBS 118.19. H. Kniep. USDA permit PPQ-526 required. Growth
Conditions: Medium 336 24C. Shipped: Test tube. Price Code:
W.

HEADLINE: Histoplasma capsulatum var. farciminosum, ATCC
32136. TEXT: A.A. Padhye CDC Disagnostic 76-066816
(Histoplasma farciminosum). CBS 176.57. Class III pathogen,
requests must carry signed statement assuming all risks and
responsibilities for lab handling. Growth Conditions: Medium
337 25C. Shipped: Test tube. Price Code: W.

AMERICAN TYPE CULTURE COLLECTION, CUSTOMER ACTIVITY DETAIL REPORT, FROM: 01/01/85 TO: 12/31/93; FOR: ALL
CUSTOMERS, FOR COUNTRY: IRAQ
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inv. # Date ATCC # Description Batch # Quantity Price
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cust #: 015408 Customer Name: UNIV OF BAGHDAD

010072......... 05/02/86 000000000010 BACILLUS ANTHRACIS...... 8-20-82 2 108.80
010072......... 05/02/86 000000000082 BACILLUS SUBTILIS....... 6-20-84 2 108.80
010072......... 05/02/86 000000003502 CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM 7-7-81 3 163.20
TYPE A.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000003624 CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS. 10-85SV 2 20.40
010072......... 05/02/86 000000006051 BACILLUS SUBTILIS....... 12-6-84 2 20.40
010072......... 05/02/86 000000006223 FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS 5-14-79 2 108.80
VAR. TULARENSIS.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000009441 CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI...... 3-84 3 163.20
010072......... 05/02/86 000000009564 CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM 3-29-79 2 108.80
TYPE E.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000010779 CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI...... 4-24-84S 3 30.60
010072......... 05/02/86 000000012916 CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS. 8-14-80 2 108.80
010072......... 05/02/86 000000013124 CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS. 7-84SV 3 30.60
010072......... 05/02/86 000000014185 BACILLUS ANTHRACIS...... 1-14-80 3 163.20
010072......... 05/02/86 000000014578 BACILLUS ANTHRACIS...... 1-6-78 2 108.80
010072......... 05/02/86 000000014581 BACILLUS MEGATERIUM..... 4-18-85 2 20.40
010072......... 05/02/86 000000014945 BACILLUS MEGATERIUM..... 6-21-81 2 108.80
010072......... 05/02/86 000000017855 CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM 6-21-71 2 108.80
TYPE E.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000019213 BACILLUS MEGATERIUM..... 3-84 2 108.80
010072......... 05/02/86 000000019397 CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM 8-18-81 3 163.20
TYPE A.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000023450 BRUCELLA ABORTUS BIOTYPE 8-2-84 3 163.20
3.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000023455 BRUCELLA ABORTUS BIOTYPE 2-5-68 3 163.20
9.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000023456 BRUCELLA MELITENSIS 3-8-78 2 108.80
BIOTYPE 1.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000023458 BRUCELLA MELITENSIS 1-29-68 2 108.80
BIOTYPE 3.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000025763 CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM 8-83 2 108.80
TYPE A.
010072......... 05/02/86 000000035415 CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM 2-24-84 2 108.80
TYPE F.
297.12
010072......... 05/02/86 FREIGHT ........... 0.00
010072......... 05/02/86 TAX ........... ...........
010072......... 05/02/86 Total Invoice....... 58 2,813.12
-------------------------
Total for: UNIV OF ........... 58 2,813.12
BAGHDAD.

Cust #: 016124 Customer Name: STATE CO FOR DRUG INDUST.

AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000002601 SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE 8-28-80 1 12.00
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000006539 SALMONELLA CHOLERAESUIS 6-86S 1 12.00
SUBSP. CHOLERAESUIS.
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000006633 BACILLUS SUBTILIS....... 10-85 2 128.00
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000010031 KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONIAE 8-13-80 1 64.00
SUBSP. PNEUMONIAE.
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000010536 ESCHERICHIA COLI........ 4-9-80 1 64.00
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000011778 BACILLUS CEREUS......... 5-85SV 2 24.00
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000012228 STAPHYLOCOCCUS 11-86S 1 12.00
EPIDERMIDIS.
AC377.......... 08/31/87 000000014884 BACILLUS PUMILUS........ 9-8-80 2 128.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AC1507, 04/26/88, Total Invoice
AC1616, 07/11/88, 0000000035-X, COMMUNICATION FEES, 35-X.
AC1616, 07/11/88, 000000011303, ESCHERICHIA COLI, 4-87S.
AC1616, 07/11/88, 000000037349, PTIBO542 PLASMID IN
AGROBACTERIUM TUMEFACIENS, 6-14-85.
AC1616, 07/11/88, 000000045031, CAULIFLOWER MOSAIC
CAULIMOVIRUS CLONE, 5-28-85.
AC1616, 07/11/88, FREIGHT.
AC1616, 07/11/88, TAX.
062876, 10/12/87, Total Invoice
AC1507, 04/26/88, 0000000035-X, COMMUNICATION FEES.
AC1507, 04/26/88, 000000057236, HU LAMBDA 4X-8 PHAGE
LYSATE.
AC1507, 04/26/88, 000000057240, HU LAMBDA 14 PHAGE LYSATE.
AC1507, 04/26/88, 000000057242, HU LAMBDA 15 PHAGE LYSATE.
AC1507, 04/26/88, FREIGHT.
AC1507, 04/26/88, TAX.

AC489, 08/31/87, 000000023846, ESCHERICHIA COLI, 7-29-83.
AC489, 08/31/87, 000000033694, ESCHERICHIA COLI, 7-29-83.

[[Page S8995]]

AC489, 08/31/87, FREIGHT.
AC489, 08/31/87, MINIMUM.
CUST #: 022913, Customer Name: TECHNICAL & SCIENTIFIC
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000000240, BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, 5-14-
63.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000000938, BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, 1963.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000003629, CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS,
10-23-85.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000008009, CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS, 3-
30-84.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000008705, BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, 6-27-
62.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000009014, BRUCELLA ABORTUS, 5-11-66.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000010388, CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS, 6-
1-73.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000011966, BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, 5-5-70.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000025763, CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM TYPE
A, 7-86.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000033018, BACILLUS CEREUS, 4-83.
AC2658, 09/29/88, 000000033019, BACILLUS CEREUS, 3-88.
AC2658, 09/29/88, DISCOUNT.
AC2658, 09/29/88, FREIGHT.
AC2658, 09/29/88, TAX.
AC3352, 01/17/89, Total Invoice
AC1639, 01/31/89, 0000000035-X, COMMUNICATION FEES, 35-X.
AC1639, 01/31/89, 000000057056, PHPT31 PLASMID IN
ESCHERICHIA COLI JM83, 3-88.
AC1639, 01/31/89, 000000057212, P LAMBDA 500 PLASMID IN
ESCHERICHIA COLI, 88-09.
AC1639, 01/31/89, FREIGHT.
AC1639, 01/31/89, TAX.
____

Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention,
Atlanta, GA, June 21, 1995.
Hon. Donald W. Riegle, Jr.,
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.
Dear Senator Riegle: In 1993, at your request, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forwarded to your
office a listing of all biological materials, including
viruses, retroviruses, bacteria, and fungi, which CDC
provided to the government of Iraq from October 1, 1984,
through October 13, 1993. Recently, in the course of
reviewing our shipping records for a Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) request from a private citizen, we identified an
additional shipment, on May 21, 1985, that was not included
on the list that was provided to your office. Following this
discovery, we conducted a thorough review of all of our
shipping records and are confident that we have now included
a listing of all shipments. A corrected list is enclosed
(Note: the new information is italicized).
These additional materials were hand-carried by Dr.
Mohammad Mahoud to Iraq after he had spent three months
training in a CDC laboratory. Most of the materials were non-
infectious diagnostic reagents for detecting evidence of
infections to mosquito-borne viruses. Only two of the
materials are on the Commodity Control List, i.e., Yersinin
Pestis (the agent of plague) and dengue virus. (the strain of
plague bacillus was non-virulent, and CDC is currently
petitioning the Department of Commerce to remove this
particular variant from the list of controlled materials).
We regret that our earlier list was incomplete and
appreciate your understanding.
Sincerely,
David Satcher,
Director.
Enclosure. (Copy unclear)

CDC Shipments to Iraq October 1, 1984 through Present


4/26/85--Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Baghdad, Iraq

8 Vials antigen and antisera, (R. rickettsii and R. typhi)
to diagnose rickettsial infections (non-infectious).


5/21/85--Dr. Mahammad Imad, Al-Dean M. Mahmud, Dept. of Microbiology,
College of Medicine, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq

Etiologic Agents:--lyophilized arbovirus seed;
West Nile Fever Virus, Lyophilized cultures of avirulant
yersinia pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis ((strain r);
0.5 m1 Bhania Virus (Iq 690);
0.5 m1 Dongua Virus type 2 (New Guinea C);
0.5 m1 Dongua Virus type 3 (H-97);
0.5 m1 Hazara Virus (Pak IC 280);
0.5 m1 Kemeroud Virus (rio);
0.5 m1 Langat Virus (TP 21);
0.5 m1 Sandfly Fever/Naples Virus (original);
0.5 m1 Sandfly Fever/Sicilian Virus (original);
0.5 m1 Sindbis Virus (Egar 339);
0.5 m1 Tahyna Virus (Bardos 92);
0.5 m1 Thgoto Virus (II A).
Diagnostic Reagents and Associated Materials:
2. vials each Y. pestis FA (+ & -) conjugates;
2 vials Y. pestis Fraction 1 antigen;
10 vials Y. pestis bacteriophage impregnated paper strips;
5 plague-infected mouse tissue smears (fixed);
Various protocols for diagnostic bacteriology tests;
23 X 0.5 m1 Bhanja (Ig 690) antigen;
22 X 0.5 m1 Dengue Type 2 (New Guinea C) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Dengue type 3 (H-69) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Hazara (Pak IC 290) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Kemarovo (Rio) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Langat (IF 21) antigen,
24 X 0.5 ml Sandfly Fever/Naples (original) antigen;
24 X 0.5 ml Sandfly Fever/Sicilian (original) antigen;
Diagnostic Reagents and Associated Materials:
2 vials each Y. pestis PA (+6-) conjugates;
2 vials Y. pestis Fraction 2 antigen;
10 vials Y. pestis bacteriophage impregnated paper stripe;
5 plague-infected mouse tissue smears (fixed);
Various protocols for diagnostic bacteriology tests;
23 X 0.5 ml Bhanja (Ig 690) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Dengue Type 2 (New Guinea C) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Dengue Type 3 (H-67) antigen;
22 X 0.5 ml Hazara (Pak IC 280) antigen;
23 X 0.5 ml Kemorovo (Rio) antigen;
21 X 0.5 ml Langat (TP 21) antigen;
24 X 0.5 ml Sandfly Fever/Maples (original) antigen;
24 X 0.5 ml Sandfly Fever/Sicilian (original) antigen;
23 X 0.5 ml Sindbis (EgAr 339) antigen;
23 X 0.5 ml Tahyna (Bardos 92) antigen;
20 X 0.5 ml Thogoto (II A) antigen;
23 X 0.5 ml Bhanja (Ig 690) antigen;
21 X 0.5 ml West Nile (Eg 101) antigen;
20 X 0.5 ml Normal SMB antigen;
10 X 0.5 ml Normal SML antigen;
5 X 1.0 ml Bhanja (Ig 690) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Dengue Type 2 (New Guinea C) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Dengue Type 3 (H-87) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Hazara (Pak IC 280) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Xemerovo (Rio) antibody;
5 X 2.0 ml Langat (TP 21) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Sandfly Fever/Naples (original) antibody;
5 X 2.0 ml Sandfly Fever/Sicilian (original) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Sindbis (EgAr 339) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Tahyna (Bardos 92) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml Thogoto (II A) antibody;
5 X 1.0 ml West Nile (Eg 101) antibody;
3 X 1.0 ml Normal MHIAF (SMB) antibody;
3 X 1.0 ml Normal MHIAF (SML) antibody;
1.0 ml A polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml AIYA, etc. polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml B polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml BUN polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml BWA polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml C-1 polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml C-2 polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml CAL polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml CAP polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml CON polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml GMA polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml KEM polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml PAL polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml PAT polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml PHL polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml ORF polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml Rabies, etc. polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml STM polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml TCR polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml VSV polyvalent grouping fluid;
1.0 ml polyvalent 1;
1.0 ml polyvalent 2;
1.0 ml polyvalent 3;
1.0 ml polyvalent 4;
1.0 ml polyvalent 5;
1.0 ml polyvalent 6;
1.0 ml polyvalent 7;
1.0 ml polyvalent 8;
1.0 ml polyvalent 9;
1.0 ml polyvalent 10;
1.0 ml polyvalent 12;
1.0 ml Group B1 reagent;
1.0 ml Bluetongue reagent;
4 X 0.5 ml Dengue 1-4 set monoclonal antibodies;
1.0 ml St. Louis Enc. (MSI-7) monoclonal antibody;
1.0 ml Western Eq. Enc. (McMillian) monoclonal antibody.


6/26/85--

Dr. Mohammed S. Khidar, University of Baghdad, College of
Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Baghdad, Iraq 3 yeast
cultures Candida sp. (etiologic).


3/10/86

Dr. Rowil Shawil Georgis, M.B.CH.B.D.F.H., Officers City
Al-Muthanna, Quartret 710, Street 13, Close 69, House 28/I,
Baghdad, Iraq. 1 vial Botulinum Toxiod # A-2 (non-
infectious).


4/21/56--Dr. Rowil Shawil Georgis, N.B. Cir. D.D.F.H., Officers City
Al-Muthana, Quartret 710, Street 13, Close 69, House 23/r, Baghdad,
Iraq

1 vial Botulinum toxin (non-infections).


7/21/88--Dr. Faqid Alfarhood, Mahela 887, Zikak 54, House 97, Hay
Aljihad, Kerk, Baghdad, Iraq

teaching supplies (non-infectious); CDC procedures manuals.


7/27/88--Dr. Fagid Alfarhood, Mahela 887, Zikak 54, House 97, Hay
Aljihad, Kerk, Baghdad, Iraq

teaching supplies (non-infectious); CDC procedure manuals.


11/28/89--Dr. Nadeal T. Al Hadithi, University of Basrah, College of
Science, Department of Biology, Basrah, Iraq

5.0 mls Enterococcus faecalis;
5.0 mls Enterococcus faccium;
5.0 mls Enterococcus avium;
5.0 mls Enterococcus raffinosus;
5.0 mls Enterococcus gallinarum;

[[Page S8996]]

5.0 mls Enterococcus durans;
5.0 mls Enterococcus hirac;
5.0 mls Streptococcus bovis (cciologic).


Brian Kelly - 5/1/2003

Thought I'd offer this, from Vietnam vet David Connolly, as a counter to the mindless drivel posted to Pseudonius.

Thoughts on a Monday Morning

Originally written after a memorial service for 59 troopers from the Second Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment who were killed in action or who died as a result of wounds received when ambushed by an entrenched, numerically superior force while on an operation in the Michelin Rubber Plantations, near the town of Dau Tieng, in what was called South Vietnam.


Cold, despite my blanket.
Lonely, amongst my friends.
Wondering, with the things I've done,
can I ever make amends?

Sickened by this needless waste.
Stoic, to those around.
Wondering, what will break me,
the next fight, or death, or sound?

Missing, those who love me.
Hoping, for the next month or so.
Wondering, how will I ever fit in,
with people who just don't know?

Terrified, by the death grins.
Afraid, I'll be one of the dead.
Wondering, why did I ever think,
it wouldn't be as bad as they said?

Used, by the rich of my country.
Duped, by those I looked up to.
Wondering, how can I tell those,
who blindly wave the red, white, and blue?

I hate every fucking one of you
who make dollars from our deaths.
I hate every fucking one of you
for my friends' dying breaths.

I hate every fucking one of you,
banker or corporation head.
I hate every fucking one of you
for so many, so young, and dead.

I hate every fucking one of you
with your pin-striped, dark blue suits.
I hate every fucking one of you
for all those empty boots.



ian august - 4/23/2003

my country is being taken away from me by corporations and u want me to stop complaining and move to the ussr if it were still here? you think i should run away and forget about problems?? does that work for you homer?? bc it is not my style


Homer Simpson - 4/21/2003

Now, this Ian, he's a real smart guy.

He's got it all figured out.

Prez Bush is a Nazi. We all know that. And he just wants all that oil.

Ian, ever thought of moving somewhere else? I know that the Soviet Union is gone, and that would probably be your favorite.

There's still North Korea. You could live there. Much better than here in Springfield. And you wouldn't have to put up with "facists." I know that I'm not real smart, buy you are. What in the world does that word mean. Do you have any idea?


dan - 4/18/2003

You fool, you have let them lead you about, again.

Of course, "Communist" is NOT anybody opposed to the Republican Party...

"Liberal" (or "L"-word) is anybody opposed to the Republican Party.

"Communist" is anybody they can't manipulate!


ian august - 4/17/2003

i support our troops no matter what, they have no say in where they fight, they are brave, and they make this country safe. and at the same time i am allowed to disagree with the choices our leaders make??
i am no fence sitter, but our leaders suck, how can i not support the troops


ian august - 4/17/2003

is it me or is it odd timing that when saddams regime fell sharone anounces he might be willing to give up part of the west bank, his most treasured asset. Who is running the show here bush or sharon. I am confused. could it be possible that sharon is offering peace in exchange for a U.S. lead conversion of the islamic middle east into a democratic middle east, plus all the oil we can swallow????
afghanistan..iraq..syria..
its sounds like that other guy who kept on conquering nations around him while the world stood still, whats his name.. you know that guy that tried to conquer the world to make it safe for fascism, b/c a fascist regime has never attacked another...
oh yea i remember adolf, didnt he start a world war or something when the rest of the world had enough of his taking and taking??


ian augst - 4/17/2003

how is this for factual evidence: anti war protesters have the guts to stand up for the troops and complain when the political/newsmedia machine is attempting to isolate anyone disagreeing with dubya's policies. this is because they care about life, while people like rummsfield cannot wait to start another war and thus cause more causulties.


ian august - 4/17/2003

mr luker it is possible but highly unlikely considering i had a conversation with a korean vet the day i posted the note


dan - 4/17/2003

I'll try to cover it all for you:

I was trying to tell you that appearances can be deceiving, and you immediately show me you are deceived by appearances. Impressive!

I was imprecise: the popular media events (e.g. the statue being pulled down by a U. S. Army Armored Recovery Vehicle and others) were obviously staged. Still, that fact does not say what, exactly, was the motivation of the Iraqis involved.

The more spontaneous demonstrations (including celebrations) cannot be ascribed to any specific motivation from our vantage point - could be relief that the evil Saddam is gone, relief that the bombing has stopped, the lack of a paternal thumb on their activities, genuine happiness that the U. S. troops are there, sycophantic fawning to curry favor or gifts, or just the opportunity to party after being underground for awhile, etc., etc. These celebrations are common, as is the looting which followed. To ascribe an obviously self-serving political motive to people whose culture you could not begin to guess is, at best, disingenuous.

There is no such thing as a motive that is not genuine...

Of course, instead of name calling on your part, you could actually support your position (as I have), but I see that is not your style.

Some are fawning sycophants, hoping to gain some crumbs from the spoils, some of us are sceptical, recognizing that pathological liars rarely tell the truth, unless it suits theri purpose.

Which side are you on?


dan - 4/17/2003

Many self-proclaimed Libertarians who I read and talk to vote an almost straight Republican ticket, minus a few Libertarian candidates; most of these still defend the Prez (though defectors' numbers are growing). These people talk a Libertarian line but act against their rhetoric as Republicans (or Replicants).

I had to find a way to label these people to differentiate them from Libertarians, Republicans, and conservatives who vote and act on principle and defend their votes/actions with reasoned and well thought out arguments instead of the recitation of Rush Limbaugh platitudes and Party Line rhetoric. I know quite a few honorable people in the main groups and respect them, but also know a lot of Replicants who call people names (thinking they are somehow insulting them thereby) instead of defending their political positions, who project their own insecurities and lack of preparedness onto their targets, and who take up the modern Republican Party cause of revisionist history to support their political view, and of redefining words in terms favorable to them - 'he who controls the present controls the future, he who controls the past controls the present, he who controls the language controls the past.' (All are valid rhetorical devices, to be sure, but the current Republican Party and their media take it to a new level not seen in 70 years). The careful control of the "discussion" away from areas of content and into areas of emotion is bothersome.

I see these traits in Herodutus and Suetonius - not the least of which is their use of pseudonyms, as if the right has ever had anything to fear for expressing their views.


Clayton E. Cramer - 4/16/2003

As of today, we have arrested a terrorist (the mastermind of the Achille Lauro hijacking of 1985) in Iraq, and there is clear evidence of his connection to the Iraqi government. The terrorist connection is made.

Do I understand your criticism of overthrowing Hussein's torture chamber is that it is better to be consistently wrong (not go after any tyrants) than to be inconsistently right?


Homer Simpson - 4/15/2003

Hey, it turns out you smart guys were wrong about everything.

But, you told me that Bush is real dumb.

I'm going down to Moe's to think this over.

Tell me again why you eggheads are so smart. I can't remember.


Derek Catsam - 4/14/2003

And while we're at it, I seem to recall most of the criticisms of the actual course of the war coming from generals and the like on CNN and in newspapers. Not exactly Ivory Tower liberals in my conception. But then Mr. Gillette surely knows more than the generals . . .


J. Bartlett - 4/14/2003


As a victim of Leftist Public Education in America, I have long been under the mistaken impression that communism was the collective ownership of property, usually accompanied by an absence of democracy.

How fortunate that my mind can be liberated by the brilliant insights of John Gillette ! Now at last I realize how much more straightforward it really is. A "communist" is simply anybody opposed to Republicans.

Good thing I supported John McCain in the last election. He's a Republican and therefore not a evil communist like George W. Bush who opposed him.


Rick Schwartz - 4/14/2003

How odd that scholars who measure of history in decades and centuries now demand "action" in mere hours. It seems that there are enough examples of forced regime changes and city sacks throughout history that they could come up with a more reasonable perspective of how these things run a standard course.


John Gillette - 4/14/2003

Thought I'ld drift back see what was happening here since the war seems to not be following the worst case scenario posited by all the folks that have no military experience. Frankly the Ivory Tower centricism (?) previously and still extant was amusing most of the time.

And what do I find? Lefties are complaining that calling commies commies is somehow unfair and demeaning. And heaven forfend, these days students are not all radical liberals, (like the good old days) they actually want to be taught math in their math classes by their math professors. They don't want to have an old fud radical professor reliving his youth at their expence. What? don't these students not realize the enlightenment they can bestow? It's censorship, that's what it is. Why these students might not go to a protest of their own free will, I better force my irrelevant (to the class) views on them, if I can't why that's horrible. Students exercising free will, why next thing you know they might be come Republicans and ignore communists as relics of a discredited political and economic system.


Arch Stanton - 4/12/2003

Yeah, it's a matter of priorities. They need to round up those escaped children and get them back in prison too.


Suetonius - 4/12/2003

Yup, stinks. But what do you expect after a war? Even after a hurricane or a tornado it takes quite a few days to get things straightened out. It's heartening to see that from Basra to Mosul the coalition has managed today to get joint patrols and neighborhood watches instituted. The Marines implimented a curfew in Baghdad yesterday, and secured the hospitals.

One of the problems with this daily (hourly!) coverage is that we're tipped into a cycle of hoping that they're progress occurring as rapidly as the news cycle. As historians on here should completely understand, it does take time time time for order to be restored. The initial signs that we have seen so far of efforts to restore order appear to indicate that CENTCOM is acting in accordance with a desire to fix things back up.

Did anyone see that the Kabul museums have recently been restored?


Florence Elgin - 4/12/2003


EXHIBIT A:


Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2942449.stm

LOOTERS RANSACK BAGHDAD MUSEUM

Many precious items have been stolen by looters

Thousands of valuable historical items from Baghdad's main museum have been taken or destroyed by looters....

The museum's deputy director said looters had taken or destroyed 170,000 items of antiquity dating back thousands of years.

"They were worth billions of dollars," she said

"The Americans were supposed to protect the museum. If they had just one tank and two soldiers nothing like this would have happened”

...Iraq's history stretches back thousands of years It houses items from ancient Babylon and Nineveh, Sumerian statues, Assyrian reliefs and 5,000-year-old tablets bearing some of the earliest known writing.

There are also gold and silver items from the Ur cemetery.

The museum re-opened to the public six months ago - it had remained closed since the beginning of the 1991 Gulf War.

Iraq is a cradle of civilisation, with thousands of archaeological sites spanning more than 10,000 years.

It is the birthplace of agriculture, empires were in Iraq and the origins of writing have been traced to the region.

Certain organisations, including the British Museum, had called for historical sites to be protected before the current conflict started.


EXHIBIT B:


LOOTING, DISORDER HIT HOSPITALS

Thursday, April 10, 2003 Posted: 5:38 PM EDT (2138 GMT)

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/10/sprj.irq.aid.situation/index.html

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN)

International Committee of the Red Cross official Roland Huguenin-Benjamin told CNN that hospitals have been looted and pointed out that potential patients will not be able to make it to the hospitals to receive treatment "unless some sort of security can be re-established in the city."

...WHO said that in Baghdad the "Medical City hospital center is reported to be running very short of water, which makes it almost impossible for the hospital to offer effective medical care to the people who need it."

The al Kindi hospital, where many injured have been taken since the war started, is reported to have been looted, WHO said.



Suetonius - 4/12/2003

I have been commenting on the war in this forum. I would ask 'suityourselfitus' if he would also like to have Mr. Ericson ask serious or merely rhetorical questions.


Josh Greenland - 4/12/2003

"As a veteran of the last Gulf War, I find it interesting that some can hate the act, but support the actor. I never felt that someone who opposed to what I was doing was in reality supporting me as a soldier. This is a deluded and fence sitting attitude. If the President and Congress would approve oil drilling in the Alaska wilderness, how many protesters would say, "I am against oil drilling, but I support the oil companies and the drilling teams"? There is no difference. Embrace one side or the other and be honest."

Why, so you can dislike those of us who are pro-peace more easily? Are you saying that if we are against this war, we should be against you as a person, or as a soldier? Is that what you REALLY want? It sounds like you aren't trying to resolve the ambiguity that you claim we have, but are trying yourself to have an unambiguous feeling toward anti-war people.

You think everyone has to be rigidly on one side or another. The world mostly doesn't work like that. It's all too easy to have mixed feelings about people, or to like or love them, but to dislike or even hate what they are doing. If you're having mixed feelings about all this, join the club. This war hasn't been easy for anybody.


Josh Greenland - 4/12/2003

"To be sitting around GLOATING about killing people is pretty sick, yet the ConservatoLibertarian Replicants are reveling in their own insecurities by cheering at every person who dies at the request of their Fuhrer, King George."

I don't have a problem with your other arguments and sentiments, but how do you figure that Libertarians love the Iraq War and George W Bush? What I've been hearing from them is NOT love for either one. Sure, there as many types of Libertarianism as there are Libertarians, but the mainstream of that movement is not imperial in foreign policy or in favor of Bush's style of Republican politics. http://www.antiwar.com site is Libertarian-run, for instance.

I'm not by any means a Libertarian, nor am I on the political Right. But I respect the anti-war and pro-civil liberties stands of many Libertarians. I don't think they deserve to be roped in with the most mindless and hateful of Bush's supporters.

I've wondered myself at the selectiveness of the "biblical literalists" who don't bother to live up to much of what's in the Bible but who will use small parts of it to attack groups they don't like.


Suityourselfitus - 4/12/2003


Are you commenting on the war, or just wasting website space ?


Suetonius - 4/11/2003

Dan writes,

"I guess you read a bunch of sites and just forgot... I have read no complaints "that Hussein never possessed the weapons or that he had every intention of cooperating with the UN's weapons inspectors." Most of us thought that Iraq, as a sovereign nation, probably was working on such. Seeing the events of the last few weeks, he would have been a fool not to (as is anyone who trusts a Replicant politician). "

It is possible that we read different news sites. I have come across a large body of material from people of the anti-war persuasion who have argued that (a) he did not have the weapons to begin with and that this was just a ploy by Bush, and (b) that Hussein was cooperating with the UN weapons inspectors completely and again, this was just a ploy by Bush.

It is disingenuous of them to suggest in retrospect that (1) of course Hussein was a madman, (2) of course he was producing the weapons, (3) of course he wasn't cooperating, but to maintain that (a) we ought not to have invaded cuz he might never had really passed them on to a terrorist group, or (b) it really isn't against our liberal international convictions to refuse to end the nightmare of a tortured people living under such an oppressive regime.

What, pray tell, is a Replicant politician?


Suetonius - 4/11/2003

Dan has concluded:

"Nothing more. And nothing more should be made of the (obviously staged) celebrations in Baghdad. "

and

""...odd conclusions about the motivations..." No wonder you have a hard time with reality. I came to absolutely NO conclusions whatsoever WRT Iraqi motivations. None. Nada. "

These would appear to be in conflict. If the demonstrations were obviously staged, as you suggest, then the Iraqi motivations for demonstrating were not genuine, i.e. they were not interested in expressing their hatred at Hussein until motivated by something else. That's a conclusion.

Your vituperative ad hominems ("...a hard time with reality") measure up well against your bigoted views towards Christians of a fundamentalist persuasion.


Suetonius - 4/11/2003

"Fact: Anti-war protesters are far more pro-troop than the people who are gleeful that we are at war"


What factual evidence do you have for this statement?


dan - 4/11/2003

"Regretably for the purposes of this forum, your existing anger at the presiden..."

Just think back 3 years, then imagine if you had actual reasons for YOUR anger. You might jsut barely scratch at an understanding what intelligent people might be feeling today. Probably not.

"...(and thinly veiled religious bigotry against Christians of a fundamentalist persuasion) as well as your odd conclusions about the motivations of the Iraqis make your argument scattered."

Sorry you can't keep up. Bigotry? Yeah, that's it...

"...odd conclusions about the motivations..." No wonder you have a hard time with reality. I came to absolutely NO conclusions whatsoever WRT Iraqi motivations. None. Nada.

"I watched the entire performance in front of the Palestine hotel from a variety of news sources (not just Fox News, but thank you for recommending it). What I witnessed could hardly be called staged. Anyone who thinks it is clearly wasn't watching or is deluding himself."

"Staged" was my conclusion watching the event. "Staged" is the opinion I read later from multiple sources.


Suetonius - 4/11/2003

Wow you do have a lot of issues to work through.

Regretably for the purposes of this forum, your existing anger at the president (and thinly veiled religious bigotry against Christians of a fundamentalist persuasion) as well as your odd conclusions about the motivations of the Iraqis make your argument scattered.

I watched the entire performance in front of the Palestine hotel from a variety of news sources (not just Fox News, but thank you for recommending it). What I witnessed could hardly be called staged. Anyone who thinks it is clearly wasn't watching or is deluding himself.


dan - 4/11/2003

http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0315/news-anderson.php

for example.


dan - 4/11/2003

"Confusing propaganda of the Korean and Vietnam Wars? I think not. Mr. August is probably referring to the reports that soldiers _were_ spit upon after they returned to the United States from Vietnam. That it occurred is not in dispute..."

Fact: some people may have been spat upon.

Propaganda: Soldiers were spat upon regularly upon returning from Vietnam. We can't let it happen again. Anti-war protesters are likely to do this again, therefor they are anti-troop.

Fact: Anti-war protesters are far more pro-troop than the people who are gleeful that we are at war, a war that promises to extend into Syria and Iran, at a minimum. An illegal war.

OPINION: A war for which there is NO RATIONAL justification and a bad idea with regard to U. S. security...


dan - 4/11/2003

"None of this, however, obviates the fact that the successive discoveries of weapons of mass destruction sites now being investigated somewhat eliminates the steady complaint by some on this site that Hussein never possessed the weapons or that he had every intention of cooperating with the UN's weapons inspectors."

Huh?

I guess you read a bunch of sites and just forgot... I have read no complaints "that Hussein never possessed the weapons or that he had every intention of cooperating with the UN's weapons inspectors." Most of us thought that Iraq, as a sovereign nation, probably was working on such. Seeing the events of the last few weeks, he would have been a fool not to (as is anyone who trusts a Replicant politician).

Interestingly, thee is far LESS evidence of WOTs, in development and in existence, than most of us thought...

Now, answer this: WHO brought to the attention of the U. N. that Saddam's latest missile had been test-fired, and that a fraction of the test missiles had flown past the 150 KM (93 mile) range sanctioned by the U. N. resolutions, leading to the destruction of said missiles?


dan - 4/11/2003

In a city of 5 Million, a few hundred showed up at The Statue ("symbol of Saddam's regime") and hammered on it for some minutes (maybe an hour) before a U. S. tracked vehicle recovery unit arrived to do all the work (when you saw the statue coming down, the vehicle was doing all the work).

Are there people in Baghdad (and elsewhere in Iraq) who are overjoyed to see Saddam out? Of course!

If 5 years ago someone had removed a popular President from office (it WAS attempted, remember), there would have been celebrations in the streets of most major cities - far bigger celebrations than we have seen IN AGGREGATE from Iraq.

If today someone remove an unelected pretender from the White House, there would be celebrations in the streets of most major cities - far bigger celebrations than we see from Iraq.

1 1/2 years ago, tens/hundreds of thousands of people from Iraq and neighboring countries celebrated in the streets. Can you remember why?

5 weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of people could have been called upon at a moment's notice to celebrate in the streets, for whatever reason.

Whatever you think of Iraqis, they are not stupid. Have they not just witnessed the wanton killing of thousands of civilians by an invading army (by a country that thought nothing of destroying entire cities to send a message in a prior war)? People react differently to such a display - some take up arms and attempt to resist, others welcome the strangers. Think of the old man in "Catch-22."

Whatever the eventual outcome, sitting around creaming in your pants at every rumor that fits your preconceived notion, and decrying every rumor that contradicts it, is not an efficient use of anyone's time... The fact that you (and your Faux News sources) think it is is very disturbing.

A war is not a game. People DIE - to paraphrase the anti-abortion crowd: 'any one of those people could have been the next Einstein.' To be sitting around GLOATING about killing people is pretty sick, yet the ConservatoLibertarian Replicants are reveling in their own insecurities by cheering at every person who dies at the request of their Fuhrer, King George. The man has done so little that sending people to their deaths is thought of as an accomplishment, as though he were Pharaoh or Daimyo...

I don't remember too many people grinning from ear to ear at the actions in Kosovo...

Staged may have been a bit much, but maybe not. Can YOU tell? Do you TOO have a direct line to your god, your jealous god...

And as an aside, why DO born-again fundamentalist christians always selectively quote from the Old Testament, and NEVER from the New Testament, if they claim to be Christians? And why are those quotes usually used to justify the commision of one of the 7 deadly sins? And why are their political strin-pullers always trying to justify abrogating the Constitution of the U. S.?

Enquiring minds want to know...


dan - 4/11/2003

VA - Veterans Administration.

Typed too fast...


Suetonius - 4/10/2003

The links offered by Dan will be examined.

None of this, however, obviates the fact that the successive discoveries of weapons of mass destruction sites now being investigated somewhat eliminates the steady complaint by some on this site that Hussein never possessed the weapons or that he had every intention of cooperating with the UN's weapons inspectors.

And the failure of the regulars on this site to engage that fact is remarkable.


Suetonius - 4/10/2003

To take the last point you raise, about the possibility that the demonstrations were, as you say, "obviously staged" then it is important that you understand the deep significance of one particular action during these demonstrations.

It is, I am informed by my colleagues who know the Middle East, among the highest of insults to show the soles of your feet to your opponent. For these Iraqis to be slapping the face of the Saddam statue (and, in one instance, urinating on the poster of Hussein) is the farthest thing from a staged demonstration. It is a clear and explicit indication that there is genuine happiness at the fall of Saddam and a certainty that his rule is over.

For if this were not the case, the Iraqis would have stayed home rather than topple statutes and loot the palaces of his sons. That they came out and engaged in these activities indicates that they did not fear his regime any longer. If they opposed the arrival of the U.S. they would have stayed home.


Suetonius - 4/10/2003

Do you want an answer to each of these questions or are you just spouting on in anger?


Suetonius - 4/10/2003

Eugene says:

"Those that are opposing the war are supporting the soldier but trying to get him out of harm's way."

Huh? If we constantly worked to keep our soldiers out of harm's way we'd never use our army. Or is that the point?

And what's with all of these "Soldiers--shoot your officer in the back' signs i keep seeing at the anti-war demonstrations?


Suetonius - 4/10/2003

There is no 'veterans association.' Do you perhaps mean the Veterans Administration, or the various veterans groups like the VFW and American Legion?


Jeff Ericson - 4/10/2003


WHERE is Saddam Hussein (remember ? our old buddy against the evil Iranian hostage-takers/contra-terrorist financiers) ?

WHERE are those nasty weapons of mass destruction (remember ? the reason we couldn't wait another six months to get France and Germany on board, after we all but ignored Iraq for 10 years) ?

WHERE is any sign of a coherent U.S. foreign policy, for example in dealing with dangerous dictatorships which actually HAVE nukes ?

WHERE is the single comment by Dubya's worshipers (the anonymous Greeks and the ex-Marines, etc.) admitting that their great hero is in fact fallible, like all mortals ?


dan - 4/10/2003

Yeah, you got me.

Dang spelling errors...


Eugene - 4/10/2003

I would put it this way, Those that are opposing the war are supporting the soldier but trying to get him out of harm's way. As opposed to those "support the troops" people who would rather have you there in harms way for less than solid resons. This is true for most wars, WWI, Spnish-American, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf I and now this conflict. It still amazes me that people think that those who oppose war, are anti-american, anti-soldier etc., BUt the ones who want this war are the ones that are putting the soldiers in harms way. So who's support would you rather have those that want you killed or those that want you alive.


dan - 4/10/2003

I find your inability to hold differing, non-conflicting views in mind disturbing.

I support our troops because I want them to return safely. I support our troops because I do not wish them to have deep psychological problems caused by massacring civilians or because the guy standing next to them suddenly disappears in a puff of smoke (experience of my brother aboard the USS Enterprise during Vietnam). I support our troops because I do not want 25% of them to become ill following their assignment, as happened in GeorgeWarI (GWI). I do not want them to come back disabled to find the Veterans Association to have been gutted, as has been happening since around 1981 or so.

In support of our troops, I want them to come home.

How much do YOU support the troops?


dan - 4/10/2003

www.fair.org/media-outlets/limbaugh.html

is a good place to start.

Listening to his show, with some knowledge of history, math (arithmetic, math, and/or computer science), science (physics, environmental biology, biology, chemistry, forestry, oceanography, and/or astronomy), english/rhetoric*, political science*, psychology*, sociology, law, education, or current events* would also help.

NOTE: the list of subjects he attempts to use but does not have any grasp of above is not comprehensive, but only offered as an example).

* indicates he has a passing/practical knowledge of the subject, but abuses it anyway.

For transcripts of a sampling of his shows, go to:

http://rushtranscript.blogspot.com/


dan - 4/10/2003

Stink? Why?

5 years ago, if someone (anyone) would have removed Bill Clinton, would there have been dancing in the streets and such?

Today, if someone deposed the Boy King, would there be dancing in the streets and general jubilee?

The answer to both questions is indubitably a resounding "YES!!"

What does that prove? All leaders who stand for anything are unpopular with those whose ox is currently gored...

Nothing more. And nothing more should be made of the (obviously staged) celebrations in Baghdad.


Benjamin Rush - 4/10/2003

Look soldier, it's in the constitution--your service does not require me to suspend my political opnions or my freedom of speech. Freedom of speech shall not be infinged. It's really not hard to understand. It's just hard to accept. You have my personal thanks for your service. You have society's thanks, in terms of substantial veterans benefits. You have have media praising you hourly, as they should, even if the vast majority of troops never see combat. Stop whining about the fact that not everyone thinks the same. It's what freedom of speech is all about

If fireman are battling a blaze on my street, is it still ok for me to be against fire? Does my being against fire somehow undermine the fireman's ability to fight fire? Am i not "supporting" him.

It seems to me our troops are backed by our tax dollars, the world's largest and most technologically advanced military, by their excellent training, and by each other. Gee sarge, I'd like to advance, but those sign carrying protesters back home just make me feel so unsupported..



Wesley Smart - 4/10/2003

Hey Suetonius,

It's been pretty quiet in here.. You were right.. the Silence was telling.


Bill Heuisler - 4/10/2003

Hey Kent,
Looking forward to a Pacifico or Bohemia. Call me.
Bill


Marcus Aurelius - 4/10/2003



Bill,

I agree. Let's break for a while and see how events turn over the next few weeks--hopefully my pessimism on these matters will not be bourne out.

Next time I'm in Tucson, I will look you up and buy you a beer (iced tea? mineral water? what ever's your pleasure).

By the way, my name's Kent.


dave - 4/9/2003

must suck to be so wrong, dan.


Suetonius - 4/9/2003

Well put. And thanks for your contribution to the 1st Gulf War and your service to the country, by the way!


Bill Heuisler - 4/9/2003

Marc,
Events are more eloquent than anything I could type. We'll meet again on the busy ether.
Best, Bill


Larry - 4/9/2003

As a veteran of the last Gulf War, I find it interesting that some can hate the act, but support the actor. I never felt that someone who opposed to what I was doing was in reality supporting me as a soldier. This is a deluded and fence sitting attitude. If the President and Congress would approve oil drilling in the Alaska wilderness, how many protesters would say, "I am against oil drilling, but I support the oil companies and the drilling teams"? There is no difference. Embrace one side or the other and be honest.


Suetonius - 4/9/2003

Can you provide an example, for the sake of historical clarity, where Limbaugh made up one of his stories out of whole cloth? As someone who has never listened to him, I honestly cannot believe either position until someone gives me proof.

Your credibility is at stake here dan. Please provide something concrete I can examine.


Herodotus - 4/9/2003

Boy, this day must really stink for you. Iraqis kissing U.S. Marines in the streets of Baghdad.

Confusing propaganda of the Korean and Vietnam Wars? I think not. Mr. August is probably referring to the reports that soldiers _were_ spit upon after they returned to the United States from Vietnam. That it occurred is not in dispute (nor are the cases of National Guardsmen in Vermont or California this time round being pelted with rocks, mind you). What may be misunderstood is the extent to which this occurred (i.e. not to everyone).

Be mindful of what you slam with the term 'propaganda' when in fact it's wilful misrepresentation or just plain ignorance.


dan - 4/9/2003

Rather, he confused the propaganda of the Korean and Vietnam wars...


dan - 4/9/2003

BEING A PROGRESSIVE I RARELY FIND AN HONEST POLITICAL LEADER, AND RUSH WAS ALL OVER BILL.

Rush was never critical of Mr. Clinton, rather he made most of his attacks out of whole cloth, as he does with all his material (he never lets fact interfere with his purpose).


dan - 4/9/2003

You guys are all hot and bothered and ready to cream your pants at the thought of all that sexy nerve gas!

Unfortunately, your date isn't even breathing hard yet.

Ain't masterbation a bitch...


Herodotus - 4/9/2003

*ringing ears oh my aching ringing ears*


Suetonius - 4/9/2003

Your caution is well noted; however, the purpose of acknowledging the discovery is that it removes any claim that the weapons were planted.

Recheck your information on Basra. The British imposed a curfew, a local Shiite leader and control in Basra in the last few hours.


Ralph E. Luker - 4/9/2003

Mr. August, Is it possible that you've confused the Korean and the Viet Nam wars?


IAN AUGUST - 4/9/2003

THE WORST ARGUMENT FOR WAR TO DATE HAS BEEN, "THERE HAVE BEEN 12 YEARS OF TALKING AND TALKING IS OVER."

ANOTHER IS THAT ALL THOSE AGAINST WAR DONT SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, WELL I HAVE BEEN TO A FEW RALLIES FOR BOTH CAUSES, BC I AM ANTI WAR, BUT I AM A PATRIOT WHO REALIZES OUR TROOPS NEED OUR SUPPORT. I WOULD BEAT UP ANYONE WHO DARED TO SPIT IN A SOLDIERS FACE WHILE RETURNING HOME LIKE WHAT WAS SEEN AFTER THE KOREAN WAR.


IAN AUGUST - 4/9/2003

DONT POKE FUN BUT I WAS A FAN OF RUSH DURING THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. BEING A PROGRESSIVE I RARELY FIND AN HONEST POLITICAL LEADER, AND RUSH WAS ALL OVER BILL. A FUNNY THING HAPPENED THOUGH WHEN BUSH GOT ELECTED, HE STOPPED THE ATTACKS, AND HAS BECOME(IN MY MIND) A RADICAL REPUBLICAN-ANY IDEAS OUT OF STEP WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HE WILL NOT LISTEN TO


Herodotus - 4/9/2003

Bout up there with the Iraqis carrying the sign

"go home human shields you U.S. wankers"

live on MSNBC/SKY/CNN/ITV/BBC at the Palestine Hotel.


Marcus Aurelius - 4/9/2003



Bill,

I hope you're not getting bored with this conversation--it's really beginning to get interesting!

Picking up where I left off: to my mind, freedom has to be more than a state of mind, it has to be backed up by practical reality. When I wrote the series of questions in my last post, I wasn't trying to be elitist or exclusionary.

As an faculty member, it pains me to see how many students enter college at the age of 18 and yet have no true comprehension of our nation's founding documents or ideals. I do what I can, but I have only fifteen weeks, then they move on to the next semester. I try not to let that be a deterrent, I do what I can and hope for the best. If I reach one student in a positive way, if I make then think an independent thought, then I've done my part.

If this is where our conversation ends, and I hope it isn't, one thing I would've liked you to have learned (and ideally acknowledge) is that I too, and others like me, also love our country, possess a deep and sincere appreciation of our history and institutions, and are working for the best; that "conservatives" do not have a monopoly on patriotism; that there is little to gain from pummeling those who disagree and castigating them (you know, "liberals") as "the enemy." I would also hope that those on the left would also learn a few of these lessons.

While we are focusing on putting Hussein and bin Laden in the same boat, let's also remember that all of us, as Americans, are also in the same boat; if there's going to be smooth sailing ahead, we all have to be vigilant, watch prevailing conditions, and make sure that everything is in working order. Likewise, if the boat starts sinking, we need to all work together, bailing the boat out and salvaging what we can before it goes under.

While some may read this and view it as a silly flight of fancy, unrelated to the topic at hand, I beg to differ. It's in this context you will find my reasons for opposing this war in Iraq. I regard it as destructive not only for Iraq, but for the U.S. as well; it may well become a massive drain that will steadily, over time sap our energy and our strength as a nation. I think that is increasingly coming to light as you read the articles coming out about post-war Iraq and the problems (and expenses) that lie ahead. I'm not hoping for disaster, I just hoping that one has not been thrust upon us by unthinking leadership decisions.

Marc


Suetonius - 4/9/2003

"Wish You Were Here"


For all the free people that still protest.
You're welcome. We protect you and you are protected by the best.
Your voice is strong and loud,
but who will fight for you? No one standing in your crowd.
We are your fathers, brothers, and sons,
wearing the boots and carrying guns.
We are the ones that leave all we own,
to make sure your future is carved in stone.
We are the ones who fight and die,
We might not be able to save the world, Well, at least we try.
We walked the paths to where we are at
and we want no choice other than that.
so when you rally your group to complain,
take a look in the back of your brain.
In order for that flag you love to fly
wars must be fought and young men must die.
We came here to fight for the ones we hold dear.
If that's not respected, we would rather stay here.
So please stop yelling, put down your signs,
and pray for those behind enemy lines.
When the conflict is over and all is well,
be thankful that we chose to go through hell.

Corporal Joshua Miles and all the boys from 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines,
Kuwait 3/9/2003


Marcus Aurelius - 4/8/2003


You baited me with that last hook: "silence will be telling."

The story and your comments represents one of the hazards involved with a 24-hour news cycle. I would encourage you to excercise the same caution that the army officer interviewed on the news (last name Freakly), he said at this point they don't know what they've found--yet in spite of his caution, the media circus ran with it nonetheless. The jury's still out.

Even if it does prove to be gas or nerve agents the question remains whether its for weapons use or as pesticides; additionally, such products have little to do with WMDs (see earlier post by me to Bill H. on this point).

None of this leads me to revise my opposition to the war; none of this leads me to the conclusion that this war is necessary. Let's just hope there's nothing like this in Basra where the British have apparently lost control now the the coalition's invasion has ushered in total chaos in the city. If there is, who knows where it'll end up. Maybe Cleveland?

Marcus Aurelius


Marcus Aurelius - 4/8/2003



Bill,

I'm much more optimistic than you may suspect. You indicate your support for the notion that, for Americans, "freedom is simply doing as we please with reasonable constraints applied."

Do you see how this view of freedom is predicated on some measure of financial or material success? It costs money to just about anything, consequently we measure our "freedom" using our material possessions/comfort as a gauge. It is often shown that those who have the most to protect have the greatest appreciation for freedom; those who have little to nothing to protect, don't give matters like this much thought one way or another.

This is not unusual or new. It was the English nobility who were the driving force behind the Magna Carta; it was affluent Puritans who were behind the English Civil War; it was affluent Englishmen who were behind the Glorious Revolution of 1688; it was affluent American colonists leading the opposition against Great Britain. They all had something to protect and viewed the governing authority in place as the primary threat to their interests and acted accordingly.

Likewise, in America after independence property qualifications were used as measures to limit participation and gaurantee that only the most affluent could actually hold public office. Until the 1820s when such qualifications were being dropped by states, a white male over the age of 21 had to own at least 50 acres of land in order to vote. In order to hold office, a white male over the ages specified in the Constitution regarding different offices had to own at least 1000 acres. Money equivilants were calculated for those living in urban areas where owning large amounts of land was unnecessary.

It is for this reason that capitalism and democracy work so well together; the former as an engine that promotes opportunity, the latter as a means to protect interests. What I fear too many people don't understand that while democracy NEEDS capitalism, capitalism does not NEED democracy.

How viable is American democracy as a sustainable system of government if

American citizens are not informed and revel in their ignorance; if they do not understand what rights they have and thus have no clue when they are being stripped away?

American citizens fail to understand the most basic aspects of our constitutional system and thus fail to see when their "elected" leaders are in the process of gutting that very system?

American citizens do not vote; or simply behave like sheep following without questioning, conforming without a clue?

If the conditions described above exist (and they do), how "free" are we? If our standard of living continues to be driven down because debts, deficits, and wartime budgets are spiraling upwards without an end in sight, how much longer will we be "free to do as we please with reasonable contraints applied"?

None of this is irreversible, however, therein lies my optimism.

Marc




Harold Hill - 4/8/2003


The "point" will most assuredly not be "moot" for future historians, Max. A 49% popular-vote president, whose party had a thin majority in only one of two legislative houses, launched an unprecedented, unpopular and unprovoked invasion against a country which had much less than many others to do with 9-11. While the Congress chose to "sleep walk through history". That horror will haunt future generations of Americans long after the Rush Limbaugh wannabes crawling all over this website have departed for the great six-pack in the sky. And if you think "weapons of mass destruction" were really the reason, hold on to your pocketbook, beware of hanging chads, and tread warily when real estate agents from the swamplands of Florida approach.



maxvintage - 4/8/2003

Saddam's creepiness has never been in doubt. You'll get no defense of Saddam from me. what you will get is the question of wether or not his creepiness justified this invasion. The thing is, the list of international creeps is a long one. Why Saddam and not someone else? WMD was the reason we were given, along with alleged support for Al-Queda--though I note in the last article you cite it says "although there was no indication any of the evidence tied Ansar to Saddam Hussein as Washington has maintained." If we do not find large sclae stocks of WMD, does that mean we have to start knocking off other governments we don't like? As a big government liberal, I'd kind of like it if we toppled repressive regimes and replaced them with cuddly open ones. I just don't think it can be done, and it's not clear that it's moral to attack anothe rnation simply because it displeases you or because it has assets you covet.


maxvintage - 4/8/2003

but it's my not particularly original conclusion that the Bush administration never actually wanted disarmament, never wanted inspections to work. It wanted removal and US control of Iraq.

the point is moot--it has control of iraq now and will have to try not to make a hash of it


John Quepublic - 4/7/2003


Maybe I should be grateful that my love of baseball, apple pie, and America's founding fathers has not been targeted by Mr. Heuisler. I will take the time, however, to address a few of the misrepresentations in his most recent posting.

I did NOT claim that Cheney, Bush (or Clinton or Barbara Streisand or any other leading American) had "close ties to Israel". Many Americans have close ties to many other countries. 'Twas ever so in a "nation of immigrants." What I said in my initial post was:

"2. Most of the key Bush Administration figures who thought up this war years ago have close ties to and affinities with the extremist LIKUD REGIME in Israel which hopes for more terrorist attacks on America in order to gain sympathy for its brutal confiscation of land from Palestinians."

I added a few capital letters this time in case Mr. Heuisler has again misplaced his binoculars. Perhaps in one of his ten daily utterances, Herr Heuisler could explain to us why his apparent ties to America prove that he must necessarily also be a diehard supporter of Bill Clinton.

On personal note, I have little use for either Zinn or Chomsky, whom I consider egotistical charlatans. The suggestion to the contrary was nothing but Bill Heuisler's anti-Marxist paranoia "showing". But, if criticizing adult Americans for a general knowledge of geography that would be an embarrassment if displayed by third graders in most other wealthy countries makes me "elitist", then so be it. So, I guess were Horace Mann, James Madison, and Teddy Roosevelt. Write those names down for use in a future sneer of yours, Bill Heuisler, if you feel so moved.

It would also be interesting to learn why Bill Heuisler thinks President Bush's foreign policy is preferable to that which a President John McCain would have pursued.





Bill Heuisler - 4/7/2003

Marc,
Running naked or defying police is license unless you are Halley Berry; for her - and us - it is art. But you nailed it with,
"Is freedom simply about doing as we please with reasonable constraints applied?" Yes, for Americans.

An icon of Democrats named Fulbright said something vastly ironic in a Senate speech in 1964 sometime before voting no on the Voting Rights Act:
"We are inclined to confuse freedom and Democracy, which we regard as moral principles, with the way in which these are practised in America - with Capitalism, Federalism and the two party system, which are not moral principles, but simply the accepted practicees of the American people."

Freedom under Cromwell was the right to vote for an MP; freedom under Temujin was the right to leave the tribe alive. The Iraqi student might consider Theocracy freedom if he could vote for the Mullah. We in the US are purists - probably because of our traditions from Locke to Berkeley to Hume. Our Revolution was based on separation and self-determination. Freedom from the King was not broad enough, they wanted freedom for something. We all know by now that freedom is not safety, but opportunity; a chronic, drug-addicted welfare recipient is as much a serf as the Spartan helot. William Wallace's freedom was probably more constrained culturally than Pugachev's, but they both were willing to die for the right to choose their daily condition.

So choose your poison, but choose. Freedom is a state of mind...an optimistic state of mind.
Bill Heuisler


Harold Hill - 4/7/2003


Maxvintage's A,B,C plan WOULD have been worth a try in Iraq. It would have been worth a try in 1994 or 1998. It may STILL be worth trying, in situations other than Iraq -where it is now too late. Why do you suppose that leading critics of the Bush-Blair invasion (for example in the U.S. Senate) have never really been ready to vocally back such a plan ?


Dave LaCourse - 4/7/2003

The one find of "chemical weapons" was a bust after all:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030407/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_war_wmd&cid=1514&ncid=1473

However, there are many other things being reported.

Missles with chem. weapons:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47645-2003Apr7.html

Hundreds of bodies, some tortured, have now been found:

http://www.sundayherald.com/32893

Hospital torture chamber:

http://nypost.com/news/worldnews/72224.htm

A shell of an airplane was found for likely hijacking practice:

http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/03/4/7/16772660.cfm

Raid Finds al-Qaida Tie to Iraq Militants

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20030331_1922.html

Have not seen these articles retracted as the first one was.

Just an FYI.


Marcus Aurelius - 4/7/2003



Bill,

You're right about us stumbling on a "seminal disagreement among historians." Let's slow down and focus a little on this one. I'll come back to the other points.

Freedom is a word used quite often, but to my mind not fully understood or appreciated (present company excluded of course). You say "conservatives believe that Freedom is the Natural Human State [as in condition]" The Greek city-states were the exception to the rule; while Athenian democracy flourished in the 5th century BC, you had the Persian empire which represented the norm for the vast majority of Near Eastern and Middle Eastern peoples. Even within the Athenian sphere of influence, once it co-opted the Delian League and moved its treasury from Delos to Athens, disagreement with Athens was not acceptable. Read the Melian Dialogue in Thucydidies' The Peloponnesian War.

As for the Americans and 1776, yes we did quite well in spite of ourselves. Jefferson's Declaration had little influence at the time it was written except among those who were already on board regarding the matter of independence (e.g. Samuel and John Adams, Richard Henry Lee, etc.) A significant number of Americans did not support independence or were at best reluctant revolutionaries--and those in the latter catagory worked to undermine advocates of independence both in Congress and on the field of battle (see Robert Morris, William Duer for Congress; Horatio Gates, and Mifflin--forgot first name on the military side). The Declaration did not become significant until after Independence was won, and even then there's much to be said that it was not celebrated until after its jubilee in 1826.

As for freedom and the natural state, language like this often confounds me. What exactly does it mean in a practical sense? Are we "free" to run naked down main street? If a police officer seeks to pull me over, am I "free" to keep on going? Of course not. Is it as simple as being able to jot off a letter to the editor of our local paper, or engage in debate using a message board such as this as the medium? Is it freedom that we are able to call a 1-900 number and pick someone elses husband for them on TV? Is freedom simply about doing as we please with reasonable constraints applied?

I suspect its more complicated than that. How much "freedom" does an American citizen have who has to work three jobs and still can't afford a vehicle (I'm not a Marxist--I had to do this for a while myself, now I don't; that's America). What I'm asking is how much thought do you think a person such as this really gives to abstract ideas such as "freedom" and the "natural human condition"? While this fellow may not reflect the majority, I think that he and most Americans do not give much thought to such weighty matters until their freedoms are impinged upon in some tangible way--and then, more than likely its too late. Most Americans are content with just being able to get up in the morning, go to work, watch TV, and enjoy their leisure time--you know, bread and circuses.

If Americans feel secure in their surroundings, the don't much care about much else.

As a nation, I tend to think we equate freedom with financial security and stability. In times of financial distress, we tend to pay closer attention to politics; when times we don't much care (think Clinton). Do you really think our current leadership appreciates or understands the intricacies of freedom and democracy with his "it's my way or the highway" attitude?

I've got some appointments to keep, so once again I gotta go.

Marc


ian august - 4/7/2003

nice response i was swaying toward the other side but you pulled me back


ian augsut - 4/7/2003

one of my fathers favorite resoponses to reagon when he comes up in conversation is how he tried to take away vegetables from the lunch menu's of school children, he chose to substitute it with the most nutritous vegetable of all ketchep.


yea yea i know i spelt it wrong and i know it is way off topic


ian august - 4/7/2003

1.1)so you argue we should invade every nation with wmd? 100+?

Yes, if those countries show a proclivity to passing those weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. China, France, the United States and the like are not likely to pass such weapons on"

you say this but two numbers down you say france has passed on weapons illegally to iraq, so then who else? and china is more suspicious to pass on those weapons than france, so if france is doing it for iraq than it would surprise me if china was giving terrorists nukes. this leads to a big problem bc if we confront china than we get www3? if it was proven that china did pass on nukes to osama would u favor the United States starting ww3.

3.If we bring pressure against oppressive regimes, we can improve the quality of life of their citizens and push towards the installation of democracy."
yes we can, i am a firm believer in the idea that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, but our leaders could care less, and they have a 250 year tradition not caring.
secondly i hate pushing people or nations to be like us. who are we to shape the world in our image. eventually someone is gonna say no and if we dont listen there gonna shake the shit out of us (or maybe that is what osama was doing!) but we could still enhance our security by becoming friendly and doing things that friends do. and i know i do not like it when a friend tells me i should be more like he is, differences are good.

4)There may be other things that these two countries do not wish us to find."

your right, but this hurts your argument from point3) that democratic nations give us greater security, france is democratic and they might be hurting us.

5)What?s wrong with a friendly foreign capitalist market?"

nothing is wrong with it unless we force nations to adopt these systems for no other reason than for us to make money. If we could make money from a post saddam Iraq by making it a nazi state we would.


ian august - 4/7/2003

good grace to shut up. good god man, way to promote democracy. whats next a special ss police force for george dubya bush?


ian august - 4/7/2003

i will gladly respond, i only ask you take it easy with your soon to come criticism, considering i am still a college student and not yet a professional like most others on this site..

i did question the war, and i still do , but i did not question that saddam has nukes or chemical weapons, bc i think he does have both. And i am surprised that he has not used them up to this point.

If we hear confirmed reports that he has nukes, that would be a major turning point in my opinion of the war. But it would not concince me outright. Now if he uses nukes or a large amount of chemical weapons, well than , off with all there heads.

But reffering back to the article i was asked to rebuff, i can honestly trust it just as much as cnn, i.e. little to none.

and i thouight this board was for ideas and thoughts not news articles? bring on the debate suetonius, lets see what u got


ian august - 4/7/2003

i was merely responding to his claims of hypocracy by claiming the nation we live in , (USA), is just as hypocratical as any othere nation


Bill Heuisler - 4/7/2003

Marc,
We've stumbled on a seminal disagreement - the human potential.
Conservatives believe Freedom is the Natural Human State. Consider, as a historian, the Greek City-States, the German and Celtic tribal polity and the fact that post-1776 colonists had never been free. They did quite well for novices. Their noble Declaration states the matter very eloquently.
You therefore underestimate when you cite our Iraqi student:
"He has never been free, therefore, it is not appropriate to assume he will have the same appreciation for freedom that you and I have." And then you menton Shiites and Sunnis. Are modern American Blacks "the victims of Democracy"? Doesn't the word Democracy assume functional representation? All peoples appreciate Freedom. Few successful societies have voluntarily given it up. Humans yearn for Liberty; they are not stupid.

You give OBL too much power and credit. As his money dwindles his influence disappears. As to your Inertia of Theocracy Theory, History disagrees. An increase in human amenities usually produces more freedom - Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Ireland and France. Look at the unrest that exists now in Iran under the Mullah regime. Your pessimism is not justified.

You ask, "Do you think that the situation would have been different if Iraqi Shiites controlled the state and Hussein led a revolt against their rule?If you do, on what evidence would you base your assumption." Your question remains a little inscrutable, but wasn't that approximately what happened in 1963, if you substitute Colonel Abdel-Salam Arif for Saddam?

Washington prohibited theft to keep the countryside friendly - there were many Tories and he did not wish to create more. To read the minds of Christmas-drunk Hessians ignores the lesson of the defeat: after Trenton de Heister was removed in dishonor and replaced by Knyphausen. These were Frederick's mercenaries; this winter attack was treated as disgrace, not injury.

We Americans are an armed free people. I am confident the Patriot Act will not impinge on that freedom...or we will change the Patriot Act. Simple. Optimistic.
Bill Heuisler


maxvintage - 4/7/2003

The question of Sadamm's creepiness was never really in doubt. I think most people who opposed the war agreed that he probably had some "weapons of mass destruction." The question was always: "was the possible possesion of WMD enough reason to invade a soveriegn nation?" The argument Bush used was "pre-emptive"--we had to attack Sadam before he became a threat to the US. Do the weapons found (if indeed they were found: they may well have been, we'll see) constitute a threat to the US? Clealry they do, if American soldiers are near them. To they seem like a good justification for an invasion?

Or put it this way--does the discovery of the weapons described (which seems to be pretty mnimal) justify 70 billion dollars minimum spent, 100s of US and British lives, 1000s of iraqi lives, and the outrage of most of the world? I think not. You may disagree.

Even if we do find massive troves of WMD, the question reason: was this the best way to get rid of them? I wuld still answer no, and propose instead that militarized inspections would have been better alternative

Suopose we had

A; drasticaly increased the number of inspectors. How many health inspectors work in the US? lets's sy 10, 000. Send 10, 000 inspectors to Iraq

B: militarize the inspections--let them go with lightly armed UN or US military

C: link the inspectors to US and allied intelligence services, so that they got the kind of intel tey need to really do the job.

Cheaper, effectve, and less likely to provoke the world's outrage. Less likely to produce an outcome where the US must install its own repressive client state (Shah of Iran, anyone?) in orderr to prevent a muslim theocracy or internecine war

But it's too late for that. Say hello to twenty years of US occuation


Marcus Aurelius - 4/7/2003



Bill,

Fair enough. Here are the answers to your questions. I read my local paper, which like most others is owned by Hearst Corporation and I find more interest in reading the articles from the AP, Cox, Rueters, as well as a few others from major national papers such as the Los Angeles Times, etc. My local paper has a couple of reporters who write original pieces in respect to national and international affairs, but nothing that has yet truly impressed me.

I also read the New York Times; in addition a friend subscribes to the Washington Times Weekly and I ask him to hold on to his copies. I try to pick them up from him at least once a month when possible.

As for magazines, domestically, US News and World Report and an occasional National Review (Buckley and Brookhiser are a couple of conservatives I respect and occasionally agree with). I also read, on occasion, Mother Jones. Internationally, I favor the Economist.

On Television, of the three noncable networks, I prefer NBC and Tom Brokaw, I refuse to watch Dan Rather. As for cable news, I bounce between CNN and Fox, but admittedly watch the former more so than the latter. I prefer, most of all, C-Span's Washington Journal, I watch at least part of it seven days a week; I prefer C-Span's coverage of presidential addresses sans the talking heads over anything else on television.

As I mentioned in my last communication, I am a historian and I hold a faculty position, thus I do have time to devote to this sort of thing, probably more time in this respect than others. Additionally, I regard doing so as part of my professional responsibility. Likewise, I find talking exclusively to people who agree with me boring, I try to read varying viewpoints as well.

Admittedly, I avoid Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly like the plague, but I don't listen to Tom Joiner or Pacifica either.

I've never read the Nation or the Guardian; I've read Zinn, but don't really care much for his work. I recently heard one of Zinn's disciple's speak--can't recall his name, but perhaps you've heard of his book, LIES MY HISTORY TEACHER TOLD ME--it almost made me physically ill. Genovese, his ROLL, JORDAN ROLL is indeed fascinating and insightful regarding the subject it covers, but I see little relation between it and current events. My interest in economic history has led my to a couple of essays written by his wife, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, but little beyond that. No Chomsky.

The problem I have with your rejoinder about the 22-year old Iraqi student and your contention that he would be free rests upon a central underlying fallacy. He has never been free, therefore, it is not appropriate to assume he will have the same appreciation for freedom that you and I have. Hussein is a dictator, and a brutal tyrant. Since Hussein has emerged as Iraq's leader, those who have felt his iron fist however are those who are openly his enemies--the Shiites and the Kurds, and even then the most blatant displays came only after they attempted to revolt against him following the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The Sunni population in Iraq, especially those who are most heavily concentrated in Baghdad, have prospered under Hussein's rule; while they may not have a "bill of rights," its unreasonable to expect it. For the Sunni population in Iraq, with Hussein gone, they fall into minority status, paling in comparison to the Shiites and Kurds--they will be the victims of democracy in Iraq, assuming that it ever materializes. That's the future for the 22-year old university student in Baghdad.

He would not have been Hussein's cannon fodder, that role was reserved for the terrified Shiites in southern Iraq--hence their willingness to surrender without a fight.

As for your next observation regarding Hussein and bin Laden, to respond forces me into an uncomfortable situation and at risk of appearing to defend Hussein or present justification for his actions. That being said, let me answer with a question with some context instead. Bin Laden does not represent a country and is not regarded as a natioal leader by any nation in the world; he has launched terrorist strikes in numerous other countries, including his own. His primary goal is to create instability to a sufficient degree, thus creating a vacuum that he can fill. I dispute the contention that the U.S. is his primary enemy. I speculate that what bin Laden has in mind is to destablize the Middle East sufficiently that the British set borders become meaningless. Once secular leaders such as Hussein and Mubarak are gone, Islamic parties will gain ground and further his goal. Unfortunately, the coalition forces in Iraq are currently doing most of the heavy lifting for bin Laden.

Yes, Hussein has "killed his own people"; but using that alone without context to lable him as a terrorist is fundamentally flawed. That would be equivalent to labling the U.S. a terrorist state for the incident at Waco in 1993, Ruby Ridge, for executing Timothy McVeigh for bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City--treating him as a mere criminal instead of as a prisoner of war; or for that matter, labling the U.S. a terrorist state reaching further back into the past for participating in the enslavement of Africans, the handling of the Whiskey Rebellion, or workers during the late nineteenth century in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Homestead, or Coeur d'Alene. While such an argument may appeal to some extremists on both sides of the political spectrum. I think they are without merit.

Yes, Hussein gassed Kurds, he massacred Shiites. What Iraq's history has shown is that it's a brutal world. Do you think that the situation would have been different if Iraqi Shiites controlled the state and Hussein led a revolt against their rule?If you do, on what evidence would you base your assumption.

I don't know about half of the college population. Personally, however, I am on the side of restoring optimism and pride in our past, but I try to do so without relying on half-truths and mythic portraits. Let me know if you're interested, I'll share some with you as illustrations.

I beg to differ on your commentary on circa 18th century rules of war. Granted such concepts did not exist during the Hundred Years War, or even the Thirty Years' War. As for the Seven Years' War, they did--with the exception of the fighting on the American frontier. There were standard rules that professional soldiers did not fight in civilian areas--examine the process in which Howe moved into Philadelphia in the summer of 1777. Think about how men like General Charles Lee were treated by the British after being taken prisoner by the British. Recall Washington's strict prohibition against theft from civilians even while his men were starving and freezing to death at Valley Forge. Think about how the Europe's great powers allowed Napoleon to return to Paris after Liepzig, letting him get his affairs in order before formally surrendering to them in 1814.

Do you honestly think the Hessians would allow themselves to get drunk and let down their guard if they reasonably expected to fight a battle? What about British complaints of Americans shooting at them from behind fences and trees?

Yes, I agree we live in a great country; it has its flaws, but to expect otherwise is unrealistic. It's is an experiment, that has lasted two hundred years--but will it last another two hundred years? Will it last another two decades? Have you read the so-called Patriot Act? If we allow government power to expand in this way to combat our "enemies"--then we have to be prepared for that authority to be used against us when its over. Presidents have done similar things during wars in the past, but the Supreme Court has consistantly declared such things as unconstitutional afterwards. The present war, however, could literally become a war without an end. That's my concern.

Gotta go! I look forward to your response.

Marc


Suetonius - 4/7/2003

What do you base that upon?


Show Me State - 4/7/2003

Sounds like a false positive.


Ammianus Marcellinus - 4/7/2003

"Smile. We live in the great, free experiment that's lasted two hundred thirty years." And with confidence, and God's grace, it will continue. Well done.


Bill Heuisler - 4/7/2003

Marc,
Your turn to answer questions. What news do you read? Watch?
Where has the pessimism come from? Sounds like you fear the actions and impressions of the US more than anything else. Are you a fan of Foner, Zinn, Chomsky? Influenced by Navasky, Genovese, maybe Hegel? Do you read the Nation, the Guardian?

"...a 22 year-old Iraqi university student who was on the verge of graduating in May." And he'll go anti-American? Not a chance.
What's his major? He'll probably get a good job in a new free economy; he won't have to fear the Mukhabarat or capricious dictatorial justice or serve as Saddam's young cannon-fodder.
Don't you get it? He'll be free.

"Putting Hussein and bin Ladan in the same boat..." Of course. Aren't they both terrorists? Separating them is like separating Hasan Sabbah from Pol Pot". To separate them is to try and separate the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut from 9/11.
What's the point, except to run interferance for Saddam?

"Twenty years ago we conducted ourselves as if we actually had learned a lesson from the Cold War." Wrong. Thirty years ago we were betrayed and lost confidence in our American Experiment. Thirty years ago half of our college generation learned to hate their country. We're slowly emerging again to optimism.

"...the accepted "rules of war" prohibited winter combat."
There were no accepted "rules" after the barbarities of the Hundred Years War and the Seven Years War. For example, the battles of Rossbach, Leuthen, Narva, Penrith, Falkirk Moor - to name a few within the hundred years before Trenton - were fought in winter. Trenton was a result of the desultory Lord Howe's detaching de Heister's Hessians from Cornwallis and leaving Cornwallis in Princeton. The Hessians were dangerously exposed in Trenton's winter camp because Howe underestimated Washington.

Smile. We live in the great, free experiment that's lasted two hundred thirty years. Lose confidence, lose everything.
Bill Heuisler


Suetonius - 4/7/2003

I hereby invite Gus Moner, Marcu Aurelius and the host of others who have questioned the war and any who have doubted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (Paul, ian August) to commment.

Silence will be telling.


Suetonius - 4/7/2003

Troops, journalists undergo cleanup for nerve gas exposure

Knight Ridder Newspapers
April 6, 2003
TOM LASSETER

ALBU MUHAWISH, Iraq - U.S. soldiers evacuated an Iraqi military compound on Sunday after tests by a mobile laboratory confirmed evidence of sarin nerve gas. More than a dozen soldiers of the Army's 101st Airborne Division had been sent earlier for chemical weapons decontamination after they exhibited symptoms of possible exposure to nerve agents.

The evacuation of dozens of soldiers Sunday night followed a day of tests for the nerve agent that came back positive, then negative. Additional tests Sunday night by an Army Fox mobile nuclear, biological and chemical detection laboratory confirmed the existence of sarin.

Sgt. Todd Ruggles, a biochemical expert attached to the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne said, "I was right" that chemical agents Iraq has denied having were present.

In addition to the soldiers sent for decontamination, a Knight Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman and two Iraqi prisoners of war also were hosed down with water and bleach.

U.S. soldiers found the suspect chemicals at two sites: an agricultural warehouse containing 55-gallon chemical drums and a military compound, which soldiers had begun searching on Saturday. The soldiers also found hundreds of gas masks and chemical suits at the military complex, along with large numbers of mortar and artillery rounds.

Chemical tests for nerve agents in the warehouse came back positive for so-called G-Series nerve agents, which include sarin and tabun, both of which Iraq has been known to possess. More than a dozen infantry soldiers who guarded the military compound Saturday night came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to very low levels of nerve agent, including vomiting, dizziness and skin blotches.

A hand-held scanning device also indicated the soldiers had been exposed to a nerve agent. Two tests at the compound were negative, but further testing indicated sarin was present.

Sarin can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and is considered one of the most feared but also the most volatile of the nerve agents, chemical weapons experts have said. A cloud of sarin can dissipate after several minutes or hours depending on wind and temperature.

The soldiers, journalists and prisoners of war who tested positive were isolated as everyone else evacuated the area. After about 45 minutes, the group was walked, single-file, down a road for about a city block to where two water trucks awaited them. The men stepped between the two trucks and were hosed down as they lathered themselves with a detergent containing bleach.

1st Lt. Elena Aravjo of the 63rd Chemical Company said she thought there might well be chemical weapons at the site. "We do think there's stuff in this compound and the other (agricultural warehouse) compound, but we think it's buried," she said. "I'm really suspicious of both of those compounds."

The suspicions, or at the very least concerns, were widespread. The 2nd Brigade's commander, Col. Joseph Anderson, toured the site on Sunday, as did Brig. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, the assistant commander of the 101st Airborne for operations. Shortly after, the division commander, Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, also visited the site.

The ranking officers made no official comment about suspected nerve agents. Troops not wearing chemical protection suits later reoccupied the military complex, while sections of the agricultural warehouse remained taped off.


Libertarian Larry - 4/6/2003

How can you possibly call President Bush's administration a failure? By most any impartial measurement, President Bush has had very good sucess considering he started with a highly partisan senate lead by one of the most partisan demoncrats with only his party's interest in mind. Inspite of the odds against him, he managed to get most of his legistation passed, including a tax cut!
With such a high option of the general public ("Since most Americans cannot mentally process more than five words at a time...") one wonders why you would hang out in this country and not simply leave for Sweeden or something. What kind of intolerance is this? This just shows the kind of elitism on the left. Do you realise that sometimes you might have too much knowledge but not enough wisdom? The American people are some of the most educated on the planet, and aparently you can't accept it.
How can you call his foriegn policy a failure when he as able build alliances where there were none. He did get the UN to vote with him once. Do you know that together the Russians, Chinese, and French sold Iraq 82% of it's arms? No wonder they vote against us. Why are the Russians on the Security Council? That seat is the Soviet seat, who says they speak for a country that no longer exists?
You are now blaming Clinton's failed economics on Bush? The current recession started under Clinton (mostly when he sued some highly sucessful companies, but also due to tax increases instead of a "middleclass tax cut") and with the hit of 9/11, you can't blame the economy on president Bush.
Failure as a communicator... whatever.
Again, Clinton fails to take Bin Laden, fails to get tough with Saddam and enfoce the surender, "dumbs down" the law enforcement of the country with PC ideas of "racial profiling" (when it is "crimial profiling"), and you blame President Bush? Then when the Bush administration comes up with plans to protect the country, people like you complain about "racial profiling", "destruction of the bill of rights", etc. etc.
Now you get personal and make judgements about his as a father and husband. As one of your favorite presidents would say, "it's his personal life". Actually I don't care how good of a father, husband, "communicator", or how good looking a president is. What's important is that he is a good leader.
As far as Texas goes, even his opposition agreed he was a good governor.
He can't be a complete failure, he enacted much legislation he wanted, responded to 9/11 brilliantly, won a quick war in Afganistan where we were told it would be another Veitnam. They say that war in Iraq would be another Veitnam. What is your obsession with Veitnam, a war run by a leftist with leftist prinicples.
Most leftist live in a world where they can't tell the difference between right and wrong, good and bad... That's the problem. Look at how they've been able to mobilze millions on the world to support a totalitarian government bent on the destruction of those who would help the world. That's what scares me.
Now that the war has started, to ask that it be ended is really asking that we lose and Iraq win. It really does comedown to black & white at this point. The leftist can't decide that they support their own country.
For one who wants to live in a world of grey, you want black & white when it comes to president Bush (BUSH = FAILURE).
The leftist must relise that the Earth is not utopia. This is not a friendly happy planet. There is evil in the world (call it what you like), that has in mind the destruction of all who do not look like them and it's not the US. The most important thing for security now is to recognise the threats that exist in the world. North Korea is certainly a threat, but an isolated one that we may be able to convice the Chinese into dealing with. The biggest threat, with a long term potential and who has been at war with us for a dozen years already, is Fasco-Islamist.
The Fasco-Islamist are willing to die for their cause and their cause is to convert all of you "tolerant" leftist (and everyone else in the world) to Islam or kill you. They live in a Black & white world. You can't recognise that the Capitalist West is the "tolerant" force in the world


Marcus Aurelius - 4/6/2003



Bill,

Well done! I have no dispute with your description and interpretation of earlier events or even of how the situation now stands in relation to Baghdad and the tactical nature of the problem--especially the characterization that the strategic plan has succeeded (although we may differ on the question as to what degree) and has become political.

My questions and analogies with past events have served a purpose (granted my earlier tone made it seem as if my purpose was to trip you up) generally speaking, too many people lack sufficient historical knowledge and thus lack necessary context for understanding recent developments, and unfortunately this all too often applies to our country's decision makers, past and present.

Let's take another aspect of the War for American Independence and examine its relation to current events. [Let me note, however, I am not a military historian in the traditional sense. I am not in a position to argue troop movement on a given battlefield, statistics, logistics, etc. I am a historian, but I focus primarily on political and economic trends which often leads me to the subject of war. I don't know if you're an historian, but you certainly could convincingly play on on TV if you're not!] The situation I have in mind is Washington at Trenton. What allowed Washington to carry the battle here is his unconventional tactic of striking the Hessian troops on Christmas Eve 1776, because the accepted "rules of war" prohibited winter combat. Washington, however, understood if he played by the rules (especially British rules) he didn't stand a chance of winning, thus he did what he had to do. The strategic flexibility exhibited at Trenton contributed to his ability to keep his army in the field and thus eventually wear the British down and secure British recognition of American independence--I like the distinction you made about Yorktown being a "surrender," not a "defeat." I hope you don't mind me using it; I've made this point regarding Yorktown several times, but not quite as succinctly.

Do you see how this war can be prolonged through such unconventional strategies? While I share your hope that we will not "storm Baghdad," what concerns me is the possibility of stalemate and its ramifications. What if coalition forces secure all of Baghdad except for the innermost areas and the fighting grinds to a halt. The nightmare scenario then might be forced upon us--there has to be a fight if there's going to be a resolution. I suppose, at that point, we could level whole city blocks to limit risks of booby traps, sniper nests, etc. But, if we go that route, how will this war ever end?

Try to imagine yourself as a 22 year-old Iraqi university student who was on the verge of graduating in May. What if your girlfriend was killed in one the bombing strikes on Baghdad; soon afterwards, you learn the prospects of ever returning to school, to the life you once knew, completely impossible. Then, due to the prolonged conflict and general instability caused by the coalition invasion, foreign troops remain as part of an indefinate occupation force.

I see the emergence of another disciple of Osama bin Ladan. What do you see?

As I think of the current situation, I can't shake images of the partisan wars in the American South during the War for Independence, the partisan wars in France during the Second World War, the ghetto uprising in Warsaw, etc. We will eventually defeat the Iraqi military in absolute terms; we will either kill Saddam Hussein or make him totally irrelevant; but how do you conquer the human spirit of the Iraqi people? When it comes to guns, I'm not a very good shot, but I sure as hell wouldn't let that stop me from trying if an invader moved on my town. The longer it lasts, the more difficult the situation becomes for the United States at home and abroad.

I am not a pacifist, I willingly concede sometimes war is necessary and unavoidable. The current war simply does not qualify as far as I'm concerned. I have no quibble with the war in Afghanistan; nor do I have a problem with doing whatever it takes in northern Pakistan to get bin Ladan. But the war in Iraq?

I think back to the unfortunate Cold War mentality viewing the communist bloc as a monolithic entity when it wasn't. Consequently we lost opportunites to exploit economic and political divisions to our advantage--until Richard Nixon opened the cracks wide with his 1972 visit to China. Putting Hussein and bin Ladan in the same boat, to my mind, smacks of that the same simplistic breakdown of complex situations described above in respect to the Cold War. Granted both men are sons of bitches, but we'd need the QEII if we were to load up all of the sons of bitches in the world who held positions of leadership and power on the same boat.

Twenty years ago we conducted ourselves as if we actually had learned a lesson from the Cold War. At that time, the Islamic fundamentalists who had taken over Iran were regarded as the primary threat to American interests in the region; we then supported Hussein in his war against Iran and armed him accordingly. Now we're taking him out, and the Iranian fundamentalists may still pose a significant threat to our interests in the region--especially if they continue with their plans to develop nuclear weapons.

The whole thing scares me Bill. And, unfortunately, it seems that we're becoming a big part of the problem, rather than the solution. Convince me otherwise, please. I'm losing too much sleep over this.

Marc




Bill Heuisler - 4/6/2003

Marc,
You are right to dispute terms, but wrong to dispute victory. Let's define terms, victory is a subjective word of historians.
Both Washington and Lee lost battles, one won the war, one lost. The difference? Strategic vision. Washington lost at Brandywine and Germantown due to tactical and planning miscarriages. But his strategy was sound: the very survival of the Continental Army was a defeat for Britain - logistics would prove eventually decisive. Words again; Yorktown was a surrender, not a "defeat".

Lee won phyrric victories at Second Manassas and Antietam through tactical brilliance, but his overall strategy was doomed due to logistic and political realities. Gettysburg was a loss for the South whether they won the field or not - hemorhaging both blood and righteous-cause by invading the North...again.

Had Lee assumed the same strategy as Washington, Southern Armies could have become defensive (see Fredericksburg) and slaughtered Northern troops on the attack; the rifle had became decisive in defense (see "Attack and Die" Civil War military tactics and the Southern Heritage, by McWhiney and Jamieson - Univ. of Alabama Press}. After many bloodlettings far away the North's political will would probably have attenuated to status quo ante.

Hitler considered himself warlord, but was merely a Corporal. His strategic decision to open the Barbarossa second front was disastrous. His troops and Generals won battles, but he lost the war through strategic overreach and political hubris.

Vietnam? American military superiority was challenged by Robert Strange McNamara, not the NVA. Read his hateful book, he should be shot for treason (mass murder?). The North Vietnamese were allowed to win by so-called political realities. We defeated the NVA in every set-piece battle and literally destroyed the Viet Cong when they confronted us during the Tet Offensive.

Solid Strategy can overcome tactical missteps, but tactical virtuosity can only forestall the results of strategic error. Baghdad is a tactical problem. Iraq has no residual military manpower, is surrounded by enemies and faces severe logistical vacuum. Their only advantage is shortage of internal lines. Also you must reduce scale: there is only one city involved - no Bennington will balance a temporary Brandywine if the US suffers setbacks. We will not storm Baghdad in the Stalingrad sense; we will not spend manpower in the Fredericksburg sense.

The strategic plan has succeeded and become political. Hence our discussion. The only questions left are those of time and blood.
Bill Heuisler


Herodotus - 4/6/2003

1)so you argue we should invade every nation with wmd? 100+?

Yes, if those countries show a proclivity to passing those weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. China, France, the United States and the like are not likely to pass such weapons on. Iraq and North Korea are. Double check your facts if you believe that 100+ countries possess weapons of mass destruction.

2)you are right here

Thank you.

3)so you argue we should invade every nation lacking freedoms? 200+?

Again, we invade countries that have weapons of mass destruction. It happens that the countries we are concerned about happen to have autocratic leaders who also happen to have terrible track records for human rights. If we press for improvements in rights and freedoms, we bring pressure against oppressive regimes. If we bring pressure against oppressive regimes, we can improve the quality of life of their citizens and push towards the installation of democracy. If we push towards the installation of democracy around the world, we enhance our own security.

4)you want to inforce UN resolutions, but why does the UN not want to help you ?

The UN is not the issue. The member states who are in a position to block resolutions are the issue. They include France and Russia. Weapons from France and Russia have turned up in Iraq. There may be other things that these two countries do not wish us to find. Notice that we haven?t bombed the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, where just such contracts would be on file.

5)viable economy, or did you mean to say friendly foreign capitolistic markets?

A viable economy, for that makes the country strong and prosperous. But I ask you: What?s wrong with a friendly foreign capitalist market? Even France?s friendly capitalist market is a good thing for the stability of the world, isn?t it? Do you not want there to be friendly foreign capitalist markets?


Herodotus - 4/6/2003

Reply to Paul

The question of Iraq?s possession of weapons of mass destruction remains unconfirmed to the general public, but that does not automatically mean that nothing has been found. It does not mean that the government?s investigators haven?t begun inspecting the various sites found by the Marines and the V Corps units. I point out specifically the revelation yesterday of the discovery of modified artillery shells south of Baghdad that contained plugs and adaptors for the injection of chemical weapons. We await the complete report from knowledgeable sources, but it would appear very likely that there is enough ?shadow? to be confident that there is something actually there. Again, the need to ensure that Iraq does not retain weapons of mass destruction is one of the reasons to support the war.

The second issue I raised was the need to ensure that terrorist groups did not use Iraq as a base, to regroup, fundraise or secure weapons of mass destruction. Paul suggested that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and several other places were also harboring (and possibly supporting) terrorist groups. Unlike Iraq, these governments (or the preponderant powers within them) of these countries are actively assisting anti-terrorist operations. This war is both about 9/11 and about terrorism in general. After two decades of tolerating a low level of terrorism, the United States is waging a war against terrorism, not just Al-Qaeda. Because terrorist organizations can now acquire weapons of mass destruction, the potential damage is of an order of magnitude larger than the previous levels we thought tolerable. Waiting until there is a terrorist attack with smallpox or a dirty nuclear device is, quite simply, too late. Preventative action is now required to end the terrorist groups AND to remove the potential sources of their most dangerous weapons. If you think we?ve only been going after Al Qaeda or Middle East terrorists then you?ve only been following half the story.

The third suggestion was that this war is about liberating the Iraqi people. This is questioned as ?Why now?? The answer is that it has always been about trying to help the Iraqi people, but from a distance. Thus the pressure on the Hussein regime to disarm, to fund the Oil-for-Food program, providing the food that the program would purchase, and about trying to encourage political change with the exile groups. More direct action simply is a good thing, and goes hand in glove with our desire to remove the regime that holds the weapons of mass destruction. The real question is more properly: WHY NOT bring the Iraqi people political, economic and quality-of-life changes?

Finally, the economic changes brought about in Iraq will have an impact throughout the region. Paul?s criticsm of this does not engage my point. Quite simply, if the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, they will begin to trade with Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran as they once did. This will improve the quality of life for the people of these countries too.


Marcus Aurelius - 4/6/2003


Two points taken, Bill. Point one, my contempt for President Bush has been well established and will no longer be a feature of my comments, unless he should do something else stupid or make some other silly utterance that warrents a comment (and even then, I will use every fiber of my being to make the observation respectfully). Point two, I checked my source, the person who drew the analogy between Baghdad and Stalingrad was identified as an army officer and it did not specify rank.

No one suggested that the battle for Baghdad and the Battle of Stalingrad are mirror reflections of one another as you seem to present them. All I'm suggesting (using the unnamed Army officer as a reference) is that coalition forces are far from actually controlling Baghdad and, more than likely, the bloodiest fighting for the city is yet to come--and more importantly the longer it takes, the worse it gets. You mentioned the snow and extreme cold of the Russian winter as variables at Stalingrad; what if you were to replace these terms with "sand" and "extreme heat"? Don't you see how similar problems may unfortunately develop? I'm sure you can recall how that Iraqi sandstorm stopped the advance toward Baghdad a few days after the war began, how tanks and helicopters were grounded, computer systems downed, communications severed, and the impact the sand had on soldiers' morale; and what's going to happen as July and August approach? 110-120 degrees! Again, in respect to extremes, a weather forecast for Iraq just the other day posted a low tempurature of 37 degrees and a high of 98.

I am intrigued by your observation that proof of swift victory are "self-evident," and that if I want proof to watch TV or read a newspaper or two. I hope that it been established by now that I do watch TV coverage of the war and I do read newspapers. [An Aside: this being said, I promised not to repeat insults directed at the president at the outset of this reply; will you promise not to tell me to "read newspapers," "read books," or "watch TV" in a general sense anymore? I do, let's leave it at that. Now, if you have a specific book, article, or television show in mind that you've read or seen and you may think I'd find useful or informative, please suggest that specific work--I'm always interested in expanding my library, not to mention broadening my horizons.]

Now, can you point out a single coalition "victory" in this war that cannot be challenged or contested. I do not think its appropriate to characterize anything as a victory until its over, and again, this war is far from over. I do not mean this to be rhetorical, and I'm extending you an opportunity to prove me wrong--I honestly cannot name a single development that can be appropriatley termed a "victory." To me, the term "victory" has an air of permanance (you know, "Victory in Europe," or Victory over Japan").

So yes, we've won "battles" and "engagements" along the way, but that does not mean we're actually "winning the war." George Washington lost more battles than he won, but, in the end he "won" the war; Robert E. Lee won battles, but lost the war; Hitler won battles, but lost the war; and remember Vietnam, American military superiority was never even remotely challenged by neither the North Vietnamese nor the Viet Cong, yet we still lost the war. I'm not suggesting that there will not be "victories" in the future, all I'm saying is that to do so now, at this early stage, is a bit premature.

Please do not interpret this sort of commentary as reflective of a desire on my part to see American soldiers "lose." What I see in your commentary reflects the unfortunate rhetoric used by the politicians prior to the war promising a quick and easy victory. These men, to my mind, used the Persian Gulf War of 1991 as a inappropriate standard--the removal of Hussein's army from Kuwait and actually taking over the entire country of Iraq, that's apples and oranges. They are not one in the same. It also seems that our troop presence in Iraq may have actually sparked something that had never existed before, Iraqi nationalism; and this is further complicated by the added component of Arab nationalism in the broader context. Developments such as this can make thinks infinately more difficult and complex.

Thanks Bill. I find this sort of dialogue with someone who disagrees with me more challenging and entertaining than with someone who already shares my point of view. As I watch events unfold, my assessment of events may very well change. As you make observations that actually broaden my understanding of the events at hand, I will gladly acknowledge them; if you provide information that proves a point I've made point wrong and can be done so factually, as opposed to simply a difference of opinion, I will concede the point. Are you willing to do the same?

If so, then let the games begin!

Marcus Aurelius


Arch Stanton - 4/6/2003

And in the new world, they're praying for Shoshana Johnson on Freerepublic.com. And there were prowar demonstrators in Harvard Square. And perhaps, if providence favors us, the gates of ijtihad will open with the gates of Baghdad.


Moshe - 4/6/2003


Where was Israel when Serbs carried out ethnic cleansing in Bosnia? Ariel Sharon could have cared less about genocide, as we saw in Lebanon 20 years ago. How soon we forget that Likud Israel apes Nazi fascism and is ethnically cleansing the West bank. Israel's original moral mission has been betrayed by Likud. Let America reduce its defense budget and let the Likud thugs pay for their own military defense. The Likud could care less if Islamic-Arab Fundamentalists killed Americans as long as the fascist settlers and their army can bulldoze olive trees and non-violent American protesters wherever they want. Sharon wants to hide behind the hypocrisy of twenty eyes for an eye and in advance. It will take more than hypocritical rhetoric. Israel is losing billions due to Sharon’s disastrous economic policies. Israel stands to lose billions in American aid once Americans wake up to how the real interests of both Americans and Israelis are being hijacked for the benefit of Sharon and his war criminal cronies. Now would be the perfect time for the United States congress to pass a resolution condemning the Likud regime for killing American protesters. If Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld want to play real politik on behalf of Sharon then the American people should spare no measure to expose their hypocrisy. Maybe this will teach them that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.


Wesley Smart - 4/6/2003

Huh? What do you mean "the United States". It isn't clear if you're agreeing with his post or disagreeing, nor are you making any argument or coherent comment at all.


Wesley Smart - 4/6/2003

I should think that with the revelations of what was going on in Basra and the discovery of the necropolis those who oppose our going into this war would have the good grace to shut up.


Herodotus - 4/5/2003

M. Aurelius suggests:

"This points out the central fallacy of this whole tragedy in Iraq: Hussein's possession of chemical and biological weapons was part of the central argument in support of this war and the perceived threat that he could/would sell such weapons to anti-American terrorist organizations, or possibly use them personally against the United States.

What does this mean for the U.S. if we don't find these materials--it means the whole war is a sham and thus we need to begin seeking out the real reasons for the conflict. Once we start down this path, well it ain't gonna be pretty."

Yet as he stated in the first half of his post, the war is far from over and the story far from completely told. How would Aurelius account for the reports yesterday about the discovery of cyanide and mustard agents in the Euphrates?
Whoops...that would sure upset your theory that there's a 'secret' reason for this war.

The truth is that the public hasn't the faintest clue of what coalition intelligence officers have discovered so far about the chemical and biological weapons. When it is the proper time, that information will be released. Until then, sit back and remain calm: there's always more going on here than even we historians will ever come to understand.


Bill Heuisler - 4/5/2003

"But I still won't tell you who I am!" Cute.

Your semplance of civility provoked an answer. But you should be aware that your opinion of President Bush means very little to anyone except yourself; repetition merely serves to irritate.

You wrote:
"...important, but disturbing, analogy between the current situation and the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. He noted how the Germans moved swiftly through the suburbs of the city, but once they approached the inner sections, it became a brutal, bloody slugfest lasting months. Interestingly enough, Bill, this general didn't want his name to be used in the article. Does this make him a coward also?"

Yes Martha, it does. An idiot as well for allowing his big mouth and small brain to be used by enemies at home.
You say he's a General? Check your source. You've probably been deceived. Stalingrad has been studied to death in War Colleges for fifty years. The city was never surrounded; the Volga River was a natural defensive line never seriously breached; Soviet Divisions counterattacked only a week after German penetration - 9/21/42 to the Northeast and 10/1/42 from the Southeast. Soviets nearly completed the massive pincer movement in less than 100 days with drives toward Rzhev 11/25/42 and Kharkov 12/16/42.
Setting aside the time element, the depths of a Russian Winter and loss of air superiority due to snow and extreme cold. There is really no similarity between Baghdad 2003 and Stalingrad 1942 except they're both cities with rivers. Brilliant huh?

Specifics of the swift victory are self-evident. Watch TV, read a newspaper or two and compare this short campaign and minimal civilian and friendly casualties to any in history.
If you need help with the comparisons, just ask.
Bill Heuisler


Marcus Aurelius - 4/5/2003


Bill,

The swiftness of the events occurring in this war are not at issue--and, in spite of what you may think, I have never taken issue with the soldiers on the field during this conflict. My criticism and disgust has been directed at the politicians who manufactured this war and the verbal contortionists who twist language and logic on their behalf (in other words, I'm fessing up to the "anti-Bush invective"--and proudly so).

As the "Battle of Baghdad" approaches, I think it's interesting to note an observation made by one of the general's currently on the field near Baghdad who made an important, but disturbing, analogy between the current situation and the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. He noted how the Germans moved swiftly through the suburbs of the city, but once they approached the inner sections, it became a brutal, bloody slugfest lasting months. Interestingly enough, Bill, this general didn't want his name to be used in the article. Does this make him a coward also?

Point is, there is no way to even begin discussing the "swiftness of victory" in relation to this war--it is far from over. Moving fast and winning sustainable victories are not the same thing. Note Hitler's blitzkrieg during the Second World War. He gained control of a tremendous amount of real estate in a relatively short period of time; but, holding on to it for an extended period, that became an entirely different matter.

Another thing I find disturbing (also from today's papers) is that a Pentagon official has announced that the search for chemcial and biological agents for weapons use (I absolutely refuse to call them WMDs, because they're not!!) in Iraq is no longer a priority--the "focus now will be on fighting." This sounds like the beginning of a long acknowledgement that the military and political leaders no longer seriously believe Hussein has or had sufficient agents for military use as they claimed prior to the war. No doubt they hope if they can dribble this story out long enough, a bit at a time, then no one will notice.

This points out the central fallacy of this whole tragedy in Iraq: Hussein's possession of chemical and biological weapons was part of the central argument in support of this war and the perceived threat that he could/would sell such weapons to anti-American terrorist organizations, or possibly use them personally against the United States.

What does this mean for the U.S. if we don't find these materials--it means the whole war is a sham and thus we need to begin seeking out the real reasons for the conflict. Once we start down this path, well it ain't gonna be pretty.

Again, let me reiterate, I am proud and I am impressed when I hear or read about the heroic accomplishments of our soldiers in Iraq, whether in groups or as individuals--I just do not think they should be there in the first place. I do not hold the soldiers responsible for the Iraqi civilian casualites. Of course it saddens me to hear and read about the losses the civilians are suffering--but this is war and as William Tecumseh Sherman once said: "War is all Hell."

I hold George W. Bush and his cronies personally responsible for every soldiers' wound, for every soldiers' death, for every POW injury and humiliation, and for the death and injury suffered by an Iraqi civilian. This war was manufactured by the Bush administration, it is totally unnecessary, thus this administration needs to be held responsible for all of the injuries and losses sustained--irrespective of the victim's nationality.

Bill, I too will try and refrain from the insults and look forward to a rational one-on-one with you on this forum, if you're interested. Your response to "Publius" shows to an extent that you're capable of this; one thing I'd ask of you, however, when you make comments like "swift U.S. victories," add more depth and support it with some specifics.

But I still won't tell you who I am!

Marcus Aurelius


ian august - 4/5/2003

i aim to combat your arguments:
1)so you argue we should invade every nation with wmd? 100+?
2)you are right here
3)so you argue we should invade every nation lacking freedoms? 200+?
4)you want to inforce UN resolutions, but why does the UN not want to help you ?
5)viable economy, or did you mean to say friendly foreign capitolistic markets?


ian august - 4/5/2003

i have one response to your finger pointing while calling others hypocrates,, the United States


ian august - 4/5/2003

nice response, i agree with most of it. America is good, America is great, Americans are great, and maybe the American electorate might make the right decision, but i do not trust the system enough to believe our voice with matter.
-next your right the war is inevitable, because they brought the fight to us and they want it. Maybe i would like to see our military go after a more visual enemy, who has nukes, and happens to be right next door to afghanistan, pakistan. All of osamas buddies who ran to our of Afghanistan went there. much better target.
Iran-the worlds friendliest ally to the fundamentalist muslims-part of the axis of evil-and they just anounced the beginning of there uranium enriching program.
or we could spend the money to bulk up our domestic defenses?
i eagerly await your response


Herodotus - 4/5/2003

What is an 'illegal' war and what Leviathan punishes those who transgress such 'illegal' acts?


Suetonius - 4/5/2003

MSNBC reported today via one of its embedded reporters that one of the Marine reverse osmosis teams, in pumping water out of the Euphrates, found components of mustard and cyanide agents in the water. If it were an attempt to poison the water, it was a foolish method because the water dilutes the agents. It more likely was an attempt to flush the weapons into the water as a way of getting rid of it. The 1st Marine Division's chemical weapons officers confirmed the discovery.


Paul - 4/5/2003

"(1) elimination weapons of mass destruction, like the cyanide and mustard gas components discovered in the Euphrates today."

These are unconfirmed reports that white powder was found in one site and a single small vial of tabun was found at a second site. So far preliminary tests show that the white power is an explosive and not chemicl weapons according to sources close to the testing facilities. So far no weapons of mass destruciton have been found. No nuclear weapons have be located nor has ther been any chemical of biological weapons found. I have not seen confirmed news reports so far today showing that either has been found. Regarding the act of removing WMD's from Iraq has been on going and instances of US involvment in un-confirmed reports of sabotaging such inspections during the 1998 inspections. The inspcetion team during teh 2003 inspections we doing their job. 1441 did not authorize teh use of force but allowed for its possiblity. This was interpreted by our government as permission to invade. 14412 did not authorize invasion. The UN security counsel along with many international law scholars around the globe agree that a new resolution was needed in order to sanction militray operations.
The US invaded a soveriegn nation againsts international law and against UN resolutions. Regardless if Iraq has WMD's the US has destroyed its credibility in beginning an illegal war.

"2) danger of support to terrorists that could include (1), like but not limited to the Ansar Al-Islam group in the north of Iraq."

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Northern Ireland, Myanmar(sp?) Republic, Columbia, Peru, the former baltic states all harbor and support terrorist organizations. Trying to tie the event of 9.11 to Iraq is meaningless seeing as how Iraq did not supply, support, or harbor al-queda terrorists that conducted and developed the attacks. So with this reasoning the US should invade any country that has known terrorists organizations that are operating within their boundries. Our government deeclared a war on terror, so far teh only terrorists we are fighting are middle eastern. If we want to eliminate terror tactics and terrorist fromt eh worl then we will be fighting some close allies and all over teh world for the next several centuries.

"(3) liberation of the Iraqi people from the failed autocratic Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein."

Why now? Why is teh US governemtn so concerned with teh Iraqi people's freedom. In 1991 we didn't care, during the 1980's when we supported Hussain in his war againts Iran we didn't care about the oppressive measures he used against dissenters in his country. We didn't care during the 1990's whenwe pulled out of teh northern zones and left the kurds. This freedom for teh Iraqi people is a "feel good" assertion becuase its hard to argue against wanted people to be free. But freeing teh Iraqi people only came along when teh current administrations arguements for invasion based on WMDs were being disputed and proven incorrect.

"4) ending the sanctions by eliminating (1) and reaching final compliance with the original 1991 armistice, thereby allowing restoration of the oil-for-food program and, at last, fair distribution of the supplies purchased in the last decade under the sanctions to the Iraqi people, not the Ba'athist regime."

Sanctions impsed on Iraq during the 1990's were based on assumptions that WMDs were still held by the regime. During teh 1998 inspetions most WMD's were accounted for and destroyed. However not teh satisfaction of teh US delegate to the UN. It is arguable that the US had any solid evidence that the Iraqi regime had posssesed weapons in conflict with the armistice. I agree witht eh oil for food "problem in which Iraq stopped piping oil to syria in oder to buy supplies. However, many regimes in teh world right now are starving their people and we ahve yet to amass 350k troops on the borders. This is not strong reasons to invade a soveriegn nation.

"5) improvement in the quality of life in the larger Middle East, through restoration of Iraq as a viable economy, thereby reinvigorating trade with Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran"

The US does not have the ablility to make long standing enemies put down their weapons just because we entered teh area with our troops and leave with a paper governemetn in the wake of our destruction. Most middle easterners (pardon teh generalization) view the US army as not an amry of liberatio but of occupation. So far out economic in roads in teh middle east have not increased teh quality of life for the majority of teh people living there. It has for the same people that fund the terroirst that attcked NewYork and Washignton. Teh ruling house of Saudi Arabia gains te most from our economic ties and with our associtation siwth Isreal it does not makes us well liked nor does it show that the US s sympathietic to teh arab world.

So no those are not good enough reasons.


Herodotus - 4/5/2003

(1) elimination weapons of mass destruction, like the cyanide and mustard gas components discovered in the Euphrates today.

(2) danger of support to terrorists that could include (1), like but not limited to the Ansar Al-Islam group in the north of Iraq.

(3) liberation of the Iraqi people from the failed autocratic Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein.

(4) ending the sanctions by eliminating (1) and reaching final compliance with the original 1991 armistice, thereby allowing restoration of the oil-for-food program and, at last, fair distribution of the supplies purchased in the last decade under the sanctions to the Iraqi people, not the Ba'athist regime.

(5) improvement in the quality of life in the larger Middle East, through restoration of Iraq as a viable economy, thereby reinvigorating trade with Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran.

These good enough reasons for you? So far we're tracking down the WMD, and seem to be pretty close to it now, have eliminated the chances that terrorist groups would use Iraq as a 'crack house' marketplace to acquire weapons and support, have liberated the Iraqi people from the Ba'athist regime, and have begun the process of restoring Iraq as a valuable economic part of the region.

Do you deny that any of these things have happened, or ought not to have happened? These are why _I_ support the war.


Bill Heuisler - 4/5/2003

Mr Max,
You ask a lot of the US. How much is enough?
A: Suppose the US had gotten involved in the Palestinian peace process, playng a positive and genuinely fair role? We did.
President Clinton midwifed a process with Barak and Arafat. Arafat walked out without even considering the proposals.

B: Remove US troops from Saudi Arabia?
Why? To pacify OBL? OBL who gloried in the destruction of 3000 Americans? Remember the tape we all watched? Remember his hands...the fond smile as he relived his plan? Why reward him?

C: "worked with its international friends and allies to address the concerns, as well as they could be addressed, of people who suppported Al-Queda. We could have built an international cooperative framework that would have islated extremists, undercut their support, and left them vulnerable."

Why should Americans care about any Al-Queda "concerns"?
Should we really address the concerns of murderers? Isn't what you describe called the United Nations? Haven't they failed?

Arafat intransigence. OBL schadenfreude. UN failure.
"Simple answers" that ignore reality can be suicidal.
Bill Heuisler


Dave Thomas - 4/4/2003

Where was NATO when Serbs carried out ethnic cleansing in Bosnia? The French and Germans could have cared less, just like they enjoyed one another's company in WWII. How soon we forget that the Vichy French embraced Nazi fascism and assisted in the Holocaust. NATO's original purpose is gone. Let us reduce our defense budget and let European economies pay for their own military defense. Let the UN pay for the checks it writes also. Eurpoe could care less if Islamic-Arab Fundamentalists killed Americans anywhere outside Europe as long as Europes sizable population of impoverished Muslems are not aroused. Europe wants to hide behind the hypocricy of moral superiority. It will take more than hypocritical rhetoric. France is losing billions in automobile contracts and oil concessions from Saddam's regime. Russia stands to lose hundreds of billions is Saddam falls because any new Iraqi government will refuse to pay Russia for the billions in military equipement Saddam bought from the USSR, and used to kill his countrymen. Now would be the perfect time for the United States congress to pass a resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide. If France, Germany, and Turkey want to play Real Politik then the United States should spare no measure to expose their hypocrisy. Maybe this will teach them that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. I'm shocked that no one wants to give the Kurds their own homeland out of all of this. When the British and French drew a line on a map that created Iraq out of the Ottoman empire in the 1920's they condemed the Kurds to an oppressed existence just as they did the Croats, Slovenians, Macedonians, Montegrons, and Bosnians to oppression at the hands of the Serbs in "Yugoslavia." If people are going to throw around "moral" justification in a perfectly and completely "immoral" world then they should know they won't have any stone to hide behind. Politics is power and the Germans and French are simply irate that they don't have any. They squandered theirs in the twentieth century because they abused it. The United States might squanders its power too. At least "we" will squander it and won't let the hypocritical governments in France and Germany squander it for us.


Suetonius - 4/4/2003

Mr. Aurelius is advised to consult an encyclopaedia if he does not know who Scipio Aemilianus was or when the Norman Conquest of what we now call England was.


Paul - 4/4/2003

Wow. It amazzes me sometimes. Ok Stephen you seem to think that everyone here on this site is of less intelligence than you. You want a sensible discussion of this war that is going on, yet you have not stated your reasons for your support of this action that our government has taken. So let's see how mighty your intelligence is. Explain your reasons why we should be involved. Convince me that we are right in what we are doing. Tell me we are following the rule of law in what we are doing. That we haven't side stepped the Constitution, international law, etc. Let's discuss and debate.

Now before you go screaming how I'm a marixist, stupid lefty commie let's get one thing straight, I am not. If you want my resume as towhy I will tell you but beleive me when I say I am far from being a marxist, either Stalin's version of the uptopian verisan Engle and Marx had envisioned.

So let's have a good discussion. Let's see what you come up. I invite all those that support our governments actions to join.


maxvintage - 4/4/2003

There are probably a relatively few people for whom it's about religious belief--maybe Bin Laden is one of them, it seems very likely that for Palestinians, it's about land, not God. Is it about belief for Bin Laden? well sort of, but only a very specific kind of belief, in a particualr set of interpretations of the Koran, which like all religious texts contains peace and violence in close to equal measure. So it's not accurate to say it's "belief" vs "non-belief."

Now could Bin laden be placated (or "appeased?") i think probably not. There are extremists and zealots in any movement. There are also people who are what we might call "swing votes." These are people sympathetic to the cause who aren't zealots. For example--Irish Americans who supported the IRA, until it became to nihilistically violent, or until England entered into a real peace program. The curreent british program in Northern ireland has largley swung the swing voters towards the peace side. the result? Less money for the Ira. less sympathizers, fewer places to hide. Similarly, we could capture the Arab "swing vote," and cut off the money supply, the places of refuge, the sympathy. Isolate the extremists, and they are more vulnerable. It's cheaper, it kills less people, and it makes mostly friends instead of enemies.

This is a perfectly workable plan--or it was, before the reckless invasion of iraq. . Suppose the US had A; gotten actively involved in the palestianina peace process, playng a positive and genuinely fair role, B: removed US troops from Saudia Arabia, C: worked with its international friends and allies to address the concerns, as well as they could be addressed, of people who suppported Al-Queda. We could have built an international cooperative framework that would have islated extremists, undercut their support, and left them vulnerable. Instead, we have spent billions, enraged our allies (underecutting their eagerness to work with us against terrorism), enraged the "arab street," and increased the support base for Al-Queda.

The result will be another Shah of Iran--we will install a freindly (to us) dictator, who will sit on simmering resentments by using our military aid. Resentment of the US will increase, and eventually it will become uncontainable. There was an easy, effective path, but it offered none of the satisfactions of this chest thumping, bullying, spectacle, and none of the opportunities for self-congratulation. it offerd none of the true beliver satisfaction of a war of zealots. You zealots, enjoy this--it's your moment. Payback, however, is a bitch


Bill Heuisler - 4/4/2003

Mr. JQ,
At the end of your last post you declare, "...George W. Bush's now irredeemably incompetent foreign policy." This is premature at best. At least wait until the bullets stop before judging. My guess: there will be a far different - much more pro-American - world when Saddam is gone. Most from respect, some Arabs and some terrorists from fear. We were attacked, remember? What would you have done? And will you rejoice in our happy empire?

1. Most Mideast "experts" from Universities do not cross the political spectrum; most are anti-American. However most Foreign Policy experts and about half the ex-diplomats, believe that the war against Iraq will make America more secure against future terrorist attacks and will also rid the world of a tyrant.

2. Bush Administration figures like Cheney and Rumsfeld have close ties to Israel? So did most of the Clinton regime. Do you agree with that Congressman? Does Israel control the US?

3. Saddam and Osama were supported by current members of the Bush Administration? The Clinton administration also. Did Ambassador Kennedy's friendship with Hitler in the thirties make war against Germany wrong in the Forties? Of course not. Diplomacy's purpose is not morality, but to further policy at the time. If we forswore friendship with all unpleasant regimes in the world, our State Department would shrink by half.

4. Most of the money and ideology behind Islamic terrorism comes from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen? Same answer. But that will soon change. We've finally shown our teeth after a decade of unanswered terrorist attacks.

5. Soldiers fighting and dying for their country come from impoverished, uneducated areas of the US? This is not true, but has been often repeated by Jesse Jackson...and David Duke.

6. "Most Americans, from ALL regions, could not find Iraq on a map of the world?" Contempt? Your elitist slip is showing.

7. Americans are more overweight and drive more oil-wasting SUVs than people anywhere else. But we feed half the world, don't we?

Read something other than Zinn and Chomsky, JQ, your pessimism about this country will give you migrains.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 4/4/2003

Publius thanks Marcus. Publius doesn't like "potshotting",

But does Publius talk about Baghdad and the swift US victories? Will either of these dead Romans admit the pessimism and vicious anti-Bush invective was wrong after the Allies defeat Saddam and the world denounces terrorism out of respect for his determined leadership? Probably not. Publius thinks he's one of those
"intelligent and respectful historians here who get insulted and nitpicked into oblivion." Well excuse us peons.

At least Marcus doesn't whine, Publius.
Whining is never attractive, not even anonymous whining. Can't handle the HNN slings and arrows? You probably couldn't handle a Freshman history class. And using your real name would probably be too traumatic for you anyway...all those damned unintelligent disrespectful students.
Bill Heuisler


Marcus Aurelius - 4/4/2003


Impressed, were ya Bill?

Who was Scipio Aemilianus?

When was the Norman Conquest of England?

I finding it interesting that your responses are getting shorter and shorter. Hmmmm. What could that mean? The silence is deafening.

M.A.


Marcus Aurelius - 4/4/2003


Whew! That's some response. Regarding the first answer, that you did not touch the substance of the question. I acknowledge that historical interpretations vary, so skip 'em, just stick to the primary sources. How about Washington's farewell address?

You also have a point regarding the "elementary nature" of the questions posed and that is the point. The questions are not meant to rhetorical. The first question was to determine whether or not Bill has and "elementary" understanding of this particular aspect of American history. I'm not just randomly selecting events in the distant past to try and stump poor Bill the question bears a direct relation to current events at hand. Let’s go one step at a time, however.

I am not seeking answers to the question, I was seeking Bill's response in order to learn his level of understanding of events; once determined I'd know how to proceed.

Nor am I seeking a rambling esoteric discussion that deviates from the topic at hand-but admittedly the approach I initiated is more conducive to face-to-face dialogues and has serious limitations in respect to online communication.

Your verbosity has prompted me to rethink my strategy. Stay tuned.

M.A.


Stephen - 4/3/2003

Yes, it’s time to rename this site the Homer Simpson News Network.

It ain’t Prez Bush who’s an idiot, boys. It’s you. I came to this sight hoping to read some interesting comments about the war from people who understand history. Instead, I found a bunch of leftist Homer Simpsons, complete with belches and farts.

God alone knows how any of you cretins make a living. If you actually do teach in a university, it would be a good idea for most of you search out a good job training program. God forbid that young people come in contact with such idiocy, not to mention such lock-step conformity. It’s been good for a laugh. The moron blend of pseudo-saints, preening would-be martyrs, commies and eunuchs certainly kept me in stiches.

Wipe the drool off your mouths, Homers, pull up your britches and get down to Moe’s. Most of you would write and think better if you’d down a six-pack of Duff.

The spectacular display of brain dead stupidity on this site is something to behold.

Prez Bush is a genius compared to the Homers that populate this site. That circular projection above your head is not a halo… it’s your anus! Who helps you wipe yourselves after you’ve taken a crap, boys? I doubt that any of you can find your anus on your own.

Long live the Homer Simpson News Network!! I’m off to look for evidence of intelligent life.


Rick Schwartz - 4/3/2003

One would think the abundance of "Bush is stupid" theories would have ended long ago -- mainly due to the utter embarrassment of the Dims in explaining how they've been outmaneuvered in almost every case by an "incompetent."

Doesn't say much for their level of abilities, now does it? :-)

And meeting Mr. bush while a participant in a White House Easter Egg hunt or T-Ball game doesn't give one much credibility to judge much of anything, let alone his achievements.


Publius - 4/3/2003


Marcus,

I think a "sincere, factually oriented dialogue between opposing points of view" would be a very positive thing. I don't think you're going to find more than occasional vague hints of anything of the sort on this website. Bill Heuisler's interjection "embarrassing immaturity" in the thread "unpleasant truths", just below this one, is all too typical of the egotistical, irrelevant and dialogue-killing potshotting that is rampant on HNN. If you know of other websites that can screen out rude and irrelevant postings, please inform the intelligent and respectful historians here who get insulted and nitpicked into oblivion, so we can communicate constructively and effectively somewhere else.

Thanks, Publius


John Quepublic - 4/3/2003


Stephen Kriz, Thanks for the support here and for your insights in other postings. I would be a bit less sweeping in the attribution of failure to our president. I actually met him once at a White House event and don't doubt that he could well be...a splendid host at a barbecue, for example. He chose good lawyers to argue his Florida vote case at the Supreme Court, and seems to have chosen clever spin doctors, who are no doubt busy at this moment making silk purses out of Baghdad carnage and diplomatic disaster. I think it was Parkinson who enunciated the principle that, in hierarchies, people rise above their level of competence. If you want to limit yourself to just one word maybe you could try "incompetence" rather than "failure".


Brandon S. Wood - 4/3/2003

JQ, allow me to comment on your points if you will. Please take note that I do not completely disagree, and on some, agree completely.

1. Invading Iraq is probably going to arouse some ire among the "Arab Street" as it is called. The same was said in regards to the action that we took in Afghanistan. At risk of being labeled anti-semitic, becuase of some of the comments that I will make, I will argue that a majority of this "Arab Street" would be more that happy to embrace "Wall Street," as soon as our foreign policy towards Isreal ceases to be so lop-sided. Give them a taste of freedom (read, consumer goods) and that animosity boils down to the above mentioned.

2. See above, but in addition: This is pretty much the same feelings that Churchill (and Roosevelt) had about America's pending entry in WW II. State one thing publicly, and quietly wish for the opposite. As for the closeness and personal ties with Likud, I will have to do some more research and checking on that beofre I feel comfortable enough to comment. However, it does appear that D.C. (Dem and Repub) are very receptive to Israeli needs. Why is that? Very powerful PACs, as any smart group (Unions, Big Business, the list goes on) forms in order to sway legislation and policy in their favor.

3. Yep. No question there. We havehad, curretly have, and will continue to have some strange bedfellows at times in order to further what "we" think is the right course of action. And it always, ALWAYS, alienates some group that winds up presenting a problem to us later. I guess one possible soultion would be to revert back to an isolationist entity.

4. See above. Are you advocating that we also clean house there? Or more likely, just pointing out that of the 9-11 crew, 15 were from out "friend" the kingdom of Saud, and our base of ops against Afghanistan was actually the home of the initial Taliban movement.

5. This is not completely accurate, especially if you are referring to our utilizing Rep. Rangel's info. The current all-voulnteer force is a pretty good representation of America as a whole. I might also point out that at least two of the Marines KIA were foreign nationals serving. While it is pretty common that rural and "lagging metro" areas send a large number, the stats just do not support what has been stated at times. I personally feel that the all volunteer force is a brilliant concept due to the fact that you have people that WANT to serve. if they come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, well, so be it. Hell when we had a draft the upper class rarely served then, and those that were "smart" found other avenues thanks to deferments, etc.. Look at our current CO, and former one. What you ahve now is a highly skilled, motivated and dedicated force that while it may sound odd, don't want to be there, but DO want to be there.

6. No argument there. Howsabout we work on that problem?

7. Although it is pretty easy to tie SUVs to corporate welfare Republicans, it is a little tougher to attach obesity. About the only connection I can bridge is the FDA allowing the "trigger" inhibitor to be incorporated into certain foods.

So where does this leave us? With what my dad used to tell me: "God our governemtn sucks, but its the best in the world."

Brandon S. Wood


Bill Heuisler - 4/3/2003

Mr. Kriz, some advice.
Stay away from your keyboard for a few years. Go to a good school; learn perspective, balance and some history. Above all, try to expand your horizons beyond the TV and the playground.

Immaturity is often manifested by unjustified feelings of superiority and the substitution of insult for substance.
Your knowledge base - "...Bizarro world in the old Superman comics..." - is not appropriate to the current gathering.

Your elitist opinions of others - "Since most Americans cannot mentally process more than five words at a time..." express a boundless contempt often found in the pretentious or uneducated.

And the final breathtaking squawk in your latest tantrum - "...without offering a single substantive justification for that view." - unthinkingly and precisely describes every unripe opinion you've been smearing across our modems for days.

Grow up, get a job or try for an education. Your angry - and morbidly-unconscious - self-abasement is becoming embarrassing.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 4/3/2003

Artful, studious and wise, your perception, refined prose and well-developed, knowledgable essay restores a certain dignity and prestige to a degraded discussion on a worthy web-site.
Well done. Thanks.
Bill Heuisler


Ammianus Marcellinus - 4/3/2003

If your questions weren't rhetorical, or directed only to Mr. Heuisler, and if you really want answers, here they are.

1. Why did men such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson go to such lengths to avoid getting the United States involved in a foreign war during the 1790s and early 1800s?

There were a small number of people in the 1790's and 1800's who, interacting, determined American foreign policy. We have limited information about them, and why they thought and acted as they did. Historians argue about such matters on the basis of that limited information. If the historians' arguments have the right combination of respectability and innovation, the historians get tenure and prestige, and become recognized authorities. Later historians, with different views, then succeed them. General questions on this elementary level often appear on undergraduate history examinations and students get higher grades if they can refer to historians' works and primary sources. A wide variety of different answers to such questions can get very high grades since there is, of course, no right answer unless it's a multiple choice examination.

2. Wars of invasion and conquest (like the one we've launched against Iraq) ended favorably for the power that initiated the conflict.

Every war of invasion and conquest is different. Until the war against Iraq is over, we won't have any way to say what it's like or unlike. Wars of invasion and contest often don't succeed, as Croesus should have suspected from the Delphic oracle. They also often do. They sometimes succeed for a limited period like, e.g. the Byzantine conquest of Vandal Africa or the Mongol conquest of much of Asia. They sometimes succeed permanently like, e.g., the Frankish conquest of Gaul or the Norman conquest of England. The most successful war of invasion and conquest since the industrial revolution seems to have been the Union's invasion and conquest of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The most successful, sustained series of invasions and conquests seems to have been that of the Han people, which ultimately created the empire we call China.

3. Romans and British.

Your assumption that there were generic, imperial "Romans" or "British," who had "goals," worked with "local elites," and achieved their goals only for "two or three generations" is ahistorical. Roman history, like English, Scottish and "British" history, is very complicated. The terms "Roman" and "British" are inherently misleading if not applied to specific groups at specific times and places. Scipio Aemilianus was as different from Diocletian as William Pitt the Elder was from Lord Curzon. Goals differed among individuals, and came and went. Sometimes the "Romans" and "British" worked with "local elites." Sometimes they didn't. The term "local elites," is itself misleading because there were so many different groups and times and cultures. Success seldom could be "measured by two or three generations." Like people today, the "Romans" and "British" usually did things to achieve short term goals, and long term consequences followed.

4. The Powell Doctrine and Iraq.

The Bush administration seems to have conceptualized the current action in Iraq, like the "war" in Afghanistan, as a campaign in a larger and longer "war." The goal of that "war" is to make America safe from hostile groups and small states that, otherwise, in the near future, would be able to threaten American cities by using radiological, chemical or biological weapons in what military theorists call "assymetrical warfare" and others call "terrorism."

5. What's the end game for the war in Iraq?

If you mean what is the goal of the British and American governments, it is, of course, at least to remove the Ba'athist government. Beyond that, we can only speculate. In order to do more, we would have to have access to much critical information that is not publicly known. A further goal probably is to try to begin a process by which the Arab countries would have governments and cultures that more closely resemble those of Kuwait than those of Syria or Yemen, and by which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be resolved. Another goal probably is to eliminate the widespread, post-Mogadishu assumption that America is militarily weak because it is unwilling to incur casualties, and to create credibility for American military power to intimidate Iran, North Korea and many minor dictatorships. If you are asking how it all actually will end, we also, of course, can only speculate. No one knows, or can know, what the consequences of the war in Iraq will be. There have been many speculations on positive and negative outcomes. Such speculations are, in my view, of most interest when they recognize that the world has changed in fundamental ways since September 11, and offer new metaphors, analyses and information. They are of least interest when they are colored by strong political views on the defects or merits of the Bush administration, are based on traditional assumptions about international institutions and relationships, or rely upon tedious historical analogies. Many speculations have appeared on this thread. It is disappointing to read posts, usually in opposition to the war, from people who apparently are professional or aspiring professional historians, but who have not learned the most important lesson that a study of history can give. That lesson is humility. It is learned by confronting information too vast to comprehend and complexity too great to understand. Those who have learned that lesson will never be certain that their views are right just because everyone around them agrees, or that others might not have a mastery of information or depth of understanding superior to their own.


Charles V. Mutschler - 4/3/2003

Stephen Kriz wrote: Reagan was the most egregeous violator of human rights in history until the utterly corrupt Bush I and II administrations, that is."

Question for Mr. Kriz: Where do you rate such human rights abuses as the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, and the Pol Pot regime? I'm sorry, but I don't find your statement that Reagan's administration was "...the greatest violator of human rights in the world..." either convincing or rational. Personally, I think more historians, especially those posting to this list, should strive to emulate the late senator from New York.

Charles V. Mutschler


Stephen Kriz - 4/3/2003

John (obviously not your real name):

I agree with all of your points. This Administration is one catastrophic failure and we must continue to remind the American people of these conservative failures that inhabit the White House and the Congress. Since most Americans cannot mentally process more than five words at a time, I intend to start a campaign to pound this equation into their heads: BUSH = FAILURE

Bush's foreign policy is a failure. His domestic policy is a failure. His economic and fiscal policy is a failure. He is a failure as a communicator. He failed to protect us against the 9-11 horror, despite numerous warnings. He is a failure as a father and a husband. He was a failure as a businessman. He was a failure as the Governor of Texas. He is a complete failure as President of the United States. He is the embodiment of failure.

Of course, many conservatives live in a fantasy world (much like the Bizarro world in the old Superman comics) where bad is good, wrong is right, weak is strong, death is life and so on. They are pathologically deluded. They think he is a "good president", without offering a single substantive justification for that view.

Keep up the good work and disregard the delusional conservatives who attack you here.

Stephen Kriz


Marcus Aurelius - 4/3/2003


I am willing to give Bill the benefit of the doubt on this one based on his occasional reference to a UN mandate at one point and to books, presumably from his personal library, at another.

In spite of what my sarcastic and occasionally bitter tone may indicate, I admire Bill's tenacity, what concerns me is the angry almost hateful tone found in his characterizations of me and others who dare to disagree with his point of view. What I honestly hope will come from this is a sincere, factually oriented dialogue between opposing points of view.

As Thomas Jefferson said in his First Inaugural Address in 1801 (this is a primary source): "We are all Federalists, we are all Republicans." We are all Americans; as we engage in constructive dialogue from our respective ends of the political spectrum, perhaps we'll discover the common ground we all share.

Marcus


Rick Schwartz - 4/3/2003

...when a country blunders into an unpopular war,"

Unpopular with whom? Seventy plus percent of the Americans endorse the war.

Perhaps John is like Pauline Kael, for years the brilliant film critic at The New Yorker, and rarely runs into someone with an opposing view. Pauline was completely baffled about how Richard Nixon could have beaten George McGovern in 1972: "Nobody I know voted for Nixon." Never mind that Nixon carried 49 states. She wasn't kidding.

"I listed a series of "unpleasant truths" and Rick disputed the veracity of not a single one."

The "truths" were of the ilk of "Ninety percent of people in prison eat mashed potatoes." Some of your premises were indeed true, but wanting to ban mashed potatoes from the everyday menu of life as a result of your "truths" shows that the ol' thinking cap isn't screwed on real tight when it comes to analysis.

"My list WAS meant to suggest..."

If that was indeed your intent then you need a better editor to help you along. Rambling, illogical points almost always lead readers to miss alleged intent.

"...irredeemably incompetent foreign policy"

History will indeed tell, won't it. Of course, I do remember leftists saying the same identical statements about Mr. Reagan's terms in office, which left them with considerable egg on their faces after the fall of the Soviet empire and the freeing of Eastern Europe.


John Quepublic - 4/3/2003


The purpose of my original post, notwithstanding copious efforts at distortion by Rick, was clearly not to espouse Stalinism or antisemitism or “leftism”, whatever that is, or to endorse "Bruno from Jersy" whomever that may be, nor was it to "stick out my tongue", advocate ending the volunteer army, or categorize the U.S. as a “second rate” country (except with respect to a few specific characteristics relevant to invading an oil rich country half way around the world).

Rather, the point was that when a country blunders into an unpopular war, dirty laundry has a way of falling out of the closet (France in 1870, Russia in 1904, U.S. in 1965 being a few historical examples). What I did was to push the closet door open a bit wider. Who might then go looking for soap and a wash board, and where they might be discovered, are separate questions. I listed a series of "unpleasant truths" and Rick disputed the veracity of not a single one.

That list of downside consequences was not intended to be exhaustive, not does it imply that there are not also major benefits to be derived by forcibly resisting or even pro-actively removing a dangerous dictator, despite the failure of Iranians and Kurds to get that message through the thick skull of Donald Rumsfeld (or into the low-cal skull of Ronald Reagan) in the 1980s. My list WAS meant to suggest that there is much more to the “Project for a New American Century”'s “cakewalk” than “pointing a dagger” at Baghdad, more even than the much dicier “winning” of “the peace”.

I would agree with Rick that “tens of millions of people from all corners flocked to our country, many at great risk, precisely because they believed that we were a better country”. It is also likely that that belief will outlast our current bungling national government. Nevertheless, the reckless attenuation of that belief, resulting from an unAmerican war, based on the unAmerican idea of unilateral preemptive attack as first option, may well prove to be the greatest tragedy resulting from George W. Bush's now irredeemably incompetent foreign policy.


Rick Schwartz - 4/3/2003

"Schwartz's mostly bogus arguments are too numerous to deal with in their entirety. (Some of us have real jobs to do.)"

In other words... you can't. That's okay, John. There's no harm in admitting one's inabilities. I can't dunk a basketball or punch out the X ring at a hundred yards. But dismissing my arguments as "bogus" and then ducking and running with a silly excuse pretty much ruins any credibility you might have. (Perhaps his excuse is code for "Schwartz's a rich Jew-bastard who's stolen his fortune off the backs of the workingclass man like me.")

When you post again you might want to try a different name and give yourself a fresh start without your current baggage.

"I wonder where Schwartz gets his ideas about America and its role in the world."

It's called "history." And the past centuries have seen tens of millions of people from all corners flocking to our country, many at great risk, precisely because they believed that we were a better country... that we offered them something that they could never have where they called home. For many it was freedom, for others, a chance to live a life without the cultural assumptions that kept them hopelessly indentured. For some, well, they wanted to walk the streets of gold. There were no streets quite like that, of course, but they at least got a chance to grab at the brass ring... and many of their children were able to buy the whole carousel

Whatever the reason, they saw America as a country of big shoulders, with a big heart and a willingness to open itself to strangers like no other country before. This is reality, not some perverted version taught by leftist, tenured American-haters on a college campus.

I would love to see the documentation where Washington, Jefferson, et al, expressed their views that the U.S. was not the greatest country of them all... that we were second rate in comparison to others. I think that ~would~ make historical news.

Personally I think it's more likely to be found in the thoughts of Carter and Clinton.


John Quepublic - 4/3/2003


Schwartz's mostly bogus arguments are too numerous to deal with in their entirety. (Some of us have real jobs to do.)

I therefore confine my reply to his final sentence:

"The resentment of the world is nothing more than the natural jealosy [sic] that infests the human spirit when confronted with someone better, smarter, more moral, and certainly more powerful".

This strikes me as a profoundly unAmerican philosophy, something abhorrent to everything I've read of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Thank God for Mount Rushmore. I wonder where Schwartz gets his ideas about America and its role in the world.


Publius - 4/3/2003


From an earlier post of yours:

"I defy you [Wild Bill from Tucson] to quote from your retinue of primary and secondary sources to support your faltering memory"

On the subject of documentation, is there any evidence that Wild Bill knows what "primary and secondary sources" are ?

This points to the inherent flaw of this website. It is open to any and all anti-intellectual fanatics with an axe to grind, or just a restless need to see their utterances in cyberspace. There is no editing of submissions. Indeed the frequent inclusion of articles from the lunatic fringe (usually the so-called "right", but sometimes from the so-called "left" as well) encourages the lunatic posters to be even more extreme, dogmatic and shrill.

Bill Heuisler is at least occasionally entertaining and slightly discriminating, unlike some others who seem to want to drop their marks, like dogs on lamp posts, everywhere they can.

Still, the lack of editing means that these fanatics do their utmost to sabotage any possibility of a healthy dialogue, by turning every posting session into a game of pot-shotting


Rick Schwartz - 4/3/2003

"Most Mideast experts, across the political spectrum, believe that the war against Iraq will make America less, not more, secure against future terrorist attacks. "

These are, of course, the very same experts who forecast unstoppable uprisings on the "Arab Street" the moment we went into Afghanistan... which was going to be the very same quagmire that tied up the old Soviet Union for years and years. Some experts. I've read Chinese fortune cookies with better results.

"Most of the key Bush Administration figures who thought up this war years ago have close ties to and affinities with the extremist Likud..."

When everything else fails, blame the Jews.

"Most of America’s current top enemies (i.e. Saddam, Osama) were former friends supported or even courted by current members of the Bush Administration."

Uncle Joe was our friend in WWII against Hitler. By this reasoning we should never have hampered his efforts to bend the world to Communism after Berlin fell. Yep, the world is a static place, and once a relationship is developed for whatever reason, good or ill, it must never be challenged or changed.

"Most of the money and ideology behind Islamic terrorism comes from America’s current “friends” and “allies” (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, etc.)"

This is true... and they are watching very, very carefully to see what happens in Iraq. They understand quite a bit better than leftists what the words, "...for us or against us" actually means.

"Most of the soldiers actually fighting and dying for the Bush Administration in Iraq come from regions of America that are more impoverished and less educated than the national averages."

Every soldier in the U.S. military is a volunteer... and many have made that oath several or more times. The military has always been a way for folk to get a leg up, get some training, leadership experience, and a chance to start on a better path. And this is wrong, because...? BTW, the military doesn't enlist "less educated" folk. You think stoopid people are running those high tech fighting machines that are doing so well?

"Most Americans, from ALL regions, could not find Iraq on a map of the world."

The National Eduction Association, the largest teachers' union in the country, made up approximately forty per cent of the delegates of the 2000 Democrat National Convention. The convention has often been called the handmaiden of the NEA. Now, just who's responsibility is it to teach our children where Iraq is on the map if it's not the teachers? Be careful, you be dissing da union teachers you'll get a visit from Bruno and Vito of the Longshoremans' Union in Jersy.

"Americans are more overweight and drive more oil-wasting SUVs than people anywhere else."

A non-sequitor; kind of a "stick out the tongue and go nyah, nyah, nyah" type of ending to an otherwise uninspired list of tired old cliches.

"Despite all the above, Americans were one of the the most admired and respected people in the whole world...until George W. Bush became President."

Mr. Bush's Constitutional duty is not to make sure we win Ms. Congeniality contests but to keep us safe from all enemies, foreign or domestic. The resentment of the world is nothing more than the natural jealosy that infests the human spirit when confronted with someone better, smarter, more moral, and certainly more powerful.








Brandon S. Wood - 4/2/2003

Thank you for the reply. I will start my response in reverse order in order to maintain symmetry in the discussion. I would also like to apologize because I did mis-speak when I lumped you in with Democrats in general. Whereas I meant to state most Democrats, I did error in the words that I used.

As for being a trust baby, God, I only wish. First son of working class parents, product of the public school system, and self-financed (i.e. worked my way) through a public university. As for real world experience, I have had as much as my 30 years on this earth will allow. I have worked in the private, public, and government sector of construction since I was 16, digging ditches (literally) and working 12 to 16 hour days during the summer and then working 40hrs a week as a maintenance man during the school year to pay for a college education. Trust me (no pun intended); I would have much preferred to draw a monthly check out of a trust fund. Wealthy parents, only if you consider a combined income of $50, 000 a year wealthy, which to some is. You may draw your conclusions from that and infer what you will as to my real world experience, but I have had plenty.

As for Somalia, yes start from there. A noble mission gone awry, agreed? Initiated by Bush I and ended by Clinton for the reason mentioned earlier. It gives us a good baseline to approach the foreign policy aspects of the Clinton administration.

The “containment strikes” against AQ and Iraq were ineffective to say the least. It allowed the US/Clinton team to tell the public they were doing something while at the same time risking no lives. Looks good on the surface, but accomplishes nothing. If they had been “successful” we would not have had Cole and 9-11 (AQ) and this current mess we are in now. Of course this current battle is political, as all conflicts are, but the organization tasked with ensuring Iraq was abiding by the 91 cease-fire and 12 security-council resolutions proved to be just as ineffective as its predecessor, the League of Nations. Are we making a mistake by invading Iraq? Very possible because of the precedent we are setting. However, that precedent could work in our favor. We had to literally place troops of the ground to start dismantling AQ, something that should have been done several years ago, and which even according to your statements was recognized by the fact of the dire warnings passed on by the Clinton team.

Not real sure about the effectiveness of that first national anti-terrorism strategy. Matter of fact, this current bumbling monstrosity (Homeland Security/Motherland Protection) still needs a lot of polishing before it can really become effective. The sad fact of the matter is that it took something as horrendous as 9-11 to get the ball rolling. Something like that should have been initiated in 1979 when we started seeing the first signs of hostility directed towards us by extremist.

Contained/WMD argument: Agreed. Hussein did not invade anyone else and the UN inspectors left. Until we actually locate these stockpiles of WMDs, if they exist, that is going to be one of those deals of “see I told” for both sides. Please note though, in 1994, Clinton did sign the “Regime Change” policy. So in effect, we are just carrying out something that started in 1991 and was reinforced in 94.

Clinton assisted and sponsored several countries in gaining access into NATO, and it did expand. NATO was first gutted by France when they pulled out (militarily, not politically), it has been strained by the Greco-Turkish flare-ups, and the US has been the teeth for the organization for quite some time. I really would prefer to see someone “empower” NATO more than anything, because I am not convinced of their sincerity at times to “do the right thing.” By empowering, I am talking about allowing them to do the lion’s share. As in Kosovo. Look back at the number of sorties flown during that campaign, and which country flew them. They should have been policing their own backyard instead of us, wouldn’t you agree. But, I did support the action, and still do to this day, because it was the right thing to do.

Haiti: Restoring of democracy for a time, looks like we need to go back. But a check in the plus column nonetheless

Northern Ireland: Helped it along a bit, I will agree, but as far as I can tell, it was well on its way. Only a half-point.

Kosovo: See above.

Israel-Palestine: Just a pipe-dream until we face the real problem along that worthless piece of Mediterranean sea-side slaughter house. No points.

So where was the Rwanda peace mission?

And that North Korean agreement is a beauty.

And where would you place the Hughes deal, foreign or domestic?

The rest of your points were NOT foreign policy, but domestic. However, I do like clean water, unfortunately the people who reside in D.C. are beholden to the strings being pulled by the PACs, and so I am not going to argue you with you on that one. And therein lies the problem, which is, although that local guy we send to D.C. is not too bad and pretty much represents what we like, when he gets to the District, man, if he/she doesn’t tow that party line, he/she doesn’t have a chance. So, that party line, which is thrown out by the extremes becomes the standard which they are all associated with,blah, blah, blah..

Now as for his domestic policy, it’s hard to beat. Hell, Chester Cheetah could have been in office and been able to take credit for all that occurred, it just so happened that he was in. When one considers that it had to be passed and funded by the opposition party, it really looks good. So I will give him half-credit, where as most would either give him full or none.

Our founding fathers are an interesting group. I would figure that probably about half would be appalled at the defense (offense?) budget, but not the other half. I would think that most would be taken aback by what we think they would think though!

I did notice that you did not reply to the actual questions, besides the foreign policy ones, that I posed to you. Specifically those regarding hard data for starts, stops, etc… for the economic boom of the 90s, and so forth and so on. Please provide a reply to those, if you will in your nest response.
Brandon S. Wood


Marcus Aurelius - 4/2/2003

Bill,

You are indeed a curiosity. In spite of my challenges you refuse to address the substance of my commentary and my criticism. Instead, you insist on trying to attack me personally. How much American history do you truly know? Why do you think men such as Alexander Hamilton chose to write as "Publius"? Was he a coward?

You misunderstand what I'm saying: not once did I ever suggest that "patriots" are dividing this country, I said people like you are dividing this country; people like George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are dividing this country. In no way do I regard you, the president, or Rummy as "patriots." I regard all of you as supernationalists--"my country, right or wrong dammitt!" That's the mentality you evince. Tragically, it's this mindset that represents the greatest threat to our country--not Saddam Hussein. He's a red herring, he's an excuse. Bush and his ilk are seeking to limit democracy, and the true cowards in this country are those elected officials who stand by and watch it all happen. The real villians are people like you who sit on the sidelines giving Bush a rousing cheer as he dismantles the Constitution piece by piece; undermines the whole essence of checks and balances, and represents the paragon of the "imperial presidency."

I constantly find it ironic that people like you dispute the polls when it suits, but quote them chapter and verse when it does. Forget the fact that Al Gore won the majority polled in the popular vote in the 2000 election; never mind that the majority polled did not want Clinton impeached. But, now you proudly assert that most people support the war and challenge me to "look at the polls." Didn't I cover this in an earlier post when discussed the level of ignorance in America regarding these matters?

You refer to the "schizophrenic left" in an earlier post. What about you and the "schizophrenic right"? You champion Bush's so-called scheme to spread democracy to the Middle East, yet you clearly can't stand democracy. For the life of me, I can't figure this out.

I repeat my initial challenge to you Bill, see if you can provide a clear, rational response to these questions I'm about to pose. If you can support your answer with documentation do so, if it's a document, quote it; if it's a book reference the name of the book, its author, and page number. I'll do the same.

1. Why did men such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson go to such lengths to avoid getting the United States involved in a foreign war during the 1790s and early 1800s? [Hint: it wasn't because they were cowards]

2. Name one example in the whole of human history when a war of invasion and conquest (like the one we've launched against Iraq) ended favorably for the power that initiated the conflict. Here are some things to note before answering: the Romans and the British achieved their goals only as a result of working with local elites, and their success is only measured by two or three generations.

3. When Colin Powell emerged as a dominant figure during the Persian Gulf War and during its immediate aftermath, he crafted what's known as the "Powell Doctrine," which essentially states that when you start a war, you go in to win, and you also have an exit strategy. What's the exit strategy in our war against Iraq? How will we know its over? When we capture Baghdad? When Hussein's dead? What's the endgame?

If you can manage to address the substance of these questions without resorting to personal insult, then I'll begin to take you more seriously. If not, then who's the coward?

M.A.

P.S. As far as visiting the Southwest--I'm closer than you think!


Stephen - 4/2/2003

Yes, another idiot.

Another member of the illuminati who's smarter than the American public.

Probably can't pull his own pants down to take a shit without the help of the L.P.N.

Now, is there anybody who wants to post to this site who is not consumed with their own brilliance, and who might actually want to do something other than express his contempt for President Bush.

I mean, how many different ways can some moron think of to say: "I hate Bush."

Hell, I hate you.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

No, I'll do precisely what you did.

Since reality displeases you, please continue to live in your psychotic dream world.

I've met more scum like you in my lifetime than I care to remember.

Do you bathe more than once a month? Live like a pig? Collect welfare?

Hell, tell me where you live and we'll get together for a fistfight.

Until then, little moron, fuck off!


P.D.Q. Marx - 4/2/2003

"Stephen":

This war and its critics have little to do with religion and still less to do with Marxism. But if you want to test out improbable theories to contrary, you might try common courtesy. Please look those words up in your dictionary if you have one. When you can drop the chips off your shoulder, muzzle your diarrhea of the mouth, and restrain your addiction to hurling semi-educated insults, as most well-behaved kindergartners learn to do, maybe someone will want to have a "sensible discussion" with you.


John Quepublic - 4/2/2003


When the excrement hits the air propeller, e.g. in times of war, uncomfortable and politically-incorrect realities force themselves onto public consciousness. Herewith some of the seamy underside of America's most disastrous war to date:

1. Most Mideast experts, across the political spectrum, believe that the war against Iraq will make America less, not more, secure against future terrorist attacks.

2. Most of the key Bush Administration figures who thought up this war years ago have close ties to and affinities with the extremist Likud regime in Israel which hopes for more terrorist attacks on America in order to gain sympathy for its brutal confiscation of land from Palestinians.

3. Most of America’s current top enemies (i.e. Saddam, Osama) were former friends supported or even courted by current members of the Bush Administration.

4. Most of the money and ideology behind Islamic terrorism comes from America’s current “friends” and “allies” (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, etc.)

5. Most of the soldiers actually fighting and dying for the Bush Administration in Iraq come from regions of America that are more impoverished and less educated than the national averages.

6. Most Americans, from ALL regions, could not find Iraq on a map of the world.

7. Americans are more overweight and drive more oil-wasting SUVs than people anywhere else.

Despite all the above, Americans were one of the the most admired and respected people in the whole world...until George W. Bush became President. Now it will take many years to restore the damage his blunders have caused to America's national interests and international reputation.


Derek Catsam - 4/2/2003

Bill --
I hear you -- it makes our old brouhahas look quaint by comparison, eh? It also is why I post less and less. oh well.
Buchanan never lost me -- he never had me, not even close -- but I knew he went over the edge when he started saying that we should not have entered World War II, that Hitler posed no threat to us, and so forth. He called the book of one of the professors at my PhD program "comic Book history" because the book argued that Hitler's approach in Africa revealed his larger designs. I agree -- he is nativist at best, and I'd say know-Nothing is a nice historical analogy. At worst it's a solid descriptive term for him!
In any case, there are others making principled (that is not to say right or wrong) conservative stands against the war, just as there are lots on the left making principled stands. What concerns me most is that now that we are in war, the anti-war types are going forth with antiwar protests rather than trying to win the peace, if that makes sense -- they are not going to stop this affair, and now all they seem to be doing is abdicating their right -- their responsibility -- to make sure that the aftermath of this leads to peace, justice, democracy, civil society, and so forth.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

"Antiwar Protest: The Highest Form of Patriotism," by Peter Kirstein.

It's difficult not to laugh at you. Did you break any bones patting yourself on the back?

I do know where Bridgeport is. Been there.

Now, it so happens that I live in a city that probably has the highest level of Muslim immigration in America, Jersey City. I'm just guessing here, but I bet I'm right. Not only that, but I'm married to an Asian woman. Oddly, I've found very little admiration for your views among my Muslim or Asian friends.

But, you are a member of the illuminati, so you know better.

Hard to take you seriously.


Bill Heuisler - 4/2/2003

Derek,
Buchanan left my regard when he began his anti-Mexican remarks about twelve years ago. He's become a Nativist in my opinion - maybe a Know Nothing - and his followers make me squirm. What happened to him? Got an opinion? Something changed his inherent optimism and I believe that one word generally differentiates Liberal and Conservative these days.
Notice the venom on this site lately? My old feeble bones are fairly quaking from all those KKK images. Panic? Whose?
Bill Heuisler


Peter N Kirstein - 4/2/2003

Perhaps "Stephen," who described himself as a "founder" and "leader" of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam war would wish to identify himself. It might add considerable credibility to his argumentation.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

Mr. Catsam:

I am so unused to serious remarks on this site that I am taken aback. Must congratulate you again.

I'm closer in my views to you than to just about anybody else who posts here. I probably differ in one respect. I don't necessarily think that this war would go away if Bush were not president.

As the U.S. approaches victory, I am concerned that Mr. Bush will continue to expand this war. I think that he needs to stop after Iraq and try to really accomplish what he said he was trying to accomplish in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, win the peace.

Once again, I think that we are all ignoring the overall conflict encompassing this one battle. I refer you again to my post "Sensible Discussion" at the top of this chain.

Would appreciate reading your response.


Derek Catsam - 4/2/2003

Bill --
You're feeling feisty today, I see.
A couple of things not really apropos of any post but suggested by many:
I think it is worth pointing out two salient points regarding left-right and pro-anti war. the first is that there is a fairly serious anti-war right as well, both among politicians and among the cognoscenti. See, for example, Peter Hitchens' Spectator essay. While most of the war protest crowd are on the left end of the spectrum, not all are, and it is worth noting if only to try to disassociate the accusations against much of the antiwar left.
Second, and I have said this before, there is also a lefty or liberal argument to be made for war. Let's not forget the gross violations of human rights that Saddam has been perpetuating since 1979. this is a man who uses rape as a tool of terror, who has unleashed chemical weapons on his own people, and who generally belongs in the Stalin-Mao-Hitler-Amin-Verwoerd category. those ofg us who care about human rights, about civil liberties, about humanity, about humanism (secular and otherwise) should not be afraid to say that there comes a time when force must replace niceties. I'm sorry if my colleagues on the left find that to be repulsive, but the worls would be a better place without Saddam.
I do, however, have reservations about this administration's approach before and now during the war, I don't exactly trust their motives -- Halliburton got the contract to clean up the oilfields after the war? I'm shocked -- SHOCKED! -- and I could do without the jingoism and superpatriotism. (Patriotism is fine; when it's wielded as a rhetorical cudgel is when i have serious issues with it.)
In any case, I hope this adds something.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

"This country hasn't been so divided since the Civil War. We are witnessing the disintegration of American democracy."

Stephen, you are a card.

Keep going. I'm laughing. I think that I will consult Jesus Christ.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

Mr. Catsam:

It's so seldom that anybody posts a serious remark in this forum that I am astonished when somebody does. Congrats! It's just about a first. At times, when I read the mad dog idiocy that passes for comment on this site, I just can't help but respond in kind for the sheer fun of it.

Now, way at the top of this discussion page, I've posted a very serious comment about this conflict. It would be interesting to receive a serious reply. It's titled "Sensible Discussion."


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


A quote from the unelected buffoon currently occupying the Oval Office "I'm a uniter, not a divider". Yeah, right, Georgie.

This country hasn't been so divided since the Civil War. We are witnessing the disintegration of American democracy and you think it's just A.O.K., right, Bill? How sickening. Trying to wade through your obtuse and self-referential writing is equally offensive, by the way.

Believe the polls if you like. I am convinced they are being manipulated by the CIA or the FBI or Homeland Security or whatever bureaucrats are currently in charge of disinformation for the Bushies.

Your false courage is also astoundingly shallow and misguided, Bill. I'm guessing you are old and enfeebled and sites like this give you some measure of vicarious gratification. Fine. Just don't wave the flag in my face while I protest the most unAmerican administration in the history of this country. If someone like Bush had seized power in the underhanded and treacherous fashion that he did, when patriotism meant something other than blind allegiance to the Pentagon, they would have marched on the White House with torches and pitchforks and dragged Bush out on the lawn for a necktie party.

Your bravado is phony and so is this president.

IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY!!!!!!!


Stephen - 4/2/2003

Well, Peter, if you did as you said, I would find that commendable.

However, I've got an uneasy feeling that what you really did was reiterate the disgusting, stupid and treasonous language of your intial post.

What is it about hating America and loathing middle class Americans that gets you off so? I know you are a member of the great illuminati. That goes without saying.

Ah, and now you've ascended to the mantle of the great patriot.

Please let me know when you're sending out the invitations to your testimonial banquet. How big do you plan to make the statute?


Stephen - 4/2/2003

"Most of the evil of the last fifty years has been initiated by ideological fundamentalists and conservatives - bin Laden, Hitler, Reagan and the Bush family, Idi Amin, etc."

Love these quotes, Stephen. Almost like a Mad Magazine parody of liberal craziness.

Never listened to Limbaugh in my life. Don't consider myself a conservative.

What exactly is bothering you?


Stephen - 4/2/2003

Hello Dan:

I can't make much out of your post, except that you obstinately refuse to acknowledge reality if it displeases you.

Yes, I do see the makings of a global war in this religious conflict. No, I don't think that the Islamic world is going to reject religion to make you happy.

So, we're talking apples and oranges. I'm talking about the world as it actually is, which means that truly religious people do exist and will continue to exist. You're talking about the world as you think it should be.

So, you are welcome to your "secular interpretation." What about the real world in which the religious faithful actually exist?


Bill Heuisler - 4/2/2003

Marcus Aurelius is surely ashamed you use his name.

Self delusion is silly, but cowardice is pitiful.
You say patriots are, "...dividing opinion in this country."
But opinion is not divided. Most Americans do not fear the consequences of character and the results of righteous action. Your warped views are those of a tiny minority. Look at the polls. Most of us support our country, our troops and our President. Many of us have served this country and would be proud to do so again.

And when you reveal your ugly soul by snarling...
"...you and your brown-shirtted friends to be able to find out where I live. Then you could stop by and break my windows, kick in my door, or burn a cross on my front lawn."
...you confess the rot and overestimate your consequence.

The grotesque mind of the Leftist coward is exposed at last. Your opinions are as worthless as they are lonely. Get off your knees. Stand for something except a dictator.

And the reason for your anonymity does at last come to light:
A mother and father would be very ashamed of a son like you.
Yours is not the healthy hatred of scoundrels, your animus springs from the jealousy of a worm for the bright world above. From vile, dogmatic darkness - unable to believe - you scorn and hate those who glory in patriotism and tested courage.

You're almost right, but it's not your door I'd love to kick.
Visit the Southwest. I'm in the Tucson phone book.
Bill Heuisler




Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


I don't know who this "left" is that you keep referring to, but every American liberal that I know does not support or endorse Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse-Tung. To assert that leaders of foreign countries from fifty years or more ago are ideological soul mates with modern American liberals is pure fantasy. You seem to be a victim of the Limbaugh school of brainwashing. Get a life.

Your statement that "The truth is the concentration camps have all been run by leftists." is pure, unadulterated nonsense. It doesn't deserve a response. The myth of the noble conservative struggling mightily against the evil liberal is pure poppycock and you are severely deluded if you buy into that. Most of the evil of the last fifty years has been initiated by ideological fundamentalists and conservatives - bin Laden, Hitler, Reagan and the Bush family, Idi Amin, etc.

I am in fact, deeply religious, only I follow the literal teachings of Christ, who undoubtedly would be considered a liberal by your estimation. Considering Gandhi, Einstein and Martin Luther King were all liberals as well, I feel I am in good company.

Peace is the only answer - War is failure.


dan - 4/2/2003

Unfortunately, your characterization of this as a religious conflict means there is no way out until one side or the other is dead. Even if you are correct, your interpretation leaves but one course of action: that of the Prez (i.e., WWIII).

A secular interpretation allows many possible actions and outcomes.

Ultimately, of course, no interpreation or action will matter unless Republicans and Catholics reject their suicidal aversion to rational population control.

Of course, one has to wonder at the sanity of one who unConstitutionally insists on the sanctity of fetal life, but who shows no such similar regard for independent human beings, of all ages, on his own or on the 'other' side...


Derek catsam - 4/2/2003

So the word "socialist is in the Nazi name -- that must make it socialist. Just like the German Democratic Republic had "Democratic" in its name. And of course the People's republic of China, by this logic, must actually be a people's republic -- it's in the name.
look, the foremost scholars of the concepts of fascism are clear that a simplistic right-left definition does not suit fascism. Payne and Griffiths both believe in complexity. That the nazis embraced elements of radical right and left thought and action is demonstrable. But acknowledging this means that we can't impugn one another's ideologies by conflating those with whom we disagree with either fascism or Marxism. (Nazism, Stalinism, etc.)


Stephen - 4/2/2003

No cryptic intentions.

The left continues to deny its historic support for Stalin and Mao, and you've even managed to try to disassociate the left from its connection to Nazism. You won't reply to the reality that the Nazis designated themselves as "socialists." Evidently, you know better than they did.

As a former member of the left, some two decades ago, I've heard the arguments in support of Stalin and Mao ad nauseum.

Yes, the left loves to conjure up pictures of itself as prone to "potential" martyrdom, as you also have done. The truth is the concentration camps have all been run by leftists.

But, then again, the Marxist left is always talking about ideals as opposed to reality. Thus, the ideals of Marxism always outweight the genocide and poverty that is the reality. The reality that democracy and capitalism produce wealth and freedom is denounced as a chimera. We just need to find the "right" Stalin to run the show. That's been the leftist mantra for decades.

Hatred of the American middle class, and denouncing said middle class as a bunch of dumb boobs is commonplace.

Stephen, you are a religious fanatic. It's just that your religion isn't one of those that consult the deity. Your religion is the great Utopia of the left. Unfortunately, this great Utopia whenever conjured in reality yields genocide, poverty and despair. Maybe you should try another religion.


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


Stevie:

This makes no sense: "the left doesn't worry too much about the people who actually have run concentration camps."

Are you being cryptic or just stupid?


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


Its quite obvious you don't know what you are talking about.

The Nazi's were right-wing, if they weren't, why did they persecute liberals?

As far as "fitting entirely within one side" or the other, this is a pointless question. I don't claim to fit into either "side". I find your responses to be more rigidly ideological than mine. I weigh all arguments on their merits. Your arguments have little or no merit. Therefore, I reject them.

P.S. If you really had read and understood Shirer's book, you would not be posting what you have been posting.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

"Reagan and his gang would have had no compunction about rounding up liberals and putting them into concentration camps, if they thought they could get away with it."

Ouch!

Oddly, the left doesn't worry too much about the people who actually have run concentration camps.

This Stephen Kriz guy is a endless source of nonsense.


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


I don't deny the Holocaust. It involved the systematic denial of basic human rights to a particular group or groups (including their right to live), based on their ethnicity, political views or heritage. I believe Reagan and his cronies did the same thing, both by omission and commission, in Grenada, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Iraq, and many more countries. The net effect was the same - dead bodies everywhere. The ultimate body count may have been higher for the Nazis, but I see the sins of Reagan and his group as being no less egregious. Reagan and his gang would have had no compunction about rounding up liberals and putting them into concentration camps, if they thought they could get away with it. The magnitude of one mass murder vs. another does not make it any less evil.


Peter N. Kirstein - 4/2/2003

I just returned from a lecture I gave before the entire senior and junior classes at Universal School: a leading Muslim High School in Bridgeview, Illinois. I assure you in my talk: "Antiwar Protest: The Highest Form of Patriotism," I did not shrink from the violence perpetrated on both sides. However, I opined that the war was unnecessary, damaging to national security interests and that opposition to it was patriotic and admirable. As Eric Foner recently said at his teach-in at Columbia, antiwar protest is intended to improve America by constructively criticizing its actions.


Herodotus - 4/2/2003

Hardly a 'brain fart' as you so eloquently put it.

You claim that Reagan was the most eggregious violator of human rights in history. This implicitly places, in your argument, the United States in the 1980s above the Soviet Union in the 1930s under Stalin, China under Mao in the 1960s, and Hitler during the Holocaust. Not a particularly strong argument.

But by suggesting that Hitler's violation of human rights during the Holocaust was _less_ of a problem than Reagan's supposed violations of violations during the 1980s, you're denying the depth and degree of the Holocaust. Those who do so are in the camp of the Holocaust deniers, and we have no place for them here.

Unless you're willing to acknowledge that your original post was wrong.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

The word "Socialist" is part of the Nazi name. Case closed.

Nazism is a leftist phenomenon. Marxism is Nazism. There is no difference between the two. Communist societies even inherent the virulent anti-Semitism.

Hard as it is to believe, Nazis were Utopians. They just imagined a very strange Utopia.

I've read Shirer's book.

Having belonged to both the left and right at various times in my life, I find your psychological determination to fit entirely within one side curious.

Why is this so important to you? Is this a matter of religious faith?


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


Oh, now this is a brilliant post. How did the Holocaust reference sneak in here, or was that just a brain fart???


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


Stephen:

No bile here. Just honest analysis of one of the worst presidents ever. When Ronnie said "government is the enemy" or words to that effect, he set the stage for the unraveling of civic America, the bitter fruit of which we are still tasting today. (I guess it didn't occur to the old fool that he was part of the government and therefore the enemy, but we'll write that off to the Alzheimers).

As far as being a "defender of freedom", Reagan certainly was for a lot of freedom if you were lucky enough to be born white, wealthy and male. If you were poor, black and/or female, forget it! Reagan was a known bigot, who used to have a talk radio show in California in the 1970's that was the precursor of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Weiner (I mean, Savage) and the other right-wing hate radio hosts that rule the airwaves today. On that radio program, Reagan would routinely decry the "darkies", "welfare queens" and "evil liberals", who Bonzo thought was destroying America. Being a former Democrat and head of a union, seemed to pose no moral dilemma for the former B-movie actor who allegedly raped actress Selene Walters.

By the way, as an Illini, you probably know what Reagan majored in at that citadel of learning Eureka College, don't you? Economics. Which is laughable, given that Reagan's own Budget Director said that Reagan, "didn't have even the most basic understanding of economics." No, Reagan sucked and he sucked bad. He was a disgrace as a human being and as a president of these formerly United States. No amount of right-wing spin will change that.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

I agree about Prez Washington's warnings, but I don't think that avoiding this conflict will keep the war at bay. Here's why:

The U.S. is exporting ideas that threaten the continued existence of traditional Arab society. Nothing can stop the communication of those ideas. Some of those ideas are wanted in a general way: economic development and greater freedom. Others are not quite so welcome and here they are: feminism, gay rights and the destruction of religious tradition.

So, even if our troops stay home, those ideas continue to be communicated to the Arab world. If I were a traditionally religious Arab man, I would see the incursion of these hostile ideas into my society as an attack equal to (or perhaps greater than) physical warfare.

It is an astonishing comment on this site that nobody wants to recognize the deep religious conflict at the center of this global war. I'll try to put this in personal terms so that you can understand it. I live in a community with a large population of Arab immigrants. The Arab men (and many women) want, by and large, the American consumer lifestyle and the educational opportunities. However, they often see the ideas that come with the lifestyle as a threat to the continued existence of their traditional religious communities. They are right.

So, dismiss this conflict if you like. I think that you will never understand this conflict if you ignore this religious dimension. Posters to this site might want to consider this. You might be inclined to dismiss true religious faith as backward and of no significance. The enemy (the Islamacists) do not agree with you. The key to understanding any conflict is to put yourself in the shoes of the other side.


Herodotus - 4/2/2003

Mr. Kriz:

"Denial is not just a river in Egypt either. Reagan was the most egregious violator of human rights in history, until the utterly corrupt Bush I and II administrations, that is."

Holocaust denier. We have no need for your kind in here.


Stephen - 4/2/2003

I came to this site looking for serious discussion on both sides. Instead, I found a bunch of morons belching out their "Bush is stupid" stupidity.

Why should morons who behave this way object to getting that crap thrown right back in their faces? If you want to keep being that stupid, I'll continue to throw shit right back in your face. When you get tired of that, you may want to have a grown up discussion. I'll be ready when you are.

Now, I've posted a serious discussion under the topic "sensible discussion." Respond to it. As I've stated repeatedly, there is a sensible argument to make against this war. I haven't read it here yet.


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003

Mr. Wood:

Read some of my other posts and you will see that I don't "think Democrats can do no wrong, that all problems can be solved by another tax, and all Republican ideas are flawed." I am actually and independent who wishes Republicans would stop wasting all of my tax money on the military. The Founding Fathers would be appalled.

As far as the Clinton record, here are just a few of his achievements (which he accomplished despite having Republicans constantly looking into his zipper and trying to criminalize his sex life):

-- The longest and most widespread economic expansion in American history;

-- Turned a disastrous $290 billion Republican federal deficit into a $230 billion federal surplus;

-- Created 22 million new jobs -- an average of nearly three million new jobs per year -- in contrast to 1.7 million jobs LOST since January 2001;

-- The greatest increase in average real wages in thirty years;

-- Lowest unemployment rate in thirty years;

-- Largest federal investment in education in thirty years;

-- Lowest crime rates in a generation, with a precipitous drop in violent crime;

-- Teen births down to the lowest rate on record;

-- Extended the life of Medicare Trust Fund to 2025, putting the program in best financial shape since 1975;

-- Sponsored substantive health insurance reform with the Kennedy-Kassenbaum Act;

-- Got the Safe Drinking Water Act passed against Republican opposition (I guess they favor dirty drinking water);

-- Active role in promoting peace in Israeli-Palenstine conflict, nearly inking a real peace plan before his term ran out and chaos set in;

-- Working with NATO (not against it) to end ethnic cleasing in Kosovo (by the way, not one U.S. serviceman died in that effort);

-- Brokered peace in Northern Ireland;

-- Restored democratic government in Haiti;

-- Enlarged and improved (not gutted) NATO;

-- Contained Saddam Hussein and oversaw the destruction of most, if not all of his WMDs (remains to be seen);

-- Developed the first national anti-terrorism strategy, and appointed a national coordinator;

-- Initiated attacks against Iraq and Al Qaeda, that kept them in check, over loud partisan Republican objections.

I could give you more, if you would like. Of course you know that the disastrous incursion into Somalia was intitiated by Bush I and Clinton was simply trying to extricate our troops from a bad situation. By the way, it sounds like your parents are wealthy and you may be a trust baby. Or do you actually work for a living? This is helpful to know, because it provides insights into how little real world experience you might have.

Stephen Kriz


Stephen - 4/2/2003

"Reagan was the most egregious violator of human rights in history, until the utterly corrupt Bush I and II administrations, that is."

The foolishness of this statement speaks for itself.

I have the interesting experience of having once shared your thoughts about President Reagan. I am an Illinoian, as was Reagan. The rhetoric he provokes reminds me of the same bilious rhetoric once applied to that most famous of Illinoians, Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Reagan was a great defender of human rights and freedom. He made mistakes. I will not defend his actions in Central America, because I do not believe he was right. But I understand his motivations. You might want to recall the words and actions of Pope John Paul in this regard. I remember when the Pope visited Nicaragua in 1983. The Sandinistas expected him to endorse their revolution.

He did not. He said (and I paraphrase): "I know that you have suffered a terrible injustice, but the route that you are taking will lead you to even worse. I know, because my country took that route."

Ponder it for a moment, instead of just letting the bile vomit up and you will gain some insight.


Marcus Aurelius - 4/2/2003

Bill, Bill, there you go again.

I defy you to quote from your retinue of primary and secondary sources to support your falting memory (rather than paraphrase). Do you seriously think the U.S.A went to war against Hussein government in 1991 to disarm him? Is that what it was all about? Who armed him in the first place? Who has coddled him throughout his entire public career? The good 'ol U.S. of A.

Do you think we would have been able to have formed the international coalition that resulted in Hussein's removal from Kuwait, including Arab support, if our objective was to remove Hussein. Make no mistake, to oppose the removal of Hussein as ruler of Iraq, either then or now, is not based on any love for this brutal tyrant. It's simply to acknowledge that Iraq as a nation was crafted by the British and consists of different ethnic and religious groups who have little love for one another, consequently in order for Iraq to remain a viable state, it takes an iron fist to rule it. It's unfortunate the the United States picked a son of a bitch like Hussein to do that back in the 1960s.

As for the al Qaeda links listed in your reply, specious at best. Are we to hold George W. Bush responsible for 9/11 because Mohammad Atta was in the U.S. for several months prior to the 9/11 strike; are we to hold George W. Bush responsible for 9/11 becasue an al Qaeda cell was found in Buffalo, New York. Oh my God! The U.S. sponsors terrorism! Also, the reference to the Czech report! Come on, even George Tenet says this claim has no merit. As for the rest, it's "anecdotal"--you said it, not me.

And if any of this is to be regarded as "defending a scumbag like Hussein," that's only because the reckless and foolish foreign policy of the Bush administration has forced it to this extreme by dividing opinion in this country and around the world to such extremes--and he's egged on by people like you. And I resent the hell out of the President and you for forcing such extremes on the nation and the world.

Convicting Clarence Thomas? I thought he currently is sitting on the Supreme Court. As for Robert Bork, Republicans and Democrats did him in--you know, payback for his obstructionist (albeit minor) role during the Watergate scandal.

As for my "non de plume": no, there's no criminal record. Maybe it's simply that I don't want you and your brown-shirtted friends to be able to find out where I live. Then you could stop by and break my windows, kick in my door, or burn a cross on my front lawn.

But, if it makes you feel better, maybe I'm George W. Bush trying to convince you and others who are reading this that I'm really not an idiot. I only play one on T.V.

Or, maybe I'm Donald Rumsfeld having a "Robert S. MacNamara Moment." I figure, why wait 30 years? Have it now and avoid the rush later.

Or, call me Bob.

Marcus Aurelius


Marcus Aurelius - 4/2/2003

Bill, Bill, there you go again.

I defy you to quote from your retinue of primary and secondary sources to support your falting memory (rather than paraphrase). Do you seriously think the U.S.A went to war against Hussein government in 1991 to disarm him? Is that what it was all about? Who armed him in the first place? Who has coddled him throughout his entire public career? The good 'ol U.S. of A.

Do you think we would have been able to have formed the international coalition that resulted in Hussein's removal from Kuwait, including Arab support, if our objective was to remove Hussein. Make no mistake, to oppose the removal of Hussein as ruler of Iraq, either then or now, is not based on any love for this brutal tyrant. It's simply to acknowledge that Iraq as a nation was crafted by the British and consists of different ethnic and religious groups who have little love for one another, consequently in order for Iraq to remain a viable state, it takes an iron fist to rule it. It's unfortunate the the United States picked a son of a bitch like Hussein to do that back in the 1960s.

As for the al Qaeda links listed in your reply, specious at best. Are we to hold George W. Bush responsible for 9/11 because Mohammad Atta was in the U.S. for several months prior to the 9/11 strike; are we to hold George W. Bush responsible for 9/11 becasue an al Qaeda cell was found in Buffalo, New York. Oh my God! The U.S. sponsors terrorism! Also, the reference to the Czech report! Come on, even George Tenet says this claim has no merit. As for the rest, it's "anecdotal"--you said it, not me.

And if any of this is to be regarded as "defending a scumbag like Hussein," that's only because the reckless and foolish foreign policy of the Bush administration has forced it to this extreme by dividing opinion in this country and around the world to such extremes--and he's egged on by people like you. And I resent the hell out of the President and you for forcing such extremes on the nation and the world.

Convicting Clarence Thomas? I thought he currently is sitting on the Supreme Court. As for Robert Bork, Republicans and Democrats did him in--you know, payback for his obstructionist (albeit minor) role during the Watergate scandal.

As for my "non de plume": no, there's no criminal record. Maybe it's simply that I don't want you and your brown-shirtted friends to be able to find out where I live. Then you could stop by and break my windows, kick in my door, or burn a cross on my front lawn.

But, if it makes you feel better, maybe I'm George W. Bush trying to convince you and others who are reading this that I'm really not an idiot. I only play one on T.V.

Or, maybe I'm Donald Rumsfeld having a "Robert S. MacNamara Moment." I figure, why wait 30 years? Have it now and avoid the rush later.

Or, call me Bob.

Marcus Aurelius


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


Given your extremely poor grasp of history, you most certainly do not belong on this website.

The Nazis were right-wingers. They persecuted liberals. Read William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and get a clue!

If you want to commune with those of like mind, please visit:

http://www.freerepublic.com
http://www.boottotheskull.com
http://www.capitolhillblue.com

They all have forums for people who think Rush Limbaugh is a great thinker. Have fun.


Stephen Kriz - 4/2/2003


Stephen:

Denial is not just a river in Egypt either. Reagan was the most egregious violator of human rights in history, until the utterly corrupt Bush I and II administrations, that is. From supporting apartheid, to slaughtering innocent peasants in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America to supporting Israel in its massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chowchilla (sp?) refugee camps, to covertly providing Saddam Hussein with the precursor chemicals to gas the Kurds, Reagan is one of the bloodiest tyrants in history.

Also, contrary to conservative historical revisionism, Reagan did not cause the collapse of the Soviet Union. It collapsed from overreaching and excessive imperialism, much the same way this country is headed for collapse, if we don't get rid of these misguided neoconservatives. In fact, Anatoly Dobrynin, in his autobiography, stated that Reagan caused the Soviet Union to last longer than it otherwise might have, due to their zeal in suppressing Reagan's covert funding of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

No, far from being a champion of human rights, there is in fact, a very warm corner in hell waiting for the Gipper.

Peace


Gus Moner - 4/2/2003

You're right. But I believe I provide a social service. He's obviously in need of a punching bag, and I am it! Otherwise he may just go and do that!
cheers


Bill Heuisler - 4/2/2003

Your three-plus arguments depend on the sanctity/weight of the 1991 Cease-Fire Agreement. You said, "...we stopped killing Saddam's soldiers because we forced him out of Kuwait." No. Colin Powell and others convinced HW Bush to interpret the UN mandate narrowly. Read the mandate; no mention is made of killing or not killing Saddam. In a recent interview (Book magazine??) HW cited his thought processes and regretted his decision on the grounds it was not necessary on legal grounds, but taken for geopolitical (read Arabist) reasons.
Undercutting your objection to the second half of the Gulf War also undercuts your other objections - WMD, motives, etc.

As to Saddam's control of the North East, his Mukhbarat had no trouble killing/coercing/imprisoning Kurds and others in the towns and cities like Irbil. You say, "First, the region you mention is isolated and under the control of no one but the war lords who reside there..." Warlords? Right. The terrain at the Iranian border allows a certain primitive autonomy for some of the wilder Kurds (PUK) but only Ansar Al Islam and School 999 (Mukhabarat) control the lowlands. As you know, Saddam controls Mukhabarat - it was his Alma Mater and fountainhead.

Evidence of collusion with Al Quaeda: Abu Nidal in residence in Baghdad; Al Quaeda training on Iraqi soil; Czech diplomats and enough refugee-narrative or anecdotal evidence to convict anyone less inconvenient. Face it, you denizens of the schizophrenic Left convicted Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork on far less. Defending a scumbag like Hussein must be a little uncomfortable, but my pile of proof is growing on the Road to Baghdad while your store of excuses dwindles. Aesop thinks any excuse will serve a tyrant. Do you find serving a tyrant challenging?

By the way does your nom de plume conceal a criminal record? Are you an apostate Republican in false-witness protection? Oh well, nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted to bear. Vale.
Bill Heuisler


Marcus Aurelius - 4/2/2003

Amazing! You of all people having the nerve to say "get over yourself." As for my real name, I prefer to maintain a tradition made proud by true American patriots and nationalists such as Alexander Hamiltion, James Madison, and John Jay--not neo-facists such as yourself. So enough with your inane pursuit of my name.

As for this war being a continuation of Gulf War I, we stopped killing Saddam's soldiers because we forced him out of Kuwait. The UN mandate that led to Desert Storm established that as a limitation on the military action--that was the only way we could secure Arab allies and launch the effort. Go ahead, ask "Georgi Boy's" daddy, he'll tell you all about it.

As far your reference to Ansar Al Islam, to a limited extent you are correct (oh my God, I almost lost my dinner acknowledging even that much! But I'm Ok now). However, you are obviously unaware of some crucial data. First, the region you mention is isolated and under the control of no one but the war lords who reside there; located next to the Iranian border Ansar Al Islam is in the southwestern corner in that part of Iraq desiganted as Kurdish territory. You are correct (umph! whew!) that al Qaeda terrorists have been there and have perhaps even trained there, but there objective has been to first, take over the area controlled by the Kurds and then use the northern reaches of Iraq to topple Hussein's government afterwards. There problem has been that Hussein has maintained an iron grip--until now that is, the good 'ol U.S.of A. is now in the process of doing what they could not do themselves. Ever here the old adage, "the cure is worse than the disease"? Or is BARTLET'S QUOTATIONS not among the books in your obviously expansive library?

As far as my naivete regarding Hussein's connection to 9/11, my original contention still stands. What evidence is there? What evidence can you provide besides rumor, inuendo, mixed in with a healthy dose of blustering and illogic?

Yes, I define WMD. Do you dispute my definition? I couldn't tell from your reply.

Yes, I deny and mock the so-called "good" intentions, motives, and plans because that's exactly what they deserve. Pray tell, Bill, when has a war of invasion and conquest ever resulted in the establishment of a democracy? As far as that goes, when has a war like the one we unfortunately launched on March 19, 2003 ever been successful? Do you honestly understand what it takes to conquer a nation? The British only succeeded because they worked with local elites. Who are the local elites in Iraq we're working with Bill? The only comparable modern example of a war of this nature is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan--imagine that Bill, we're behaving like the old Soviet "evil empire," isn't that pathetic? Do you think our future holds a similar fate, given the economy and our declining prestige in world opinion I wouldn't be surprised.

As for my experience, suffice it to say it's ample; my knowledge of history vast--I'd stack up my library and knowledge of history against yours any day. I'll leave it here for now.

Your Obedient Friend and Servant,

Marcus Aurelius


Ralph E. Luker - 4/2/2003

Groucho's nephew, C. P. E., is a pretty fair comic himself!


Herodotus - 4/2/2003

It's Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, or Karl Marx. Or Richard Marx, I suppose.


G.I. Joe - 4/1/2003


Don't waste your time and energy, Gus. Can't you see Mr. Bill
has important work to do, driving a bulldozer to save Gaza from evil American protesters ? Save your knowledge of history for a actual historian.


Carl Philip Emmanual Marx - 4/1/2003


Howdy folks. Time for another intellectually uplifting well-balanced, historically-informed and very relevant comment
on the war against terrorism, Iraq, the Boogie Man and pretzels.

Today we feature an exciting excerpt from the diary of Stephen Redslayer Horowitzki, Web-poster Extraordinaire:

8 AM: @#$&%! modem won't work. Must be that Marxist salesmen at
the computer shop.

8:15: Well, at least the TV works, so the kids can watch cartoons. Zarathustra and Montezuma forbid that they should go to school and fall into the clutches of Marxist teachers !

8:20 Maybe if I kick the Marxist out from under my bed where he hides, he'll fix the modem for me.

8:30 Ah, that's better. Now it's off to HNN to expose Marxist plots. Halleluyah ! Up your opiate of the masses,
pinko rednecks !






Adigam - 4/1/2003

Yes it is a religious war. But it is a religious war that could easily be avoided. If the United States would heed the warnings of George Washington to avoid entangling alliances the Muslim world would hardly notice us. If our democracy had not been so easily corrupted by the dollar we would be untroubled. Now we are embroiled in a clash of cultures. If worse comes to worse the final solution is unthinkable. In a way I am gratified to see the final culmination of conservatism. We are being led into a Hell by those who are guided by ideology instead of information. Anyone who has studied the basics of Middle Eastern Culture could have informed this Administration that the only way to unify the contentious Arab is to act as we have acted. If left on their own the desert denizons of Allah will fight eachother endlessly in blood feuds of which history has forgotten the genesis. Brother against brother, cousins against cousins, tribes against tribes, groups of tribes against the same; only an outsider who threatens can unify the Arab. We see Shiites and Sunnis who would slit eachothers' throats banding together to kill Westerners. If it comes down to a final battle Islam could be neutralized by destroying the Kaaba. That would severely cripple the validity of Muhammed who stated that none may harm this holy place. I would rather wait until this religion naturally runs out of steam. But the alternative, letting superstition prevail, is unnacceptable.


Derek Catsam - 4/1/2003

The problem is that Reagan was part of a long line of Presidents who helped to "end the Cold War" and he surely did not do it alone. Indeed, how can anyone say that Reagan was more committed than, say, Truman, and Truman was trying to win a Cold War against Stalin, far worse than what Reagan faced in Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko or certainly Gorbechev. The Soviet Union certainly was an evil regime for most of its duration, but Reagan hardly was the only Cold Warrior out there, and I'd say that opposing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act (inter alia) places him far behind Mandela or Gandhi in my mind. i don't even see how reagan can be seen as a better humanitarian than most of the presidents who preceded him. It's just not an argument I find compelling.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

Thank you, Mr. Wood.

Another statement on the current economic condition. The unemployment rate stands at 5.8% and falling. 4% is the historic low, recorded 3 (?) years ago. Unemployment is near that history low. To my astonishment, I believe that I heard Mr. Bush declare in his State of the Union address, that the right to a job is now an entitlement.

I think that Mr. Bush is more successful in his role as politician than is generally realized. He is consciously, I believe, using the "stupid" rhetoric of the left to defeat it. His strategy is similar to Muhammed Ali's "rope a dope" strategy. I think that he's more than willing to live with the left's constant screaming of "stupid." It works for him. The left continues to underestimate Mr. Bush, and I think that he is quite satisfied with this and uses it for his own purposes.


Brandon S. Wood - 4/1/2003

First and foremost, let us not delve into the personal lives of the leaders we seem to hold in such high regard. I no more know, as you, what kind of a parent GWB is because I am not in that household. You may be absolutely correct and he may be a total failure as a father. But since I do not know first hand, and I am not invited to sit around the dinner table with the first family, I do not see where I have any standing to comment on it. If we are going to delve into the pesonal lives, well, you open up a can of worms that conservatives love to hang their hat on as the failure of the Clinton years. So it makes me wonder why you would even consider going down that path given the trouble it would cause your arguments based on the facts alone.

Second, the OBL problem has been brewing for quite some time. The previous attempts to eradicate him and the leadership of his various organizations were basically failures. Tomohawks are great against certain targets, unfortunately, a man on the move such as OBL does not represent such a target. The amount of planning and coordination that went into all of the attacks that have since been tied to him or his organization did not just happen overnight, and perhaps those 150 FBI agents would have been better utilized tracking such information down instead of prying into the whole Whitewater/Rose Law Firm/etc... investigation. But given some of the FBI's recent (last 10 years for example) failures, such as Oklahoma City, Hanson spy case, crime lab, we have to wonder just what those G-men ARE doing at times. So 8 years of Clinton and no results after repeated warnings, and based on your statement, extensive knowledge of the threat he represented by some of the top Clinton team makes me wonder (can you tell that I wonder a lot?)

Haed to head, Bush v Clinton, Clinton is a consummate politican, polished to the end as compared to a single well-rehearsed line. They both seem good enough for an American electorate that is willing to overlook a lot of things as long as their 401K is growing.

Just what were Clinton's economic plans that worked so well? Leave it alone? Did he not take his que from Greenspan? And let us not forget that the unprecedented economic growth experienced during the 90s just did not happen overnight, starting on January 21, 1993. If it were that easy, wouldn't everybody do it? There had to be a solid foundation for it to start from. So when was that start. Dig back throguh the economic data and get back to me. I already know, but you need to do some background work. And when did it "end" would also be another good date to track down. In addition, through all of this stagnant economic time, while many Democrats have been yelling the words recession and Bush in the same sentence whenever a camera is pointed at them, take a look at the ANNUAL rate of growth in the economy.

This same right-wing, is it the same ones that were behind the "vast right wing conspiracy" Sen. Clinton spoke out about while she was first lady on national TV and said there was not truth to the lies it was creating? Keep conspiracies where they belong, on the grassy knoll please.

Do I think that some of W's economic policies are flawed? Yep. Will eliminating the "double-tax" on dividends help me or about 90% of the American public out one bit? Nope. Ditto on the inheritance tax (I will probably have to PAY when my parents keel over.) Is he sponsoring corporate welfare? Sure, just as most politicians that have a "R" after their name do. The problem with most people, like yourself, is that you think Democrats can do no wrong, that all problems can be solved by another tax, and all Republican ideas are flawed. Simply not the case. I consider about 20% of the programs from each party worth a flip, the rest that they tout and make a plank in their platform are irresponsible, geared towards making sure they get reelected, and wastefull. Both parties, I will state again.

Asfor foreign policy, please list the success story of 1992-2000 for me again. Start with Somalia please and we will argue from there.



Stephen - 4/1/2003

Yes, Mr. Reagan was a greater defender of human rights than any of the people you mention, great though their contributions may have been.

The greatest human rights victory of the 20th century was the defeat of the Soviet Union and its demise. Unquestionable.

Together with Pope John Paul and Alexander Solzhenitzn, Mr. Reagan played a crucial role in bringing the truth about the Soviet Union to public attention. The defense build-up of the 1980s helped to bring the Soviet Union to its knees.

Mr. Reagan made mistakes. I still continue to believe that he over-reacted in Central America. Humans make mistakes.

But, yes, I stand by my original statement. Mr. Reagan was the greatest defender of human rights in the 20th century. The defeat and demise of the Soviet Union brought to an end the human delusion that Utopia was available on this earth.


Derek Catsam - 4/1/2003

Ronald Reagan, who vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act and opposed renewing the Voting Rights Act (let's not talk about Pinochet, or for that matter normalizing relations with Saddam), was a greater advocate of human rights than, say, Mohatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, or Mother Theresa?

Of course Reagan never said "Mr. Chairman, tear down this wall" either. He said "Mr. GORBECHEV, tear down THAT wall." But I guess a little factual accuracy on HISTORY News Network does not matter.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

Mr. Clinton was a catastrophe. He and his wife were leaders of the crusade to stop sexual harassment. Thousands of men were purged from their jobs for lesser offenses than Mr. Clinton. Many went to jail. And, then, he and his wife pleaded for a dispensation for him.

And, yet, Mr. Clinton also put an end to the disaster of welfare.

I have voted Democratic less and less in the past ten years as it has become obvious that the party has declared that white, heterosexual men are the enemy.

I voted against Reagan and lived to regret it. Mr. Reagan is the greatest advocate of human rights in the 20th century. He had the courage to declare that the Soviet Union was the evil empire and he was absolutely right. He stood in Berlin and said: "Mr. chairman, tear down this wall."

Peace is not always the answer.


Stephen Kriz - 4/1/2003


Yeah, right.

I used to post on NewsMax.com's Forum and every rabid conservative would claim this. They apparently thought that it gave them the veneer of impartiality. I myself am an independent, and vote for the individual, which eight times out of ten means the Democrat, since most Republicans seem to have had their souls surgically removed. I voted for John Anderson in 1980, and gave Ronald Reagan the White House as a result. I am more ashamed of that vote than any I have cast since.

I voted for Clinton in 1992 and Nader in 1996. I have never been a big fan of Bill Clinton, but not for the reasons I suspect you have. I didn't think he was liberal enough.

Peace is the only answer.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

I tried to get a sensible discussion going here yesterday. I'll try again today because I think that there really is a good argument that can be made against the war.

OK. Here’s a start. Assume that the enemy is serious about its stated aims. This is only a sign of respect. Recasting the war of the Anglo/West against the Arab/East in the mold of the old capitalist versus commie mold allows the observer to feel like he’s in familiar territory. But, I think it’s wrong. The Arab/East is telling the truth about how it sees this conflict. This is a religious war, pitting believer against non-believer. I think that it really is, no matter how the left wants to remake the war into the same old ideological battle of the 20th century.

So, if this really is a religious war (and I believe it is), who are the combatants? What are the terms of the war? What constitutes winning and losing? Why do we continue to believe that a single battle in Iraq (or in Afghanistan) is the sum total of that war?

An overwhelming theme of the left is an apparent belief that the war would go away if the U.S. would stop prosecuting it. Is this really true? I doubt it. I live in NYC, and I fully expect counterpunches from the Islamic side whether or not we fight back, and whether or not Bush remains president. NYC will continue to be a target for the simple reason that the principle antagonists live here: Jews, feminists and gays.

Nobody is less qualified to guess about the nature of this war than the non-religious, Marxist left. Such people simply refuse to believe that the enemy is really serious about its religious faith. That non-religious, Marxist left is busy pasting the old 20th century ideological battle on every new battle of the 21st century. I would speculate that, 100 years from now, historians will generally agree on something that will surprise all of us. The 20th century polarization of the U.S./Soviet era concealed and held at bay this coming battle of the non-believers against the believers.

So, let me boil this all down to one question. Assume that the Islamic world is telling the truth, that the current battle is between the believers and the non-believers. Now, tell me why you believe that the U.S. can extricate itself so easily from this battle?


Stephen - 4/1/2003

I voted for Bill Clinton twice, much to my dismay.

Born union Democrat, open to voting for Republicans.


Stephen Kriz - 4/1/2003


Name-calling implies using nouns. The words cited are all adjectives to accurately describe the vermin (now there is a noun) that inhabit the rat's nest (two nouns) that Bush calls an Administration. However, I expect you don't understand the difference, if you think George W. Bush is a good president.

Pray for peace,

Stephen Kriz


Stephen Kriz - 4/1/2003

Bush's parenting skills have been on display for several years now, since Dubya finally decided to start working at age 40 and they are pathetic. How many photos do you see of Dubya with the twins? I'll tell you - After his inauguration, ZERO! How many times have they been arrested again, two or three? How many times was Chelsea Clinton arrested? ZERO! You might also read the article entitled The Accidental Candidate by an author whose name escapes me right now. Written shortly before the 2000 campaign. She gives a glimpse into how good Dubya's parenting skills are and they are approximately piss poor.

It's obvious you are a right-wing apologist who thinks all Democrats bad, all Republicans good. How sad. How you can look at this shameful buffoon of a man and think he is a good president? You are truly living in a dream world. From the terrible economy to the increasing crime rate to raping the environment to allowing 9-11 to happen to getting the whole world pissed off at us, this clown is an utter and complete failure. Get used to it!

P.S. I'm sorry we share a first name.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

After the U.S. wins, I plan to remind Mr. Fitzpatrick of his "dumb attack" comments.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

"Bush and his psychopathic, geriatric retread friends."

Just going through the site and randomly sampling Donald Duck stupidity. This guy takes the cake.

Amateur psychologist from a distance. Good at name calling.

Sometimes you wonder why fools like this enjoy embarassing themselves in public so much.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

My Lai does not characterize the entire U.S. war in Vietnam.

You are neither a man of good will, basic decency or sound judgment, as the foolish title of your post makes clear.

That leads me to conclude that you are neither a patriot nor a traitor, just a silly, witless man looking to secure your ego with vicious assaults on people you don't even know.

Says all there is to say about you, doesn't it?


Suetonius - 4/1/2003

Perhaps Mr. Kirstein would care to comment on the following piece from Sky News, posted today (April 1, 2003):
[http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-12278356,00.html]

IRAQIS 'SHOOTING CHILDREN'


Fanatical pro-Saddam Hussein fighters are shooting children in and around Basra, fleeing civilians told British forces.

One mother told British medics her 12-year-old son was among dozens of youngsters gunned down by death squads.

He was shot in the liver and several times in the stomach in Al Zubayr, just outside Basra, and is now being treated on the British hospital ship RFA Argus.

The ship's interpreter, Lieutenant Commander Nigel Bassett, said: "His mother says he was definitely shot by Iraqis and there were another group of children in the same place who were all gunned down by Iraqis.

"It seems there was an area of the town where people were leaving or going to get food to assist the coalition and there was a group of tearaways who came in and started indiscriminately shooting, trying to teach people not to co-operate."


Stephen - 4/1/2003

Thanks, Suetonius, for the attempted defense.

By "chief father figure," I did indeed mean the president.

That's the way it is and should be.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

So, you've appointed yourself as the voice of "the people."

In other words, you are a complete scoundrel.


Stephen - 4/1/2003

It would be easier to take people in this forum seriously if they were not referring to members of the Bush administration in such disrepectful and stupid ways.

Such references only lead me to assume that the posters are mental defectives.

Once again, are there any sentient creatures among the posters to this site?


Stephen - 4/1/2003

Stephen Kriz's intellectual deficit isn't difficult to see.

He's assumes he knows about Mr. Bush's capabilities as a father.

This is just dumb posturing.

Why should anybody take such jerk posturing seriously?


Stephen - 4/1/2003

Nice of you to impute actions and motives to me that I never stated and never did.

We know what you are about now, don't we?


Bill Heuisler - 4/1/2003

"Going AWOL,psychopathic...geriatric retread...lunatics...sick, deviant men...twisted, nonsensical and ultimately, unAmerican ideas...these perverts." Marvelously persuasive.
Your depth of knowledge is obviously immense, otherwise it wouldn't be necessary to sprinkle the adjectives. Does excessive anger signal despair? Panic? Rats scurrying down hawsers?

If Saddam had no sway in the Northern no fly zone, how did he kill all those Kurds and Shiite rebels after the first half of this war? If Saddam had no sway in NFZ who were the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan fighting for the last ten years?
Try to visualize these words: No Fly Zone means no fly.
No Fly doesn't mean Saddam's Mukhabarat didn't exercise iron control on the ground. Look up School 999 and the development of Ricin from castor beans. Read the U.N. reports on the arrival of Jund Al Islam in Northern Iraq when they changed their name to Ansar Al Islam and declared allegiance to the Baath Party in return for support. Read the U.N. reports published in Britain.
Hell, read anything. Replace that ugly heat with a little light.
Bill Heuisler


Suetonius - 4/1/2003

Boy, the success thus far in this war on terror is really getting to you. Calm down. Engage in rational debate, not mud-slinging.

To wit (by paragaph)

(1) Again, the Clinton administration had eight years to get him. Launching cruise missiles to kill a guy is one method, albeit it turned out to be a failure. Allowing the fact that we were listening in to bin Laden's satellite phone to leak out was foolish. If the Clinton administraion had wished to go after bin Laden in a serious way, there is a panoply of means, from the Delta Force to full-out invasion of the country, that one can use to extract bin Laden. The Clinton Administration, with vastly more time and experience by 1999 than the incoming Bush administration in 2001, for whatever reason elected not to do this.

(2) The investigation into Clinton's personal affairs, generally termed 'the white water matter' may have diverted 150 agents to its tasks. Show me the evidence that these men and women would have all acted on the counterterrorism watch if they had not been pulled in to White Water. If you cannot, then you will no doubt also know that the counterterrorism watch at FBI was less than stellar before 9/11, concerned mostly with domestic terrorism or engaged in turf wars with the CIA.

(3) The Gore committee may very well have recommeded that. If Bill thought it was such a big deal he would have issued an executive order. You forgot the three reports of the Hart-Rudman commission as well...few people in a position of authority saw it coming.

(4) "my pompous and anonymous friend." Boy, you really are angry about the 2000 election and the current state of affairs in this world. Letting anger blind reason is dangerous.


Gus Moner - 4/1/2003


On this first day of April, April Fool’s Day, I want to give you a present. A bit of factual information on East Timor, a place whose history seems as even more alien to you than others, and by the way, I have written none of it, so you cannot get ballistic with me on that one. Enjoy your special day.
Regarding Israel’s leaders:
The point remains, and your ‘petticoat’ argument about dates does nothing to refute it, that many Israeli leaders from the early stages of the nation’s founding were terrorists. Your nit picking about dates is irrelevant, go hide behind some other skirt. This is a nation still in its infancy, and all of these leaders, Sharon included, are the early leaders of the nation.
I am sure if I wanted to do more research again I could quote numerous instances of other terrorists holding leadership positions in Israeli cabinets. Undoubtedly, you’d find additional dating or other nit picking problems. But that will never change the basic fact that they were and are there, in power. It is not my job to teach you historical facts, learn them on your own.
A massacre organiser runs Israel now, no one can deny that, least of all the Israelis, for Sharon was dismissed as Defence Secretary by the Israeli government for his role in the massacre! IS that factual enough for you? What additional evidence do you need to see facts and enter reality? Read the history of the times and the biographies of those leaders. Then get back to me.
Now, onto East Timor:
On this topic your comments are becoming frankly pathetic. Here is the true US involvement, from declassified US State Department documents, regarding the seizure of the island by Indonesia, during your beloved Republican’s rule in 1975:
(…) “This Kissinger memorandum, prepared for President Ford some two weeks before the two were to visit to Jakarta, indicates that the administration's larger strategic interests in Indonesia made it unlikely that Washington would make a fuss over East Timor. The eventual fate of East Timor was evidently a relatively low priority for Kissinger and his staff—it was the twelfth and final item mentioned in the memo".

Best to stop believing the US freed East Timor, it rather helped imprison it, and try to accept the facts Mr. Heuisler, as hard as it seems for you to do, try it.

In 1999, the UN authorised the Australian led force, and continued with the administration after their work was done, the US contribution was miniscule. Besides, even your own quote of Lockhart acknowledges that the “the countries of the region will once again provide the vast majority of troops." That would not include the USA.

Try reading more than official US documents, you might learn a thing or two. The following ine lists each nation’s participation. Notice the US level, if you will.
My penultimate comment is ”You, Sir, are wrong again. Baldly, unmistakably and totally wrong.” Lastly, I quote you a great historian:
”Wrong three times. Pointed out three times. Do yourself a favour: Argue facts, pay attention to what you've already said and read a few history books. Maybe you'll look a little less foolish.”

Now, read this, and then PLEASE (yes, in caps) go hit the books!






(..) “While Kissinger, in the memo, acknowledged that the Indonesians have been “maneuvering to absorb the colony” through negotiations with Portugal and “covert military operations in the colony itself,” he apparently did not expect an overt invasion using U.S.-supplied military equipment”. (…)
On the eve of Indonesia’s full-scale invasion of East Timor, President Ford and Secretary Kissinger stopped in Jakarta en route from China where they had just met with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping”(...) On 4 or 5 December, while still in Beijing, Kissinger received a cable from the State Department suggesting that the Indonesians had "plans" to invade East Timor “The Indonesian invasion of East Timor in December 1975 set the stage for the long, bloody, and disastrous occupation of the territory that ended only after an international peacekeeping force was introduced in 1999”… (…)
“Ford and Kissinger took great pains to assure Suharto that they would not oppose the invasion. Ford was unambiguous: “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have.” Kissinger did indeed stress that “the use of US-made arms could create problems,” but then added that, “It depends on how we construe it; whether it is in self defense or is a foreign operation.” Thus, Kissinger’s concern was not about whether U.S. arms would be used offensively—and hence illegally—but whether the act would actually be interpreted as such—a process he clearly intended to manipulate.(26) “As Kissinger advised Suharto on the eve of the invasion: "it is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly" but that "it would be better if it were done after we returned" to the United States”.
As for the UN role:
Since it’s easy enough to get, I give you, sir, the operative section of the United Nations Security Council resolution, adopted on Wednesday, 15th September 1999, that authorises an international force for East Timor:
The Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. condemns all acts of violence in East Timor, calls for their immediate end and demands that those responsible for such acts be brought to justice;
2. emphasises the urgent need for co-ordinated humanitarian assistance and the importance of allowing full, safe and unimpeded access by humanitarian organisations and calls upon all parties to co-operate with such organisations so as to ensure the protection of civilians at risk, the safe return of refugees and displaced persons and the effective delivery of humanitarian aid;
3. authorises the establishment of a multinational force under a unified command structure, pursuant to the request of the Government of Indonesia conveyed to the Secretary-General on 12 September 1999, with the following tasks:
· to restore peace and security in East Timor,
· to protect and support Unamet (the UN mission in East Timor) in carrying out its tasks and,
· within force capabilities, to facilitate humanitarian assistance operations, and
· authorises the states participating in the multinational force to take all necessary measures to fulfil this mandate;
4. welcomes the expressed commitment of the Government of Indonesia to co-operate with the multinational force in all aspects of the implementation of its mandate, and looks forward to close co-ordination between the multinational force and the Government of Indonesia;
5. underlines the Government of Indonesia's continuing responsibility under the Agreements of 5 May 1999, taking into account the mandate of the multinational force set out in paragraph 3 above, to maintain peace and security in East Timor in the interim phase between the conclusion of the popular consultation and the start of the implementation of its result and to guarantee the security of the personnel and premises of Unamet;
6. welcomes the offers by member states to organise, lead and contribute to the multinational force in East Timor, calls on member states to make further contributions of personnel, equipment and other resources and invites member states in a position to contribute to inform the leadership of the multinational force and the Secretary-General;
7. stresses that it is the responsibility of the Indonesian authorities to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the safe return of refugees to East Timor;
8. notes that Article 6 of the Agreement of 5 May 1999 states that the governments of Indonesia and Portugal and the Secretary-General shall agree on arrangements for a peaceful and orderly transfer of authority in East Timor to the United Nations and requests the leadership of the multinational force to cooperate closely with the United Nations to assist and support those arrangements;
9. stresses that the expenses for the force will be borne by the participating member states concerned and requests the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund through which contributions could be channelled to the states or operations concerned;
10. agrees that the multinational force should collectively be deployed in East Timor until replaced as soon as possible by a United Nations peacekeeping operation, and invites the Secretary-General to make prompt recommendations on a peacekeeping operation to the Security Council;
11. invites the Secretary-General to plan and prepare for a United Nations transitional administration in East Timor, incorporating a United Nations peacekeeping operation, to be deployed in the implementation phase of the popular consultation (phase 111) and to make recommendations as soon as possible to the Security Council;
12. requests the leadership of the multinational force to provide periodic reports on progress towards the implementation of its mandate through the Secretary-General to the council, the first such report to be made within 14 days of the adoption of this resolution;
13. decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Who makes up the Timor force?
Australian Defence Minister John Moore has said the Australian contingent together with personnel from more than 12 other countries will form a combined force of at least 7,500.
It is one of Asia's biggest military deployments since the Vietnam War.
The force's objective is to restore peace and security - specifically to secure the Dili compound of the UN Mission to East Timor (Unamet), protect refugees and safeguard humanitarian aid for displaced people.
Individual nations offered the following contributions:
Australia: Is sending up to 4,500 military personnel. There are six frigates and three destroyers, all equipped with guided missiles, also ready for deployment. Australian Major-General Peter Cosgrove is leading the force. East Timor lies only 400km off Australia's northern coast.
Argentina: 50 troops.
Bangladesh: Offered troops.
Brazil: 30 to 50 military police.
Britain: Britain says it is committing itself to only a "modest" military role in the East Timor crisis because of its policing roles in other world trouble spots. It has deployed destroyer HMS Glasgow, including one helicopter. Some 270 Nepali Gurkhas, some of whom speak Malay, were part of the first wave of troops to land in East Timor. Britain will contribute some 600 personnel in total. It is also offering three aircraft and donated $5m to help restore UN operations in East Timor.
Canada: About 600 troops - 100 initially, followed by two groups of 250 personnel. Supply ship HMCS Protecteur and two Hercules transport aircraft are also being sent.
China: Has said it will send a civilian police contingent.
Fiji: Will send about 180 soldiers.
Finland: Donating $1m to the operation.
France: Is sending 500 troops and a frigate to the region, also one field surgery, including 12 surgeons and two doctors.
Italy: Has pledged 600 military personnel, including tactical group of 200 paratroops, transport aircraft and amphibious naval unit on a vessel with hospital facilities, on-board helicopters and transport aircraft.
Japan: Japan's constitution prohibits the deployment of its troops abroad, but it has said it is ready to provide back-up logistics support and has pledged a total of 2m dollars in aid.
Malaysia: Malaysia has said it will send a team of military officers to join the multinational force, after earlier refusing because of Australia's leading role.
New Zealand: A New Zealand navy tanker, the HMNZS Endeavour, and an Anzac class frigate, the HMNZS Te Kaha, have been sent to the region to assist in naval operations off East Timor. Up to 800 air, sea and land troops, with an initial force of around 420 will go to East Timor.
Norway: Is sending five officers.
Pakistan: Has offered troops.
Philippines: The Philippines has said it will contribute up to 1,200 army engineers, medical and other support troops to the multinational peacekeeping force.
Portugal: President Jorge Sampaio said that Portugal was ready to contribute troops for peacekeeping in its former colony but would not insist on being included if its presence created problems with Indonesia. Portugal is to send a diplomatic team of 10 to 15 people.
Singapore: Has offered a possible volunteer force that could include medics, logistical support units and possibly military observers.
South Korea: Is considering sending a 400-stong infantry battalion to East Timor in what would be the first ever deployment of South Korean combat troops for peacekeeping operations abroad.
Sweden: Civilian police officers and $1.2m in aid.
Thailand: Thailand is the biggest Asian contributor, and plans ultimately to deploy more than 1,000 personnel, including combat troops, engineers, medics and technicians. Thai Major-General Songkitti Chakkrabhat is the mission's deputy commander.
United States: Is sending about 200 military personnel, half of whom will serve on the ground in East Timor, and support from Pacific Fleet. The US will also transport troops from other nations and help with logistics, communications and intelligence.

”You, Sir, are wrong again. Baldly, unmistakably and totally wrong.”
Finally, I quote you a great historian:
”Wrong three times. Pointed out three times. Do yourself a favour:
Argue facts, pay attention to what you've already said and read a few history books. Maybe you'll look a little less foolish.”

Now, go hit the books!


Stephen Kriz - 4/1/2003

Bill:

I use my real name and your rebuttal is as flimsy as Dubya's excuse for going AWOL from the Alabama National Guard.

If harboring al-Qaeda was an excuse for preemptive attacks, why aren't we declaring war on Pakistan? That is where most of them are hiding out and where many received their initial terrorist training. Even if it were true that al Ansar = al-Qaeda (a specious argument at best), keep in mind that their camp was located within the Northern no-fly zone, where Hussein has no sway anyway.

Bush and his psychopathic, geriatric retread friends like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Perle and Wolfowitz have had a hard-on for attacking Iraq since at least 1997. If you don't believe me, check out http://www.pnac.org These lunatics think that they are going to grow democracy out of the barrel of a gun throughout the Middle East, which is about as likely as Dubya winning the Nobel Peace Prize. All these sick, deviant men are going to do is get a lot of people killed over their twisted, nonsensical and ultimately, unAmerican ideas.

9-11 is an excuse by these perverts to exert American hegemony over regions that want no part of our culture or politics and it is a doomed idea from the get-go.

Have a nice forever.

Stephen Kriz


Stephen Kriz - 4/1/2003


The Clinton Administration tried repeatedly to get bin Laden, launching cruise missiles in 1998 at his training camps in Afghanistan, which was met with derision and scorn by those far-sighted Republicans. Sandy Berger briefed incoming Bushies like Condosleeza Rice and Karl Rove about the dangers of bin Laden and they rejected him out of hand. John O'Neill warned the White House in August of 2001 about pending attacks by al-Qaeda and was forced out of the FBI to become Director of Security at the WTC, where he met his death in an ironic turn of history.

Ken Starr, in a relentless effort to criminalize Mr. Clinton's sex life, wasted the time of 150 FBI agents investigating Clinton while Mohammed Atta and his cronies attended American flight schools, took repeated coast-to-coast flights on airlines with no visible means of support and plotted other details of the 9-11 horrors under the noses of the INS, FBI and FAA. One wonders whether the agents assigned to Starr's sex Inquisition could have uncovered the plot in advance, for all of the warning signs were there.

The Gore Commission on Aviation Security in 1996 recommended improving the security of cockpit doors on airliners, but their recommendations were deep-sixed by a Republican Congress that was more interested in Bill Clinton's zipper.

It is you, my pompous and anonymous friend, who is very short on facts. Republicans were so blinded by their hatred of Bill Clinton that they missed all of the warning signs of 9-11 and it is their responsibility entirely that this tragedy happened. Of course, they never take any responsibility for anything, so I don't expect them to start any time soon....


Herodotus - 4/1/2003

Emmanuel Kant, the progenitor of the 'perpetual peace' argument. The one that posits that if we all just behaved nicely, we'd all get along fine. The one that doesn't take into account the actions of bad men.

Are you an apologist for Hussein? Can you, here and now, repudiate completely the Ba'athist regime?


Bill Heuisler - 4/1/2003

Get over yourself. Saying something doesn't make it true, no matter what your mommy tells you.

1) This war is the extended Gulf War due to Hussein's failure to abide by the 1991 Cease-Fire agreement. We stopped killing Iraqi troops and let Saddam live because he promised to disarm. The ungrateful bastard didn't disarm so he dies. Simple.

Your belief that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 is naive at best. Ansar Al Islam has been training Al Quaeda fighters in Northern Iraq for many years since OBL was kicked out of Sudan. Saying Hussein didn't know about them and abet their function is like saying Hitler didn't know about Bergen-Belsen. Read some history before you spout dogmatic nonsense.

What nerve. You define WMD, deny good intentions and mock U.S. motives and plans. Where do you get your information? What is your experience? Why should anyone take someone seriously who hasn't the courage or conviction to use his real name?
Bill Heuisler


Suetonius - 4/1/2003

Mr. Moner said:

"The implications for international relations in future are that the US will determine if and when it chooses to attack a nation it or the gang of nations it has cobbled together alone consider in violation of something or other."

That's absolutely right. In a world of Bosnias, Kosovos, and Rwandas, sometimes you have to break the 'rules' in order to fix problems. Acting for virtuous ends sometimes requires not being virtuous all the time.


Suetonius - 4/1/2003

Mr. Lee's personal attacks do his a disservice. If he is not able to come up with any more substantive responses to Herodotus' post then perhaps he should not participate in this discussion.

'We' clearly referred to the United States. 'Speaking softly,' perhaps, referred to the four months of diplomatic negotiations at the United Nations and bilaterally with a variety of countries.

Is the angry opposition in such disarray that they are reduced only to sputtering ad hominems?


Suetonius - 4/1/2003

If you want to play this game, then you'd better gear up with the facts, sir. The Clinton administration had eight years to deal with bin Laden. It did not do so effectively, despite lobbing a few cruise missiles into Afghanistan to hit some tents.

Most failed administration in history? Generally people refer to the W.H. Harrison administration as holder of that title.


Peter N Kirstein - 4/1/2003

The word is "cant" not "kant."


Stephen Kriz - 4/1/2003

This misguided and ill-conceived war against Iraq is just one more failure in the most miserable failure of an Administration in American history. George W. Bush is a complete failure as a human being, as a father and as a businessman and he is now subjecting our country to his incompetence and arrogance in the conduct of foreign policy.

Remember that September 11th happened on George W. Bush's watch, not Bill Clinton's. It was a security failure of immense proportions and came despite many warnings from outgoing Clinton Administration staffers that Osama bin Laden (remember him?) was the biggest threat that our nation faced. Yet, the right-wing dreamers see September 11th as some sort of "achievement" for Bush. The failures of Bush's economic policies are painfully self-evident and need no further elaboration. I see George W. Bush and his incompetent and arrogant cronies as the biggest failures in this proud nation's history!


Marcus Aurelius - 4/1/2003

Bill,

I was out of contact for a few days so it took me a while to respond to your initial response to this "dead Roman." Here is my reply, rather than let it stay lost in the shuffle, I thought I'd repost.

"Marcus"
___________
No, I am not embarrassed. I note again that you do not address the substance of the comments. Let me give you some things to gnaw on:

The war IS immoral: This war fails to pass muster in any sense by any religious standard as a "just war" therefore it is an immoral war. The current administration egregiously failed at diplomacy and now has the nation bogged down in a war that has stalled and the slaughter continues. This should not be regarded as a shock to you, even the Southern Baptists regard the current action as an unjust war by definition--only fanatical fundamentalists who would be more at home with Osama Bin Laden than your average American regard this war as a "moral" war.

The President IS a liar: This one could take days to address.

Lie #1: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. By definition, chemical and biological weapons are not WMD's. They do not damage structures and the most extensive harm comes only to those who come in direct contact with them. A military analyst who firmly supports the President's military action recently listed Hussein's possible chemical and biological weaponry--3 items were listed and each one was listed as "noncatagious" and as far as "likelihood of death": "possible." A true WMD is a nuclear device (like those that North Korea possesses). Also note, thus far whenever a chemical plant has been found, there has been no evidence of its use in several years for any thing--including the production of chemical and biological weapons. Now, some may regard the kind of distinction I'm making a question of semantics, it's not. Think back to the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway a few years back; 12 people died as a result of the gas and a few others got sick--the train remained intact, so did the train station. So where's the evidence of "mass destruction"? If we are to classify chemical and biological weapons as WMD's, then we'll have to expand the list of WMD's a lot more to include automatic rifles and machine guns
Which "evildoer" should we take out next who possesses such weapons of mass destruction while singing another chorus of "Onward Christian Soldier"? Charleton Heston?

Lie #2: The war against Iraq is to avenge the horror of 9/11 terrorist strike on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. What connection is there between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorist strike? Of the terrorists involved fifteen were Saudi and four were Egyptian, two nations that stand as allies for the U.S. in the war against Iraq. The Al Qaeda group is led by Osama Bin Ladan (also Saudi) who is currently hiding out in Pakistan, another one of our allies in the war. Explain to me how taking out Hussein's regime will have any affect on the Al Qaeda network other than making it stronger than it was before.

Lie #3: This is a war of liberation, not conquest; the goal of this war is to bring democracy to Iraq and subsequently to the rest of the Middle East (excuse me while I puke). Wars do not bring democracy, wars inhibit democracy--simply recall Natalie Mains and the vicious verbal assaults she has suffered through simply because she voiced an opinion that revealed she disagreed with the Bush administration policy; or, if that's insufficient, witness the manner in which John Ashcroft is gutting the Bill of Rights as we speak (type?) in the name of "homeland security." Or travel back in time to the glorious days of the Wilson Administration during the First World War or the F. D. Roosevelt administration during the Second World War for further examples of how war threatens democracy.

Do you seriously believe that this President wants to see a legitmate democracy in Iraq when more than 50% of the population is Shiite Muslim? Did you read the AP piece the other day quoting the Iraqi Shiite leader in exile in Iran who said that the U.S. and Britain were welcome as long as they were there to topple Hussein; if they stay one day after, then the Shiites will fight them; also, if it's necessary to review oil contracts with the West, then they will do so once the war is over. Yea, G.W. is going to let that happen.

Lie #4: This war is going to be a "cakewalk": Granted the Prez is backing off this one at the moment, but nonetheless, it was a big lie spouted by G.W., Rummy, and "Iron" Dick Cheney, in the weeks preceeding the war. The administration is, of course, trotting out about a 3 second bit of a speech delivered last October suggesting that the war may last a while, but such efforts pale in comparison to the number of times G.W. and his cohorts promised the war would be short; the Iraqis will welcome us as libirators, that the Iraqi military will shrival and fold once they have to confront the overwhelming might of the U.S. of A.

Consider this, in the Gulf War of 1991, the U.S. and its coalition allies had 650,000 troops to achieve a limited objective, remove Hussein's troops from Kuwait. Now, we have launched an attempt to take over an entire country starting with only 350,000 troops.

Consider the Iraqi men leaving Amman, Jordan to return to Iraq--not to defend Hussein's regime, but to defend Iraqi soil from the invaders. One lesson we should've learned from past history, the only thing people hate more than a dictator at home is a foreign invader.

[That's enough for the lies for the moment]

We ARE ignorant: A recent poll indicated that 45% of the American public believes that Saddam Hussein was personally involved with the 9/11 terrorist attack. He wasn't. That same number believe that some of the terrorists on the airplanes were Iraqi nationals. None of them were. Ask the "man/person on the street to distinguish between a Sunni and Shiite Muslim. The answer you'll get is "huh?"

Ask another man/person on the street to answer they question why are we at war with Iraq, and the answer will be something like this:

"to destroy Hussein's WMD's, avenge those he was responsible for killing on 9/11/01; additionally, we will bring democracy to that country and the region and liberate the country. Any way,
it's going to be a short war, so what's to worry about?"

Need I say more?

M.A.


Sam Jacobsen - 4/1/2003


Was My Lai a "mistake of good intentions" ?

Anti-intellectual paranoia, dementia, or amnesia, or just sloppy arrogance. Hard to say what Stephen's problem is.


Frank Lee - 4/1/2003


"We're using the big stick now because speaking softly to Hussein and the Ba'athists did not work. "

Who is "we", Mr. Effectual ?

Blundering Donald Duck Rumsfeld speaking softly ?
Richard the Fascist Perle speaking softly ?

Trying to browbeat Congress, slander Europe, and bribe Turkey
is "speaking softly" ?

On Planet Herodutus, maybe


Herodotus - 4/1/2003

Where does Foner and the Columbia University History Department stand on de Genova's refusal to repudiate his comments?

I challenge him to respond here.


Bill Heuisler - 4/1/2003

Gus,
Capital letters and exclamation marks do not strengthen flawed reasoning and faulty information. You refuse to recognize facts, butcher history and get shrill when caught in mistakes and overstatements. Then you deny, whine or change the subject.

When I said Barak appeased, you asked me to "explain that with detail and fact" Apparently quoting the President - the highest authority, who blamed Arafat - wasn't sufficient for Gus Moner.
Bill Clinton was there. He blamed Arafat, but Gus knows better.

On 3/31 at 10:51 am, you wrote "Most of Israel's first leaders were former terrorists themselves." When your mistake was pointed out, you wasted everyone's time showing off useless knowledge of Menachem Begin whose government began thirty years after Israel was formed. Thirty years later, Gus. Words mean something. "Most(?) of Israel's first (?)..." is dead wrong.

On East Timor:
Press briefing by Joe Lockhart 2/11/2000
"But let me start by reading a statement from the President on EastTimor: Over the last several months the United States has worked with our partners in Southeast Asia to help East Timor in its transition to independence and peace. I am proud we were able to support the efforts of the Australian-led INTERFET force which has brought security and hope to East Timor. With the mission accomplished, INTERFET is now handing responsibility to a U.N. peacekeeping mission through which the countries of the region will once again provide the vast majority of troops."

"...now handing responsibility to a U.N...." In case you didn't get it, Gus, the UN took over after all the danger was over.
You're wrong again. Baldly, unmistakably and totally wrong.

Wrong three times. Pointed out three times. Do yourself a favor:
Argue facts, pay attention to what you've already said and read a few history books. Maybe you'll look a little less foolish.
Bill Heuisler


Herodotus - 4/1/2003

Yeah, and May 1942 looked pretty bleak as well.


Suetonius - 3/31/2003

Perhaps I can help "we the people" here to read Stephen's comment more closely. He was referring to Bush 43's concern about the assassination attempt on his father, Bush '41.

Clearly it is not unreasonable to term one's own father as "the chief father figure" in one's life.

In that way, we do have 'chief father figures' here in this country. They are one's biological or parental fathers, or significant mentors.

Will historian's focus on Bush 43's mental capabilities? Probably, but only after we've devoted the requisite attention, more properly, to the policies carried out by his administration. As the examples 'we the people' identifies shows: we do pay more attention to Hoover and Kennedy's policies than their personalities.


Herodotus - 3/31/2003

We're using the big stick now because speaking softly to Hussein and the Ba'athists did not work.

Lincoln may have wished for malice towards none but he was willing to use force to restore order. We wish no malice on the people of Iraq...we're freeing them of a hate dictator.

Using one-line quotations from eminent citizens of this country is leaves a weak and ineffectual argument.


We the people - 3/31/2003


We don't have "chief father figures" in this country.

The USA was founded in order to get away from that
sort of dangerous nonsense.

For those of us who have graduated from grade school:

Historians are likely to focus less on George W. Bush's intentions and more on his competency. Who cares now about the Herbert Hoover's intended economic policies, or JFK's intentions in Vietnam ?


Ed Eberhardt - 3/31/2003


The thoroughly uncritical devotion to Secretary Rumsfeld’s war with which posters Heuisler, “Herodotus”, “Stephen” and Wesley Smart (?!) have blanketed this page is in sharp contradiction to cherished values of patriotic and conservative Americans:

Beware of large standing armies in peacetime --George Washington
Malice towards none, charity for all --Abraham Lincoln
Speak softly and carry a big stick --Theodore Roosevelt



James Jefferson - 3/31/2003


Once a pitiful fool, always a pitiful fool, it seems.

Once he waved the Viet Cong flag, now "Stephen" serves Osama bin Laden by pretending that terrorist acts, plus a war to help a weak president gain popularity in advance of the next election, somehow equals a "religious war".

Nice to know that the information superhighway now extends even into nuthouses.


Herodotus - 3/31/2003

The repudiation of Peter Arnett seems to be another interesting development...Arnett chose his side, and now he is gone.


Scott Ryan - 3/31/2003

Hmmm…

“I would say there is a lot of "death and destruction" being waged against nonwhite peoples currently--as a weak and defenseless nation is being destroyed—…“

So now Iraq is weak and defenseless?? What happened to the delight in their resistance evidenced by your first post.

“…and I believe it is not extremist ideology to be in opposition to an immoral war that is being waged against the sentiments of the international community.”

I guess immorality is really in the eye of the beholder here. You claim the war is immoral – yet this forces you into a position of making common cause with a guy like Saddam Hussein – perhaps the irony is lost on you?

“Furthermore, those who disagree with a particular viewpoint of an academician should not assume that different viewpoints are suppressed in class. One might infer from the critic that he desires that only his viewpoint be taught in class. A chilling wish for a democracy and freedom of inquiry.”

I’m glad to see that you allow your students freedom from your predictable orthodoxy. And, you should not infer anything professor - as I want ALL viewpoints to be taught – but it appears that sadly and all too often yours is the only one that gets through in academia today.

“I presume that a professor who would be strongly in favour of this barbaric and vicious conflict would not be as susceptible to charges of endangering the minds of "children."

There you go with the loaded language again (barbaric and vicious), you just can’t help yourself can you? And you presume incorrectly. A right wing fascist is no better than a left wing Leninist.

“Indeed, we should treasure and honour professors who have the courage and the conviction to teach in a revisionist, inspirational manner that elucidates and clarifies topics on issues of peace and justice in a world fractured by imperialism, unilateralism and war.”

Oh please, stop your posturing already! You just can’t do without the kant, can you?

“SAVE THE CHILDREN, STOP THE BOMBING, END THE WAR”

Shouldn’t you really be addressing this to Saddam Hussein and his cronies?


Ammianus Marcellinus - 3/31/2003

Herodotus, who has argued in favor of the war in other threads, did not say or even suggest that it troubled him that other posters disagreed with him about the war. He asked whether posters were on De Genova's side? De Genova articulated very clearly what he meant by such a side, which was not merely opposition to the war but opposition to American victory in the war. You said you opposed the war but weren't on De Genova's side. Fine. Why was it "comically absurd" to ask posters whether they oppose American victory in the war? Do you think that none do?


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

Well, I was frankly surprised (and wrong) in thinking it was for me. Thanks for the clarification. I feel relieved!


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

You are my reality check Mr Heuisler! I find a reason for being when I read your posts.

Keep trying, though, you haven’t come close; for I have never, ever, read Chomsky, Zinn or The Daily Worker nor listened to Arab television. Better find another hardball method to disparage. Why the personal attacks. What do you read, the Weekly Standard and the AIPAC and AEI newsletters? I really was expecting a better response; you have been unable to address any of my comments except supply a snippet of a Clinton quote. You have to get real low to rely on the likes of Clinton to support your replies. You answered practically nothing I brought up. Can’t you?

Before entering into a debate on your paragraph 2 regarding the background of Israeli leaders, I’d suggest you try reading Israeli history. I’d like to make it easy by supplying just a paragraph; I don't want to perturb you with too many facts.

From the history of the terrorist organisation itself:
“It will be recalled that after Black Sabbath (Saturday), Menahem Begin received a letter from Moshe Sneh (chief of the Haganah General Headquarters) with instructions to blow up the King David. After preparatory work and several postponements, Irgun fighters gathered at 7 am. on Monday, July 22, 1946 at the Bet Aharon Talmud Torah seminary in Jerusalem. They arrived one by one, gave the password and assembled in one of the classrooms. They realized that they were being sent on a mission, but none of them knew what the target was. Shortly afterwards, the senior command arrived and it was only when the briefing began that the assembled fighters discovered that they were going to strike at the King David Hotel.”

Does the name Menahem Begin ring in your mind as a former PM of Israel?

Just the last comment in your paragraph can be replied to now, the only one with a modicum effort at a fact. Based of course, on a false assumption because I never said, “Sharon was elected when the Intifada began”. You failed to remember Sharon provocatively entered a Muslim site in disputed Jerusalem, just as the Intifada was heating up.

Regarding East Timor from the BBC, this is a couple of paragraphs, I hope you bear up.
Who makes up the Timor force?
Australian Defence Minister John Moore has said the Australian contingent together with personnel from more than 12 other countries will form a combined force of at least 7,500.
It is one of Asia's biggest military deployments since the Vietnam War.
The force's objective is to restore peace and security - specifically to secure the Dili compound of the UN Mission to East Timor (Unamet), protect refugees and safeguard humanitarian aid for displaced people.
Individual nations offered the following contributions:
Australia: Is sending up to 4,500 military personnel. There are six frigates and three destroyers, all equipped with guided missiles, also ready for deployment. Australian Major-General Peter Cosgrove is leading the force. East Timor lies only 400km off Australia's northern coast. Many nations are listed, but the last two are:
Thailand: Thailand is the biggest Asian contributor, and plans ultimately to deploy more than 1,000 personnel, including combat troops, engineers, medics and technicians. Thai Major-General Songkitti Chakkrabhat is the mission's deputy commander.
United States: Is sending about 200 military personnel, half of whom will serve on the ground in East Timor, and support from Pacific Fleet. The US will also transport troops from other nations and help with logistics, communications and intelligence.

Boy, when you haven’t got a leg to stand on you sure invent stories for props. Facts are a bitch; they keep getting in the way of your sloganeering. It must be hard on you.

Your Clinton quote doesn’t enter into why Arafat did that. Which goes to my point. What had been said before and negotiated and what was presented? Did that proposal meet those territorial requirements, did it solve the refugee issue, and did it dealing with water rights and Jewish settlements? As usual, you look at just your own side of the issue, whip out a quick summary phrase; let’s not delve too deeply.

Must feel pretty insulated and isolated in your ‘experienced’ reality, surrounded just with thoughts akin to your own and everyone and everything in happy agreement without the world’s real reality intruding.
May Peace be With You


Stephen - 3/31/2003

OK, Dan, so you are a non-believer.

How does that change/answer my statements?

As I said, non-believers are least qualified to understand the battle we face. The enemy really does believe in a living God, so much so that it is willing to die in the service of that God.

So, you are very much more clever than such people. Why do you think that this will stop the enemy from prosecuting the war?


dan - 3/31/2003

Wars are inherently secular.

Religion only comes into play upon the need to mobilize fodder to feed the secular war.

You don't kill somebody solely because of the difference in religion, but rather out of a feeling of inferiority or superiority (or both) based on your group identity. Identification with a religion may, of course, be one defining characteristic of the group, but war is politics.


Stephen - 3/31/2003

I'm going to suggest a few things about Prez Bush that seem beyond the imagination of the posters to this site.

What if Bush's motivations in this war are good ones? What if he is a really principled, decent man who is doing what he feels he must do? When we think about the war in this light, we can still make arguments pro or con.

Now, let me list some possible motivations, were I in Bush's shoes:

1. Mad as hell about an attack on American soil during his watch. Not hard to understand, is it? From this point of view, we can well imagine a man who's determined to vindicate himself and to prevent such further attacks.

2. A genuine concern for the future of the republic. Since Bush is a religious man, he understands the mind of the enemy better than the Marxist left does. Understanding the breadth of the Islamic complaint against the West, he might well also understanding just how immoveable that opposition is.

3. Bush might well be motivated by the asassination attempt on his father. I don't blame him for this. Any sensible son would be equally angry. And what kind of people will not be outraged by an asassination attempt upon their chief father figure?

4. Oil. And why not? American, Dutch and British capital investment and technology brought that oil to the surface, and brought considerable wealth to the Middle East. That the Middle East is bogged down in failed governments is not entirely the fault of the West.

5. A real belief that democracy can succeed in the Arab world. This is the toughest idea. The Arab world is caught in the same dilemma as the Chinese -- wanting the material wealth of the West, but wanting to reject the moral and family decay. Perhaps democracy really can succeed in the Arab world.

So, if I were a member of the opposition to this war, I would start in a different place than the diatribes against Prez Bush. I would adduce good (albeit deluded) motivations to the president. I would base my opposition on understanding Prez Bush's positive motivations.

You'll see that if you start there, you will be more successful in finding a sensible way to oppose the war.


maxvintage - 3/31/2003

My sincere apologies


Stephen - 3/31/2003

OK. Here’s a start. Assume that the enemy is serious about its stated aims. This is only a sign of respect. Recasting the war of the Anglo/West against the Arab/East in the mold of the old capitalist versus commie mold allows the observer to feel like he’s in familiar territory. But, I think it’s wrong. The Arab/East is telling the truth about how it sees this conflict. This is a religious war, pitting believer against non-believer. I think that it really is, no matter how the left wants to remake the war into the same old ideological battle of the 20th century.

So, if this really is a religious war (and I believe it is), who are the combatants? What are the terms of the war? What constitutes winning and losing? Why do we continue to believe that a single battle in Iraq (or in Afghanistan) is the sum total of that war?

An overwhelming theme of the left is an apparent belief that the war would go away if the U.S. would stop prosecuting it. Is this really true? I doubt it. I live in NYC, and I fully expect counterpunches from the Islamic side whether or not we fight back, and whether or not Bush remains president. NYC will continue to be a target for the simple reason that the principle antagonists live here: Jews, feminists and gays.

Nobody is less qualified to guess about the nature of this war than the non-religious, Marxist left. Such people simply refuse to believe that the enemy is really serious about its religious faith. That non-religious, Marxist left is busy pasting the old 20th century ideological battle on every new battle of the 21st century. I would speculate that, 100 years from now, historians will generally agree on something that will surprise all of us. The 20th century polarization of the U.S./Soviet era concealed and held at bay this coming battle of the non-believers against the believers.

So, let me boil this all down to one question. Assume that the Islamic world is telling the truth, that the current battle is between the believers and the non-believers. Now, tell me why you believe that the U.S. can extricate itself so easily from this battle?


Peter N Kirstein - 3/31/2003

Perhaps "Stephen," who described himself as a "founder" and "leader" of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam war would wish to identify himself. It might add considerable credibility to his argumentation.


Wesley Smart - 3/31/2003

that was to herodotus, not to moner


Suetonius - 3/31/2003

By diplomacy do you mean more negotiations with Iraq or more negotiations among the other countries in the world to assemble the largest possible military force to use against Iraq in the event of non-compliance?

If the latter, how do you account for the fact that France never had any intention of allowing the inspections to reach fruition?


Stephen - 3/31/2003

No, it's not hard to believe.

There are actually principled people who have some sensible arguments to make against the war in Iraq. This Kirstein fool isn't one of them. Just another Stalinist hopeful spilling out the anti-American bile that passes for wisdom in PC academia.

There is a principled case to be made against the war. Unfortunately, I haven't read it here. Doubt that I will.

If any of the jerks who have been responding to this post actually teach in a university, their remarks should earn them an early retirement.

I am interested in reading a coherent opposition voice, but the "imperialism, racism, etc." crowd to which Kirstein belongs to won't provide it. Kirstein and his ilk probably need help pulling on their jockey shorts in the morning.

This is supposed to be a history site. The level of the comments on this site raise questions about the basic literacy, if not sanity, of the posters.

Is there anybody out there with a functioning brain?

And, yes, I was one of the founders and leaders of the Vietnam anti-war movement.


Suetonius - 3/31/2003

Does Mr. Vintage refer to Herodotus's post? It wasn't mine. I disagree with the idea that you have to take sides...and Foner and the crowd at Columbia did a pretty good job of repudiating the guy's comments.


Bill Heuisler - 3/31/2003

Gus,
Reading Chomsky, Zinn, the Daily Worker and listening to Arab television has apparently destroyed your perceptions of reality.

You wrote, "Most of Israel’s first leaders were former terrorist themselves, and the current one is responsible for a massacre."
Really? Golda Meir, David Ben Gurian, Chaim Weizmann, Itzhak Ben-Zvi, Levi Eshkol were terrorists? What about Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak? To blame Sharon for Shatilla is like blaming Westmoreland for MyLai. And Sharon was not elected when Arafat's entifada began. Facts are a bitch, Gus.

Now More Facts-
Your man, President Clinton had some things to say about Arafat:
"The true story of Camp David was that for the first time in the history of the conflict the American president put on the table a proposal, based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, very close to the Palestinian demands, and Arafat refused even to accept it as a basis for negotiations, walked out of the room, and deliberately turned to terrorism. That's the real story—all the rest is gossip."
Bill Clinton-July 26, 2001 To Barak in Sardinia (look it up, Gus)

East Timor was pacified under UN mandate? Tell it to the Marines.
That's like saying the rooster made the sun rise. Australians? Okay, if you say so. But Aussies don't wear blue helmets, Gus.

Next time you make statements on this HNN site at least have the decency to open a damned history book. Reality's a bitch, Gus. But if you try it, you might like it.
Bill Heuisler


Peter N Kirstein - 3/31/2003

I would say there is a lot of "death and destruction" being waged against nonwhite peoples currently--as a weak and defenseless nation is being destroyed-- and I believe it is not extremist ideology to be in opposition to an immoral war that is being waged against the sentiments of the international community. Please consult my writings in the Weekly Standard and the New Criterion on these points. Furthermore, those who disagree with a particular viewpoint of an academician should not assume that different viewpoints are suppressed in class. One might infer from the critic that he desires that only his viewpoint be taught in class. A chilling wish for a democracy and freedom of inquiry.

I presume that a professor who would be strongly in favour of this barbaric and vicious conflict would not be as susceptible to charges of endangering the minds of "children." Children are college students? That is new to me.

Indeed, we should treasure and honour professors who have the courage and the conviction to teach in a revisionist, inspirational manner that elucidates and clarifies topics on issues of peace and justice in a world fractured by imperialism, unilateralism and war.
SAVE THE CHILDREN, STOP THE BOMBING, END THE WAR


maxvintage - 3/31/2003

This is without a doubt the most reckless administration in American history. They have pressed a war in the face of remarkable opposition from out traditional (at least since 45) allies, as well as from recent allies like the Russians. They have flow in the face of world opinion and given us almost no hard evidence of a need for war. With similar recklessness they have rushed American troops in to test a brand new theory of warfare. The administration raced the troops to Bhagdad only to find that their assumptions are all wrong. The troops are now understaffed, undersupplied, and facing, as James Webb wrote in the NYT, a long stretch of guerilla warfare. This is not "liberal" or leftist opinon, easily trashed by the right: it's the opinion of the US military.

At home, they are pursuing a dramatic and eqully reckless tax cut while entering into a war of unknown length and rapidly escalating scale, which will leave the US with a deficit of historic proportions.

It my be that Iraqi resitance will collapse: our lvel of force is overwhelming., But the administration, again with it charcteristc recklessness has shown no clear idea about what Iraq will look like--who will gover? Will there be open elections? How will we deal with the animosity this has caused in the rest of the arab world? How will we repair the damage done to our relations with other nations we need in the war on glabal terrorism?

Has there ever been a more reckless administration in American history?


maxvintage - 3/31/2003

So one man's opinions now constitute a danger? In wat sense? No one endorsed the guy, the organizers repudiated him, apparently the crowd repudiated him. In what real sense do one man's "hopes" pose ANY kind of danger

And I am required to "take sides," Suetonius tells me, becasue some dope at Columbia shoots his mouth off. Do I side with him or not? Ok, I dont' agree with him, or "side" with him. I Also think the war is a horrible mistake and will be a long-term disaster.

You don't like that fact? It troubles you that some people disdagree about the war? Welcome to freedom of expression. The time has come, Suetonius, for you to take sides. Are you for me or against me?

Crisis over


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

The data showing increased support for the war also indicates it is because they are supporting their suddenly bullet-challenged troops. Poll data before the war showed over 65% of Britons opposed. What changed their mind from night to day? Bombs, missiles and blue on blue gave them a sense they needed to support their fellow citizens caught-up in a war.

Large? A large number of countries, you say, support the USA invasion. What is large to you, 1/6 of the planet’s nations supporting a war, or the 5/6 who oppose it? Looks as if Germany, France and Russia, along with 6 other UNSC members, are not as alone as you claim.

Overwhelmingly, most demonstrators have been peaceful. And what is democratic about countries like Spain and other 'supporters'? In Spain, 90% of the population opposes participation in the war, yet their leader plunges them into it, albeit politically, not militarily except for serving as a large naval and air port. Italians have similar opposition numbers, hoewver their leader listened and backed off supporting it militarily and has disappeared from the political scene on this subject. Is this the sort of democracy we are defending?

No one I know believes the Iraqi regime is worth preserving, or its leaders. However, the question is HOW do we go about eliminating the weapons without getting into a war. Diplomacy failed for war was always in the cards, at least since Jan 2002. Had there been a series of benchmarks and deadlines not met, a wider array of nations would have eventually backed UN military action, avoiding this huge schism with allies and awful division amongst citizens and nations, the governed and their rulers. What was the rush? Iraq’s had the weapons for 20 years!


Scott Ryan - 3/31/2003

Hey professor, don’t you ever tire of using loaded language (genocidal, imperial, warmongers)? Here is my personal favorite;
“…top guns to reign death and destruction upon nonwhite peoples throughout the world?”

Does your extremist ideology render you incapable of making a balanced argument?

Just what kind of history are you teaching those poor impressionable children?


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

Well put.


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

I do not consider ad hominiem making a comment such as he did about Rumsfed. Nor does the Easter Bunny comment seem off the mark, he’s trying to make a point about the bizarreness of it all.

I’ll engage the comment you put forward. First it was 30 nations, then 35, then now its 45. We have heard of three fighting nations, being fair to Australia’s miniscule contribution. Only Spain, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine and Czech Republic have provided military assistance, in all cases chemical decontamination and detection units, ports, airfields, and some ‘humanitarian aid’. Italy has for months been off the radar screen, in a clever move by Machiavellian Berlusconi, who saw he had no room in that Bush family photo. Since December has been slowly slipping into the background to the point he has just plain disappeared. It’s the best disappearing act in politics I have seen in decades.

It’s queer what is being inferred here. One joins a coalition and wants to remain ‘anonymous’. We didn’t see that happen in Gulf War I nor in WWII. What’s the embarrassment about?

Neither Poles nor Danes are engaged in combat. Nor are those opportunistically brave Spaniards, either. Last night’s news reported 90% of Spain’s people opposed participation in the war. Are these governments for the people, by the people and with the people? Or are they anonymous because they are not?


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

Read the reply if you are interested.


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

Thank you for the support.


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

As to the rest - Arafat, the UN and appeasment.

1)
I do not defend Arafat when I say that. I say he is not single-handedly responsible. Basic comprehension of English would lead one to understand from that statement he is responsible along with the unnamed others. I explain a breakdown in the process and the causes for it, and most of the comment is directed at that. Moreover, the fact that Arafat is a former terrorist has no bearing on this issue. Most of Israel’s first leaders were former terrorist themselves, and the current one is responsible for a massacre. So, why pick on Arafat. Relax, I AM NOT DEFENDING HIM, just presenting both sides of the issue, as painful as it seems to be for you.

I am neither for nor against Arafat. He is a freely elected leader, as certified by election monitors from the USA and EU, just like the Israeli PM is, in my opinion a terrorist, freely elected and all.

2) Barak appeased. Arafat turned him down. The entifada began.

Barak appeased? Please explain that with detail and fact. It seems a mere accusation. How simple the world looks to you, I marvel at that happiness. I didn’t realise it was all so easy and smooth, or I’d have never bother to study the subject.

Perhaps failing to study the issues that halted the signing of an agreement has led you to these conclusions. Sharon’s provocations had nothing to do with it? Refugees were not part of the negotiations? Refugee compensation? Illegal settlements? How about control of water and other resources? Refusal to yield areas on dates negotiated? Now I respectfully request you answer all of these.

3) East Timor has been controlled by the USS Belleau Wood, the 31st and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Units (not the UN).

My information indicates Australians landed troops and pacified East Timor under UN mandate. Please correct me with facts if I am wrong.

4) Korea would not be at peace without our troops on the DMZ.
Quite possible. It also might not be divided and half of it governed by lunatics without the troops there and without the USA giving half to the USSR who did nothing to fight Japan but joined the land grab at the end. So what is your point?

5) Bringing up Kuwait as a UN success is a lousy joke.

No joke. The UN mandate was fulfilled. 34 nations or so contributed armed forces. Naturally, it makes sense that the US, spending more on its military than the next 12 nations that follow on the list and having the most resources and ability to project force for offensive operations, to contribute to UN missions should do so. Remember, the UN was established for COLLECTIVE security and actions in the event peace was threatened.

6) Where is the experience you bring to bear when lecturing me and others on proper applications of diplomacy and warfare?

I am a person, with the necessary education and a lifetime of experience to comment on the issues affecting our world, and thus me. I needn’t present any credentials or 'experience' to make my comments, nor do you need them to reply, apparently. I haven’t a clue as to anyone’s ‘credentials’ when I read or reply. I do so even if you disagree with my replies.

By the way, I just try to explain my position, not to lecture anyone. I accept your statement that you were not attacking me personally as valid.

Now, I’ll get over the name-calling, call a truce and promise not to cast the first stone. Fair deal?

I have answered your questions as the imperative verb form you selected dictated, and, I’ll play hardball next time!


Gus Moner - 3/31/2003

You are right, neither of us has been free of sin in this case.


Fernando - 3/31/2003

Actually, you're right, but for a different reason than the alleged Bush/Osama connection. My major in college was Latin American Studies. Among many historical events (which always included American intervention), I studied the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions. What Osama bin Laden did on 9/11 was a classic guerrilla reviolutionary tactic: a small, minority, revolutionary group will perpetrate a spectacular and seemingly nonsensical attack, with the aim of inducing a disproportionate reaction on the part of the established government which serves to alienate the population and put them, temporarily, on the side of the revolutionaries. This way, the revolutionaries, always a small, fringe, fanatical minority, is able to make things move in their direction. The sandinistas did this in 1978 when they temporarily held the Nicaraguan senate hostage (I think this was Comandante Cero, who later became a Contra operating out of Costa Rica). The reaction of the Somoza regime was to brutalize the popularion, including assassinating the famouse journalist Chamorro (whose wife Violeta became Nicaragua's post-Sandinista elected President).


John KIpper - 3/31/2003

I suggest that all new ammunition used by the American Army be stamped with the words "Gus did not approve." Would that stop your whinning?


Kevin M. Fitzpatrick - 3/31/2003

You are absolutely right.Remember there is some sort of family connection here Bush-Benladen through the Carlyle group and oil. I am not implying any sort of conspiracy here but I think OBL may have knew people who knew W and was able to ascertain his weaknesses. OBL may be crazy but don't think he's stupid.


Wesley Smart - 3/31/2003

Zorba's comments aside (David Duke? is he even stil alive?), Herodotus raises an interesting question...as the evidence of the Ba'athist torture chamber at An Nasiriyah comes to light, can we continue to take comments like those of this Columbia professor lightly?

At what point do we stop excusing his actions as just interesting views from the fringe...at what point do they cross a line into real incitement for revolution and a challenge to the legitimacy of the system of government we have in this country? At what point do we acknowledge that words such as his are not just meaningless drivel but are in fact dangerous?


Albert Madison - 3/31/2003


Not Saddam He is up against the wall.
Not Iraqi citizens They are being killed by both sides
Not Israeli citizens They will be victims in any revenge attacks
Not Korean citizens Worried about lunacy short and long range
Not Prez Bush He would be better off with "don't do
nation-building"
Not US taxpayers
and investors Now that voodoo economics is riding
roughshod over sound fiscal policy

Not Haliburton Whose name is further mired in mud

Not US citizens Whose country has never been so hated
around the globe


Nope, the bigger winner to date is:

Osama bin Laden. He set a trap and America has fallen into it


Zorba - 3/31/2003


The time has also come for people in favor of the war to take sides. Are you with David Duke or against him ?


Herodotus - 3/31/2003

The time has come to ask people who are opposed to the war to pick sides. Are you with Nicholas De Genova of Columbia University or are you against him?

Now the lines have been drawn, the shrouds removed and the battle joined.


Suetonius - 3/31/2003

Mr. Moner,

I have to agree with Mr. Heuisler. Do please answer his questions. You're running the risk of jeopardizing your credibility here.


Bill Heuisler - 3/31/2003

Gus,
He's my son, not my sibling, but thanks for the thought.
As to the rest - Arafat, the UN and appeasment.

1)Have you forgotten defending Arafat this week? You wrote,
"Arafat is not single-handedly responsible for the failure of the Oslo agreement, as Israel reneged on significant elements of the plan when it came time to return land and empower a new government. Israel eventually threw it in the rubbish bin. Moreover, the failure of the final Clinton settlement effort is directly traceable to the Israeli failure to deal with the refugee issue, leaving nearly 4 million Palestinians homeless and uncompensated for their loss of land."

2) Barak appeased. Arafat turned him down. The entifada began.

3) East Timor has been controlled by the USS Belleau Wood, the
31st and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Units (not the UN).

4) Korea would not be at peace without our troops on the DMZ.

5) Bringing up Kuwait as a UN success is a lousy joke.

6) Where is the experience you bring to bear when lecturing me and others on proper applications of diplomacy and warfare?

Gus, you've been calling me names for over a year and they are like commendations. If you think my questions and admonitions were personal attacks, then you've been playing softball not arguing politics. Get over it and answer my questions.
Bill Heuisler


Wesley Smart - 3/31/2003

Amen, brother. Well put.


Wesley Smart - 3/31/2003

Consistency would help your arguments, Mr. Moner.


Herodotus - 3/31/2003

Mr. Moner,

You haven't a leg to stand on anymore. You posted this to Mr. Heuisler:

"Mr Heuisler in Arizona sits comfortably advocating war whilst millions suffer the pounding of missiles in cities, the invasion of their villages and the horrors of war we all know and I shan?t detail. "

And then you say this:

"Thanks for the personal attack. It raises the level of discourse significantly from the propagandistic drivel, violence promotion and hate you often repeat."

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, Mr. Moner. Otherwise shut up and sit down.


Herodotus - 3/31/2003

Those who live in their closeted little worlds were not paying attention to 9-11. You can sit there and pray for peace but there are evil little men in the world who do not care you or for your prayers for peace. There are those like Hussein, like bin Laden, like Pol Pot and like Gengis Khan who care nothing for the lamentations of the innocent or the pleadings of the righteous. Their worldview is one of order and disorder, of control or subjugation. You can hope all you want for a perfect world where we do not need armies, we do not need power, we do not need to worry about the evil people who are out there. Such a world cannot exist anytime soon.

IF you do that,however, you doom yourself to ultimate destruction. There is evil in this world. It is not the United States, no matter how hard you try to delude yourself. Violence can beget more violence if it is not principled, focused and ultimately pursued to virtuous ends. You can sit here and foreswear violence bu the guy with the gun who wants your wallet is still going to use the threat of violence to get what he wants.

Stopping the cycle of violence does not end with us putting down the sword. It comes with making the other guy believe he has more to lose by continuing to hold his sword, because he sure as hell isn't going to recognize your moral superiority and bow before it.


Gus Moner - 3/30/2003

Mr Heuisler,
Thanks for the personal attack. It raises the level of discourse significantly from the propagandistic drivel, violence promotion and hate you often repeat. Your own comments are the platitudes of a rabid, brainwashed individual, as others whom you have insulted have pointed up on this web site after reading your comments.

To date even though we often disagree, I have treated you with the respect any person deserves, even when you have failed to show the most minimal elements of polite human behaviour in your discourse, on occasion in the notes we exchange.

Be on notice that in this note I shall dispense with such niceties, or as you might prefer I call it, quaintness.

Now, then, let’s try to raise my cowardly, platitude-filled brain to your oracle-level of of discourse.

I do NOT, nor have I EVER defended Saddam. I have defended a policy towards a problem and a nation in the defence of diplomatic efforts to avert the precipitate horrors we are witnessing and no, I shan’t detail them.
(Just what do you dislike about the phrase? It escapes my feeble intellect)

So, lying doesn’t work with me, or with most others who read your comments. Your premise is flawed, because you have lied about what my positions are. As for Arafat, I have never written of him personally; you cannot possibly know what I opine.

Seldom do I personalise issues. I write about them from the points of view of how they affect the people and nations, seldom do I get into personalities. I like to point up the other side of the Israel-Palestinian issue because all the propaganda on behalf of Israel has failed to deliver a balanced view of the problem in the USA, making it ever harder to reach a solution, in my opinion. If there was any doubt about this, it was eliminated by your precise comment. It clearly evidenced your rabid, biased defence of Israel with the same simpleton argument of insulting the interlocutor to avoid the issues, just call me anti-Israeli and that'll show him! It lacks any sort of factual perspective on the historical and fundamental issues involving the situation in Palestine.

You asked me in “what elective office, in what unit, in what war and in whose army have you served?” What does this question have to do with my comments? Am I only allowed to opine if I have served in “elective office, a unit, in a war and in an army”? Or are you seeking other ways to insult me? I couldn’t care less for whom you work, what army you serve, whom you bow to or what office you have been elected to. They have nothing to do with these web site discussions.

You then asked, “Where have you ever been forced to miss a single meal for your politics of surrender and pacification?” Frankly, I do not understand the query, would you mind rephrasing it?

Your level of intellect, as displayed by your insults, is not fit to judge the moral beliefs and values of an amoeba, much less a developed human being. I have always said in my comments that I support a stable and free Israeli nation along with a Palestinian nation with equal status. Moreover, I am not anti- American. You seem to treat any variance of opinion with your firmly held beliefs as anti-American, as if you had a monopoly on the definition of being American, or a good American or a pro-American. Well you are wrong again.

I am thankfully a different sort from you, but I am not anti-any nation, culture or people, a quality you have so far failed to reveal in your commentaries. Labelling people un-patriotic when they disagree with you shows an intermittent but ever increasing lack of ability to engage in intelligent discourse on issues by resorting to simple labelling, an easy escape, but a dead give away for intellectual bankrupcy.

Whom do I castigate, sir? What does that statement mean?

Appeasing tyrants is not what the Iraqi war is about. It is another sign you fail to reason through, much less question, what your leaders or superiors tell you. This war was decided long before Bush went to the UN. What was he going to do, remove 200,000 men if Iraq disarmed and Saddam stayed in power? No, that’s why he had to have multiple reasons, the combined lot of which was impossible to meet.

Well, the UN has had successes. It has worked best when everyone agreed on an issue, of course. In fact, it can be said that the UN has just really begun to work since the end of the USSR/USA standoff, for some 15 years. That’s why it would have been better to agree a common approach with the UNSC members BEFORE threatening Iraq. Diplomacy didn’t fail, it was never meant to work. As for successes at the UN, Korea Kuwait and East Timor are but three. I shan’t go into detail regarding their success in the medical and other non-political fields; you’d never get it.

Israel appeased whom? Please clarify. And what is Iraq today if not hundred-fold violence and death?

By the way, I can back up “my constant pettifogging” any day of the week much better than you can your insults.

I have had my say so I’ll stop my venom now for a comment I mean to be serious and respectful.

I know you have a child serving in the armed forces. I regret he or she is in harm’s way today and assure you it is my sincere belief that everything I believe in and defend on this site has been done with the desire that this war have been avoided, and the children of Iraq, the USA and UK avoided this hell.

Alternatively, if that had proven to be impossible, (as I believe to be the case) that it would then have been able to be shown and agreed. This would have given the war the broad support from the nations of the world it requires, thereby preserving international law and order and avoiding the deep divisions this precipitous and bull-headed war have caused. May your sibling return home safely.


Gus Moner - 3/30/2003

Mr Kvtech,
The clichés are to make a point, not to please, although I am glad you found them ‘good or venerable’. You pose questions based on assumptions that seem erroneous to me. “Sometimes violence is all that stops violence” What violence are we stopping? We have instigated and initiated the violence, plunging a nation into a hellish scenario of bloody battles, terrible damage, violence, humanitarian crises, etc., all for not awaiting a UN decision that the end of the possibilities of diplomatic efforts to solve the wmd issue.

It is this attitude that is deeply troubling; the war on Iraq was decided by January 2002, and nothing was going to stop it. Not even disclosure and disarmament, not after putting over 180,000 troops there. Can you see Bush and Rumsfeld saying Saddam can stay now that he has disarmed?

It is disconcerting to be picking which international agreements we’ll follow whilst trundling over the ones that restrain our new role of planetary sheriff. What kind of country would the USA be with people determining which laws they follow and which they blow off? Extrapolated to the planetary level, we are ushering in an age of chaos.

I did not say we needed to act nice to make them like us. You did. I said the escalation of the cycle of violence is a proven failure. I used the obvious example of Israel, with its high-tech and efficient armed and secret services. After 55 years, they have neither subdued nor solved the Palestinian problem their expansionism has created. Imitating such a proven strategy seems at best stupid.

Another bewildering matter is that our foreign policy, in a government permeated and so dominated by a Judeo-Christian neo-conservative clique, has developed so that now we are doing the dirty work Israel wants done. In effect, we are undertaking Israel’s foreign policy positions. Look at Mr. Perle’s resignation as chairman of the Defence Policy Council this week. He resigned the presidency after publication in various media of numerous conflicts of interest with companies seeking favours he represents. He was nevertheless retained on the council! What astonishing ethics at the War Department.

Arafat is not single-handedly responsible for the failure of the Oslo agreement, as Israel reneged on significant elements of the plan when it came time to return land and empower a new government. Israel eventually threw it in the rubbish bin. Moreover, the failure of the final Clinton settlement effort is directly traceable to the Israeli failure to deal with the refugee issue, leaving nearly 4 million Palestinians homeless and uncompensated for their loss of land.

The issues are really more complex than your comment seems to take into account. Israel would benefit greatly from a weak UN, for it too fails to respect their resolutions.

Enough has been written about the unsuitability of the Hitler comparison to get into that one again.


Marcus Aurelius - 3/30/2003

No, I am not embarrassed. I note again that you do not address the substance of the comments. Let me give you some things to gnaw on:

The war is immoral: This war fails to pass muster in any sense by any religious standard as a "just war" therefore it is an immoral war. The current administration egregiously failed at diplomacy and now has the nation bogged down in a war that has stalled.

The President is a liar: This one could take days to address.

Lie #1: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. By definition, chemical and biological weapons are not WMD's. They do not damage structures and the most extensive harm comes only to those who come in direct contact with them. A military analyst who firmly supports the President's military action recently listed Hussein's possible chemical and biological weaponry--3 items were listed and each one was listed as "noncatagious" and as far as "likelihood of death": "possible." A true WMD is a nuclear device (like those that North Korea possesses). Also note, thus far whenever a chemical plant has been found, there has been no evidence of its use in several years for any thing--including the production of chemical and biological weapons.

Lie #2: The war against Iraq is to avenge the horror of 9/11 terrorist strike on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. What connection is there between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorist strike? Of the terrorists involved fifteen were Saudi and four were Egyptian, two nations that stand as allies for the U.S. in the war against Iraq. The Al Qaeda group is led by Osama Bin Ladan (also Saudi) who is currently hiding out in Pakistan, another one of our allies in the war. Explain to me how taking out Hussein's regime will have any affect on the Al Qaeda network other than making it stronger than it was before.

Lie #3: This is a war of liberation, not conquest; the goal of this war is to bring democracy to Iraq and subsequently to the rest of the Middle East (excuse me while I puke). Wars do not bring democracy, wars inhibit democracy--simply recall Natalie Mains and the vicious verbal assaults she has suffered through simply because she voiced an opinion that revealed she disagreed with the Bush administration policy; or, if that's insufficient, witness the manner in which John Ashcroft is gutting the Bill of Rights as we speak (type?) in the name of "homeland security." Or travel back in time to the glorious days of the Wilson Administration during the First World War or the F. D. Roosevelt administration during the Second World War for further examples of how war threatens democracy.

Do you seriously believe that this President wants to see a legitmate democracy in Iraq when more than 50% of the population is Shiite Muslim? Did you read the AP piece the other day quoting the Iraqi Shiite leader in exile in Iran who said that the U.S. and Britain were welcome as long as they were there to topple Hussein; if they stay one day after, then the Shiites will fight them; also, if it's necessary to review oil contracts with the West, then they will do so once the war is over. Yea, G.W. is going to let that happen.

Lie #4: This war is going to be a "cakewalk": Granted the Prez is backing off this one at the moment, but nonetheless, it was a big lie spouted by G.W., Rummy, and "Iron" Dick Cheney, in the weeks preceeding the war. The administration is, of course, trotting out about a 3 second bit of a speech delivered last October suggesting that the war may last a while, but such efforts pale in comparison to the number of times G.W. and his cohorts promised the war would be short; the Iraqis will welcome us as libirators, that the Iraqi military will shrival and fold once they have to confront the overwhelming might of the U.S. of A.

Consider this, in the Gulf War of 1991, the U.S. and its coalition allies had 650,000 troops to achieve a limited objective, remove Hussein's troops from Kuwait. Now, we have launched an attempt to take over an entire country starting with only 350,000 troops.

Consider the Iraqi men leaving Amman, Jordan to return to Iraq--not to defend Hussein's regime, but to defend Iraqi soil from the invaders. One lesson we should've learned from past history, the only thing people hate more than a dictator at home is a foreign invader.

[That's enough for the lies for the moment]

We are ignorant: A recent poll indicated that 45% of the American public believes that Saddam Hussein was personally involved with the 9/11 terrorist attack. He wasn't. That same number believe that some of the terrorists on the airplanes were Iraqi nationals. None of them were. Ask the "man/person on the street to distinguish between a Sunni and Shiite Muslim. The answer you'll get is "huh?"

Ask another man/person on the street to answer they question why are we at war with Iraq, and the answer will be something like this:

"to destroy Hussein's WMD's and avenge those who were killed
on 9/11; additionally, we will bring democracy to that
country and the region and liberate the country. Any way,
it's going to be a short war, so what's to worry about?"

Need I say more?


kvetch - 3/30/2003

Good cliches, Mr. Moner (or at least venerable ones),
but are they necessarily true? Sometimes violence is
all that stops violence--I have my doubts about the
present situation, but acting nice to make them like
us doesn't always make them like us-- sometimes it
just encourages them (witness Arafat and PLO conduct
post-Oslo or the appeasement of Hitler).


Bill Heuisler - 3/30/2003

Mr. Moner,
Have you no shame, sir? You constantly change the subject, repeat falsehoods, flood the ether with platitudes, ignore the lessons of history and defend Saddam and Arafat. Then you write about, "...the horrors of war we all know and I shan’t detail."
Shan't detail? Really? How quaint. How convenient.

What elective office, in what unit, in what war and in whose army have you served? Where have you ever been forced to miss a single meal for your politics of surrender and pacification? Before you presume to castigate others, tell us all about the experience that colors your extreme anti-American, anti-Israel judgements. Detail the successes of your beloved United Nations and give one - just one - instance in history where appeasing tyrants has prevented war. Israel appeased, Chamberlain appeased, the UN appeased and all have been answered with hundredfold violence and death. You would appease again and expect to be taken seriously?

If you can't back up your constant pettifogging then have the decency to be ashamed and silent while fine young men and women are dying for our country.
Bill Heuisler


Gus Moner - 3/30/2003

Unsurprisingly, Mr Herodotus, you have failed to grasp the simple point the lady is making. That point is that violence begets more violence and if you live by the sword you die by the sword. Etc.

So, if we want to stop the cycle of violence, more violence, as Israel has unfortunatley proven beyond doubt over the past 55 years, does not beget peace.

Or do you want your village destroyed in order to save it?



Gus Moner - 3/30/2003

Mr Heuisler in Arizona sits comfortably advocating war whilst millions suffer the pounding of missiles in cities, the invasion of their villages and the horrors of war we all know and I shan’t detail.

No one is spewing hatred against their own country but people like you, warmongers who prefer to invade other nations than to allow all possible diplomatic efforts to be exhausted. When we invade others, interfere in their internal affairs Sir, we spew hatred that comes back to us in terrorism, odium and more tension in an already unstable world. Perhaps the inspections would have eventually been deemed a failure and the UN would have agreed the military action as the last, remaining course. What a different scenario that would have been! The world isn’t comprised only of Texas and Arizona.


Gus Moner - 3/30/2003

Mr Suetonious you have got it wrong here. If you are going to war in my name, I have the right to see the evidence, regardless of the security clearance assigned to it. War is the ultimate form of violence. No secret is so important as to hide the cause of war. It is clear your hometown has never been under attack, your friends and relatives injured, mutilated or killed, homes destroyed, gas, water and electricity, rubbish and sewerage services interrupted.

No, Mr Kleshinski is not wrong. Mr. Powell presented not a plagiarised document, rather a falsified one. A false, invented document alleging Iraqi purchases of nuclear bomb materials in, I believe, some African state, proven to be a total falsification.

The UK report in question was a student’s thesis, inaccurate in many areas, plain wrong in others and outdated in its totality as it was over a decade old. It was a bloody charade and deception that was visited upon the British public, and eventually the world.


Gus Moner - 3/30/2003

The issue is complex indeed, and both our positions represent but a small part of the wide spectrum of opinion on the topic. There is no possible way to reach agreement on this subject, as there is no tribunal that can determine this with the finality and closure we’d like. So, not even an international law expert can help, he or she would just add one more opinion.

No, other than self-defence from an attack, the international body of law generally says that there are situations where war may indeed be the last resort, be necessary. The UN has the mandate, or ‘legal’ right to act in the collective defence of a nation or group of nations. Moreover alliances may enter into war ‘automatically’ if conditions triggered such an event, as would have happened automatically in the case of a Warsaw Pact/NATO clash, for example.

Attacking Iraq under existing UN resolutions has become a sort of on-going war game for the UK and US since 1991. One could argue as you do that this is part of the UN process of forcing compliance. Notwithstanding, what we have here is an invasion and regime change plan in the midst of a UN authorised inspections regime. Three UN members unilaterally halted the UN inspection process when they launched an invasion without seeking or receiving UNSC approval. They usurped UN rule. Under 1441, the UN was enforcing UN resolutions. The three members unilaterally decided to militarily enforce the very UN resolutions that the UN was in the process of enforcing peacefully, you might say, by saying time’s up. This is not as clean cut as you put it, for then any member can say they are acting under the resolutions to attack at any time, the implication being that the US can be the UN enforcer if and when it chooses without explicit UN approval. The 1998 scenario is quite different.

This is as much a legal problem as it is procedural. The implications for international relations in future are that the US will determine if and when it chooses to attack a nation it or the gang of nations it has cobbled together alone consider in violation of something or other. In effect, we become the UN. We become its judge, jury, prosecutor and eventually executioner. This leads to the widespread view now that the US will only enforce the UN resolutions we want, ignoring those that prick.

Unfortunately for all of us, this wider issue will not be settled anytime soon.


Suetonius - 3/30/2003

I am suggesting that the Ba'athist regime is fully capable of killing its own citizens, removing the evidence of its involvement, and blaming the United States and the coalition for the deaths. It has happened before, and is happening now.

One of the most curious parts about these two marketplace bombings is that in neither instance have pieces of the supposed missile turned up in the hands of lamenting Iraqis in front of the camera. When a cruise missile explodes, it leaves plenty of pieces, which we have already seen paraded on television. A JDAM leaves a massive crater. That there are no metal objects being paraded around leaves us with the possible conclusion that the Ba'athist regime is responsible, and is trying to cover it up. Note the coverage today that the minister in charge of air defense was sacked recently for incompetance. I wouldn't want his retirement package.


Suetonius - 3/30/2003

There is no law between nations that say 'you should not go to war.' There is international law, which is a generally agreed upon set of standards and norms that western nations generally abide by. There is room, as I understand it, under this body of norms for making the claims of unprovoked aggression (a la Iraq invading Kuwait in 1990).

However, my understanding about the current action is that it is justified under international law and the auspices of the United Nations in that Iraq is in default of the original 1991 cease-fire and subsequent Security Council resolutions. I believe that this was the same justification used for the 1998 Desert Fox operation. Thus this is not an "illegal war" under international or any other interpretation of law.

I would gladly defer to an international law expert for further analysis.


Michael Dryfoos - 3/29/2003

We have already ripped up the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Any nation with some reason to fear the US is looking at the difference in our approach to Iraq and North Korea and accelerating its nuclear program.

A better comparison with Baghdad than Stalingrad might be Grozny, for the reasons cited in the article posted elsewhere on HNN. Still not a cheery example.


Gus Moner - 3/29/2003

Let’s see. We invade a nation, but we’re not responsible for the casualties…Well, that’s the thought your comment raised.

You are right that I have judged the event without final proof. However if it was a missile, from either side, then it was fired because of the invasion. As to the social make-up of the places where the explosions took place, or the coincidence of the locations I have yet to reach a conclusion, for I too had noticed a pattern might be developing. Are you suggesting that US/UK forces are in there stirring up trouble with the Shiites against the Iraqi government?


Gus Moner - 3/29/2003

Well, you're right Mr Suetonious. I phrased that statement wrongly, I apologise for leaving you speechless. The laws between nations would have been better.

With that correction I mean that we cannot be selective about which international law we abide by and which not, as seems the inclination of the current administration.

I hope this starts you up.


Herodotus - 3/29/2003

We should press for sensitivity training for those who took time out of their classes for discussion of the war when it was not germane to the subject material (e.g. mathematics or psychology) and unnecessarily disturbing the emotional well-being of students in the classes who had family or friends in the military.


Kasper - 3/29/2003

Remember the school shootings at the University of Arizona and the law school in Virginia...could you imagine the outrage if someone like General Tommy Franks said that he wanted to see those repeated a million times.


Suetonius - 3/29/2003

It did occur to me to keep reading Mr. Moner's post in hopes that there would be something worth commenting on. However, the second paragraph contained ahistorical speculation, namely on who was responsible for the second explosion in a Baghdad market in a week.

Examination of the numerous photographs in the world press show a crater that is inconsistent with that of a conventional cruise missile or JDAM. Instead, it is a shallow crater consistent with a regular explosive device. Eyewitness reports have indicated that there was not an explosion or fire so much as suddenly a shower of shrapnel and no fire.

Overlooked in much of the U.S. press is that both explosions occurred in predominantly Shiite parts of the city. How much of a coincidence that BOTH misses appeared to occur in packed markets, rather than hit buildings or parks?


Suetonius - 3/29/2003

Mr. Moner would have us believe:

"The ?laws of war? include not attacking another nation, so we have violated the first one."



I'm not quite sure how one responds to that.


Kevin M Fitzpatrick - 3/29/2003

An interesting post.Of course,there is not going to be a Iraqi counterattack. Bush's attack has been clownish.They apparently believed their own propaganda.The Iraqis have already won the moral battle. What happened when Baghdad is beseiged.We can either starve them out (presumably what the military would recommend) or assault a city of 5 million people (presumably the position of the chicken hawks) There is no assurance that the US will prevail in an assault on Baghdad. A US defeat here could lead to the use of nuclear weapons by this administration. In which case you might as well rip up the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/29/2003

See: http://hnn.us/articles/1331.html


Peter Levy - 3/29/2003

Given the similarities between Saddam and Stalin, it is surprising that no one has considered the potential similarities between the upcoming Battle for Baghdad and the Battle of Stalingrad. Hitler wrongly believed that oppressed Russian citizens would welcome the German army as liberators and he assumed that the Nazi's German war machine would allow it to succeed where other European invaders had failed. Likewise, Bush, Cheyney, Rumsfield, et. al., argued that the Iraqi's would welcome Americans as liberators and predicate the U.S.'s victory on its highly superior military technology. So far, Sadaam and the Iraqi's appear ready to accept Stalingrad-like casualities in order to turn back the U.S. While I don't believe the parallels are exact, in the long run the prospect of occupying Baghdad for years risks energizing an anti-American force that might make the red army that Hitler ultimately lost to look tame.


Gus Moner - 3/29/2003

Now, Mr Suetonious, you’re really trying to have your cake and eat it too. The ‘laws of war’ include not attacking another nation, so we have violated the first one. Bombing to obtain peace where war was inexistent is like encouraging sex to obtain virginity.

Moreover, the Iraqis are fighting a crude, backward guerrilla war of defence against an exponentially superior enemy in technology, equipment and in nearly every measure. Frying 50 people in a market is not a ‘legitimate military target’, under any war laws. Neither are places where civilians dwell, such as TV installations, food storage and the like. Targeting a political party building is not a military target either. Or are Republican Party HQ a legitimate Iraqi target now? Both sides have gone over the top, bended or broken rules as it suit them, indeed, as is wont to happen in war.

It’s queer. The USA and UK invade Iraq and accept responsibility only for the ordnance they launch. If Iraqi defensive efforts result in civilian casualties, it’s Iraq’s fault. However, this US/UK action seems to, yes, beg the inevitable question. Would these Iraqi missiles be firing and falling if the UK and USA were not invading Iraq? No one would have died at either market if these nations were not attacking Iraq.

So, Iraqis are using all the (crude and limited) means available to them, which happen not to include embedded cameras (hence the videos post facto) laser or GPS guided missiles, etc. The wining by the Pentagon is because they are not playing by our rules, meeting us in the open where we can annihilate them. Heck, they can barely warn of raids or respond with AA fire at incoming ordnance.

This is a history site, so I wish to draw your attention to three scenarios in WWII - the fronts in the USSR, France and Yugoslavia. Soviet armies were victorious against the technically superior German enemy by using the identical tactics attributed now to the Iraqis. The Communist Party Cadres (Khrushchev and Brezhnev amongst them) and KGB units behind the foot soldiers ensured the Soviet movement was forward against the enemy and shot all retreating and deserting troops who flinched at German firepower. Theirs was a stark choice indeed. Be killed by Germans or Soviets.

Soviet and Yugoslav Partisans as well as the French Maquis fought in civilian clothes, hid amongst the civilians, used churches, hospitals and any deception they could, including passing themselves off as civilians, refugees or surrendering forces, ambushing and tricking enemy forces. They hung collaborators with the invaders in public squares as a lesson and message. Nothing new has been ‘invented’ by Iraq here in this war.

These people were hailed by allied propaganda as the spirit and soul of the conquered nations soon to be liberated from the yoke of evil Nazis. We know not if these Iraqis are soldiers or irregulars responding to some patriotic urge. In truth, we know little yet, for we are told less than both sides know, and only what suits them. Remember, truth is the first casualty in war.

No one complained nor considered partisan tactics wrong in WWII when used by Allies against Germans. Germans overran these nations and the USA, USSR and UK encouraged, armed and aided the Partisans with the famous parachute drops and radio code messages, even including them in the Normandy invasion action plans. In that historical light, it’s a bit of a carve up to have you now wining about these people doing to us what we considered then to be brave acts in heroic defence of a nation because they were on our side doing it to the Germans. It is downright duplicitous to have one set of rules and values for our campaigns, and another for theirs.

“Violating the laws of war is depraved. The Iraqis have more of a claim to being depraved, therefore, than the United States”. Yes, indeed. Unfortunately, booth sides are guilty of this. One side more or less depraved than the other? I do not know, and unless you are privy to the Bush and Pentagon circle, neither do you. Does it matter? The war itself is illegal, as are all the incidents the protagonists are perpetrating as a result thereafter.

If you ask me, it is unscrupulous to manufacture and sell these weapons and factories to produce them and then invade the nation. We should instead, be busy destroying with the same ardour, the manufacturers of these weapons, and the nations that sold them, not the nations that have bought them.


Herodotus - 3/29/2003

Well, he's free to say it. He's also free to stand up in front everyone in public and risk meeting people who don't particularly agree with him about his views, and suffering the consequences. Free speech is one thing, being stupid is something entirely different.

Does anyone know if it's a crime to call for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in combat, or to encourage the enemies of the United States to kill its soldiers?


Bruce Levine - 3/29/2003

Let's have a little respect for Stephen. Remember, he was "one of the founders and leaders of the Vietnam anti-war movement."


Bruce Levine - 3/29/2003

This crude, pompous ass "one of the founders and leaders of the Vietnam anti-war movement"? Hard to believe, isn't it?


Kasper - 3/29/2003

At Columbia, Call for Death of U.S. Forces Is Denounced
By TAMAR LEWIN


The president of Columbia University said yesterday that he was horrified by the remarks of an anthropology professor who said at a campus antiwar teach-in Wednesday night that he hoped to see "a million Mogadishus" — referring to the city in Somalia where American soldiers were ambushed in a lethal firefight in 1993.

The professor, Nicholas De Genova, also called for the defeat of United States forces in Iraq, and said the only true heroes are those who help defeat the American military. He said Americans who call themselves patriots are imperialist white supremacists.....

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/29/education/29PROF.html?ex=1049605200&en=b2571f49df0e2981&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE





Wesley Smart - 3/29/2003

http://assyrianchristians.com/i_was_wrong_mar_26_03.htm

I Was Wrong!
By Ken Joseph, Jr.
Amman, Jordan

How do you admit you were wrong? What do you do when you realize those you were defending in fact did not want your defense and wanted something completely different from you and from the world?

This is my story. It will probably upset everybody - those with whom I have fought for peace all my life and those for whom the decision for war comes a bit too fast.

I am an Assyrian. I was born and raised in Japan where I am the second generation in ministry after my Father came to Japan in answer to General Douglas Macarthur's call for 10,000 young people to help rebuild Japan following the war.

As a minister and due to my personal convictions I have always been against war for any and all reasons. It was precisely this moral conviction that led me to do all I could to stop the current war in Iraq.

From participating in demonstrations against the war in Japan to strongly opposing it on my radio program, on television and in regular columns I did my best to stand against what I thought to be an unjust war against an innocent people - in fact my people.

As an Assyrian I was told the story of our people from a young age. How my grandparents had escaped the great Assyrian Holocaust in 1917 settling finally in Chicago.

Currently there are approximately six million Assyrians - approximately 1.2 million in Iraq and the rest scattered in the Assyrian Diaspora across the world.

Without a country and rights even in our native land it has been the prayer of generations that the Assyrian Nation will one day be restored and the people of the once great Assyrian Empire will once again be home.

It was with that feeling, together with supplies for our Church and family that I went to Iraq to do all I could to help make a difference.

The feeling as I crossed the border was exhilarating - `home at last` thought as I would for the first time visit the land of my forefathers.

The kindness of the border guards when they learned I was Assyrian, the taxi, the people on the street it was like being back `home after a long absence.

Now I finally know myself! The laid back, relaxed atmosphere, the kindness to strangers, the food, the smells, the language all seemed to trigger a long lost memory somewhere in my deepest DNA.

The first order of business was to attend Church. It was here where my morals were raked over the coals and I was first forced to examine them in the harsh light of reality.

Following a beautiful `Peace` to welcome the Peace Activists in which even the children participated we moved to the next room to have a simple meal.

Sitting next to me was an older man who carefully began to sound me out. Apparently feeling the freedom to talk in the midst of the mingling crowd he suddenly turned to me and said `There is something you should know.` `What` I asked surprised at the sudden comment.

`We didn't want to be here tonight`. he continued. `When the Priest asked us to gather for a Peace Service we said we didn't want to come`. He said.

`What do you mean` I inquired, confused. `We didn't want to come because we don't want peace` he replied.

`What in the world do you mean?` I asked. `How could you not want peace?` `We don't want peace. We want the war to come` he continued.

What in the world are you talking about? I blurted back.

That was the beginning of a strange odyssey that deeply shattered my convictions and moral base but at the same time gave me hope for my people and, in fact, hope for the world.

Beginning that night and continuing on in the private homes of relatives with whom I stayed little by little the scales began to come off my eyes.

I had not realized it but began to realize that all foreigners in Iraq are subject to 24 hour surveillance by government `minders` who arrange all interviews, visits and contact with ordinary Iraqis. Through some fluke either by my invitation as a religious person and or my family connection I was not subject to any government `minders` at any time throughout my stay in Iraq.

As far as I can tell I was the only person including the media, Human Shields and others in Iraq without a Government `minder`there to guard.

What emerged was something so awful that it is difficult even now to write about it. Discussing with the head of our tribe what I should do as I wanted to stay in Baghdad with our people during their time of trial I was told that I could most help the Assyrian cause by going out and telling the story to the outside world.

Simply put, those living in Iraq, the common, regular people are in a living nightmare. From the terror that would come across the faces of my family at a unknown visitor, telephone call, knock at the door I began to realize the horror they lived with every day.

Over and over I questioned them `Why could you want war? Why could any human being desire war?` They're answer was quiet and measured. `Look at our lives!`We are living like animals. No food, no car, no telephone, no job and most of all no hope.`

I would marvel as my family went around their daily routine as normal as could be. Baghdad was completely serene without even a hint of war. Father would get up, have his breakfast and go off to work. The children to school, the old people - ten in the household to their daily chores.

`You can not imagine what it is to live with war for 20, 30 years. We have to keep up our routine or we would lose our minds`

Then I began to see around me those seemingly in every household who had lost their minds. It seemed in every household there was one or more people who in any other society would be in a Mental Hospital and the ever present picture of a family member killed in one of the many wars.

Having been born and raised in Japan where in spite of 50 years of democracy still retains vestiges of the 400 year old police state I quickly began to catch the subtle nuances of a full blown, modern police state.

I wept with family members as I shared their pain and with great difficulty and deep soul searching began little by little to understand their desire for war to finally rid them of the nightmare they were living in.

The terrible price paid in simple, down to earth ways - the family member with a son who just screams all the time, the family member who lost his wife who left unable to cope anymore, the family member going to a daily job with nothing to do, the family member with a son lost to the war, a husband lost to alcoholism the daily, difficult to perceive slow death of people for whom all hope is lost.

The pictures of Sadaam Hussein whom people hailed in the beginning with great hope everywhere. Sadaam Hussein with his hand outstretched. Sadaam Hussein firing his rifle. Sadaam Hussein in his Arab Headdress. Sadaam Hussein in his classic 30 year old picture - one or more of these four pictures seemed to be everywhere on walls, in the middle of the road, in homes, as statues - he was everywhere!

All seeing, all knowing, all encompassing.

`Life is hell. We have no hope. But everything will be ok once the war is over.` The bizarre desire for a war that would rid them of the hopelessness was at best hard to understand.

`Look at it this way. No matter how bad it is we will not all die. We have hoped for some other way but nothing has worked. 12 years ago it went almost all the way but failed. We cannot wait anymore. We want the war and we want it now`

Coming back to family members and telling them of progress in the talks at the United Nations on working some sort of compromise with Iraq I was welcomed not with joy but anger. `No, there is no other way! We want the war! It is the only way he will get out of our lives`

Once again going back to my Japanese roots I began to understand. The stories I had heard from older Japanese of how in a strange way they had welcomed the sight of the bombers in the skies over Japan.

Of course nobody wanted to be bombed but the first sight of the American B29 Bombers signaled to them that the war was coming to an end. An end was in sight. There would be terrible destruction. They might very well die but finally in a tragic way there was finally hope.

Then I began to feel so terrible. Here I had been demonstrating against the war thinking I had been doing it for the very people I was here now with and yet I had not ever bothered to ask them what they wanted. What they wanted me to do.

It was clear now what I should do. I began to talk to the so called `human shields`. Have you asked the people here what they want? Have you talked to regular people, away from your `minder` and asked them what they want?

I was shocked at the response. `We don't need to do that. We know what they want.` was the usual reply before a minder stepped up to check who I was.

With tears streaming down my face in my bed in a tiny house in Baghdad crowded in with 10 other of my own flesh and blood, all exhausted after another day of not living but existing without hope, exhausted in daily struggle simply to not die I had to say to myself `I was wrong`.

How dare I claim to speak for those for whom I had never asked what they wanted!

Then I began a strange journey to do all I could while I could still remain to as asked by our tribe let the world know of the true situation in Iraq. Carefully and with great risk, not just for me but most of all for those who told their story and opened up their homes for the camera I did my best to tape their plight as honestly and simply as I could. Whether I could get that precious tape out of the country was a different story.

Wanting to make sure I was not simply getting the feelings of a long oppressed minority - the Assyrians - I spoke to dozens of people. What I was not prepared for was the sheer terror they felt at speaking out. Over and over again I would be told `We would be killed for speaking like this` and finding out that they would only speak in a private home or where they were absolutely sure through the introduction of another Iraqi that I was not being attended by a minder.

From a former member of the Army to a person working with the police to taxi drivers to store owners to mothers to government officials without exception when allowed to speak freely the message was the same - `Please bring on the war. We are ready. We have suffered long enough. We may lose our lives but some of us will survive and for our children's sake please,, please end our misery.

On the final day for the first time I saw the signs of war. For the first time sandbags began appearing at various government buildings but the solders putting them up and then later standing within the small circle they created gave a clear message they could not dare speak.

They hated it. They despised it. It was their job and they made clear in the way they worked to the common people watching that they were on their side and would not fight.

Near the end of my time a family member brought the word that guns had just been provided to the members of the Baath Party and for the first time we saw the small but growing signs of war.

But what of their feelings towards the United States and Britain? Those feelings are clearly mixed. They have no love for the British or the Americans but they trust them.

`We are not afraid of the American bombing. They will bomb carefully and not purposely target the people. What we are afraid of is Saddam Hussein and what he and the Baath Party will do when the war begins. But even then we want the war. It is the only way to escape our hell. Please tell them to hurry. We have been through war so many times,but this time it will give us hope`.

The final call for help came at the most unexpected place - the border. Sadly, and sent off by the crying members of my family I left. Things were changing by the hour - the normally $100 ride from Baghdad to Amman was first $300 then $500 and by nightfall $1,000.

As we came to the border we began the routine paperwork and then the search of our vehicle. Everything was going well until suddenly the border guard asked if I had any money. We had been carefully instructed to make sure we only carried $300 when we returned so I began to open up the pouch that carried my passport and money stuffed in my shorts.

Suddenly the guard began to pat me down. `Oh, no`! I thought. It`s all over`. We had been told of what happened if you got caught with videotape, a cellular telephone or any kind of electronic equipment that had not been declared.

A trip back to Baghdad, a likely appearance before a judge, in some cases 24-48 hour holding and more.

He immediately found the first videotape stuffed in my pocket and took it out. I could see the expression of terror on the driver as he stifled a scream.

The guard shook his head as he reached into my pocket and took out another tape and then from pocket after pocket began to take out tape after tape, cellular telephone, computer camera - all the wrong things.

We all stood there in sheer terror - for a brief moment experiencing the feeling that beginning with my precious family members every Iraqi feels not for a moment but day and night, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That terrible feeling that your life is not yours that its fate rests in someone else's hands that simply by the whim of the moment they can determine.

For one born free a terrifying feeling if but for an instant.

As the guard slowly laid out the precious video tape on the desk we all waited in silent terror for the word to be taken back to Baghdad and the beginning of the nightmare.

Suddenly he laid the last videotape down and looked up. His face is frozen in my memory but it was to me the look of sadness, anger and then a final look of quiet satisfaction as he clinically shook his head and quietly without a word handed all the precious videotape- the cry of those without a voice - to me.

He didn't have to say a word. I had learned the language of the imprisoned Iraqi. Forbidden to speak by sheer terror they used the one language they had left - human kindness.

As his hands slowly moved to give the tape over he said in his own way what my Uncle had said, what the taxi driver had said, what the broken old man had said, what the man in the restaurant had said, what the Army man had said, what the man working for the police had said, what the old woman had said, what the young girl had said - he said it for them in the one last message a I crossed the border from tyranny to freedom . . .

Please take these tapes and show them to the world. Please help us . . . . and please hurry!



Ken Joseph Jr. is an Assyrian, a minister and was born, raised and resides in Japan where he directs AssyrianChristians.com, the Japan Helpline and the Keikyo Institute.


Peter N Kirstein - 3/28/2003

Perhaps "Stephen," who described himself as a "founder" and "leader" of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam war would wish to identify himself. It might add considerable credibility to his argumentation.




Stephen - 3/28/2003

Yet another friggin idiot who thinks Americans are dumb.

Mr. Bain's remarks were very good.

Mr. Gallatin is another member of the illuminati, struggling to save those dumb Americans from their own shallow lives. This site is full of those gifted members of the illuminati.

The contempt for the electorate that pervades this site is sickening and frightening. So, most Americans don't agree with you, Mr. Gallatin. They came to their conclusions the same way you did. They considered their self-interest and their moral principles, and they decided.

Who gifted you with divine insight, Mr. Gallatin? Did you walk to the top of the mount to receive the inscribed tablets from the deity?


Stephen - 3/28/2003

Once again a post that raises a stench like a pile of rotting shit. Does this idiot actually teach in a public (or private) institution?

As one of the founders and leaders of the Vietnam anti-war movement, I am here to denounce you for a fool and a villain. The war in Vietnam was neither genocidal nor imperialistic. It is people like you who gave the anti-war movement a bad name.

The genocide was committed after the departure of U.S. troops, both by the Vietnamese communisists and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

The U.S. sought no territory in Vietnam. The mistakes of the U.S. were mistakes of good intentions. Those great heroes of WWII thought that their powers to do go had no limits, and the Vietnam War was the tragic result of the inability to realize that American power, even for good purposes, had its limits.

I opposed the Vietnam war for good, sane reasons. The war was unwinnable, and U.S. leaders knew that from 1955 on. The war was a mistake, but that mistake was the result of good intentions.

I am astonished that any sane person would attach their name to the type of post you submitted. You'd think you'd have the sense to be shamed by your own idiocy.


Stephen - 3/28/2003

We are not closing schools and hospitals. The U.S. is preposterously wealthy. I was astonished to hear in Prez Bush's State of the Union address that he wants to add the guarantee of employment to our already long list of entitlements.

Do not hate our leaders. It is a mistake. I made this same mistake when I was young. This really is a democracy, and if Prez Bush is making as serious a mistake as the left thinks, he will be removed by the electorate. Americans are great people, and we have been gifted with many great leaders.

No, war will not end terrorism, but it might mitigate it a bit. This fight came to us. We did not seek it. While it is easy to mistake me for a blind follower of Bush, this is not true. I voted twice for Bill Clinton, much to my dismay.

I live in NYC and my office is less than 5 miles from the WTC location. My views about what we should do have not been expressed by anybody. First, I don't think that removing Mr. Bush from office would change anything. The enemy is determined to fight this war and they will. I understand their cause, and to a certain extent I am even in sympathy, but the U.S. has no choice but to fight back.

This war will become much worse, and nothing that the U.S. does or does not do will affect that much. We will fight the enemy and they will fight us. Osama is absolutely correct in designating this as a religious war, and the sides are being drawn with more definition every day.

This is indeed a fight between the believers and the non-believers. There is a reluctance in a society as liberal and secular as ours to accept this reality. But that is the reality. I sit somewhere on the fence, although I am a believer. Since I'ved lived in SF and NYC all my adult life, I have observed just how paranoid and hateful the non-believers have become.

I do not see any policy or any politician who can stop this fight. However, I can tell you that America is good, that Americans are good, and that the American electorate will make the right decisions as time passes. Have faith.


Peter N Kirstein - 3/28/2003

During the genocidal, imperial war in Vietnam, an anonymous Army officer said during the TET offensive: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Now, as the Iraqi resistance against the Coalition of the Vassals demonstrates that not all nations wish to be McDonaldized, will the refrain from the warmongers be: "We had to destroy Iraq in order to liberate it?"


Stephen - 3/28/2003

Hayabusa:

What a stench!

The notion that America is hated is pretty far fetched. My home is in Jersey City (first subway stop from NYC). My office was in the path of those jets that hit the WTC. Jersey City is chock full of immigrant Indians, Asians and Arabs. They don't seem to hate America the way you do. My wife is a Filipino immigrant and one of the most patriotic Americans you likely to ever meet.

Now that you've made it clear that you are in bed with the enemy, what do you plan to do next?

I'm a patriot. I'm on the side of the U.S.A. And, yes, there will be counterattacks. The difference between me and many of the posters to this site is that I'm not a coward. Yes, NYC will be attacked again. I'm arming myself for that eventuality.


Stephen - 3/28/2003

Ms. Casman's argument is about the only sane argument against the war I've read on this site. The rest is the depraved rantings of Marxist infected dimwits.

Ms. Casman's argument is cowardice, pure and simple. There's something to be said for that. Her argument is that we shouldn't hit back because they'll hit us back. She's absolutely right that a counterpunch is coming. Hell, I live in NYC and I'm right in the path of the planes that hit the WTC.

So, yes, Ms. Casman, we could just be complete cowards. That's one option.


Stephen - 3/28/2003

"These are the insane, fascist , bootlicking pawns of the Nazi Carl Schmitt protege, Leo Strauss, who are salivating about their new Empire."

The language of the Stalinist.

Yet another one. Do you have to be a moron Stalinist to teach history these days?


Wesley Smart - 3/28/2003

Nuclear weapons delivery is, for the North Koreans, most likely going to be a directed ballistic missile attack at U.S. bases in the region (Guam, Okinawa or South Korea) or against U.S. allies in the region, including Japan or South Korea. In many ways such an indirect threat to U.S. interests is more dangerous. With a threat to the U.S. mainland, you can deter (via the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction) or you can build a defense (like the Ballistic Missile Defense System).

Threats against the allies are more difficult to counter because the allies are given the opportunity of backing out of the alliance or engaging in other actions to mitigate the threat. The indications are that the Japanese have no interest in mitigating the threat by appearing weak (they launched spy satellites this week) but the South Koreans could be. If the North Koreans achieve diplomatic ends by threatening nuclear war, then we're back into the realm of nuclear diplomacy and nothing will deter them, not even the Chinese.


Suetonius - 3/28/2003

Mr. Moner said:

"Bombing a city with 4,000 missiles and bombs is much more depraved than the hospital incident"

The targets in Baghdad are legitimate military targets under the laws of war. This is not in dispute. Using a hospital as a firebase (and, relatedly, disguising your soldiers under civilian clothing, as was also happening in Nasiriyah) is not permitted under the laws of war. Violating the laws of war is depraved. The Iraqis have more of a claim to being depraved, therefore, than the United States.


Rich Kurdlion - 3/28/2003


Thanks for the link, Peter, but you still have not done your homework. There is nothing there about N. Korea being able to hit U.S. cities with nukes. We see this week the consequences in Iraq of underestimating an opposing power's capabilities, and should not veer to the opposite extreme with Korea.

Furthermore, in my judgement, your use of the word "strategy", to describe this aspect of the Bush Administration's foreign policy, implies a level of experience and skill not warranted by the actual track record.


Francis Muir - 3/28/2003


BBC News Friday, 28 March, 2003, 01:32 GMT
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2894059.stm

TOP US HAWK PERLE RESIGNS

Veteran US Government hawk Richard Perle has resigned as chairman of a top Pentagon policy group.

Mr Perle's move comes amid controversy over his dealings with the bankrupt telecommunications group, Global Crossing.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a statement he had accepted Mr Perle's resignation from the Defence Policy Board, which advises him on defence issues, but had asked him to remain a board member.

"As I cannot quickly or easily quell criticism of me based on errors of fact concerning my activities, the least I can do under these circumstances is to ask you to accept my resignation," Mr Perle said in a letter to Mr Rumsfeld.

Mr Perle, a leading advocate of the war on Iraq, said he had decided to resign because he feared that accusations of conflict of interest regarding Global Crossing could distract from Mr Rumsfeld's handling of the Iraqi conflict.

'Prince of Darkness'

The controversy centres on Mr Perle's deal with Global Crossing to win US Government approval of its proposed partial sale to Asian investors, from which Mr Perle stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Pentagon had objected to the sale because it would have meant that Global Crossing's invaluable optic fibre technology would be owned by a company with strong links to China.

Mr Perle has denied any wrongdoing over the issue.

However, he said he was advising Global Crossing he would not accept compensation from the pending sale and added that fees for his past services would be donated to the families of US forces killed or injured in Iraq, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A former assistant secretary of defence under Ronald Reagan, Mr Perle was nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness" for his opposition to arms control.

Mr Perle had also not only argued for the need to go to war with Iraq, he had strongly suggested that the Iraqis would put up minimal resistance.

BBC correspondent Jon Leyne says that his days of power in Washington now appear to be over.


Gus Moner - 3/28/2003

No, Mr Moner’s suggestion was not what you portray. The premise you base your argument on remains unproven, and the placing of weapons in a hospital is not morally equivalent to anything. Bombing a city with 4,000 missiles and bombs is much more depraved than the hospital incident.

However, placing weapons amongst civilians is an inevitable circumstance of an urban defence, as the US and UK proved in February. Therefore there is a link. Surely you cannot be suggesting the Iraqis oughtn’t defend their land.

Both sides have used the images that suit them regardless of the Geneva Convention, as proven by Guantanamo’s X Ray Camp and the constant surrender images on the US media.

Finally, I need to add that your attack on what you perceive as a contradiction of my “firm moral and liberal beliefs” is well beneath your usual intelligent discourse. No stress, we all have our days.


ian august - 3/28/2003

nice try stephen too bad i have never read any staunch leftist material handed out in thesds pamphlets of 1968. my ideas come from the logic that has brewed in my mind for the past 20 years i have been on the planet.
here is what i know, i love my country, love the freedom, love the people, hate the leaders. I feel like im getting screwed. does it make sense to you that we are going to rebuild iraqi schools and hospitals while we close schools and hospitals in the United States because we have no funds. well it does not sound right to me. do i think war will ever end terrorism, no i do not. so in my mind it makes little sense to use violence when it will not work. you cannot bomb idealogies out of the minds of the world.

my last reason for being against this war is becuase no one else is for it. there is the US, GB, and Spain, how come there is so little involvement by the rest of the world, how come the middle east is not supporting us even though some of bush's main arguments for war refer to saddams horrible treatment of his own people. If arab men will not stand up for there brothers next door, maybe there is a reason why?
thank u for not attacking me , these day's all the pro war activists cannot argue with us without verbal abuse -your maturity is noted


J. Bartlett - 3/27/2003

It is pretty clear why Iraqis are fighting. Their country has been invaded by another country they did not attack, their government is prone to murder them if they don’t support it, and they are mistrustful of the United States thanks to the long legacy of broken promises, lies, and hypocrisy uttered by Mssrs Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, and their arrogant co-blunderers, a legacy readily apparent to almost the entire rational and educated world (which of course excludes large numbers of C and D grade point average voters claiming to be “Republican” in America).

But what are American soldiers fighting for ? And what
fundamental factual reality has changed such that they ought to
risk their lives now, but didn’t need to 2 ,3 or 4 years ago ?
Were weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and unstable dictatorships invented on September 11, 2001 ?

Of course, we need to fight evil-doers of many kinds, and crass hypocrisy by one’s own government must always rank high upon the list of evil-doings to be overcome. Let Americans therefore support their troops by liberating those troops from cowardly and incompetent political leaders. Send the Washington D.C. chickenhawks to Kuwait, and put them in Bradley Fighting Vehicles under command of real men, until Senators and Representatives in Congress can discover backbones and repeal the Iraq Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of October 11, 2002.

American democracy flourished for two centuries without Iraqi oil. We still don’t need it now. The power generated by Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt spinning in their graves will be more than sufficient to juice up fuel cells in SUVs from sea to shining sea for years to come.


Paul - 3/27/2003

Your this republic and capitalist system hasn't been done right either. If it were done right then everyone would be rich right? And those elected would serve teh good of the whole ad not the few who throw piles of money at them. Marxism is not perfect and neither is capitalism. And just so you now the US is not a true capitalist system. If it were the Federal and local goverments would not put restrictions on trdae and business.

"First you try to tell me you're not a Stalinist, and then you invoke the same old tired Stalinist mantra: "It just hasn't been done properly." Here's what that sick mantra means: "If only they'd let me be Stalin, I'd do it right.""

Acutally I am not a "Stalinist" or Maxist. I own a business I am a tried and true capitalist. I make money I oppress teh working class. I pay them what they are worth and I take the profits. I own three house two cars and several commercial holdings. I have a nice size portfolio. But the difference between me and you is that I can understand what Marx and Engle were trying to accomplish and what Stalin did with his bastardization of Marxian thought. Lenin even thought Stalin was wrong for the leasdership of the new Soviet Republic and hoped for someone better. I disagree with Lenin in his views on Kerensky.
So let me make this clear. One can argue rom teh left or the right but not hold those political beliefs. Most historians, good historians, try to leave their bias aside when they make an historical arguement. Bringing one's personal beleifs makes the arguement ahistorical. SO now do you undertand that not all who critisize the US policy are "commies".


Stephen - 3/27/2003

While I am in general a supporter of Prez Bush, I have to admit he's really stuck his neck out. The issues Mr. Moner has raised are interesting, but they skip what seems the main message to me: How long does Bush have before the roof caves in?

The press and the public seem to believe that they have been promised a war of very limited casualties and limited time span. The Iraqis are obviously aware of this are they are attemping to turn the war in something else -- protracted, ugly war with maximum casualties. The Iraqis are obviously also playing to the anti-war movement in the U.S. You can hear the slogans of the anti-war movement in official Iraqi pronouncements.

It's my opinion that Bush must win this war fast -- within another 7 to 10 days. Else, public opinion will start to turn. He's banked on a radical strategy that seems to assume that Iraqis will place national pride below their desire to be rid of the dictator. Will this really be the case?

So, how long does Bush have?


Cavaglione - 3/27/2003

Man, you do need rabies vaccination!


Suetonius - 3/27/2003

Mr. Moner's suggestion that somehow the Iraqis who executed the surrendering U.S. soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company or used a hospital as a fortress are morally equivalent to the United States' placing of missile batteries in Washington, D.C. and allowing foreign journalists to film the capture of Iraqi soldiers is inconsistent with his previously espoused firm moral and liberal beliefs frequently expressed in this forum.


Gus Moner - 3/27/2003

My comments reflect what I have perceived during the first week of 'combat'. I believe we are asked to comment on the "running commentary on the war with Iraq", and this is what I have perceived.

It seems the propaganda war is hotter than the actual combat, recent casualties notwithstanding. For the first three days of the US/UK attack we were shown some skirmishes, but mostly a merry, unopposed march to Baghdad with prisoners and deserters. Some, myself included, felt relief at the absence of dead, wounded and maimed. The USA showed us some Iraqi dead and prisoners, including an interview of two supposedly captured or defecting soldiers. These were publicised and even swanked about. The Iraqis complained, mostly on the issue of veracity not Geneva Conventions.

Now, the Iraqis have done the same. We are told what the US did was ‘part of the battlefield scenario’ (fast forward the interview, please), filmed in the act, whilst Iraqis are organising the videos of dead and prisoners. Perhaps this argument falls on its face when one considers that the Iraqis probably do not have the technological resources to film their battles. Who knows? We are also told the similar parading and displaying of Guantanamo Bay Muslim prisoners is not relevant to the issue, for that is about ‘illegal combatants’. It occurs not to the insulated and isolated US leadership that events look different from the outside in. However, it all begs the question, who started this slippery slope?

We are also told the Iraqis are placing military units in the cities amongst civilians to use them as human shields, characterised as an appalling act. Yet, when in prelude to war, the UK and USA went on practice terrorist alert in February, both did exactly that. They placed military resources around civilian targets. For example there were missile batteries by important buildings and airports, as well as a significant and visible deployment of troops in key civilian airports. This was called protecting the population. Another query here, then, can one have their cake and eat it too?

Finally, the insistence on televising the carnage, as if it were video games, is simply repugnant. We are shown and told of the vaunted precision and accuracy of the weapons. Yet, in the hellfire the real casualties are not the buildings, but rather the people, all of whom just like you and I have parents, children, relatives, friends and siblings. Let us never lose sight of this.

Clearly, with the truth having become the first casualty of this invasion, the UK and US swaggering propaganda to demoralise the enemy has set the stage for a propaganda war. Their enemy may yet demonstrate that they know how to do battle there as well.

There seems little doubt regarding the final outcome, by all UK and US accounts. Yet, events between here and there promise to be ‘shocking and awesome’, if you don’t mind my paraphrasing Mr. Rumsfeld’s infamous terminology.

Finally, on the second day of operations, the US military command slipped in the news that the US aviators being investigated for a friendly fire attack on Canadians that killed 4-6 Canadian soldiers on live fire practice, will not be prosecuted. It was deemed that whilst prosecuting a war, it was not a good time to indict aviators for errors. Does Canada’s refusal to join the invasion have anything to do with this?


Cavaglione - 3/26/2003

In your case, the adjective does not apply.


Arch Stanton - 3/26/2003

1968 ended forever on Sept. 11. And with it ended the familiar world of posters like Mr. Davis. For a time the snobbery and prejudices of that world will persist. And, like animated rhetorical cadavers, its cliches and articulated assumptions. And some of the wisdom of that world will survive. "It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." And so the world of The Catcher in the Rye passes, and the world of Ender's Game begins to appear.


perplexed - 3/26/2003

I am amazed (not continually though) at how someone so obviously clever as Mr. Aurelius (or is it Dr. Aurelius?) can conclude from one "vacuous and inane comment" that I am one of "the staunch advocates of this war against Iraq." That I would deride the initial post in this thread by pointing out the similarity between the author's remarks and prior characterizations of G.W.'s immediate predecessor makes me no more a proponent of this war than an opponent. At the risk of appearing "vacuous and inane," I found the initial posting sorely lacking in "analytical thought" and "substance." Is this a threat to our democracy--or just evidence of my presumed pro-war stance?


Stephen - 3/26/2003

It isn't the American populace that's stupid. It's you.

Over the long haul, the American electorate will make the right decision. If Prez Bush is as you say he is, I guarantee you that the electorate will correct him in the long run.

Not mentioned in all of these posts is one of the president's primary motivations -- the attempted assassination of his father. This is the most Shakespearian aspect of this drama. I've only heard passing references to this, and it deserves greater attention.

From my point of view, Prez Bush should be motivated by this attempt on his father's life. So should our nation. Any nation that will not avenge an attack on its chief father figure is a nation that does not deserve to survive. It is right and just that our president should seek to avenge this attack on his father.


Stephen - 3/26/2003

The American ideal is sweeping the globe and nothing can stop it. To call this imperialism is nonsense.

It's amazing how so many of the respondents to this forum are stuck forever in 1968, mouthing the platitudes of the romantic left of their youths. The world must continue to conform to their vision of the U.S. in the Vietnam era.

If the U.S. is imperial, its empire is its ideas and this is a first in human history. The U.S. is clearly not seeking territory. You might more clearly state that it has no choice but to fill the vacuum created by the demise of the Soviet Union.

Here's a challenge to all you staunch Marxist leftists. Let's hear something from you that isn't rehashed from an SDS pamphlet from 1968. Let's hear a description of the U.S. that doesn't suggest that we are still fighting the battle to desegregate the South.

The lost in time nature of the discussion on the board is rather comic. Open your mouths, leftists, and out fall the vomitted platitudes and cliches of the anti-war left of the 60s.

Do you have anything to say that isn't stuck in time?


Stephen - 3/26/2003

Yes, I have the answer.

Self-defense is the first priority of the individual and of the state. This is so self-evident that it hardly needs explanation.

Your question might have made more sense had not Ronald Reagan proved the defense spending is a powerful tool in the hands of the just. Reagan's defense buildup of the 80s played a very significant role in the demise of the Soviet Union. He helped the Soviet Union to spend itself into bankruptcy. When I was young and foolish, I also thought that Reagan was mistaken.

You've made the most critical mistake common to leftists. You've confused what sounds good with what actually works in human life and in human society. Unless a democratic society can successfully defend itself against Marxist tyrannies, the question of whether or not to build schools becomes moot.


Stephen - 3/26/2003

Althought the post I'm responding to is incoherent, sophmoric and depraved, it is a good example of the problem confronting this site and most of its respondents.

Notice how every statement within this yammering post is crafted as if we were living forever in 1968. The South is evil. Why? Well, the reason is obvious. The South was the villain in the Civil Rights Movement, and thus most play the villain into eternity. Redneck white men are thus open game.

The reason for this nonsense is obvious -- Marxist feminism. If you live on a campus or on the coasts, obsequious obedience to this doctrine is required. The question for leftist men becomes: How do I escape the evil eye of the feminists who want to paint men as the ultimate villains? The answer is simple. Point the finger at the men who are really to blame as a way of deflecting the blame from oneself. The rantings of the idiot I'm responding to are crafted with a certain degree of intelligence to do precisely that.

So, a southern white man is a racist by definition. Admiration of beautiful women (Dallas cheerleaders) is the very signpost of stupidity and cultural backwardness. And, of course, it's 1968 forever and the good guys and the bad guys can never change.

So, while the post is the prattlings of a demented idiot, it is written with a definite strategy in mind. Lay the blame off on other men. Win some points with the Marxist feminists. Avert the evil eye.

And, it's always 1968!!


Stephen - 3/26/2003

Hello fictitious Barney Gumble:

I was led to this site by Erin O'Connor's very useful Critical Mass:

http://www.erinoconnor.org/

I'd also recommend The Fire's site:

http://www.thefire.org

I don't know that I would recommend websites as the best sources of info. For the edification of the lefties who habituate this site and think that their ideas are new, I'd suggest the classics of literature, particularly those of Russian literature. Three come readily to mind:

Crime and Punishment: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dead Souls: Nikolai Gogol
A Hero of Our Time: Mikhail Lermontov

The Russians were having the same discussion from 1850 on that our "intelligensia" is now having. The Romanovs made the fatal mistake of listening to the demented and depraved rantings of the Russian intelligensia.

Our intelligensia is intoxicated with idiocy and Marxism (is that redundant?). It is infatuated with destruction for the sheer pleasure of destruction. In the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, the most implausible outcome has occurred. Western intellectuals have become even more intoxicated with the lies of Marxism.

The debate between Tolstoy and Dostoevsky should be required reading for all leftists. History is repeating itself in the West as our intelligensia becomes ever more depraved, stupid and nihilist.


Barney Gumble - 3/26/2003

Stephen, please please please list your favorite web sites, I want to visit them.

http://mwowatchwatchwatchwatch.blogspot.com
MediaWhoresOnline Watch Watch Watch Watch


Jeff R. Ewing Davis - 3/26/2003


I can’t believe the inane doublespeak of the reactionary Marxist-Lennonist egghead history profs trying to second and third guess our grayed President. Don’t they no HE is our commander-in-cheat which means he legislates the rule of law of the land and the Congress is supposed to execute itself ? Get real, people ! Zipper ration of powers and like blank checks and balances and debits and credits.

Don’t believe the sinister southpawed leftists, friends, spewing their isolationist prattle. Their so ignorant they think the Statue of Liberty to Bear Arms came from France !! Their knowledge of history is so like non like existent - they don’t even know about how our old alley Britney helped us teach the slimy frogs a lesson at the battleship Saratoga.

I’m just so thick and sired of all this fixed Left Wing aircraft back seat of the pants flying off the handle. They’ll learn. President George the Third will show ‘em how to encompass shun it servitude.

Watch out Osama Trent Laden ! High Noon George of the Lazy W Ranch is comin’ for to carry you home to Soddy Araby. Baghdad won’t big enough for both of you !

And the rest of y’all better decide. You’re either with us or you’re with Evil Knevil. The president will tax your cuttings and put food on your family, but it’s up to yours to put your table on the cards.

God Bless the Republic of Texas. We’re gonna win in a landminesweep in 2004 ‘cause cowboys from Dallas got the best cheerleaders anywhere.


Stephen - 3/26/2003

First you try to tell me you're not a Stalinist, and then you invoke the same old tired Stalinist mantra: "It just hasn't been done properly." Here's what that sick mantra means: "If only they'd let me be Stalin, I'd do it right."

Marxism is Stalinism is Nazism.

You are what Lenin called a "useful idiot."


Paul - 3/26/2003

Steve,

Those who critisize standing adminsitrations be it democratic or republican are not all communists. Thogh in your narrow mind I suppose you only see the old cold war mentality that either you are for democracy or a communist. I oppose this adminsitration's actions and also prior administration's actions (included Clinton so don't go that route of response.) So its easier to through commie, marxist., leftist, etc instead of meaningful retorts. By the way, Stalin's communism as not what Marx had in mind. Any form of governemnt can be bastardize by the wrong leaders,


Peter Hollings - 3/26/2003

OK, here's a mention of North Korea's potential nuclear capability: http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-korea26.html. It appeared in today's Chicago Sun-Times.

I believe Bush's strategy has been to threaten North Korea into submission, for example by mentioning the option of a military solution and by conducting joint military exercises with South Korea. Today's article, which was based in part on an article appearing in a state-run North Korean newspaper, provides evidence that North Korea is not yet willing to submit.


Stephen - 3/26/2003

Yes, you are mostly commies.

One of the peculiar aspects of this infection is that the infected no longer know that they are diseased.

A whole phalanx of new code words has emerged to hide one's commie affiliations: progressive, environmentalist, etc.

Yes, most of the respondents to this site are committed Stalinists, now with a new name designed to disguise their affiliation.


Suetonius - 3/26/2003

Olaf said:
"Only Britain's government (though not its populace) is solidly and substantively behind us"

The latest polling data from Britain and Australia indicated that a super-majority of the population in both countries are behind the war. A number of countries are making significant contributions relative to the sizes of the armies (I cite the Australians, the Danes, the Poles and there are doubtless others). The number of additional democratic countries whose leaders are willing to back the United States (and, presumably risk a backlash from their electorate) is also large. In fact, it increasingly looks as though the Germans, the French and the Russians are being left behind.

Those attracting attention by demonstrating (however violently) may later repent of their views when they learn of how horrendous the regime of Hussein has been. How long were the sanctions to go on before Hussein would learn that the international community and the UN did not want him to have weapons of mass destruction? What do the French and Russians have to hide in their dealings with Iraq? Apparently a lot...the Russians have just had their hands caught in the cookie pot.


Suetonius - 3/26/2003

You're ducking the question.


Wesley Smart - 3/26/2003

I'm only speaking about the current Iraq situation and not about the Israel-Palestine question. There are others on this website who have suggested that the French were 'good' for threatening to veto the second resolution. I suggest that the French had deeper motives for doing so, namely to keep quiet the details of arms sales to Iraq that has been recenly revealed as having involved the Russians as well.

How can the French and the Russians be selling weapons and weapons-related equipment in violation of the Security Council resolutions that they themselves agreed to? Now who's wrecking the UN?


Cavaglione - 3/26/2003

I nominate "interested Observer" for the "Dunce of the Year Award". This comes with a plaque and a wonderful, tall, decorated dunce cap. I'm sure IO left the competition in the dust.


Cavaglione - 3/26/2003

Well, why don't we instead raise some money and take Stephen to the best vet in the country and get him vaccinated? or is the rabies in full swing?


Jane Doe - 3/26/2003


If Saddam Hussein would apologize to Hans Blix for hiding anthrax ?

If Jacques Chirac and Vladmir Putin would own up to their contracts with Saddam Hussein ?

If the Bushes would apologize for their past business dealings with Iraq and Saudi Arabia and the contra terrorists ?

Oops, that was last month's special. This month we feature
"Brave New World"


Baswf - 3/26/2003

Err, does Guantanamo Bay ring a bell?

You might consider reading this if it doesn't:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,921410,00.html


Richard Kurdlion - 3/26/2003


Peter's general point is worthy but he shreds his credibility by talking about N.Korean "nuclear weapons" being used against "American cities". Nothing in his linked news story remotely supports this. If this is the level of sophistication of those criticizing President Bush, no wonder he is getting away with his ignorant blundering into an unAmerican foreign policy.


John Birch - 3/26/2003


Stephen may be better than the rest of us at finding pinkos under beds, but I certainly don't smell any objective materialists any where near here.

Anybody posting here want to stand up and defend Joe Stalin, criticize apple pie, or quote Chairman Mao ?

Hearing no takers, the men with straight jackets may proceed in Stephen's direction.


James Jefferson - 3/26/2003


I am not an expert on the psyche of Jacques Chirac or gremlins im Moscow, but I suppose that same sort of greed and myopia which caused the Reagan administration to cozy up to Saddam in '80s were probably motivating factors for European countries in the 80's and'90s.

After ignoring these problems for years, why do we have to suddenly go off half-cocked, bully and insult traditional allies, bribe many potential new Saddams, and trash the UN ?

Future historians, I'm sure, will find multiple explanations, but for starters now, the word INCOMPETENCE covers a multitude of aspects. And French incompetence is not the only, or even the main, facet of the multidimensional incompetence currently being unleashed on the world.


Janet Casman - 3/26/2003


The narrow point is that the unthinking bravado in your original posting would be welcomed by Al Qaeda. The broader point is that ignorance of history leads to mistakes of the kind the American government and those who support it blindly are now making.


Olaf - 3/26/2003


It is unfortunate to have to waste time using rationality to discuss an irrational argument, especially when one has already done so once, but perhaps simpler language can help slow learners:

The NUMBER of countries which Mr. Rumsfeld claims are "supporting" his war is irrelevant to Mr. Bartlett's original point:

"Only Britain's government (though not its populace) is solidly and substantively behind us"

Which countries ACTUALLY support the U.S., HOW they are doing so and WHY they are doing so ARE relevant.


Richard Kurdlion - 3/26/2003


Wesley's words are strange.

Can he identify for us the American public figures or posters to this website who "assume France is the paragon of virtuosity" ? Or is this some fantasy that occurs from staring at a computer screen too long instead of doing one's history homework ?.

And "If you're violating UN Sanctions, your views on the security council amount to nil" might be taken to mean that United States ought not to issue dozens more UN vetoes to shield the current and very corrupt government of Israel from the consequences of many years of continued violations of human rights and security council resolutions. Or does Mr. "Smart"'s supposed concern about hypocrisy end at the door of the Likud party ?


Stephen - 3/25/2003

You're going to think I'm a great fan of George Bush after reading this post. I'm not. I simply cannot bear any longer the Marxist nitwits and America haters who populate this site. You are morons.

The notion that Bush is "stupid" has such nitwits almost chanting. Bush has outwitted the Marxist fifth column over and over again. He's outfoxed you politically and strategically. In fact, I've noticed that Bush has manuevered the media into behaving itself and practicing patriotism in its news coverage.

The university system needs a thorough de-Stalinization and the posts to this site are about the most convincing argument for that de-Stalinization that I've ever read.

The hell with the rationalization for U.S. action. Europe be damned. It is a healthy change that a U.S. president is simply taking charge.

You are losing, commies, and that's what all the wailing is about. Your beloved Soviet Union is gone. Your great hero, Josef Stalin has been revealed to be a demonic madman.

And, yet, you foolishly and without embarassment keep indicting yourselves with the Marxist prattle.

Who's calling who a moron?


Peter Hollings - 3/25/2003

Although Iraq is the current hot topic, I wonder if the most important development may be just down the road a bit. I am considering how this story may unfold: "U.N. Envoy: N. Korea Preparing for War" -- http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-asia/2003/mar/22/032202291.html .

My thinking is that: The North Korean administration may well feel that they're in the same position as Iraq, i.e., lumped together in the "axis of evil" and with their very existence deemed unacceptable to Bush. So they may feel that they have nothing to lose by starting an inevitable war. In fact, the advantage is to strike soon while we're engaged in Iraq. And to use nuclear weapons against American citie(s). Even if they don't do this, yet the threat mounts, I believe Bush, being engaged in Iraq and limited in his conventional options, may well react by threatening a nuclear attack. How will Russia, China and France react? If an attack on the US succeeds, how will the resulting chaos play out?


Stephen - 3/25/2003

Hello Hayabusa:

In America, and particularly in NYC where I live, we expect more 9/11 attacks. We're at war and we know it. I've gotten on the subway the past week with armed soldiers in attendance.

What the world thinks of the U.S. defending its interests is of little interest to me. Whether we are hated by some people interests me even less.

Your argument seems to offer little except advice that we Americans should be cowards. So they hate us. We should run away and cry?

No thanks. More terrorist attacks are a certainty. And we are going to fight back. God bless our president and our troops. Press on to victory!


Herodotus - 3/25/2003

Aside from your parallel (which was hardly apt and remarkably irrelevant), what is your point? You ask a series of questions but it is not clear what answering them is supposed to reveal.


Suetonius - 3/25/2003

Your ad hominiems (Rumsfeld's old buddy) and flimsy arguments (yeah...and there's an easter bunny) do you a disservice. Engage my argument rationally and coherently.


Wesley Smart - 3/25/2003

No, my logic was that the hypocrites are the ones who assume France is the paragon of virtuosity. France has intervened in those two countries ostensibly to restore law and order; arguably this is one of the reasons the U.S. has gone into Iraq.

Why the French say it's okay to intervene in their former colonies but not okay to remove Hussein from power (and thereby end the twelve years of surrepticious arms sales from France and Russia) is hypocritical as well.

When the documents come back from Baghdad, there's going to be some hell to pay for the French. The Russians are already getting their faces egged this week over the GPS jammers sold in violation of the UN Sanctions. If you're violating UN Sanctions, your views on the security council amount to nil.


Suetonius - 3/25/2003

Your ad hominems notwithstanding, you've ducked the question. What _is_ motivating the French that for 12 years they have consistently opposed further resolution of the Iraq crisis? It has nothing to do with the Bush administration per se, Mr. Jefferson. Throughout the +Clinton+ Administration the French behaved the same way. I simply ask why?

We're starting to see why from the Russians, who've had _their_ hand caught in the cookie jar of selling weapons and banned equipment to the Iraqis in violation of the Security Council sanctions for the past several years. NOW who is the international renegade?


James Jefferson - 3/25/2003


"What do the French have against pursuing a resolution that linked inspections to a credible threat of force for non-compliance?"

After arrogantly snubbing long-standing international agreements
right and left in the first months after his non-election, kowtowing to the rampages of a war criminal elected by a fearful Israeli electorate, and plunging into an oxymoronic "war on terrorism" (which is now, presumably, expanded into an even stupider "war on evil") why should an American president expect a seasoned politician in Europe (regardless of motives) to bend over backwards and (against the obvious wishes of that European politician's constituency) help that American president blunder his way into a war his much less incompetent Daddy sidestepped ?

There are workable and non-workable ways to go about combating nuclear proliferation, dictatorships, and terrorism. Having the biggest military and the most supine parliament(/Congress) confers no particular talent in making pragmatic and effective choices. Older and more internationally experienced politicians realize this.

P.S. to Bucky: Your excellent and well-articulated points are not diminished by your having, in the process, stuck your "fist" into the "beehive" of Dubya apologists which infest this website.




Janet Casman - 3/25/2003


Somewhere in a cave in Afghanistan on September 12, 2001:

And with these first strikes, [Bush] may be gone. And the rest of the [US] leadership would quit and we could be done with this sooner! The liberation of the [Americans] begins!


Okay, not quite a fair parallel. America gave a clear warning first, and has not been deliberately targeting innocent civilians in Iraq.

But will such details be discussed in mosques across Arabia in coming weeks and months ? And after a few more years of back and forth -as America starts to resemble a big Likud Israel and the Moslem world a big West Bank- who will remember how it started ? Outside of Mideast historians, who now remembers the Munich terrorism of 1972 and Ariel Sharon's role in the Lebanon massacres ? Who remembers now that Yassir Arafat supported Saddam in 1990 ? Who remembers Yitzhak Rabin ? And why he was killed ?


Thomas Gallatin - 3/25/2003


George Bain:
"Were these protesters able to go to their representatives and senators at their homes, perhaps the level of their influence as protesters would increase."

I absolutely agree.

When will they learn ? How many unnecessary deaths, caused by the blunders of a hypocritical and greenhorn president and a spineless Congress, have to come first, before Americans bother to study civics ? Before they realize that we would not be blasting our way ally-less into Iraq had John Kerry & Co not issued an unqualified president an unprecedented blank check ?


Olaf Brakmaker - 3/25/2003

Cheneytonious writes:

"Last time I checked, there were over 45 governments that officially signed on in solid support, and well over a half-dozen with military forces on the ground engaged in combat, from the United States to the Poles and Danes".

Oh, of course. And George Bush Junior does nation-building and the Easter Bunny will soon bring us all golden eggs.

I don't doubt that Saddam could collect water boys, "human shields", and various other marginal tokens of "solid support" from 145 different countries if he had to stand for a democratic re-election and thus needed to bamboozle 49% of the voters with this sort of flimsy propaganda, relying on hanging chads and legalistic contortions for the rest of his electoral victory margin. That fact that Rumsfeld's old buddy Saddam relies on considerably more brutal methods explains why some third countries are now trying to be polite, avoid looking too closely at the egg all over America's face, and give a few of their medical teams and radar tracking personnel a bit of on-the-job training.


Suetonius - 3/25/2003

Mr. Bartlett says:

"We have started a war against one of history's most vile, dangerous and hated dictators. And only Britain's government (though not its populace) is solidly and substantively behind us."

Last time I checked, there were over 45 governments that officially signed on in solid support, and well over a half-dozen with military forces on the ground engaged in combat, from the United States to the Poles and Danes.


J. Bartlett - 3/25/2003


Arguing ad nauseum about how a president parses his inconsistent sound-bites is not the most useful investment of time, as perhaps Capitol Hill Republicans who, in 1998-99 (while Saddam was kicking out inspectors), dropped everything to defend America against adultery may have discovered.

Of course Bush has lied, as have most politicians.

The problem is not his lack of truthfulness but his inexperience and ineptitude. He is so inept he can't even figure out how to rely on qualified subordinates.

We have started a war against one of history's most vile, dangerous and hated dictators. And only Britain's government (though not its populace) is solidly and substantively behind us.

If John McCain were president, this would not be happening.



Richard Kurdlion - 3/25/2003



According to the posting of Wesley Smart, France is quietly misbehaving in the Ivory Coast, therefore it is okay for chickenhawks Rumsfeld and Cheney to loudly and arrogantly defy both world public opinion and AMERICAN strategic interests, recklessly insult traditional American allies, and launch a unilateral invasion of Iraq - in order to overthrow a dictator these hypocrites helped maintain in power for many years.

This is the sort of logic that says because some Palestinians use terror to try to force acceptance of a Palestinian state (as some Israelis did in the 1940s), it is okay now to kill 10 innocent Palestinians for every innocent Israeli killed.

This is a very UNAMERICAN kind of thinking. It may be "about America" in recent months, but should not be.


Kvetch - 3/24/2003

The vast majority of the Palestinians may well want
peaceful coexistence with Israel,but do they run the
show? It seems to me that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, et
al. are explicitly and openly committed to destroying
Israel (and killing Jews), although they tend to deemphasize
these things when talking to Americans. Ditto for the PLO
(n/k/a Palestinian Authority), whose use of the media,
school textbooks, religious appointments, etc. is well
documented and explicitly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. Do
you suppose our buddy Saddam supports these fanatics just out
of heartbleed for the plight of the ordinary Palestinian?
Also, is it true that since Oslo one of the best-selling books
on the West Bank is Hitler's Mein Kampf, complete with laudatory
introduction?


Wesley Smart - 3/24/2003

How is it that you think this is only about America?

Aren't the French in Cote d'Ivorie and the Central Africa Republic doing exactly the same thing that the U.S. is doing? Yet you're not seeing the level of coverage or outrage over this!


Herodotus - 3/24/2003

Hayabusa wrote,

"It seems like most of the regular (frequent) posters here are in favor of illegality, criminality, slaughter, and mayhem in the name of imposing "democracy" at the point of a gun."

I am not in favor of illegality, criminality, slaughter and mayhem. I am in favor of order, which is a necessary precursor to liberty, freedom and even democracy. Order, improperly applied, can lead to oppression, autocracy, and thereby bring about illegality, criminality, slaughter and mayhem. But that is the world of Hussein. And that is why the Iraqis have welcomed the order that the United States brings in place of Hussein's order.

Can you honestly say that life for the Iraqi people would be better off if we left Hussein in place, continued inspections interminably, and maintained the sanctions against him that have allowed thousands of his people to die needlessly because he doesn't feel like cooperating?


Hayabusa - 3/24/2003

It seems like most of the regular (frequent) posters here are in favor of illegality, criminality, slaughter, and mayhem in the name of imposing "democracy" at the point of a gun. It's no wonder that events like 9/11 take place and America is hated (or at the very least disliked) by huge numbers of people around the world. With attitudes like these posters (and the actions that stem from them) there will surely be such attacks in America and against Americans and American interests abroad for many years to come. It's too bad that there aren't "smart bombs" that seek out such hate-filled idiots and destroy them. Unfortunately for America, such weapons don't exist.

In a democracy, the people get what they deserve. Congratulations!

Now go ahead and post your asinine responses to this. See if they will prevent any more 9/11 attacks.


Suetonius - 3/24/2003

Bucky Rea suggests:

"In 1999 France, Russia, and many other countries were reluctant to resist Serbia's aggression in Kosovo, but an intelligent, patient, and diplomatically capable president brought the world around to our position and built a credible coalition."

Yet in 1999 the U.S. chose to abandon the UN route, as it did now, because of statements by the French and others that they would veto the resolution.

We still have not gotten an adequate explanation from the French for their reversal of opinion between November and now in backing vigorous inspections backed by a credible punishment for non-compliance. Apparently Powell _did_ receive assurances from the French in early January that they would go along with a new resolution, but then came out publically against that position after Bush and Blair had been persuaded that it was feasible to pursue a second resolution. The backstab/reversal by the French has appeared inexplicable to many of the most seasoned nonpartisan commentators I've seen in the press and on TV.

The Chinese and Russian positions aside, I ask this in a serious, academic sense: what _do_ the French have against pursuing a resolution that linked inspections to a credible threat of force for non-compliance?


Bucky - 3/23/2003

.
Melvin J. Briggs writes
"Saddam is evil. Granted. But if that is our primary justification for war, then we'd better get ready for a long series of wars to rid the world of its evil dictators."

I fear that's exactly what we're getting ready for.

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/1211-05.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/s473564.htm

http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/08/24/13230.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1564448.stm


Bucky - 3/23/2003

.
It's possible that the administration (and Blair's government) broke the law in actually initiating the war, but I don't think that there have been any credible claims that the US or UK have committed actual war crimes.

Congress has certainly not broken any laws, as the 2003 Joint Resolution authorizing Bush to use force in Iraq is perfectly in compliance with the 1973 War Powers Act, which I believe has passed Constitutional review. While the Founding Fathers almost certainly would have expected an actual declaration of war before any use of force on this scale, the law is flexible enough to permit their authorizing force. The war's legality within the US frame of government isn't really up for question.

When people talk about an "illegal" war, what they mean is that the use of force here violates the Charter of the UN. The US is a signatory of the UN Treaty, which means the UN Charter supercedes the authority of the relevant US law.


Bucky Rea - 3/23/2003

.
Bill Heuisler asks:
"When will American Pacifists learn?"

My opposition to the war is not based on pacifism. Please don't lump all opponents to this war into one category.

My concerns are based on the use, abuse, and application of the international rule of law. The use of force in Iraq simply isn't necessary yet (notice I say "yet", as do most opponents of the president's policy). Because of this, the killing and dying that is going on in Iraq isn't necessary.

The American position lacks world support, and the lack of support is entirely the fault of the current administration. In 1991 France, Russia, and many other countries were reluctant to resist Saddam's aggression, but an intelligent, patient, and diplomatically capable president brought the world around to our position and built a credible coalition. In 1999 France, Russia, and many other countries were reluctant to resist Serbia's aggression in Kosovo, but an intelligent, patient, and diplomatically capable president brought the world around to our position and built a credible coalition.

This year, however, our current president has failed to win UN or NATO support because he spent the previous 2 1/2 years undermining our international relationships.


Bill Heuisler - 3/23/2003

Mr. Aurelius,
Ordinarily talking to dead Romans is a waste of time, however when we can illustrate their absurdity it's worth it.

You announced proudly:
"Mr. Hammerschlag put forward some clear and direct statements condemning the current administration's war in Iraq and a pattern of behavior displayed by the president that can be supported factually."

And now to Mr. Hammerschlag's factual statements:
"As we plunge into the most immoral war since the Philippines; lets say it clearly, without shading or pretense: our President is a liar. A serial, repetitive, egregious liar. A man who lies not only in the service of his single minded crass policies, but who does so automatically- as a reflex. These lies have been abetted by the press and the woeful ignorance of the populace."

The war is immoral. The President is a liar. We are ignorant.
Such faux-profundity would be embarrassing to anyone with even a tentative grasp on reality. Are you embarrassed?
Bill Heuisler


Marcus Aurelius - 3/23/2003

I am continually amazed at the lack of analytical thought displayed by the staunch advocates of this war against Iraq. Mr. Hammerschlag put forward some clear and direct statements condemning the current administration's war in Iraq and a pattern of behavior displayed by the president that can be supported factually. In response, however, "Interested Observser," "Perplexed," and "Dan" respond with vacuous and inane comments that did not address the substance of the initial posting in any way, shape, or form. I've seen this pattern repeated in almost every venue that invites public commentary on the current state of affairs and it truly saddens me. Perhaps before we worry excessively about installing a democratic government elsewhere in the world, we should worry about the state of democracy in our own country first.


Suetonius - 3/23/2003

natch. Try the reports on Sky News that the latest thinking is that the POWs were executed with shots to the back of the head.


Gil - 3/23/2003

Amen!


Herodotus - 3/23/2003

Perhaps our legal ire should be directed at the Iraqis who have violated the Geneva Convention by filming wounded and dead Americans.


Constance D. Clay-Williams - 3/23/2003

If our present administration has broken laws in this war, then it seems that this is the major issue, now. If congress broke any laws by not declaring war and giving this administration the power and the will to war, then congress has to answer for that, maybe legally.

Should not the lawyers of this country put forth much effort to these issues?
Thank You,


Melvin J. Briggs - 3/23/2003

We don't have the moral authority or resources to take out every two-bit dictator on the planet. In the grand scheme of things, how high of a priority is Saddam? There is no Al Qaeda - Saddam connection; Saddam has few, if any WMD's. Yet, we have declared war on Iraq, just to remove Saddam. It's extremely strange that none of Iraq's neighbors feel imminently threatened by Iraq, but somehow or other we do, separated by thousands of miles. So, Saddam is evil. Granted. But if that is our primary justification for war, then we'd better get ready for a long series of wars to rid the world of its evil dictators.


Herodotus - 3/23/2003

I believe the appropriate response is a Homer Simpson-esque 'Doh!' with a slap to the forehead.


Herodotus - 3/23/2003

Daily Telegraph
March 23, 2003

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
By Daniel Pepper
  
I wanted to join the human shields in Baghdad because it was direct action which had a chance of bringing the anti-war movement to the forefront of world attention. It was inspiring: the human shield volunteers were making a sacrifice for their political views - much more of a personal investment than going to a demonstration in Washington or London. It was simple - you get on the bus and you represent yourself.

So that is exactly what I did on the morning of Saturday, January 25. I am a 23-year-old Jewish-American photographer living in Islington, north London. I had travelled in the Middle East before: as a student, I went to the Palestinian West Bank during the intifada. I also went to Afghanistan as a photographer for Newsweek.

The human shields appealed to my anti-war stance, but by the time I had left Baghdad five weeks later my views had changed drastically. I wouldn't say that I was exactly pro-war - no, I am ambivalent - but I have a strong desire to see Saddam removed.

We on the bus felt that we were sympathetic to the views of the Iraqi civilians, even though we didn't actually know any. The group was less interested in standing up for their rights than protesting against the US and UK governments.

I was shocked when I first met a pro-war Iraqi in Baghdad - a taxi driver taking me back to my hotel late at night. I explained that I was American and said, as we shields always did, "Bush bad, war bad, Iraq good". He looked at me with an expression of incredulity.

As he realised I was serious, he slowed down and started to speak in broken English about the evils of Saddam's regime. Until then I had only heard the President spoken of with respect, but now this guy was telling me how all of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him politically he would kill your whole family.

It scared the hell out of me. First I was thinking that maybe it was the secret police trying to trick me but later I got the impression that he wanted me to help him escape. I felt so bad. I told him: "Listen, I am just a schmuck from the United States, I am not with the UN, I'm not with the CIA - I just can't help you."

Of course I had read reports that Iraqis hated Saddam Hussein, but this was the real thing. Someone had explained it to me face to face. I told a few journalists who I knew. They said that this sort of thing often happened - spontaneous, emotional, and secretive outbursts imploring visitors to free them from Saddam's tyrannical Iraq.

I became increasingly concerned about the way the Iraqi regime was restricting the movement of the shields, so a few days later I left Baghdad for Jordan by taxi with five others. Once over the border we felt comfortable enough to ask our driver what he felt about the regime and the threat of an aerial bombardment.

"Don't you listen to Powell on Voice of America radio?" he said. "Of course the Americans don't want to bomb civilians. They want to bomb government and Saddam's palaces. We want America to bomb Saddam."

We just sat, listening, our mouths open wide. Jake, one of the others, just kept saying, "Oh my God" as the driver described the horrors of the regime. Jake was so shocked at how naive he had been. We all were. It hadn't occurred to anyone that the Iraqis might actually be pro-war.

The driver's most emphatic statement was: "All Iraqi people want this war." He seemed convinced that civilian casualties would be small; he had such enormous faith in the American war machine to follow through on its promises. Certainly more faith than any of us had.

Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?"

  It hit me on visceral and emotional levels: this was a real portrayal of Iraq life. After the first conversation, I completely rethought my view of the Iraqi situation. My understanding changed on intellectual, emotional, psychological levels. I remembered the experience of seeing Saddam's egomaniacal portraits everywhere for the past two weeks and tried to place myself in the shoes of someone who had been subjected to seeing them every day for the last 20 or so years.


Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly acceptable. It really upset me.

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.


glenn mesaros - 3/23/2003

These are the insane, fascist , bootlicking pawns of the Nazi Carl Schmitt protege, Leo Strauss, who are salivating about their new Empire.

FRONT PAGE - FIRST SECTION: Ideologues reshape world over breakfast
By Guy Dinmore in Washington
Financial Times; Mar 22, 2003


Billed as a "black coffee briefing on the war on Iraq", yesterday's breakfast for the influential hawks of the American Enterprise Institute was more of a victory celebration.

With a few words of caution - that the war to oust Saddam Hussein was not yet over - the panel of speakers, part of the Bush administration's ideological vanguard, set out their bold vision of the postwar agenda: radical reform of the UN, regime change in Iran and Syria, and "containment" of France and Germany.

The failure of the first Bush administration to finish the job in 1991, according to William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, the US magazine, had resulted in "a lack of awe for the US" in the Middle East, an absence of respect that fostered contempt of the US among Arabs and encouraged the rise of the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.

This war would redress those mistakes, Mr Kristol declared, opening up the prospect for real democratic change in the region.

The war was going well, said Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defence Advisory Board. There were more anti-war demonstrators in San Francisco than Iraqis willing to defend their leader. The "coalition of the willing" was growing.

The fall of Mr Hussein would be an "inspiration" for Iranians seeking to be free of their dictatorial mullahs, Mr Perle said.

While not speaking for the administration, such voices reflect the views of the hawkish faction in the government - including Dick Cheney, vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, and Paul Wolfowitz, his deputy - now in the ascendancy.

Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan administration official and author of The War Against the Terror Masters, said this conflict was part of a "longer war" and such terrorist-sponsors as Iran and Syria knew that. France and Germany insisted on "shoring up tyrannical regimes". Anti-war demonstrators had reached "new lows of disgustingness".

Mr Kristol said the US should distinguish between France and Germany. Splitting Germany away would be "intelligent American diplomacy - maybe too much to hope for from the state department".

"Americans are not vindictive," Mr Perle asserted. Mr Ledeen said, in the context of France, that he hoped they were.

Mr Kristol said that the UN did not matter much. Mr Perle suggested that as a security institution "its time has passed" though it might still be of some use in health matters and peacekeeping.



Herodotus - 3/23/2003

[Ian...why if it was a peaceful protest would anyone need to burn a flag or throw things at the police?]

Confrontation Disrupts Peaceful Anti-War Rally
Pepper Spray Fire Hits Police, Protesters; 10 Arrested

6:10 PM EST,March 22, 2003
By Dawn MacKeen and Jerome Burdi, Staff Writers

At least 10 arrests were made and several police and anti-war protesters were hit with pepper spray Saturday after a confrontation turned what had been a peaceful march through midtown involving more than 100,000 demonstrators into something ugly.

The march from Times Square along Broadway was wrapping up just west of Washington Square Park shortly after 4 p.m., the march's scheduled end, when about a dozen demonstrators circled and started burning American flags, witnesses said.

Police wearing riot gear moved in and started arresting demonstrators and pushing the crowd toward Waverly Place and the park. The crowd responded by chanting "Go fight crime!" and pushing back at police. Several demonstrators threw water bottles at officers and pepper spray fire was fired. It was not immediately clear by whom.

[this is exerpted from the main article]


Jim Lynch - 3/23/2003

Rebuild Iraq? How about rebuilding downtown Oakland?

Why is it that certain citizens, who squeeze their wallets when school or library bond initiative's are proposed, turn into Diamond Jim Brady's when it comes the expenditures inherent in war, and war's repercussions? It's an honest fiscal question. Anybody got an answer to that one?


Suetonius - 3/22/2003

Funny how experience on the ground changes perceptions, isn't it. NPR's Weekend Edition this morning (3.22.03) had two Iraqi exiles who explained that a sustantial portion of the Iraqi exiles who live here in the U.S. are elated that this has finally come to pass. Most telling was the caller who phoned in to accuse Scott Simon of a whitewash for allowing these Iraqis to express pro-U.S. views.


Herodotus - 3/22/2003

Mr. August,

Those words were not mine, they were of the editor of the antiwar.com webpage. I think it stands for itself. The San Francisco demonstrators, who defecated in the streets as part of their protest, have shown that they are more interested in chaos than reasonable demonstration of their firm convictions that this war is wrong. THAT is why I posted the article and suggested that the anti-war movement is collapsing.


Ann O. Nomas - 3/22/2003


And brave Bill, where were you when our country (and I suppose yours) was liberating Kosovo ?

A.N.


ian august - 3/22/2003

they are not nuts and it was not chaotic, you should go witness the protests for yourself and not believe the propogand spoon fead to you daily by fox news channel.


i was at the anti war protests in NYC and if you want to tell me i was not there to protest the war than you are flat out wrong. so have fun bashing all those who disagree with you view


"roving packs of dogs." are you referring to the protesters still or bush's pro pro pro war cabinet?

and let me tell you one more thing people do not listen well to arguments that involve name calling and bashing , as u see mine do not have either no matter how much i disagree with you.


ian august - 3/22/2003

i agree with gil that one day the chickens will come home to roost. The days of imperialism and militarism are over. No longer can we go around the world felxing our power. The world has caught on and they do not like it. As we would not like it if we were a smaller nation being pushed around by a larger arab nation. we must put ourselves in the shoes of others to see what we would do. So lets pretend we live in the middle east and are one of a few democracies in the world, and the world is run by arab superpowers, how would we feel, what would we do if the arab superpowers wanted to invade of for trying to build nukes to protect ourselves? Bush's arguments for war have not convinced many democracies, so i suggest they have concinced, hardly any arab nations.

this mucho stuff must end, its time for the world to grow up, and if it does not start here, with the worlds superpower than i t won't start anywhere


Kasper - 3/22/2003

A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r


Bill Heuisler - 3/22/2003

Mr Rea,
Opinions are being changed even as we speak across the ether. Anti-war human shields have met reality:
UPI 3/21-
"Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."

When will American Pacifists learn?
Bill Heuisler


Publius - 3/22/2003

As a speaker of Arabic and Hebrew, and a foreign service officer with experience in the Arab World and Israel, I may be in an unusual position accurately to cite the root causes not only of the current Iraq war, but also Arab terrorism: the US policy of blindly supporting Israel despite the many transgressions against peace by that small nation.

Now relax a moment and read. Israel has a right to exist, and it is reasonable and proper that the US support that right. Conversely, the Palestinians also have a right to exist, and to have a country of their own. Yet, largely as a result of US actions, Palestinians have been living in squalid (you’d have to visit one to really understand) refugee camps. And they have been for over 50 years!

Early on, the Arabs thought they could expel the Israelis. The Palestinians (i.e., the people living on that land since the time of the Romans, especially those who were converted to Islam, have born the burden of Arab anti-Zionism, and it has been a heavy burden. They now know Israel is there to stay, and the vast majority want only peace, a Palestinian State, absolute access to Jerusalem (not total suzerainty!), and an end to terror on both sides.

If this happens, the root cause of terrorism will wither. And, perhaps, we can spend less on guns and more on butter.


Bucky Rea - 3/22/2003

Interested Observer informs us:
"The rest of us have real work to do."

Friend, if you had real work to do, you wouldn't be insulting strangers on the internet when they ask questions you don't like.

I want to thank HNN.US for providing this discussion forum. I want to thank everyone for and against this use of force in Iraq who've taken the time to discuss the matter intelligently.


Gil - 3/22/2003

And the war continues at home. I thought some of us were historians,and if that were so, you'd at least recognize the uniqueness of our invasion of Iraq. Based on the Bush 2002 National Security Strategy, this invasion is in fact less about Iraq than it is the ability to exert American influence directly over an important region of the world, and as such, it is an imperialist's dream. Of course this war is immoral and illigitimate, but some of you are foaming at the mouth with patriotic and jingoistic pablum--even to the extent that you would silence protest, which the last time I looked was quite legal. And yes, I, too, believe that Bush ought to be impeached. I pity those who support this war--sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost, and who will be the first to cry fowl?


Herodotus - 3/22/2003

You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious
The Guardian
March 21, 2001
James Meek

'I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand'

Yesterday afternoon a truck drove down a side road in the Iraqi town of Safwan, laden with rugs and furniture. Booty or precious possessions? In a day of death, joy and looting, it was hard to know.

As the passengers spotted European faces, one boy grinned and put his thumb up. The other nervously waved a white flag. The mixed messages defined the moment: Thank you. We love you. Please don't kill us.

US marines took Safwan at about 8am yesterday. There was no rose-petal welcome, no cheering crowd, no stars and stripes.

Afraid that the US and Britain will abandon them, the people of Safwan did not touch the portraits and murals of Saddam Hussein hanging everywhere. It was left to the marines to tear them down. It did not mean there was not heartfelt gladness at the marines' arrival. Ajami Saadoun Khlis, whose son and brother were executed under the Saddam regime, sobbed like a child on the shoulder of the Guardian's Egyptian translator. He mopped the tears but they kept coming.

"You just arrived," he said. "You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave."

"For a long time we've been saying: 'Let them come'," his wife, Zahara, said. "Last night we were afraid, but we said: 'Never mind, as long as they get rid of him, as long as they overthrow him, no problem'." Their 29-year-old son was executed in July 2001, accused of harbouring warm feelings for Iran.

"He was a farmer, he had a car, he sold tomatoes, and we had a life that we were satis fied with," said Khlis. "He was in prison for a whole year, and I raised 75m dinars in bribes. It didn't work. The money was gone, and he was gone. They sent me a telegram. They gave me the body."

The marines rolled into the border town after a bombardment which left up to a dozen people dead. Residents gave different figures. A farmer, Haider, who knew one of the men killed, Sharif Badoun, said: "Killing some is worth it, to end the injustice and suffering." The men around him gave a collective hysterical laugh.

The injustice of tyranny was merged in their minds with the effects of sanctions. "Look at the way we're dressed!" said Haider, and scores of men held up their stained, holed clothes. "We are isolated from the rest of the world."

The marines took Safwan without loss, although a tank hit a mine. "They had to clear that route through. They found the way to punch through and about 10 Iraqi soldiers surrendered immediately," said Marine Sergeant Jason Lewis, from Denver, standing at a checkpoint at the entrance to the town where, minutes earlier, a comrade had folded a huge portrait of President Saddam and tucked it into his souvenir box.

The welcome, he admitted, had been cool. "At first they were a little hesitant," he said. "As you know, Saddam's a dictator, so we've got to reassure them we're here to stay _ We tore down the Saddam signs to show them we mean business.

"Hopefully this time we'll do it right, and give these Iraqis a chance of liberty."

But the marines' presence was light. They had not brought food, medicines, or even order. All day hundreds of armoured vehicles poured through the town. But they did not stop, and the looting continued. Every government establishment seemed to be fair game. People covered their faces in shame as they carried books out of a school. Tawfik Mohammed, the headmaster, initially denied his school had been looted, then admitted it. "This is the result of your entering," he said. "Whenever any army enters an area it becomes chaos. We are cautious about the future. We are very afraid."

Safwan yesterday was a place where people were constantly taking you aside to warn in veiled terms that it was necessary to be careful. Everywhere was the lingering fear that the revenge killings that swept the area in 1991 - a product of US encourage ment and then abandonment of the southern Iraqi revolt - could happen again.

"Now, we are afraid [Saddam's] government will come back," said Haider, as the Safwan Farmers' Cooperative was being looted behind him. "We don't trust the Americans any more. People made a revolution, and they didn't help us."

Safwan is a crumbling, dead-end place, full of poor, restless young men, and reliant on the tomato trade for its income. Farmers were panicking yesterday as they asked journalists, in lieu of anyone better, how they were supposed to sell their tomatoes.

A handful of soldiers, mainly US marines but with a few British, are struggling to cope with the chaos and the lack of health care or aid.

At a checkpoint just north of the town two British military policemen with paramedical training and a US doctor rushed to treat two Iraqi men brought in on the back of a beaten-up pick-up truck. Their legs were lacerated by shrapnel. The military policemen did their conscientious best, and may have saved their lives.


Herodotus - 3/22/2003


Herodotus - 3/22/2003

[From antiwar.com's webpage:] [and he neglected to mention the Molotov cocktails the police located]


The outrageous disruptions launched by alleged "antiwar" protesters in San Francisco had nothing to do with opposition to the war, nothing to do with changing the foreign policy of this country, and no rational person could possibly endorse them.

Masked thugs stopped cars, and tried to drag people out. These "peaceful" protesters had quite an array of weapons: stun guns, crowbars, brass knuckles, and other instruments of mayhem were confiscated from arrested demonstrators. They deliberately blocked streets, tied up the entire city for 8 hours, broke windows, threw rocks, and wreaked havoc, acting like the hooligans they are. Some of them wore masks, demonstrating that they are also cowards. News crews were assaulted with spraypaint, rocks, and other objects.

A milder version of these tactics were replicated in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City, and elsewhere, but San Francisco was, naturally, the worst. Over 1,000 people were arrested in the City by the Bay, but most were, unfortunately, released. Shouting their defiance ? "We?ll be back! We?ll be back!" ? they are still out there, as I write [10:00 PM, March 20], moving in groups from intersection to intersection, creating as much chaos as possible. They are organized, they are violent, and they are nuts.

It?s an outrage that they have been allowed to get away with this. The San Francisco Police Department tells us that these people were mostly cited and immediately released, but if they are arrested again they will be charged. What nonsense! Can anyone imagine what would happen if pro-war demonstrators went on a violent rampage in San Francisco? They would be charged with felony riot and thrown in jail for years.

Why is the Left ? and I use the term really loosely, since it is flattering these people to ascribe political motives to their mindless actions ? immune from the law? Doesn?t the city government have a responsibility to keep public order?

The San Francisco Chronicle cites one Benna Kollinsky, who was among those blocking the corner of Montgomery and Clay streets for more than two hours:

"This is a total shutdown,'' I thought we'd be lucky to close it down for an hour. We've run this block all morning.''

Can you believe the nerve of this arrogant thugette? As they say: Only in San Francisco!

These people are the lowest form of thrill-seekers, no better than roving packs of dogs, who go after any "target of opportunity" for any reason. The marauders who have taken over the streets of San Francisco are a free gift to the War Party, which is delighted to magnify their idiocy and broadcast it from coast to coast.

Peaceful, legal, and massive demonstrations are the only way to stop this war. The crazed actions of a few opportunistic nutballs put the broader antiwar movement in danger ? and discredit legitimate, meaningful forms of dissent.

To have to sit and listen to a local news anchor interview some sneering ghoul of a woman named "Planet" justify mindless disruption because "Life can?t go on as usual," is just too much for me to bear. Spare us the self-righteous baloney, "Planet" ? life will go on, in spite of George W. Bush and his cabal of warmongering chickenhawks, and thank God for that!

Oh, and do something about that hair, girlfriend ? like washing it, for a start.

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com.


Interested Observer - 3/22/2003

Clearly you haven't been paying attention. Since you aren't, would you mind getting out of the way? The rest of us have real work to do.


Bucky Rea - 3/22/2003


How big a threat is Iraq to the US? Not very, judging by how quickly their army has crumbled in the face of US might. I just can't understand how this paper tiger can be portrayed as a threat to US security.

It's Islamic anger that scares me, with their over population, vast unemployment, mountains of angry kids under age 20, and fervent hatred of America. And now we've punched a big fist into the beehive.

This war has been justified as a prevention of future terrorist acts against America. I support the goal, but I can't help feeling that we've gone about it the wrong way. How many little future Osamas are going to crawl out of the rubble?


Edward E. King - 3/21/2003


Lying is not an impeachable offense, regardless of what youthfully indiscrete hypocrite Henry Hyde may have led you to believe. Amending the constitution to make "gross incompetence" an impeachable offense is not workable either - the flood of impeachments flowing from that definition would leave little time for carrying out the business of government.

Don't waste your time on an impossible "impeachment" effort. Instead, remember the blank check given to an inept and tongue-twisted puppet president, and who gave him that blank check. At the head of that list of ignominy should go the names of these Democratic Party politicians who have forever disgraced their party and their country:

Dick Gephardt
Joe Lieberman
John Kerry
Hillary Clinton

Once these spineless hypocrites apologize to our betrayed nation, and drop out of politics in shame, the way can be cleared in 2004 for a regime change which sends the current occupant of the White House back to the village in Texas which has lost its idiot, and sends the executive branch string pullers behind that fool off to trial and/or to retirement - to live out the rest of their natural lives quietly and far from the corridors of power, until their final fiery descents.

Ed King


Bill Heuisler - 3/21/2003

Dan,
The war goes well; anti-war protestors show true Fifth-Column intentions, Democrats commit political suicide and people like you confront their cowardice. Answering your ignorance becomes worthwhile only when it allows me to point out the pitiful weakness and timidity involved in spewing hatred for your own country while remaining safely anonymous.
Bill Heuisler, Tucson, AZ


Bill Maher - 3/21/2003



David Rawson was U.S. ambassador to Rwanda during the genocide. This is what he said after the butchery was all over: "The fact that negotiations cannot work is almost not one of the options open to people who care about peace. We were looking for the hopeful signs, not the dark signs. In fact, we were looking away from the dark signs. . ." These words are worth noting.


Dan - 3/21/2003

Yes, you ARE confused.


dan - 3/21/2003

Had they any "evidence," the inspectors would have searched the correct places, instead of taking a (Bush) guided tour of the Iraqi countryside.

The fact that the inspectors found nothing is far more an indictment of the Bush administration than of Hussein's leadership.


dan - 3/21/2003

We will be "finally be blessed by the silence of idiots?" only when you stop posting your usual drivel...


perplexed - 3/21/2003

I'm confused. This item is titled "Bush," yet after reading the first four sentences, I could have sworn that the president being described was G.W.'s immediate predecessor.


Interested observer - 3/20/2003

You spend so much time in your anti-Bush little world that you're sidestepping the larger problem of what to do with the Iraqi people suffering under the Hussein regime and the danger of Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. These were matters of such concern that the Clinton Administration carried out much of what this administration is carrying out.

Perhaps you're too interested in bashing Bush than helping to resolve the problems of the world. If that's the case, we'll be happy to see you left behind as the rest of us move on.


Mike Hammerschlag - 3/20/2003

FIRM of MIND; SOFT on FACTS As we plunge into the most immoral war since the Philippines; lets say it clearly, without shading or pretense: our President is a liar. A serial, repetitive, egregious liar. A man who lies not only in the service of his single minded crass policies, but who does so automatically- as a reflex. These lies have been abetted by the press and the woeful ignorance of the populace. Again and again GB2 has tried to tie Saddam with Osama: Saddam supports him, he gives Al Qaida refuge, he’s about to finish a nuclear bomb. All lies. OBL hates Saddam, he is an unbeliever who’s annihilated his Moslem leaders. The truth is- Bush planned to invade Iraq, to outdo and avenge his father, to kill a persistent irritant, to guarantee a stable source of oil, to cow the world.. before he became President. The result of all this untruth is that 42% of our people think Saddam was involved in planning 9-11, and 55% think he’s in league with Al Qaida… because the President told them so. Of course, only 13% could identify Iraq on a map. Of 1000 OBL satellite calls, not one went to Iraq!

Click here to read more.


George F. Bain - 3/20/2003

I should like to remind readers here that the US is a REPUBLIC, not the sort of democracy that one finds implied in many postings and in many discussions of likely war. The country may be influenced by polls but is not (at any rate not nowadays) run by poll findings. The unique US system allows greater latitude to the President than does the constitutional system of, say Great Britain. In the latter, the Prime Minister must carry with him his cabinet, each of whom is elected by a relatively small number of people, and he must accord recognition to those of his party called 'back benchers'. To a great extent, and when it comes to legislation, the PM is much more powerful than the President. But in all matters he must carry the Cabinet.

In contrast, in the US the President answers to no one but the electors at the next Presidential election. While he may consider that the street voices carry some weight in his dealings with the Congress, he can ignore them during the first several years of his term. Thus FDR was able to ignore the anti-war cabals in the later 1930s while placating (lying?) to the public and the Congress. For example, I sailed overseas in a Canadian convoy in September 1941, guarded by many US warships, something done by the President that would not have been done by the Congress at that time.

President Johnson was able to ignore the anti-war protests until they continued and influenced his chances for another election sweep by his party - he himself was chastened and withdrew.

So, what do street protests accomplish? I think they are a useful way for those parts of the general public that is siezed of an issue - environment, anti-war, save the whales,globalization etc - to blow off steam. Mostly the protesters are inarticulate about their aims and know little about those organizing the protests. Were these protesters able to go to their representatives and senators at their homes, perhaps the level of their influence as protesters would increase.

In the meantime, pay not much heed to street protests, I say,

George F Bain, Vienna,VA


Bill Heuisler - 3/20/2003

Vale, Gaius. When Saddam is room temperature and his horrors and obscene insults to humanity are revealed to the world, readers of HNN will surely be deluged with apologies...won't we?

Or will we finally be blessed by the silence of idiots?
Bill Heuisler


Suetonius - 3/20/2003

No evidence that is credible has been presented, but you don't have the security clearance to see the evidence that would be credible enough for you.

Powell's materials were not plagarized; that was the British report. That still doesn't make it false, just sloppily put together.


Mark Williams - 3/20/2003

Bush cited, in his State of the Union Address, phony documents purporting to detail Iraq-Niger nuclear transactions. This fact alone is grounds for impeachment proceedings to begin. If it can be shown that this was done deliberately or recklessly, it certainly constitutes a "high crime" and should bring conviction.

If, on the other hand, he did such a stupid and destructive thing in all good faith, then perhaps we should amend the Constitution to allow for impeachment in cases of gross incompetence.


Paul - 3/20/2003

Irag is a secular regime. We didn't care about the Kurds Before 1991 or after 1991. And we supplied the triaing and support to allow Hussain to oppress his people and suppress uprising. So now what is this war about.


Paul - 3/20/2003

And I thought our illustrious President said that this war was about diarming Hussain? Or was it because he was connected to terrorist? Is it liberation now for Irag? Damn its so confusing. I know why, becuase when you have no leg to stand on and each reason is refuted with facts then you move to teh next. So what happens when we go in take over and find that there are no WMD or chemical or biological or nuclear weapons or capability? Then what. Oh yeah say it enouga dn every rube in teh US will believe that it was to liberate the Iraqi people. BS.


Frank X. Kleshinski - 3/20/2003


War against Iraq is both immoral and illegal. No credible evidence of an 'imminent threat' exists. Materials presented by Powell at UN were plagiarized in part, and other evidence found to be simply fictitious. The administration has knowingly let the American public continue to believe the lie that Sadam Hussein was connected with 9/11. I totally agree with Helen Thomas; George W. Bush (Dim Son) is the worst president I have seen. He is the only person in that position that could make Richard Nixon look good. This administration has zero credibility. If you do not believe me, ask the rest of the world.


Toby Jones - 3/20/2003

Thanks you Mr.President for making a stand against the evil of Saddam and his cruel oppression of the people of Iraq. Iraq will have a chance to join the free countries of the world, the Kurds will no longer be oppressed and hopefully a secular nation much like Turkey will emerge. And let this be a lesson also to those foment terror, from groups such as al-quada to hamas, your time is up.


Herodotus - 3/20/2003

And with these first strikes, Hussein may be gone. And the rest of the Iraqi leadership would quit and we could be done with this sooner! The liberation of the Iraqis begins!

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