Backtalk, May 11, 2006

Want to Intervene in Darfur? Go Ahead

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Mr. Reese (and others) for speaking out. Sending our troops to Darfur is pure insanity – I am certainly not willing to send my son (who spent a year in Baghdad getting shot at and dodging IEDs) to another hellhole in which they are certainly not welcome. The problems in Darfur will never be solved through (U.S.) military intervention, as we have been saying about Iraq for the last 3-plus years. I agree – the talking heads who want military intervention should pack up and be the first ones to arrive.

~ Colleen McLaughlin

Dolts or Liars

In the second paragraph of article “Dolts or Liars,” Prather said about the most recent report Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has made to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency that since it is still confidential, there is no site where that report is posted.

I copied the IAEA April 28 report somewhere from Internet and is attached for Prather’s information.

I read Prather’s articles regularly and I think he is one of the few brave souls who speaks the truth, thinks and analyzes based on evidence, and is above nationalism.

~ Perwez Shafi

Gordon Prather replies:

Thanks. Google found that “confidential” report for several readers – including columnist Jorge Hirsch. It would be very interesting to find out which IAEA Board member (what country) posted it. As it happens, the BBC News excerpts posted at the IAEA Web site – on which I relied – turned out to rather accurately reflect the report. Realize that ElBaradei’s “report” begins (after a preamble that does mention the UNSC) with Para A.

As for my nationalism (or lack thereof), all readers of my columns should realize that my primary concern as a former U.S. nuke physicist is preventing international nuke proliferation, and since the end of the Cold War the neo-crazies – under Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II – have pursued their goal of an American hegemony without regard to nuke proliferation consequences.

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Having had a multitude of experiences promoting nonpartisan political issues, I now recognize it is almost never helpful to pigeonhole people with narrow generalities. Case in point: In your financial appeal, you refer to President Bush and/or his party as the “War Party.” Your words lead me to assume you mean every person who considers themselves a Republican and more specifically those who voted for GWB must be card-carrying members as well.

I would characterize myself (and I am sure many are out there who are just like me) as someone who, more often than not, votes Republican, and despises this war – and have from the beginning. GWB is no longer my president. Despite his promises, he is a nation-building liar. So, please don’t lump me in the same pot with him.

~ Skip Cook, Little Rock

Eric Garris replies:

You have got us wrong. The “War Party” doesn’t refer to a political party. In fact, both Justin Raimondo and myself (the founders of are longtime Republicans. Many of the people who work on the site and write for us are also Republicans. The War Party refers to that group of neocons and others who are set to start wars around the globe. Rather than a modern political reference, it harks back to the “war party” of old.

Why Are We Baiting Putin?

The reason “we” are baiting Putin is obvious – we want to have an enemy. The problem is that Muslims turned out to be such weak opponents that regardless of all the propaganda about “clash of civilizations” and “global war on terror,” this particular threat can no longer be used to justify huge defense spending. The only remaining hope is the good old cold war with Russia. The second (somewhat less attractive) alternative is China, and we are pursuing both wholeheartedly.

~ Manzer

The United States May Have to Live With a Nuclear Iran

If we apply to Iran the same logical self-interest we reserve for ourselves and the Israelis, Iran is left with no other rational choice except to go nuclear. Consider ourselves hypothetically in Iranian shoes as a state without nuclear weapons living in the shadow of a hostile Cuba rattling 400 nuclear weapons at us while fully backed by the USSR’s nuclear and conventional forces deployed in a defeated and occupied Canada. Just try to imagine what political insanity would lead a non-nuclear U.S. to ever agree to make permanent such an intolerable imbalance of power in our own neighborhood, and you get the picture of the choices our present policy causes Iranians to choose be they led by mullahs or Jeffersonian democrats.

One way or another, the days are surely numbered for the survival of Israel’s highly destabilizing regional nuclear hegemony. In any conceivable future bi- or multi-polar nuclear weaponized ME, Israel by virtue of her tiny geography and concentrated demography faces a mortal threat in the event of an accidental or rogue release of a single nuclear weapon. If Israel’s nuclear arsenal ultimately causes Iran to build a nuclear counter-force, Israel’s arsenal will have been most counterproductive to her own security interests. …

~ P.T. Garrett


Your recent Frontline title, “Huge Athens Antiwar March Sabotaged as ‘Anarchists’ Riot,” was speculative and misleading. As the article it links to clearly states, it was police vehicles and banks being sabotaged, not the antiwar march itself. Also, by putting anarchists in quotes, you suggest as pure speculation that they were not really anarchists. You offer no evidence to support this assertion. Adding additional context to the phrasing of the headlines you link to may be defensible, but shouldn’t be infused with your own dogma.

~ Steve Diamond

Eric Garris replies:

The “sabotage” that I am talking about is their sabotage of the antiwar movement. I think it is very likely that, as in the past, police provocateurs are using the cover of “anarchists” to incite violence in what is otherwise a peaceful and responsible movement. I have no objections to philosophical anarchism.

This is not really a “letter” but more a desire to let Mr. Ray McGovern that I support 1000% and thank him for the great “challenge” he did a few days ago with Rumsfeld! We all need to start questioning and challenging this administration from Bush all the way down to the “clerk” at the front desk of the White House!

~ Rev. Ronald G. Cosseboom

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