Backtalk, July 27, 2006

The Shame of Being an American

What will you say when Israel does not stay in Lebanon? And why did Hezbollah attack Israel when Israel is not in Lebanon? Hezbollah, which is in Lebanon’s government, is pounding Israel with rockets; though not as powerful as Israel, they did start this conflict and as members of the government have declared war. If a renegade group of Koch had attacked Lebanon, you all would have cried for Israel to control her border.

Sovereign nations are responsible for controlling their borders.

~ Jonathan Graham

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Another pitiful victim of propaganda. The Israeli soldiers, according to initial news reports, were captured inside Lebanon. Hezbollah fired no rockets until the Israeli attack on all of Lebanon.

So many Americans are so proud of their total ignorance. What a pathetic people they are.

But Americans DO know what is going on. The American people are fully aware of the war crimes listed in the article, yet continue to support the individuals responsible, just as the American people were aware of Bush’s war crimes, torture, murder, and a war of aggression – before they rewarded him with reelection in 2004.

A bitter truth to swallow – but the truth all the same.

~ Ed

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

If the reader is correct, America is irredeemable.

The Summer of 1914

Dear Mr. Lind,

You wrote:

“For the first time, a non-state entity has gone to war with a state not by waging an insurgency against a state invader, but across an international boundary.”

I believe, however, that there is a precedent: The Fenian Raid of 1866, in which Irish-American insurgents crossed the border into British North America (the year before Confederation and the new name, Canada). I believe this would fit into the 4th generation war category.

I enjoy your analysis very much.

~ Ken Dirschl

Disaster in the Making

To the Editor:

Charley Reese writes, “By the way, the Israelis never ended their occupation of Gaza. They forced settlers to withdraw because it was too much trouble to guard them. But they retained control of Gaza. Nobody can go in or out without Israeli permission.”

This is false. In November 2005, Secretary of State Rice brokered a deal whereby the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be controlled by forces other than Israel. At this crossing point, Israel has no veto power over who may enter and exit Gaza.

According to a Nov. 15, 2005, New York Times article by Greg Myre, “Palestinians have never previously controlled a border crossing, but now will be able to come and go from Gaza to Egypt without having to pass through Israeli security.” Here’s the link: “Rice Brokers Agreement on Gaza Passage.”

This deal received widespread coverage, and Charley Reese’s false claim can only serve to undermine his credibility with readers. Please ask him to retract his false claim.

~ Ronald Fine, Highland Falls, N.Y.


The bombing of Lebanon under the pretext of a single localized border incident is proof positive that the world is in grave danger if Israel maintains its nuclear arsenal.

Although the planning may have taken years, the decision to bomb was clearly made in the heat of the moment, irrationally and without warning or any regard to the consequences. Even American nationals inside Lebanon whose tax dollars have paid for Israeli bombs were not given prior notification.

That being the case, now is the time to promote a worldwide campaign to strip Israel of all its nuclear weapons.

At the same time, a nuclear-free Middle East can be created, giving Iran an incentive to allay any fears in the Western world of any clandestine nuclear activity.

~ Peter Morris

To the Editor,

On June 28, 2006, at 00:52, the Israeli air force fired eight missiles at the privately owned and operated Gaza Power Plant. The precision-guided missiles hit and entirely destroyed the step-up transformers for the GPGC and PNA 220/22kV substation. A subsequent attack on all access roads has made it difficult to repair the facility.

As a result of the attack, six transformers were destroyed and a substantial portion of the GPP production capacity was disabled. At least half of the GPP consumers in the Gaza Strip experienced a complete blackout. It will be many months before the destroyed power generation capacity is restored, since normal delivery time for replacement transformers and other equipment is 12-14 months.

In addition to the substantial humanitarian and material costs imposed upon the Palestinian people, the Israeli attack is likely to cost American taxpayers millions of dollars. The Gaza Power Plant was insured by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for up to $48 million in damages. Morganti Group, the Connecticut-based construction company that helped build the plan, has already informed OPIC that it intends to submit a claim.

Wars come home to haunt on many fronts. This is just one small example of “blowback.”

~ L. Michael Hager, former director-general, International Development Law Organization, Rome, Italy

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