I am currently serving my second term in the Marines and like so many I fell hook-line and sinker the lies told by the current "president," now I find myself doubting my decision to serve again. Thank you for being against this war, it is total bushit, please excuse the vulgarity but it is. And believe me by sending Marines over to Iraq it will mean now they get a chance of being killed instead of the Army. I am committed to being against this war even if means getting in trouble. Many young servicemen and women are completely blind to the quagmire they are being led into. I only hope they open their eyes before it is too late. Thank you again for allowing me to express myself. If it is possible how do I find out about conscientious objector status? I know it is a very delicate subject….

~ TC

Eric Garris replies:

We admire your courage. The best people to talk to are at the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors: http://www.objector.org/ – 800-394-9544.


Your column today as rendered by Mozilla has a wide left margin that pushes the the right-side panel off the screen. We did not see such html snafus with your old style. I still think you would do well with less innovation.

~ Jack Dennon, Warrenton, Oregon

Mike Ewens replies:

It is a small problem that is best resolved with a simple “Refresh” (I am working on the solution).

Try a new Mozilla: http://www.mozilla.org/products/mozilla1.x/.

Our innovation may have some small costs…. but there’re many many more benefits.

Casualties in Iraq

While 500 soldiers died in Iraq, take a closer look at the f*cking country that you live in.

Murders in New York City in 2003: 595.

Murders in Chicago in 2003: 599

(See “Chicago topped nation in homicides in 2003.”)

~ Jeff Swanson

Mike Ewens replies:

Your argument succumbs to a common fallacy:

“False Analogy:

“In an analogy, two objects (or events), A and B are shown to be similar. Then it is argued that since A has property P, so also B must have property P. An analogy fails when the two objects, A and B, are different in a way which affects whether they both have property P.”

(From http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/falsean.htm.)

You are incorrectly assuming that the circumstances of a death in NY and a death in Iraq are similar enough so as to reasonably compare their totals.

No matter… The idea is this: the 513 US deaths in Iraq were easily preventable and in the hands of the Congress /administration. Your “dangerous US cities” example assumes that their is a legislative body deciding how many criminals to release on the streets.

So, given that we believed the war was unjustified (not in defense), the deaths of Americans (no matter the total number relation to any other total) is too much.

I want to find out if there is information available giving the names of combat-wounded, in addition to the information on fatalities you list. I spent 10+ years in the Army, but I have lost track of many friends.

~ Michael S.

Mike Ewens replies:

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a resource that lists the names of combat-wounded. It seems that it is official policy for the US military to not release the names. Here is perhaps the best unofficial resource: http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/wounded/.

Why only cite US casualties in the war. Are you not forgetting the that the British military has reported 55 deaths; Italy, 17; Spain, eight; Bulgaria, five; Thailand, two; Denmark, Ukraine and Poland have reported one each.

~ Rupert Eden

Mike Ewens replies:

We primarily focus on American foreign affairs; attempting to affect public policy in the States. Thus, I cover the costs to Americans of American intervention abroad. I mean no offense to other coalition troops killed by not thoroughly covering their deaths.

As you may notice, I do have a listing of other coalition troops killed in Iraq and links to many other sites that detail the cost to Iraqi civilians. Unfortunately, I lack the time to also research and database these events. If you are willing to commit the time, I will be more than happy to post such names on our site.

Jaclyn W.’s letter

I was just wondering if the student who is editor of the high school yearbook and wrote asking about casualties in Iraq and plans to make mention of them in the high school yearbook, so as to give the pro-war classmates something to think about, will also mention that over 100,000 people in Iraq were murdered by Saddam and many times that number were tortured. I wonder if the children who were taken from their families will be mentioned, and the children and wives who saw the man of the house forcibly removed from their home in the evening only to find his head on a pole in the front yard the next morning – will they be mentioned? Will there be any note of those who were fed into shredding machines? Just wondering.

~ Dwight Smith

Mike Ewens replies:

You are right to infer that we – as human beings – should care about the plight of those suffering under the evils of despotism and tyranny. However, this sentiment does NOT equate with a collective duty to rid such peoples of their ills (as you similarly infer). From the perspective of America and her interests, such a policy of saving the world from evil is both unfeasible and unproductive. For in doing so we lessen our own security and introduce a form of “security-welfare” where the peoples of the world are only free when US missiles rain down upon their lands (and hopefully its dictators).

Out of Position: Where Will the ‘Antiwar’ Vote Go?

Please convey this to Gancarski: Republican, Bush Republican, Neocon – “What’s the difference?”

I tend to agree with Kevin Phillips regarding the future. However given hard assertions – history, nature and the cold bare fact contradicts the hypocrite (see Emanuel Lasker).

Apologies to normal right people. Like it or not, we MoveOn the same pages.

~ Loren Olsen, retired firefighter /EMT, Mt. Iron, MN

Anthony Gancarski replies:

One can oppose global militarism without embracing the rhetorical excesses and political suicide missions of so many who putatively share his position. I say ‘putatively’ because there are quite a few people who “oppose war”, but when they relax a bit, they start holding forth about the International Jewish Conspiracy and other rhetorical devices of the lunatic fringe. Regarding MoveOn.Org more specifically, they put forth a lot of quasi-leftist agitprop, but never address the material circumstances that have led to Middle Eastern war. The collapse of the dollar combined with the surging economies of China and India, I believe, have led to the newly hyper-aggressive turn in US foreign policy, a strategy designed to establish squatter’s rights on “failed states” that just so happen to be “mineral-rich.”

China and India are not going away, either. Perhaps instead of looking for genocidal dictators to compare the sitting President to, the MoveOn.org mavens and apologists might want to address the reality: America is on the decline, more quickly than anyone in big media is allowed to let on. When Kucinich, Dean, MoveOn.Org or any of the other glazed donuts masquerading as populists addresses what’s really going on, then I might revise my position (which I thoroughly considered well before I took it).

Thanks for writing.

John Buchanan

What is your take on John Buchanan, the man running for GOP leadership at the primaries? His stated policies are congruent with many views espoused on Antiwar.com. Even though I’m a liberal, this is one candidate that I can get excited about.

His website can be seen at johnbuchanan.org.

~ D. Omitan

Eric Garris replies:

I am familiar with him. I might have voted for him if he had made it onto the California primary ballot, but he did not (I am a registered Republican). He has made a very bad decision: to wait for the New Hampshire results before trying to get on the ballot in other states. Problem is that the deadlines for getting on most primary ballots have now passed. He is unlikely to get a single delegate. It takes a lot more than words to seriously run for President.

Of course, Antiwar.com can’t take positions on candidates (due to our nonprofit status).

The Horserace

The questions that Justin raised in his article “The Horserace” he answered in a lecture he gave on antiwar populist politicians like Montana’s Burton K. Wheeler and Minnesota Charles A, Lindbergh Sr. at the Rockford Institute’s annual summer school back in late July 2001.

The intra-party primary has to be the way antiwar politicians and voters have to go to affect the political process. Third parties simply can’t cut it not only for the reasons that Justin stated, but also because culturally, the American people are ingrained with the two major parties from the time they are born until they die.

For example, I knew of the Libertarian Party’s existence growing up, but I didn’t know exactly what they stood for until college and didn’t know much about its history until after I graduated. Most Americans are the same way. All they know about are Republicans and Democrats and nothing else from the time they go through school until they grow old.

Third party politics is a dead end road except for local politics. On the national scene, those antiwar activists who want to influence policy must elect to the state or federal level candidates who support their position through the party primaries. That’s how Wheeler and Lindbergh were elected, that’s how the Non-Partisan League, a populist antiwar political party got its candidates elected in the upper Midwest between World Wars I and II and that’s how persons like Ron Paul today get elected. He’s able to stay in Congress and be effective as an antiwar spokesman because he’s smart enough to avoid running with an LP millstone around his neck in a heavily Republican district.

If more aspiring candidates were as smart as Paul, and used the open primary system to their advantage, perhaps we would have a Congress that is more than a rubber stamp for our nation’s foreign policy.

~ Sean Scallon, Arkansaw, Wisconsin

Mr. Raimondo’s article “The Horserace” articulated the frustrations that so many people who know this election will be just as much a sham as the last, and whoever the Dempublicans or Republicats put as Grand Marshal of the Empire parade this coming year, the results will be the same.

However, a word to the wise: don’t count the Greens out, Mr. Raimondo – we will provide you a – candidate, a real, live candidate – even without Mr. Nader. We are a party hundreds of thousands strong, who are committed to changing things.

For more info check out the Greens website at www.gp.org, as well as these people looking to run especially David Cobb.

Don’t mark us for the glue factory yet.

~ Colby Hamilton, North Brooklyn Greens

Get serious and get folks to lean on Buchanan and Keyes to get into the ring. I’ve done that and the feedback wasn’t necessarily negative.

We need someone in the White House that has actually read and basically understands the constitution of the United States. These two have and do.

I’m sure that a coalition of disaffected republicans and democrats could be formed, maybe together with some authentic libertarians to make the move a real possibility.

Bush is a Grey Davis on a national scale and the Democrats couldn’t put together enough mental gas to blow a fart.

We’re in Iraq, that’s a fact right or wrong. Now the issue is to get out and let Iraq be Iraq then we can turn our full attention on the stateless terrorists. I think that the two named above would seek that route. Also, I am absolutely sure that both of them would put the world Marxist council, also known as the United Nations, in its place. That is, removed from the shores of this country and without US taxpayer dollars available to foster programs against the US.

~ Mike Barnum, Los Angeles

“Kucinich is the sole exception, but even a campaign supposedly devoted to “principle” is open to temptation, and Kucinich succumbed in Iowa, where his supporters were instructed to vote for John Edwards – Edwards! – in the second round if Kucinich’s total was under 15 percent. Some “principled” campaign! But what I don’t get is what advantage Kucinich thought he was getting by issuing this ideologically counterintuitive instruction. An appointment as Secretary of Peace in an Edwards administration?”

Not exactly. What Kucinich, and the other losers, are after is a brokered convention. Kucinich isn’t worried about getting a position in an Edwards administration – he just wants to be able to go to a convention that has no winner, with his handful of delegates in pocket to buy himself something with from whomever comes out of it.

In order to get a brokered convention, Dean had to be knocked down into the pack in Iowa, lest he run away with New Hampshire and sweep Super Tuesday. If the also-rans can keep a clear winner from emerging, then they go to the national convention with handfuls of delegates which can be used to put one of the top two “over the top” – for a price, be it a Supreme Court appointment, cabinet position, ambassadorship, whatever.

That, I think, is the logic that motivated Kucinich and Sharpton. Lieberman and Clark to a lesser extent – they aren’t NECESSARILY going for the brokered convention (although Lieberman would have an advantage there), but since they put their efforts off until later, they wanted to keep Dean knocked down until their campaigns have a chance to come into play.

~ Tom K.

“there is not a single antiwar candidate – or, at least, not a single candidate (with the nearly invisible exception of Dennis Kucinich), who calls for getting us the heck out of Iraq”

Both Michael Badnarik and Gary Nolan oppose unconstitutional war and an interventionist foreign policy. Yet, Raimondo complains about Democrat candidates. I liked it better when this was a libertarian website.

~ J. Amaas

Eric Garris (Life Member, Libertarian Party – since 1973) replies:

I have heard both of them speak, and only one made a single brief mention of foreign policy.

Neither of these candidates seems to have the slightest interest in true application of libertarian principles to the real world. On the other hand, I am very impressed with Aaron Russo’s approach: http://www.russoforpresident.com.

The Two Brother Sparrows in Waqland

Let me introduce a story written by a Japanese whose brother is in the SDF (Self-Defense Force) and will be unfortunately sent to Iraq by the government.

Though nearly half of Japanese people are against sending troops, it has already left Japan. We would like to tell you that we are against sending our troops.

You can read the whole story “The Two Brother Sparrows in Waqland” in English at: http://nofrills.hp.infoseek.co.jp/hon/story.html.

You can also enjoy the illustrations at http://tinyurl.com/37qe6.

Thank you.

~ Kotoko Kuboshima

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