Backtalk, January 26, 2007

The Empire Turns Its Guns on the Citizenry

Dear Mr. Roberts,

When I was much younger the original meaning of SWAT was “Special Weapons Attack Team.” That meaning has now gone down the government’s memory hole being euphemized as “Special Weapons And Tactics.” The original was and is much more accurate.

~ G. Andris Vaskis, Westminster, MD

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Yes, that’s true. But if I call it a name that it does not go by, I will be accused of scare tactics. I think the report is scary enough whatever SWAT stands for. Actually, swat itself is the most scary. They swat us like mosquitoes.

It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one noticing the increasing militarization of police forces. In recent years I’ve noticed the increased use of paramilitary clothing. No longer are police dressed like cops, more and more they’re all in black like some kind of Special Forces soldier. I can’t help but think that this changes an officer’s mindset even if it’s subconsciously, this is a frightening prospect to me, especially after seeing in the news the abuses committed by paramilitary groups in other parts of the world. But of course that would never happen here, would it?

~ Mike Crookston

The Trial of Dick Cheney

Justin Raimondo has done great research on the Libby-Cheney Caper, but to expose the machinations of the “War Party,” should be separated, in his euphoria, from any kind of restoration of the Republic that might result from a dismantling of the Empire. After more than a century of institutionalization, the Empire remains quite alive and well, even if Cheney is revealed as a Warmonger.

~ Bill Marina

See the Superpower Run

To the Editor:

The almost-unfailingly astute Pat Buchanan needs to brush up on his Noam Chomsky. Buchanan stated in his article of January 19th: “So, with a clean conscience, they [the ‘Best and Brightest’] cut off funds and averted their gaze as Pol Pot’s holocaust ensued.” He seems to be implying that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was more to blame for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime than the US was.

Pol Pot’s “holocaust” ensued because the Nixon Administration, ignoring General De Gaulle’s sage advice, overthrew the savvy neutralist Prince Sihanouk and installed the puppet Lon Nol regime. China, seeing advantages to be gained through a war of opportunity while Vietnam was preoccupied with fighting the Americans, backed the Khmer Rouge, seeking a client regime on Vietnam’s western flank. Of course Washington looked the other way. Vietnam later ousted the Khmer Rouge without any aid from the US.

The “Best and Brightest” are well used to averting their gaze, whether it be from the slaughter of Native Americans, the Filipino rebels under Aguinaldo, the East Timorese killed by Suharto, or the Palestinians oppressed and slain by Israel. That’s why they call it “hard ball.”

~ Peter Q. Kilbridge

Mr. Bush, Meet Walter Jones

Once again, Pat Buchanan departs from a shared antiwar stance to begin the partisan trash talk that will be aimed at Democrats for at least the next five years. While it is entirely true that the Democrats he mentions did give Bush a blank check for this war, the bottom line is that the majority of the country either bought into the Bush/Cheney mushroom cloud argument, or they simply wanted our government to just keep kicking some ass and get some payback for 9/11. In my opinion the Democrats were spineless in the face of that wave. However, so were the Republicans. The bottom line, Pat, is that it was YOUR party that got us there, not the Democrats.

Though I continue to appreciate your reasoned and principled statements against this war, you nonetheless are beginning to sound like just another partisan hack who is secretly pleased the Democrats have regained power because you can now blame them for getting us there in the first place and can also now pile on with the blame as they face the unpalatable truth that the best we can do is simply pull out and let the chaos reign. If you want to do some good, why don’t you help your Republican brethren take the plank out of their eyes before you decide who is and isn’t fit to be a Democratic candidate for president.

~ Michael Kemp

Escalation Doomed by Shi’ite Opposition

Dear Sir,

… On the question of the Democrats voting with the president to go to war, they are as guilty as the Republicans. That is exactly what had happen in the UK: the Conservative party followed suit; they were all blindfolded and gave Mr. Blair a blank check.

I am surprised that the intelligent people in Congress and the UK parliament and the UN did not challenge what Bush & Co. and Blair & Co. have led us to believe…. If the Democrats are going to win the next election they have to stand up to Bush or they are going to just go along with this crazy idea that you can really fight terrorists who are willing to die for their cause with an additional 21,500 US soldiers. What the terrorists will do is move to another city.

[T]he people of the US finally spoke and gave the Democrats the majority in the Senate and finally from that result the Democrats were given the go-ahead to oppose the Bush idea that he is the savior of democracy. And I think from what he said recently that all he is looking for is his legacy. But believe me they are sacrificing our young people to fight the wrong war in the name of the only democracy instead of sending the very well-trained commandos to track the culprits of 9/11.

I am certain that Bush, Cheney, and Blair will have a lot to explain when they leave office, or are the facts going to be kept secret until fifty years from now?

~ Frank Nash

Ivan Eland replies:

Yes, the Dems are culpable and will not cut off funding. They don’t want to be accused of cutting off funds for the war and also want to give Bush the rope to figuratively hang himself. Privately, the Republicans want the US out of Iraq more than the Dems. The Republicans are fearful of electoral defeat in 2008. In contrast, the Dems protest too much. Their opposition will be only rhetorical for the aforementioned reasons.

Paul/Hagel Ticket?

I note with great joy that Ron Paul is going to run for president. I’ve been following Chuck Hagel a lot, and he is giving me as much hope as Paul has for so long. Will these two team up?

Hagel has been an extremely vocal critic of the war and wants us to leave, I’d hate to see a split in antiwar conservative votes. Somebody get these two to talk!

~ Josh Paige

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