Everything Is Hyped

Thanks for this article. In it Charley commented that “Iran and Iraq used them in their war in the 1980s, but there has been no study that I’m aware of on how effective they were.” Actually there was such a study done by the USMC. It can be found here [pdf file].

In the study, the authors note:

“Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in W.W.I, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as ‘a poor man’s nuclear weapon.’ While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.”

~ Jim Kelly

America 2004

Eugene McCarthy, or Joseph McCarthy? I didn’t see much connection to either in the linked Christian Science Monitor article, so I’m confused.

~ James Merritt, Santa Cruz, California

Matt Barganier replies:

The nostalgia for Eugene McCarthy is due to the sorry state of contemporary liberalism.

Vote 2004

Maurice Jordan: I was just at a conservative web site and I noticed a very well place area on their site to register to vote. I think this would be a good idea for your site as well. A well place box with a link to register to vote….

Eric Garris: Can you direct me to that site? My experience with these sites is that most people don’t actually get registered to vote when they sign up, but do get signed up for other mailing lists. There is no national voter registration system, they are done within counties. Even trying to register to vote on California websites doesn’t actually get many people signed up, since the forms still have to be sent out by and returned to the specific counties. I think it does a disservice to people who think they are registering to vote, when all they are doing is requesting a form. Every election, thousands of people complain that they registered but never got signed up. Such website sign-ups are probably responsible for many of these failures.

MJ: I see your point, however, I know sometimes it’s just having an easy way to look into registering for the vote than can make the difference. Maybe compiling, state to state a link to each register office or something. I looked for the conservative site I mentioned and couldn’t find it again but I saw this site on Michael Moore’s site. Check it out, maybe it’s a good one.

EG: California has 58 counties, not a statewide registration system. My expert informs me that some states have literally hundreds of counties that each have different registration forms and locations.

Moore’s site uses Rock the Vote, which is better than some but pretty confusing to use.

In my years of politics I have never met anyone who said they didn’t register to vote because they don’t know how to. On the other hand, I have encountered hundreds of people who have filled out forms on the Internet thinking they were registering and were surprised to find that they had not.

About Our Country?

What a waste of time! Don’t you have anything better to do in life? You need to learn to stand behind your Country and learn to be a true AMERICAN. I bet you never served a day in our military, and are a true coward. Do you think if you met up with Saddam he would spare your life because you’re against the war? Hell no! He would shoot you right in the head because he and the rest of his crazy ass people couldn’t care less. Wake up and be an AMERICAN and be proud you live in a country like you do. Be true or burn in hell!

~ Diamond in Vegas

Eric Garris replies:

I dare you to say this to the parents of any of the 500 Americans killed so far in Iraq. Most of them are also antiwar. Just because Saddam was a horrible man doesn’t mean that you have the right to send young Americans to their death. How many more young Americans do you intend to kill to waste the world leaders you don’t like?

Israel Versus Free Speech

I wanted to point out that Zvi Mazel actually admitted he planned the attack on the artwork.

You can find this admission in Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/383944.html.

The envoy told Haaretz that his protest was not spontaneous; he had planned the act after learning about the exhibit in the local press. He said he could not understand how an exhibition devoted to preventing genocide can feature a work that casts the murderer of 22 Israelis as Snow White. “In my eyes, that’s not art; it’s abominable,” he said.

~ Lennart

Hey Justin, I have never heard your voice, but if Rush, Hannity, and the rest of the conservatives can yelp, yelp, yelp all over the AM airwaves why can’t you?!

And now would be a GREAT TIME to go for it. NOW all the liberals are searching for “their” antiwar counter-punch AM radio talk-show guy. Perhaps it is time for you to step away from the key board and talk into a microphone. Who else better than you? Perhaps you could play opposite and double team with that liberal comedian Al Franken? I’d certainly tune in and listen. It is high time that you send out some “demo” radio discussions to some radio producers and see what happens. Please do more than think about it.

~ Treg D. Loyden

Re: January 21, 2004’s Notes in the Margins: “Ismail Royer … was charged with violating the Neutrality Act – which forbids Americans from taking up arms against countries with which we are not at war …”

Much in the news lately has been George Criles latest book Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History describing which Publisher’s Weekly said the following in their review with regards to … Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson: “… circumvented most of the barriers to arming the Afghan Mujahideen – distance, money, law …”

I was wondering if you thought it would be worth my while to contact the U.S. ‘Justice’ Department and let them know that there are much bigger fish they are letting get away?

~ P. Hlucic

Thanks to Justin Raimondo for the excellent piece on the Israeli reaction to the Stockholm art exhibition. Just thought you might want to know the ending to the story, although it’s a sad one indeed. …

Poster of Suicide Bomber Removed

According to the English-language Swedish news site – http://www.sr.se/rs/english/ – the Israeli actions are paying off. It almost sounds like an apology – from Sweden to Israel! …

~ Thomas Hauge, Denmark

Excellent article by Raimondo.

In Sweden we haven´t seen the full version off the compromising events in the museum.

The media in Sweden is of course not the least pro-Palestinian even if I guess it´s better than Fox news. Our two big newspapers (Dagens
and Svenska Dagbladet) are liberal and conservative and very much pro-Israeli.

The higher echelons of the social-democratic party are pro-Israeli. This is a shift initiated by the social-democratic prime-minister Goran Persson.

In Sweden we have 7 parties in the parliament. The ones who defend Israel no matter what are:
The Moderates (conservatives+neoliberals)
The Christian democrats (who in fact have pressed charges against the artwork without even seeing it)
The Liberals.

Those who are more pro-Palestinian are:
The greens
The left party.

In between are:
The center party
The social-democrats.

News channels who don´t show the entire incident. A monopoly of pro-Israeli newspapers and a pro-Israeli political elite. Hardly anti-Israeli.

~ Tom C., Sweden

Are You Going To Get Mad?

Charley writes:

“This is far more serious than anything Bill Clinton did. He lied about dilly-dallying with a young girl. This president apparently lied about the reasons he wanted to take this country to war.”

But, this is comparing apples and oranges. Of course Bill Clinton also took us to war under false pretenses. Remember the ingenious conception of “humanitarian intervention” that “justified” the aggression against Yugoslavia. Remember how William Walker and KLA friends staged the “massacre” of Racak to precipitate bombing that lasted 78 days (much longer than the official Iraq campaign last spring). We don’t know for sure that the Bush team is as that stage of staging things yet; although some think (including apparently M. Albright) that the “capture” of Saddam Hussein was staged, while others have been predicting for some time now the staging of a discovery of WMD to “justify” everything retroactively.

Yes, Clinton’s best known lies are unexciting compare to dishonesty of last few years, but in the waging of war department the presence of “false pretenses” for bringing wars to others is exactly similar for both Presidents, and than there is the issue of staging pretenses on which the jury is still out who might be better at that.

(A few links about Racak:




~ Aleksandar, Portland, Oregon

I take issue with Reese’s assertion that this whole Iraqi adventure is to protect Israel. That has never been the case even back in 1991. The whole purpose of defeating Saddam was to ensure the safety of Saudi Arabia and neighboring Islamic oil states. When Israel was attacked in 1973 did the United States send 497,000 troops to defend her? Of course not, but when Saudi Arabia was threatened by Saddam Hussein in 1990, suddenly we considered it in our best interests and Bush41 decided we needed half a million American troops there (1 million coalition forces total), in order to defend an antidemocratic Muslim kingdom from harm. Bush actually told Israel to “keep out” of the conflict while he massaged Islamic dictatorships into allowing foreign troops on their soil.

The whole concept has always been to eliminate the secular Socialist Arab governments (Iraq, Libya, Syria) and ensure that pro-American kingdoms /dictatorships are in their place. They are much easier to buy oil from. Saddam was one USA client but he became “unruly” and had to go. This has always been American foreign policy – dictatorships are fine until they stop taking orders from Washington.

~ Steve Savage

Mr. Reese does a fine job laying out the reasons for outrage at the president. But, to answer Mr. Reese’s question, getting mad looks as if it will be an exercise in futility when the main choices remain, as they have been for years, to select one interventionist or another. The difference in the willingness of Democratic interventionists to kill innocents and start wars seems to turn largely on the religious and ethnic composition of the targeted countries; Republicans seem more enthusiastic to bomb Muslims, Democrats prefer to bomb Christians, though the neocons have proven a great enthusiasm for equal-opportunity bombing, and unless Mr. Kucinich or a presumably noninterventionist Constitutionalist or Libertarian were to somehow miraculously win out there is no good possibility of anything being changed by getting mad at Mr. Bush and his awful war.

On that note, I would respectfully note that Clinton did launch a war based on lies, though the war in Kosovo did not cost America any combat casualties and is therefore often left out of comparisons with Iraq (except when it is cited by bloodthirsty leftists who want to shame Democrats into accepting the Iraq invasion). There, as in Iraq, a cause for war was invented and a preposterous ultimatum was drawn up in such a way to guarantee a conflict. Then it was NATO’s “credibility” and human rights and now it is nonexistent weapons, the United Nations’ “credibility” and so-called liberation. It is no secret that Kosovo is worse off now than it was before that war, and that there was no justification under any law on earth for what Clinton did. Likewise, Mr. Bush has acted illegally and unconstitutionally, and ought to be removed from office at once. We all know that this will never happen.

Mr. Bush is a tyrant, by just about any definition of the word, but then so have most modern presidents been, and Americans are apparently not only accustomed to this but supportive of it. The grim conclusion that I draw from continuing support for this dreadful war is that most Americans are unconcerned with rule of law, honesty or accountable government.

Against that stunning indifference, getting mad, which I certainly am and have been for well over a year, will achieve nothing. I would like to believe that most folks would oppose such corruption in high places, but the fact is that they have not opposed it. The new year is unlikely to make them change their minds.

~ Daniel Larison, Albuquerque, New Mexico


People are sending me excerpts of Justin Raimondo’s recent statements regarding Mr. Boortz at the LP convention.

I’m merely explaining how I happen to know what he wrote, you understand.

It seems Mr. Raimondo perceives a link between his “activism” and an agreement by Mr. Boortz to discuss eminent domain topics in Atlanta.

As a retiring member of the LNC and member of the Convention Committee, let me assure everyone that Mr. Raimondo, the Boot Boortz petition, Carol Moore and others had nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with it.

This was the intent and strategy of Nancy Neale all along. Nancy Neale, working quietly and productively, had it all under control all along.

If roosters had the intelligence of Mr. Raimondo, I am sure they would take credit for the daily rising of the sun. But if roosters did have the intelligence of Mr. Raimondo, perhaps they would also surpass him in character and political acumen.

But no, the important thing was to leap to the worst possible conclusions, cast negative aspersions against anyone suspected of anything, ascribe evil motives to all “insiders”, (our “whoring for the Neocons”, as I was informed aplenty, you understand), cause angst and consternation in the membership of an organization that needs us all working together more than ever, rile membership into a hyper-state of suspicion and disgust, blurt out the most insipid of things in public, and generally be a menace to progress.

This is what passes for “political activism” in some quarters of the LP, it appears. …

Did it ever occur to you that we could have used your help behind the scenes? Did you ever stop to think that we could have resolved this without your histrionics? And that you actually made a manageable situation worse? If not, why not?

So I’m telling you now. Do you get it now? Do I need to be more blunt?

~ Mark Cenci, LNC Region 6 rep, former Maine state chair, past LP candidate (three times), first LP litigant in a Federal challenge to a “Clean Elections Act”

A Giant Awakens

While the neocon crazies are probably not sleeping very well over these developments, for the rest of us, the increasing political assertiveness of Iraq’s Shiite majority is potentially very good news. It should be clear from the many months of chaos and continuing attacks upon American soldiers that neither the American occupation, nor the Iraqi Governing Council, have much popular support in Iraq. To stabilize the country and pave the way for a US exit strategy, an Iraqi government needs to be put in place that has legitimacy and broad support among the majority of Iraqis. If American policy makers are smart, they will call Ayatollah al-Sistani’s bluff and embrace Sistani’s call for direct, democratic elections to a constituent assembly that in turn would write the Iraqi Constitution. At the very least, the government that would emerge from this arrangement would have the backing of 60-70% of the population and the Shiite clerical establishment. Moreover, it would have the legitimacy of a direct democratic election, and would not be seen as being imposed by foreign powers such as the US and the UN.

For those who worry about some sort of Shiite tyranny of the majority being imposed upon Iraqi minority groups such as the Sunnis and the Kurds, one should remember that whatever ambitions the Iraqi Shiites have for a future Iraq will be tempered by their desire to preserve the unity of Iraq – especially in the face of a growing Sunni Baathist insurgency in central Iraq and some 100,000 Kurdish Peshmerger fighters in northern Iraq. Moreover, as a group, the Iraq Shiites are by no means religiously or ideologically monolithic. Among the Iraqi Shiites, yes, there are a few Shiite groups that would like to impose an Iranian-style theocracy upon Iraq, but there also quite a few groups that oppose that model, including Ayatollah al-Sistani’s faction, and there many secular oriented groups to contend with as well such as Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress.

~ GM

The bogus “Democracy” that Bremer and co. are hoping to introduce is eerily similar to post-World War I betrayals of national sovereignty, such as the failure to hold plebiscites in Austrian Sudetenland, South Tyrol, Danzig, Posen Province, and Alsace Lorraine in the German Austria area, and in northern Slovakia and Transylvania in former Hungary. Since Germany or Austria won almost all the plebiscites that were held (Burgenland, Carinthia, South Schleswig, Silesia, southern Eastern Prussia, and the Saar in 1935), no wonder more weren’t held. A rigged constitutional convention (constituent assembly) is also similar to Czechoslovakia not allowing the German Sudetens to even participate in it. Hopefully, this bogus “election” system can be derailed.

~ Rob Barta

Is Bush Doomed?

Please, God! Let Dr. Paul Roberts’ prophecy be fulfilled in 2004!

From an ex-Republican (35+ years) who voted for President Bush and who recently, with his wife, changed his affiliation out of humiliation over being identified as a Republican and Bush supporter.

Never, during my 70 years on this planet, have I witnessed a President who has been as destructive across a wide range of issues as this one has. Never, have I been as disgusted as I am now with the majority of Americans who continue to say, in pollings, that President Bush is doing a good job. …

~ Alan E. Hutchinson

Bush is doomed, but not because he pursued an insane policy of aggressive imperialism and regime change in the volatile Middle East. This policy was endorsed and then happily praised (when it looked like the war was easily won) by the majority of our elected officials. Bush is doomed because he and his administration proved to be completely inept at implementing this policy. …

Bush’s war is now being questioned and criticized by our representatives (and presidential candidates) mostly because it is failing, not because it is fundamentally wrong. Their current whining about being misled into supporting him is not only disingenuous, but inexcusable. As if they are not responsible for their own ignorance.

Yes, Bush is doomed and he will probably take the fall, but he and his cabinet are only the tip of the iceberg. All our elected officials and candidates need to be held accountable for their actions and opinions leading up to the war, especially concerning their fundamental views on imperialism and the validity of international law. If we only focus on defeating Bush, the man, and not the deeper roots of the dysfunctional policies for which he stands, then we are going to elect a president like Wesley Clark, who is just a Bush with a higher IQ and less baggage.

~ Glenn Coville

The problem I have with Paul Craig Roberts’ column “Is Bush Doomed?” is that he portrays Bush as a puppet of the neo-conservatives. We now know from Paul O’Neil’s revelations that Bush was himself a neo-conservative from the start, on board with the agenda to invade Iraq. That might explain why Bush so heavily staffed his administration with neo-conservatives.

Roberts seems to think that just because Bush in 2000 campaigned for a humbler foreign policy that he meant it. I don’t. When has Bush ever been sincere in his public statements? Bush’s campaign rhetoric was just more deceit.

~ Wayne Grabert

Apache Killing Video

I first saw this story on WhatReallyHappened.com.

Please take a moment to check out this video first aired on ABC News if you have not already. Apparently three Iraqi farmers are murdered in cold blood from the POV of an Apache helicopter:
http://www.thecia.net/users/stewarte/apachehit.mpg or http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/story795.shtml.

The ABC link is here.

It’s completely sickening.

~ Craig W. Simmons