Backtalk, November 19, 2005

In Praise of ‘Virtual States’

Might your virtual state concept suggest one human world and many divisions of government because the virtual states place the power of nations at rest?

Clearly there is a human right, fully thwarted by the nation-state system, that entitles each individual to travel between nation-states and to take up residence in whatever territory on earth that individual wishes to occupy. It was the right of the occupants of the earth for millions of years.

Human rights are a top-level domain to the nation-state system. Politics is a sub-domain of humanity. Hence, authority based in human rights supersedes authority derived as a consequence of control over a political boundary. To claim otherwise suggests imprisonment within one’s nation-state of birth.

This one human right, the right to travel and to relocate, might, when asserted, actually eliminate wars between nation-states and cause the leaders of nation-states to vent their political aspirations in directions that improve the quality of human life instead of using the power of the nation-state to find ways to extinguish it.

~ ME

Leon Hadar replies:

In fact, the rise of the “virtual state” is perhaps a sign that the classic nation-state system is beginning to erode and that in the future we are going to see the emergence of many forms of political and economic power that would resemble perhaps Europe before the Treaty of Westphalia.

Taiwan and Cyprus are mere blips on the screen of world affairs compared to America’s latest attempt at nation-building. When was the last time you read about a Greek or Turkish Cypriot suicide bomber?

~ John Ries

Leon Hadar replies:

I wouldn’t describe Taiwan as a “mere blip on the screen of world affairs.” But the point I was trying to make is that the notion of “nation-building” in Iraq is indeed a failure because there isn’t really an Iraqi nation-state, and that we would have to adjust to a reality in which the country would probably be divided into three “virtual states.”

Power Über Alles

Habeas corpus is not for combatants caught in a battlefield without an “identifiable uniform.” It seems as though you have let your hatred for Bush shade your thinking to the point that you will take sides with the enemy against our country.

It might help if you read the Geneva Convention. You will see that these men are not covered by that treaty. In WWII people such as these were left lying where we found them. That is the mistake our military made in this war. They should never have been taken prisoners.

It is shocking that you want to give people who want to kill us the same rights that we have as citizens when they have no rights under our laws. If we had immediately given them a military tribunal trial, shot them, wrapped them in pig skins, and buried them in a public funeral, the war would have been over long ago.

While YOUR HEART bleeds for those “poor men,” please consider we are not having a Sunday afternoon picnic. It wouldn’t hurt for you to think kindly about the innocent Americans killed on 9/11. I know, I know, al-Qaeda didn’t have anything to do with Iraq, but the bombers in Lebanon this week were al-Qaeda from Iraq. We are at war and war is hell. Unless you are a Muslim, you and me are both marked for death.

I turned 92 this week and my thinking may be shaded from Pearl Harbor and the way the Filipinos were treated: buildings were set on fire and the people shot or bayoneted when they ran out. Have you ever been following a retreating enemy soldiers and found the bodies of girls and women with their bellies cut open? No? I didn’t think so.

If you want to take sides with our enemies, so be it. Have we become a nation of feminists and “girlie-boys”?

Keep writing in support of our enemies and maybe you, Cindy, the Communists, and the Democrats can move the front line in the war to St. Louis, Dallas, Miami, Washington, and New York. We will lose some citizens but, hey, Mexico will replace them on a 10-to-1 basis. It might be well for you to learn to speak Arabic.

~ Dean Johnson, Sebring, Florida

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

This person is extremely confused. The suspension of habeas corpus applies to whoever the government chooses to apply it. He assumes it will only apply to terrorists out of uniform, “people who want to kill us.” Of course, it has already been applied to two U.S. citizens.

Moreover, the government has no evidence that the hundreds of detainees it holds are terrorists. Most seem to be people who were captured by gangs and tribes and sold to the Americans as “terrorists” for the bounty offered.

Dean Johnson demonstrates the mistake the Founding Fathers warned against: never seek security at the expense of liberty.

A ‘Legal’ US Nuclear Attack Against Iran

The use of nuclear weapons is still illegal according to the ICJ opinion.

~ Barbara B.

Jorge Hirsch replies:

Yes, but the U.S. does not consider itself bound to rulings of the ICJ. The ICJ also declared the Israeli wall to be illegal, but it did not have any practical consequence.

Israel, Iran, and the US: Nuclear War, Here We Come


Your points are well taken in your article.

However, there is absolutely no reason to use a nuclear weapon against Iran. There will be a strike by Israel with special forces and long-range bombers, but it will be completely conventional. In light of the recent comments made by the leader of Iran, you simply cannot be naive enough to believe that Iran will not develop and use a nuclear weapon to obliterate Israel. Imagine what the world will be like with no Israel after a nuclear attack. Can anyone contemplate what will happen when Iran launches the weapon?

Iran will not have the ability to invade Israel after attacks on their facilities. The usual rhetoric will continue with many more suicide bombings occurring in Israel, but there will be no war. The United States will have an out by not attacking Iran. Iran is not naive enough to think that they can defeat U.S. forces in Iraq. Their equipment and training is ancient. Remember, prior to Desert Storm 1, Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world using Soviet-made equipment. Do you think Iran will do better?

Like it or not, the world is in a modern day Crusades. The ability to stop the spread of hard-line Islam through force will be the deciding factor over the next decade. If Iran is successful, it will put the rest of the sane world in a predicament they cannot comprehend.

~ Steve Staton, Tucson, Arizona

Jorge Hirsch replies:

Thanks for writing. With a sane U.S. administration I might agree with much of what you say. With the current administration, I have little doubt that if Israel strikes what I describe will happen. There are just too many indications that it’s what they WANT to happen.

Controversial WMD Reporter and NY Times Divorce

I was fortunate to run into two of your articles today. I’ve never read any of your writing before. I’ve been politically retarded for too long, and I think the only way to save this country is for a well-informed people to take it back. I will include you as one of my sources for educating myself in this regard.

~ Paul Guggenheim, Chicago

New York’s Subway Search Program Earns a Failing Grade

Dear Mr. Peña,

I appreciated your article on the NYC subway searches. I grew up in NYC, but I currently attend college in St. Louis. Last summer, when the searches began, I noticed that the NYPD seemed only to be “conducting searches” at some of the least-trafficked stations in the city. I attended summer classes at Columbia, and I got on the train at 77th Street and Broadway every weekday, where they had a search table set up. Although I always carried a bulky backpack, I was never searched by a police officer – and furthermore, I never saw anyone searched.

In addition, I never observed a search table set up at Grand Central, 34th St. Penn Station, Atlantic Avenue, or 59th St. Columbus Circle – all extremely high-traffic stations. It’s my opinion that not only were the searches a violation of the spirit of privacy rights, but that the search program itself was a total sham and didn’t even try to make the pretense of performing a function except when being filmed by television cameras. For all intents and purposes, taxpayer money was wasted to have cops sit in hot subway stations to pretend to be hard at work protecting America’s freedom from being exploded by disgruntled brown people.

~ John K. Hewitt

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