The Neocons and their champions should be charged, at the very least, with malfeasance for leading the US into an unnecessary Iraq war. By steering US foreign policy down the preemptive path without imminent threat, they have set precedents that make the world a more dangerous place. The consequences of their putsch cannot be easily undone. It is clear that the detritus of powerplays between State and Pentagon is resulting in the death and maiming of US troops, Iraqi civilians and the complete destruction of Iraq. The mess in Iraq today is a direct result of the hubris and mismanagement of a group of arrogant individuals far removed from the horrors of war who convinced a credulous President of their theories of omnipotence.
It is no consolation that the pendulum has swung in the direction of the realists at State, it could just as easily swing back to the ideologues given that they still retain extraordinary access, power and influence within the government.
Murray Polner replies:
No Honor for the Dead
Congress is upholding the ban on media coverage of the return of those killed in Iraq to American soil.
It’s okay for the media to show flags being burned, and people being beheaded if it furthers the Bush agenda. But we CERTAINLY can’t allow the media to display something that might hurt the Shrub’s standings in the polls.
Now why, other than the inarguable visual that x number of coffins presents, would Bush and Congress want to keep America from seeing its honored dead brought home?
Simple: It’s impossible to misinterpret (and therefore put spin on) a picture of a military coffin.
~ Gary St. Lawrence, PoliticalSleaze.com
Brian Taylor takes Charlie Reese to task over his article “The US Government’s Biggest Single Problem.” We could morph that to say: the American people’s biggest problem is the US government.
Brian seems to have forgotten that the American government still calls itself a republic, thus implying that it is acting out the will of its people. I think that when Charlie Reese writes his articles he is implying that, like it or not, whatever our government is doing, we are all part and parcel to it.
When the government sends troops off to places like Iraq or Afghanistan and they are indiscriminately maiming and killing innocent people, the victims are not pausing to think: “you know, Brian Taylor and Charlie Reese do not agree with Bush’s policies so we won’t blame them for this mess.” It is America and Americans that become the focus of their hatred and revenge.
What Brian is indirectly saying in his letter is something many of us have known for quite some time: The American government no longer gives a rat’s patootie about what the citizens of the nation think.
Brian may not like what George Bush is doing in Iraq and CR’s writings are reminding him that he is powerless to do anything about it. We, collectively, (the American public) have over time neglected our civic duties and allowed the political process to be hijacked by rogues and charlatans, to the point where it is now more or less a closed process to anyone outside of the status quo of the two major parties.
The blame for this lies upon all of our shoulders. Don’t take it out on Charlie Reese.
As a member of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tacoma, Washington, I am appalled by these recent comments by Bill O’Reilly. The comments remind me of the old saying, “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.” These are racist, bigoted remarks and he should be taken to task for such horrendous remarks. But, I imagine the so-called “liberal” media will give him a pass.
Thank you for speaking out about that hate group La Voz de Aztlan.
I’ve had dealings with them in the past and they are out of control. I’m from Texas and was made aware of them perhaps a decade ago concerning their radical agenda to basically seize the entire US Southwest and turn it into some ethnically cleansed region.
It doesn’t surprise me that they will turn their venom on anybody from Jewish to gay though. I had personal correspondence with some of them and it got rather ugly, very fast. To me they are just another version of the KKK or skinheads.
On another note:
I’m a soldier in Iraq, an old soldier in fact and one of a small but determined minority here who oppose the war here and the way we are fighting it. These poor Iraqi people have had enough of us, our presence here is creating more enemies.
I look forward to being home so that I can begin writing articles about the horrors I have seen here. My aim is simply to tell the truth and to cut through the neocon lies about this war. My secondary aim is going to be to help people stop being in love with war, especially those cowardly bastards who eagerly love to send young men and women off to die while they themselves avoid military service.
Thank you for being against this war and in so doing showing that you truly support the troops! I hope that America will one day return to being a Jeffersonian Republic that only engages in war when it is actually threatened, uses diplomacy and honest trade to maintain friendly relations and refuses to send its sons and daughters to fight in foreign wars. …
Since yesterday (June 21, 2004) I have been unable to access Mr. Charley Reese’s column page here. Is it possible that somebody is trying to silence his outspoken forceful columns?
Eric Garris replies:
I really enjoy the quotes on your pages. Do you have a central location to read them all at once? I would be interested in reading them all, but do not want to keep refreshing on one page. Please let me know. Thanks a lot!
Eric Garris replies:
Nick Berg died at Abu Ghraib. Look at the second set of abuse scandal photos that came out, where the guards are beating the prisoner…. There’s a chair in the hall. That is the same chair Berg was sitting in before he was murdered. Verify and get this out fast. They’re playing cybergames with the pages that picked up on this.
Eric Garris replies:
Cool site. Just couldn’t help noticing how cool the photos always are that you put on the homepage. Kudos to whoever finds and chooses them. Why don’t you put up a photo album of all of those somewhere on your site?
Eric Garris replies:
Do you have a policy against including the email address of your columnists? Given the fact that my letters to Backtalk are never printed and that you are normally a week behind in updating your “letters,” it would certainly be nice to be able to send a letter to some of your writers. Many websites do this and some of the hungry writers even respond. Of course those who reach some pinnacle of success, are too busy to reply, but many do respond.
Sam Koritz replies:
The email addresses of the site’s regular columnists are not posted but columnists do receive the emails sent to them care of Backtalk.
Are there any websites that document the whole conflict in the former Yugoslavia 1991-1999? Is there anywhere to read about all that Croats, Serbs, AND Muslims did or are accused of?
Nebojsa Malic replies:
Unfortunately or perhaps not, given the proliferation of garbage about the region a complete history of the Succession Wars and the Kosovo crisis does not exist yet. I did write and article last year about books worth reading, if that helps at all. You can read the accusations against Serbs and Croats in the Hague indictments and transcripts, which are usually online at www.un.org/icty. Serb accusations are harder to find; not because they don’t exist, but because no one is interested in airing them. It would complicate the elaborately constructed fantasy about the Balkans in the West, and could make things rather uncomfortable for politicians involved. Then again, truths about Iraq and Kosovo are emerging daily, and nothing changes, so maybe that’s a forlorn hope…
Mr. Malic always tries to reduce the Srebrenica massacre to its most simple expression. He always tries to present us the Bosnian Serbs as good guys when we all know that during the summer of 1992, they had already slaughtered 50,000 Muslims in Bosnia, and they killed just as many in 1993 and 1994. Thank God that the international community was keeping a close look on the Bosnian Serbs, they could have achieved what they had started earlier in this ‘criminal enterprise’: a complete genocide of the Muslims.
Mr. Malic says that “no evidence was presented to substantiate the prosecutor’s claims that between 7,000 and 8,000 Muslim men were ever executed in the first place.” Every month, more and more mass graves are opened, and forensic experts disinterred more and more corpses, and it’s been like this for the past years. I am sure that in a couple of years, all evidence will show clearly than more than 10,000 Muslims were slaughtered during the last two weeks of July 1995. The number is not important: it’s the whole idea of committing genocide against a people.
It would be so easy to admit the facts and stop writing articles after articles which try to ‘explain’ the worst genocide committed in Europe since W.W.II.
Nebojsa Malic replies:
How exactly do you know any of the things you claim here, Mr. Riendeau? Did you witness them, research them, cross-reference them, study them in detail, or did you just plug in the numbers the advocacy journalists so eagerly published? How do you know that Serbs were engaged in a “criminal enterprise” to commit genocide against Muslims? Did you actually discover evidence of this, or are you simply repeating the indictments of the Hague Inquisition? Can you document any of your claims, or even explain them logically? If not, then your claims are not “facts,” but fancy, and I see no reason to “admit” to them.
I never denied that Serbs (and others, for that matter) committed atrocities, but I believe based on the evidence I have so far seen in the course of my research, as well as my own wartime experience living in the Muslim-held part of Sarajevo that the charge of “genocide” against them is trumped-up and entirely inappropriate. I have said so, and offered arguments to back it up. On the other hand, your opinion of Bosnia seems to have been shaped by a decade of media demonization. Your approach reveals it: you make all these claims about the Serbs and me personally, but offer no evidence whatsoever. If you do possess some knowledge about Srebrenica and Bosnia that you feel the need to share, by all means, show me. But “everybody knows” just doesn’t cut it.
Thank you for your continued coverage of the Balkans. I was a representative of the “Empire” and was present when the first graves and bodies were uncovered in Srebrenica and the surrounding areas in the RS. I can testify that “something bad” happened there. I will leave it at that. The real question in my mind is why? As an American and a man I have asked myself a question that I avoided until I returned to New York in 2001. I was going to work on September 11th, 2001 at the time of the attack. I was only a couple of kilometers from the WTC but as a former NYC policeman I lost some friends who were protecting the citizens of New York. The question I have answered for myself (and the answer I will also keep for myself) is what would I have done to prevent the attack from happening in the first place?
As for the Serbs I can recall one girl who was an interpreter crying (yes a Serb crying in public) when she was finally faced with the reality of Srebrenica. I don’t have to explain to you, Mr. Malic, why she was sad. Perhaps someday I will live long enough to see my fellow countrymen cry when they have realized what we have done and are doing to the world. I submit this question to the readers and Paddy Ashdown. What would you do to protect your family?
To say that “something bad” happened in Srebrenica is an understatement, but I believe I understand why you made it. However, I don’t think framing it as the question of protecting one’s family explains anything. I’m sure many Muslim soldiers in Srebrenica thought they were protecting or avenging their families by raiding the surrounding Serb villages and beheading old ladies, so their commander could later show videotapes of that to Western press. I’m sure many Serb soldiers who executed captured Muslims in the summer of 1995 thought they were protecting or avenging their families. Quite obviously, they were wrong.
As you know, Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker exposed the existence of a super secret, black program code named “copper green.” One key aspect of the “copper green” program appears to be the unrestricted use of torture to gain intelligence information from US detainees all over the world, and the Abu Ghraib scandal may be linked to this program. In light of the release of the 9/11 commission’s findings regarding 9/11 and al Qaeda, let me suggest the hypothesis that the “copper green” black program, which holds key al Qaeda detainees like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, may also be useful to the War Party as a way controlling what the public knows about 9/11 and al Qaeda as well as concealing their own links to terrorism. In support of this hypothesis, I would cite the US government’s fanatical opposition to public interviews of al Qaeda suspects such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (e.g., the Moussaoui legal case) and these two articles which suggest that some big name al Qaeda suspects were in US custody long before they were reported to have been captured in the mainstream media: 1) “Terrorists on Ashcroft’s ‘Wanted List’ Already in Jail” and 2) “Is There More to the Capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Than Meets the Eye?“