Comment from Germany

Thank you for this website.

The current Bush administration is not only responsible for torturing and massacring thousands of innocent people, but also for destroying the reputation of the USA in the world. People here in Europe are beginning to see US Americans as sick and perverted, making fun out of torturing and massacring Iraqis. Thank you for showing me, that not all Americans are like this!

~ Gabriel Topor

From White House to Dog House in Just Five Months

Though I found your article very interesting as I do all the recent news about Chalabi’s “fall from grace,” I can’t help but be bothered by the notion that he is being set up as an “enemy” of the US in order to gain support from the Iraqis as the new leader of an independent Iraqi government, when or if that ever happens. It seems to me that Iraqis today will not support any person that they deem to be placed in power by the Americans. Therefore, wouldn’t it serve the Bush administration’s purpose to be seen as distancing itself from Chalabi, only to “make friends again” once he is in power?

~ Elizabeth Saghi

Jim Lobe replies:

That is a theory that’s around, but it’s a bit too Machiavellian for me, particularly given the genuine loathing key U.S. individuals who would have known about the plans for the raids in advance have for the man.

Who Won the War in Iraq? IRAN!

Now that the truth has finally surfaced, we find out that Ahmed Chalabi and his INC cohorts are really Iranian spies, many of them on the payroll of the ayatollahs. One has to wonder if Chalabi fed the American neocons “evidence” about Saddam’s WMD, which had been previously falsified by the Iranian intelligence.

The Americans fell into the trap and overthrew Saddam. Thanks to them, the pro-Iranian Shi’as regained control over Iraq and are on their way to establish the Islamic Republic of Iraq.

After 15 years of truce, the Iranians won the war against Saddam – this time using American troops and US taxpayers’ money.

Now Iraq will become a pro-Iranian Shia Islamic Republic, hundreds of the Great Satan’s soldiers will keep dying every month, and the entire US military will be tied down in Iraq, allowing Iran to continue work on its nuclear weapons programs.

This, ladies and gentlemen, has been one of the biggest con jobs in history. And Bush and his Iran-hating neocons fell for it. …

~ Matt Soja

Is There Hope? Where to Look for It!

I believe that Ran HaCohen is very misguided and does not know the History preceding the establishment of Israel as an independent country. He is sorry for the Palestinians who are suffering because they are controlled by terrorist groups including Arafat’s group. I understand how much he wants peace and the end of all these killings and destruction. But the Geneva Accord is not the answer because of the return of the refugees article being so vague and making it possible for too many of the hostile refugees, there are 4 million of them now, returning and outnumbering the Israelis. This would be the end of Israel for sure.

The behavior of the Israeli soldiers and the attacks in response to Palestinian or more accurately terrorist-incited suicide bombings against Israeli civilians are savage indeed, but understandably so. There is no doubt that the purpose of the Islamic terrorist groups are determined to destroy Israel and wipe it off the surface of the earth.

The Jewish people have for too long allowed themselves to be exterminated by those who feared and therefore hated them. Finally we have a breed of Jewish people, the Israelis, who have the strength, will and determination to not let that happen again.

The Palestinians are really directing their hatred towards the wrong enemy. They should rise against those Arab terrorists and Yasser Arafat and then make peace with Israel with conditions more like those contained in the Road Map to Peace that President Bush supports. Too many of the Palestinians have been raised to hate the Israelis. It will take a while for them to change.

It would be suicidal to agree to the Geneva Accord especially with Arafat in power, as this would enable the extremist Islamic terrorist groups controlling Palestinians to destroy Israel just as they had planned to ever since the first Jewish settlers arrived even before the British Mandate.

~ Laila L.

Ran HaCohen replies:

You are surely right. The Geneva Accord is not the answer, nor is any other peace plan which risks being acceptable to the Palestinians. The only answer is to kill Palestinians by the dozen and demolish their homes by the hundred, like right now in Gaza – and if they complain, call them “terrorists” and blame them for their own plight, and strangulate their democratically elected leader and blame them for not overthrowing him. Indeed, “the Jewish people have for too long allowed themselves to be exterminated”, now its our turn to exterminate others, just to balance History (of which I, as you say, am ignorant, otherwise I would have seen the obvious similarity). Indeed, in their terrible ungratefulness “too many Palestinians have been raised to hate the Israelis”; they should love us for killing them, taking their land, and making 4 millions of them refugees – like we Jews love and cherish all those who exterminated us in History; we won’t stop being “understandably savage” towards them until the last Palestinian starts loving us – or else we kill him. With your excellent way to Peace, who needs the Road Map anyway.

Think the Unthinkable: Partition Iraq

I read Mr. Eland’s article “Think the Unthinkable: Partition Iraq” and I disagree with it. He makes sense in his introduction, but I disagree with his conclusions.

I don’t see why there is any reason for Iraq to be partitioned.

Nothing on the ground seems to indicate this. There’s been little or no bloodshed between the Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis. In April, Muqtada Al-Sadr even praised the “heroic insurgents of Fallujah” and the Sunnis are hoisting Al-Sadr’s portrait including in Sunni Fallujah. The Iraqi army unit which refused to fight with the US against Fallujah was largely composed of Kurds and Shiites. Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis all got together to contribute blood, food, and medical supplies to Fallujah during the siege.

The Kurdish officials haven’t made any claim supporting statehood, only some degree of autonomy in a Federal Iraq. They still want to be a part of Iraq’s society and policies. The Shiites don’t want either separation nor autonomy. They speak Arabic and are very similar to the Sunnis. There is little if any call for division within Iraq itself. In another sense, partitioning hurts in the long run; see how the British partitioned Iraq and Iran, and they later became involved in a war? One could also argue that splitting India and Pakistan along similar lines has led to a very rough amount of tensions in the area.

~ James A. Ferguson, Brightwaters, NY

Mr. Eland seems under the delusion that by partitioning Iraq, the U.S. would be doing the Iraqi people a big favor. Most Iraqi Sunnis and Shi’ites would probably disagree. There is nothing ‘unthinkable’ about this idea, in fact it’s simply another example of the classic colonial tactic of divide and rule. It is the same tactic the British used when they split Kuwait from Iraq. By cutting Iraq up into three microstates, the Americans might hope to create three new states that would each be so weak that they could be easily controlled and would pose no threat to American and Israeli domination of the Middle East. However, if the US did partition Iraq, the US, would bear the responsibility and the blame for partitioning Iraq. The use of such a cynical tactic would increase hatred of the US throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds. For the US to partition Iraq would serve to make the job of Al Qaeda’s recruiters that much easier.

~ Glenn Brown

Rumsfeld’s Secret Army

Just wanted to say how pleased I am to hear you surpassed your pledge goal and that Barganier has been hired as editor. Not to sound too dramatic, but I believe this site is critical to our country’s future. I am happy to know my small financial contributions, and those of many more like myself, keep Antiwar doing the necessary work it does. And of course Raimondo’s column today was right on, as usual.

~ M Johnson, Hawaii

Justin – great news about Matthew Barganier – and delighted to hear that a portion of my $50 contribution this month has gone to such a worthy investment – all power to your elbow.

As an aside my saved articles from Antiwar, Truthout, Counterpunch and a few others now amount to close on 40mb – and in years to come I will reread the history of our times with anguish – but relishing with gratitude the superb contribution that you and all your contributors have made in nurturing the truth and exposing the lie.

May I suggest in closing that you and every one of us should read and reread at least on a weekly basis ‘Ozymandias’ – where Percy Bysshe Shelley so aptly encaptures the fatuity of human pride: ‘My name is Ozymandias – King of Kings – Look on my works ye mighty – and despair.’ And to save you searching here below is the complete poem:

I MET a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Sounds more like Rummy than Bushbaby to me though hey?!

And to conclude with a favorite aphorism: ‘Poetry – is the shortest way of saying something’

Cheers for now and all good fortune.

~ Rodney Jenkins

I have pointed out to many people that the origin of the ‘unlawful combatant’ designation does not reside in Washington D.C. in 2001, but in Berlin, on October 18th 1943. I fail to understand why so many have ignored this gem. Just Google ‘Commando Order‘ and you will see where Rumsfeld gets his ideas from. Briefly, Hitler’s generals said that ‘commandos’ raiding German-occupied Europe were not proper soldiers as they fought in unconventional ways. Ergo they were not to be afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention on treatment of captured personnel. They were classified as ‘Terrorists’: to be interrogated strenuously, their existence concealed from the I.C.R.C. and then if they survived being put to the question, they were to be executed in secret. Anyone revealing the existence and treatment of these prisoners was to be punished severely. The great irony is that one history of the Royal Marine Commandos is entitled ‘These men are dangerous’. This is how Hitler described them. When the Afghanistan intervention first started the Royal Marines were rounding up Afghanis for ‘rendition‘ to Guantanamo, beyond the reach of the Red Cross, they were doing to Afghans what had been done to their Regimental forbears. Unlawful combatants rounding up unlawful combatants for the pleasure of a larger unlawful combatant! Justin, thanks for your efforts in publishing ….

~ Denis Foley

Is Iraq a Captive Nation?

Yeah, Dr. Roberts has a point. I grew up in the “communist” Poland but compared with Iraq that “occupation” was largely imagined. Polish communists in power were paying lip service to the eternal friendship with the CCCP etc. but were not really directly steered by Moscow, it’s largely a myth. They sure knew their bounds and were making sure there’s no open rebellion, viz. martial law against Solidarity, but that and the lying to Moscow about their devout socialism was the only thing (and spoiling the economy). (By the way, the word ‘communist’ was not used in Poland, the system was de nomine and de facto an inefficient ‘socialist’ country.)

Similar status applied to all satellite states, only in DDR the regime was quite a bit more paranoid about appearing OK to Moscow, and more insidious.

So, until you grew up and started to feel uneasy about the severe restrictions on the freedom of expression and so on, you thought you live in a perfect world!

That’s NOT so in Iraq today or ever, it’s a very harsh direct occupation and against that every nation worth its name would rise up (Poles did that many times, as you know, but not under communism, definitely not because CCCP was more oppressive than tsarist Russia, Prussia, Austro-Hungaria).

~ Pawel Artymowicz

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

The Iraqi occupation is harsh like Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968.

End Self-Delusion

“Now, there is one certainty you can count on when you deal with the military: Enlisted people do not originate anything. They follow orders. They follow orders of lieutenants, who obey captains, who obey majors, who obey lieutenant colonels, who obey colonels (full birds, they are called), who obey generals, who obey other generals, who obey civilians in the Defense Department. If ever there was a trickledown organization, it is the U.S. military.”

Of course enlisted people originate things, both good and bad. I was in the military for 20 years; most of the improvements I saw during that time were initiated by enlisted men and women; as were most of the crimes committed. It is the inevitable result of having more enlisteds than officers. Of course, officers usually get the credit and the blame; but there’s usually an enlisted man behind a new idea, even venal ones.

Do enlisted people follow orders? You betcha. But they better not do so blindly. I must have received dozens of illegal orders in my military career; I like to think I failed to follow them all. Did I get in trouble? Sometimes, yes. But never legal trouble. I didn’t obey orders that violated safety or quality assurance, or broke regulations issued by higher authority, or included acts that where a criminal offense under the UCMJ. And I was never prosecuted for my refusal to obey such orders.

Should the military prosecute those enlisted people who participated in the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison? Absolutely. Should they prosecute any officer or civilian involved also? You betcha. But under no circumstances should the enlisted people who actually committed these acts be let off the hook. Being a soldier does not mean that one can blame lawless behavior on “just following orders.”

~ Edward B. Harrison, USN (Retired)

James J. Martin, 1916 – 2004

Thanks for the phenomenal article on James J. Martin. I really enjoyed his Men Against the State, especially as it described some anarchist magazines which were once published in this area. It definitely inspired me to study and write more on the subject. Since I also graduated from Northern Illinois University, it was fascinating to hear that he once taught there (the school also once had a branch in Fulton). I would love to know more about his history.

It was also heartening to hear about the refreshing independence of the man (and the anarchists he studied). Unlike today’s class-warfare proponents, they seemed to harbor no reactionary resentment toward the wealthy, and offered a pure libertarian solution to the status quo. I certainly hope that a biography of Mr. Martin is forthcoming, as it would definitely add to my “wow factor” about some real pioneers.

~ Brent Bielema

What Does America Offer the World?

I agree with a lot of what Pat Buchanan says and I admire his stance on Iraq and the honest way he looks at his (potentially) great nation – perhaps the greatest the world has ever seen. Nevertheless, I want to comment, not on what he wrote, but what was contained in his article as a link to another piece regarding the Opium wars of the 1830s.

As an ordinary Englishman whose family and ancestors had nothing to do with the British Empire, I must object to the way that people around the world use the words ‘English’ or ‘England’ as synonyms for ‘British’ and ‘Britain’. Imagine if people used ‘Texas’ or ‘California’ when they meant America. England is only a part of Britain. It is, I admit, the biggest part (85%) but currently none of the British political parties are led by English people and the most powerful politicians in the British Government, including Tony Blair, are non-English. In fact, they spend a lot of time and effort badmouthing England and now plan to divide it up. They even try to deny that it exists.

I also want to remind Americans that the men who founded their constitution and led the US to independence were men of largely English blood (Jefferson was partly Welsh in origin, but English, too). Washington and Lincoln, as well as many other presidents, were men of English descent. Thomas Paine, who was actually English born and bred, lit the spark through his pamphlets that led to independence and he is said to have coined the term ‘United States of America’. He has all but been forgotten now. And why do you think the British (not the English) used so many German mercenaries in that war? Probably because the ordinary peoples of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were too sympathetic with the US cause. Certainly, when Tom Paine returned to England he was ignored, then hounded by the British establishment but welcomed by the ordinary English. Many Americans should consider that when they make anti-English comments. Had we not become embroiled in the Napoleonic wars, there is every chance that we English, too, might have followed America in its quest for freedom far more quickly than we did.

Please, please, spread the word that England is not Britain. Don’t mix the two words at a time when we English find ourselves in a similar situation to Americans in 1776. We too are now taxed but have less representation than the rest of the UK. We too have to provide soldiers and money for illegal adventures in Iraq or the Balkans carried out by our non-English leaders. Let me go further and say that:


~ Terry Payne

Good Fences

IF One were ever at a loss for word, when trying to explain to an “outsider” what had happened with the former Yugoslavia, the Serbs, the wars, etc. I would highly recommend making a copy of this literary work and handing it to the inquiring party.

This is probably one of the best explanatory pieces I have come across on a long time, describing, in detail, what actually happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. I suggest one should read it, pass it on and then save a copy for your kids, so that they may also know the real story! My compliments to the author, Mr. Malic.


Hidden Heroes

I am a Brit living in Canada. I used to have nightmares about Reagan riding off into a nuclear sunset during the Cold War. George W however is the most dangerous man you have ever had as your leader. There is no hope over “Iraqnam” until he is gone!

This brings me to the point. Why are American dead brought home without the honor they deserve? They are the heroes sacrificed in the name of “freedom”.

As a statement, could not a protest march be organized made up of flag-draped coffins representing the number of dead (fast approaching six hundred) soldiers? I think the families of many would consent to their names being displayed to give them the recognition they deserve. Finally, when electing future leaders, please pass up on recovering alcoholics!

~ Mike Curwain

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