Backtalk, October 10, 2005

The Democrats Are Irrelevant

There have been any number of articles on Antiwar.com in recent weeks from leftists complaining about the lack of support from leading Democrat politicians in Washington for a pullout from Iraq. They also are complaining that very few of them showed up to the recent antiwar demonstrations in Washington a week ago.

Why? What a waste of keyboard strokes. Even if every Democrat in Congress supported an immediate pullout from Iraq, it still wouldn’t happen because they are a minority in Congress. It doesn’t matter what they think or say.

What would affect policy in Iraq is if a significant amount of Republicans turned against the war. More effort is needed from the antiwar community to convince red-state senators and congressmen to turn on the war instead of worrying about what the Democrats are doing or not doing. Only then would the president rethink his policy on Iraq, if a significant number of Republicans would no longer support it. If that happened, the Democrats would follow along in any case.

Once again another significant antiwar demonstration lacked voices on the right, people like Walter Jones Jr. or Jimmy Duncan or Ron Paul, who can best convince their colleagues of the error of this war compared to International ANSWER. To be fair, if leading Democrats wouldn’t show up at such demonstrations then one can hardly expect voices on the right to do so.

Nevertheless, an effort must be put in to convince more Republicans to turn on the war. Believe me, support for the war is collapsing in red-state America, and the more that can be done to convince Republicans of this fact, the quicker this war will come to a halt.

However, if there are still those ticked off about Democrats like Nancy Pelosi not supporting a immediate pullout, especially in the Bay Area where she’s from, then find a candidate to run against her in the Democratic primaries or find a credible Green Party candidate to run against her in 2006. Just imagine the shock waves that would result if she lost her congressional seat because of her stand on the war. That would change a lot minds in the Democratic caucus in Washington on the war really quick.

The time for whining articles is over. The time for organizing and action is now.

~ Sean Scallon, Arkansaw, Wisconsin


Bush’s Satanic Verses

Justin,

So, as you say, which voice did Bush hear? I can’t prove it’s God or Satan, but what I can say is this: according to Scripture, you will know them (false prophets) by their fruit. So then, the question is this: what is his fruit? Is his fruit truth, selfless love and peace, or is his fruit lies, selfish pride, and war?

Also, did the voice that told him to attack Iraq also tell him that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?

~ John M.

I always look forward to Justin Raimondo’s columns. Despite my sharp disagreements with libertarianism on many fundamental levels, I have to say that few people have evaluated the futility and absurdity of our foreign policy more pointedly than he.

That said, I would like to comment on his echoing of Michael Scheuer’s argument that “al-Qaeda is not seeking to conquer the West, but only to regain what has been lost, lands formerly under the sway of Islam and now colonized or otherwise occupied by Western forces.” That is basically true, but some qualification is necessary.

First, there is a substantial Islamic foothold in the West, particularly in Europe, and if the present demographic trends continue unabated Muslims will eventually become a majority. The idea of Islam conquering a desacralized Christendom thorough the back door has not escaped the attention of Islamic thinkers.

Second, “lands formerly under the sway of Islam” includes not only Israel, Lebanon, and more recently Western-occupied or influenced countries in the Islamic world, but also Spain, Greece, Serbia, etc. Of course, U.S. foreign policy has been nothing if not helpful in Islam’s attempt to re-conquer those European territories (i.e., Bosnia, Kosovo).

Raimondo is quite correct to view al-Qaeda as a reaction to American leaders’ stupidity. We ought to reevaluate our foreign policy, but at the same time, we must not assume that Islam per se poses no threat to the West (or that immigration policy is not as much a part of this problem as foreign policy).

~ Nicholas G. Moses

Mr. Raimondo,

Sir, again an excellent article.

As a former Marine, Vietnam vet, I too fear for the United States Constitution. Let the Iraqis write their own constitution without being under American guns.

I also agree with your (and others) assessment of bin Laden and his goals. How many times does a person or group need to state publicly the goals they have for them to be believed. I have lost count of the times bin Laden has been quoted as saying that if we leave the Middle East, the attacks against us will also stop.

Shrub does NOT get it. He will refuse to do so as long as he is breathing. His entire criminal administration refuses to “get it” also. We Americans will bear the entire cost, in dollars and lives, of this failed policy. While polls show an increasing majority of Americans are opposed to the war, actions speak louder than poll numbers. When will we see truly MASS antiwar demonstrations in EVERY city in America? I fear they will come too late. We are closing in on 2,000 of our young people killed for sh*t. We have tens of thousands wounded, and every person who has been through war, even though not physically wounded, is wounded for life psychologically. I know this as a fact from Vietnam. Don’t believe me that those wounds are deep? Watch the History Channel when they interview World War II vets; they remember some things that happened in that war as if they just happened five minutes ago, not the 60+ years in real time. The deep wounds of war, physical AND psychological, do NOT ever totally heal. That can be a good thing as it makes those of us who have been to war less eager to send our sons and daughters off to the next war.

The evil done in our name today will be with this country for generations to come. May whatever god or gods that exist help us all.

~ Charlie Ehlen, Glenmora, La.

Thank you, Justin, for your fine logic. I am surprised why those in your government can’t read through the lines like any ordinary person with a modicum of common sense can do? The answer is obvious: Because they have other plans. As for Bush taking his orders from God, then it really is a major cause for worry, not only for Americans, but the whole world. He is one step removed from Aum Shinrikyo. How can a civilized world accept such a madman to rule over the most powerful nation on earth with so much power and destruction at his disposal? Truly, if U.S. forces leave us alone then there would be no more aggression. We are able to sort out our own disputes, and if major civil wars break out, then so be it. What has it got to do with the U.S.? Didn’t you guys go through some vicious civil wars? At least give us the benefit of doubt that we can run our own affairs. Let us not mix religion with politics to fool the masses. One thing I know as a Muslim: Christ would not have behaved like Bush and his cabal. That is for sure.

~ Ahmed Asgher, Bahrain


The Police State Is Closer Than You Think

Mr. Roberts,

You clearly hit on one of the fundamental points backing my assertion that this administration and the overstuffed feckless members of Congress that either support it or look the other way are counterrevolutionary.

They speak of “strict constructionism” and “original intent” while circumventing every possible check on the dangerously rising power of the executive. They do it based upon either partisanship or holy perceptions of “good vs. evil” while ignoring the fact that the Founders set up the checks and balances crucial to the revolutionary American Conversation for a good reason. The Founders, victim of the tyranny of monarchic Europe, clearly knew mankind professed to desire the best and purest motives while all too frequently resorting to the worst. The checks and balances have worked well, generally, to create the debate, soul-searching, and thoughtfulness of a free people. I cannot accept that the current leadership is so crass, so historically ignorant, and so utterly clueless of our own history that they “accidentally” let the ongoing destruction happen. As dimwitted as the president appears, he is not likely completely ignorant of our historical principles and what has made this country what it is. We know ideology is at work here but it would appear that so too is criminality – or at the very least, willful negligence.

The weakening of posse comitatus laws, the suspension of habeas corpus based upon limp definitions of “enemy combatants,” and the love affair with the theory of “preemption” are a trifecta of perversions pursued by this most dangerous of American governments. These misdeeds alone are enough to convict, but add to them profligacy and influence-peddling and one arrives at what one can only be described as a criminal enterprise.

We watch as our intelligence is bungled, wars are started on the basis of lies, cronyism runs rampant, K Street becomes a de facto branch of government, spending goes unchecked, the mainstream press becomes a mouthpiece rather than an independent sleuth, the two-party system becomes a “no-party system,” and we cannot even manage to quickly aid our own citizens in a disaster – and even then, few have the clarity of mind or courage to call these perpetrators what they are: counterrevolutionaries – crooks, treasonous lying thugs, pretending to protect the principles of the United States Constitution while dismantling it and filling their pockets with cash. Unfortunately, an unindicted coconspirator in this sorry state of affairs is the gullible and blindly patriotic American public. When the economy molded by the actions these reckless ideologues begins to impact them, perhaps then we shall do something about it.

You are right, the police state is far closer than the average American thinks, and we are dancing around the rim of a volcano of our own self-absorbed making. Who would have thought that it could come to this? But you know, the dark strain has always been with us, and, thankfully, every American generation has produced people who had the dignity, clarity of mind, and courage to fight the old demons back. One truly wonders if this generation shall be the one to fail to meet the demands of the American Revolution. I believe that the tide may now be turning but the jury is still way out.

~D.W. Sabin, Washington, Conn.


Nebojsa Malic’s Backtalk

Dear Mr. Malic,

Thank you for correcting my “lapsus lingua.” I was talking about census, not consensus. However, there are few things I still did not like in your response.

First of all, you have cut some paragraphs from my letter. Why? Are you afraid of something? Whatever I said in the letter, I have the proof, and thanks to my friends working at RTS, I can obtain the actual report from their archives. So why did you censure my letter? I thought you strongly disapprove of censorship, but I guess that is not the case!

You said: “At the 1991 census, ‘Bosnian’ language and ‘Bosniak’ ethnicity did not exist. Hence my description of ‘Bosnian’ as a ‘politically motivated product of Muslim leaders’ desire for linguistic distinction’ is entirely correct.”

I agree that at the 1991 census, Bosniak ethnicity did not exist, but the Bosnian language certainly did. If you do not believe me, I can send you a photocopy of an original census form, and a photocopy of an accompanying original census booklet. Would you like me to do so?

You said: “I cite your statement that the Bosnian Muslims did not have a political party at the time of the census. The ‘Party of Democratic Action’ (SDA) was the first ethnic party in Bosnia-Herzegovina, founded before the Communist laws banning ethnic political organizations had been repealed. It is an agenda that has hurt the Bosnian Muslims most of all, as well as damaged inter-ethnic relations in Bosnia to such a point they might not be repaired, ever. And that’s a historical fact.” I do agree with the statement that SDA was founded before the first democratic elections in Bosnia (as were the other two nationalistic parties in Bosnia). However, my argument was that the Bosnian Muslims did not have a political party able to influence the census regulations, which were set up long before the democratic changes in former Yugoslavia. It helps if you read thoroughly.

And another thing I must add. I do agree with you that some of the Izetbegovic’s deeds did hurt Bosnian Muslims; however, what Karadzic and Mladic had in mind as a Bosnian Muslim future was far worse. I do not believe that Karadzic was working on improving inter-ethnic relations in Bosnia. Maybe you should talk about that sometimes!

~ ES

Nebojsa Malic replies:

Dear E.S.,

Antiwar.com has a clearly stated policy that letters may be edited for space. I have nothing to do with this. As you can see from my response, I consider the claim you made therein unworthy of a response, as it is at best a non sequitur, and at worst an attempt at ethnic-based ad hominem. I will treat all such “arguments” with the contempt they deserve.

Yes, the Muslims had no political party that could influence the census rules. Neither did anyone else, as there was only one party in Yugoslavia since 1945 – the one that declared the Muslims of Bosnia a separate ethnicity, if I recall correctly. What exactly is your point here?

I appreciate your thoughts as to what I should and should not write about. In the era of type-and-click blogs, however, there is no reason you should not address these topics yourself if you consider them underrepresented.


America’s Inheritance in the Caucasus

Christopher Deliso provides a well-balanced and perceptive analysis of the dangers inherent in the plans of U.S. imperialists to fan the Islamist separatism in the North Caucasus. However, he does not seem to appreciate the degree of material and organizational support that the cabal in Washington provides for anti-Russian forces in that region. He writes:

“Does it end with providing asylum to Chechen terrorists in America and Britain, or are the neocons trying to ‘give Russia their Vietnam’ (as cold-warrior extraordinaire and current ACPC Chairman Zbigniew Brzezinski once put it) for the second time, and again through more direct support? There’s little definite proof…”

Obviously, such support, if at all, must be provided in secrecy both from the Russian government and the American public. And we know that the neocons have established a network of private organizations precisely for these reasons. The recent statements by Sibel Edmonds and Indira Sindh testify to the extent of this privatization of U.S. foreign politics. To penetrate this network must be extremely difficult, especially considering the precipitous decline of investigative journalism in the United States. However, there is a ray of hope and it’s coming from Russia. It appears that Russian secret services do have evidence for the “direct support” given by the U.S. and its allies to the Islamist extremists in the Russian Caucasus and they begin “leaking” some of the information they have. One extraordinary piece of this nature was recently published by the Civil Research Council. The authors of “The Caucasian Diamond Traffic. Part 2. The Price of Chechen ‘Stingers'” (.pdf file of English translation: here) appear to have found the missing link between the Chechen “freedom fighters,” their Saudi instructors and the highest levels of the U.S. political class. Their meticulous research is supported by the sensational photographs of some of the major figures involved. I highly recommend this article to Chris Deliso and the readers of Antiwar.com.

~ Vadim Stolz


Pleading Incompetence

Gordon, good article but, tell me please: Do the U.S. and Israel with their thousands of atomic weapons have to abide by the the same standards and protocol they demand of the Iranians and North Koreans?

~ Albert C. Mezzetti

Gordon Prather replies:

The NPT had two classes of signatories, nuclear weapons states (NWS: U.S., UK, France, PRC, USSR) and non-nuclear weapons sStates (NNWS: Iran and about 150 others). (India, Pakistan, and India were never NPT signatories.)

The NWS pledged to assist any and all NNWS enjoy the peaceful benefits of nuclear energy and to eventually get rid of all our nukes. The NNWS all pledged not to acquire or seek to acquire nukes, but were otherwise guaranteed access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Clinton committed us to “13 practical steps to nuke disarmament” in 1995 and reaffirmed that commitment in 2000. As a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Clinton (and Congress) committed us to not provide any state (including India, Pakistan, and Israel) most things nuclear UNLESS that state made ALL its nuclear activities subject to a comprehensive IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

What Bush-Bolton have been doing is unilaterally abrogating many of Clinton’s nuke-proliferation-prevention bilateral and multilateral agreements.

What Bush is doing, now, with respect to Iran, is what he has already done with respect to North Korea and Iraq – totally trashing the IAEA-NPT-NSG Safeguards and Physical Security regime. On practically every occasion – including the 2005 NPT Review Conference – Bush has urged the scrapping of the IAEA-NPT-NSG regime, replacing it with his Proliferation Security Initiative, which relies on “interdiction” and “preemptive” strikes upon “suspected” WMD sites and activities.

What Bush just got the IAEA Board to do was fall on their swords.

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