I think that the reported deaths in Iraq are just a cover-up of what is really happening there and how many are really dying. Who is keeping in track of those who have been seriously injured by bombs, motors, etc., and have died in the hospital 2 or 3 or 4 days later? Honestly, down deep in my heart I know more GI’s are getting killed there and they are reporting. What do you think?

~ Michael Knight

Mike Ewens replies:

The military – as best that I can tell – has reported every death from injury, even those flown to the US. Here is an example:

Check these sites for about 10 more examples:

Your web site should show the casualties in Afghanistan as well. About 100 dead Americans – has impacted British, Canadian and others.

~ Karl Schwarz

Mike Ewens replies:

You are correct, but I don’t have enough time to cover that statistic. Another site handles those numbers:

There have been numerous accusations that the US military is manipulating the casualty figures. One claim that sounds to me very plausible, is that many combat deaths are officially classified as "non-hostile" deaths. There are simply too many suspicious "accidents," like a soldier killed by an Iraqi "celebratory" gunshot, soldiers killed in a car crash without mentioning that this crash happened during an ambush and so on. I also recall an article by Robert Fisk where several special forces soldiers confirmed to him that soldiers killed in combat were officially reported to have drowned.

There is a simple way to check the plausibility of the official non-combat death toll – compare it to the "normal", peacetime number of deaths. In 1999, the last year statistics are available (see "Worldwide US Active Duty Military Deaths"), 761 US soldiers out of a total of 1.4 Million died (411 accidents, 126 illness, 34 homicide, 110 suicide, 80 pending /undetermined). Death by illness can be discounted, since all severely ill (and wounded) are medically evacuated to hospitals outside of Iraq and are therefore in case of death not included in the numbers. That leaves 635. This means, that with an occupation force of about 10% of total troop strength, one should expect about 60-70 "non-hostile" deaths per year.

However, the number of official non-combat deaths at the beginning of February– less than a year after the war and occupation started – stands already at 160!

~ Gerhard Grasruck

In the Balkans, Same Old Evil

60 years of enforced statism’ in the Yugoslavia region? ONLY 60? If resistance to the Wehrmacht and 4 local Waffen SS divisions (were they really anarchist?) was statist, perhaps there was a reason for that. Was resistance in 1389 and 1804 not statist for a cause (reason maybe?) too? The Polish minimal state did not protect the Poles too well against the Three Empires. So let’s look harder at the US and the Euro Empires. To be blunt, your implicit calls for a purely local minarchism (?) are starting to sound merely glib.

~ Ben Cosin (London, England)

Nebojsa Malic replies:

I chose 1944 as the arbitrary starting point because that’s when the Communists established control over most of Serbia by, among other things, pushing out the Wehrmacht and the SS. So a totalitarian Nazi occupation was replaced by a domestic totalitarian communist dictatorship. Certainly a vast improvement over the Nazis, but what wouldn’t be? Coming back to the present, let’s review the performance of the state in protecting the interests of Serbs, Croats, Muslims, Macedonians. Even a cursory examination indicates that it was abysmal. The ideology of political over private and "democratic (national) socialism" is responsible for the outbreak and some of the worst excesses of the Succession Wars, not to mention the conflicts in Kosovo and Macedonia.

The reason the Successor States’ economies are in the bin is that their governments have established not a legal system of contracts and property, but a system of unrestrained, arbitrary plunder. Any attempt to generate wealth and engage in peaceful commerce is mercilessly repressed by governments that feel ‘cheated’ of tax revenue. And both the American Empire and its adjunct, the Union of European Socialist Republics, are pushing hard for more of it. Let’s face it: statism has failed. It has produced nothing but war, poverty, debt, conflict and crime. That’s as true of the Balkans as it is of anywhere else. So why not try something minarchist? Why not go for promoting property rights, free trade and personal firearm ownership, with citizens unable to pass responsibility onto politicians or lawyers or anyone but themselves? I bet things would sort themselves out pretty quickly, and for the better.


Wasn’t John Kerry involved in an incident in Vietnam where some civilians died during a special operations mission he was on where it was alleged he killed them and confessed to it during the campaign? I think I may have read it at the Christian Science Monitor‘s website or something. Do you know anything about it? Please enlighten me.

~ Mike R.

Eric Garris replies:

That was Bob Kerry, former Governor of Nebraska.

Bush’s Dubious ‘Honorable Discharge’

Bush’s disingenuous claim that he fulfilled his Guard service because he got an "honorable discharge" isn’t entirely accurate.

In fact, if Bush tested positive on a drug test in 1972-73, he still could have received an honorable discharge under the law at the time.

What happened to the records of Bush’s service between May, 1972 and May, 1973? Col. (ret.) Rufus G. Martin, 147th Wing Personnel Officer for Bush’s unit, currently residing in San Antonio, Texas, said the absence was due to "administrative reasons."

But, the hole in the middle of Bush’s military records raises questions, including the issue of culpability of Bush’s commanding officers for not following the UCMJ codes. Under the UCMJ, Bush’s commanders can still be charged for any abrogation of the code. Bush can also still be charged.

According to the UCMJ definition of AWOL, Bush was AWOL at the moment he didn’t show up for his flight physical – not to mention the full year he was not showing up to his Guard Unit to perform his military duties.

Bush doesn’t deny he was suspended from flying for not taking his flight physical, and that fact is in the records.

It’s not a pilot’s option to choose to take or not take the flight physical. The commander is required to take action – an FEB or a charge of failure to perform his assigned duties.

The definition of AWOL, absent without leave, is clear:

Article 86 of Uniform Code of Military Justice –

"Any member of the armed forces who, without authority –

"1) fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed;

"2) goes from that place; or

"3) absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed;

"Shall be punished as a court martial may direct."

Why wasn’t a Flight Evaluation Board called when Bush didn’t show up for his flight physical? An FEB is the usual course of action for not maintaining medical qualification to fly, i.e. refusing to take a flight physical. The FEB results in a pilot being removed from flight status. Bush was "suspended" from flying status according to his records.

So, are the missing military records hiding an FEB, and a subsequent administrative action, such as time in a drug rehabilitation program?

Bush’s argument that he couldn’t have been AWOL because he received an "honorable discharge," is a lie.

Under the law at the time, Bush could have failed a drug urinalysis test ordered by his commander, and still have received an honorable discharge.

In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that "Command-Directed" urinalysis tests could be used to discharge someone – but they could not be used to determine discharge characterization. A command-directed urinalysis is when the commander orders someone to take a urinalysis drug test, that isn’t random, and isn’t based on probable cause.

The fact that someone tested positive on a Command Directed Urinalysis could be used as the reason for discharge, but could not be used in determining whether the service was honorable, general, or under other-than-honorable conditions. (Note: Results of a random urinalysis test, or probable cause test can still be used for discharge characterization).

For example, if a pilot didn’t show up for his flight physical, a commander could order a "command-directed" urinalysis; the result could be FEB suspension of flying status, rehabilitative treatment at a drug use treatment program, and/or an administrative discharge under honorable conditions.

When the Supreme Court ruled against the Army on this issue in 1972, the Dept. of Defense had to create a new program which allowed servicemembers discharged prior to 1972 because of a command-directed drug test to receive an automatic upgrade of their discharge to "honorable."

Thirdly, under 803. Article 3. Jurisdiction to try Certain Personnel, Bush – and those who commanded him – are still liable for any fraudulent actions committed while in either active duty or inactive-duty training or service. Whoever is determined to be responsible for missing records can be charged with a crime.

803. Article 3. Jurisdiction to try Certain Personnel,

"a) Subject to section 843 of this title (article 43), any person discharged from the Armed Forces who is later charged with having fraudulently obtained his discharge is, subject to trial by court-martial on that charge and is, after apprehension, subject to trial for all offenses under this chapter committed before the fraudulent discharge.

"b) A member of a reserve component, who is subject to this chapter is not, by virtue of the termination of a period of active duty or inactive-duty training, relieved from amenability to the jurisdiction of this chapter for an offense against this chapter committed during such period of active duty or inactive-duty training."

~ Col (ret.) Mark DeBolt, USAF, Niceville Florida

Our History

Were you this vocal during the late ’90s when Clinton conducted bombing campaigns?

~ John Makowiecki

Eric Garris replies:

Absolutely, that is when we started Check out our history here:

The Neoconning of America

"Even the vehemently pro-war WorldNetDaily …"

How do you say that and think you retain any credibility when we regularly run people Buchanan, Casey, Mercer, Hackworth, Ratner, Polak, Press, Prather, Wanniski, Sperry and others – ALL of whom have specifically staked out positions AGAINST the war?

Sure we also have regularly run people who have supported the war – including myself and Joseph – but at best this leaves WND as a referee, not a player for the pro-war side. The fact that both sides get heard on our site ought to be celebrated, not derided. Or are you just another one of those people who tolerates other views only as long as they don’t deviate from your own?

~ Tom Ambrose, Commentary Editor,

Mr. Clark Goes To The Hague

Thank you, Mr. Malic, for pointing out the incredible irony with which we find Wesley Clark running for President not only as a Democrat, but an "antiwar" Democrat.

I’ve thought for years the man is psychotic, and the articles I continue to dig up on the guy seem to prove it. It is unbelievable to me that anyone would consider replacing Bush with a nut like Clark. I’d almost rather have Bush in there. Almost. God help this country!

Anyway, keep up the good work. Your journalism is an inspiration.

~ Justin Tribble, Arizona, USA

Practicing Nuclear War

I see a dark cloud of war on the horizon.

Charlie states about Bush "announcing an end to the no-first-use-of-nukes policy and replacing it with a policy of preemptive war."

Turn back the clock and remember when the US unilaterally changed the mission of NATO from a defensive military force to one of offensive and also to operations outside the membership.

Then how long was it afterwards that NATO attacked Yugoslavia in a setup at Rambouillet? It was shortly after that that the Russians changed their military doctrine to one of "announcing an end to the no-first-use-of nukes policy and replacing it with a policy of preemptive war."

With the US encircling a Russia in a world that is becoming more paranoid of our expanding empire there will come a day someone, somewhere, will draw a line in the oil with our blood.

God help us!

~ Lt Col KJ USAF (Ret)

This is a damn good article! Over here in Germany we have gone as far as to deeply mistrust US politics. The US no longer offers what Europe needs: Peace.

The US is a warmonger, terrifying many people in wide parts of the earth. In many of my friends’ eyes, the US is a real source of war and global terror.

What the US wants is global control. We see this clearly in the deploying of US soldiers in every corner of the world. You could see this as a preparation of a subtle war against the rest of the world, trying to subject foreign politicians and force dozens of other nations to rank their interests behind those of the US. It clearly denies respect to other cultures and to their needs. It is a war against freedom and other cultures.

I don’t know why Bush so clearly takes the effect for the cause. We once had a madman and schizophrenic guy as our national leader. The result was devastating. You, the US people, should vote against him and kick him away. Otherwise I fear the worst. The Bush issue is clearly an issue of homeland security, and it is your biggest threat.

~ Markus Heller

Unlike Mr Blair, Churchill had been a Soldier

In an article posted in the Cape Argus, Mr. Bush waxed fondly on the similarities between himself, Tony Blair and Winston Churchill. You may be aware that Mr. Blair and his cabinet colleagues have also used that same analogy in recent days. …

Question: Is Churchill’s gassing of Iraqis in the 1920s equivalent to Bush and Blair’s most recent wholesale destruction of Iraq, which included the use of cluster bombs and weapons hardened with depleted uranium? If so, I guess all three men are alike.

~ Rashid Miraj

What Are We Doing in Russia’s Neighborhood?

I can’t recall ever finding myself in agreement with Pat Buchanan before. … But in this case, he’s absolutely right.

I lived in Uzbekistan for three years as a volunteer in the Peace Corps, and one of my former students is in prison there for the crime of being an independent journalist. Ruslan Sharipov spoke out against the regime of President (for Life!) Islom Karimov, a new "good buddy" of George W. Bush.

The American taxpayers recently paid to wine and dine him in our White House, and we are subsidizing his government with millions of our dollars. We could have something to say about his terrible human rights record, but apparently we don’t want to make the dictator angry, so we’re quiet on the subject. And my friend Ruslan rots away in a prison more frightening than you can imagine in your worst dreams.

All the policies of this administration are beyond comprehension, especially in foreign affairs, and it’s interesting that Bush has as many foes on the right as on the left. In this case, it’s hard to see where it is that he’s positioned himself. Compassionate conservatism? Does anyone know what the hell that is?

Thanks Pat. Keep speaking out. We may come from opposite sides of the aisle, but we need to work together to oust the impostor!

~ John Smart

Neocons Busted!

Regarding the intelligence capabilities of this country – what happened to all of the spy satellites in space that can read a license plate on a car parked on the ground?

Couldn’t they spot all of the WMD activity supposedly going on in Iraq? Does anyone in the Administration dare say that there were no such satellites in orbit over the Mideast, given our focus there in the last 15 years? What a load of crap, Tenet is trying to hand us. Hey, what do you expect from the US intelligence establishment for a measly $30 B a year? Prior to the War on Iraq, I checked with the Janes (the commercial British experts on military capabilities) website regarding Iraq’s military capabilities. Janes’ estimate was that Iraq’s Air Force was virtually nonexistent and that the army was a shadow of what it was during Gulf War I. And this intelligence was free and available for an Internet search.

We need to put a few highly placed government officials in prison. I would say at least 50 of them – I would be glad to volunteer my list to the proper authorities.

~ Richard Vajs, Franklin, WV

The Realities of War

The Realities of War column was right on. I was a Marine in Korea and many of those same things went on for me fifty years ago and, yes, they still stick in my mind and nothing I do gets rid of them. Wish more veterans would write about what happens in Combat so the American people would know.

~ John Leecy

India’s Ruling Party Faces Fierce Fight in Elections

This is a very important article, mainly because it makes clear that the Dalit party, the Bahujan Samaj Party presently lead by India’s Iron Lady, Mayawati, is the major problem faced by the Hindu fundamentalists of the BJP.

It is time the west started to at least recognize what Dalits have long called Apartheid in India, the caste system, for what it is, the most brutal, inhumane and oldest system of oppression in the world today.

~ Thomas C. Mountain, Ambedkar Journal and writer for Times of Bahujan, national newspaper of the Bahujan Samaj Party


I am an everyday reader of, and small contributor too. In the Backtalk section you often print letters from people who proffer the standard canards and syllogisms of pro-war thinking. In the latest Backtalk, for instance, a writer compares the number of murders in Chicago with the death count for our troops, and another puts forward a statistic claiming that Saddam killed 100,000 people and therefore we must… In each case you [Mike Ewens] patiently, politely, and clearly dissect the fallacies and illogic. This is a valuable service and I hope you continue to handle those letters in that fashion, rather than answering with sarcasm or irony. The respectful attention you give to these writers and their opinions is like a refresher course in rebutting the arguments of the War Party, and the courtesy you show them is an essential facet of rebuttal. Thank you for responding in that manner, and I hope you continue.

~ Mooser

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