Washington’s Foreign Policy
I just want to express my profound gratitude for Antiwar.com. While I don’t agree with everything everybody says. I agree strongly that we had no business sending troops to Iraq and that this administration lied about WMDs. I am a patriotic American and would die for America only when AMERICA’s borders are threatened. Foreign conflicts are useless and serve no useful purpose. Let’s heed George Washington’s appeal that we stay out of foreign entanglements by returning to his foreign policy. PEACE IS PATRIOTIC!
My favorite recent articles include Paul Sperry’s brilliant piece “Republicans Can’t Handle The Truth” about how the neocons have lost their grip on reality along with “The Neocons Earn An ‘F’” by Murray Polner. As someone who once proudly proclaimed himself a card-carrying Republican, I found myself cheering and agreeing with both gentleman.
Thank you for having the guts to publish the truth, beyond the fluff and blatant pro-war propaganda of neocon media outlets such as Fox TV. Make no mistake, I hold left-wingers such as Dan Rather in contempt but I also tire of the endless parade of pro-war neocons on Fox TV.
God bless you and keep up the good work.
I was reading the above mentioned subject regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and would like to draw writers etc., to the fact that not all Arabs are Muslims, there are Arab-Christians who are suffering also. My husband lost his dear mother in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948! Of course the majority of the Arab nation is comprised of Muslims but there are Christians all over the Middle East. If history is to be believed Christianity was present before Islam.
Thank you for your article.
Paul Craig Roberts replies:
A Backtalk letter pointed out that MOST Backtalk letters are never published in the Backtalk segment implying that most readers who are responding to what’s being written are never being heard. Your response may have been unresponsive when you suggested the Google link which simply supplies all the existing Backtalk letters and nothing new. Your readers have a lot to say to your writers and each other and Backtalk does not provide a sufficient forum for this to occur.
Sam Koritz replies:
Nolan K. Anderson wrote that his messages are never included in Backtalk. I checked this on Google, found links to two of his letters in Backtalk and posted the links. Nothing unresponsive about it.
Emails sent to Backtalk are forwarded to the appropriate columnists and/or editors, all of whom can, and often do, select messages for inclusion in Backtalk, so the tendency is to include rather than exclude comments. On the other hand, Backtalk is an edited letters column, not a chat-room. For those who prefer less mediated communication there is the Antiwar Forum.
I read your ethnic cleansing article with interest.
I did some extensive research on the Israeli-Palestinian problem for a paper in my college composition class. I don’t know how reliable some of the information was that I got into, but in more than one site I found that when the Jews started to come back to their homeland that they had been driven from according to the Bible, they paid the Arabs living there for the land, which the Arabs were glad to be rid of, as it wasn’t very good land anyway. If this is true, then it wasn’t ethnic cleansing at all. I haven’t seen any mention of this in your article and I just wondered what you think of this?
Ran HaCohen replies:
Your information is reliable. Up to the creation of the State of Israel, Zionist organizations and individuals bought Arab lands in Palestine. This land purchase I think about 4% of the territory of the future state was bought this way was not ethnic cleansing, of course. Nevertheless, as I wrote, it was the ethnic cleansing in the 1947-1948 war, after which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians refugees were not allowed to return to their homes and property in Israel, that enabled the Jewish minority to form a majority and create its own state and not just in the 4% bought earlier.
Get a Purpose
I bet you people do not have any close family like children, spouses, OR I parents fighting in the war. You are a bunch of Rich Ass White Folks or “Wanna Be White People” that need a purpose in life in order to feel like you have a cause. If you had CLOSE FAMILY (spouses, children, or parents) in the military like I do, you would not put pictures online, pictures of Jack Ass White Folks in the Military humiliating, murdering and torturing other People of Color (like myself) invoking more violence that infuriates the Iraqi people and others, making viewers hate our military more. Many of the people over there are poor black people (and other poor people) who joined the military just to try and get ahead in life and or to earn money for college. They do not want to be over there (like many Vietnam soldiers), they did not have any RICH ASS parents to pay for their education like the majority of you did or do. I am antiwar as well but I would not go around showing the Iraqi people pictures of Jack Ass White Folks in the military humiliating, murdering and torturing other People of Color (like myself) invoking more violence LIKE YOU “GOOD HEARTED WHITE FOLKS” are doing. Get a REAL PURPOSE and a REAL JOB! Now I DARE YOU TO PUT THIS LETTER ON LINE, ‘CAUSE IT IS NOT KISSING YOUR ASS!
Matt Barganier replies:
I am only an aspiring Rich Ass White Person, for your information, but I fail to see how my socioeconomic or racial status is relevant. Just wondering: were you this angry at the Caucasian who filmed the Rodney King beating for “provoking” the LA riots, or were you angry at the guilty police and rioters?
I visit your excellent website at least once a day and agree with everything you write re. the war in Iraq. However, I think your review of Moore’s film was a bit hard. No, it’s not a perfect documentary (or propaganda, if you prefer), but like your columns, it does an excellent job of exposing Neocon nonsense and lies, and for that it is worth seeing. Moore should have gone into the neocons pining for an Iraq invasion long before Bush II came to DC, but he shows the devastation to Iraq a country which never attacked us and had no plans to do so quite well.
Justin Raimondo replies:
I agree, and if you’ll check out my column on that subject, you’ll see how and why I agree.
I beg to differ with Alan Bock’s conclusion that the March 18th, 2003 letter to Congress shows Bush specifically asserting some direct Iraqi connection with 9/11 and therefore that he is now lying when he says he never made such a connection. It depends upon what the word ‘including’ means.
The text quoted by Bock reads:
“[Acting] pursuant to the Constitution and [the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002] is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organization (sic), including those nations, organizations, or persons, whom (sic) planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”
There’s no necessity that the word “including” means that what follows this word, the entities involved in 9/11, contain the entire set of those against whom military force is authorized by the authorizing documents. And it doesn’t mean he’s including Iraq as one of the included nations that had something to do with 9/11. Bush can offer this text and say that it means something as expansive as that the Constitution authorizes him, because it makes him Commander-in-Chief, (and, as his modern lawyers tell him, without any need to get authorization from Congress or anyone else,) to use military force in “the War on Terrorism” or even to preemptively rule out the possibility that Iraq has or might one day acquire WMD it might one day use against the U.S., or even against anyone anywhere, because that would be “terrorism,” and the Constitution has somehow made him Commander-in-Chief of the whole world to check “terrorism” anywhere in the world. The word “and” (after the word “Constitution”) also doesn’t have to carry the sense that both authorities are requisite for his actions. “And” can mean “also.” What’s more, there’s nothing to stop this text from his meaning that in attacking Iraq, he’s moving against the bodies involved in 9/11 because once Iraq becomes a wonderful example of liberal democracy that will spread throughout the Islamic world, the cultural “swamp” will be drained that supports such bodies.
Yes, it’s all quite Clintonian, but even here there’s grammatical wiggle room for Bush to say he’s not lying. He’s still simply doing what he’s long been doing, throwing “Iraq” and “9/11” into the same sentence and depending on others to connect dots he can later claim he never intended to be connected.
I am an Arab and a Muslim. Like most Arabs and Muslims I am not Anti-America. I wear Levis jeans and eat Big Macs and listen to Madonna and my favorite director is Oliver Stone. I watch the NBA and we even have a huge Michael Jordan fan club right here in Beirut. Believe me I have been to most Arab countries and we do not hate freedom and the American way of life as Bush and his friends keep telling the American public. I repeat: most Arabs are not anti-America. Most Arabs are anti-Bush, antiwar and the killing of innocent Iraqis for oil, anti-foreign policy that turns a blind eye to the suffering of Palestinians while supporting daily violations of international law by Israel. Like Mohammed in Dahr Jamail’s piece, we are frustrated. Very frustrated. Unfortunately frustration is a fertile breeding ground for extremists. As long as people like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice rule America, my only fear is that the extremists might become the majority amongst us and then I am sure that they will close our Michael Jordan fan club.
With all the continuing comment on Yugoslavia in this column it is obvious that I am not the only one finding western policy in the Balkans downright dishonest. A few days ago a revealing article was posted on antiwar, “CIA insider says US fighting the wrong war.” This is a transcript of an interview on NBC by their Chief Foreign Office Correspondent, Andrea Mitchell and an unnamed CIA veteran of 22 years who has just published the book Imperial Hubris. This interview deserves to be read, in fact should be compulsory reading. It could be interpreted to be, among other things, a clarion call against the apparent current and future bipartisan US policy, of a Muslim-dominated Bosnia and a Muslim-dominated Greater Albania.
In this interview the CIA officer is questioned and his answers are revealing. He was asked, “Starting in 1996, the CIA decided to create a station devoted to Osama Bin Laden. Why?”
His reply, “I think it was created because the intelligence community had turned up bits and pieces of information in multiple areas of the world, after the end of the Afghan war, that indicated Bin Laden was involved in one way or another with various Islamist groups.”
We know one of these groups must have been the KLA. I believe it has been confirmed that Bin Laden was actually in Albania involved with the KLA. But we also now know that as early as 1996 the CIA was concerned and this author /agent was head of this station. …
Why then, in view of this obvious concern, was the Clinton administration and the CIA arming, training and financing an Islamist group which must have been known to be part of the Bin Laden terrorist network, when signals within the agency were so loud it is confirmed they set up a unique and separate station devoted to this one individual?
It is suspected that William Walker, the American so involved in the disgraceful travesty at Racak, was himself a CIA officer. Something here smells to high heaven. Questions should also be flying over Bosnia. Was Bin Laden known to be connected with the Bosnian Muslims? We certainly now know from the American government, that many Bosnian fighters, murdering, torturing and beheading Serbs in Bosnia, civilian as well as military, were Islamic terrorists from all over the Middle East, parts of Russia and the Caucasus. Yet the Clinton Administration illegally armed them and as good as gave them the US Air Force as their air power. This is beyond belief and it is difficult to believe the CIA was not complicit. Yet we know that in 1996, because this unnamed agent tells us I these alarm bells were ringing.
Would Mr. Malic like to comment and explain why Republicans are not taking this matter up. After all, before the attack on Serbia, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee came on CNN Late Edition and told us that they knew the links between the KLA and Bin Laden. I saw him. This was well post 1996. NATO has just refused to pay reparations to those innocent people in Kosovo who lost everything in the illegal NATO bombing. The Serbs deserve overdue justice and their reputation restored within the international community. It is beyond dispute that they were being attacked by Islamic terrorists as part of the international war on terror. This book surely confirms the CIA and the Americans knew this too. The Serbs just responded and defended themselves.
The questions to be answered must be what was the American and CIA part in it? What was the Bin Laden involvement and why, in view of this station, was it ignored? and why is Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague?
I also think you must interpret this interview as a clear warning of what to expect if the current policy in the Balkans is not completely and quickly reversed.
Nebojsa Malic replies:
While it is tempting to classify the Kosovo conflict as one motivated by Islamic fundamentalism, it would not be accurate; at its root is Albanian nationalism and hatred of Serbs rooted in the Ottoman “dhimmi” system. Bosnia is a different story, insofar as Izetbegovic was a real Islamic extremist and had contacts with a variety of terrorist and extremist groups (that would normally not work together) before, during and after the Bosnian War. But it would be wrong to see the Yugoslav Succession Wars through the prism of “war on terror” as opposed to a conflict over territory and ethnic self-determination with strong Imperial interference.
Now, it is true that the Republican administration hasn’t made a turnaround on the Clinton-era policies in the Balkans when it had the chance, back before 9/11 and in its immediate aftermath. It could be the Bushies didn’t care for the Balkans one way or another, and saw preserving the myth of Imperial infallibility as their priority. Or it could be that the policy-making circles in Washington are above partisan concerns, interested only in furthering the US government’s power overseas (and thus at home); different people surface depending on which wing of the War Party is in power, and different justifications are used, but the cause always gets served one way or the other. Either way, appealing to the obvious discrepancies between Official Truth and reality isn’t working, nor does warning the Empire of the potential blowback of its policies have any effect. I think the policy-makers have come to believe their own fictions, and cannot afford (politically or otherwise) to give them up. Meanwhile, the Balkans continues to suffer, to borrow a line from Tacitus, in the wastelands of Imperial peace.
Sam Koritz replies:
I saw Clinton bragging on TV the other night about fighting jihadis in the Balkans (shortly after al Qaeda declared war on the United States, Egyptians were captured and shipped out of Albania) but he somehow failed to mention that most jihadis in the Balkans were US allies. A few months ago US News & World Report released the results of their enormous research project on terrorism. It mentioned in passing that prior to 9/11 the US government had been “supportive” of the jihad in Bosnia and had given “a wink and a nod” to those aiding the Chechnya jihad. Since 9/11 the feds have shut down a number of organizations in the United States that allegedly were funding both the Chechnya jihad and al Qaeda. We know that several of the 9/11 hijackers had actually volunteered for the Chechnya jihad but had been directed by their leaders to infiltrate and attack the United States. It would seem then that the hijackers were part of the network or networks to which the US government was giving the wink and nod. If the 9/11 Commissioners really wanted to do their job, they should have pulled ‘Ali Mohamed‘ out of his secure location, ungagged Sibel Edmonds, subpoenaed Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al Thumairy, and investigated to what extent the hijackers’ surprising success was due to their exploitation of US covert policy.
Please tell me where I can see some “quotables” that have recently been on the banner. Really good stuff.
Mike Ewens replies:
Just click on “Quotable” on the front page!
It is entirely wrong for Nebojsa Malic to peddle the notion on restoration of the Serbia’s monarchy in view of the fact that he lives outside the borders of Serbia and would not have to personally put up with social, political and cultural restrictions that normally are byproduct of systems of government rooted in monarchy. As an editor or the webmaster, you are equally guilty of peddling some really foolish, socially repressive idea to say the least about it.
Nebojsa Malic replies:
If you have a problem with my article, you should probably address it to Balkanalysis, where it first appeared. But while I’m at it, I might as well try to answer your inquiry. I don’t “peddle” anything; I suggest ideas, and try to explain the reasoning behind them in the space necessarily limited by readers’ attention spans. Now, you make some sweeping statements about monarchy here: that “systems of government rooted in monarchy” normally have as a “byproduct… social, political and cultural restrictions” and that the very idea is “socially regressive.” Would you mind elaborating on what precisely you mean by any of this?
My argument for monarchy rests largely on the argument by Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe in Democracy: The God That Failed. It is a well-written and even better reasoned work, and excerpts from it can be found here, here, and here. Also, read Hoppe’s argument against democracy here. There is nothing foolish about any of it.
It is true I live outside Serbia; my home is in the US now, and used to be in Bosnia before. However, if Serbia becomes a Hoppean monarchy (even I’m realistic enough not to hope for an actual market anarchy), it would be a land of such freedom that I would not hesitate to move there in an instant. If it would have me, that is.