Dude, Where's My Country?- Soldier's Letters
Michael Moore from U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq.
Familiar, Haunting Words
"...On that night, Hitler used this dry, unimaginative language to
start a world war that was to kill 60 million, and they stopped
Last night [March 20, 2003], George Bush, after speech after speech of
this same dry, flat, banal language, started a war for his country,
and we can only beg the skies to keep it from spreading into another
Bush's Iraq Visit a Pre-Election PR Stunt
"...The turkey has landed," ran the front-page
headline in the London daily Independent.
The daily Vanguardia, published in Spain's second city Barcelona,
noted darkly that "George W Bush does not attend the funerals of
soldiers killed in Iraq, but has dinner in Baghdad with those who
dream of coming home alive."
"George Bush becomes the first US president to visit Iraq in order to
provide the television pictures required by his re-election campaign,"
it said, noting that Hillary Rodham Clinton, "his undeclared
Democratic opponent," was on her way to Baghdad from Afghanistan.
"Liberation noted that more than 430 US soldiers had been killed in
Iraq, 184 of them since Bush declared an official end to the war on
May 1, and quoted a Gallup opinion poll this month showing that 54
percent of Americans disapproved of the way the post-war situation was
being handled." -
France-Presse (AFP), 11/28/03
Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies
"..The F.B.I. is dangerously targeting Americans
who are engaged in nothing more than lawful protest and dissent," said
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties
Union. "The line between terrorism and legitimate civil disobedience
is blurred, and I have a serious concern about whether we're going
back to the days of Hoover."- Eric Lichtblau, NY Times, 11/2003
President Ought to be Ashamed"
"..During his six years as a United States
senator from the conservative state of Georgia, Max Cleland was known
as a moderate Democrat. He drew the wrath of liberals in 2001 when he
broke ranks with Democrats and voted for President Bush's tax cuts,
and last year he backed the resolution authorizing Bush to wage war
with Iraq (though on that vote, at least, he was joined by some
Today, though, Cleland has emerged as one of the president's harshest
critics, especially about the war he voted to authorize. Today, he
says, it's a move he deeply regrets, as he scans the headlines from
Baghdad. "I feel like I have been duped, I don't mind telling you,"
Cleland admits. "Everybody in the administration was selling this used
car. The problem is all the wheels have fallen off the car and we've
got a lemon."
Cleland, perhaps known for being a triple amputee Vietnam vet, lost
his Senate seat last November in a race that has gone down in history
as typifying the GOP's take-no-prisoners approach to politics. The
disabled veteran was smeared as soft on terror because he didn't back
Bush's version of homeland security legislation.
Now, outspoken and blunt, he's furious about the White House's
handling of the war with Iraq, which he calls a disastrous "war of
choice." And he mocks the administration's claims that Saddam Hussein
and Osama bin Laden were allies. "They had a plan to go to war [with
Iraq], and when 9/11 happened that's what they did; they went to war."
- Eric Boehlert,
Salon Magazine, 11/21/03
Massachusetts high court OKs gay marriage
"The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled
Tuesday that civil marriage licenses in the state must be made
available to same-sex couples in 180 days." -
Rostow, Gay.com/Planet Out Network, 11/18/03
Casualties from Iraq War Top 9,000
"The number of U.S. casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom- troops
killed, wounded or evacuated due to injury or illness - has passed
9,000, according to new Pentagon data."-
report: 94 percent of those in six units
had pay problems
WHILE NATIONAL Guard soldiers fulfill their duty, risking their lives
around the world, the Pentagon apparently is not living up to its
obligation to pay them the right amount or on time. That’s according
to a new congressional report obtained by NBC News, which finds the
Pentagon’s pay process is
such a mess it’s having “a profound financial impact on individual
soldiers and their families.” Lisa Meyers and the NBC
Investigative Team, 11/12/2003.
Dying for AIDS Drugs
"As the growing AIDS epidemic slams up against
state austerity measures, ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program ) has
descended into crisis, and Republicans in Washington have refused to
intervene. As of early October, more than 600 people with HIV have
been denied access to medications through the program. Three states
have tightened income eligibility requirements; five have restricted
the list of drugs they cover, hampering competent treatment; thirteen
have capped their programs, leaving the sick to languish on waiting
Esther Kaplan, The Nation, 10/16/2003
Bill Moyers on big media: The lobbyists overpower the people on FCC
"Big Media companies keep getting bigger -- with
more and more power over our lives. This week's deal between General
Electric (GE) and Vivendi means that GE'S NBC, which helped elect
Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor of California, has just picked up not
only Universal Studios, but the USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels to
go with CNBC and MSNBC, all part now of a $43 billion dollar empire.
Then, there's radio. The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity is
out with a new study showing that in each of 43 different cities a
third of the radio stations are owned by a single company. No
company's supposed to own more than eight in any market, but the media
giants thumb their nose at the rules all the time. In 34 of those 43
markets, one company owns more than eight stations."
Bill Moyers, Working for Change, 10/13/03
‘making atomic bombs’
"North Korea said Thursday that it has completed
reprocessing its 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods and is using plutonium
extracted from them to make nuclear weapons.
THE CLAIM CAME as some U.S. intelligence analysts
are becoming increasingly concerned that the communist regime may have
as many as six nuclear weapons instead of the one or two the CIA now
New atomic bombs would drastically increase tensions on the Korean
Peninsula and give Pyongyang more authority at nuclear arms-control
talks with the United States and others."-
Commentary: This development continues to mark a string of Bush
Administration North Korean foreign policy failures, See:
Bush Administration Foreign Policy
in Korea: AWOL
Africa AIDS victims get drugs
Only 1 percent of the millions of Africans who
need anti-AIDS drugs receive them, said a report released Monday, one
day after a U.N. AIDS expert called the crisis “the
grotesque obscenity of the modern world.”
sued over kids and pesticides: Coalition charges agency failed to
"NEW YORK, Sept. 15 — The Environmental
Protection Agency was sued by four states and a coalition of
conservation, public health and farmworker groups Monday for failing
to protect children from unsafe levels of pesticide residue found in
food. The plaintiffs, who filed two separate cases in Manhattan
federal court, seek court orders forcing the EPA to comply with a 1996
law requiring that the agency set pesticide residue standards 10 times
stricter than those considered acceptable for adults.
"ONE OF THE suits was brought by the attorneys
general of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The
other case was brought by an 11-member group that includes the
Natural Resources Defense Council,
Pesticide Action Network North America,
the Breast Cancer Fund,
and the Physicians for Social
-Reuters, 9/15/03 from MSNBC
US-led occupation brings frontline against al-Qaeda to Iraq: analyst
"BAGHDAD (AFP) - The United States struggled
before the war to convince the world there was a link between Saddam
Hussein and al-Qaeda network, but five months of US-led occupation of
Iraq may have created precisely such an unholy alliance."
Ex-Envoy Criticizes Bush's Postwar Policy
"A former U.S. commander for the Middle East who
still consults for the State Department yesterday blasted the Bush
administration's handling of postwar Iraq, saying it lacked a coherent
strategy, a serious plan and sufficient resources."
"..In an impassioned speech to several hundred
Marine and Navy officers and others, Zinni invoked the U.S.
involvement in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and '70s. "My
contemporaries, our feelings and sensitivities were forged on the
battlefields of Vietnam, where we heard the garbage and the lies, and
we saw the sacrifice," said Zinni, who was severely wounded while
serving as an infantry officer in that conflict. "I ask you, is it
Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post, 9/5/03.
Number of Wounded in Action on Rise by Vernon Loeb, Washington Post,
GAO's Final Energy Task Force Report Reveals that
the Vice President Made A False Statement to Congress, by John
W. Dean, 8/29/2003
A White House Smear, "The Nation," 7/16/2003
"Did senior Bush officials blow the cover of a US intelligence officer
working covertly in a field of vital importance to national
security--and break the law--in order to strike at a Bush
administration critic and intimidate others?
It sure looks that way, if conservative journalist Bob Novak can be
Commentary: If the
above accusation is proven correct, I
believe this warrants a full Congressional
investigation. It is unconscionable that anyone would jeopardize the
life of a member of the intelligence community for political
Bush Faced Dwindling Data on Iraq Nuclear Bid By Walter Pincus,
Washington Post Staff Writer, 7/16/2003
"In recent days, as the Bush administration has
defended its assertion in the president's State of the Union address
that Iraq had tried to buy African uranium, officials have said it was
only one bit of intelligence that indicated former Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program.
But a review of speeches and reports, plus interviews with present and
former administration officials and intelligence analysts, suggests
that between Oct. 7, when President Bush made a speech laying out the
case for military action against Hussein, and Jan. 28, when he gave
his State of the Union address, almost all the other evidence had
either been undercut or disproved by U.N. inspectors in Iraq." (Continued);
Commentary: None of what has transpired should surprise the American
Bush lies and manipulates public and Congress, 4/25/03, By Carla
Binion, Online Journal Contributing Editor;
When Democracy Failed: The Warnings
Unjust War with Iraq
Bush: What's Missing
Lies, Damned Lies And Military Intelligence
By William S. Lind, June 11, 2003
is that we went to war and wrecked a country over something that,
barring an unlikely revelation, was not true. The American people
don't seem to care. Perhaps they expect to be misled by their
government, or, more likely, they have just changed the channel.
But the rest of the world does care.
international credibility of American assertions based on military
intelligence is now zero. When we make claims about other countries --
as we are now doing about Iran -- not a soul will believe them, even
when they happen to be true. At this point, Americans should not
believe them either.
Footnote: The U.S. is now moving rapidly to
relocate its forces in South Korea well to the south of the DMZ. I
suspect the real reason is to move them out of range of North Korean
artillery. At present, if we launch air strikes on North Korea,
Pyongyang can respond with a massive, World War I-style artillery
bombardment of U.S. ground troops that could kill thousands.
withdrawal of Americans to positions south of the Han river reveals
our intention to go after North Korea's nuclear and missile
facilities. A possible North Korean riposte: demand Japan expel
all American forces or kiss Osaka goodbye.
William S. Lind is Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at
the Free Congress Foundation.
Former Bush Intelligence Insider Assails Counterterrorism Tactics
Beers says enemy is underestimated
"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war
on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure,"
said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about
leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the
president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things
that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more
concerned I became, until I got up and walked out"-
Globe, Laura Blumenfield, 6/16/03.
Moyers Commentary on Neglected News, 5/30/03
"We close tonight with some items in the news.
You no doubt saw this — Mr. Bush signing his tax cut. A big day for
But in fact, it's the richest Americans — the top one percent — who
get the lion's share of the tax cuts. People like Secretary of the
Treasury John Snow, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of
Commerce Don Evans, multimillionaires all. Mr. Cheney actually cast
the deciding tie-breaker vote in favor of the tax cut in the
Senate...as this headline in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL says, some people
could wind up paying virtually no tax at all. Where's that money
coming from to make the rich richer? Some of it's coming from the
working poor. Remember that $400 per child tax credit that was in the
and the Tax Cut by Eleanor Clift, Newsweek, 5/30/03;
And the other effects of George W. Bush’s war on the poor," Jonathan
Alter, Newsweek, 5/30/03
U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A growing number of U.S.
national security professionals are accusing the Bush administration
of slanting the facts and hijacking the $30 billion intelligence
apparatus to justify its rush to war in Iraq."
(Continued); See also:
Shocked by Poor Weapons Intelligence - Blix," Ewen MacAskill, Richard
Norton-Taylor, and Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian/UK, 6/7/03.;
"Spies threaten Blair with 'smoking gun' over Iraq: Senior
intelligence officers kept secret records of meetings after pressure
from No 10 ," Kim Sengupta and Andy McSmith, The
"The Perception of Deception: Where Are the Iraqi Weapons?" by Senator
Robert Byrd, 6/5/03 &
"Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare," Peter Beaumont,
Antony Barnett and Gaby Hinsliff, The Observer, 6/15/02.
NASA deal closes the door on Columbia inquiry
"CIVILIAN members of the expert group investigating the Columbia space
shuttle disaster have been put on the NASA payroll to ensure much of
the inquiry will be carried out in secret.
The highly controversial move - which has prompted angry accusations
that the inquiry can no longer be considered impartial - will see the
five civilian representatives on the Columbia Accident Investigation
Board (CAIB) each receive executive-level salaries of up to $134,000
(£82,000) a year."
Jacqui Goddard, Scotland on Sunday, 5/25/02.
on Candor in Journalism, 5/23/03
"From your letters I know some of you are curious
as to why journalists like me keep opening the Pandora's box of
democracy; why we come round and round to what ails America...the
bribing of Congress, the desecration of the environment, corporate tax
havens, secrecy, fraud on Wall Street, the arrogance of ideology, the
pretensions of power. Do we delight in the dark side of human
experience, you ask? Do we never see good in the world? Or was
Nietzsche right: that the Christian resolution to find the world ugly
and bad has made the world ugly and bad?" -
NOW with Bill Moyers
Remarks by U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd
US Senate Chamber
May 6, 2003
In my 50 years as a member of Congress, I have had the privilege to
witness the defining rhetorical moments of a number of American
presidents. I have listened spellbound to the soaring oratory of John
Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. I have listened grimly to the painful
soul-searching of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon...(Continued)
International Committee of the Red Cross Iraq Daily Bulletins
"Thanks to the most crudely partisan decision in
the history of the Supreme Court, the nation has been given a
President of painfully limited wisdom and compassion and lacking any
sense of the nation's true greatness. Appearing to enjoy his role as
Commander in Chief of the armed forces above all other functions of
his office, and unchecked by a seemingly timid Congress, a compliant
Supreme Court, a largely subservient press and a corrupt corporate
plutocracy, George W. Bush has set the nation on a course for one-man
rule." - "The Reason Why," by George McGovern, former U.S. senator from
South Dakota and Democratic candidate for President in 1972, from
Nation. See also: George
W. Bush: What's Missing?
The End of an Innocence that never was....
"We were singing
bye-bye, Miss American Pie
drove my chevy to the levee
but the levee was dry,
and them good old boys were
drinkin' whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day that I die,
this'll be the day that I die."
It's hard to see America as innocent. There were
million Vietnamese civilian casualties during the Vietnam War and
close to 1.7 million military casualties- comprising over 12-13% of the
entire Vietnamese population. Were
idealism and truth at the root of that war? This is not to belittle the
sacrifice and courage of the over 58,000 Americans who fought, were
injured and gave
their lives- only the questionable aims of
the politicians who sent them to battle. The post World War 1950's was
only jaded idealism- McCarthyism, the Cold War and racial
bigotry gripped the country. No blacks in Ward
Perhaps Reagan's shining city on a hill is a
vision of America worth striving for- yet it culminated the greediest
period in American history and was delivered by an actor-politician.
Interestingly the first shining city on a hill message was delivered
by a Puritan father-who believed his group,
"the Chosen People
of an infinite god justified in anything they did."
As America embarks on the
Unjust War, there is a
another loss of innocence, or should I say illusion- that as a nation
America abides by the
law of nations. Cynicism runs deep in the upper echelons of
America's rulers and fear even more.
The man in the Whitehouse is as naive and stupid as the men of the
60's who bled the nation in war to pursue an ideal and escape fears known only to
themselves- saving those not seeking salvation and damning them
all the while.
Quoting, former President Bill Clinton, "Our
paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on
September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future
events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us,"
said Clinton, who spoke at a seminar of governance organized by
Conference Board (news - web sites). "And if they don't, they can go
straight to hell."
U.S. National - AFP, 4/15/03.
Forces' Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons is 'Illegal' by Neil Mackay
British and American coalition forces are using
depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq and deliberately
flouting a United Nations resolution which classifies the munitions as
illegal weapons of mass destruction.
DU contaminates land, causes ill-health and cancers
among the soldiers using the weapons, the armies they target and
civilians, leading to birth defects in children.
PNAC's Present Dangers As a Blueprint for Bush Doctrine
"...The Bush foreign policy team has been
champing at the bit to get on with the foreign policy agenda laid out
in the 1990s by groups like the American
Enterprise Institute, Hudson
Center for Security Policy, and the
Project for the New
American Century (PNAC). These and other right-wing think tanks
and policy institutes believe that George W.’s father and Clinton
squandered the opportunity to fashion a truly global U.S. hegemony
or imperium in the 1990s. High on the list of priorities for the
interventionist agenda of the conservative internationalists is
overthrowing Saddam Hussein—a case of a U.S. foreign policy objective
where moral clarity partners with U.S. national interest, namely
controlling a major source of oil. The White House’s National
Security Strategy of the United States, released September 2002,
briefly outlines the new Bush foreign policy doctrine of global
military domination and interventionism. But the full scope and
ambition of the Bush foreign and military policy is more
comprehensively laid out in a book called Present Dangers: Crisis and
Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy produced by the
Project for the New American Century in 2000. In this edited volume by
PNAC founders Robert Kagan and William Kristol, one can find what
amounts to a blueprint for the current objectives of U.S. global
Interhemispheric Resource Center &
Project for New American
"Bush Ready to Fight War on Two Fronts,"- Guardian Unlimited,
Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy
"The man in the White House is the best
political organizer we have ever had. He generated the largest
protest demonstrations the earth has ever seen last month. He
has us organizing on the peace front, the civil liberties
front, the environmental front, the domestic budget front --
everywhere, people are waking up after a long sleep. It is a
dangerous time, but a great time -- a great awakening -- and
we must give credit to the man whose monumental presumption
has made this possible.
Will our hearts be on a roller coaster of his design? Will he
control our happiness and our anger? We must not give him
that. There is only one way off this roller coaster, and that
is to focus our lives now on November 2nd, 2004. That is the
mountaintop we must have in the center of our vision."
Doris "Granny D" Haddock speaking at
International Women's Day
Peace March and Rally in Washington, DC Saturday, March 8,
Shock and Awe:
Achieving Rapid Dominance by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade
"Rapid Dominance is the full use of capabilities
within a system of systems that can decisively impact events requiring
the application of military/defense resources through affecting the
adversary's will. Rapid Dominance envisions execution in real or
near real time to counter actions or intentions deemed detrimental to
U.S. interests. On one end of the spectrum, Rapid Dominance would
introduce a regime of Shock and Awe in areas of high value to the
threatening individual, group, or state. In many cases the prior
knowledge of credible U.S. Rapid Dominance capabilities would act as a
deterrent. Rapid Dominance would ensure favorable early resolution of
issues at minimal loss of lives and collateral damage. The concept
ideally should be able to impact adversarial situations that apply
across the board, addressing high-, mid-, low-, and no-technology
threats. Some of these aims may not be achievable given the political
and technology constraints, but need to be explored." -
Appendix A, Thoughts
on Rapid Dominance
by Admiral Bud Edney, USN (Ret.)
Shock and Awe is a military doctrine that says little about
international law and the moral/justified/proportional use of force.
It is a kind of modern synthesis of systems thinking, high technology,
classical principles of war and psychological warfare.
It is not intended to address the root causes of war- poverty,
escalating cycles of violence and social, political and economic
levels of force, death and destruction are required and/or acceptable
for the successful application of Shock and
Awe? Who makes those decisions? What if the military execution
is neither rapid nor brilliant? And what are the consequences post war- for example
during occupation and reconstruction? What if the result of
war-time psychological warfare is that the liberator is
perceived as the new oppressor?
The Iraq War- An Unjust War
Pavlischek in his paper, "Just and Unjust War in the Terrorist Age,"
Jus ad bellum requires that before war there must be
legitimate authority, just cause and right intention.
Other criteria include: Is there a reasonable chance for success?
Will the overall good exceed the harm done (proportionality)?
Have other means to redress been attempted (last resort)? Can
peace among combatants be achieved? (the end of peace)?
With regards to an Iraqi War, is there legitimate
authority- right authority related to the political good of order?
Since the Iraq War will contravene the United Nations Security
Council- one of the bodies entrusted with the maintenance of
international law the answer is NO. Further, almost every nation in
the world, except The U.S. and Great Britain, opposes the war. Even in
Great Britain, the opposition to the war is so deep and widespread, it
may topple the government of Tony Blair.
Is there a just cause? It is true that the Iraqi regime is evil. It
has expelled and murdered its own citizens. However, is this
sufficient cause to wage war and risk the lives of hundred of
thousands of men, woman and children? Are there other ways of
controlling and limiting the regimes' brutality? Ostensibly Iraq will
be attacked because it possesses WMD- not because it is ruled by an evil
regime- yet UNMOVIC has indicated that there is no evidence of WMD.
Therefore the answer is NO with respect to just cause.
Is there right intention? Some have questioned
whether U.S. and Great Britain are more motivated by the pursuit of
cheap oil rather than a free Iraq and/or are unduly influenced by the
Israeli lobby. It does not help that the Bush cabinet is
dominated by oil industry executives and that it has shown a clear
tilt towards Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The
Administration harkens back to its chief motivation being
to counter the terrorist/al-Qaida threat posed by Iraq- however there
is no credible evidence that Iraq poses such a threat. So what is the
true U.S. intention? The answer is quite clear- regime change (in
contravention of International Law)- and why? Because Iraq may
pose a threat in the future- not because of any present danger. Should
this be considered right intention? Again, the answer is NO.
Preventive War is in direct contravention of International Law.
Also, the so-called democratic domino effect touted the President,
Wolfowitz, Perle and others is discounted by Bush's own state
Is there a reasonable chance of success? How is
success is defined? If it is defined as regime change- the answer is a
likely yes. This begs the question of whether the aim itself is just
and based on the above the answer is NO.
Is the response of war proportional to the threat
posed- Will the overall good exceed the harm done? It is probable, but
by no means assured, that U.S. military casualties will be relatively
low. However, it is unclear if Iraq has sleeper cells in the U.S. that
could pose a threat to U.S. citizens. It is also unclear whether U.S.
military action will encourage, not discourage terrorist acts against
U.S. citizens. It is likely that Iraq will suffer a terrible loss of
human life, both through saturation bombing, invasion and
infrastructure collapse. The same may apply to our regional allies.
Given that there is no present threat posed by Iraq, a U.S. military
invasion of Iraq is NOT proportional- the harm done is likely to
exceed the the overall good achieved.
Finally, UNMOVIC is reporting increased Iraq
cooperation and compliance with the letter and intent of 1441. Nor
does 1441 preclude surgical military strikes if needed. Nor does it
preclude development of a more precisely defined response mechanism to
Iraqi violations, including the option of graded military response. It
is apparent that not all means have been exhausted to ensure that Iraq
is and/or stays free of WMD. Therefore, the answer to whether all
means to redress a possible harm have been attempted is NO.
Many Americans, including former President and
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jimmy Carter, agree with the essentials of
the above analysis as does most of the rest of the world, including
our traditional allies- France, Germany and Russia. If, as is the
case, a large number of U.S. citizens perceive this war as unjust-
what does this auger for our perception overseas? To the
potential of future recruits for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups?
many in the world now perceive the United States as a bigger threat to
world peace and stability than Iraq. Finally to suggest that
French intransigence is the root of our difficulties at the U.N. is
absurd. France, Germany and Russia are reflecting, not shaping
world public opinion.
In fact, it has been Pentagon planning, not diplomacy that has set the
U.S. agenda on Iraq.
Finally, what is probably in the mind of some U.S.
foreign policy planners is the
amassing 200,000 troops for war and failing to wage war- and the
damage this may cause to American credibility and the weakness it
implies. However, I would argue otherwise. Force is not precluded in
the Fall if Iraq fails to fully comply with 1441. By then it will be
clearer what the regime's true intentions are. An aggressive
inspections regime is likely at a minimum to stymie any WMD program-
if in fact one exists. However, entering a war to maintain the
perception (and not reality) of U.S. credibility is a bad mistake,
similar to the one made in Vietnam.
"Confronting Iraq: Might Doesn't Make Right," by Desmond Tutu and Ian
NOW with Bill Moyers, 2/28/03.
"So I put this [flag on my lapel] as a
modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles
from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is
good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing
governments to join the coalition of the willing (after they first
stash the cash). I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot
thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us.
The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. And it reminds
me that it's not un-American to think that war -- except in
self-defense -- is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve,
and diplomatic skill. Come to think of it, standing up to your
government can mean standing up for your country. "
Carter decries unilateral war on Iraq: Former president says invasion
to topple Saddam unjust
"Former U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize
winner Jimmy Carter on Sunday condemned preparations for a unilateral
U.S. attack on Iraq, saying it would be an unjust war “almost
unprecedented in the history of civilized nations.”- 3/8/03, MSNBC,
New York Times Op-Ed: Saying No To War
Helen Caldicott CSPAN Intervew: The Truth About American Foreign
Policy & the Dangers of Nuclear War
from 2/26/03, letter by Coleen Rowley, Special Agent, Minneapolis to
FBI Director Robert Mueller.
"What is the FBI’s evidence with respect to a
connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Polls show that Americans are
completely confused about who was responsible for the suicidal attacks
on 9-11 with many blaming Iraq. And it is clear that this impression
has been fostered by many in the Administration. As far as the FBI is
concerned, is the evidence of such a link “bulletproof,” as Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld claims, or “scant,” as General Brent Scowcroft,
Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board has said? The
answer to this is of key importance in determining whether war against
Iraq makes any sense from the FBI’s internal security point of view.
If the FBI does have independent data verifying such a connection, it
would seem such information should be shared, at least internally
within the FBI... "
"...And it seems clear to me now that the decision to attack Iraq was
taken some time ago and you, even as FBI Director, may be little more
than a helpless bystander. Such an attack, though, may have grave
consequences for your ability to discharge your responsibility to
protect Americans, and it is altogether likely that you will find
yourself a helpless bystander to a rash of 9-11s. The bottom line is
this: We should be deluding neither ourselves nor the American people
that there is any way the FBI, despite the various improvements you
are implementing, will be able to stem the flood of terrorism that
will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq. What
troubles me most is that I have no assurance that you have made that
clear to the president." Coleen
Rowley was one of Time Magazine's 2002 Persons of The Year for her
courage and honesty in calling FBI Headquarter's obstruction of the Moussaoui
investigation. See also:
"Before Sept. 11, Unshared Clues and Unshaped Policy."
Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake
U.N. Nuclear Inspector Says Documents on Purchases Were Forged
"A key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a
nuclear weapons program appears to have been fabricated, the United
Nations' chief nuclear inspector said yesterday in a report that
called into question U.S. and British claims about Iraq's secret
Washington Post, Joby Warrick, 3/8/03
Halliburton wins contract on Iraq oil firefighting
U.S. Central Command Leaflet Drops in Iraq
Report on U.S. Arm-twisting Over Iraq War
(Washington, DC, February 26, 2003). "As U.S.
officials intensify their arm-twisting offensive to gather support for
a war on Iraq, the Institute for Policy Studies is releasing a new
study today that examines the specific levers of U.S. military,
economic, and political power.
The study, entitled "Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the
Coerced?," looks at how this leverage applies to each current member
of the UN Security Council. It also analyzes the power the U.S.
government exerts over the broader group of countries that the Bush
Administration has dubbed the "Coalition of the Willing." Although the
Administration refuses to release a list of the members of this
coalition, the authors compiled a list of 34 nations cited in press
reports as supporters of the U.S. position on Iraq.
Although the Bush Administration claims that the anonymous
"Coalition of the Willing" is the basis of genuine multilateralism,
the report shows that most were recruited through coercion, bullying,
Diplomat Resigns, Protesting 'Our Fervent Pursuit of War' by Felicity
Barringer, New York Times, 2/27/03
ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a
war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too
much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S.
interests override the cherished values of our partners."
"...Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the
international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of
both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson."
- Brady Kiesling, the political counselor at the United States Embassy
in Athens; For the full text of Mr. Kiesling's resignation letter,
Diplomat's Letter of Resignation, by John Brady Kiesling, New York
"U.S. on Diplomatic Warpath:
The Word is Out: Rebuff on Iraq could Reduce Aid,"
by Dafna Linzer, Associated Press, 2/24/03
Inspectors Call U.S. Tips 'Garbage'
"(CBS) While diplomatic maneuvering continues over
Turkish bases and a new United Nations resolution, inside Iraq, U.N.
arms inspectors are privately complaining about the quality of U.S.
intelligence and accusing the United States of sending them on
wild-goose chases." 2/20/03, CBS Broadcasting
World Diplomats Berate America for Rush to Attack
The Case Against War
All of us have
heard this term
'preventive war' since the earliest days of Hitler. I
recall that is about the first time I heard it. In this day and
time...I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't
even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a
-President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953, upon being presented with plans to
wage preventive war to disarm Stalin's Soviet Union
"Our position is that whatever grievances a nation may have, however
objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare is an
illegal means for settling those grievances or for altering those
--Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the American prosecutor at the
Nuremberg trials, in his opening statement to the tribunal
The Case Against War, by Jonathan Schell, The Nation, 2/13/03
Ex-Gulf War Gen. Schwarzkopf Cautious on Iraq War
Former U.S. Gulf War commander Norman Schwarzkopf says
he needs more information before he can support a preemptive invasion
of Iraq, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
"The thought of (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated
nuclear capability is a frightening thought, OK?" the retired general
was quoted as saying.
"Now, having said that, I don't know what intelligence the U.S.
government has. And before I can just stand up and say, 'Beyond a
shadow of a doubt, we need to invade Iraq,' I guess I would like to
have better information." Reuters, 1/28/03
CIA 'sabotaged inspections and hid weapons details'
Senior democrats have accused the CIA of sabotaging
weapons inspections in Iraq by refusing to co-operate fully with the
UN and withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein's arsenal.
Led by Senator Carl Levin, the Democrats accused the CIA of making an
assessment that the inspections were unlikely to be a success and then
ensuring they would not be, 2/14/2002, Andrew Buncombe, The
Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences, by US
Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003
To contemplate war is to think about the most
horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation
stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be
contemplating the horrors of war.
Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously,
dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to
lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There
We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our
own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events.
Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much
substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in
this particular war.
And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple
attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it
materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and
possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.
This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary
doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The
doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other
nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently
threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new
twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in
contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being
tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around
the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's
-- hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to
take nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible
attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than
this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has
tied the vital economic and security interests of many nations so
closely together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored
alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging
worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust,
misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is
fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which
existed after September 11.
Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with
little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family
members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the
duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are
being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other
essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is
grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon
This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be
judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.
In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large
projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken
us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This
Administration's domestic policy has put many of our states in dire
financial condition, under funding scores of essential programs for
our people. This Administration has fostered policies which have
slowed economic growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters
such as the crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration
has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland security. This
Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long and
In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin
Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his
forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split
traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International
order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This
Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide
perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This
Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats,
labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on
the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have
consequences for years to come.
Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil,
denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of
crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have
massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism
alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored
allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our
wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we
suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely
damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin
and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can
supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.
The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is
evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in
that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the
peace in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again
flourish in that remote and devastated land.
Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This
Administration has not finished the first war against terrorism and
yet it is eager to embark on another conflict with perils much greater
than those in Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we
not learned that after winning the war one must always secure the
And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the
absence of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq's oil
fields, becoming an occupying power which controls the price and
supply of that nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we
propose to hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?
Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks
on Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will
the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals,
bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?
Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide
recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous
disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the
global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even
more lucrative practice for nations which need the income?
In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant
Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous
consequences for years.
One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the
savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of
having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on
which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.
But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of extremely
destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is
currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged
with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of
the greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the
pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no
Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of
horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the
nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is
under age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days
before we send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined
horrors of chemical and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent.
On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in
retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the
United States Senate.
We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I
pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not
in for a rudest of awakenings.
To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be
a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment
of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack
on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral
traditions of our country". This war is not necessary at this time.
Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was
to put ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find
a graceful way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still
a way if we allow more time.
Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act
"The Bush Administration is preparing a bold,
comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of
September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new
powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and
law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial
review and public access to information.
The Center for Public Integrity has
obtained a draft, dated January 9, 2003, of this previously
undisclosed legislation and is making it
available in full text," Center for Public Integrity,"
2/7/03. See also;
Whitely Strieber's Journal, dated 2/10/03 on the so-called, "Domestic
Security Enhancement Act of 2003," &
ADVISORY: Muted Response to Ashcroft's Sneak Attack on Liberties,
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, 2/1203.
U.S. Guilty of 'Shocking Double Standards' on Iraq - Former head U.N.
arms inspector Richard Butler
"The spectacle of the United States, armed with its weapons of mass
destruction, acting without Security Council authority to invade a
country in the heartland of Arabia and, if necessary, use its weapons
of mass destruction to win that battle, is something that will so
deeply violate any notion of fairness in this world that I strongly
suspect it could set loose forces that we would deeply live to
regret," Butler said.
Is Iraq in substantial and material breach of UN Security
Council Resolution 1441?
The basis of this
determination is contained within the resolution itself. Further this
determination is to be made by the Security Council, not any one
member state. The criteria are:
(1) Does Iraq's WMD/weapons delivery systems declaration provided
pursuant to item (3) of 1441 contain false statements or omissions? If
it has omissions are they material?
(2) Has Iraq provided UNMOVIC and IAEA immediate,
unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access to records,
facilities, scientists, etc. ?
(3) Has Iraq taken any hostile acts against UN or
Based on news reports, Item (1) is subject to
interpretation, however it appears Iraq must more fully disclose.
Again, based on news reports, Iraq has fully complied with items (2)
and (3). There have been unconfirmed reports of intimidation of Iraqi
scientists and their families, however I have not heard this
accusation from UNMOVIC or IAEA.
The US has painted itself into a box. The
administration knew it was unlikely that Iraq would proactively and
enthusiastically disclose all of its weapon's systems, but hoped to
garner world support for its actions through the UN. The world for its
part, never expected Iraq to enthusiastically comply (even at the
point of a gun), but hoped that the combination of inspections and
disclosure would provide a better understanding of Iraq's WMD
capabilities. Clearly it is subject to
interpretation whether Iraq is in substantial material breach of 1441,
as evidenced by the French, Russian and German counter positions.
The U.S. has almost 100,000 troops in the Persian
Gulf. Failure to use these troops against Iraq may be perceived as
weakness by potential U.S. enemies. Further, U.S. threats to Hussein's
very survival make him even more dangerous both before and after the
start of an attack. On the other hand, the case for an invasion of
Iraq is weak and the actual invasion/attempted regime change fraught
with risks and the potential for substantial military and civilian
casualties. Going to war for oil is immoral. Continued economic and
political dependence on oil is unsustainable and destructive to the
What is needed is constructive engagement with Iraq
and our allies. The key tenets of this approach include:
(1) A guarantee that if it fully complies with 1441, Iraq will not
(2) While there is no credible evidence that Iraq actively cooperates
or aids terrorist groups, Iraq must sign an agreement that it will not
(3) A more aggressive inspections regime, including greatly increased
numbers of inspectors, broader deployment of inspectors, more
detection equipment, etc. Intimidation of scientists,
their families and others who choose to voluntarily cooperate with
inspectors would be expressly prohibited.
(3) A clearly spelled out modus operandi for resolution/corrective
action if prohibited weapon's systems are found. If this finding
represents a serious breach of 1441, then the Security Council must
meet to decide a course of action.
(4) Provided, Iraq is in full, verifiable compliance, a phased
timetable for relaxing and eventually ending economic sanctions. Full
ending of sanctions may require changes to the Iraq regime, including
greater freedom and independence for its citizens and the end of
political suppression in the country.
(5) An on-going inspections regime that will help ensure that Iraq
remains in full compliance.
Bush Administration Foreign Policy in Korea: AWOL
Spurning South Korean President Kim Dae Jung
(2000 Nobel Peace prize winner) in 3/2002 because of his sunshine
policy towards the North; Failing to talk to the North Koreans for two
years in a policy of dis-engagement; "Axis of
Discussions with South Korean leaders about invasion of the North;
Oblique threats by the Secretary of Defense of a two front war with
Iraq and Korea; Remilitarization of Japan; Threatening remarks by the
President against Kim Jong Il tantamount to warmongering; Open splits
among Administration foreign policy decision-makers regarding Korean,
Middle East and Iraq policy; A complete failure to understand the
psychology, cultural history and motivations of North Korean leaders;
The possibility of a dramatic proliferation of nuclear weapons in the
region....An almost endless stream of dangerous and inept policy
actions by the Bush Administration contributing to a foreign policy
debacle and a pathetic display of brinkmanship by both sides.
All this when dealing with a country steeped in weapons of mass
destruction, possessing strong missile delivery technology as well as
the means (and now even more the motive) to export that technology to
terrorists and unfriendly nations. Further a nation possessing a
massive army capable of inflicting heavy casualties on South Korea,
Japan and others. A foreign policy based on the personal morality and
predilections of the President (no matter how sincere) is
dangerous to the United States of America. What is needed is engagement and
constructive solutions that increase the chances of regional stability
and peace, whether it is North Korea, Iraq or the Middle East- not
misguided, self righteous instinct and selective dis-engagement.
How low can Dow (Dow Chemical) Go?
a stunning example of corporate insensibility, Dow Chemical, the
worlds largest chemical company, and new owners of Union Carbide is to
sue survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in
Bhopal, India. While the site of the disaster lies covered in toxic
waste and survivors struggle with continuing ill health and deadly
pollution from the site, Dow has decided to add to their woes with a
Yes that's right - the very people Dow should be helping are now
facing a lawsuit from one of the world most powerful corporations. Why
are they acting in such an amazingly perverse manner? On December 2nd
a peaceful march of 200 women survivors from Bhopal delivered toxic
waste from the abandoned Carbide factory back to Dow's Indian
headquarters in Bombay with the demand that Dow take responsibility
for the disaster and clean up the site. Dow obviously has other ideas
because they are suing survivors for about US $10,000 for "loss of
work". That's US$10,000 compensation demanded for a two hour peaceful
protest where only one Dow employee briefly ventured out of the Mumbai
corporate business park to meet the women protestors."
Greenpeace, 12/23/02; See also:
The Yes Man: Dow.
"Physicist blows whistle on US missile defense", Roland Watson, Times
"The credibility of President Bush’s multibillion-dollar missile
defense plans are being questioned by leading scientists after claims
that the results of key tests were falsified.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is considering an
investigation into accusations that fundamental flaws in the proposed
“Son of Star Wars” system have been covered up."
Commentary: After 20 years of Star War's
development, the U.S. Treasury has been bled tens of billions
of dollars with minimal results. Not to mention that the
strategic/technological premise that Star Wars/missile defense is
built on is questionable at best. If any major American
corporation produced similar results it would be out of business (and
its CEO fired)!