Backtalk, March 26, 2007

Bigotry and Ignorance of Islam

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your article! It is well written and true in its substance. It means that you understand very well the religion of Islam. … I wish there were more people like you and that your article finds a wider audience. The dialogues of interfaith start with the knowledge of the other religions and, as you said it, Muslims understand and in fact revere all prophets, including Jesus Christ of Christianity and Moses of Judaism.

~ Agron Kaci, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

Pelosi’s Capitulation

In the above-referenced article, Patrick J. Buchanan writes, “As for the presidential candidates, it is hard to find a single one willing to stand up and say: If Bush plans to take us into another war in the Mideast, he must first come to Congress for authorization. And if he goes to war without authorization, that will be impeachable.”

Allow me to draw your attention to the following, “Kucinich Opposed to Attack on Iran“:

“Congress must insist the administration come forward now with facts, not fiction, regarding Iran. We must not allow the President to remain unchallenged while he continues to use the media to create a pretext for an illegal war.

“Congress must insist the President come to the full Congress for permission to take any action against Iran. If the President proceeds to attack Iran after an express congressional authorization under article I, section 8, both he and the Vice President should be subject to impeachment.

“We must take a stand against aggressive war or we will lose our democracy.”

~ Jim Morse, Weybridge, Vt.

Novak’s ‘Outings’: Damage Control

To Backtalk,

As an adherent of the principles of, I have benefited from Gordon Prather’s knowledge relating to nuclear matters. It is, therefore, with some disappointment that I read in his March 17 article on references to Bob Novak that I believe are beneath Mr. Prather’s usual standard for relaying information – “the conventional wisdom is the WHIG somehow got Novak to out CIA operative Valerie Plame….”

I know of no Washington newsman who so strongly bucked the overwhelming “conventional wisdom” supporting the invasion of Iraq than Bob Novak. In column after column and on TV in the months before the U.S. invasion, he expressed opposition.

Later, in July, he was doing what any professional journalist would do – wondering why the CIA dispatched a well-known Clinton appointee to make an “investigation” of what turned out to be a misleading statement by Bush (among many misleading, deliberate or otherwise, statements). Novak reported what he had learned.

Mr. Prather may continue to attribute malice to Bob Novak, but he should not be misled by that “conventional wisdom.”

~ Frank Sullivan

Gordon Prather replies:

Perhaps I should have said, “it appears on the basis of evidence introduced in the trial of Scooter Libby that WHIG members tried – but were unable – to get Judith Miller, Bob Woodward, Tim Russert, Walter Pincus, Matthew Cooper, et al. to reveal that ‘Wilson’s wife’ worked at the CIA. However, they did somehow get Bob Novak to ‘out’ CIA operative Valerie Plame.”

Is that better? (See “Key Players in the CIA Leak Investigation.”)

The Last Days of Constitutional Rule?

The congressional Democrats are currently doing the right thing. As a Vietnam veteran, I deeply regret that our soldiers’ lives are at stake, but you must realize what effect an ongoing Iraq war will have on the election next year. Remember the recent midterm elections? If congressional Democrats tamper with the war in any way, including a reduction of funding or setting a withdrawal date, the desperate Republicans will seize on this for an excuse as to why we’re losing. The Republicans “broke” Iraq, now they own it!

~ Syndeec

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Doing the right thing for whom? The Democrats’ 2008 presidential chances? Hardly an honorable or credible standard for the public. If this is what the Democrats are doing, it is a miscalculation. They were given Congress last November to bring the war to an end. Who will trust them a second time?

Paul Craig Roberts’ comparison of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s surreal confession to those obtained at Stalin’s show trials is absolutely accurate. Antiwar conservatives should abandon the contention that neocons carried their Trotsky portfolios with them into the conservative camp and call them what they are, American Stalinists. Stalin took power in the USSR and in the European Communist parties in very much the same way that neocons edged aside paleocons: by promoting naive or unprincipled neophytes, co-opting many willing to turn a blind eye to corruption and accumulation of power in order to defeat old enemies, and slandering those who sought to impede their march as unpatriotic and defeatist. They even come with their own version of Pravda, Fox, whose chief function is to glorify the Leader.

Publicly tattooing Krauthammer, Kristol, Coulter, and the whole crew as the Stalinist Right is not only accurate, it would better serve to isolate, defang, and expel them forever from the ranks of American conservatism.

~ J.R. Hochstedt

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

The reader has a good point. Stalin was perhaps the most personally hegemonic person ever, but in the end he declared “socialism in one country” over the Trotskyists. The French Jacobins and Hitler had world-hegemonic intentions. Call them what you will, the neocons are terrible people.

The U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. Bill Clinton fired 93 at one time. The outrage of the Senate was not seen when he did that. Phony is phony regardless if a D or an R.

Ron Paul for president.

~ Tede

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

The reader does not understand the issue. As U.S. attorneys are political appointees, like assistant secretaries, undersecretaries, and secretaries, they are changed with new administrations. The current scandal is about why a Republican administration fired its own appointees. The reason apparently is that the U.S. attorneys were fired because they refused to be politicized and prosecute only Democrats for wrongdoing.

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