Backtalk, June 5, 2005

Afghanistan: An Imperial Dilemma

I am reassured by Alan Bock’s response. Perhaps he would understand my sharp reaction if he were to consider the following:

Back in the 1950s, my father was Afghan ambassador to the United States. Therefore, I spent seven years of my childhood in the U.S. My memories of that period are of a kind and God-fearing people, willing to share their good fortune with the rest of the world. Over the years I have shared those feelings of affection and admiration for the American people with my children. I am at a loss now as to how to explain to them the metamorphosis of a “Dr. Jekyll” nation into a “Mr. Hyde” imperious state.

~ M.H. Ludin


I just gave $50 to Antiwar as a donation. Another money-raising idea is to publish the quotes in book form and sell it on the Web site and at Amazon, etc. This is too good a collection to have limited to people who find your extraordinary Web site.

I am going to print out the entire list in a fancy font and give copies to my friends as inspiration. All this is in the public domain. It would be great to have it help support

~ Barbara Giella, PhD

Bush, Cheney Attack Amnesty International

I keep reading about torture being used only against terrorists. Do these people (Bush, Cheney, etc.) mean “alleged terrorists” or “convicted terrorists”? Isn’t there some kind of difference between the two? If not, then there are a few of my neighbors who ought to be in Guantanamo or Bagram. Oh, and my boss. I mean, I’m ready to allege something bad about them, if that’s all it takes.

~ Barnacle Bill

Bill Clinton Takes Spot On Global Stage

I find it quite telling that the link to a Washington Post article regarding President Clinton’s appeal in Europe is entitled “Clinton Still Hogging the Spotlight.” (The article had no such title.)

It appears as though your conservative (dare I say neocon?) bias is increasing.

Perhaps the people of Europe appreciate an elected (as opposed to selected) president who can speak in complete sentences and has an IQ well into three digits.

They respect a President who understands the world outside of the United States or Texas (even though Commander Bunnypants is as “Texas” as Jacques Chirac). Is jealous? Running scared? Or just pandering to their right-leaning friends?

Excuse you,, your slip is showing.

(I have contributed to in the past, in case you were wondering.)

~ Dr. James Ackman

Matthew Barganier replies:

Yeah, yeah, we love Bush. You caught us. Or maybe we just don’t subscribe to binary political dogmas in which Clinton is good because Bush is bad.

You decide.

Follow That ‘Revolution’

Justin, while I normally enjoy his insights, is off the mark when it comes to Ukraine. This is not surprising given that most of the good material on what is going on happens to be in either Ukrainian or Russian; he would thus be at a disadvantage to connect the RIGHT DOTS.

No matter what happens with respect to the current administration, the Orange Revolution was the civic awakening that Ukrainians have been dreaming about for centuries – not decades. There is no going back. The people are no longer apathetic, and the power of the oligarchs saw its high water mark under the Kuchma regime. From now on, things will be different.

Quite frankly, Justin, when it comes to the Orange Revolution, you place way too much emphasis on the role of the United States and not enough on Ukrainians themselves. The Americans got lucky when they timed their “assistance” with a groundswell of people power in Ukraine – now the neocons want to take credit for the whole deal. That’s where the outrage should be directed. How dare they overstate their auxiliary role and morph it into a propaganda piece for the Bush administration!

News flash: Yanukowych, Kuchma, Medvedchuk are what Ukrainians call “yanychary.” The term was coined by Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s national bard, 300 years ago to describe orphaned Ukrainian children who were picked up by the Turkish sultan during rape-and-pillage raids up the Dnipro river. These orphans were trained and brought up under vicious paramilitary conditions, and then sent back to Ukraine to do more rape and pillaging. They always were the most vicious to their own indigenous population because they had no soul. People like Kuchma, Medvedchuk and Yanukowych are no different, except instead of Turkish brainwashing they had Russian / communist brainwashing – transforming them into pure criminals with no morals or ethics.

Since taking office, Yushchenko has fired 18,000 yanychary from the civil service, arrested at least two oligarch kingpins, and is building a solid case to put bandits and criminals like Yanukowych and Medvedchuk behind bars. The people cheer him on and want the revolution to go further – but Yushchenko has political reasons to hold the tide back at this point.

~ Bohdan Wynnycky

The ‘Christian Barometer’ and the Middle East

According to Mr. Hadar, sixty years of Israeli abuse, land grabbing and racism was not the cause of the decline, some would say decimation, of the Arab Christian population in Palestine. Instead, he concludes, the fault lies clearly with the rise of “Islamic radicals” during the Second Intifada.

I guess when the Israelis funded and supported Hamas to undermine the authority of the more secular Fatah and other nationalist groups within the Palestinian Liberation Organization; they were actually trying to reduce the number of Palestinian Christians.

~ Rashid Miraj

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