Backtalk November 6, 2006

Evil Is as Evil Does

Dear Mr. Roberts,

Let us add to hubris, the average American’s unique abilities at deafness, amnesia, disdaining intellectual initiative, gullibility on a full stomach, and righteous stupidity. The people of our nation still possess a fine wit and considerable character, but they have come to accept the importance of a nanny state as a given. Perhaps when the stench of the diaper is finally overwhelming, the American will learn to walk again, if nothing else, in order to get out of the crossfire.

~ D.W. Sabin, Marbledale, Conn.

Paul Roberts is correct in saying that Bush, Blair, et al. are living by a different standard in the administration of their policies at home and abroad. In Bush’s own words, “Evil people kill innocent life to achieve political objectives.” This is truly an amazing statement, even from the delusional Bush. He sits there with a straight face and describes himself to a “T” without a clue that he is just as guilty of war crimes as any of the so-called “axis of evil” players. It is as if we are an audience in the theater of the absurd, and although we shout out our boos and displeasure, the play keeps right on going.

No one in government seems to have the will or the power to stop this lunatic as he and his cadre prepare for more war. The American people could, but as PCR says, they seem to prefer to ignore his double standard. It may be that having failed in all that they have done so far, having caused so much death and destruction, having demeaned America’s image in the eyes of the world, Bush & Co. see no other alternative. It is like little children shouting, nyah, nyah, nyah!, we can do this and you can’t stop us, at their critics.

Unlike little children, these nitwits have the capability to cause a lot of trouble, a lot of death and a lot of destruction.

~ KW

Depleted Uranium Risk ‘Ignored’

While I am glad to see a link on to news coverage of a story as important as DU, and while I can applaud the accuracy of the title of the … article: “U.S., UK Militaries Still Using Depleted Uranium Despite Warnings,” unfortunately, there are some signal errors or even intentional deceptions in the BBC article on DU.

Unfortunately the ICRP methodology for testing veterans for DU exposure is part of the problem, so it’s no great service to the public that the BBC chose to close the article with some shill for the UK’s Ministry of Defense insisting that research had to be guided by “the professional advice of the Health Protection Agency and the International Commission on Radiological Protection.”

Dr. Rosalie Bertell has proven that the ICRP knows not what it is doing. A scientific article by Bertell addresses the failings of the ICRP methodology:

Depleted Uranium: All The Questions About Du And Gulf War Syndrome Are Not Yet Answered” by Rosalie Bertell
International Journal of Health Services, Volume 36, Number 3,
pp. 503–520, 2006 Baywood Publishing Co., Inc. © 2006

I would direct you to pp. 504-5, where Bertell writes:

“Influential papers by physicists and several semi-official governmental organizations have attempted to eliminate DU from consideration by just such analyses (4–8). These studies are not really independent, since each follows the guidelines, methodology, and risk estimates recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) (9).

“The widely accepted scientific causality methodology for analyzing radiation dose response includes a mathematical model predicting damage to the cellular DNA resulting from a homogeneous spread of ionizing radiation over the critical organ(s), weighting the organ dose to approximate whole-body exposure, and using a risk formula to estimate the expected number of fatal cancers due to that dose. If the calculation yields only a small expected number of cancer deaths, the radiological hazard is declared to be trivial. This ICRP methodology assumes that the affected persons care only about cancer death, that they have normal physiological health and intact cellular repair systems, and that no other life-threatening exposures confound the radiation experience. The methodology assumes that radiation effects are independent of the effects of the toxic matrix and can be separately ruled out using a radiation-exposure-specific mathematical formula recommended by physicists on the main committee of the ICRP.

“[T]his trusted methodology is especially inappropriate and misleading in the case of Gulf War syndrome.”

So you see, one of the most knowledgeable international experts on DU is being willfully ignored by the MoD, as well as by BBC reporters. Really the main point of Bertell’s most recent article on DU as a root cause of Gulf War Syndrome is to lay to rest the very ICRP methodology that the British MoD and the American DoD are hiding behind.

One is forced to conclude that the BBC article is actually a whitewash. The BBC editorial line is known to be hopelessly pro-military, and BBC editors would likely suppress any of their reporters who tried to be critical of the MoD on this issue.

Therefore, it behooves you, at, to assign someone the task of covering depleted uranium properly for your reading public.

~ Tony Nuspl

Beyond Ideology

Dear Mr. Raimondo,

I read your article on ideology, especially the division between the”Left” and “Right” in current politics and society, along with the consequences to any likely peace movement for the foreseeable future. Rather than try to work with either the Left or the Right as they are currently constituted, it may be worthwhile to seek greener pastures, especially among the growing numbers of independent people who see the flaws and shortcomings of both, and who want something better. They won’t, and probably can’t, all become anarchists or libertarians, but at least they will give us a hearing without large amounts of destructive prejudices and misconceptions.

Your observations about the “Left” and their antiwar activism certainly resonates with many libertarians. They will not work with (and probably not with you personally) since the one thing that many (not all) leftists hate even more than imperialist war is the social order of private property, free trade and exchange, and entrepreneurship, i.e., laissez-faire capitalism. As this social order is the foundation of our libertarian political and foreign policy vision, one can hold forth little hope of cooperation or useful collaboration from their “antiwar” movement. Since your view of peace includes this view of human action, and the society produced by it generally, will be persona non grata with any left-wing antiwar coalition.

Mr. Raimondo, it might be more worthwhile to turn your attention not only to those rare conservatives who are unhappy with the war party, but to those growing numbers of people who see the flaws of both halves of a defective political and ideological structure. The “Right” with its warmongering, its fascism, its grotesque intolerance and demonization of certain (often private) religious and cultural differences between otherwise humane and decent people, and its blind devotion to “the leader” whatever the costs to the rest of us, and also to those who are disaffected, even disgusted with the leftist zoo, with their mania for “equality,” along with their need to see any and all signs of inequality as somehow “unfair” or the results of so-called “exploitation,” their blind hatred of anything and everything associated with white, Christian America, almost as a reverse mirror-image on their part of the political Right’s irrational idealization even of our political and cultural flaws, their inability to distinguish between right-wing “crony capitalism” all too characteristic of the modern state and the libertarian laissez-faire kind, along with their idealization of thoroughly repulsive and authoritarian varieties of primitive and irrational communism and communal democrazy. Trying to work with most “leftists” may well produce too many headaches, and occupy your time better spent with more worthwhile people.

Both sides have deep and increasingly irreparable flaws. A great deal can be gained by offering a vision which transcends them. I think that libertarianism can do this, and can appeal to a growing number of independent Americans, both “liberals” and “conservatives,” both of whom are revolted by both the vision of Irving Kristol et al. (perpetual war for perpetual peace), and the visions of, e.g., Howard Zinn et al. (perpetual class-warfare for perpetual equality).

We can offer something better. How about it?

~ David K. Meller

Helen Robinson’s Backtalk

I have to comment on Helen Robinson’s comment about Malic’s “The Edge of Madness.” Of course the U.S. had nothing against Serbs! There was nothing TO have against them – Serbs had only been allies to the U.S. and had proven themselves as such many times over. Therefore, the likes of Albright, Holbrooke, Clinton, et. al created and invented things to have against the Serbs because, yes, it served THEM well. Not the United States; it served the careers of these bloated, self-serving, what I would call un-Americans (in the sense of what the U.S. is SUPPOSED to stand for). They determined that Yugoslavia had to be dismembered (the money they got from the Muslim lobbyists felt so good in their pockets), and they knew very well that the staunchest defenders of Yugoslavia, those who truly called themselves Yugoslavs as opposed to calling themselves by their ethnic name as other ethnic groups in the former Yugoslavia did, had to be demonized and destroyed in the process or they wouldn’t succeed in their vile mission. This is not to discount Germany’s role in her never ending obsession to adopt Croatia and Slovenia away from Yugoslavia. These countries, the U.S. and Germany, are now succeeding in fulfilling Hitler’s mission in the Balkans.

No, they had nothing against Serbs. But, yes, they invented something to serve their ends.

As for Oleg Beliakovich’s comments, I can understand his feelings of bitterness at what “ingrates” the Serbs are because that is how Serbs felt about Russia when she absolutely sold Serbia down the river during the bombing in 1999. There’s one example for you. I’ll leave it to Nebojsa to give you some of the others.

~ Anna Pullinger

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