Backtalk, November 17, 2005

A ‘Legal’ US Nuclear Attack Against Iran

It’s much worse than that. This is self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Iranians know what’s going on:

Whatever evidence Iran provides will be dismissed as lies by the U.S. Like Iraq, no denial or evidence will ever be sufficient. The U.S. will cook up new bogus stories one after another, the Iranians will chase their tails trying to keep up, and then BANG Bush will nuke ’em while they are not looking.

Iran’s only sensible course of action is to develop or purchase weapons of their own as quickly as possible, and make it known they have several of them. But that’s a very high stakes game. And ironically, of course, it will prove the U.S. right!

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Very nice. Iran is in big trouble, and so are we all.

~ Tim Fisher

Jorge Hirsch replies:

Quite right. That’s why North Korea is safer today. Unfortunately for Iran, it’s too late.

I am sorry to say, but using nuclear weapons will never be legal.

The effects of nuclear weapons are such that nuclear weapons cannot possibly comply with international law and thus should be regarded as illegal to use and to deploy, to use as a threat, to design and build, according to the Nuremberg Principles.

The effects of the use of nuclear weapons are that they can never be used without devastating effects on civilians and the environment from the moment of their use ’til far in the future. Which is illegal according to international law! (See the advisory opinion, July 8, 1996, General List No. 95 on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons by International Court of Justice.)

The design and production and threat to use nuclear weapons is a crime against peace (Nuremberg Principle VI a).

The use of nuclear weapons would be a war crime and a crime against humanity (Nuremberg Principle VI b and c).

~ Ak Malten, Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance

Jorge Hirsch replies:

Dear Ak,

Of course I agree with you. There was an error in the title of my article, which is now corrected; it reads: “A ‘Legal’ US Nuclear Attack Against Iran.” What I point out does not make it really “legal,” but you can bet it will be used as a justification by the U.S. administration.

Unfortunately, despite what you point out I do not recall that the United States was declared a “war criminal” and imposed any punishment by the UN after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks for writing.

Power Über Alles

Well, Bush’s grandfather was caught trading with the Nazis and had the distinction of being called Hitler’s Angel. Unfortunately for us, there is an extreme right wing, not conservative, but right wing, that has taken over the Republican party. It longs for a fascist state, which will make them a lot of money and give them a lot of power. They lost their humanity a long time ago. Torture is something a deranged mind enjoys. We are not only in the hands of evil, but deranged evil, and one day, if we don’t resist, we’ll be the ones to be pitched into the gulag and we’ll be the ones that will be tortured.

~ Lynn P.

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

We had better resist.

Dear Sir,

I applaud you for expressing the truth in your fine article. It has to take great courage to do that under the circumstances. I have taken the liberty to forward your fine piece to several (Republican) friends.

What can an ordinary citizen, such as myself, do to help stem the apparently inexorable tide of tyranny currently engulfing the country?

~ Jeff Zervas

Paul Craig Roberts replies:


Confessions of a Repentant War Supporter

Dear Mr. Frey:

Excellent, if not brilliant, analysis. There is, however, one aspect of the article that I find disturbing. And that is the reference to a U.S. attack on Afghanistan as being justified. It seems that a majority of Americans feel that Iraq was and is a mistake, but that somehow Afghanistan deserved to be attacked.

I would argue that this position is simply buying into the administration’s spin on the war on terror. In 1997, I interviewed Wakhil Ahmad Mutawakhil, then the Taliban foreign minister in Kandahar. He told me that Taliban had on numerous occasions offered to remand bin Laden to U.S. custody. But there were conditions.

First, the Taliban asked the U.S. to use their good offices to assist Kandahar in regaining Afghanistan’s UN seat. In addition, a U.S. pledge not to attack Afghanistan was sought during the bargaining sessions. Of additional interest is the fact that the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, did not like bin Laden and wanted to be rid of him. It seems that Mullah Omar resented the growing influence of bin Laden and the diplomatic problems associated with him. The attempt to avoid war with the United States through diplomatic initiative was a priority for the Taliban regime and was vigorously pursued with both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

The Taliban representative in New York, Abdul Hakim Mujahid, corroborated the many overtures by the Taliban to avoid war with the U.S. But as he and the foreign minister told me on several occasions, “The U.S. does not want a solution to the Osama problem, they want war.”

The plan to attack Afghanistan was under consideration long before 9/11.

~ Bruce G. Richardson, author: Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror

This is the first half of a fine essay. Perhaps Dr. Frey could write the second part with a mind toward examining the complicity of the Congress in degrading the United States.

We have been so poorly represented, represented by both “parties” blindly without any thought given to the Constitutional dictates of the responsibility of the Congress to the people, that the administration can get away with literal murder. It is time to take that less-than-august body in hand, remove and replace the members, and make some attempt to restore the body to some form of integrity. Congress must regain their power and reaffirm themselves as leaders of the nation, honestly controlling the executive branch and being responsible to the electorate. The Congress must disregard “politics and party” in the interest of us, the people! Congresspeople need to read the map, the Constitution, to discover their role in government.

I anxiously await Part II.

~ Doug Morrisey, Emporia, Kansas

A Politically Deflated Bush Faces a Resistant World

Mr. Hadar,

I, along with many of your readers, are weary of the tag lines foisted on leaders of “other” countries! For example, “Even more disturbing to Washington is the growing popularity of Venezuela’s populist President Hugo Chavez, who has been using his country’s rising oil profits to promote his anti-American and anti-globalization message.” Well, this type of propaganda is very disturbing.

Why not change that sentence to, President Hugo Chavez, who has been using his country’s rising oil profits to benefit the poor in Venezuela – rising educational standards, sufficient medical care, subsidized food for the hungry, etc. Is this too much to ask? Be fair in your opinions; not the twisted logic exhibited by U.S. leaders.

~ M.R. Seewald, New Mexico

Leon Hadar replies:

Dear M.R. Seewald:

I’m delighted that my commentaries are posted on, whose readers and contributors include supporters of a wide range of ideological views ranging from libertarians and anarcho-capitalists on the right to social-democrats and Marxists on the left, who despite their political differences share a common opposition to imperialism in its many forms, and in particular to the current democratic empire agenda of the neocons.

I’m a classical liberal/libertarian who is very much against U.S. military intervention in Latin America, including the so-called war on drugs as well as the effort to isolate and subvert governments in the region that the Bushies don’t like. At the same time, I’m not a fan of Hugo Chavez, whom I consider to be a left-wing demagogue and an economic nationalist with militaristic/fascistic tendencies. That doesn’t mean that I think that Washington should try to oust him from power. I’m all in favor of trading with and engaging Venezuela on all fronts, and I believe that a different American foreign policy that is based on free trade and peaceful coexistence would reduce the appeal that Chavez has been winning among his neighbors. So… I hope that I this made sense to you and explains why we share (I hope) similar views on many issues of war and peace but disagree about how to define Chavez and his policies.

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