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Presidents Who Have Visited War Zones

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On Thanksgiving Day 2003 President Bush visited Baghdad on a surprise visit to the troops occupying Iraq. Below is a list of several other presidents who have visited war zones.

 

 Lincoln visiting Antietam.

 

On October 3, 1862 President Lincoln visited Antietam. A famous picture shows him standing with General McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln staged the surprise visit to put pressure on McClellan to press the attack on Robert E. Lee's forces. McClellan had been criticized for failing to follow up his victory over Lee at Antietam.

On April 4, 1865 Lincoln, protected by a bodyguard of about 100 men. visited Richmond just 48 hours after Jefferson Davis had fled the capital of the Confederacy. The visit was considered dangerous. Some parts of the city were on fire.

 

 

In January 1943 Franklin Roosevelt rendezvoused with Winston Churchill in Casablanca to decide on a strategy to appease Joseph Stalin, who was complaining that Britain and the United States were delaying an invasion of Europe. Northern Africa had been conquered by General Eisenhower in the fall of 1942 in a campaign dubbed, Operation Torch.

 

 

FDR and Churchill at Casablanca.

 

Ike eats with the troops.

 

During his 1952 campaign for president Dwight Eisenhower had famously declared, "I shall go to Korea." The statement gave Americans, tired of the war, hope that Ike could end it. In early December 1952, while he was president-elect, Ike made a surprise 3-day visit to South Korea. As Stephen Ambrose notes in his biography,"The trip was carried out in great secrecy--while Eisenhower was gone, daily bulletins were issued ... announcing Cabinet appointments and giving the impression that Eisenhower was busy making the selections." Ike met with combat troops and flew a reconnaissance mission."He studied an artillery duel with his bionoculars, chatted with the troops, ate outdoor meals from a mess kit, and came to the conclusion that the situation was intolerable."

 

 

In 1961 Johnson, then vice president, visited Saigon. He assured the South Vietnamese the United States would stand by them. Memorably, LBJ called South Vietnamese leader Diem the "Churchill of Asia."

On October 26, 1966 Johnson visited Vietnam on his first trip as president. The week before anti-war protests had been held in 40 cities in the United States.

At the end of December 1967 LBJ worked in another trip to Vietnam while traveling to Australia for the funeral of Prime Minister Harold Holt, who had died in a drowning accident. Visiting Cam Ranh Bay, LBJ urged the soldiers to"nail that coonskin to the wall."

 

 LBJ pins a medal on a soldier in Vietnam.

 

 

On Thanksgiving Day 1990 President George Herbert Walker Bush visited the troops stationed in Saudi Arabia. A week later the UN Security Council authorized the use of force against Saddam Hussein if he did not leave Kuwait by January 15, 1991.

 

Bush is mobbed by US troops in Saudi Arabia 1990.

 



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Mark La Roue - 7/19/2004

Your claim that Jews are running everything is quite inane. If they were, this would be a remarkable feat indeed. I would bet, by your name and location, that you are a "Christian." Perhaps that Christians worship a Jew as the "Son of God" rather prooves, in an ironic way, that your claim is true. But I would also guess that you are on of those who have "facts" to proove that Jesus was not a Jew? Writers like you are comedic.


Mark La Roue - 7/19/2004

Your claim that Jews are running everything is quite inane. If they were, this would be a remarkable feat indeed. I would bet, by your name and location, that you are a "Christian." Perhaps that Christians worship a Jew as the "Son of God" rather prooves, in an ironic way, that your claim is true. But I would also guess that you are on of those who have "facts" to proove that Jesus was not a Jew? Writers like you are comedic. Is George Mason University a school for comedians?


Hope Parson - 12/10/2003

Thank you! Well said!


Hope Parson - 12/10/2003

Hitler??? You know, I keep seeing pictures on the web, depicting President Bush as Hitler. What about Saddahm Hussein???? They don't compare him to Hitler, although he is just as bad--if not worse.


Hope Parson - 12/10/2003

Kudos to Mr. High! I can't stand hearing the "Iraqi Oil" story...that's a big joke. Why can't democrats and Clinton-supporters accept an honorable Republican president that is trying to save America from the lunatic terrorists? Simply because he is honorable, he is honest, and he is Republican.


Hugh High - 12/3/2003

Just Wondering :

I, in the main, agree whole-heartedly with your sentiment regarding B. Cornett. Elsewhere I have written :"I have not, nor shall I , read things submitted by B. Cornett and , again, recommend others do likewise : the game is not worth the candle and, frankly reading and replying to her simply encourages her, as HNN Participant has noted. Her screeds distract from serious discussion of historical, and indeed current, events.
We should put our time to better uses than read disjointed drivel." and said this after reading one of her early postings. Reading what she writes is a waste of time and I would encourage you, and others, to simply cease reading, and responding, to her -- it does encourage her.

That said, I must point out that Arthur Miller's protaganist in Death of A Salesman, Willie Loman, was, basically, a decent guy and certainly not mean spirited. He is quite different in emotion, thought, composition, from B. Cornett .


Dan - 12/3/2003

Reminds me of that old Sesame Street song:

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things doesn't belong..."


rob - 12/3/2003

Hmm, that's funny. Shrub's own propaganda machine has a British pilot spotting AF1 in the MORNING JUST AFTER DAYBREAK.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031202/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_baghdad_1


Hugh High - 12/3/2003


While not so forcefully, I tried to make precisely this same point VERY early on; and, in doing so, I said that I was not going to waste my time reading material from one who is overtly partisan, whose presentations, etc. are, at best and most politely put, disjointed, as I had better things to do with my time. I have not, nor shall I , read things submitted by B. Cornett and , again, recommend others do likewise : the game is not worth the candle and, frankly reading and replying to her simply encourages her, as HNN Participant has noted. Her screeds distract from serious discussion of historical, and indeed current, events.
We should put our time to better uses than read disjointed drivel.



Geoff - 12/3/2003


I agree with most of what you say about Arafat, and will accept, provisionally on faith, the parts I am unclear about.

I still think Sharon is the bigger obstacle to peace, at least at this stage.

95% of "the pressure" from the U.S. and Israel has already been on Arafat for the last two and half years, and on balance, I see little net progress resulting from that unoriginal stance. Geneva represents a different approach, that is much more promising (or should I say, less hopeless).

Maybe we'll have to agree to disagree on the relative importance of the two obstacles posed by two obstinate arrogant fossilized leaders, but I still don't accept that 95% of HNN articles take a fundamentally pro-Sharon position. That is not an "illumination" of "history".


Rob - 12/3/2003

I mean really, did you just compare Bush ( who went missing for EIGHTEEN MONTHS ) to some average Joe who didn't make it back to base until 5:05pm?


Rob - 12/3/2003

Dear God in Heaven, please tell me you are just trolling to get a rise out of people! Not one could be as freaking STUPID as you sound.


Paul N. Lewis - 12/3/2003


What is most important about the PNAC is not the fact that its participants and hangers-on are religiously unrepresentative of America, nor is it that their ideas would not pass Kindergarten standards of morality, it is that their notions of Pax Americana are a blatantly unworkable fraud. America has neither the resources nor the technology nor the willpower to singlehandedly dominate the non-Western world the way Britain did a hundred years ago. PNAC's first big action was the Iraq War. It has proven a largely disappointing failure, and predictably so.


HNN Participant - 12/3/2003


She just wants to monopolize the discussion board.

Is anyone else as amazed by the fact that her screeds have taken up about 40% of the board and they don't even have ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

She's like those rambling, mentally-disturbed, babbling fools who go on and on in the subway, or walk down the street shouting at and arguing with themselves. All higher centers of her brain have dissolved and we are left witnessing the hatefully disturbed and psychotic core.


Me - 12/3/2003


Geneva contains all the elements of a great accord,

At the simplest level, Oslo represented, (among other things), the necessary beginnings of a process to culminate in what appears to Westerners a logical final settlement,

And we could definitely debate the wisdom/justification of Sharon's attacks against infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza,

(although Israeli responses to the intifada have contributed to a realization among Palestinians that killing civilians is "ineffective." At the same time, however, it is no small point that 70% of them think these actions should continue in the face of any Israeli withdrawal).

However, the willingness of Rabin, Peres, Barak and the bystanders in the "international community" to accept the deterioration of security among the Palestinian authority, its continuous year-by-year acceptance of "martyrdom" operations as a necessary evil (only one year went by without an attack), its encouragement and glorification of murder-suicide martyrdom attacks to children, Arafat's smuggling of known terrorists (despite a promise not to do so) into the territories in as early as 1993(!), his largely ignored comments about Oslo being a Trojan Horse for a two-stage process that would lead to Israel's destruction (later confirmed by other officials), his disbursement of funds to terrorists, all underscore his abject unwillingness to take the necessary reciprocal steps to lead his society to peace. His embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of funds earmarked for humanitarian purposes, his killing of political rivals, and his stifling of the Palestinian Legislature and their attempts to advance civil and political freedoms to the point where they offered a bill proposing he be named "God of Palestine," underscores his enforcement within the Palestinian political establishment that his rule be unquestionably accepted as absolute.

Let me suggest that this leads me to 2 points:

1. Despite his insistence that he be in charge, he is not serious about peace.

2. He will not willingly accept challenges to the absolute nature of his authority.

This makes the situation, effectively, unworkable.

But we don't have to accept his failed leadership as representing the only absolute Palestinian political establishment in the "peace" endeavor. Bush is absolutely right and smart to demand that only a leadership which is capable of living up to its responsibilities will receive our attention or efforts. Our walking away from the "process" until such time that the Palestinian leadership decides it's serious enough to warrant an investment of time and political capital on our part doesn't mean that we "endorse" Sharon or Israeli actions to control the security situation, or extraneous (and perhaps, unproductive) actions in the meantime.

The settlement movement can be legitimately argued as unproductive, but as I said before, ownership of or administration over land is reversible. Murdering the civilian population of another government is not. Land is an effective bargaining chip that polls show most Israelis would abandon (settlements included) for the sake of a durable settlement. But they rightly refuse to negotiate the lives of their unarmed noncombattants, or use them as a bargaining chip.

And as far as being fooled goes, the Israeli public who endured the ensuing attacks have the right to indicate their betrayal at a withdrawal by Arafat from the negotiations at Camp David. Both Barak and Clinton blamed the breakdown on him. (Honestly, do you think Clinton didn't want a settlement?)

My only conclusion is that wishful thinking and good intentions cannot change any reality alone - even a political reality. It's nice that outsiders would like to express their "good will." Unfortunately, given the positions taken by the sponsors, it's prematurely misplaced.

My support of the Geneva Accord in no way implies that I believe Arafat will commit himself to the spirit or letter of it. Especially that terrorism/security part. As such, I unfortunately believe it is an abstraction to sign it. Arafat has had enough time and pieces of paper to prove whether or not his leadership is conducive to peace. I honestly don't see the purpose of extending his platform plank by plank by plank as he sets each one on fire. You can only give someone so many chances.

But if the gridlock produced by both governments' unwillingness to commit to it produces an impetus among either or both societies to propose a bold move, so be it. I just think the pressure needs to be on Arafat since he has more cards. Whether or not he chooses to "buckle" is secondary to my comfort from the relative quiet that results from having stopped the killing (even if it is the IDF that has accomplished this).


Cram - 12/3/2003

Barbara,
Do you think it is wrong to assume that Arabs are terrorists? Of course, no one thinks that ALL Arabs are terrorists but some racists think that, in general, many if not most, are. Is that wrong? If so, why? I only ask because your article implies that you are against that kind of steriotyping and yet everyone on this post knows that you hold similar steriotypes about Jews.


Cram - 12/3/2003

1) "A world empire? You think America should have a world empire?"

The issue, Barbara, is not whether I agree with it or not but whether an organization you claim works for Israel over American interests (indeed, you say against American interests) be working to built America into a world empire? It simply makes no sense.

2) "you and they talk of democracy but there is nothing democratic about pre-emptive war"

Sure there is, so long as people support it.

3) "Thank you for pointing out that I was talking about "the Jews in the White House". At least you were forced to quote me accurately and not misrepresent my statements that time."

You have already made clear your thoughts on the Jews in this country, I have no reason to misquote you on any point.


Rob - 12/3/2003

NOW it makes sense!

You get all of your 'news' and 'facts' from the Onion!

http://www.theonion.com/onion3701/bush_nightmare.html


Here's a hint, Sparky, the Onion is humor, it isn't real.


Rob - 12/3/2003

Typical Conservative. When faced with undeniable facts, say the post is irrelevant, and off topic.

The day is comming when Bush will be unmasked and the secret clone of Hitler, all the signs are pointing to it. Even his latest attack on Iraq "Iron Hammer." Eisenhammer was the Nazi plan to cripple the Soviets.


Cram - 12/3/2003

Barbara,
Interesting, but what does this have to do with Jewish control of government?


Cram - 12/3/2003

"people who have no military and who are being oppressed by people who do have a military have to resort to terrorism and suicide attacks in order to fight back."

OR they could protest in peace, petition, or numerous other things autonomous political entities can do, as the PA is in fact autonomous and was in no way hindered between 1993-2000 from protesting peacefully instead up building up a terrorist infrastructure.

Yo answer your question about democracy Barbara, I will say simply that however you define democracy (free elections, a free press) that is what Israel is. If it is not a democracy, netier is any country on earth.


Geoff Ericson - 12/3/2003

Barbara, you are going to great lengths to achieve little.

Potentially sympathetic readers like me are not going to read pasted internet clippings unless we know that they did not come from Naziskinhead.org. Give us the full references including the web addresses, as standard scholarly and web protocol would dictate, please.

Geoff


Geoff - 12/3/2003

Thanks for the useful remarks. Let me take this opportunity to retract my earlier comment about Sharon's stranglehold over American Jews. That was incorrect, even metaphorically.

I don't agree that Rabin was "fooled" by Arafat. He was a brilliant and farsighted who knew damn well, I think, what he as getting into. His being "fooled" strikes me as the typical sort of Likud myth that is revealed beneath the greater Likud strategy of denying Rabin ever existed. And the silence about that greater denial, particularly here on a purported History site, is as ubiquitous as it is absurd. Barak did not have Rabin's acumen or talent but I don't think he was "fooled" either, by the admittedly sly old hypocritical fox that Arafat was and is.

I do agree that almost everyone would be better off if Arafat were to disappear from power. The best way to make that happen is do develop viable alternatives to the stalemate he and Sharon have cooked up. The Mitchell Plan and the Quartet Road Map and now the Geneva Agreement all contain the working elements of the same basic land-for-peace deal that worked with Egypt and Jordan, and would (I believe) have worked with the Palestinians had Rabin lived.

The biggest obstacles to these difficult but sensible and workable ways forward are the Israeli settler movement, the mostly counterproductive and often deliberate provocations of Sharon's government, and Palestinian terror organizations. We could debate the relative blame of each of these three obstacles, but all three are exercising more negative power against the peace process block than Arafat, confined to a hallway and a cell phone and with most of his civilian infrastructure blown up by Sharon. His considerable remaining power is mostly symbolic and in the hearts and minds of Palestinians and that is largely due to the blunders and deliberate actions of the Sharon regime in weakening the viability of any alternative to Arafat except the even more intransigent suicide cells. The Bush Administration, egged on by the brain-dead U.S. Congress, has, for all its posturing and rhetoric, done little more than give Sharon a series of mostly blank checks.

When I will hear, in a prominent article presented on THIS website, a prominent American Jewish leader stand up and publicly support the Geneva agreement ?


History in the Making - 12/3/2003


...one was provided @ 2:36 AM.


Barbara Cornett - 12/3/2003

America trained the military in Israel in order to fight in the middle east. Our army now acts just like Israel.

Massacre in Samarra: US lies and self-delusion
By David Walsh
3 December 2003

The US military’s initial account of Sunday’s firefight in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, uncritically relayed to the American people by a servile media, has proven to be a tissue of lies. It turns out that the “major victory” over the Iraqi resistance consisted of American forces blasting away indiscriminately in Samarra’s city center, killing innocent men, women and children, damaging property and buildings—including a mosque and a kindergarten—and further enraging the local population.

The Samarra incident in its various aspects—the battle itself, the military’s claims, the media’s role—is a microcosm of the US occupation of Iraq.

American military spokesmen first declared that US forces had defeated a “massive attack,” inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. The Pentagon claimed that 46 Iraqi guerrillas had been killed, and later increased that figure to 54.

The US media passed on the “good news,” repeating the military’s assertion that dozens of Iraqi fighters had been slain. As Editor & Publisher Online noted December 2: “Neither the New York Times, New York Post, the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Washington Post, or Knight Ridder included any civilian witnesses or Iraqi hospital accounts in their initial reports Monday. Many flatly reported the death tally and account of the battle without noting this was ‘according to military officials.’ The Times topped its front page with the declarative headline: ‘46 Iraqis Die in Fierce Fight Between Rebels and GIs,’ and this was common treatment.”

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post predictably ran the most depraved headline: “GIs Blow Away 46 Saddam Fanatics.”

The story, however, evaporated almost as soon as it was told. On-the-scene reporting by journalists made clear that the claim of dozens of guerrilla fatalities was absurd, an invention of the US military command in Iraq. Local residents told reporters that eight to ten people had been killed—most, if not all of them, civilians.

On Tuesday, the military’s version of events continued to unravel, as even major US media outlets acknowledged widespread doubts about a major American military triumph and provided certain information about civilian casualties.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Vivienne Walt reported from Samarra’s hospital: “In a mix of rage and grief, residents lashed out at the brigade’s soldiers, accusing them of firing randomly into crowded market areas in the center of the city, killing civilians, including two Iranians believed to be pilgrims visiting a Shiite mosque in town. ‘All the people in town today are asking for revenge,’ said Majid Fadel al-Samarai, 50, an emergency-room worker at the Samarra General Hospital. ‘They want to kill the Americans like they killed our civilians. Give me a gun, and I will also fight.’

“Residents also charged that American soldiers showed little regard for the safety of civilians during the gun battle. ‘I saw a man running across the street to get his small son, who was stuck in the middle,’ said Abdul Satar, 47, who owns a bakery a block from one of the two banks to which the convoys had driven. ‘So the Americans shot the man,’ he said.”

Similar reports and comments from Samarra residents appeared in other major newspapers and even on US television. The New York Times cited the comments of a 52-year-old ambulance driver at the city’s morgue, Adnan Sahib Dafar, who pointed to a dead woman and demanded, “Is this woman shooting a rocket-propelled grenade?... Is she fighting?” The Times also quoted a shopkeeper, Satar Nasiaf, 47, who had watched two Iraqi civilians die at the hands of US troops, “If I had a gun, I would have attacked the Americans myself.... The Americans were shooting in every direction.”

New York Newsday correspondent Mohammed Bazzi commented: “Some witnesses said US forces began firing at random after they were attacked. ‘They just started shooting in all directions,’ said Akil al-Janabi, 43, who said his brother was wounded in the crossfire. ‘They have no regard for civilians. We were not the ones attacking them, but now we want revenge for our dead and injured.’”

Reporters from Britain’s Guardian spoke to local officials who “questioned the high body count and said there were non-combatants among the dead. ‘We think that at most eight or nine people died,’ said Khaled Mohammed, an admissions clerk in the hospital’s emergency ward, but added that some of the dead might have been taken straight to the town morgue.

“A Samarra policeman, Captain Sabti Awad, said American troops had opened fire at random in response to the ambush, killing and wounding civilians. Ahmed al-Samarai, another police officer, said: ‘Not more than 10 people were killed and some of those were not involved in the fighting.’... Jihad Hussein, a student, said he had seen passersby running for cover. ‘They were spraying the whole street,’ he said. ‘I don’t know who fired the first shot, the Americans or the Fedayeen, but I saw at least one young woman hit by a bullet as she lay on the ground.’

A US soldier, a “combat leader,” writing on the Soldiers For The Truth web site, who claims to have participated in the Samarra battle, explained that “most of the casualties were civilians, not insurgents or criminals as [is] being reported. During the ambushes the tanks, brads [Bradley Fighting Vehicles] and armored HUMVEES hosed down houses, buildings, and cars while using reflexive fire against the attackers.”

Agence France Presse (AFP) reporters spoke with residents who had not seen any militants’ bodies after the firefight. An ambulance driver, Abdelmoneim Mohammed, said he had not transported any fighters. “If I had seen bodies, I would have picked them up. It’s not like the Americans would have done it. If the death toll had reached that announced by the Americans, the atmosphere in Samarra would be quite different.”

The owner of a grocery store located 60 yards from the scene of one of the attacks told AFP, “After the firing, I went out of my shop. There were no wounded, no killed on the streets. Where could they have disappeared?”

(Whatever lessons the battle of Samarra may have taught the Pentagon, one must be prominent in many minds: the need to prevent journalists from being in a position to debunk the American version of events. The military may resort once again to the killing of reporters, a policy already put into effect early in the Iraqi war, in order to intimidate and silence journalists not inclined to parrot the official line.)

In the face of considerable evidence, Pentagon officials stood firm Tuesday, continuing to claim a great victory. In Brussels, Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters, “They attacked, and they were killed. So I think it will be instructive to them.”

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asserted that the continuing insurgency was being conducted by “a limited number of people who are determined to kill innocent men, women and children.” According to Rumsfeld, they are “being rounded up, captured, killed, wounded and interrogated.” A senior military official told the New York Times, “They [the Iraqi resistance] got whacked, and won’t try that again.”

As for accounts of civilian casualties, which appeared in virtually every news outlet worldwide, US Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told a Baghdad press conference, “We have no such reports, whether from medical authorities or police.”

American military officials attempted to brazen their way through the thorny issue of the missing corpses of the Iraqi fighters. Kimmitt told the media, “I would suspect that the enemy would have carried them away and brought them back to where their initial base was.” Col. Fredrik Rudesheim, when asked about the same issue, responded: “Are you asking me to produce [them, i.e., the dead bodies]?” He continued, “This is a good question and I think perhaps if you can interview the Fedayeen or whoever attacked us, you might get a better answer.”

Lieut. Col. Ryan Gonsalves, commander of the 166th Armored Battalion in Samarra, said the body count was “based on the reports we got from the ground.” The AFP acerbically noted, “The mystery [of the absent bodies], which borders on solving a mathematics equation, further deepened with Col. Gonsalves’ report. According to him, a total of 60 militants, divided into two groups, attacked two convoys escorting new Iraqi currency to banks in the city.... If the US troops killed 46 and captured 11 of them, only three of the survivors would have been left to pick up the corpses.”

To what extent self-delusion, as opposed to simple prevarication, played a role in producing the Samarra “body count” and the US military’s general picture of the gun battle is impossible to determine with precision. American commanders undoubtedly feel the need to boost the morale of their troops and supply the Bush administration with “good news” on the military front.

In any event, the Samarra episode contains features that reveal the character of the war as a whole:

1. Massive and ever-growing Iraqi popular opposition to the American occupation. Both US soldiers on the ground and Iraqis agree that when the US forces started firing at everything in sight, as Newsday put it, “some residents went to their homes to retrieve their guns and began firing at the US troops. ‘These were normal people who were not involved in the resistance,’ [one witness] said. ‘But they saw how the Americans were firing their machine guns and tanks in every direction, and they wanted to fight back.’”

By their actions in recent months and Sunday’s display of indiscriminate firepower in particular, the US forces have aroused the outrage of Samarra’s population, under the old regime a hotbed of anti-Hussein sentiment. A similar process is at work in much of the country.

2. The deterioration in the morale of US troops. The mental state of the increasingly demoralized American forces in Iraq must include many conflicting and contradictory sentiments: opposition to the war, disorientation, bewilderment, fear, frustration, as well as a fury that can take homicidal forms.

The US soldier quoted above at Soldiers For The Truth no doubt reflects a common worry among American troops when he writes, in regard to the Samarra fighting, “I am very concerned in the coming days we will find we killed many civilians as well as Iraqi irregular fighters.... We are probably turning many Iraqi[s] against us and I am afraid instead of climbing out of the hole, we are digging ourselves in deeper.”

3. The general perplexity of American ruling circles, politically and militarily. US policy in Iraq can take only one of two paths: the withdrawal of American forces from the country, which is strategically unthinkable for the Bush administration and the American ruling elite, or the physical elimination of thousands of Iraqis and the transformation of the country into a vast prison camp.

The launching of “Operation Iron Hammer” and the unleashing of vast firepower given any excuse, as in Samarra, demonstrate that the US military’s response to its present predicament is to step up the level of violence and terror against an increasingly sophisticated Iraqi resistance and the population as a whole.

4. The recourse to falsification and wishful thinking, with the full assistance of the American media. The military’s lying about the gunfight in Samarra is the sharpest expression of the basic lie at the heart of the entire Iraq operation. This is an illegal war, justified with falsehoods about “weapons of mass destruction” and Saddam Hussein’s Al Qaeda connection, carried out against the wishes of the majority of Iraqis and in the face of massive global opposition. The invasion and occupation have predatory, colonial aims, none of which can be acknowledged by the Bush administration or the US press and television.

The Samarra battle is a small foretaste of the disaster the Bush administration is preparing for the Iraqi people, the American population and the population of the entire world.


Barbara Cornett - 12/3/2003

I am an American. The Arabs have never been my enemy.

Read this

They 'didn't know anything about me but that I was Arab':

Khadr was released in secret by U.S. authorities at Guantanamo Bay where he had been held without charges for nine months as a terrorist suspect. U.S. officials have said he was released in July; Khadr insisted Monday he wasn't released until mid-October.
http://canada.com/national/story.asp?id=07CBC341-EDB0-4642-90FC-ADC0EB26AA45


Barbara Cornett - 12/3/2003

The only thing this article demonstrates is that people who have no military and who are being oppressed by people who do have a military have to resort to terrorism and suicide attacks in order to fight back. Yeah? So?


Me again - 12/3/2003



Taking note of the impossibility of a *final* settlement (an end to all claims) that Arafat will actually put his name to is not a form of "bashing." It's being realistic about a lost cause. He has a 30-year history of destabilizing the region (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine) and has vetoed every attempt by the Palestinian Legislature to limit his term or power. Since there are well-established procedures for removing Sharon from government, his hold on power is much more legitimate from a political standpoint. And many people legitimately disagree about the wisdom of allowing Arafat to fool Rabin into thinking he would take the necessary measures to prepare his own people for peace (giving up right of return to Israel, taking efforts to build civil society, etc). Scholars such as Bernard Lewis (assuming you don't think he's too "biased" to note this).

However, I agree with the thesis that a lack of freedoms (especially speech and the press) is what hinders the development of Palestinian society to the point where someone can even feel comfortable talking about a permanent and durable peace. Civil freedoms should have probably been included in the Oslo accords. You can't put them off forever.

You can get Israel to make as many concessions and sign as many accords as you want. It is flawed reasoning to assume that this will inevitably "cause" the other party to live up to their end of the bargin (this is not to say that settlements helped, either). But given the bilateral nature of the accord, and given the finality of the act of taking a life, versus the reversibility of changes to land and its administration, etc., you do have to judge both breaches at face value.

And if you want to get a woman in bed with you, you don't make fun of her, so consider your audience, the points you'd like to impress upon them, and the spirit in which you'd like them to give respect to your point of view when attempting the "good-natured" kidding. Being considered funny is a matter of context, not a matter of dictate.


History in the Making - 12/3/2003

This research dispells some of the claims that terror apologists make: terrorism is caused by poverty and oppression, it's a desparate uprising by people with nothing to lose, etc. If well-educated, relatively wealthy individuals are perpetrating these attacks, it undermines the idea that we can stop terrorism by ameliorating their "oppression."

Also, there is a tendency among western-educated people to think that if someone is willing to die for a cause, then that cause must have some intrinsic merit. This research illustrates that terrorists have goals, just like everyone else has goals, it is not that their goals are somehow "more worth dying for" but
that their leaders have successfully manipulated the normal, human impulses of their people into furthering their goals in ways that westerners find unimaginable.

Understanding the psychology of terrorism may also suggest ways to approach the dismantling of terror organizations. The Allies did a massive de-Nazification of Germany after WWII that was extremely successful. The peace treaties signed between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt provided for a less drastic re-education campaign, euphamistically referred to as "stopping incitement." In Jordan,
where there was a good faith attempt to fulfill this obligation, support for terrorism has drastically reduced, despite the fact that the majority of their citizens are Palestinian. In Egypt, however, where these obligations were ignored, a high level of support for, and participation in, terrorism was sustained and persists to this day. Anyone who thinks that Palestinian terrorism will stop after "the Israelis stop oppressing the Palestinians" would do well to take a close look at these examples. Explaining the psychological variables that contribute to a reduction in terror in the first two cases and a
continuance of terror in the third case goes a long way toward convincing people that the persistance of terrorism is not Israeli oppression, but a failure of certain governments to prevent the intentional manipulation of their people.


History in the Making - 12/3/2003


In response to screed excerpt:

"They oppress the Palestinians to such a degree that they will actually kill themselves."


THE EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY OF TERRORISM
This interview of anthropologist Scott Atran in Discover magazine is related to the above and goes into more depth (as I do in my book) on the evolutionary psychology of good and evil, this related specifically to terrorism. His book, In Gods we Trust (Oxford University press), is a marvelous work on the evolution
of religions, and will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of Skeptic magazine.
Here is an excerpt from the interview, the entire text of which is available on
Discover's web page, Vol. 24, #10 (October, 2003).

Discover Dialogue: Anthropologist Scott Atran
The Surprises of Suicide Terrorism
It's not a new phenomenon, and natural selection may play a role in producing it
Interviewed by Josie Glausiusz

You recently chose to write about the genesis of suicide terrorism in the journal Science. Why should suicide terrorism be the object of a scientific investigation?

A: Within a few days of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I started listening to the stuff that was in the media and from the administration--for example, President Bush's speech on September 11th and the next he gave on September 20th before Congress. I thought, "What utter nonsense"--this idea that these people were crazed or they're doing it out of despair or hopelessness. The whole history of these kinds of acts goes against this. I decided to write an article and get it into the scientific press, because governments, I believe, would take up what their scientists tell them, since there is a huge respect for science.

Why do you regard the popular stereotype of the suicide terrorist as nonsense?

A: The CIA released a report in 2001 on the psychology and sociology of terrorism, and they basically said these people are perfectly sane. If you look at the history of these kinds of extreme acts, they're pretty much directed by middle-class or higher-middle-class intellectuals. They always have been. Never have they been directed by wacky, crazed, homicidal nuts. The Japanese kamikaze of World War II were, by the way, extremely intelligent guys. If you read their diaries, they were German romantics, reading Goethe and Schiller, and quite conscious of the efforts of the state to manipulate them.

What sort of scientific research indicates that suicide bombers are sane?

A: Some of the earlier research was by Ariel Merari, who is a
psychologist at Tel Aviv University and also a terrorism expert. He interviewed suicide bombers--survivors who were wounded and didn't die or whose bombs didn't go off--as well as their families or recruiters. Like most psychologists in the 1980s, he thought that this was individual pathology, like the idea that racists come from fatherless families or have a history of family trouble. He made a 180-degree turn and found out that no, the bombers span the normal distribution and were slightly above it in terms of education and in income.

Nasra Hassan, who is a Pakistani relief worker working in Gaza for a number of years, interviewed about 250 family members, recruiters, and survivors, completely independently. She was not aware of Merari's work, and she found exactly the same thing. Alan Krueger, an economist at Princeton University, has done long-term studies with Hezbollah and Hamas. His research shows that not only are suicide terrorists significantly more educated than their peers, they are also significantly better off. According to Krueger, although one-third of Palestinians live in poverty, only 13 percent of Palestinian suicide bombers do; 57 percent of bombers have education beyond high school versus 15 percent of the population of comparable age.

The Defense Intelligence Agency also gave me profiles of all these
people they were interrogating at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. They divide them into Yemenis and Saudis. The Yemenis are sort of the foot soldiers. And they found that the Saudis, their leaders especially, are from high-status families. A surprising number have graduate degrees. And they are willing to give up everything. They give up well-paying jobs, they give up their families, whom they really adore, to sacrifice themselves because they really believe that it's the only way they're going to change the world.

So what's the root cause of suicide terrorism?

A: As a tactical weapon, it emerges when an ideologically devoted
people find that they cannot possibly obtain their ends in a sort of fair fight, and when they know they're in a very weak position, and they have to use these kinds of extreme methods.

What's the typical profile of a suicide terrorist?

A: Generally, it's not someone who is off the wall. They can't be
effective killers. Usually it is someone who is smart, who shows a
willingness to give up something, who is patient, who is quiet.
Competent people who don't draw attention to themselves, and who are perfectly willing and able to meld into society.

How on earth does anyone sane work up the gumption to blow himself up, together with what is often hundreds of bystanders?

A: Exactly the same way that you get soldiers on the front line of an army to sacrifice themselves for their buddies. What these cells do is very similar to what our military, or any modern military, does. They form small groups of intimately involved "brothers" who literally sacrifice themselves for one another, the way a mother would do for her child. They do it by manipulating universal heartfelt human sentiments that I think are probably innate and part of biological evolution. In fact, I think most culture is a manipulation of innate desires. It's the same way that our fast-food industry manipulates our desires for
sugars and fats, or the way the pornography industry manipulates people to get all hot about pixels on a screen or on wood pulp.

Reference:

Atran, Scott. "Genesis of Suicide Terrorism." Science 299 (March 7,
2003): 1534-1539. Supporting online material is at
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/ full/299/5612/1534/DC1.


Geoff - 12/3/2003


Your comments are interesting and revealing.

I do not share your faith that "When someone comes along who will use the territory to build a state...NOT...for murder-suicide 'martyrs', I'm sure Israel will be happy to give it back."

The track record of the settler and lunatic fringe groups so crucial to Sharon's Knesset coalition does not support such optimism.

As for Arafat, I do not endorse him at all (of the thousands of postings on HNN re Israel and Palestine have you ever seen one that does support Arafat ?).

I would also not disagree if you were to more specifically argue that Arafat, having being in power to foment his mischief much longer than Sharon has, bears a relatively greater share of responsibility for the current mess over there.

But, Arafat, the clear choice of his people (his otherwise declining popularity regularly boosted by Sharon) has not stupidly tried to make dismissal of Sharon (the less clear, but still duly elected choice of his people) a PRECONDITION for peace talks.

Rabin had it right, and if the Likud's terrorist supporters had not murdered him, the name Al Aqsa Brigade would probably never have existed.

Good God, I am not Jewish, nor Arab, nor a Mideast scholar. Why do I have to wait in vain for three years looking at a supposed history website for some else to make these basic fundamental observations ?

"Friend", if you want to improve matters, drop the irrelevant Arafat bashing (nobody here likes him anyway) and address the stranglehold that Sharon has over the voices of American Jews and actions of the U.S. Congress.

"Chosen people" metaphors have been used a million times. Good grief, is "Fiddler on the Roof" anti-Semitic now too ? This is a good example of the thin-skinned PC silliness I was referring to earlier. If it causes offense used by a non-Jew, I can certainly bel ess flowery in the future, but honestly, by this choice of words, you would judge my ideas ?



Liberty - 12/3/2003


I even PREDICTED(!) Barbara would forsake the point in the second paragraph of the 6:07 PM post!!!! Just like the mindless hate-spewing automaton that she is.

She's done it before, she'll do it again, and she'll do it every time she's provided with what she's turned into a pathetic soapbox. She is a deranged lunatic, incapable - by definition - of knowing her own limitations. Publishing whole cloth articles verbatim as a substitute for thought.

Barbara, are you out there? Are you listening? Here's a site that will allow you to put your political ambitions to good use:

http://www.duke.org

His political ideologies are very similar to yours.

And I'm certain he could use a few contributors and volunteers.

GOOD LUCK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL!


Just Wondering... - 12/3/2003


Responding to Barbara as if she has anything reasonably intelligent to contribute only emboldens her, just like any terrorist.

I believe we have witnessed the creation of a new species of internet stalker: The Radical Proselyte

Her words are just as emotive, uncritical, and unconvincing as those of a door-to-door salesperson.

Reminds me of that play by Arthur Miller...


Friendly Advice - 12/3/2003


If you sincerely want your ideas to have any appeal to Jews, I suggest you seriously consider the following recommendations:

"but Jews are a "chosen people" and it is sad to see so many of them making bad choices lately..."

This is an ignorant and inflammatory statement for a non-Jew to make. Many Jews would view it as intentionally divisive.

"Americans supported Israel in the '60s and '70s because it was the morally superior and pro-Western underdog"

Being an underdog makes it easy to be morally justified. Claiming "victim" status is a great way to get off the hook, apparently, and absolve oneself from any wrongdoing. Obviously, the responsibility that one assumes over extranational territory or a population under occupation makes things a little bit more complicated.

However, Jews by and large are determined to not give up the assets that will make it less likely for them to become victims, without a good reason for trusting whomever asks for those things. Given their history, you have no right to blame them for that. Yasir Arafat has certainly not demonstrated that Jews, Israelis, Arabs, Palestinians, *anyone* can trust him with anything, certainly not their lives.

When someone comes along who will use the territory to build a state, provide for the freedom and well-being of its inhabitants, and NOT exploit it as a training ground for recruiting and inciting would-be murder-suicide "martyrs," I'm sure Israel will be happy to give it back.

Arafat had ten years to prove his actions, and 40 years to prove his intentions. He's failed miserably on every front. The Jews are tired being asked "just one more time" by every one else who has nowhere near as much to lose, to give him a chance with the lives he so recklessly and wastefully squanders at every opportunity.


Geoff Ericson - 12/2/2003


Thanks, Mr. Cram, for your constructive comments and weblistings. We are far afield from Presidents visiting war zones, but it has been a move from trivia to substance.

I think that empathy of Americans with Israel is quite real and natural for all the reasons you mention and more. It is also being manipulated and hyped by a set of Jewish and non-Jewish "hawks" and "chickenhawks" for reasons having little to do with the genuine needs or interests of either country. (The "ideological" affliation of Republicans with the Sharon is not most prominent among such reasons, however. Democrats are little different from Republicans on this matter).

I have two principal sets of complaints and concerns:

(1) HNN goes to considerable lengths to promote the myth that current policies of the current government of Israel are etched in everlasting stone from deep within the mists of time. I've seen almost nothing here that discusses, for example, the role of the settler movement, their assassination of Rabin and sabotage of Oslo, the interactive miscalculations of both Barak and Arafat in 2000, the decay of the old European-Jew Labor leadership, etc.. Yes, there are many Jews making critical observations along such lines, but one is hard pressed to find the 1% of 2% of articles on the Mideast at HNN making such points.

(2) While I appreciate the weblinks you have supplied and will check them out, I have found that among those Jews who do speak out against the hypocrisy and failed policies of Sharon (e.g. in forums other than HNN) there is heavy degree of feel-goodism. ("Tikkun" for example: Let us pray for atonement for our sins and then we can feel good about it, etc.). I've noticed a similar lack of substantive reformation amongst self-critical Moslems after 9-11 (and in many other groups within contemporary America, and overseas too for that matter), so I suppose that such feelgoodism is not based on religious affiliation or political views, but on some deeper psychological decay. At any rate, it is very rare to hear an American Jew really sticking his or her neck out and condemning the spineless vote-mongering U.S. Congress who will rubber stamp whatever any prime minister of Israel asks of them, even one who is generating through his foolish and horrific policies, more anti-semitism than bin Laden and Hamas could ever have hoped for under his predecessors. What one does occasionally hear is a someone like a Howard Dean who makes a perfectly reasonable appeal for evenhandedness, and then gets savaged into silence by a pack of whining hyenas, or a disgruntled anti-Semite like Barbara who is more of an embarrassment than anything else. I will agree with Barbara on one point, however. It did not used to be like this, 20 or 30 years ago. American Jews agitated for Israel then, but they did so with moral conviction, with reason, and with appropriate qualification, not with the propagandistic one-sided condescension that is so common today (especially on HNN, e.g. Pipes and Klinghoffer). Anti-semitism had not a ghost of a chance against a Yitzhak Rabin or a Yehudi Menuhin. All of us, I am afraid, are going to pay a price for silence of Jews today, just as we all paid a price for silence about the plight of Jews in the 1930s and '40s.

The generational shift from reasoned understanding and moral consistency to blind opportunistic hype is not at all peculiar to Jews, but Jews are a "chosen people" and it is sad to see so many of them making bad choices lately. Americans supported Israel in the '60s and '70s because it was the morally superior and pro-Western underdog, now they support it, when they bother to pay attention to international events at all, because they are brainwashed by propagandistic sound bites on Fox News. I've got a family to feed too and am not going to risk being branded a racist, anti-Moslem or anti-Semite, by going much further with this train of thought, but I do wish that more fellow Americans of these two religious subsets would wake up to the disasters looming ahead. Nobody is totally free of all prejudice, not in Berkeley, Madison, or Brooklyn, not at George Mason, not in Tel Aviv, and not in Rumallah. If we continue to let justifiable condemnation of prejudice serve as a litmus test in place of historical understanding, fairness, common sense, and reasonable foresight, we are headed for worse things than a President who uses terrorism as a cloak for his own incompetence.

"Geoff"


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003

I strongly disagree everytime Israel is labeled 'the only democracy in the middle east'. That is the tender way they are treated by the media but there is nothing democratic about them. They oppress the Palestinians to such a degree that they will actually kill themselves.

They have total and complete control over every facet of Palestinian life. Explain to me how this is democratic.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-2-45-801.jsp




Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003

A world empire? You think America should have a world empire? How can anyone who loves America and what we stand for want us to be a world empire? These people are loonies and they know or care nothing of what America is about. Evidently you don't either.

you and they talk of democracy but there is nothing democratic about pre-emptive war and there is nothing democratic about lying to the people who are supposed to be governing themselves, there is nothing democratic about lying regarding why you are going into war and there is nothing democratic being set up in Iraq.

Thank you for pointing out that I was talking about "the Jews in the White House". At least you were forced to quote me accurately and not misrepresent my statements that time.


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003

A Rose By Another Other Name
The Bush Administration's Dual Loyalties
by KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON
former CIA political analysts

Since the long-forgotten days when the State Department's Middle East policy was run by a group of so-called Arabists, U.S. policy on Israel and the Arab world has increasingly become the purview of officials well known for tilting toward Israel. From the 1920s roughly to 1990, Arabists, who had a personal history and an educational background in the Arab world and were accused by supporters of Israel of being totally biased toward Arab interests, held sway at the State Department and, despite having limited power in the policymaking circles of any administration, helped maintain some semblance of U.S. balance by keeping policy from tipping over totally toward Israel. But Arabists have been steadily replaced by their exact opposites, what some observers are calling Israelists, and policymaking circles throughout government now no longer even make a pretense of exhibiting balance between Israeli and Arab, particularly Palestinian, interests.

In the Clinton administration, the three most senior State Department officials dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli peace process were all partisans of Israel to one degree or another. All had lived at least for brief periods in Israel and maintained ties with Israel while in office, occasionally vacationing there. One of these officials had worked both as a pro-Israel lobbyist and as director of a pro-Israel think tank in Washington before taking a position in the Clinton administration from which he helped make policy on Palestinian-Israeli issues. Another has headed the pro-Israel think tank since leaving government.

The link between active promoters of Israeli interests and policymaking circles is stronger by several orders of magnitude in the Bush administration, which is peppered with people who have long records of activism on behalf of Israel in the United States, of policy advocacy in Israel, and of promoting an agenda for Israel often at odds with existing U.S. policy. These people, who can fairly be called Israeli loyalists, are now at all levels of government, from desk officers at the Defense Department to the deputy secretary level at both State and Defense, as well as on the National Security Council staff and in the vice president's office.

We still tiptoe around putting a name to this phenomenon. We write articles about the neo-conservatives' agenda on U.S.-Israeli relations and imply that in the neo-con universe there is little light between the two countries. We talk openly about the Israeli bias in the U.S. media. We make wry jokes about Congress being "Israeli-occupied territory." Jason Vest in The Nation magazine reported forthrightly that some of the think tanks that hold sway over Bush administration thinking see no difference between U.S. and Israeli national security interests. But we never pronounce the particular words that best describe the real meaning of those observations and wry remarks. It's time, however, that we say the words out loud and deal with what they really signify.

Dual loyalties. The issue we are dealing with in the Bush administration is dual loyalties-the double allegiance of those myriad officials at high and middle levels who cannot distinguish U.S. interests from Israeli interests, who baldly promote the supposed identity of interests between the United States and Israel, who spent their early careers giving policy advice to right-wing Israeli governments and now give the identical advice to a right-wing U.S. government, and who, one suspects, are so wrapped up in their concern for the fate of Israel that they honestly do not know whether their own passion about advancing the U.S. imperium is motivated primarily by America-first patriotism or is governed first and foremost by a desire to secure Israel's safety and predominance in the Middle East through the advancement of the U.S. imperium.

"Dual loyalties" has always been one of those red flags posted around the subject of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, something that induces horrified gasps and rapid heartbeats because of its implication of Jewish disloyalty to the United States and the common assumption that anyone who would speak such a canard is ipso facto an anti-Semite. (We have a Jewish friend who is not bothered by the term in the least, who believes that U.S. and Israeli interests should be identical and sees it as perfectly natural for American Jews to feel as much loyalty to Israel as they do to the United States. But this is clearly not the usual reaction when the subject of dual loyalties arises.)

Although much has been written about the neo-cons who dot the Bush administration, the treatment of the their ties to Israel has generally been very gingerly. Although much has come to light recently about the fact that ridding Iraq both of its leader and of its weapons inventory has been on the neo-con agenda since long before there was a Bush administration, little has been said about the link between this goal and the neo-cons' overriding desire to provide greater security for Israel. But an examination of the cast of characters in Bush administration policymaking circles reveals a startlingly pervasive network of pro-Israel activists, and an examination of the neo-cons' voluminous written record shows that Israel comes up constantly as a neo-con reference point, always mentioned with the United States as the beneficiary of a recommended policy, always linked with the United States when national interests are at issue.

The Begats

First to the cast of characters. Beneath cabinet level, the list of pro-Israel neo-cons who are either policy functionaries themselves or advise policymakers from perches just on the edges of government reads like the old biblical "begats." Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz leads the pack. He was a protégé of Richard Perle, who heads the prominent Pentagon advisory body, the Defense Policy Board. Many of today's neo-cons, including Perle, are the intellectual progeny of the late Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a strong defense hawk and one of Israel's most strident congressional supporters in the 1970s.

Wolfowitz in turn is the mentor of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, now Vice President Cheney's chief of staff who was first a student of Wolfowitz and later a subordinate during the 1980s in both the State and the Defense Departments. Another Perle protégé is Douglas Feith, who is currently undersecretary of defense for policy, the department's number-three man, and has worked closely with Perle both as a lobbyist for Turkey and in co-authoring strategy papers for right-wing Israeli governments. Assistant Secretaries Peter Rodman and Dov Zachkeim, old hands from the Reagan administration when the neo-cons first flourished, fill out the subcabinet ranks at Defense. At lower levels, the Israel and the Syria/Lebanon desk officers at Defense are imports from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank spun off from the pro-Israel lobby organization, AIPAC.

Neo-cons have not made many inroads at the State Department, except for John Bolton, an American Enterprise Institute hawk and Israeli proponent who is said to have been forced on a reluctant Colin Powell as undersecretary for arms control. Bolton's special assistant is David Wurmser, who wrote and/or co-authored with Perle and Feith at least two strategy papers for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996. Wurmser's wife, Meyrav Wurmser, is a co-founder of the media-watch website MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), which is run by retired Israeli military and intelligence officers and specializes in translating and widely circulating Arab media and statements by Arab leaders. A recent investigation by the Guardian of London found that MEMRI's translations are skewed by being highly selective. Although it inevitably translates and circulates the most extreme of Arab statements, it ignores moderate Arab commentary and extremist Hebrew statements.

In the vice president's office, Cheney has established his own personal national security staff, run by aides known to be very pro-Israel. The deputy director of the staff, John Hannah, is a former fellow of the Israeli-oriented Washington Institute. On the National Security Council staff, the newly appointed director of Middle East affairs is Elliott Abrams, who came to prominence after pleading guilty to withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra scandal (and was pardoned by President Bush the elder) and who has long been a vocal proponent of right-wing Israeli positions. Putting him in a key policymaking position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is like entrusting the henhouse to a fox.

Pro-Israel activists with close links to the administration are also busy in the information arena inside and outside government. The head of Radio Liberty, a Cold War propaganda holdover now converted to service in the "war on terror," is Thomas Dine, who was the very active head of AIPAC throughout most of the Reagan and the Bush-41 administrations. Elsewhere on the periphery, William Kristol, son of neo-con originals Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, is closely linked to the administration's pro-Israel coterie and serves as its cheerleader through the Rupert Murdoch-owned magazine that he edits, The Weekly Standard. Some of Bush's speechwriters ­ including David Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" for Bush's state-of-the-union address but was forced to resign when his wife publicly bragged about his linguistic prowess ­ have come from The Weekly Standard. Frank Gaffney, another Jackson and Perle protégé and Reagan administration defense official, puts his pro-Israel oar in from his think tank, the Center for Security Policy, and through frequent media appearances and regular columns in the Washington Times.

The incestuous nature of the proliferating boards and think tanks, whose membership lists are more or less identical and totally interchangeable, is frighteningly insidious. Several scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, including former Reagan UN ambassador and long-time supporter of the Israeli right wing Jeane Kirkpatrick, make their pro-Israel views known vocally from the sidelines and occupy positions on other boards. Probably the most important organization, in terms of its influence on Bush administration policy formulation, is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Formed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war specifically to bring Israel's security concerns to the attention of U.S. policymakers and concentrating also on broad defense issues, the extremely hawkish, right-wing JINSA has always had a high-powered board able to place its members inside conservative U.S. administrations. Cheney, Bolton, and Feith were members until they entered the Bush administration. Several lower level JINSA functionaries are now working in the Defense Department. Perle is still a member, as are Kirkpatrick, former CIA director and leading Iraq-war hawk James Woolsey, and old-time rabid pro-Israel types like Eugene Rostow and Michael Ledeen. Both JINSA and Gaffney's Center for Security Policy are heavily underwritten by Irving Moskowitz, a right-wing American Zionist, California business magnate (his money comes from bingo parlors), and JINSA board member who has lavishly financed the establishment of several religious settlements in Arab East Jerusalem.

By Their Own Testimony

Most of the neo-cons now in government have left a long paper trail giving clear evidence of their fervently right-wing pro-Israel, and fervently anti-Palestinian, sentiments. Whether being pro-Israel, even pro right-wing Israel, constitutes having dual loyalties ­ that is, a desire to further Israel's interests that equals or exceeds the desire to further U.S. interests ­ is obviously not easy to determine, but the record gives some clues.

Wolfowitz himself has been circumspect in public, writing primarily about broader strategic issues rather than about Israel specifically or even the Middle East, but it is clear that at bottom Israel is a major interest and may be the principal reason for his near obsession with the effort, of which he is the primary spearhead, to dump Saddam Hussein, remake the Iraqi government in an American image, and then further redraw the Middle East map by accomplishing the same goals in Syria, Iran, and perhaps other countries. Profiles of Wolfowitz paint him as having two distinct aspects: one obessively bent on advancing U.S. dominance throughout the world, ruthless and uncompromising, seriously prepared to "end states," as he once put it, that support terrorism in any way, a velociraptor in the words of one former colleague cited in the Economist; the other a softer aspect, which shows him to be a soft-spoken political moralist, an ardent democrat, even a bleeding heart on social issues, and desirous for purely moral and humanitarian reasons of modernizing and democratizing the Islamic world.

But his interest in Israel always crops up. Even profiles that downplay his attachment to Israel nonetheless always mention the influence the Holocaust, in which several of his family perished, has had on his thinking. One source inside the administration has described him frankly as "over-the-top crazy when it comes to Israel." Although this probably accurately describes most of the rest of the neo-con coterie, and Wolfowitz is guilty at least by association, he is actually more complex and nuanced than this. A recent New York Times Magazine profile by the Times' Bill Keller cites critics who say that "Israel exercises a powerful gravitational pull on the man" and notes that as a teenager Wolfowitz lived in Israel during his mathematician father's sabbatical semester there. His sister is married to an Israeli. Keller even somewhat reluctantly acknowledges the accuracy of one characterization of Wolfowitz as "Israel-centric." But Keller goes through considerable contortions to shun what he calls "the offensive suggestion of dual loyalty" and in the process makes one wonder if he is protesting too much. Keller concludes that Wolfowitz is less animated by the security of Israel than by the promise of a more moderate Islam. He cites as evidence Wolfowitz's admiration for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel and also draws on a former Wolfowitz subordinate who says that "as a moral man, he might have found Israel the heart of the Middle East story. But as a policy maker, Turkey and the gulf and Egypt didn't loom any less large for him."

These remarks are revealing. Anyone not so fearful of broaching the issue of dual loyalties might at least have raised the suggestion that Wolfowitz's real concern may indeed be to ensure Israel's security. Otherwise, why do his overriding interests seem to be reinventing Anwar Sadats throughout the Middle East by transforming the Arab and Muslim worlds and thereby making life safer for Israel, and a passion for fighting a pre-emptive war against Iraq ­ when there are critical areas totally apart from the Middle East and myriad other broad strategic issues that any deputy secretary of defense should be thinking about just as much? His current interest in Turkey, which is shared by the other neo-cons, some of whom have served as lobbyists for Turkey, seems also to be directed at securing Israel's place in the region; there seems little reason for particular interest in this moderate Islamic, non-Arab country, other than that it is a moderate Islamic but non-Arab neighbor of Israel.

Furthermore, the notion suggested by the Wolfowitz subordinate that any moral man would obviously look to Israel as the "heart of the Middle East story" is itself an Israel-centered idea: the assumption that Israel is a moral state, always pursuing moral policies, and that any moral person would naturally attach himself to Israel automatically presumes that there is an identity of interests between the United States and Israel; only those who assume such a complete coincidence of interests accept the notion that Israel is, across the board, a moral state.

Others among the neo-con policymakers have been more direct and open in expressing their pro-Israel views. Douglas Feith has been the most prolific of the group, with a two-decade-long record of policy papers, many co-authored with Perle, propounding a strongly anti-Palestinian, pro-Likud view. He views the Palestinians as not constituting a legitimate national group, believes that the West Bank and Gaza belong to Israel by right, and has long advocated that the U.S. abandon any mediating effort altogether and particularly foreswear the land-for-peace formula.

In 1996, Feith, Perle, and both David and Meyrav Wurmser were among the authors of a policy paper issued by an Israeli think tank and written for newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that urged Israel to make a "clean break" from pursuit of the peace process, particularly its land-for-peace aspects, which the authors regarded as a prescription for Israel's annihilation. Arabs must rather accept a "peace-for-peace" formula through unconditional acceptance of Israel's rights, including its territorial rights in the occupied territories. The paper advocated that Israel "engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism" by disengaging from economic and political dependence on the U.S. while maintaining a more "mature," self-reliant partnership with the U.S. not focused "narrowly on territorial disputes." Greater self-reliance would, these freelance policymakers told Netanyahu, give Israel "greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure [i.e., U.S. pressure] used against it in the past."

The paper advocated, even as far back as 1996, containment of the threat against Israel by working closely with ­ guess who? ­ Turkey, as well as with Jordan, apparently regarded as the only reliably moderate Arab regime. Jordan had become attractive for these strategists because it was at the time working with opposition elements in Iraq to reestablish a Hashemite monarchy there that would have been allied by blood lines and political leanings to the Hashemite throne in Jordan. The paper's authors saw the principal threat to Israel coming, we should not be surprised to discover now, from Iraq and Syria and advised that focusing on the removal of Saddam Hussein would kill two birds with one stone by also thwarting Syria's regional ambitions. In what amounts to a prelude to the neo-cons' principal policy thrust in the Bush administration, the paper spoke frankly of Israel's interest in overturning the Iraqi leadership and replacing it with a malleable monarchy. Referring to Saddam Hussein's ouster as "an important Israeli strategic objective," the paper observed that "Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly" ­ meaning give Israel unquestioned predominance in the region. The authors urged therefore that Israel support the Hashemites in their "efforts to redefine Iraq."

In a much longer policy document written at about the same time for the same Israeli think tank, David Wurmser repeatedly linked the U.S. and Israel when talking about national interests in the Middle East. The "battle to dominate and define Iraq," he wrote "is, by extension, the battle to dominate the balance of power in the Levant over the long run," and "the United States and Israel" can fight this battle together. Repeated references to U.S. and Israeli strategic policy, pitted against a "Saudi-Iraqi-Syrian-Iranian-PLO axis," and to strategic moves that establish a balance of power in which the United States and Israel are ascendant, in alliance with Turkey and Jordan, betray a thought process that cannot separate U.S. from Israeli interests.

Perle gave further impetus to this thrust when six years later, in September 2002, he gave a briefing for Pentagon officials that included a slide depicting a recommended strategic goal for the U.S. in the Middle East: all of Palestine as Israel, Jordan as Palestine, and Iraq as the Hashemite kingdom. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld seems to have taken this aboard, since he spoke at about the same time of the West Bank and Gaza as the "so-called occupied territories" ­ effectively turning all of Palestine into Israel.

Elliott Abrams is another unabashed supporter of the Israeli right, now bringing his links with Israel into the service of U.S. policymaking on Palestinian-Israeli issues. The neo-con community is crowing about Abrams' appointment as Middle East director on the NSC staff (where this Iran-contra criminal has already been working since mid-2001, badly miscast as the director for, of all things, democracy and human rights). The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes has hailed his appointment as a decisive move that neatly cocks a snook at the pro-Palestinian wimps at the State Department. Accurately characterizing Abrams as "more pro-Israel, less solicitous of Palestinians" than the State Department and strongly opposed to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, Barnes gloats that the Abrams triumph signals that the White House will not cede control of Middle East policy to Colin Powell and the "foreign service bureaucrats." Abrams comes to the post after a year in which it had effectively been left vacant. His predecessor, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been serving concurrently as Bush's personal representative to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban and has devoted little time to the NSC job, but several attempts to appoint a successor early this year were vetoed by neo-con hawks who felt the appointees were not devoted enough to Israel.

Although Abrams has no particular Middle East expertise, he has managed to insert himself in the Middle East debate repeatedly over the years. He has a family interest in propounding a pro-Israel view; he is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, one of the original neo-cons and a long-time strident supporter of right-wing Israeli causes as editor of Commentary magazine, and Midge Decter, a frequent right-wing commentator. Abrams has written a good deal on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, opposing U.S. mediation and any effort to press for Israeli concessions. In an article published in advance of the 2000 elections, he propounded a rationale for a U.S. missile defense system, and a foreign policy agenda in general, geared almost entirely toward ensuring Israel's security. "It is a simple fact," he wrote, that the possession of missiles and weapons of mass destruction by Iraq and Iran vastly increases Israel's vulnerability, and this threat would be greatly diminished if the U.S. provided a missile shield and brought about the demise of Saddam Hussein. He concluded with a wholehearted assertion of the identity of U.S. and Israeli interests: "The next decade will present enormous opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East [by] boldly asserting our support of our friends" ­ that is, of course, Israel. Many of the fundamental negotiating issues critical to Israel, he said, are also critical to U.S. policy in the region and "require the United States to defend its interests and allies" rather than giving in to Palestinian demands.

Neo-cons in the Henhouse

The neo-con strategy papers half a dozen years ago were dotted with concepts like "redefining Iraq," "redrawing the map of the Middle East," "nurturing alternatives to Arafat," all of which have in recent months become familiar parts of the Bush administration's diplomatic lingo. Objectives laid out in these papers as important strategic goals for Israel ­ including the ouster of Saddam Hussein, the strategic transformation of the entire Middle East, the death of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, regime change wherever the U.S. and Israel don't happen to like the existing government, the abandonment of any effort to forge a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace or even a narrower Palestinian-Israeli peace ­ have now become, under the guidance of this group of pro-Israel neo-cons, important strategic goals for the United States. The enthusiasm with which senior administration officials like Bush himself, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have adopted strategic themes originally defined for Israel's guidance ­and did so in many cases well before September 11 and the so-called war on terror ­ testifies to the persuasiveness of a neo-con philosophy focused narrowly on Israel and the pervasiveness of the network throughout policymaking councils.

Does all this add up to dual loyalties to Israel and the United States? Many would still contend indignantly that it does not, and that it is anti-Semitic to suggest such a thing. In fact, zealous advocacy of Israel's causes may be just that ­ zealotry, an emotional connection to Israel that still leaves room for primary loyalty to the United States ­ and affection for Israel is not in any case a sentiment limited to Jews. But passion and emotion ­ and, as George Washington wisely advised, a passionate attachment to any country ­ have no place in foreign policy formulation, and it is mere hair-splitting to suggest that a passionate attachment to another country is not loyalty to that country. Zealotry clouds judgment, and emotion should never be the basis for policymaking.

Zealotry can lead to extreme actions to sustain policies, as is apparently occurring in the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Feith Defense Department. People knowledgeable of the intelligence community have said, according to a recent article in The American Prospect, that the CIA is under tremendous pressure to produce intelligence more supportive of war with Iraq ­ as one former CIA official put it, "to support policies that have already been adopted." Key Defense Department officials, including Feith, are said to be attempting to make the case for pre-emptive war by producing their own unverified intelligence. Wolfowitz betrayed his lack of concern for real evidence when, in answer to a recent question about where the evidence is for Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, he replied, "It's like the judge said about pornography. I can't define it, but I will know it when I see it."

Zealotry can also lead to a myopic focus on the wrong issues in a conflict or crisis, as is occurring among all Bush policymakers with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The administration's obsessive focus on deposing Yasir Arafat, a policy suggested by the neo-cons years before Bush came to office, is a dodge and a diversion that merely perpetuates the conflict by failing to address its real roots. Advocates of this policy fail or refuse to see that, however unappealing the Palestinian leadership, it is not the cause of the conflict, and "regime change" among the Palestinians will do nothing to end the violence. The administration's utter refusal to engage in any mediation process that might produce a stable, equitable peace, also a neo-con strategy based on the paranoid belief that any peace involving territorial compromise will spell the annihilation of Israel, will also merely prolong the violence. Zealotry produces blindness: the zealous effort to pursue Israel's right-wing agenda has blinded the dual loyalists in the administration to the true face of Israel as occupier, to any concern for justice or equity and any consideration that interests other than Israel's are involved, and indeed to any pragmatic consideration that continued unquestioning accommodation of Israel, far from bringing an end to violence, will actually lead to its tragic escalation and to increased terrorism against both the United States and Israel.

What does it matter, in the end, if these men split their loyalties between the United States and Israel? Apart from the evidence of the policy distortions that arise from zealotry, one need only ask whether it can be mere coincidence that those in the Bush administration who most strongly promote "regime change" in Iraq are also those who most strongly support the policies of the Israeli right wing. And would it bother most Americans to know that the United States is planning a war against Iraq for the benefit of Israel? Can it be mere coincidence, for example, that Vice President Cheney, now the leading senior-level proponent of war with Iraq, repudiated just this option for all the right reasons in the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991? He was defense secretary at the time, and in an interview with the New York Times on April 13, 1991, he said:

"If you're going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein, you have to go to Baghdad. Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you will do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Ba'athists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists. How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?"

Since Cheney clearly changed his mind between 1991 and today, is it not legitimate to ask why, and whether Israel might have a greater influence over U.S. foreign policy now than it had in 1991? After all, notwithstanding his wisdom in rejecting an expansion of the war on Iraq a decade ago, Cheney was just as interested in promoting U.S. imperialism and was at that same moment in the early 1990s outlining a plan for world domination by the United States, one that did not include conquering Iraq at any point along the way. The only new ingredient in the mix today that is inducing Cheney to begin the march to U.S. world domination by conquering Iraq is the presence in the Bush-Cheney administration of a bevy of aggressive right-wing neo-con hawks who have long backed the Jewish fundamentalists of Israel's own right wing and who have been advocating some move on Iraq for at least the last half dozen years?

The suggestion that the war with Iraq is being planned at Israel's behest, or at the instigation of policymakers whose main motivation is trying to create a secure environment for Israel, is strong. Many Israeli analysts believe this. The Israeli commentator Akiva Eldar recently observed frankly in a Ha'aretz column that Perle, Feith, and their fellow strategists "are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments and Israeli interests." The suggestion of dual loyalties is not a verboten subject in the Israeli press, as it is in the United States. Peace activist Uri Avnery, who knows Israeli Prime Minister Sharon well, has written that Sharon has long planned grandiose schemes for restructuring the Middle East and that "the winds blowing now in Washington remind me of Sharon. I have absolutely no proof that the Bushies got their ideas from him . But the style is the same."

The dual loyalists in the Bush administration have given added impetus to the growth of a messianic strain of Christian fundamentalism that has allied itself with Israel in preparation for the so-called End of Days. These crazed fundamentalists see Israel's domination over all of Palestine as a necessary step toward fulfillment of the biblical Millennium, consider any Israeli relinquishment of territory in Palestine as a sacrilege, and view warfare between Jews and Arabs as a divinely ordained prelude to Armageddon. These right-wing Christian extremists have a profound influence on Bush and his administration, with the result that the Jewish fundamentalists working for the perpetuation of Israel's domination in Palestine and the Christian fundamentalists working for the Millennium strengthen and reinforce each other's policies in administration councils. The Armageddon that Christian Zionists seem to be actively promoting and that Israeli loyalists inside the administration have tactically allied themselves with raises the horrifying but very real prospect of an apocalyptic Christian-Islamic war. The neo-cons seem unconcerned, and Bush's occasional pro forma remonstrations against blaming all Islam for the sins of Islamic extremists do nothing to make this prospect less likely.

These two strains of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism have dovetailed into an agenda for a vast imperial project to restructure the Middle East, all further reinforced by the happy coincidence of great oil resources up for grabs and a president and vice president heavily invested in oil. All of these factors ­ the dual loyalties of an extensive network of policymakers allied with Israel, the influence of a fanatical wing of Christian fundamentalists, and oil ­ probably factor in more or less equally to the administration's calculations on the Palestinian-Israeli situation and on war with Iraq. But the most critical factor directing U.S. policymaking is the group of Israeli loyalists: neither Christian fundamentalist support for Israel nor oil calculations would carry the weight in administration councils that they do without the pivotal input of those loyalists, who clearly know how to play to the Christian fanatics and undoubtedly also know that their own and Israel's bread is buttered by the oil interests of people like Bush and Cheney. This is where loyalty to Israel by government officials colors and influences U.S. policymaking in ways that are extremely dangerous.

Kathleen Christison worked for 16 years as a political analyst with the CIA, dealing first with Vietnam and then with the Middle East for her last seven years with the Agency before resigning in 1979. Since leaving the CIA, she has been a free-lance writer, dealing primarily with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her book, "Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy," was published by the University of California Press and reissued in paperback with an update in October 2001. A second book, "The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story," was published in March 2002.

Bill Christison joined the CIA in 1950, and served on the analysis side of the Agency for 28 years. From the early 1970s he served as National Intelligence Officer (principal adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence on certain areas) for, at various times, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Before he retired in 1979 he was Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis, a 250-person unit. They can be reached at: christison@counterpunch.org


Cram - 12/2/2003

1) "Aside from that brief reference, however, the Times made no mention of the role that money, or lobbying in general, may have played in the lopsided vote."

Barbara, you are using a circular logic that is nice and self-contained. That is to say, you assume money and lobbying were the primary motivators for Congress, and then credit them for also witholding the fact from the general population. It is a wonderful argument, if for no other reason than it is incapable of being refuted since all of my information could come from sources silenced by those same factors!

2) "Needless to say, US support for Israel is the product of many factors--Israel's status as the sole democracy in the Middle East, its value as a US strategic ally and widespread horror over Palestinian suicide bombers."

How can you aknowledge these things and yet still think the way you do? I do not ask to simply be insulting, I genuinely do not understand it.

3) "it's impossible to understand the Bush Administration's tender treatment of the Sharon government without taking into account the influence of groups like AIPAC."

How is that statement true if the media and other groups do exactly that? Even if you disagree with it, clearly it is very possible to understand other factors (such as his conservativsm, his constituency, his faith, his ideology, etc.)


Liberty - 12/2/2003


Didn't I warn you she would do this?

(December 2, 2003 - 6:07 PM).

It's like she's incapable of learning.


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003

BY MICHAEL MASSING, The Nation


June 10, 2002

On May 2 the Senate, in a vote of 94 to 2, and the House, 352 to 21, expressed unqualified support for Israel in its recent military actions against the Palestinians. The resolutions were so strong that the Bush Administration--hardly a slouch when it comes to supporting Israel--attempted to soften its language so as to have more room in getting peace talks going. But its pleas were rejected, and members of Congress from Joe Lieberman to Tom DeLay competed to heap praise on Ariel Sharon and disdain on Yasir Arafat. Reporting on the vote, the New York Times noted that one of the few dissenters, Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, "suggested that many senators were after campaign contributions."

Aside from that brief reference, however, the Times made no mention of the role that money, or lobbying in general, may have played in the lopsided vote. More specifically, the Times made no mention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It's a remarkable oversight. AIPAC is widely regarded as the most powerful foreign-policy lobby in Washington. Its 60,000 members shower millions of dollars on hundreds of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. It also maintains a network of wealthy and influential citizens around the country, whom it can regularly mobilize to support its main goal, which is making sure there is "no daylight" between the policies of Israel and of the United States.

So, when Congress votes so decisively in support of Israel, it's no accident. Yet, surveying US newspaper coverage of the Middle East in recent months, I found next to nothing about AIPAC and its influence. The one account of any substance appeared in the Washington Post, in late April. Reporting on AIPAC's annual conference, correspondent Mike Allen noted that the attendees included half the Senate, ninety members of the House and thirteen senior Administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, who drew a standing ovation when he declared in Hebrew, "The people of Israel live." Showing its "clout," Allen wrote, AIPAC held "a lively roll call of the hundreds of dignitaries, with individual cheers for each." Even this article, however, failed to probe beneath the surface and examine the lobbying and fundraising techniques AIPAC uses to lock up support in Congress.

AIPAC is not the only pro-Israel organization to escape scrutiny. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, though little known to the general public, has tremendous influence in Washington, especially with the executive branch. Based in New York, the conference is supposed to give voice to the fifty-two Jewish organizations that sit on its board, but in reality it tends to reflect the views of its executive vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein. Hoenlein has long had close ties to Israel's Likud Party. In the 1990s he helped raise money for settlers' groups on the West Bank, and today he regularly refers to that region as "Judea and Samaria," a biblically inspired catch phrase used by conservatives to justify the presence of Jewish settlers there. A skilled and articulate operative, Hoenlein uses his access to the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council to push for a strong Israel. He's so effective at it that the Jewish newspaper the Forward, in its annual list of the fifty most important American Jews, has ranked Hoenlein first.

Hoenlein showed his organizing skills in April, when he helped convene the large pro-Israel rally on Capitol Hill. While the event itself was widely covered, Hoenlein, and the conference, remained invisible. An informal survey of recent coverage turned up not a single in-depth piece about Hoenlein and how he has used the Presidents Conference to keep the Bush Administration from putting too much pressure on the Sharon government.

Why the blackout? For one thing, reporting on these groups is not easy. AIPAC's power makes potential sources reluctant to discuss the organization on the record, and employees who leave it usually sign pledges of silence. AIPAC officials themselves rarely give interviews, and the organization even resists divulging its board of directors. Journalists, meanwhile, are often loath to write about the influence of organized Jewry. Throughout the Arab world, the "Jewish lobby" is seen as the root of all evil in the Middle East, and many reporters and editors--especially Jewish ones--worry about feeding such stereotypes.

In the end, though, the main obstacle to covering these groups is fear. Jewish organizations are quick to detect bias in the coverage of the Middle East, and quick to complain about it. That's especially true of late. As the Forward observed in late April, "rooting out perceived anti-Israel bias in the media has become for many American Jews the most direct and emotional outlet for connecting with the conflict 6,000 miles away." Recently, an estimated 1,000 subscribers to the Los Angeles Times suspended home delivery for a day to protest what they considered the paper's pro-Palestinian coverage. The Chicago Tribune, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Miami Herald have all been hit by similar protests, and NPR has received thousands of e-mails complaining about its reports from the Middle East.

Do such protests have an effect? Consider the recent experience of the New York Times. On May 6 the paper ran two photographs of a pro-Israel parade in Manhattan. Both showed the parade in the background and anti-Israel protesters prominently in the foreground. The paper, which for weeks has been threatened with a boycott by Jewish readers, was deluged with protests. On May 7 the Times ran an abject apology. That caused much consternation in the newsroom, with some reporters and editors feeling that the paper had buckled before an influential constituency. "It's very intimidating," said a correspondent at another large daily who is familiar with the incident. Newspapers, he added, are "afraid" of organizations like AIPAC and the Presidents Conference. "The pressure from these groups is relentless. Editors would just as soon not touch them."

Needless to say, US support for Israel is the product of many factors--Israel's status as the sole democracy in the Middle East, its value as a US strategic ally and widespread horror over Palestinian suicide bombers. But the power of the pro-Israel lobby is an important element as well. Indeed, it's impossible to understand the Bush Administration's tender treatment of the Sharon government without taking into account the influence of groups like AIPAC. Isn't it time they were exposed to the daylight?

Copyright 2002 The Nation


Cram - 12/2/2003

I honestly do not know why I waste my time, but I must point out a glaring inconsistancy:

1) "Jews in the white house and PNAC who are the ones I was referring to do not care about our history or our country."

2) "Above all else, PNAC desires and demands one
thing: The establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of all nations. They chafe at the idea that the United States, the last remaining superpower, does not do more by way of economic and military force to bring the rest of the world under the umbrella of a new socio-economic Pax Americana."

How can an organization that does not care about America want America to be a world empire??


Liberty - 12/2/2003


I believe it is pro- 2 other things. 1. Pro-Freedom (which is a value rarely shared by others in Israel's neighborhood,) and 2. Pro-Self Defense.

Now perhaps the pursuit of those 2 ideals can be used to sway the sympathies of members of congress, but the election of Sharon would have never taken place were it not for the primary need of the electorate - above all others at the time - to be kept alive. I am convinced that the Israeli people are not anti-Palestinian, pro-occupation, etc. They are pro-peace pragmatists who will dump whatever government is in power should it fail to take advantage of any opportunity that arises for a durable peace, with a responsible interlocutor (such as Sadat or King Hussein) on the other side.

I don't see this as propaganda, but pragmatism. A unilateral concession to a dictator who has almost no regard for the human rights of his own people is dangerously unwise, as many precedents (even recent in nature) indicate. For the international community (or anyone else) to fail to appreciate this observation, because they are for some reason unwilling to concede that Arafat possesses pretty much all the cards for a final settlement, may not be anti-Semitic, but such myopia amounts to putting the people of Israel in such an impossibly suicidal situation that it is difficult to conclude otherwise. Maybe such people are also likely to believe that they, too, can forsake their own freedom or right to self-defense for the psychological security of a piece of paper. They want to assume that any democracy has all the cards and can make peace happen and violence end all on its own without any reciprocity. They want to believe that only the democracy should have any responsibility to its people or anyone else.

*Everyone* has responsibilities.

Freedom is indeed in the best interest of the Palestinians, but the once-elected autocrat of the P.A. has a 40-year long history of not showing any willingness to advance this. There is no reason to indicate that he holds the freedom of the people of Israel in any higher regard, either. But deflecting the pressure to make concessions on Israel alone and keeping the spotlight on their side for over 50 years makes Israel look suspiciously bad, and he knows this. And the anti-Israel sentiment flourishes as it merges and becomes indistinguishable from the anti-Semitism, the xenophobia, the isolationism, the dual-loyalty accusations, and above all, the willingness to forsake the cause of freedom for the Arab world. Freedom is the only thing that will bring them into a 21st-century with a real future, a civil society, a cultural infrastructure in which to question and reform radical Islam, and to determine their fates in a constructive and non-violent manner.

Read Mehdi Mofazzari's article. Perhaps the reason that it has garnered almost no responses is indicative that it is too lucid to find much disagreement with. His previous article was similarly instructive. Don't be naive and mistake a respect for someone to practice their own religion with an abdication of the cause of all his other freedoms. "Martyrdom," on the other hand, is not necessarily an inherent right.


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003

liam Rivers Pitt: 02/25/03

The Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, is a Washington-based
think tank created in 1997. Above all else, PNAC desires and demands one
thing: The establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of
all nations. They chafe at the idea that the United States, the last
remaining superpower, does not do more by way of economic and military
force to bring the rest of the world under the umbrella of a new
socio-economic Pax Americana.

The fundamental essence of PNAC's ideology can be found in a White Paper
produced in September of 2000 entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses:
Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century." In it, PNAC outlines
what is required of America to create the global empire they envision.
According to PNAC, America must:
* Reposition permanently based forces to Southern Europe, Southeast Asia
and the Middle East;
* Modernize U.S. forces, including enhancing our fighter aircraft,
submarine and surface fleet capabilities;
* Develop and deploy a global missile defense system, and develop a
strategic dominance of space;
* Control the "International Commons" of cyberspace;
* Increase defense spending to a minimum of 3.8 percent of gross domestic
product, up from the 3 percent currently spent.


Most ominously, this PNAC document described four "Core Missions" for the
American military. The two central requirements are for American forces to
"fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars," and
to "perform the 'constabulary' duties associated with shaping the security
environment in critical regions." Note well that PNAC does not want America
to be prepared to fight simultaneous major wars. That is old school. In
order to bring this plan to fruition, the military must fight these wars
one way or the other to establish American dominance for all to see.

Why is this important? After all, wacky think tanks are a cottage industry
in Washington, DC. They are a dime a dozen. In what way does PNAC stand
above the other groups that would set American foreign policy if they could?
Two events brought PNAC into the mainstream of American government: the
disputed election of George W. Bush, and the attacks of September 11th.
When Bush assumed the Presidency, the men who created and nurtured the
imperial dreams of PNAC became the men who run the Pentagon, the Defense
Department and the White House. When the Towers came down, these men saw,
at long last, their chance to turn their White Papers into substantive
policy.

Vice President Dick Cheney is a founding member of PNAC, along with Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the
group. Bruce Jackson, a PNAC director, served as a Pentagon official for
Ronald Reagan before leaving government service to take a leading position
with the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.


PNAC is staffed by men who previously served with groups like Friends of
the Democratic Center in Central America, which supported America's bloody
gamesmanship in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and with groups like The
Committee for the Present Danger, which spent years advocating that a
nuclear war with the Soviet Union was "winnable."


PNAC has recently given birth to a new group, The Committee for the
Liberation of Iraq, which met with National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice in order to formulate a plan to "educate" the American populace about
the need for war in Iraq. CLI has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to
support the Iraqi National Congress and the Iraqi heir presumptive, Ahmed
Chalabi. Chalabi was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court in 1992 to
22 years in prison for bank fraud after the collapse of Petra Bank, which
he founded in 1977. Chalabi has not set foot in Iraq since 1956, but his
Enron-like business credentials apparently make him a good match for the
Bush administration's plans.


PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses" report is the institutionalization
of plans and ideologies that have been formulated for decades by the men
currently running American government. The PNAC Statement of Principles is
signed by Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, as well as by Eliot Abrams, Jeb
Bush, Bush's special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, and many
others. William Kristol, famed conservative writer for the Weekly Standard,
is also a co-founder of the group. The Weekly Standard is owned by Ruppert
Murdoch, who also owns international media giant Fox News.


The desire for these freshly empowered PNAC men to extend American hegemony
by force of arms across the globe has been there since day one of the Bush
administration, and is in no small part a central reason for the Florida
electoral battle in 2000. Note that while many have said that Gore and Bush
are ideologically identical, Mr. Gore had no ties whatsoever to the fellows
at PNAC. George W. Bush had to win that election by any means necessary,
and PNAC signatory Jeb Bush was in the perfect position to ensure the rise
to prominence of his fellow imperialists. Desire for such action, however,
is by no means translatable into workable policy. Americans enjoy their
comforts, but don't cotton to the idea of being some sort of Neo-Rome.

On September 11th, the fellows from PNAC saw a door of opportunity open
wide before them, and stormed right through it.


Bush released on September 20th 2001 the "National Security Strategy of the
United States of America." It is an ideological match to PNAC's "Rebuilding
America's Defenses" report issued a year earlier. In many places, it uses
exactly the same language to describe America's new place in the world.

Recall that PNAC demanded an increase in defense spending to at least 3.8%
of GDP. Bush's proposed budget for next year asks for $379 billion in
defense spending, almost exactly 3.8% of GDP.


In August of 2002, Defense Policy Board chairman and PNAC member Richard
Perle heard a policy briefing from a think tank associated with the Rand
Corporation. According to the Washington Post and The Nation, the final
slide of this presentation described "Iraq as the tactical pivot, Saudi
Arabia as the strategic pivot, and Egypt as the prize" in a war that would
purportedly be about ridding the world of Saddam Hussein's weapons. Bush
has deployed massive forces into the Mideast region, while simultaneously
engaging American forces in the Philippines and playing nuclear chicken
with North Korea. Somewhere in all this lurks at least one of the "major
theater wars" desired by the September 2000 PNAC report.


Iraq is but the beginning, a pretense for a wider conflict. Donald Kagan, a
central member of PNAC, sees America establishing permanent military bases
in Iraq after the war. This is purportedly a measure to defend the peace in
the Middle East, and to make sure the oil flows. The nations in that
region, however, will see this for what it is: a jump-off point for
American forces to invade any nation in that region they choose to. The
American people, anxiously awaiting some sort of exit plan after America
defeats Iraq, will see too late that no exit is planned.


All of the horses are traveling together at speed here. The defense
contractors who sup on American tax revenue will be handsomely paid for
arming this new American empire. The corporations that own the news media
will sell this eternal war at a profit, as viewership goes through the
stratosphere when there is combat to be shown. Those within the
administration who believe that the defense of Israel is contingent upon
laying waste to every possible aggressor in the region will have their
dreams fulfilled. The PNAC men who wish for a global Pax Americana at
gunpoint will see their plans unfold. Through it all, the bankrollers from
the WTO and the IMF will be able to dictate financial terms to the entire
planet. This last aspect of the plan is pivotal, and is best described in
the newly revised version of Greg Palast's masterpiece, "The Best Democracy
Money Can Buy."


There will be adverse side effects. The siege mentality average Americans
are suffering as they smother behind yards of plastic sheeting and duct
tape will increase by orders of magnitude as our aggressions bring forth
new terrorist attacks against the homeland. These attacks will require the
implementation of the newly drafted Patriot Act II, an augmentation of the
previous Act that has profoundly sharper teeth. The sun will set on the
Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The American economy will be ravaged by the need for increased defense
spending, and by the aforementioned "constabulary" duties in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere. Former allies will turn on us. Germany, France
and the other nations resisting this Iraq war are fully aware of this game
plan. They are not acting out of cowardice or because they love Saddam
Hussein, but because they mean to resist this rising American empire, lest
they face economic and military serfdom at the hands of George W. Bush.
Richard Perle has already stated that France is no longer an American ally.

As the eagle spreads its wings, our rhetoric and their resistance will
become more agitated and dangerous.


Many people, of course, will die. They will die from war and from want,
from famine and disease. At home, the social fabric will be torn in ways
that make the Reagan nightmares of crack addiction, homelessness and AIDS
seem tame by comparison.


This is the price to be paid for empire, and the men of PNAC who now
control the fate and future of America are more than willing to pay it. For
them, the benefits far outweigh the liabilities.


The plan was running smoothly until those two icebergs collided. Millions
and millions of ordinary people are making it very difficult for Bush's
international allies to keep to the script. PNAC may have designs for the
control of the "International Commons" of the Internet, but for now it is
the staging ground for a movement that would see empire take a back seat to
a wise peace, human rights, equal protection under the law, and the
preponderance of a justice that will, if properly applied, do away forever
with the anger and hatred that gives birth to terrorism in the first place.
Tommaso Palladini of Milan perhaps said it best as he marched with his
countrymen in Rome. "You fight terrorism," he said, "by creating more
justice in the world."


The People versus the Powerful is the oldest story in human history. At no
point in history have the Powerful wielded so much control. At no point in
history has the active and informed involvement of the People, all of them,
been more absolutely required. The tide can be stopped, and the men who
desire empire by the sword can be thwarted. It has already begun, but it
must not cease. These are men of will, and they do not intend to fail.


Cram - 12/2/2003

Barbara,
You have wasted your time collecting this liteney of hypocracy. General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding on member states in ANY WAY. They are spewed out regularly by the UN with the full knowledge that they have no legal effect.

The following however, does have legal effect:

United Nations Charter, Article 51:
"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."

PS Even if they were binding (which they are not), I refer you to the many resolutions that the Arabs have violated (including the partition plan on 1948, the recognition of Israel as a sovereign state and I should also add, the resolutions that Iraq violated which WERE binding on it).


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003

By Jim Lobe, AlterNet
May 19, 2003

What would you do if you wanted to topple Saddam Hussein, but your intelligence agencies couldn't find the evidence to justify a war?


A follower of Leo Strauss may just hire the "right" kind of men to get the job done – people with the intellect, acuity, and, if necessary, the political commitment, polemical skills, and, above all, the imagination to find the evidence that career intelligence officers could not detect.


The "right" man for Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, suggests Seymour Hersh in his recent New Yorker article entitled 'Selective Intelligence,' was Abram Shulsky, director of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) – an agency created specifically to find the evidence of WMDs and/or links with Al Qaeda, piece it together, and clinch the case for the invasion of Iraq.


Like Wolfowitz, Shulsky is a student of an obscure German Jewish political philosopher named Leo Strauss who arrived in the United States in 1938. Strauss taught at several major universities, including Wolfowitz and Shulsky's alma mater, the University of Chicago, before his death in 1973.


Strauss is a popular figure among the neoconservatives. Adherents of his ideas include prominent figures both within and outside the administration. They include 'Weekly Standard' editor William Kristol; his father and indeed the godfather of the neoconservative movement, Irving Kristol; the new Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, a number of senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (home to former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle and Lynne Cheney), and Gary Schmitt, the director of the influential Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which is chaired by Kristol the Younger.


Strauss' philosophy is hardly incidental to the strategy and mindset adopted by these men – as is obvious in Shulsky's 1999 essay titled "Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence (By Which We Do Not Mean Nous)" (in Greek philosophy the term nous denotes the highest form of rationality). As Hersh notes in his article, Shulsky and his co-author Schmitt "criticize America's intelligence community for its failure to appreciate the duplicitous nature of the regimes it deals with, its susceptibility to social-science notions of proof, and its inability to cope with deliberate concealment." They argued that Strauss's idea of hidden meaning, "alerts one to the possibility that political life may be closely linked to deception. Indeed, it suggests that deception is the norm in political life, and the hope, to say nothing of the expectation, of establishing a politics that can dispense with it is the exception."


Rule One: Deception


It's hardly surprising then why Strauss is so popular in an administration obsessed with secrecy, especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy. Not only did Strauss have few qualms about using deception in politics, he saw it as a necessity. While professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical – divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow. But unlike fellow elitists like Plato, he was less concerned with the moral character of these leaders. According to Shadia Drury, who teaches politics at the University of Calgary, Strauss believed that "those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior."


This dichotomy requires "perpetual deception" between the rulers and the ruled, according to Drury. Robert Locke, another Strauss analyst says,"The people are told what they need to know and no more." While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, Strauss thought, the masses could not cope. If exposed to the absence of absolute truth, they would quickly fall into nihilism or anarchy, according to Drury, author of 'Leo Strauss and the American Right' (St. Martin's 1999).


Second Principle: Power of Religion


According to Drury, Strauss had a "huge contempt" for secular democracy. Nazism, he believed, was a nihilistic reaction to the irreligious and liberal nature of the Weimar Republic. Among other neoconservatives, Irving Kristol has long argued for a much greater role for religion in the public sphere, even suggesting that the Founding Fathers of the American Republic made a major mistake by insisting on the separation of church and state. And why? Because Strauss viewed religion as absolutely essential in order to impose moral law on the masses who otherwise would be out of control.


At the same time, he stressed that religion was for the masses alone; the rulers need not be bound by it. Indeed, it would be absurd if they were, since the truths proclaimed by religion were "a pious fraud." As Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine points out, "Neoconservatives are pro-religion even though they themselves may not be believers."


"Secular society in their view is the worst possible thing,'' Drury says, because it leads to individualism, liberalism, and relativism, precisely those traits that may promote dissent that in turn could dangerously weaken society's ability to cope with external threats. Bailey argues that it is this firm belief in the political utility of religion as an "opiate of the masses" that helps explain why secular Jews like Kristol in 'Commentary' magazine and other neoconservative journals have allied themselves with the Christian Right and even taken on Darwin's theory of evolution.


Third Principle: Aggressive Nationalism


Like Thomas Hobbes, Strauss believed that the inherently aggressive nature of human beings could only be restrained by a powerful nationalistic state. "Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed," he once wrote. "Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united – and they can only be united against other people."


Not surprisingly, Strauss' attitude toward foreign policy was distinctly Machiavellian. "Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat," Drury wrote in her book. "Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured (emphases added)."


"Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in," says Drury. The idea easily translates into, in her words, an "aggressive, belligerent foreign policy," of the kind that has been advocated by neocon groups like PNAC and AEI scholars – not to mention Wolfowitz and other administration hawks who have called for a world order dominated by U.S. military power. Strauss' neoconservative students see foreign policy as a means to fulfill a "national destiny" – as Irving Kristol defined it already in 1983 – that goes far beyond the narrow confines of a " myopic national security."


As to what a Straussian world order might look like, the analogy was best captured by the philosopher himself in one of his – and student Allen Bloom's – many allusions to Gulliver's Travels. In Drury's words, "When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect."


The image encapsulates the neoconservative vision of the United States' relationship with the rest of the world – as well as the relationship between their relationship as a ruling elite with the masses. "They really have no use for liberalism and democracy, but they're conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy," Drury says.


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003


A list of UN Resolutions against Israel

1955-1992:
* Resolution 106: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for Gaza raid".
* Resolution 111: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people".
* Resolution 127: " . . . 'recommends' Israel suspends it's 'no-man's zone' in Jerusalem".
* Resolution 162: " . . . 'urges' Israel to comply with UN decisions".
* Resolution 171: " . . . determines flagrant violations' by Israel in its attack on Syria".
* Resolution 228: " . . . 'censures' Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control".
* Resolution 237: " . . . 'urges' Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees".
* Resolution 248: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan".
* Resolution 250: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem".
* Resolution 251: " . . . 'deeply deplores' Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250".
* Resolution 252: " . . . 'declares invalid' Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital".
* Resolution 256: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli raids on Jordan as 'flagrant violation".
* Resolution 259: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation".
* Resolution 262: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for attack on Beirut airport".
* Resolution 265: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan".
* Resolution 267: " . . . 'censures' Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem".
*Resolution 270: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon".
* Resolution 271: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem".
* Resolution 279: " . . . 'demands' withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 280: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli's attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 285: " . . . 'demands' immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon".
* Resolution 298: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem".
* Resolution 313: " . . . 'demands' that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 316: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon".
* Resolution 317: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon".
* Resolution 332: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 337: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violating Lebanon's sovereignty".
* Resolution 347: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli attacks on Lebanon".
* Resolution 425: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 427: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.
* Resolution 444: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces".
* Resolution 446: " . . . 'determines' that Israeli settlements are a 'serious
obstruction' to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention".
* Resolution 450: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon".
* Resolution 452: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories".
* Resolution 465: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's settlements and asks all member
states not to assist Israel's settlements program".
* Resolution 467: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's military intervention in Lebanon".
* Resolution 468: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of
two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return".
* Resolution 469: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's failure to observe the
council's order not to deport Palestinians".
* Resolution 471: " . . . 'expresses deep concern' at Israel's failure to abide
by the Fourth Geneva Convention".
* Resolution 476: " . . . 'reiterates' that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are 'null and void'".
* Resolution 478: " . . . 'censures (Israel) in the strongest terms' for its
claim to Jerusalem in its 'Basic Law'".
* Resolution 484: " . . . 'declares it imperative' that Israel re-admit two deported
Palestinian mayors".
* Resolution 487: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel for its attack on Iraq's
nuclear facility".
* Resolution 497: " . . . 'decides' that Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan
Heights is 'null and void' and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith".
* Resolution 498: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon".
* Resolution 501: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops".
* Resolution 509: " . . . 'demands' that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon".
* Resolution 515: " . . . 'demands' that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and
allow food supplies to be brought in".
* Resolution 517: " . . . 'censures' Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions
and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 518: " . . . 'demands' that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon".
* Resolution 520: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's attack into West Beirut".
* Resolution 573: " . . . 'condemns' Israel 'vigorously' for bombing Tunisia
in attack on PLO headquarters.
* Resolution 587: " . . . 'takes note' of previous calls on Israel to withdraw
its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw".
* Resolution 592: " . . . 'strongly deplores' the killing of Palestinian students
at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops".
* Resolution 605: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's policies and practices
denying the human rights of Palestinians.
* Resolution 607: " . . . 'calls' on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly
requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
* Resolution 608: " . . . 'deeply regrets' that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians".
* Resolution 636: " . . . 'deeply regrets' Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
* Resolution 641: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 672: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violence against Palestinians
at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
* Resolution 673: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United
Nations.
* Resolution 681: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's resumption of the deportation of
Palestinians.
* Resolution 694: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's deportation of Palestinians and
calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
* Resolution 726: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 799: ". . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians
and calls for their immediate return.


U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel
(1972-2003)

Vetoes: 1972-1982
Subject Date & Meeting US Rep Casting Veto Vote
Palestine: Syrian-Lebanese Complaint. 3 power draft resolution 2/10784 9/10/1972 Bush 13-1, 1
Palestine: Examination of Middle East Situation. 8-power draft resolution (S/10974) 7/2/1973 Scali 13-1, 0 (China not partic.)
Palestine: Egyptian-Lebanese Complaint. 5-power draft power resolution (S/11898) 12/8/1975 Moynihan 13-1, 1
Palestine: Middle East Problem, including Palestinian question. 6-power draft resolution (S/11940) 1/26/1976 Moynihan 9-1,3 (China & Libya not partic.)
Palestine: Situation in Occupied Arab Territories. 5-power draft resolution (S/12022) 3/25/1976 Scranton 14-1,0
Palestine: Report on Committee on Rights of Palestinian People. 4-power draft resolution (S/121119) 6/29/1976 Sherer 10-1,4
Palestine: Palestinian Rights. Tunisian draft resolution. (S/13911) 4/30/1980 McHenry 10-1,4
Palestine: Golan Heights. Jordan draft resolution. (S/14832/Rev. 2) 1/20/1982 Kirkpatrick 9-1,5
Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, Jordan draft resolution (S/14943) 4/2/1982 Lichenstein 13-1,1
Palestine: Incident at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. 4-power draft resolution 4/20/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1, 0
Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. Spain draft resolution. (S/15185) 6/8/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1,0
Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. France draft resolution. (S/15255/Rev. 2) 6/26/1982 Lichenstein 14-1
Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. USSR draft resolution. (S/15347/Rev. 1, as orally amended) 8/6/1982 Lichenstein 11-1,3
Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, 20-power draft resolution (S/15895) 8/2/1983 Lichenstein 13-1,1



Security Council Vetoes/Negative voting 1983-present
Subject Date Vote
Occupied Arab Territories: Wholesale condemnation of Israeli settlement policies - not adopted 1983
S. Lebanon: Condemns Israeli action in southern Lebanon. S/16732 9/6/1984 Vetoed: 13-1 (U.S.), with 1 abstention (UK)
Occupied Territories: Deplores "repressive measures" by Israel against Arab population. S/19459. 9/13/1985 Vetoed: 10-1 (U.S.), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK, France)
Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17000. 3/12/1985 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK)
Occupied Territories: Calls upon Israel to respect Muslim holy places. S/17769/Rev. 1 1/30/1986 Vetoed: 13-1 (US), with one abstention (Thailand)
Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17730/Rev. 2. 1/17/1986 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK)
Libya/Israel: Condemns Israeli interception of Libyan plane. S/17796/Rev. 1. 2/6/1986 Vetoed: 10 -1 (US), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, France, UK)
Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored repeated Israeli attacks against Lebanese territory and other measures and practices against the civilian population; (S/19434) 1/18/1988 vetoed 13-1 (US), with 1 abstention (UK)
Lebanon: Draft condemned recent invasion by Israeli forces of Southern Lebanon and repeated a call for the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanese territory; (S/19868) 5/10/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored the recent Israeli attack against Lebanese territory on 9 December 1988; (S/20322) 12/14/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Draft called on Israel to accept de jure applicability of the 4th Geneva Convention; (S/19466) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Draft urged Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention, rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians, and condemned policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories; (S/19780) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Strongly deplored Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, and strongly deplored also Israel's continued disregard of relevant Security Council decisions. 2/17/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Condemned Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories. 6/9/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Deplored Israel's policies and practices in the occupied territories. 11/7/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: NAM draft resolution to create a commission and send three security council members to Rishon Lezion, where an Israeli gunmen shot down seven Palestinian workers. 5/31/1990 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Middle East: Confirms that the expropriation of land by Israel in East Jerusalem is invalid and in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and provisions of the Fourth Geneva convention; expresses support of peace process, including the Declaration of Principles of 9/13/1993 5/17/1995 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Middle East: Calls upon Israeli authorities to refrain from all actions or measures, including settlement activities. 3/7/1997 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Middle East: Demands that Israel cease construction of the settlement in east Jerusalem (called Jabal Abu Ghneim by the Palestinians and Har Homa by Israel), as well as all the other Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories
3/21/1997 Vetoed 13-1,1 (US)
Call for UN Observers Force in West Bank, Gaza 3/27/2001 Vetoed 9-1 (US),
with four abstentions
(Britain, France, Ireland and Norway)
Condemned acts of terror, demanded an end to violence and the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to bring in observers. 12/15/2001 Vetoed 12-1 (US)
with two abstentions (Britain and Norway)
On the killing by Israeli forces of several UN employees and the destruction of the World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse
12/20/2002 12-1 (US)
with 2 abstentions (Bulgaria and Cameroon)

Demand that Israel halt threats to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat 9/16/03 Vetoed 11-1 (US)
with three abstentions
(Britain, Germany and Bulgaria)
Seeks to bar Israel from extending security fence 10/14/03 Vetoed 10-1 with four absentations (Britain, Germany, Bulgaria and Cameroon)


Cram - 12/2/2003

Mr. Ericson,
I appreciate you kind words and thoughtful commentary. I must first reiterate that do believe that Barbara is indeed anti-Semitic in the worst way. This is not because she is opposed to Sharon, or indeed because she is against the State of Israel (both of which can be acceptable positions). It is because of her beliefs about Jews specifically and only that.

I have read your comments regarding the relationship between Congress and Israel and agree with your assessment. I believe this is because the administration is so close to the Israeli government ideologically, and since the Congress is majority Republican and parties generally follow the pattern of its leader, Congress supports Sharon as well.

I must also point out however, my impression that after 9/11, America looked at Israel very differently, perhaps feeling an empathy with the Jewish state in a way other countries cannot. On a personal level, I can say that whereas before 9/11, colleagues would question me endlessly about Israel's targeted assassinations of terrorists, after 9/11, I have not discussed it once with anyone.

Our invasion of Afghanistan was very similar to Israel’s occupation of the territories (both are directed against people who themselves have done nothing to us, but who shields those that have). The war in Iraq is another area for empathy (both cases involve an occupation that has resulted in the death of innocent civilians within the territories they occupy). Furthermore, both America and Israel share a distrust of the UN and a sincere belief that terrorism cannot be negotiated with but must be fought militarily.

As a man who has always believed in liberal concepts of individual value and justice, I find my liberal co-ideologues increasing anti-Semitism to be troubling. This is not the old fashion anti-Semitism based on the charge of deicide, or racial inferiority, but a new form of anti-Semitism that views the Jews as an inherently racist and oppressive people that have no loyalty to anyone except Israel. I know more than enough Jews who are considering changing their political affiliation, not because they agree with Republicans on Israel, but because the liberal ideology is no longer welcoming to their kind.

Mr. Ericson, you sound like a fair and thoughtful person and I am grateful for your comments.

The following is just one small sample of sites about Jews who oppose the occupation. While I do not agree with any of them, I offer them only to demonstrate how divided Jews are about the State of Israel. I could list dozens more about Israeli Jews who oppose the Sharon government:
http://www.jatonyc.org/
http://www.jvao.org/
http://www.jewishsf.com/bk020419/sf25.shtml
http://nonprofitnet.ca/wao/wao.php?show&160


NYGuy - 12/2/2003

Geoff,

Bush makes one trip as the CC which is his duty, and is done under particularly dangerous circumstances.

Clinton had countless meaningless photo ops in the safety of the WH with leaders from Palestine/Israel to promote his political career and campaign for a Nobel Prize. The total population of these countries were about 7 million people. For eight years his obsession for a legacy used such photo ops for his own personal benefit while terrorist threats increased throughout the world.

In my opinion I would rather have a President who puts his country first, and as commander in chief looks out for the troops under his command. To suggest that this one photo op is for political purposes is merely a partisan attack, with no frame of reference, and the author is merely making an unsophisticed conclusion.


Geoff Ericson - 12/2/2003

Mr. Cram,

You have differentiated yourself from the HNN Sharonist wolfpack in your comment above ("Barbara, I believe...), by giving some thoughtful attention to Barbara's issues instead of tarring her with a broad and unenlightening Anti-Semite brush. Congrats on breaking away from the herd. Here is my one quibble with your otherwise fairly persuasive set of "answers" to her "questions":

"11) 'Are they [i.e. is Israel] held to the same standards as everyone else?'

No, they are judged much harsher by the international community and put up against a double standard."

As a first approximation for a sizable chunk of the “international community”, this may be a tolerably accurate simplification, but how about the standards used in the U.S. Congress ? By all reliable accounts I have heard, that body is vastly more pro-Likud than Israel itself and, with hardly the slightest regard to Israel's current policies or current government, or to what sensible priorities for America ought to be, ranks Israel well above all other countries outside the U.S. It is quite extraordinary and cannot be explained, in my view, by dollars spent by pro-Israel lobbying organizations or the religious faith of the owners of the New York Times.

I am not Jewish, but if I were, I think this utterly warped situation on Capitol Hill would bother me much more than the quaint Anti-Semitism of old fashioned country folk like Barbara who seem to have little experience with actual living and breathing Jews. If there is one stereotype that can be validly applied to Jews as a group, I find it to be that they are critical of each other. But I have noticed one big "blind spot" exception to an otherwise generally admirable knack for self-criticism amongst Americans of Jewish heritage, and the unfortunate and needless consequent opportunities for future anti-semitism are considerably scarier than the poorly informed prejudices of people brought up before the era of Civil Rights (and political correctness).


C.R.W. - 12/2/2003




I, for one, have been wondering for quite some time, what is wrong with treating dictatorships by a different "standard" than that by which we would treat free nations.



Liberty - 12/2/2003




Cram, should you choose to answer Barbara on the "Israel is a racist state whose inhabitants control the White House and therefore justify our display of racism toward them" thing, I should remind you that she's unaware of a basic fact.

She doesn't know that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are living under the autocratic regime of Yasir Arafat. She confuses them with the 1+ million Arab citizens of Israel who have a higher standard of political (and in many cases, civil, freedoms) than Arabs living anywhere else in the Middle East and believe that the reincursions that have been provoked by three to ten years of murder/suicide attacks against unarmed noncombattants directly impact them. This is evident from earlier threads she's monopolized (but not in a big, giant "corporate" way, of course - no, that would be bad!) and diverted to a slate of completely peripheral topics.

Here's the dusted-off laundry list of corrected misconceptions to counter the xenophobic left:

1. UN Security Council Resolutions are binding; General Assembly Resolutions are not.

2. Any individual can be pro-freedom in a general sense out of conviction, and not merely out of a parochial ethnic interest.


We can actually realize, as perhaps some remember John Kennedy did, that advancing the cause of freedom in the world is an American interest. Loyalty to freedom is what many believe makes us American, moreso than any narrow sense of the kind of blind nationalism that Barbara is endeared to. As far as security goes, the anti-Freedom wing of the xenophobic left needs to remember what percentage of all the wars in the last two centuries were fought between democracies.

Thankfully freedom of speech can be put to use for more than just screeds. Fortunately, most Americans are sensible enough to realize that Barbara's xenophobic hatred of freedom for "foreiners" in the US is just as dangerous as her contempt for freedom among other peoples abroad.

And what makes her pathetic is that the Republicans that she fears so much will be able to take advantage of that, and crush her and her co-ideologues politically on this, as she deserves to be. But that's for another post. ;-)




Cram - 12/2/2003

Barbara,
I didn’t argue you point for point since everything you wrote could be summed up simply as: The Jews are your problem. However, simply because I have time, I would be more then happy to answer your rather foolish questions:

1) “Please tell me how invading Iraq benefits the US. Since it was based upon the lie of WMD, please tell me the real reason for the invasion.”

I don’t believe invading Iraq was necessary, and I agree it was based on lies, as I have affirmed throughout this site. Where you and I part ways is that I blame the administration and President Bush, you blame the Jews and the massive Jewish conspiracy.

2) “Please tell me who planned the rearrangement of the middle east. Did George Bush plan it?”

A simple question. President Bush did it after the liberation of Afghanistan. His policy was enumerated in numerous speeches as to what he hoped the future of the region will look like (peaceful and Democratic)

3) “Please give me some evidence that supports your belief that George Bush is bright enough to plan anything.”

He launched a campaign against an incumbent during a time of peace and properity and won. He also launched a war against Afghanistan and also won.

4) “When did his interest in the middle east first develop?”

When 2 planed crashed into the WTC.

3) “Please tell me why Arabs are a terrorist threat to the US.”

I don’t know who ever said that, certainly Bush never did. The reason terrorists are a threat however, is because they want to kill Americans and have the training and the weapons to do so.

4) “Why is fierce loyalty to Israel by US citizens something to admire and a good thing, but fierce loyalty to the US is racist, extremist and sick?”

I don’t really understand the question, but most supporters of Israel are conservative, which are the same people who love the US so much, they accuse liberals of being traitors. It is a good thing because Israel shares our values and our democratic system of government.

5) “Why should the US government put another soverign country ahead of its own people?”

It shouldn’t, nor does it.

6) “How is the fact that we are spread thin in the middle east affecting our military readiness?”

I fear it is effecting it negatively, and costing us a great deal.

7) “Is Israel a terrorist state?”

No. If you consider every state that kills civilians as the result of military action, then every state that has ever engaged in major warfare this century is a terrorist state. If, however, you limit your definition to targeting civilians in order to incite fear, then no, Israel is not a terrorist state.

8) “Why are they protrayed as the innocent victim? Is that fact or malicious PR? How does that affect Palestinians?”

Because the targets of aggression is innocent civilians. Hopefully, it will prompt the Palestinians to stop murdering innocent Israelis.

9) “Why is hatred toward Jews evil but a policy based upon oppressing, murdering and killing defenseless Arabs and plundering their homeland justifiable?”

I never called it evil, I called it anti-Semitic because that is the term that refers to hatred of Jews. I also called it bigoted because that is the term that refers to hatred of ethnic or cultural groups. As for killing defenseless Arabs, I don’t know what state you are referring to. Israel and the US have nothing to do with that.

10) “Does Israel engage in ethnic cleansing?”

No. Certainly not by any definition of that term.

11) “Are they held to the same standards as everyone else?”

No, they are judged much harsher by the international community and put up against a double standard.

12) “Are Jews in Israel or Jews in the US held to the same standards as everyone else?”

Again, a higher standard. Whereas other ethic groups are allowed to hang Italian or Irish, or African flags in support of their ancestral homelands, Jews are accused to duel loyalty for simply being born Jews.

13) “Does Israel abide by UN Resolutions?”

No, nor is it required to under UN law, which refers to General Assembly resolutions as “recommendations” which no state is obligated to follow.

14) “Tell me about the Israeli lobbies in the US. You must know a lot about them. How powerful are they?”

They are very powerful since Israel is an ally and since Americans are already predisposed to support Israel.

15) “What is the ethnicity of most of the people at PNAC?”

I have no idea, nor dies it matter. I don’t judge an organization based on who their membership is, I judge it based on their actions and decisions.

16) “What is the ethnicity of the person whose philosophy they follow, Leo Strauss?”

I don’t know who they follow but Leo Strouss was German.

I hope that answers your questions.


Paul N. Lewis - 12/2/2003


10 questions is too many unless you driving cross country and want a short version of "Twenty Questions". I will address the first five, and hope you will then realize how wrong it is to categorize me with the Sharon propagandists who are hounding you rather than addressing the substance of your remarks, just as it is wrong to lump all Jews together, even on the subject of Israel.

1. Deposing Saddam was good for Iraq and good for America, but not at the cost of creating dozens of future Saddams and Osamas through clumsy and arrogant mishandling of ultimatums, military moves, and occupation by Cheney, Rumsfeld and their team of bungling fools.

2. I'm not sure what you mean by “re-arrangement” of the Mideast. It seems mired in the past, to me, not rearranged. Maybe you are assuming a degree of workability in the PNAC’s fantasies not based in actual conditions on the ground.

3. I agree that W’s intellect leaves much to be desired. Yet Reagan, even more of a mental lightweight, at least had the common sense to pick a solid team of advisors, who knew something about how to conduct international diplomacy. Hubris and ineptitude, not alcohol-fried brain cells are the real problem in today’s White House, it seems to me.

4. Fierce loyalty to one’s own country is okay by me, but fierce loyalty to a particular ruling clique within any country is shortsighted, and after reading about the 1500th bit of asinine pro Sharon propaganda on this bogus website, one gets a bit tired of the same ridiculous blind loyalty repeated over and over ad nauseum. Note, however, that many Jews are free of this blind loyalty and many non-Jews possessed by it.

5. Israel is not a terrorist or racist state. It is not up to western standards of religious freedom, but neither are any of its neighbors. Ariel Sharon, on the other hand, is regarded by many Israelis (and rightly in my view) as a reckless war criminal. Certainly his actions are rarely taken in the interests of peace, the interests of Israel’s security, or the interests of the United States.


Barbara Cornett - 12/2/2003


All you can do is call me a bigot! I thought this was a place of historians who are surely more intellectual and capable of better then that. Why can't you be objective and respond with facts rather then resort to the tired old standby of antisemitism. You're boring me. The founder of Israel actually encouraged antisemitism as a way to justify Israel's existance, surely historians know that, even prissy, excitable ones.

If I were going to call someone names I would at least state why I am saying that. I wouldn't act like a shocked innocent either. But maybe you all are high school girls, if so please accept my apologies. Make that grade school girls, today's high school girls are not even that innocent.

I want to see what kind of response you have if you have to resort to refuting my comments point by point. That seems to be the fair thing to do. Calling names is for children. Now go back and reread and refute. I want to hear it.

I always answer every question put to me but no one ever answers my questions. Cram, Mr Luker, Mr Lewis, founding father and prometheus, please answer the following questions, since you call me a bigot I want to understand how you came to that conclusion and what you base your thinking on.

1. Please tell me how invading Iraq benefits the US. Since it was based upon the lie of WMD, please tell me the real reason for the invasion. Why was the lie necessary? please tell me WHEN the invasion of Iraq was planned.

2. Please tell me who planned the rearrangement of the middle east. Did George Bush plan it? Did the Christian right plan it? Did the inner city black community plan it? Did the American Association of Retired Persons plan it? When? Where is the evidence?

Please give me some evidence that supports your belief that George Bush is bright enough to plan anything. When did his interest in the middle east first develop? When he was an alcoholic? or after the age of 40? when he was governor? when he was drilling for oil in Texas? When he found Jesus?

3. Please tell me why Arabs are a terrorist threat to the US.

4. Why is fierce loyalty to Israel by US citizens something to admire and a good thing, but fierce loyalty to the US is racist, extremist and sick?

Why should the US government put another soverign country ahead of its own people? How dangerous is our debt to us? How is the
fact that we are spread thin in the middle east affecting our military readiness?

5. Is Israel a terrorist state? If so then why is no one outraged at their racism which is resulting in death and destruction? Why are they protrayed as the innocent victim? Is that fact or malicious PR? How does that affect Palestinians?

6. Why is hatred toward Jews evil but a policy based upon oppressing, murdering and killing defenseless Arabs and plundering their homeland justifiable? Is that what the left has come to?

7. Does Israel engage in ethnic cleansing? Are they held to the same standards as everyone else? Are Jews in Israel or Jews in the US held to the same standards as everyone else?

8. Does Israel abide by UN Resolutions?

9. Tell me about the Israeli lobbies in the US. You must know a lot about them. How powerful are they?

10. What is the ethnicity of most of the people at PNAC? What is the ethnicity of the person whose philosophy they follow, Leo Strauss? Is he Norweign? What is his history? American? European?

Put up or for god's sake shut up.


Founding Father - 12/2/2003



An evil convergence of racism, ignorance, and lunacy.

Entertaining the product of Barbara's twisted neural structure is indeed the kind of foreign entanglement Washinton warned about.


Prometheus - 12/2/2003



I think the best way to describe this is Wernicke's Syndrome.

In psychiatric wards it is also referred to as confabulation.

And BTW, Babs is NOT a racist, she just thinks the the U.S. is the only country entitled to a "racist" security wall.

http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/fence.html

She is her own best argument for the destabilizing effect of freedom in the world. A case study. It is little wonder that that the only thing that disturbs her further (is that even possible?) is the idea of advancing the cause of freedom.

It's nap time, Barbara. Take your pills. Dr. Mengele will see you in the morning.



Paul N. Lewis - 12/2/2003


You make quite a number of very valid and useful points, Barbara, but they are pretty much entirely lost on your audience, of which most posting here are not adamant hard-core pro-Bush Zionists. You repeatedly conflate "Jew" with "Zionist" and repeatedly assume that both categories are monolithic groups that act in lockstep to support the Sharon regime and PNAC. This is obvious nonsense and someone of your experience and knowledge ought to know better. It is a pity because your criticism of the president's crazyquilt of messed up policies and foreign disasters would otherwise be a welcome relief from the pro-Bush and pro-Sharon propaganda which predominates on this website.


Geoff Ericson - 12/2/2003


That is a very weird website you refer us to, Ralph. Why should we believe it ? If you are going to nitpick Barbara on factual detail rather than address the substance of what she says, at least nail those facts down solidly. Give us Bush's full Thanksgiving trip itinerary with dates and local times.


Ralph E. Luker - 12/2/2003

Ms. Cornett, This very long rant is just pitiful, bigotted drivel. You really should be too embarrassed by the bigotry of it to acknowledge having written it. Since when did "liberals" even begin to think that one's ethnic identity either qualified or disqualified a person for office. You need to do some very serious _self_ examination. Unfortunately, all the evidence you offer here indicates that you haven't a self-critical bone in your body. You only attack others. And your target of attack is, for whatever reason, the Jews. Pitiful, shame ...


Cram - 12/2/2003

Barbara,
Barbara,
You say:
“The point is that all of this would be irrelavent IF the Jews were using their power on behalf of the United States rather then Israel. IF they were using their power in a constructive way rather then what they are doing which is runious to us.
That is the whole reason behind why I don't like what is happening. If Jews in the Bush adm were carrying out policies that were based upon the best interests of the citizens of the US there would be absolutely NO problem. But that is not the case is it? That is why I say that they are not Americans and that they don't love America the way I do. Their actions prove it. They are acting on behalf of Israel, not the US.”

It is so sad to hear how someone who claims to be a liberal can be so bigoted. It is not Bush who is the problem. He is simply a pawn. The problem is not Republicans or Democrats or conservatives or liberals, it is all the Jews, they are responsible for it all (of course, some prefer the term Zionist, but I think we both know it means the same thing)! It is only the Jew-run media who say that are only 2% of the country, it is only the Jew-run media that say that Jews have voted solidly Democratic for the past 50 years. And it is only the Jew-run media that say that Jews were less likely to support war with Iraq. Amazing.

All I can say is, thank God for the State of Israel. Had you been around during Nazi Germany, I have no doubt that you would have marched along with Hitler. Why not? After all, he has said many times what you have said only instead of "Israel" he believed the “true” loyalty was to the Soviet Union. The entire rationale for the Holocaust was exactly what you have said in your post. It is because of people like you that racism, hatred, and bigotry will always find a home inside the mind of the paranoid and it is because of people like you that I am reminded always of why the Jews need their own country, today just as ever.

Israel exists because certain people can never accept the fact that other Americans do things and think things you disagree with (like invade Afghanistan or Iraq). No, it must be something else, something more sinister and cunning... the Jews.

You, and those like you Barbara, are disgusting to me and a far cry from the tolerance and freedom once exposed by the left, the same ideology that once fought the same filth against blacks have now used the same tactics against Jews.

You may reply to this message if you like, but I think it is clear where we both stand.

I hope you continue to post your thoughts on our “Jewish problem” Barbara. I hope others can read and see how hatred against any group can so pollute the mind and incite the imagination. Thank you for your time.


Geoff Ericson - 12/2/2003


Or at least most Americans WANT to believe that we live in a nation of laws, not men. And Bush knows this, and knows that actions consistent with it will win votes. So he takes a little personal risk, gets some great campaign ad footage of himself upholding American traditions and putting his body where his sound bites have been, supporting the troops.

Period.

End of story.


Jesse Lamovsky - 12/2/2003

Shelby Foote has Holmes shouting at Lincoln, "Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!".

Knowing what we do about Lincoln's personal humanity and humility (his war policy aside), as well as his fondness for off-color jokes and stories, it's hard to imagine a different reaction by the President to Holmes's blunt-spokenness.



Mike Almer - 12/2/2003

Ok, I get it. These are not the confused and bizarre comments of a Bush apologist as I first thought. This is Barbara Bush talking. No, it's Al Franken and his plumbers up to some dirty tricks by trying to make Bushaholics sound strange. YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE MR. FRANKEN. YOUR FINGERPRINTS ARE ALL OVER THESE GUYS SO YOU CAN JUST KNOCK IT OFF!


Barbara Cornett - 12/1/2003

I consider myself to be a liberal.

During the Clinton years there were several Jewish people who played prominent and major roles in his administration. There was never any discussion of Jews or zionists at that time. There was never an appropriate reason to make an issue of their Jewishness because their efforts represented the needs and interests of the United States which was exactly what should have been expected of them or anyone else who serves in our government. So neither I nor anyone else had a problem with their being in a Presidential administration.

Today it is impossible to discuss the Bush adm or their policies without discussing Jews, zionists and Israel. - Their whole policy is based upon that - and that is my problem with them. Not one American benefits from our policy in the middle east. Do they? If so please tell me how? I would like to know what I am getting out of all of this. We just get to pay for it and for our welfare client Israel. That is an outrage. The Zionists have hijacked the government and are using it to further their Zioists goals without caring about this country. They just want to use us to further their own goals. If I am wrong I urge you to explain to me how I am wrong. If you cannot do that then your accusations that I am anti semtic are baseless since I have every right to protect my country from its enemies foreign and domestic.

These Zionists have created conditions that make it ok to hate Arabs and to harm Arabs. Why should they be given special consideration themselves? They have used the most powerful military machine on earth to slaugher Arabs. That is prejudice and hatred. They are doing it with my money and in my name. There are not words or thoughts that I can put on a page that expresses my anger against them. There is nothing that can be said in their defense. They are doing to Arabs what Hitler did to them.

I never said Jews control all American policy. They do control our foreign policy today from the white house and it is a radical policy that goes against everything we have done in our history. Read the article by Soros. It makes excellent points about this policy. The policy originated with PNAC. That is my contention. If it is wrong then please correct me. The Congress has gone along with this policy and I believe they have done so because of Iraq's oil and so we could maintain economic supremacy by controling it - in addition to the powerful Israeli lobby.

I know that Jews helped defeat Jimmy Carter for reelection and I belive that Jews have enormous power, wealth and influence in this country in the government and in the media. I believe they have a powerful PR machine and I believe the information contained in the links I gave you.

The point is that all of this would be irrelavent IF the Jews were using their power on behalf of the United States rather then Israel. IF they were using their power in a constructive way rather then what they are doing which is runious to us. That is the whole reason behind why I don't like what is happening. If Jews in the Bush adm were carrying out policies that were based upon the best interests of the citizens of the US there would be absolutely NO problem. But that is not the case is it? That is why I say that they are not Americans and that they don't love America the way I do. Their actions prove it. They are acting on behalf of Israel, not the US.

I believe Zionists have dual or complete loyality to Israel. Absolutely. They are using the power of the US to carry out their agenda for Israel. You cannot be loyal to two countries.

Jews whose families arrived here anytime are real citizens.

Jews in the white house and PNAC who are the ones I was referring to do not care about our history or our country. They don't care about our culture or our people. They come from a European background and are grounded in European history and concerned with the middle east and they are carrying out policies that are dangerous for America and the world and for our future. They have turned every country on earth against us and they don't seem to care. They intend to start a war in Iran and Syria and other places.

The fact is that if Al Gore were in the White House we would never have adopted the policies of PNAC. Congress would never have started a war in Iraq. There is every reason to believe that Gore would have acted upon the warnings that Clinton gave the Bush adm regarding bin laden, as a result 9-11 may never have happened. The Zionists wanted an excuse to carry out war in the middle east which was the stated PNAC agenda and 9-11 allowed them to sell it to the American people. They are still using 9-11 to sell war and to crack down on freedom at home.

The Bush adm gave money to the Taliban and asked for a pipeline. There is nothing to suggest that Gore would ever have done that. The Taliban was held in contempt by Clinton/Gore who never sought a pipeline in Afganistan.

The UN attempted to keep us out of war in Iraq. The UN has a duty to inspect Iran and demand that they make no nuclear weapons. The Bush adm took us into Iraq in disregard of the UN and our allies and most of the rest of the world. It wasn't the UN who took us into Iraq it was the Zionists in the white House.

I believe the Zionist Jews in the White House orchestrated the attack on Afganistan as part of the policy of PNAC to rearrange the middle east. If a US citizen becomes a terrorist and enters Canada and blows up a building should Canada attack and invade the US? Terrorists are not countries. Israel has demonstrated that you don't end terrorism by attacking innocent victims with tanks and helicopters. Bush had been negociating with the Taliban in order to get a pipeline. They had given them millions of dollars and promised them a 'carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs'. There is every reason to believe Taliban aided Al Queada and that bin laden attacked us first because they knew Bush was searching for a reason to invade and attack them.

I don't know that Jews were less likely to support invading Iraq then the general population. I know that the population was lied to in what has been described as the most lying administration in history. I know that the policy of PNAC is to lie to the people because Strauss believed that the people were not smart enough nor do they have what it takes to do what is necessary which is using force to get whatever you want and against anyone who disagrees with you. Put PNAC in a google search and find this information about them and draw your own conclusions about what these Zionists have done and the extent of their crimes.

Not everything about PNAC is stated on its web site. You need to research Strauss and his teachings and do reserch on Kristol and the others. How is it legitimate to invade another soverign nation? How is it legitimate to 'shock and awe' a defenseless people so that Arabs will fear Israel and Jews? How is it legtimate to carry out an agenda that is dangerous to the US? How is it legitimate to take over the US government and use us on behalf of israel. I see nothing legitimate about it. We should be forcing Israel to abide by UN Resolutions instead. The president happens to embrace this policy because he is too stupid to know what is even going on. He stated after major fighting had been declared over that we invaded Iraq because Saddam wouldn't allow the inspectors in. He makes speeches that he has memorized and which he has no understanding of.

On my father's side we can trace the family back to the beginning of this country. My family has fought in every military, economic and political war the United States has ever had. Unlike the people who came here recently and whose ideas and memories have more to do with Europe and the middle east then the US.

My people are my fellow Americans, not Israelies. My people are the ones whose loyality is completely to the United States of America.

I regularly visit a web site of Mexican Americans who petition our government on behalf of Mexico. They are recently trying to get our government to do something about the fact that several women have been murdered in Juarez, Mexico. I kid you not. They put out petitions and ask people to sign them in order to get Congress to act regarding issues in Mexico. They are demanding that our Congress do something to find the murderers of these young women and to make the place safe.

They have recently asked people to sign a petition to demand that the fence along the border between CA and Mexico be torn down. They demand that Mexicans be allowed to come here illegally. They demand that Mexicans be allowed to have dual citizenship. What do you think about them? Are they my people? I don't consider them to be my people even tho they have american citizenship and I feel the same way about zionists who use my country to further the welfare of the state of Israel which I have come to dispise.

Regarding the Malasian leader. There was an article on HNN within the past couple of weeks that was about antisemtism that is beginning again in Europe and around the world. The Malassian president's words were reported in the news during this time. The whole situation made it look as tho antisemtism was also in Malasia and the leader's words were evidence of that. I made the statement about the leader in order to clarify the situation and for no other reason. The leader was angry at soros and made the comment about Jews. It is a fact however, that in this particular case, Soros, a Jew, did manipulate the economy of Malasisia. The leader was correct about that. Soros was the one who acknowledged his role in the leader's statement. It was said by Soros, not about him by me or anyone else.

Jews make enormous efforts on behalf of themselves and Israel above the rest of the people in the US and then expect the rest of us to consider them to be just like us. Well I'm not a Zionist. I'm not a Jew. I'm not an Isralie. I am furious that my country has been dragged into the middle east and that people over there are now targeting my country for terrorist attacks because of the pro Israel stance and the power that Jews have in Congress and in lobbying congress.

In the United States, Black people are not lobbying Congress on behalf of Africa. Irish Americans are not lobbying Congress on behalf of Ireland. Greeks are not lobbying Congress on behalf of Greece. Italians are not lobbying Congress on behalf of Italy. French people are not lobbying Congress on behalf of France. Indians are not lobbying Congress on behalf of India. Japanese are not lobbying Congress on behalf of Japan. Chinese Americans are not lobbying Congress on behalf of China. You get the picture? My attention is not drawn to ANY of these other groups whom I consider to be my fellow Americans and my people because they consider themselves to be Americans.

Along with having wealth and power comes responsibilities. I am not attacking Zionists in a vaccum.


Cram - 12/1/2003

Barbara,
I find the accusation of anti-Semitism to be accurate given your statments and your sources of information. Correct me if I am wrong, but you believe the following:
Jews control all areas of American policy
Jews have a duel loyalty to Israel, and
Jews whose families arrived here after 1900 are not "real" Americans.

To me, you may brush it up however you like but it displays the hallmarks of anti-Semitism. On to your points:

1) "The Malasian President said what he did based upon the actions of Soros, not because he is a raging anti-semite."

By what evidence do you base that claim, and are you saying that you agree with the PM's statments? If so, there is nothing me, or anyone else can say to circumvent your hatred. What if I were to say that Africa is full of anumals and savages, and that all blacks in America could not be trusted, and were not real Americans anyway. Would you call me a racist? Why?

2) "Now they are planning on invading Iran which Israel has stated is NOW their greatest enemy, since we illiminated their number one enemy Iraq"

So you believe that the UN is run by Jews since they were the one's who send inspectors to Iran and it is they who threaten sanctions against the Iranian government? Do you also believe that the Jews orchestrated the attack on Afghanistan or do you think we actually had out own motives? Also, since Jews were less likely to support the Iraq war than was the general population, how do you respond to that?

3) "The people at PNAC are for the most part Zionists who follow the philosophy of Leo Strauss."

If you go to the statment of principles on the PNAC wab-page, can you point out something decietful or inaccurate? Their goals and policies are perfectly consistant with their stated ideology. If the President happens to embrace this legitimate objectives, how is that the fault of the Jews?

4) "As a person who is descended from the founding fathers I have a right to be disturbed that these people are tearing down everything that my people have built and everything this country stands for."

Everything your people have built? And who are "your people"? Since most of this nation came after the founding fathers have all dies, and since most of the country was built in that time, how can you claim that "your people" are the sole builders of this nation? What about blacks, Asians, Italian-Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, Eastern European-Americans, and so on and so on. Do these people have no say in this country even though their ancestors have as much a claim to this country as someone like yourself, who can trace their liniage all the way back to Washington??

Finally, I have one last question, just for my own knowledge. Do you identify yourself as a liberal, a conservative, or something else? Just curious.


Barbara Cornett - 12/1/2003

I was wrong about the timing of Bush's visit to Iraq. Mr Luker is correct about that. He is also the one who fanatically chimes in to take others to task for ad hominem remarks and then he attacks and says belittling things to me rather then addressing my comments. You should practice what you preach mr Luker, I most certainly am capable of learning. I am not a professional writer nor do I have an editor. I am merely posting in a forum and of course I make grammatial and spelling errors. So what? I'm not here as an English professor nor am I a journalist who gets paid for what I post. I should not be held to professional standards and you should be concerned about the ideas and statements I make regarding issues and not worry so much about my grammer and spelling and typos.

In my comments regarding anti-semitism I referred to articles published by HNN, I am not the one who brings the subject up, I just thought all the facts should be heard. The Malasian President said what he did based upon the actions of Soros, not because he is a raging anti-semite. That is of historical importance since HNN has been talking about historical antisemtisim.

Cram -

The people at PNAC are the ones who planned the policies of rearraging the middle east. Isreal is the one who benefits from this policy. The people of the United States are harmed by these policies and we will pay and pay and pay as a result. You cannot name one way in which you or your family benefit from these policies unless you put your zionism ahead of your US citizenship and the United States. Now they are planning on invading Iran which Israel has stated is NOW their greatest enemy, since we illiminated their number one enemy Iraq, and the only thing stopping them is their knowledge that the people of the US are against their policies of continual war and revolution and they are worried about stealing the next election. Do a google search and learn about the pernicious philosophy of PNAC and then get back to me. They believe in continual war and they believe in spending into bandruptcy. Wolowitz has stated publicly that he hopes some states go bankrupt.

The people at PNAC are for the most part Zionists who follow the philosophy of Leo Strauss. In - 1944 - Strauss becomes a US citizen. That means he came to this country recently which is true of most of the others at PNAC.

http://members.tripod.com/Cato1/strauss-bio.htm

As a person who is descended from the founding fathers I have a right to be disturbed that these people are tearing down everything that my people have built and everything this country stands for.

Dual Loyalities

http://www.jewishtribalreview.org/government2.htm

Donald Rumsfeld's parents immigrated to
the United States from Russia and Poland after the First World War.

Bill Kristol's parents immigrated here after the war.

http://www.balochistanpost.com/item.aspx?ID=4309

Most of the people at PNAC immigrated to this country recently, you do the research and see for yourself and then get back to me.

Please let me know if you find anyone there who is not a recent immigrant. I know about the Bushes and Quayle of course.

Here is an interesting article you might want to read

http://world.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/2522


The fact is that these people have given us a hugh debt and are carrying out policies that go against everything the United States is supposed to stand for. They are tearing down the US and taking us down a road that will lead to our destruction and that makes them my number one enemy.

I used Soros' statements because I fully agree with what he says except that I know he advocates US policy in foreign lands based upon how those policies line his own pockets and without regard for the welfare of the people who live there.


Ralph E. Luker - 12/1/2003

I'm not sure that Ms. Cornett learns anything. Her post begins with a point built on a typo. It is simply factually incorrect. See: http://patterico.blogspot.com/2003_11_01_patterico_archive.html#107013870323894834. Beyond that, we could do without the anti-semitism ad nauseum.


Jerry West - 11/30/2003

-
My point too. :)

I guess we wore this one out. -:)


Steve Brody - 11/30/2003


Well, what is universal in this universe? :-)


Jerry West - 11/30/2003

-
The press would probably have no idea if it were the case. The command is intuitive.

And you will note that I did point out that for some of them it was genuine support, maybe even most. But, I bet that it wasn't universal.


Steve Brody - 11/30/2003


We WERE talking about Hillary, until you brought up the Sarg’s letter. Imagine, a soldier complaining.

As for whether the 600 were cheering on command, I’m sure the press would have been all over that like a cheap suit. But if that’s the case, I’m sure it will come out and you’ll report it to us.

My paper ran a number of photos that sure seemed to show a lot of thrilled GI’s. Coulda been trick photography, I guess.



Cram - 11/30/2003

Barbara,
I believe in my last post, I said sir, when I should have said Ma'am. Sorry for the semantic slip.


Cram - 11/30/2003

There is no need to repeat such anti-Semetic garbage. Reading articles on the Middle East, I am more than familiar with biggots such as yourself.

Quoting "a Jew" that agrees with you is as foolish as a tactic racists often use by quoting blacks, with the thinking that if you can get a few of "them" on your side, it gives your argument credibility. In fact, sir, it does nothing of the sort.

1) "I have always claimed that the Zoinists who planned the war in Iraq and who are now in control of George Bush."

First of all, say what you mean, don't tiptoe around the issue, what you really mean to say is Jews, right? In any event, I would appricie it if in the future, you name names. Who are these "Zionists" who planned the war on Iraq??

2) "the WH care about Israel and what is in their best interest rather than caring about the best interests of the US. As such they are our enemies."

Again, do you have any specific names, or is it just the same vast Jewish conspiracy that killed Kennedy, funded Hitler, and blew up the WTC?

3) "They are Zionists who have come to this country recently and what they are doing is more in the tradition of the terrorist Ariel Sharon then it is Washington, Jefferson and the founding fathers."

As a Zionist who was born and raised in this country and whose first loyalty is to my country, I am curious as to who these people are who recently arrived and yet managed to take control of the entire government.

Remember, those evil Jews can't just control the WH, that would not be enough. They also have to control the leadership of BOTH parties, since that is what it took to go to war against Iraq. And of course, since those same Jews contorl the media, I wonder how you found out this "truth?"


Cram - 11/30/2003

NYGuy,
I would definitely agree, she is no Bob Hope. However, if she does, as many others in Congress do, visit Afgganistan or Iraq, I say, more power to her. It is her right as a legislator to check out the facts on the ground.

You are absolutely right, the media do keep dwelling on her (non) candidacy, even checking the NH primary list of names to see if she secretly added her name to it. She is a darling of the media, I can't deny it. In fact, MSNBC continues to ask watchers, "Will Hillery Run?" All the talk and speculation amazes me given the fact that she has continuously denied any interest in running. Amazing.

As always, I appriciate your gracious post, and look forward to many more debates in the future.


Barbara Cornett - 11/30/2003

The troops were gotten out of bed at 6:00 AM in the morning so that they could be served turkey and all the fixings instead of bacon and eggs, by George Bush in order that he could have a photo op and steal Hillary's thunder.

The troops had turkey instead of breakfast and THEY had to know it was for Bush's political benefit while the people at home are lied to by the sorry excuse for a media who have done everything they can to promote Bush's lies and propaganda. No wonder he can strut like an arrogant fool. He knows he can do anything and not be called on any of it.

I have always claimed that the Zoinists who planned the war in Iraq and who are now in control of George Bush and the WH care about Israel and what is in their best interest rather than caring about the best interests of the US. As such they are our enemies. They are Zionists who have come to this country recently and what they are doing is more in the tradition of the terrorist Ariel Sharon then it is Washington, Jefferson and the founding fathers.

Here is what Soros, a Jew, has to say.

"The quest for American supremacy qualifies as a bubble. The dominant position
the United States occupies in the world is the element of reality that is being
distorted. The proposition that the United States will be better off if it uses
its position to impose its values and interests everywhere is the misconception.
It is exactly by not abusing its power that America attained its current
position. Where are we in this boom-bust process? The deteriorating situation in
Iraq is either the moment of truth or a test that, if it is successfully
overcome, will only reinforce the trend. Whatever the justification for removing
Saddam Hussein, there can be no doubt that we invaded Iraq on false pretenses.
Wittingly or unwittingly, President Bush deceived the American public and
Congress and rode roughshod over the opinions of our allies."
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2003/12/soros.htm

unquote

btw, regarding Soros, I would also like to say that HNN put an article on this web site that was discussed by everyone about anti-semtisim that is now rearing its ugly head. This was around the time that the Malasian leader had made a statement to the effect that Jews are maniuplating events in the world.

Of course that sounds very anti-semtic, as tho the Malasian leader is out of his mind with hatred. I think HNN has a responsbility to the truth. It turns out that Malasia's economy was expanding - until - Soros pulled a vast amount of money out of that ecomony with very negetive results. Soros himself admits this in a speech to a group of Jewish people in NYC. I can find the article and post it here if anyone is interested.


NYGuy - 11/30/2003

Cram,

There was not a single fact in your post either and your answer is unclear. If you are saying she is not an announced candidate then you are correct. I don't think your comments can go further than that and if others interprete her actions as if she is running what is wrong with that. For the past several months radio, TV, the internet, newspapers, etc. have concluded that she is running for President. I was just repeating what others are suggesting, just as you are suggesting she is not.

Please note I also respect your ideas and commentary. Although we may disagree on some issues I want you to know that you have made always made well reasoned posts, and at times I have agreed with position. For the most part we have exchanged ideas and I appreciate that. So there is no need to start, " with all due respect", I believe you show that to all you disagree with.

You will note that the theme of this line was the difference between the danger HRC and GW faced in Iraq from Saddam. My position is that she is not important to him and putting her in danger would just hurt the support he gets from democrats in the US. Beyound that I gave my reasons why she made this trip and I concluded that it was a publicity trip which would give her national recogniztion if she were tapped to be the Presidential candidate by the Democrats. Actually I still don't know why she used taxpayer money for this trip at Thanksgiving. She is no Bob Hope.


NYGuy - 11/30/2003

Michael,

YOu obviously were never in the service. "He who jests at scars never felt a wound."

Being AWOL does not determine a man's character. His true worth is when he is tested. Many servicemen who were AWOL at one time eventually earned the nations highest medals for heroism.

What you are obviously trying to suggest is that anyone who goes AWOL is a deserter. It just shows you don't understand the military. If one is returning from leave and is prevented from signing in on time because of various reasons he/she can be AWOL. It happens every day.

So your suggestion says more about you then about a person who actually serves his country in the capacity of a warrior.

When the time came to be a leader and courageous, GW passed with flying colors. That is the true test of a man.


Jerry West - 11/30/2003

-
Try this:

http://hnn.us/comments/24664.html

If it doesn't work, just go looking towards the bottoms of the main page.


Jerry West - 11/30/2003

-
Barbara, the reply is here:

http://hnn.us/articles/1827.html


Jerry West - 11/30/2003

-
BC wrote:

I would like to ask you a couple of questions. Do you think you had a right and a need to know ALL of the news and FACTS regarding the why and wherefores of your being in VietNam? Or do you think the news and facts and debates should have been kept from you by the people back home?

IF and I'm saying IF - this is just for the sake of argument - the war in VietNam was wrong, should the american people continued to support it in order to "support the troops"?

JW:

As Americans I think that military people have a fundamental right to know everything that is publicly available.

As for why we were there, we got a lot of BS training on it, particularly when were not stationed in country. It used to drive our training NCOs wild when the combat veterans (mostly NCOs) would laugh at them during these propaganda sessions.

As for supporting the troops, you have to separate troops from policy. In a bad war the best way to support them is to oppose the war and bring it to as quick and end as possible.

I had no problem with people who opposed the war, except for those who extended that opposition to the rank and file that had to fight it, many who were just as opposed but preferred not to go to prison or become a fugitive.

Some people may be surprised at the amount of resistance and sabatoge that was taking place within the military by the end of the 60s.

Unlike brother Dave, I do think that the war was a mistake, but that is an item for another topic area some day.



Jerry West - 11/30/2003

-
I thought that we were talking about Hilary's visit, of which I have heard little.

As for 600 soldiers cheering for the CIC, it only proves that 600 soldiers can cheer on command, direct or implied. Been there, done that, though not for a CIC. This is not to say that he did not have a lot of fans in that room, but I bet a secret ballot on his popularity might not have brought 600 cheers.

Can you imagine the fate of anyone who would have been stupid enough to boo? An Article 15 at minimum and a lifetime appointment to the Sgt. Major's hate list. :)


Cram - 11/29/2003

NYGuy,
With due respect, there was not a single fact in your entire post. Merely a diatribe against Clinton for some reason. I will never understand the degree of loathing Republicans have for her.

It is not her political ambition since, contrary to Republican hypse, she is NOT running for President. It is not her views on Bush, since she has been relatively tame compared to several of her colleagues in the Senate. Could it be that her husband is Bill Clinton? I think we got it!


Michael Meo - 11/29/2003

Even if he apparently was AWOL most of the time.


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Marianne,

I understand you are trying to make some type of argument but anyone who serves, either in the National Guard or enlists in the services, gets into a lottery and does not know in the beginning if his number will be called. GW was in the service so this effort to try to determine if his number would come up is to me a mindless exercise.

As Churchill said, " he/she who only stands and waits still serves his country." That is how the cookie crumbles. Even someone serving at home can be a hero as the sailor who was guarding the Long Island waterfront was able to capture a few nazi spys who were put ashore from a submarine. So you see anyone in uniform, which GW is one, is still subject becoming a hero.


Marianne - 11/29/2003



NY Guy,

You got a thing for Tim Robbins or something? You his press agent?!
I'm not as impressed with him myself.

The articles I linked to do not seem to be saying what kind of danger (if any) Gore might have been in in Vietnam. Quite the contrary.

My point was that he--a privileged son--enlisted and went. Actually went overseas where there was combat.

My other point was that it used to mean something when someone enlisted and went when their nation was at war and they used to be compared favorably to those who worked to stay home and 'dodge" active service--whether by jumping to the top of a waiting list for the National Guard (like GW Bush) or signing up for ROTC and not attending it when your draft lottery number was "safe" (as I just read Clinton supposedly did).

Some of our most currently hawkish politicians (Dems and Repubs) "had other priorities" like Cheney when their nation called during Vietnam. I find that ironic.


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Dave,

I would only add that a true leader does not ask others to take put themselves in danger if he is unwilling to do it himself. This is something true Americans understand and althoug the risk was real he let everyone know that each of us has to fight for our freedoms, just like his daddy did when he enlisted at 17 years old.

He understands the old saying, "if not me, who?"


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Marianne,

As the old prostitute used to say, "Business is business and love is BS."

Yes I fully understand HRC's position. Since all of the other democratic losers have no plan she is in the best position to challenge GW as she claims she was mislead and therefore she would "modify" his erronious mission if there are any setbacks when her husband suggerts she should be the Democratic Presidential candidate at the DNC when there is no clear opponent.

As I said, HRC is not important to Saddam since hurting her would be loosing his democratic support team in the U. S. But he also understands that like her husband, she lacks common sense and has no back bone. Both are political animals not unlike what we experienced in France during the second WW. So both would be easily malleable unlike GW and his team.

She was used/spard by Saddam to further his own political ambitions.









NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Marianne,

As the old prostitute used to say, "Business is business and love is BS."

Yes I fully understand HRC's position. Since all of the other democratic losers have no plan she is in the best position to challenge GW as she claims she was mislead and therefore she would "modify" his erronious mission if there are any setbacks when her husband suggerts she should be the Democratic Presidential candidate at the DNC when there is no clear opponent.

As I said, HRC is not important to Saddam since hurting her would be loosing his democratic support team in the U. S. But he also understands that like her husband, she lacks common sense and has no back bone. Both are political animals not unlike what we experienced in France during the second WW. So both would be easily malleable unlike GW and his team.

She was used/spard by Saddam to further his own political ambitions.









NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Marianne,

Tim Robbins says that all newsmen, which Gore was one, are puppets serving there master. So those who report about Gore or those who support Gore become suspect in their reporting.

I would rather rely on the observations of a true hero like Dave Livingston who knew what was going on in Vietnam then the opinions of those who sell out.

Gore's father had political power and any sensible young man or GI knew what that meant. He would not be in danger and he wasn't.

The rich and powererful do not send their offspring into danger as you say.


Marianne - 11/29/2003


NY Guy, you wrote:

Admittedly she has her loyal following of "hate America' fans.

You mean people like her who supported the Bush administration when they decided we should invade Iraq? People like her who believed we should quickly send $87 billion to Iraq and Afghanistan as a gift with little oversight of how and where it will actually be sent.

Wow, I never thought I'd see you calling Bush and his supporters "hate America fans"...


Marianne - 11/29/2003



Dave,

First of all, I'm Marianne, not Barbara.

Secondly, my apologies for not including the link to the article where Gore's five month service in Vietnam was mentioned.

The link for the entire Washngton Post series on Gore is here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/goremain100399.htm


The link to the segment where they write about his Vietnam service is here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A52119-1999Dec30¬Found=true




Cram - 11/29/2003

Barbara,
That is absolutely INcorrect! The idea that we should support the troops by supporting the war goes against everything this country was founded on: specifically, that no one man should be responsible for waging war. By suggesting that supporting the troops means supporting the war, one is essentially saying that there can be no war, no conflict, no area of the world where the President cannot go to war, and Americans must always support it.

I would also like to note how partisan and how hypocritical it is for Republicans to suggest any such thing. When Clinton send troops to Kosovo, Republicans were questioning the mission. When Clinton sent troops to Iraq, Republicans were questioning the motivation of the President, accusing him of using the strickes to take attention away from his personal troubles.

Republicans have been crying faul in every foreign policy Clinton undertook, but now that a Republican is in the White House, not only do they support him (which is fine) but they critisize everyone who doesn't. It is hypocritical, it is partisan, and it is Unmerican!


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

I am not asking about whether anyone thinks it was right or wrong, I'm asking if the American people should support it in order to support the troops?

There were many americans who were against the war and who protested. We are now told that we must support troops under fire by supporting the political reasons for war. Is that correct?


Cram - 11/29/2003

A few points:
1) "Moreover, all the short while he spent in-country was spent in a cushy rear echelon job."

Only someone so partisan that they blindly reject anyone who is a Democrat would say such a foolish thing. There was no place in Vietman where your life was in no danger. I think anyone knowledgable about the war, even if they did not serve personally, would admit that going to Vietnam for ANY reason was dangerous and deserves our respect, if nothing else.

2) "But at least, as you said, he went, while scores of other politically connected lads did not scoot west of Bakersfield, including the sons of Texas Democratic Senator Llyod Bentsen & Democratic Governor John Connolly, both of whom served in the very same Guard unit as G.W."

And if those people became president or became staunch supports or all war, or presented themselves as real soldiers, I would be happy to add them to the list of people whose character I question.


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Marianne,

Of course, Bush's visit was TOTALLY unpolitical, right?

NYGuy,

I am glad to hear you acknowledge that. Our I feel our friendship is ripening.:)


Marianne,

YOu miss the point. In general HRC is not worth it. But, it they had done anything to them saddam would have lost his more important allies in the U.S. One thing you can say about Saddam is that he is street smart. He knew she was not worth anything to him. Now GW, someone who beat him, that is a differenc story.


Marianne,

The only thing I like about her is the way the mere mention of her makes right wingers gnaw at their own livers.

NYGuy,

MOthers, fathers, family members and all decent people react the same way, why do you pick on the conservatives and republicans. Admittedly she has her loyal following of "hate America' fans.

Cheers,



Cram - 11/29/2003

I am curious as to know whether the numerous South Vietnamese were murdered by American GI's, or whose villiages were destroyed by napalm appriciate our efforts, not that it would have any bearing on whether or not the war was a mistake.

Either way, I do not evaluate wars based on the opinions of refugees who were victimized by our enemies.

As a matter of courtesy, I urge any American to go to Vietnam and apologize for not granting them their independence and for initiating a war in the small country.

I would then urge Americans to apologize to the familes who lost loved ones in the futile effort, or those brave Veterans who were forced into interveneing in a civil war that we had no place in.

Our conflict in Vientam was beyong error. It was a tragety.


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

The Hack, p.o.ed that he wasn't selected for Brigadier has made a second career of being a gadfly, poking a stick in the Army's eye. Nonetheless, he is correct to say our tactics, the body count as a measure of success, were lousy nor was there ever articulated a sound goal to be defined as victory. Despite that, there is a school of thought that considers the war to have necessary to have been fought as it was.

The body count as a measure of success was a failure because we were faced with an enemy, a Communist dictatorship, not responsive to the will of its people, sour old men willing to sacrifice generation after generation of its young men, if that was what it took to hold on until the Americans tired of the war. We lost the war although we never lost a single major battle. The North Viets admit to having lost over a million men, we lost 58,000. plus however many South Viets.

After we pulled out in '73 the South Virts were able to defeat the first major invasion launched by North Viet-Nam, the so-caslled Easter Offensive, but by '75 the North Viets worn them down. A principle reason why the South Viets lost was because the Soviets & the Red Chinese kept on supplying arms to the North when we cut off resupply to the South Viets.

Anyone who thinks the South Viets don't appreciate our efforts might go to Westminister, Calif., where the largest Viet community outside of 'Nam exists. There the people, Boat People, established at their own expense in a park a large statue of an American G.I. standing beside an ARVN (Army of the Republic of Viet-Nam). In that park too are two kiosks, one listing the American KIAs and the other the ARVN KIAs during the war.

As a matter of courtesy, I urge any peacenick type visiting Westminister to do nothing so foolish as to laud the murderer Ho Chi Minh or say our fighting there was in error.


Cram - 11/29/2003

Dave,
1) "Chicken Willie was impeached for lying"

"Chicken Willie" was also aquited (that means, Congress found him NOT guilty). He is thus no more a criminal than George Bush.

2) "Once a liar always a liar & none may ever be trusted."

Oh my, I certainly hope you apply this standard to others. While I could prodice a full list, your quuote made clear that one example will do:

On April 26, President Bush said in his weekly radio address, "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax."

That turned out not to be true. A number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax.

3) "For oine thing, there is no doubt in my mind that he sold natuional security secrets to the zRed Chinese in exchange for money. For that he deserves the death penalty."

I hope your call for death includes Ronald Reagan, whose administration sold weopons to Iran, now on the Axis-of-Evil (a list that China was NOT included on).

As for Clinton and the military, I think someone else said it better then I could:

"A commander-in-chief leads the military built by those who came before him. There is little that he or his defense secretary can do to improve the force they have to deploy. It is all the work of previous administrations. Decisions made today shape the force of tomorrow."
-- Dick Cheney during the 2000 campaign.

The first Bush defense budget went into effect on Oct. 1, 2002, and none of the funds in that budget has yet had an impact on the quality of the men and women in the armed services, their readiness for combat, or the weapons they used to destroy Taliban or Iraqi forces.

The Clinton administration also tried to maintain the quality of military personnel by increasing their pay, and it improved retirement and health benefits for military retirees.

http://www.madison.com/captimes/opinion/column/zweifel/9716.php


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Barbara,

I can tell you a bit about snmall-town & rural life, but I cannot fairly compare them to city life, I disliking cities & having lived in them very little during my lifetime.

For starters, I grew up in a small town in SE Kansas, a town that has its eastern city limit the border with Missouri, a town of 2,800 +/- souls. It sets fewer than 70 air miles from where Will REoigers was born & raised in NE Oklahoma. The point of that is that Rogers well represented that culture. For instance, his statements "I never met a man I didn't like" and "I never met a stranger" largely hold true even today in that culture.

Folks there are hard working out-of-doors types (even if their jobs keep them indoors, most are hunters & fishermen). They mostly are church goers. They don't abide liars, men who mess around with their kids or their women-folks. Generally, they aren't hard drinkers. They always "get involved" in community troubles. Two quickie stories,

When I was about 12 we lived about a half block, one of those very short small town blocks, from the local high school. A teacher in the high school did something to get himsaelf tarred, feathered & run out-of-town. I don't know what he did & I don't want to know. I asked my father what the guy'd done. Hre refused to tell me. I asked him a second time & again he refused to tell me. I knew better than to adsk a third time. As I said, to this day I don't know what the guy'd done & I don't need to know. My Papa said I didn't. 'nough said!

Nevertheless, that town with but one Colored family in town was host to two Colored churches. Colored folks from all over that part of Kansas, from across the line in Missiouri & from Oklahoma too, I suppose. They evidently felt comfortable there. I knew no-one who would have even dreamed of hassling the Colored folks. Indeed, once-in-a-while my baby sister would go down to the one on 7th Street to sit outside a window to listen to the Gospel singing.

There was but one Indian family in town as well. Otherwise, they were WASPs, working class, but still WASPs. Folks such as those hold strongly to traditional values. As I was growing up there was but one murder intown over a space of twenty-five years & I haven't the faintest idea about why it occurred.

Those are places where the locals get involved in the running of the town. For instance, my father served on the school board for umpteen years, including as its chairman & yet typical of folks there he served with the little volunteer fire dept. for umpteen years as well as owning z& operating a small business.

The other story is one that relates to a wide spot in the road in South Dakota. A priest laughing about that culture, the same as the one further south, when he told about the time, when he was growing upo, a neighbor called them one evening to say, "Why didn't you turn your lights on?"

City folks might figure that being nosy, but out in the country it was being neoighborly. In a fashion what the neighbor was saying was, "Is everyone O..K.? Do you need help? Should i haul over a first aid kit? Or should I call Sam & Joe to grag their guns & we all come over?"


Cram - 11/29/2003

The Vietnam war was on of the largest foreign policy blunders and crimes in the 20th century. Our motives for going in were stratigically wrong, the rationale for escalation based on lies, and the outcome complete failure.

"The fate of, the horrors visited upon, the South Vietnamese people subsequent to being conquered by Communist North Viet-Nam" is testimant to nothing other than the cruelty of the communists but does nothing to support our intervention in what was essentially a civil war.

"The Vietnam War was a disaster from its bad beginning until its tragic end. It killed four million Vietnamese and over 58,000 Americans. Millions more, Vietnamese and Americans were wounded by shell or shock and the war came close to ripping our country asunder. With the exception of the Civil War, no war wrought such long range damage to the American soul."
-- From "Vietnam: Few Heaven-Born Captains" by David Hackworth
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/reflect/hackworth.html


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Barbara,

Your comments are interesting but it is not analysis. It is typical of what we have come to expect from people like you. Whether on radio, tv, HNN, the thoughtis if I throw out enough propaganda I will win the fight. As I said this is typical of the Clinton Presidentcy.

It is what critics on the HNN are upset about since their is no analyis of the current situation, which is what HNN wants to emphasis, and has no conclusion or point to make.

We all know that like Clinton you are smart. But, like Clinton you lack the capacity to provide sensible answers or reasons for your post.


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

since you say that most 'rustics' are conservative could you tell me why that is?

You say democrats are the party of big government. What is big government?


Bush has given us a historic debt. It equals the total of every administration going back to Harry Truman. Do you call that small government?


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Barbara,

Perhaps I missed it, but I saw nothing in the "Post" story staing that Al's Viet-Nam tour was first shortened from the standard 12 months to seven months & thence, again for having politicalpull, to less than four months. Moreover, all the short while he spent in-country was spent in a cushy rear echelon job. But at least, as you said, he went, while scores of other politically connected lads did not scoot west of Bakersfield, including the sons of Texas Democratic Senator Llyod Bentsen & Democratic Governor John Connolly, both of whom served in the very same Guard unit as G.W.

Whilst Monday Morning Quarterbacks are complaing about G.W.'s service they invariably, ever so conveniently, fail to mention he became a highly qualified jet fighter pilot.


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Barbara,

Correction, the war in Viwt=-Nam was NNOT wrong. It was fought in the best interestsa of the people of (So.)Viet-Nam, in the best interests of the United States and in the best interests of the Western alliance.

For evidence of these facts, you might check out the book"Vietnam: the Necessary War" by Univ. of Texas (non-veteran) historian Michael Lind & perhaps dig into the "Wall Street Journal's" archive for the essay written by Kennedy Administration policy wonk Ernest Lefever, titled Vietnam's Ghosts published on 21 May 1997. Both publications make strong cases for the need of the war having been fought pretty much as it was, Leftist & Soviet inspired propaganda to the contrary.

If nothiong else, the fate of, the horrors visited upon, the South Vietnamese people subsequent to being conquered by Communist North Viet-Nam is itself tetimony that we were correct to fight the war.


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Jerry,

I agree w/ you point-for-point, save I never was offered the opportunity to go to a USO show, but I don't intend to complain, caz I may not have gone, even given the opportunity--I'd probably have druther have stayed in my hooch reading. Nonetheless, it was a fine thing that Hope & others did.


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Barbara,

Thanks for the "Boston Globe" op-ed piece. G.H.W's opinions are to be respected. After all, not only did he serve as VP & as President, he also served as Director of the C.I.A.

All that said, he represents a wing of the Republican Party & of the Washington establishment in general with whom I am most in disagreement, those seeking a one-world gov't & in so doing are more than willing to sell down the river the Constitution.

In any event, anyone with strong opinions will generate opposition of one sort or another. As a possible portend for the future, my baby sister, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat & Democratic Party activist has become a vocal fan of G.W. But she is living in California & married to a Federal employee has a vested interest in the big government policies of the Democratic Party. Still & all, she's married to one of my fellow VN War veterans & as she & I, he's a rustic. If you hadn't noticed, most small-town dwellers & country folk are inherently conservative to a considerable degree.


Mike Almer - 11/29/2003

NYGuy:
This Democrat has not criticised Bush for visiting Iraq. Visiting the troops was a good thing. I just view his visit, a bit cynically, mainly as a photo-op carefully planned by Bush's political handlers who are stung by those complaining about the Pres avoiding any photo-op that might include any flag-draped coffins. I'm only mildly surprised that they didn't think to have the former pilot fly Air Force One into Bagdad by himself, hopping from the plane to the tarmac in uniform, warrior-like, for the cameras.

As for my "cheap point", you may be too young to recall the Vietnam War but when the draft was in force the ONLY reason men joined the Guard or Reserves was to avoid being drafted. Those who opposed the war and joined to avoid participating acted more honorably, in my mind, than did those like Bush, a Chicken Hawk who preferred to let others do the sacrificing while he beat the war drum. No one in the Guard today fits the Bush profile and I certainly intended no disrespect to those who serve in those units. Don't you find it a little peculiar that Bush maintains absolute silence about the details of his fast track entry into the Air National Guard and his behavior while "serving?" It's not humility, it's more likely shame that keeps his lips sealed. As for me, I was one who supported the war, volunteered for the draft at 19 and sent to Vietnam where I later came to see the folly of that endeavor. Considering Bush's tawdry military history, I think someone ought to lighten up on the hero rhetoric.


Cram - 11/29/2003

Once again, I feel I must include the obvious fact that those who believe one thing will call the other side partisan. Clearly Barbara (as well as myself) are partisan, as are you ("you" being whoever reads this, as I am willing to wager that everyone on this board has a clear perspective on Bush).

Read through the posts on this article alone and see if you can find people calling our former president simply "Clinton" or blasting the Democrats for something or other. The idea that calling Bush Bush and not President Bush is an insult is absurd, and ignores that fact that most famous people and politicians are called only by their last names, such as Lincoln or Roosevelt. See what I mean?

I agree, we do need to have a more reasoned discouese. But I find these attacks on Barbara's opinion to be hypocritical given the natures of these debates on both sides.

"Even if your facts are sound and you believe that you are not injecting opinion, your tone needs to be that of a reasoned and sane individual who has more to their position than the proverbial axe to grind."

I could use the same quote to dozens of posts on the HNN for dozens of issues and articles. However, I find it likely that it will only be reserved for those whose political positions someone disagrees with.

Appeals for civility from those who utilize the same tactics is far to frequent these days. I say, right or left, Democrat, or Republicans, say what you like, that is what this message board is for!


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Cram,

You are of course correct, political satire has gone to extreme lengths in the past and in many ways was probably worst. As I remember this was generally during peace time. In the past the majority of politicians became Americans and did what they believe is best for our country.

Were we disagree is that just about all of us can be clever and go beyond the bounds of what is in the countries best interest, whether it is cheating on our taxes, on government benefits, on your employer, shirking ones duty etc. Of course we also have the criminal who are also smart and know how to beat the system. We all understand that.

But that is not what makes us great. It is those who run into 110 tower building to help others, brave soldiers who do extraordinary things to keep us free, parents who try to raise responsible children to be good citizens and play by the rules of decent civilized societies.

I claim that the former President and his minions considered themselves clever by operating in the first area I mentioned before, which says that there is no morality, there is only winning. And lawyers are told if they want to be moral they should go to Divinity school.

Yes indeed I do believe that Clindton, Begalia, and the others poisioned the politiccal well with their selfish win at all costs philosophy, and the American people be damned.

Now with the U. S. at war, that mentality is sinking to new, lower depths in the slime.


Marianne - 11/29/2003


NYGuy,

What I found interesting about HRC's visit was the relative mobility she had to travel around--first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq compared with Bush. Heavily guarded, yes, but what a fabulous coup it would be for the Saddam brigades to assassinate her!

So she particularly would have made a tempting target--more than most senators wouldn't you agree? For propaganda purposes alone. Her going there was pretty brave, political motives or not. Of course, Bush's visit was TOTALLY unpolitical, right?

As for tax payer dollars, I'd like to spend more tax payer dollars to send all our legislators over there to see conditions in Iraq first hand BEFORE they blithely GIVE (not loan) eighty seven billion dollars of money we don't have to the cause. Of course, HRC voted for that already. And she spoke highly of re-building over there...

For the record, I am no Hillary fan. The only thing I like about her is the way the mere mention of her makes right wingers gnaw at their own livers. But then, they get so much fund raising done invoking the spectre of her running for prez...so I guess it evens out.


Marianne - 11/29/2003



I'm not a Gore or Clinton fan, but Gore went to Vietnam when he could have chosen a cushier out as GW did as Cheney did, as many young men of that era did. Democrats too.

This article in the Washington Post cites his term of service there as five months, not four, but nevertheless, he went.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A44095-1999Dec28¬Found=true

If you're saying choosing National Guard service stateside as Bush did was somehow more patriotic or more of a genuine personal sacrifice...well, not being a veteran myself, perhaps I don't get the distinction.

To me, this is an admiinistration that engages in war at the same time they disrespect those who fight. With an administration rife with non military veterans--combat or otherwise--the contemptuous way triple amputee Viet vet Max Cleland was smeared, and his record distorted by Republicans in his bid for re-election was an outrage to me, an opponent of the war who nevertheless was raised to honor and respect those who fight--whose brother served in combat over there.

In one of the Post articles about Gore's decision making about going to Vietnam, someone advises him in 1969 or 1970:

"If you want to be part of the country 25 years from now, if you want any future in politics, you've got to serve,"

Times have sure changed, haven't they?


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Barbara, Honey,

You are fun to read for the kooky notions you've developed. Kinda like the saffron-robed panhandlers in airports you serve a social purpose by reminding the rest of us there actually are such weirdos in the world.

Your typo "b"illions is a mite more aggressive than most of my frequent typos.

Yes, Chicken Willie was impeached for lying. Whatever he lied about is beside the point. Once a liar always a liar & none may ever be trusted. This is one reason I'd like to intoduce you to a soldier or two, it would be an eye-opening experience for you, I suspect. For one thing, you'd better understand why Willie is so despised by most G.I.s. In the Sewrvice, a soldier is kicked out & sent to prison for committing adultry, but our cowardly former Commander-in-Chief was let off the hook for the same crimes. In regard to nailing him for other crimes, ones involving money, nothing provable in a court of law as an impeachable offense was presented to the Senate, but that was because Democratic Senators chose to turn a blind eye to Willie's manifold crimes. I'm satisfied history will paint him nearly as evil as he is. For oine thing, there is no doubt in my mind that he sold natuional security secrets to the zRed Chinese in exchange for money. For that he deserves the death penalty.


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Marianne,

As a former reporter I am well aware of how reporters can slant the news with anonomyus, and unsupported statements. Meanwhile we learn from Tim Robbins in his new play that newsmen are only puppets doing what they are told to do. This article seems to support his point.

By the way if HC's trip was so important why was media coverage restricted so that the Iraq's didn't know she was there. What does media coverage have to do with her visit on taxpayers money. Is she running for President. Hmm. So now we have Snow White and the nine dwarfs as the democratic candidates for President.

By the way what Iraqi officials did she speak with and why did the reports who cover her fail to put out the news. Seems TR is right, the newsmen are puppets and do the bidding of their masters. Perception of an Iraqi meeting is as good as than a non-existing meeting.

Actually she was on TV in the US before GW arrived, but may they did not see on their radios in the boonies. This reporter was really on top of things.


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

Or: How I got my degree at Fox network.

HA! the source of Mark Steven's post is L. Paul Bremer!! what a hoot! http://www.cpa-iraq.org/transcripts/20031009_Oct-09Bremerpresscon.htm

http://www.command-post.org/2_archives/008647.html

Gee he is a reliable source we can all trust! he has no vested interest! he never lied to us before!! yeah right!!!

1. regarding battalions - source - http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2003/n09172003_200309178.html

quote
The original plan was to take two years to train 27 battalions. But based on the experience with the first battalion, Slocombe said he believes with appropriate resources it can be accomplished in one year.

"(We can) do it by focusing on leader training and using the pool of soldiers (from the old army) who have already had basic training to form effective units,"
unquote

in other words its the same old army we supposedly had to go there to defeat - If 60,000 Iraqis represented an enemy army before how can they now be a good thing? Were they brainwashed or something? Please explain.

2. Bremer's statement that the courts are up and running is a lie. It sits between the other lies he and others in this adm constantly tell and has bookends that are also lies.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/iraq/2146125

Our invasion of Iraq is what disrupted the courts of Iraq in the first place so Bremer is a liar and a lout to pretend that Bush has resorted a justice system in Iraq.

Under Saddam there were people who could get away with murder and other crimes just like Bush got away with illegally stealing an election and Ken Lay gets away with stealing the life savings of old people. So Americans should not feel too haughty or superior to Iraq and Bush deserves not one ounce of credit for the court system in Iraq. If Iraq had a meaningfully independent judiciary they could put Bush on trial and charge him with illegally invading their country. That would be something to boast about.

3. For those interested in Iraq's power here is more info

http://www.usembassy.it/file2003_10/alia/a3100607.htm

The fact is that the US had an embargo against Iraq and had already bombed them back to the stone age in the first Gulf War. For ten years we controlled two thirds of their air space. The condition of their country was as much our fault as Saddam's. It is important to remember that Bush asked for and got another 87 billion dollars of OUR tax money. The republicans refused to allow a rider on that bill that would prevent US corporations from committing fraud and stealing from the US taxpayer or the IRaqis. The companies rebuilding Iraq are getting paid handsomely to fix their infrastructure so Bush deserves no credit for turning the oil over to ExxonMobile which gets to keep the profits which SHOULD have gone to pay for the rebuilding. Another point lost for Bush.

4. Iraqi schools and universities

http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/accomplishments/education.html

REMEMBER - YOU are paying to build schools and universities in IRAQ while ExxonMobile got their oil! Our schools are crumbling. The University of TN has made drastic cuts in education and has even cut back requirements for certain courses in an attempt to save money. Teachers are so underpaid they are leaving the state in droves. But we hear that teachers in Iraq are making "12 to 25 times their former salaries". Thats OUR money!

5. REMEMBER - WE are giving Iraqis UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE at the very moment that repubicans are PRIVATIZING Social Security and Medicare and putting our health system up for profit!!!

6. We are the ones who destroyed Iraq's infrastructure and it is being rebuilt so that Haliburton can get their hands on YOUR tax dollars. Not out of the goodness of Bush's heart.

7. ha you can get all the satellite dishes you want in Iraq! Just don't expect to be able to get any real news because Bush has seized the Arab tv channels equipment and shut them down! So much for democracy! Be like Fox network or no tv for you!

8. Iraq's banks

The U.S. government's efforts to reconstruct Iraq's banking sector have been plagued with problems surrounding the new and untested government in Baghdad, no rule of law, and increasingly reluctant bank partners. http://www.forbes.com/newswire/2003/10/17/rtr1113324.html

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/business/20_11_03_d.asp

9. ha! journalists are being killed in Iraq and many are complaining that US soldiers have targeted them.

Iraq has always had newspapers

http://www.thepaperboy.com/country1.cfm?PaperCountry=Iraq

10. Saddam's sons should have been taken alive and we should have gotten intelligence information from them. They would have known where any WMD were if the adm had really been looking for them.

11. We killed more innocent children then Saddam ever could. we killed them during the first gulf war and we killed them in the recent slaughter and we killed them with the embargo. Bush killed them so he could steal their oil so there is no room for him to brag that he has done anything for them.

12. quote Political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed,maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam unquote

right you are - Political opponents are imprisoned, tortured, executed,maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Bush

On the one hand rightwingers strut around announcing that Bush is unlike Clinton and that he really kicks butt and lets the terrorist know that we will get them. Then you turn around and act like Bush is a saint and the Iraqis love him because he is so good to them. Which is it?



Marianne - 11/29/2003



"Thirty Seconds Over San Antonio" and "the Clinton recession"...

teehee--those are both good ones.


Dave Livingston - 11/29/2003

Mike A,

Your complaint about G.W. not going to 'Nam is tiresome because a) it is so oft repeated by folks who themselves never served in uniform, b) I did go, Lieutenant, 1st Infantry Division, 1866-7; Captain, 101st Airborne, 1969-70 & was WIA toward the nominal end of my 2nd tour & I'm not belly-aching about GW for havimng served in the Guard, c) serving in the same Guard unit with GW were the sons of such prominent Democrats as Senator Lloyd Bentsen & Governor John Connolly, but no-one ps & moans about them dodging the war. Ergo, your complaint is nothing but partisan politics, which IMHO has no place on this site. BTW, I'm no Republican. Nonetheless, I, as do many, if not most, former & active duty G.I.s, despise your faitr-haired boys, the Bastard from Hope, who is a rank coward IMO & Al the less than four months as a copyboy vet of 'Nam & a pathetic compulsive liar.

That Al is a compulsive liar & aware he would have been booted out of the armed forces for his habit of lying was doubtlessly one reason, if not the only one, that he a college grad chose to not to seek a commission, but rather was satisfied to serve as a REMF EM.


Cram - 11/29/2003

NYGuy,
I must take exception to your claim that "Clinton has so poluted the political process that some people can't tell the difference between being patriotic and being a spinmeister."

"Spin" is as old as politics and transends both parties. When Bush makes a mistake or says something that is later used against him, what do we see? The same thing we saw with Clinton: spin.

Furthermore, most historians agree that while not the only things, the principle factors that contributed to the cynicism towards the political process was Vietnam (by a Democrat) and Watergate (by a Republican). Both of those things predated Clinton.

I should also remind everyone that while Bill Clinton was impeached, the man was aquited! Carl Rove is as much a political genius as Dick Morris was if not more so.

I am not going to get into the already waging debate on the pre-war statements by Bush, or on the leaked name of a CIA official from the White House, or the No Child Left Behind rhetoric compared to reality, or the claim of bipartisan policy, all I will say is that Bush seems to me to be no different then Clinton was in the "spin" area.

This is not meant to be an insult (although I am sure Bush-fans will consider it one), merely the political reality that the current process for selecting a President is designed to produce politicians and spin-doctors above all else and that is exactly what it does.

In the meantime, fans of Bush may continue to say that "oh no, this guuy is different," which is exactly what fans of Clinton said, and what fans of whoever the next president will say. The policies and the ideology may be different, but the spin will always remain.


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

clinton and tim robbins are bozos which of course means that bush is a genius.

The world sure is getting to be a better place for oil men and haliburton. you got that right.


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

gee thats interesting Steve, I would like to read it. Did you find it at Fox news?


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

Bush doesn't care about the troops. His only motive for going to Iraq was POLITICAL. He uses the troops to help him politically! Shame on Bush! Impeach Bush!

http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/politics/article/0,1406,KNS_356_2464808,00.html


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Barbara,

You may call it patriotism, but making up false unsubstantiated stories is view differently by most other Americans.

Yes, I understand our former President was a lawyer and morality and honesty were not part of his profession. And he has taught his party that using the tacits of the court room you can often beat your opponent. We see these tactics every day as lawyers spew forth their concocted stories for their client.

But, Clinton has so poluted the political process that some people can't tell the difference between being patriotic and being a spinmeister. Worst they don't care. But neither does the democratic party.

The best line I hear recently is by Congresswomen Norton. We should get out of Iraq since the terrorists are picking off our soldiers one by one, just like Sgt. York.

Meanwhile, another patriot, Tim Robbins says newspaper men sell out and are only puppets. Many have agreed with him on the NY Times. He got rave reviews in LA which has one the highest levels of poverity in the country, but the rich have cheap labor. So much for concerns about their fellow Americans.

That is why it is refreshing to have leaders like GW and his team who live in the real world and make it a better place.


Steve Brody - 11/29/2003


Jerry, I read that hundreds of soldiers cheered when Bush said they were not going to leave until the job was finished. You can bet there are even more of them


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

Bush visited the troops because it would have been obvious and much talked about if he hadn't. Given the precedents set by other Presidents he had to do something.

He looked as scared to visit Iraq as he was to visit Great Britian. He looked as scared as he did after the election was stolen for him and he had to meet Bill Clinton in the White House for a photo op. Poor little scared George is way out of his debth. Its lucky he could hide on Air Force One on 9-11. He told reporters later that he was just "trying to get out of harm's way". Its ironic that after sucessfully avoiding the war zone in VietNam that he had to expose himself in Iraq. Poor thing. Fate tricked him.

He has never attended a funeral of any of the fallen GIs. HNN should do an article about other presidents and their visits to funerals and body bags coming home. He has yet to confort their families. He attends fund raisers but not funerals. He attends fund raisers but not occasions when body bags come home.

It would have been political suicide for him to not visit Iraq on Thanksgiving. The coverage on tv has been minimal. It would have been on the scale of his landing on the SS Abraham Lincoln if the reception by the GIs had been favorable rather then resentful and angry.

Bush now has a policy of never allowing reporters to talk to GIs. Any GI who speaks to the press and says negetive things about being in Iraq is reprimanded by their superiors.

Bush has to hide like Saddam and bin laden, his family friends and contemporaries and former business partners. bin laden and Saddam don't like Bush any more because he stole their oil and fought against Islam. There is no honor among theives.


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

Dave and Jerry - thank you for your military service.

I would like to ask you a couple of questions. Do you think you had a right and a need to know ALL of the news and FACTS regarding the why and wherefores of your being in VietNam? Or do you think the news and facts and debates should have been kept from you by the people back home?

IF and I'm saying IF - this is just for the sake of argument - the war in VietNam was wrong, should the american people continued to support it in order to "support the troops"?


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

Hello Brian, stick around and I'll teach you who I am.

I'm the one who will kick little George's butt. This pathetic alcoholic was never elected. He was in a drug induced coma into his 40s. luckily god takes all losers and he could get help other then Betty Ford, which he obviously needed. he had the office stolen for him and his own father disagrees with the poltics of the zionists and oil men who lead him around by the ears, taking the Bush name into infamey and putting it right up there with the Hitlers, Pol Pots, Papa Docs, Stalins and every other mass murdering tyrant. Little George is too stupid to know what is happening.

George Sr has given Ted Kennedy, the man who represents the opposite of little George's philosophy the 2003 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/10/18/bush_srs_message_to_bush_jr/

read it and weep.

There is nothing scholorly about people who mis-state Bush's actual policies and who put republican propaganda on this board. It is typical of republicans that they arrogantly think they should be able to put their propaganda out into the public realm, even at a site of history and historians and then demand that everyone else walk in lockstep or else be called la di da 'unscholoraly' of all hoity toity things. kiss my grits.

True discorse is it? Its true discorse you want and of course that means making a dunce who looks like Alfred p Newman into a statesmen. it ain't goin to happen. That would require devine intervention. It would be easier to make a monkey look presidential.

Send your children to christian school, this is a public forum.

My tone is not one of a sane and resoned individual? And your going to fix that are ya Brian. bring it on


Barbara Cornett - 11/29/2003

Hi Dave, it never ceases to amaze me the way that some people are so adept at completely ignoring what is right under their noses.

Didn't the republicans impeach Bill Clinton for lying about sex after spending millions of dollars investigating his businesses and finding nothing against him and that he had committed no crime? Now we live in an Orwellian world where war is peace and presidents can lie about the reasons for taking us into war. Bush stated that Saddam had wmd and we had to defend oursleves. It was a lie. Does that not matter to you? Now you blandly state that Saddam didn't have weapons we just went over there to make sure he never gets them. Pre-emptive war is illegal and undemocratic. Does that not matter to you? Besides, Israel is ample evidence that bombing, attacking and killing innocent people does not end terrorism. How sweet and innocent and right you make it sound. You can be as calm as the nursery of a sleeping baby. But the truth is the truth. Bush lied to get us into Iraq. He committed high crimes and misdemeanors and he should be impeached for it even tho he was never elected in the first place and carried out a radical policy against the wishes of the people.

Are you sure Bush is fighting terrorism? Are you certain that is why we invaded Iraq and Afganistan? In Afganistan the Taliban is back and so is Al Queda, but Bush has his pipeline. In Iraq we have been such a failure that Bush is quickly trying to turn Iraq back over to the Iraqis, but ExxonMobile has Iraq's oil and we have three military bases to defend it for them. You figure it out if you can.

Tell me this. Why did Bush and the republicans refuse to spend 5 billion dollars to defend our ports, nuclear plants and borders? A report by a former republican senator and others who had done a study said that we are extremely vunerable and weapons could easily enter our ports and unprotected borders. Republicans gave the rich a tax break but said we couldn't afford 5 billion dollars. I watched the debate on C-Span. Please explain why Bush refused to protect our country if you think he went all the way to Iraq to fight terrorists.

Secondly, the only weapons saddam ever had were weapons given to him by the Reagan administration. Rumsfeld was in Baghdad when Saddam was fighting Iran. There is also new evidence that shows that it was Iran who gassed the Kurds.

The US deterred the former Soviet Union, another superpower for 50 years. We couldn't deter Saddam? Saddam would actually commit suicide by attacking us? yeah right. What was he going to attack us with, they didn't even have planes to put into the air to defend themselves against us. Yet you say he was planning to attack us????

Bush lied. and furthermore he broke international laws established at Nuremberg when he waged aggressive war against another soverign nation. Lies about sex are important but international war crimes are not serious? in the world of rightwingers. I thought we were a nation of laws and not men?? We used to be anyway. back when clinton was in the white house. The republicans pre-emptively saved the free world from monica.

If Saddam had wmd he could not have delivered them to US soil. He had no means. Saddam tried many times to accomodate bush and prevent war. He tried a back channel effort right before bush invaded and was ignored by this adm. The imspections worked. Bush wanted Iraq's oil and was determined to invade in order to get it. That is why we went into Iraq. Bush lied.

The Saudis, the ones that this administration adamently refuse to attack are the ones who were funding and training Al Queda. Not Saddam. There has been no evidence found that connects Saddam with Al Queida.

Terrorists groups are not countries. They can exist anywhere. The terrorists who attacked on 9-11 were trained to pilot planes in - Jeb Bush's Florida.

If a US citizen were to become a terrorist and go into Canada and bomb a building should Canada attack the US?

"Shock and awe" was all about putting the fear of God into the Arab people. It is part of the philosophy of PNAC to use force and TERROR to utterly destroy all economic enemies or anyone who is inconvenient or gets in our way. Is that what the United States of America stands for?

So we impressed the ISLAMIC world that as a result of Al Queda and their attack on the US they lose Iraq's oil?

Show me the connection between Al Queda and Iraq. Saddam never armed or trained terrorists and no connection has been made between them and that has been admitted by the Bush administration. Its awesome the way the media and the rightwing propaganda machine can put lies out there and long after they have been discredited the rightwingers keep repeating them and using them to justify their political beliefs. Do you believe the earth is flat?


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Mike,

The Democrats are now critiziing GW for visiting a war zone and now you are critizing GW for not visting a war zone. Looks like they have all bases covered. Thus you question his courage. Very convincing.

The problem with this article is as Marianne says, HNN included Bush Sr., a courage war veteran, when he visited the troops when they were making preparations for the Gulf War. His son GW was also in the service. Now to make a cheap point your demean all members of the National Guard.

The difference betweem GW and Clinton is leadership of which the key elements are character, vison and courage.

Becase of GW's leadership we are now coming out of the Clinton recession he inherited and he is making a safer and more prosperous world.

Unfortuneately both you and Barbara are caught in a quagmire of past history and can not see what he has accomplished.


Jerry West - 11/29/2003

-
Interesting pile of data. Do you have references to the primary source material and is it available on the net?


Mike Almer - 11/29/2003

Any way you score it Barbara beats NY Guy. She's lucid and convincing and he's, well, he's not. I believe this thread began with comments about Presidents visiting war zones. Let's not forget Bush had an opportunity to visit a war zone in 1968 and consciously chose to avoid doing so. While praising the war he preferred to let others serve there. Where was his courage then? And this is all true. I read it in his war memoir, "Thirty Seconds Over San Antonio".


Brian P. Hodge - 11/29/2003

Good job, Mark!

Is that enough for you, Barbara?


Brian P. Hodge - 11/29/2003

Who are you, Barbara? Ad hominem attacks and partisan opinion are the only things reflected in your diatribes. I, too, thought that this forum was for scholarly discussions. Your style of ranting can be found anywhere on the internet. Can't there be one space for true discourse?

You are obviously passionate about your topics regarding President Bush(please use his title, and not simply his last name--I am so tired of people disrespecting the office if they disagree with the person). I agree with some of your concerns, but hyperbolae is not the American way to make your points with other intelligent people of reason(if only we could consider all members of Congress to be so considered). Even if your facts are sound and you believe that you are not injecting opinion, your tone needs to be that of a reasoned and sane individual who has more to their position than the proverbial axe to grind. Hopefully, your next posting will not include statements regarding how President Bush was not really elected by the majority of the people. Please, no more red herrings or rantings. I send my children and students to this site for thoughtful and respectful discourse. Let's try to keep things in that vein.

Thank you.


Jerry West - 11/29/2003

-
I haven't heard much yet except that the media coverage was subdued. Be interesting to see what pops up on this over the coming weeks and months as more troops are heard from directly. I bet that there are a variety of opinions. I read a letter today from an SFC in Iraq calling the war a "ridiculously unnecessary conflict." You can bet he is not alone.


Jerry West - 11/29/2003

-
Thank you for the kind words Guy. I did enjoy Thanksgiving, no matter where it originated. It was (and still is for another day or two) a good bird. Burp!

I am fortunate to be able to celebrate two Thanksgivings every year, what a deal. Burp, Burp!

It rained a bit here, but what else is new in a rain forest?


Steve Brody - 11/29/2003


Understand she recieved a rather cool reception.

Guess the troops know who is playing them


Jerry West - 11/29/2003

-
I understand that she slipped into Afghanistan too, and while in Iraq ventured farther afield than the air base. Not that I am any fan of Hilary's, though. :)


Mark Stevens - 11/29/2003

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on 1 May 2003:
The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty·
Over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.
Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.
The Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 mega watts exceeding the pre-war average.
All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
By October 1, Coalition forces had rehabed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than their target.
Teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
Doctor's salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam. Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
The Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children.
A Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
We have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.
There are 4,900 full-service connections. We expect 50,000 by January first.
The wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.
95 percent of all pre-war bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.
Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.
The central bank is fully independent.
Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.
Iraq (has) a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 yrs.
Satellite dishes are legal.
Foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for minder's and other government spies. There is no Ministry of Information.
There are more than 170 newspapers.
You can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner. Foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go..
A nation that had not one single element?legislative, judicial or executive-- of a representative government, does.
In Baghdad alone, residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.
Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.
25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government.
The Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.
Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.
The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of (a) strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to his zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering their critics.
Children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government.
Political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed,maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.
Millions of long suffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror. Saudis will hold municipal elections.
Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents. Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian --a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Thanks JW. But Tim Robbins has written a play about U. S. reporters and concluded that they are puppets and sell out to the highest bidders.

Thus I find this article very interesting since it shows the same thing happens in Britain. :)

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, even if it did not originate in the U. S. The weather was clear and the number of visitors were booming making it a fun day.

Cheers


Steve Brody - 11/29/2003


While Hillary, of course, slipped into Iraq to spend Thanksgiving with her family.


NYGuy - 11/29/2003

Barbara’s Strawman # 1.

How and when did Bush take on the terrorists? bin laden is the architect of 9-11 and he is living freely in Northern Pakistan with Bush's permission and agreement with the leaders of Pakistan. "forget bin laden" was bush's statement. bin laden morphed into Saddam Hussein. Bush campaigned all across the nation on behalf of republicans during the midterm stating he was going to hunt down evil. Then after the election bin laden was totally forgotten.

NYGuy,

If you have not been reading the papers or watching TV or listening to radiow you don't understand what is happening in the war on terrorism. Than I don’t think you can be educated on this website which has limited space.

Setting up a straw man about the complex world wide problems of terrorism, and then suggesting that nothing has happened over the past two years is indefensible. But you are entitled to your opinion.

Strawman # 2

The people of Afganistan have done nothing to us. They were victims of the Taliban who were able to seize power because we abandoned them after Russia left. They never attacked us. Bush invaded their country and devastated it more then it already was, built the pipeline he had given the Taliban millions of dollars in aid for and then left to invade Iraq. bin laden was angry that we abandoned him and Afganistan and got revenge on 9-11. Which bush boasted was his trifecta.

NYGuy,

Your comments lack consistency but you are entitled to them. You say 1) bin laden was angry with us, 2) he got revenge on 9/11, 3) he lived in Afganistan, 4) the Afganistan people did nothing to us. So you believe we should allow bin laden’s anger to continue to kill American women and children and we should do nothing because he had a bad childhood. Sounds like a typical Clinton and liberal solution.

Strawman # 3

It cannot be said that Bush is taking the fight to the terrorists because there is no evidence that Saddam terrorised us and there is no evidence that the Iraqi people terrorised us. The people involved in 9-11 were mostly Saudis. Bush's good friends.

Bush invaded Iraq, not to fight terrorism, but to seize Iraq's oil on behalf of ExxonMobile.

We are not freeing the Iraqis we are oppressing them and occupying their country.

Now if you wish to claim that Bush is a hero I would like to see your facts. But you cannot claim that Bush is fighting terrorism because those are not facts in evidence. The fact is bush is creating more terrorists. A recent leaked memo by donald rumsfeld worries that what we are doing makes Arabs so angry that they are easily recruited for acts of terrorism.

NYGuy,

So there are no terrorists in the world. That is what your friend President Clinton said, and did nothing about it. Your plan is to do nothing, we have a lot of people and so long as only a few get killed there is nothing to worry about. But, you feel our pain. Hmm. A novel approach that has been used by prior democratic administrations but with no success.

Strawman # 4.

Bush and the republicans fought tooth and nail to deny democrats 5 billion dollars to protect our ports, borders and nuclear facilities. I watched the debate on C-Span. Senator Robert Byrd sponsered the bill and made passioned arguments and pleas for the money. The republicans said no. They claimed we didn't have the money to spare and this was during the time they gave tax breaks to the rich. They are not fighting terrorism and you are gulible to believe that they are. You are in no position to attack Clinton and act so smug about this.

NYGuy,

I did not make a fool of Clinton he did it himself and repeating facts is not an attack. You try to do it with Bush.

Your support of a former KKK member who laces his pockets and his state with taxpayer’s money is something democrats have supported for years. Of course he argued for more taxpayer money to build more statues for himself in West Virginia. He is one of the hypocrite leaders supported by both the democrats and the Black Caucus.

Strawman # 5

I am sick of hearing people claim that Bush is fighting terrorists. The opposite is true.

Clinton may have mistakenly bombed an asprin factory but at least he was targeting the people who were actually the potential guilty parties rather than attacking a whole country and killing innocent civilians and men, women and children.

Bush has yet to capture bin laden and bring him to justice. oppressing the Irqis who had nothing to do with 9-11 is not fighting terrorism. You are merely relying on Bush's lies to make your argument long after the lies have been exposed as lies.

The fact is that Clinton specifically warned the Bush adm about bin laden. Experts say that Clinton did much more to fight bin laden and that the Bush adm completely ignored him and intelligence information about him. They are now hiding that information and preventing congress from investigating what they knew and when they knew it.

NYGuy,

In 1999, British intelligence gave a secret report to the US embassy. The report stated that al-Qaeda had plans to use "commercial aircraft" in "unconventional ways", "possibly as flying bombs." [Sunday Times, 6/9/02] On July 16, 2001, British intelligence passed a message to the US that al-Qaeda was in "the final stages" of preparing a terrorist attack in Western countries. [London Times, 6/14/02] In early August, the British gave another warning, telling the US to expect multiple airline hijackings from al-Qaeda.

Despite this warning, Clinton went to Bosnia later in Novembe of that year and said:

``The number one problem in this whole world today is the problem of Bosnia, the problem of Kosovo,'' he said. ``It's racial and ethnic and religious hatred and dehumanization.
Not only did Clinton do nothing with this warning, he allowed the US economy to go into recession and threw Americans out of work. At the same time he did nothing about the loss of jobs overseas, nor about our illegal immigrant policy.

As for his attack on one of the poorest countries in the world it is just another example of cowardice, not leadership, and that is what outraged decent people.

Strawman # 6

To say that Clinton deserves 92% of the blame is ignoring the fact that the bin laden family bailed bush out of his business failures. It is ignoring the fact that Cheney was making money off of Saddam as late as 1998. It is ignoring the fact that Ronald Reagan and the many people in his administration who are now in the Bush adm are the very ones who armed saddam and gave him his WMD. To blame Clinton is ignoring the fact that Rumsfeld was in Baghdad with Saddam a few short years ago. The people in the bush adm are intimate with the characters whose countries they are now plundering for big business and to enrich themselves. Clinton had no personal relations or history with any of these people.

NYGuy,

I agree, Clinton was in power for eight years and did nothing to protect American citizens from terrorism.

Strawman # 7

Regarding the fact that Bush went to Baghdad and put himself in danger means that we do NOT have control of Iraq. It means that people there do NOT see us as liberators and that they have weapons that they are eager and willing to use against Bush and that they use against our soldiers everyday. They are organizating and getting stronger and they are determined to fight against their occupiers. Bush is now rushing to turn Iraq over the Iraqis and get out before the next election. If he is a hero why is he rushing to get out before the next election.

NYGuy,

As I said, Clinton ruined politics and put our country at greater risk with his legal mentality, which has been adopted by the democrats. Yelling outrageous arguments, “It is only about sex and everyone does it’, Iraqi’s are organizing and getting stronger, Bush wants to turn tail like Clinton and get out before the next election, etc. These are merely the negative rants made by the Democrats since they have nothing to offer and no plan for world peace. It is the type of response one expects from a profession that is rated lower than used car salesmen.


GW is now getting us out of the Clinton recession and world leaders are happy that the U. S. now has a world leader whom they can trust. As a result they have gotten on board to follow his lead to stamp out terrorism.

The fact that your analysis starts from a primitive viewpoint, and ignores the current world situation is not a fault of GW nor of those of us who understand what is happening in the real world. So a shortcoming in your own knowledge base and experience does not justify the comments that you make.

You have little knowledge of analysis and as I said seem to have a legal mind which believes that if you talk enough or throw as many meaningless arguments out as is possible you will win. But that is not true in the real world. It merely shows a lack of knowledge of analysis in which arguments have to be analyzed and each one given weight. Since you are unable to engage in this process we get additional arguments such as the follows, which lead nowhere.

Barbara,

Bush's war against Iraq is a failure. This adm did not know how to wage the war and they don't know how to wage the peace and our GIs are dying.

All bush wanted was Iraqi oil. That is not even secure because the oil pipeline is burning out of control because it was sabotaged by the Iraqi people who realize that it no longer belongs to them and has been stolen.

Bush had the most intense security in the history of the world when he visited - Great Britian - our friend and ally! He is not even safe in Great Britian! The whole world hates him. He has to supress his own people and crack down on freedom at home in order to carry out his agenda. He is the most hated man in the world. Clinton was loved and mobbed whereever he went.

Bush uses the Partiot Acts to threaten anyone at home who disagrees with his policies. He is a tyrant who stole office and is a threat to world peace.

If you have to make up stories and see bush through rose colored glasses that might be an indication that you are wrong and you should rethink your postition.

NYGuy

As others and I have said, this is not analysis it is pre-recorded propaganda. Each one can make of it as they see fit.


Jerry West - 11/28/2003

-
Some will appreciate this piece in the UK press :)

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=467982


Jerry West - 11/28/2003

-
You have to hand it to GW, it was great theater, he might be a better actor than RR.

The carrier landing campaign stunt seems to be backfiring on him, so he needed something to replace it. If nothing goes wrong with this latest photo op it will prove to be a good political move in the 2004 campaign.


Jerry West - 11/28/2003

-
I never went to a USO show during my 19 months in RVN, though I had an opportunity to do so. However, in my units we all appreciated (as far as I can tell) the fact that people like Bob Hope came to entertain us, and there was never any shortage of people to take up the chance to get out of the field for a day or two to do so.

I was impressed with actors like Charleton Heston and Robert Mitchum who actually came out to forward areas and visited with the troops. And I suspect that had Richard Gere or Tom Beringer or even Sean Penn or other top stars showed up in Iraq and made the rounds of the forward areas that would have meant more to the troops than GW dropping by for lunch and a photo op in a rear area.


Dave Livingston - 11/28/2003

In response to Cram's query, Is the morale of the troops so low that only a visit by the President could buck them up, the answer is no. For instance, according to a posting here, President Johnson visited Viet-Nam in both 1966 & '67. At the time I a Lieutenant fighting with the First Infantry Divison wasn't aware he was in-country, nor would I have cared a wit had I known.

This touches on a petty peeve of mine, fighting in 'Nam for 22 months, until WIA I never had the opportunity, nor, frankly, any desire, to attend a USO show. Nonetheless, I always was part of the defensive screen thrown up to protect such shows.

In combat one is concerned principlely about three things, accomplishing the mission, keeping one's buddies alive & keeping oneself alive & hale. All these sideshows for home comsumption weren't at all important to any soldier whom I knew.


Grant Jones - 11/28/2003

According to the news reports I have read, the President was prepared to turn Air Force One around if there was a security breach. The President was concerned that his presence would not cause others to become terror targets.


Dave Livingston - 11/28/2003

Here, Barbara, is an attempt to answer your query:



It is my understanding, largely gleaned from the online service "Stratfor" our purposes for going into Iraq were to knock off the Saddam government in order to 1) eliminate any future risk from his gfovernment's acquiring biological or nuclear weapons. That isn't to say Saddam had them when we attacked, but certainly he was attempting to acquire them.
Of course, one may dispute the wisdom or rightness of our making a pre-emptive strike, but evidently in the opinion of the President of the Uniuted States it was necessary to do to ensure the safety of the U.S. Saddam showed himself quite willing time and again to use poison gas against enemies, Iraqi Kurds & the Iranians during the eight-year-long war, 1980-88, with Iran. Why wouldn't he use other weapons of mass destruction agaibst us, if & when he acquired them? Or equally bad, share such weapons with al-qaeda?

The second reason we took Iraq was to impress upon governments in the region that we would not still for themn permitting al-qaeda and other anti-American Islamist groups to raise funds and recruit terrorists on their soil. If those governments failed to rein in such operations, we'd do it for them.

The third apparent reason we conquered Iraq was to pressure al-qadea directly by a) removing one area of recruiting and fund-raising, which it was using & b) to impress upon the Islamic world that al-qaeda's principle accomplisjments with the attacks of 9/11 were the loss to the West of Iraq as well as Afghanistan.


Dave Livingston - 11/28/2003

IMHO NY Guy & Jack Taylor have the right of it, but Cram has a point that if GW were truly putting himself at extraordinary risk in visiting the troops, he shouldn't do it.


Dave Livingston - 11/28/2003

Grant Jones' observation makes sense from a practical point of view. A hundred guards would have been far too unhandy to utilize. If more than a dozen men were needed to protect the President, he didn't belong there in the first place.


Marianne - 11/28/2003



This news story caught my eye concerning the visits of Bush and Senators Hillary Clinton and Jack Reed to Iraq in the last two days.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/24hour/world/story/1068776p-7493095c.html

Excerpts:

Bush's visit was spent entirely on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport, a 15-square-mile complex heavily guarded by U.S. troops. He flew in under complete secrecy, keeping his plans even from his own parents, whom he had invited to his Texas ranch for Thanksgiving dinner.

News of his visit didn't emerge until he had left Iraq, and given the power outages in some Baghdad neighborhoods Thursday night, that meant many Iraqis didn't hear about it until Friday.

and...

U.S. senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jack Reed spent about 10 hours in Baghdad on Friday and planned another day in Iraq on Saturday after overnighting out of the country. On Friday, Clinton traveled between the airport, coalition headquarters and another U.S. military base in a convoy of civilian SUVs with an escort of Humvees and Apache helicopters.

She met with coalition officials, U.S. troops, a group of Iraqi female politicians and talked briefly with Iraqi workers on the bases. Media coverage was restricted, however, and few Iraqis heard about her trip Friday.


Marianne - 11/28/2003



NYGuy,

I'm not confused about what constitutes a combat zone. That's why I drew a comparison between GHW Bush's Thanksgiving visit to Saudi Arabia visit to the troops PRE Gulf War and Clinton's to Kosovo, POST active combat. And also why I made the reference to previous Bush 43 contentions that back in May, active combat was over in Iraq.

Of course, there is still combat occurring in Iraq. Of course, it was dangerous for the president to visit there. Or even to announce he was coming.

But if Bush 41's visit was to a combat zone then Clinton's certainly was too. You wrote that if fighting has ended, then it is certainly not a combat zone any more.

I contend if fighting hasn't commenced, the same reasoning would apply. And a stronger case could be made that where combat has occurred is MORE a combat zone than where it has yet to begin...But this is splitting hairs. And I don't need to go there.

By the way, I agree the president's visit has probably been a tremendous boost to troop morale. However, I'm not sure this trip alone will be enough to "[show] the world what a great and capabile leader he is."

And meeting with Iraqi officials "from the mayor on up" is all well and good. How about the "regular people" like the school children and villagers Clinton was able to mingle with? When will it be safe for Bush to do that?

Also, posting something about Clinton here does not qualify me as a "Clinton loyalist". In fact, I am not a fan of the former president. I vote every year and I never voted for him. I might have, if it looked like Bush 41 or Dole were going to win, but it never came to that so I didn't have to do the "hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils" ballot.

But I do get tired of hearing Bush partisans continue to invoke Clinton's name as The Great Satan while blithely absolving Bush of any of the weaknesses, failings or flaws in his policies?

Clinton was then. His policies are certainly up for critique. God knows they get mightily shredded around here.

Bush is now. When, exactly, do we (advocates as well as critics) honestly tout up the mistakes and missteps of his administration including the pre-9/11 failures to address intelligence? Just once, I would love to read Cinton and Bush fans cite something their president did that they did NOT agree with. That would be fascinating. And would go a long way to proving that the advocacy around here isn 't actually as it sometimes reads: unquestioning adulation.


editor - 11/28/2003

War Zone Visits

• 1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower, then president-elect, visited Korean battle fronts in December.

• 1966 and 1967: President Lyndon B. Johnson made two wartime trips to Vietnam, visiting troops at the U.S. military command at Cam Ranh Bay.

• 1969: President Richard M. Nixon visited troops at Dian, about 12 miles south of what was then known as Saigon.

• 1990: President George H.W. Bush visited U.S. troops at a desert outpost in Saudi Arabia on Thanksgiving Day, in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War.

• 1999: President Bill Clinton addressed Kosovar refugees and NATO military personnel in Macedonia, two weeks after end of NATO airstrikes to drive Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo. Five months later, Clinton addressed Albanians and shared a Thanksgiving dinner with U.S. troops in Kosovo.

• 2003: President Bush paid a Thanksgiving Day visit to U.S. soldiers in a mess hall at Baghdad International Airport.

-- Associated Press


Grant Jones - 11/28/2003

According to Shelby Foote, Lincoln, in his walk through Richmond, had a bodyguard of ten sailors, plus his son Tad and Admiral Porter. Lincoln landed from a boat in an area of Richmond that was not secured. He was most definitely in a combat zone. In any event, Lincoln did not have a hundred guards with him on his famous walk to the Confederate Capitol.


Michael Meo - 11/28/2003

Dear Cram,

Go right ahead and join them. He who is not with us is against us. Hah, hah.


Michael Meo - 11/28/2003

I do not, Mr Nemo, have the footnote for it, but while Old Abe was rubbernecking with his stovepipe hat on the fort's works, the future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. shouted at him, "Get down, you fool!"--for which plain speaking he was commended by the President.

Note the relevence to Cram's post, and imagine what Dubya might have said.


Michael Meo - 11/28/2003

Mr High,

I must say, you've appeared twice in the same comments section to accuse someone of partisan speech, but both times you ignore the palin fact that the one you are accusing was responding to risibly partisan speech by someone else.

I dub you Hugh High Humor.


Cram - 11/28/2003

NYGuy,
First I would like to say that it was not my intention to offend you and hope you accept my sincere apologies for doing so. I merely wished to defend Barbara by pointing out that we all slip in partisanship in our posts. I do appriciate your comments and think you make some good points.

As for coming over to your side, my friend, I am going to have to turn you down... for now. My own ideological inclination is too disposed to the spirit of liberalism. However, when I see some of these people marching in the streets and comparing Bush to Hitler and Israel to Nazis, believe me, I get very tempted to join you.


Barbara Cornett - 11/28/2003

Could you please tell me what we have accomplished in Iraq?


Barbara Cornett - 11/28/2003

I beg your pardon Mr Hugh High, but you need to point out which of my comments are merely my opinion and not facts because everything I said I consider to be fact and truth and not my opinion. Now tell me what I said thats not fact.

Secondly, when others are forbidden from making grandizing statements about Bush which are nothing but rightwing propaganda, then you can characterize my statements as non scholorarly and inappropriate. I am sick of all the false credit that Bush gets here and then the inevitable comments that any attempt to set the record straight is an ad hominem attack.

People like Hugh High are not able to deny the truth about Bush so they say that comments are ad hominem attacks


NYGuy - 11/28/2003

Cram,

I am offended. I try to be a nice guy and what happens. I post highly intelligent, clear thinking, non-partisan posts and would never think of calling anyone "silly." I am afraid I will have to take a tougher stance in the future. :)

You are raising some very provactative points and I applaud you. One of the things that makes me happy is that I have learned something new during the day and your comments give that joy.

Perhaps our disagreement is that I think the message that terrorists must be stopped by all world leaders if we are to have a peaceful and prosperous world is now accepted by all responsible world leaders. And small spoiler countries have been warned that terrorist actions will not be tolerated. Therefore we may well passed the point were one individual, such as GW is indispensable. Although I believe his leadership would be missed. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of his team are dedicated professions and I don't thing there would be a major change in our world leadership position. It might however effect the next election which could prove your point.

I believe strongly that the rapid changes in the world's understanding that terrorism is a world problem, and that no sensible world leader can support terrorist is well accepted. Of course this leaves out France, Germany and the UN.

One of the things I like to do is look back a few months and a years and see if any changes have occurred. As for the terrorists there is no change in the attitute of these fanatics who hate, except they have been fully exposed and their threat reduced.

When I look at the rest of the world is I see a better chance for peace. When I talk about North Korea, Palestine and Isarel I see that these small countries have been supplimented in the news by the larger world issue of "terrorism." As a result, I beieve we have a better opportunity to eliminate the threats to world peace that these three countries have posed in the past and a better opportunity for a solution because they have been marginalized and told by the world to wise up and get in line.

Enjoy your comments even if we disagree. At least I know where you are coming from and why.

Have you ever considered coming over on our side. You would make a worthwhile supporter of truth :)

Your friend,

NY Guy


Jack Taylor - 11/28/2003

The headlines were Bush's visit to the GI's; the mission was to reassure our Iraqui supporters. He knew he was going into harm's way. That's why he reassured us that his veep was the greatest veep in history. His father (veep for eight years) may have wondered about that statement. I am sure that W. felt the risk was worth it.


Cram - 11/28/2003

Barbara's defense, Most of what is posted here and elsewhere is partisan in nature. I would expect High and NYGuy to be a bit more careful in their critisisms considering the fact that what Barbara has said is just as fair a critisism as the praise given to Bush by others. You might not agree with it, but it is certainly hypocritical to label it "silly, very unsophisticated, and inidicate decided immaturity." One could same the same about many of the pro-Bush rants that I see.

NYGuy, on to your post, I appriciate your comments and I will not dispute your points about what Bush may have accomplished in Iraq. They are certainly worthy goals and I commend him for the effort.

However, given the unstable situation in Iraq, what if something had happened to Bush? America would have lost a President at a time of increasing uncertsainty about the future. While Cheney may be close to Bush ideologically, the event would mark a major turning point in the war in terror and would boost the morale of the terrorists beyond anything I could imagine. It would also demonstrate to the world how vulnerable the US is and most likely prompt a resurgence in terrorist activity.

My point is simply that I don't think it was worth the risk.


D Berinati - 11/28/2003

The more I hear about the business connections between this administration and the mid-East, the more I realize this mideast involvement is not about terrorism or politics or freedom, but all about Business.
Business needs to be severely restricted in its influence over politics. As a start, I'd phase out all tax subsidies for business (why do they have them in the first place?); as a small business owner, I realize how important these are. Nevertheless, it has reached the point where they are fatally corrupting constitutional processes.
Secondly, eliminate the corporation as a legal entity, so it can no longer be used to avoid liability of its actions. A related action would be to place an upper limit on the size of any business venture.
The last thing would be to phase in a tax on oil-related sales to get the US off the cheap oil drug - not so cheap when you consider the military budget 'necessary' to secure mideast supplies. Revenues would have gone to the poor to offset their energy costs and for renewables, but now they will have to go toward balancing the damned budget the fiscally irresponsible party in power has left us with.


NYGuy - 11/28/2003

Barbara,

You sound like a democrat. Nothing constructive to say.

I like your poll at the football game. When I was an editor we used to at least require two to make a trend. Just another example of the depths to which the democrats and anti-Bush people have fallen.

If you don't understand why North Korea is out of the news and the we daily see governments stopping terrorist threats and arresting terrorists, and you don't understand what intelligence means that says Al-Qaeda is cutting back on smaller operations so they can try for one big attack,then their is nothing more that one can add.

No matter what you think the fact is that GW is making this both a more prosperous and peaceful world.

But, this is a board for all points of views and minority positions.

Enjoy your contributions.

Your friend,

NYGuy


Hugh High - 11/28/2003

28 Nov.

Barbara Cornett's remarks,like those noted earlier, really do belong only in overtly partisan fora. [ And, as a personal note, I think they are silly, very unsophisticated, and inidicate decided immaturity -- but that is , as noted, a purely personal observation. ] Certainly they do not merit consideration and I would encourage those interested in rational and scholarly discussion to ignore her henceforth. Certainly I shan't read any further comments by her as I have better uses for my time, such as reading comments by those who are interested in rational, scholarly discussion about historical events.


Hugh High - 11/28/2003


Barbara Cornett's piece here is filled with political opinion, ad hominem remarks, and is very much out of place in a forum which aspires to logical and scholarly discussion. She should find a forum which is devoted to overtly political discussion. This is not the place for it -- as she should know.


Barbara Cornett - 11/28/2003

My reaction to seeing bush's photo ops with the troops is an image of him sneaking and slinking around everywhere he goes. He has to sneak into great Britian and use as much security as he did when he snuck into Iraq. Everybody hates him and he is not safe anywhere. Even in the US people are silenced and Bush has to be protected from his own people.

The fact is that if Bush were to choke on a pretzel (die while in the act of autoerotic asphyxiation) the administration could move right along with its present agenda without a hitch. Bush is no different then a Max Headroom or a computer animation. He just says and does what he is told. He is like Disney's Mickey Mouse. He is a symbol. an empty squeaky rat with a small brain.

As far as France and Germany are concerned, the way that Bush has treated them has caused the EU to begin building their own military power so they can counter tyrants like Bush in the future. Rightwingers have no clue as to how to treat these great nations who are our friends and allies. They think they are playing a viedo game and are responding on that level rather then having any knowledge of how to use diplomacy on an international level, at the level of the President of the United States. They take their clues from championship wrestling rather then US history or State Department level intelligence. That is the level of their thinking and the level at which the republican leadership deals with them and gets their support.

which world leaders follow Bush's leadership?

1. Where is the evidence that he boosted troop moral. Last night during the Dolphin/Cowboy game a reporter talked with troops and one soldier stated that they were ready to come home. He said this even tho soldiers leaders have told them to make no such comments. The National Guard is having trouble recruiting people and there is now talk of a draft. At a recent speech given to troops the administration ordered that no reporter would be allowed to talk to the soldiers, before, during or after the speech. silencing and censoring the troops is an indication that moral is in the sewer.

2. Having to sneak around like bin laden and Saddam and hide like he did on 9-11 is not demonstrating anything but his cowardice and the mess he has gotten us into.

3. We are going to cut and run. they are already working toward turning power over to the iraqis without them even having a constitution to work from so he can get out before the coming presidential election. They've stolen the oil already. Now its on to stealing 'reelection' and invading syria and Iran.

4. He met with the mayor and others that he installed in Iraq and gave them his word!!??? Could you please tell me what bush's word is worth? He said when he was running for president that he didn't believe in nation building. he said that he would hunt down bin laden. he said that saddam had wmd. he said he supported the troops. what in god's name is his word worth?

5. He is sending a clear message to the whole world that he is a tyrant who will use force to get his own way and to beneift rich american elites, crooks and thugs.

6. Fighting terrorism in Iraq???? Please explain. Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.

What does "generate further world wide support for his properties" mean?

7. I love it. war is peace. You lump Israel in with the other countries and call it rogue??? Israel is the only country to benefit from bush's policy of reorganizing the middle east! the only other beneficiaries are haliburton, big oil, corporations rebuilding Iraq and the miltary industrial complex.

why do you think bush asked for another 97 billion dollars?? WE have to pay to rebuld Iraq. Why are we not using the money generated by the sale of their oil? because their oil is not being sold. it has been stolen and turned over to private companies who will make the profits and keep them. duh

The world formerly had respect for the US as a world leader. Now they see us as a world tyrant and a world threat to peace. No wonder bush has to hide and have armies to protect him everywhere he goes.

I didn't see the soldiers responding to him in any positive way. They were cool to him and I imagine he had to be protected from them too.




Barbara Cornett - 11/28/2003

How and when did Bush take on the terrorists? bin laden is the architect of 9-11 and he is living freely in Northern Pakistan with Bush's permission and agreement with the leaders of Pakistan. "forget bin laden" was bush's statement. bin laden morphed into Saddam Hussein. Bush campaigned all across the nation on behalf of republicans during the midterm stating he was going to hunt down evil. Then after the election bin laden was totally forgotten.

The people of Afganistan have done nothing to us. They were victims of the Taliban who were able to seize power because we abandoned them after Russia left. They never attacked us. Bush invaded their country and devastated it more then it already was, built the pipeline he had given the Taliban millions of dollars in aid for and then left to invade Iraq. bin laden was angry that we abandoned him and Afganistan and got revenge on 9-11. Which bush boasted was his trifecta.

It cannot be said that Bush is taking the fight to the terrorists because there is no evidence that Saddam terrorised us and there is no evidence that the Iraqi people terrorised us. The people involved in 9-11 were mostly Saudis. Bush's good friends.

Bush invaded Iraq, not to fight terrorism, but to seize Iraq's oil on behalf of ExxonMobile.

We are not freeing the Iraqis we are oppressing them and occupying their country.

Now if you wish to claim that Bush is a hero I would like to see your facts. But you cannot claim that Bush is fighting terrorism because those are not facts in evidence. The fact is bush is creating more terrorists. A recent leaked memo by donald rumsfeld worries that what we are doing makes Arabs so angry that they are easily recruited for acts of terrorism.

Bush and the republicans fought tooth and nail to deny democrats 5 billion dollars to protect our ports, borders and nuclear facilities. I watched the debate on C-Span. Senator Robert Byrd sponsered the bill and made passioned arguments and pleas for the money. The republicans said no. They claimed we didn't have the money to spare and this was during the time they gave tax breaks to the rich. They are not fighting terrorism and you are gulible to believe that they are. You are in no position to attack Clinton and act so smug about this.

I am sick of hearing people claim that Bush is fighting terrorists. The opposite is true.

Clinton may have mistakenly bombed an asprin factory but at least he was targeting the people who were actually the potential guilty parties rather than attacking a whole country and killing innocent civilians and men, women and children.

Bush has yet to capture bin laden and bring him to justice. oppressing the Irqis who had nothing to do with 9-11 is not fighting terrorism. You are merely relying on Bush's lies to make your argument long after the lies have been exposed as lies.

The fact is that Clinton specifically warned the Bush adm about bin laden. Experts say that Clinton did much more to fight bin laden and that the Bush adm completely ignored him and intelligence information about him. They are now hiding that information and preventing congress from investigating what they knew and when they knew it.

To say that Clinton deserves 92% of the blame is ignoring the fact that the bin laden family bailed bush out of his business failures. It is ignoring the fact that Cheney was making money off of Saddam as late as 1998. It is ignoring the fact that Ronald Reagan and the many people in his administration who are now in the Bush adm are the very ones who armed saddam and gave him his WMD. To blame Clinton is ignoring the fact that Rumsfeld was in Baghdad with Saddam a few short years ago. The people in the bush adm are intimate with the characters whose countries they are now plundering for big business and to enrich themselves. Clinton had no personal relations or history with any of these people.

Regarding the fact that Bush went to Baghdad and put himself in danger means that we do NOT have control of Iraq. It means that people there do NOT see us as liberators and that they have weapons that they are eager and willing to use against Bush and that they use against our soldiers everyday. They are organizating and getting stronger and they are determined to fight against their occupiers. Bush is now rushing to turn Iraq over the Iraqis and get out before the next election. If he is a hero why is he rushing to get out before the next election.

Bush's war against Iraq is a failure. This adm did not know how to wage the war and they don't know how to wage the peace and our GIs are dying.

All bush wanted was Iraqi oil. That is not even secure because the oil pipeline is burning out of control because it was sabotaged by the Iraqi people who realize that it no longer belongs to them and has been stolen.

Bush had the most intense security in the history of the world when he visited - Great Britian - our friend and ally! He is not even safe in Great Britian! The whole world hates him. He has to supress his own people and crack down on freedom at home in order to carry out his agenda. He is the most hated man in the world. Clinton was loved and mobbed whereever he went.

Bush uses the Partiot Acts to threaten anyone at home who disagrees with his policies. He is a tyrant who stole office and is a threat to world peace.

If you have to make up stories and see bush through rose colored glasses that might be an indication that you are wrong and you should rethink your postition.


Steve Brody - 11/28/2003


You're right, Marianne, Bush had 8 months to deal with UBL. Clinton had 8 Years. Shall we assign, say, 92% of the blame to Clinton and 8% to Bush?

But actually, the real difference between Clinton and Bush is how they chose to deal with the war that the terrorists declared on us. Clinton chose to bomb an asprin factory in Sudan and an empty Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.

Bush chose to take the fight to the terrorists.

I like Bush's approach.


NYGuy - 11/28/2003

Cram,

When you present a well reasoned opinion it is appreciated and you present ideas that are well worth considering.

My reaction is that this was not a photo-op and GW did not just go to be with the troops.

My position is that GW is the only true leader in the world today. You notice we don't hear much from those other two European guys, I think they were from France and Germany, nor from that other UN guy, I think he was a President or some other type of big shot.

Bush has now articulated a clear policy of defeating terrorism in the world which is now being followed by world leaders.

Therefore, this trip accomplished several important missions for his Foreign Policy.

1. It is certainly true he did boost the morale of the troops in Iraq.

2. He showed his atrong leadership as the Commander-in-Chief to all our troops in the U. S. and other overseas areas and helped restore the respect for both this title and his title of President.

3. He presented an on site message to the Iraqis that we are not going to cut and run.

4. He met with the Mayor and top Iraqi officials and gave them a face to face assurance that we would keep our word.

5. He sent a clear message to our allies that we mean business.

6. He showed the world how serious he is about his fight on terrorism which should generate further world wide support for his properties.

7. He sent a clear message to North Korea, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iran and other rogue countries that we are not talkers, but that he is following through on his plans to restore peace in the world.

This trip made world wide news headlines. And with his brillant economic policies is getting the U. S. economic engine recovering which will provide growth for the rest of the world. And, in the process he has restored respect for the U. S. as a true leader.


NYGuy - 11/28/2003

Marianne

I figured since HNN included GHW Bush's pre-Gulf War visit to the troops in this piece that the point was not a POTUS visiting troops in an active combat zone, but rather a president visiting troops in any combat zone: active or not.

NYGuy,

Seems like you are confused with a combat zone. According to Ex-President Clinton,

``The time for fighting has passed,'' he said. ``Kosovo is for you to shape now.''

If fighting has ended than there is no combat zone. Oh, I forgot we are dealing with the Clinton loyalists and it all depends on meaning of “is.”

Meanwhile, the Senior Bush was preparing for war, that is why the troops were in Saudi Arabia,

Meanwhile, the newspapers, TV, internet, report the number of killed and wounded in Iraq on a daily basis. Hmm. When soldiers are in areas where they are subject to attack it is called a combat zone. When fighting ends the combat zone becomes an occupied zone if the soldiers remain.

Marianne

"Risked his life...." Well, yes, there's no doubt about it. It's not safe for GW Bush to go speak directly to Iraqis the way Clinton was able to meet with the Kosovars.

NYGuy,

GW did meet with all the Iraq officials from the Mayor up. But the main thing is he boosted the morale of the troops and showed the world what a great and capabile leader he is.

Marianne

As to 9/11: Presuming Clinton completely disregarded the threat of bin Laden (which I don't), why didn't the Bush administration move against him pre-9/11?

They certainly have had access to all the intelligence data Clinton had--and which you and others feel was sufficient for Clinton to act with IF he was only half the president GW Bush is--and more since they took office.

Clinton

Even though NATO peacekeeping troops have sought to protect both sides, attacks on Serbs are still almost a daily occurrence. Of an original Serb population in Kosovo of about 200,000, roughly half have fled. U.S. and other military authorities say they cannot effectively act as police and international civilian agencies need to move faster to arrange elections and bring in the money and other resources needed to rebuild.

At a time when some in Congress question whether the U.S. military is spreading itself too thin by taking on peacekeeping duties in the Balkans and elsewhere, Clinton told the troops their work is of vital importance to the world.

NYGuy,

Marianne the answer is simple. As you see Clinton was aware of Al-Qaeda’s plan to use commercial aircraft to attack America in 1999.

“In 1999, British intelligence gave a secret report to the US embassy. The report stated that al-Qaeda had plans to use "commercial aircraft" in "unconventional ways", "possibly as flying bombs." [Sunday Times, 6/9/02]”

Clinton disregarded this intelligence and in Kosovo said:

``The number one problem in this whole world today is the problem of Bosnia, the problem of Kosovo,'' he said. ``It's racial and ethnic and religious hatred and dehumanization.

If he disregarded this vital information in 1999, as well as the experience he has with Al-Qaeda in 1993, then he was not concerned with a terrorist threat in 2001. This fits into the conclusion that Clinton did not tell Bush about the threats to the WTC since he did not think it was important even though it existed for 8 years during his Presidency.

But, getting back to Bush, at least he was willing to put his life on the line for this great country.


Cram - 11/27/2003

I know I am going to get slammed for this but personally, unless it is absolutely neccessary, I don't think modern Presidents should put their lives in danger to visit troops simply for a photo-op, or even out of a genuine desire to be with the troops.

While the President is the Commander in Chief of the military, he is also the head of government. As such, while they always look good and present the President as a "man-of-the-people" kind of guy, the President has no right to willingly put his life in danger for more or less political reasons, or even reasons of personal conviction.

Unless someone can deonstrate that troop morale is so dangerously low that only a visit by the President will improve the situation, I would just as soon see the President safely managing the federal government.

Before everyone jumps all over this message, by the way, I am not in any way saying that our troops don't deserve to see their President or that his presence doesn't significantly boost spirits. Simply that when the state of the national economy, and perhaps the global economy rests on the shoulders of one man, the benefit of taking the risk rarely (but sometimes) is woth the potential for disaster. The VP, Congressmen, cabinet members, but not the President.


Cram - 11/27/2003

Thank you Marianne,
Well said.


Marianne - 11/27/2003



I figured since HNN included GHW Bush's pre-Gulf War visit to the troops in this piece that the point was not a POTUS visiting troops in an active combat zone, but rather a president visiting troops in any combat zone: active or not.

Clinton visited the troops in Kosovo five months after the military action there was declared over according to these articles.

GW Bush visited the troops today...how many months after the active combat was declared over in Iraq...?

I know that declaration made on the deck in the flight suit has been rescinded and recently acknowledgment has been made that indeed our troops are still facing organized aggresion.

"Risked his life...." Well, yes, there's no doubt about it. It's not safe for GW Bush to go speak directly to Iraqis the way Clinton was able to meet with the Kosovars.

The bin Laden reference smells a little like a red herring to me in this context--especially attaching culpability for his continuing freedom to roam the world solely to Clinton.

Where is Osama? Why hasn't GW Bush found him by now?

As to 9/11: Presuming Clinton completely disregarded the threat of bin Laden (which I don't), why didn't the Bush administration move against him pre-9/11?

They certainly have had access to all the intelligence data Clinton had--and which you and others feel was sufficient for Clinton to act with IF he was only half the president GW Bush is--and more since they took office.

According to this site,

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/main/essaytheytriedtowarnus.html

there were a variety of tips about an imminent terrorism threat to the U.S. pre-9/11. If you're going to hold Clinton's feet to the fire for not preventing 9/11. Why not Bush's?


Nemo - 11/27/2003

The article leaves out the most significant instance of an American president in a combat zone. Has any other president ever come under enemy fire (while president)? The following is taken from an internet site:

Fort Stevens
Washington District of Columbia
American Civil War
July 11-12, 1864
On July 11, Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early's exhausted Confederates reached the outskirts of Washington near Silver Spring. Skirmishers advanced to feel the fortifications which at the time were manned only by Home Guards, clerks, and convalescent troops. During the night, veteran units from the Union VI Corps disembarked from troop transports and marched north through the streets of Washington to bolster the defenses. On July 12, Early was finally in position to make a strong demonstration, which was repulsed by the veteran Union troops. In the afternoon, VI Corps units sortied against the Confederate skirmishers, driving them back from their advanced positions in front of Forts Stevens and DeRussy. President Lincoln watched the action from Fort Stevens and came under fire from Confederate sharpshooters. Recognizing that the Union Capitol was now defended by veterans, Early abandoned any thought of taking the city. Early withdrew during the night, marching toward White's Ford on the Potomac, ending his invasion of Maryland. "We didn't take Washington," Early told his staff officers, "but we scared Abe Lincoln like Hell."

Result(s): Union victory

Location: District of Columbia



NYGuy - 11/27/2003

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Yugoslavia (AP) - "Five months after the U.S. military led NATO to victory in Kosovo", President Clinton came to this remote Army base to tell American troops ……….

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

UROSEVAC, Yugoslavia (AP) - "Five months after" NATO bombs broke Serbia's grip on Kosovo, President Clinton urged schoolchildren to forgive oppression and pleaded with their parents ….

Sporting a hooded black jacket with the

“1st Infantry insignia on the chest”,

end to the sectarian violence that still grips the province.

``"The number one problem in this whole world today" is the problem of Bosnia, the problem of Kosovo,'' he said. ``It's racial and ethnic and religious hatred and dehumanization.

Bosnia was Clinton's number one problem. What vision. Did he not want to know about Bin Laden? What a leader, doesn't even know what is going on in the world.

PS: I think HNN was trying to point out our courageous Presidents who were not afraid to put their life on the line for their country.


James Jones - 11/27/2003

Thanks, I needed that.


Marianne - 11/27/2003



And William Jefferson Clinton.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/1999news/11_25_w2.htm

http://www.seacoastonline.com/1999news/11_23_w2.htm


NYGuy - 11/27/2003

Wow, GW, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Johnson, Bush, Sr.

And of course you forgot G. Washington,and Andrew Jackson.

Ladies and Gentlemen we have a winner.