Backtalk, April 22, 2008

Israel Loves Mugabe

Justin Raimondo’s memory has failed him. I have never supported Robert Mugabe. Even during the war of liberation I supported his then rival Joshua N’Komo. I have many times criticized Mr. Mugabe, in print and on my radio shows. I have never met Mr. Mugabe, and during the conference in Kuala Lumpur I made strenuous and successful efforts not to do so there. I am surprised that Justin Raimondo should misrepresent me so, especially as he has been so warm in correspondence with me since we were there working in Kuala Lumpur together. Odd that he should have written to me as he has when he considered me an apologist for Robert Mugabe, don’t you think? Or could there be another agenda here?

~ George Galloway

American Hegemony Is Not Guaranteed

Another first-rate article by the prolific, ubiquitous, and often-profound Paul Craig Roberts.

Especially of note here were Mr. Roberts’ comments about steps the rest of the world might take to challenge America’s hegemonic belligerence and aggression. Mr. Roberts sagely calls for a kind of moral surge in the rest of the world, especially using boycotts and the same kind of intervention in our financial markets that we effectively employ against our “enemies.” Roberts notes that we are multiplying the number of our “enemies” at an alarming rate and our hubris will be our undoing. (Must we take the rest of the world down with us? That remains to be seen.)

One question: Why must we wait for the rest of the world to organize boycotts against us? Why can’t American political parties – on the Left, in the libertarian sphere, etc.– and NPOs and NGOs organize with their colleagues and correspondents “across the pond” and around the world to take on the American behemoth? The elite rulers and owners of our world have transnational organizations and they act in concert to impose their New World Order. Opposition to their monstrous apparatus of control and destruction must also be transnational, and we in the “belly of the beast” have a major part to play in that.

~ Gary Corseri

Things Unsaid at the Petraeus Hearings

Can the Iraqis govern themselves? It is obvious that the Republicans can’t read writin’, and sure can’t write readin’. Iraq has a written history of more than 243 generations, from 5300 B.C. to 2008. The U.S. has at its disposal a generational record of 13.37, from 1607 to 2008. Now then, tell me who has the most experience in governing themselves?

~ William Berka

That Other Military Draft

I have to agree with “Steven.” Even though I did volunteer to go, I had extensive training with the Navy Construction Battalion, who are trained with the Marine Corps. When I got there, I felt as if many should have been sent home and should not have been placed in the area. There are a very select few that actually can absorb the impact a war zone has on a person, and most Navy and Air Force personnel do not have the training to handle it. If they are going to send the “other services,” then the personnel that signed up for the fight should be the ones going – not the cook or line handler.

~ FO

The Barr Factor

I think it is important that Bob Barr also be the nominee of the Constitution Party. Both LP and Constitution Party members agree about the need to end the war in Iraq, get rid of the Federal Reserve, and make drastic cuts in federal taxes and spending. This agreement should be the basis of a coalition of both parties to defeat the Republicans and restore small government. Put aside controversial issues such as abortion and immigration, where there are legitimate grounds for disagreement between the LP and Constitution Party positions. I would also let slide the Constitution Party’s emphasis on the Bible as the basis for its platform.

With more than 300,000 registered members, the Constitution Party claims to be the third largest political party, and it agrees with the LP on the most important issues – ending the war, abolishing the Fed, and rolling back big government. Given the difficulties that third parties have with ballot access, wouldn’t it make sense for the LP and the Constitution Party to combine resources and select Barr as their nominee for president? Let the coalition take down down McCain first. Make McCain lose all 50 states and start the demise of the Republican Party. Then build on this victory to work against the Democrats, bring our troops home, and start to dismantle the welfare state.

~ Mutsuko Kuwano Webb

Petraeus Testimony May Signal Iran Attack

This piece by Paul Craig Roberts reads like a Sadrist propaganda piece. I am strongly opposed to wars of aggression, and therefore the Iraq invasion and any possible strike on Iran. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the writings over at, but this one goes a little off the deep end.

Likely Iran is arming and supplying Iraqi insurgents; the Iranian government is not a bunch of boy scouts. Gen. Petraeus doesn’t have to make up Iranian connections to insurgents. Iranian opposition to the U.S. occupation was foreseeable and is quite real. The job of any general is to win the war. Petraeus does not advocate withdrawal, because that is not what generals do, not because he is a neocon shill. Though I admit that politics does play a part in picking generals, it is up to the people through their elected representatives to end this war, and at that the people have failed.

The new Democratic Congress hasn’t even enough spine to strongly challenge the administration. This Congress received the “antiwar” vote and yet has done little more than the previous Congress to end the war. If people want an end to war, they need to elect politicians who actually feel the same way and will have the courage to act on their own convictions, not by smearing a general who simply carries out a task given him by the Congress and the executive.

~ Nick Michelewicz

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

If the insurgents had Iranian arms, it would be the end of our helicopter gunships and tanks.

The real question is: why is Iran refusing to provide effective arms to their Shi’ite brothers who have been invaded and occupied by the U.S. on the basis of Bush’s lies?

Strategic Manure

Charley Reese makes a good point: Those who have the oil in the Middle East seem willing to sell it to anyone, so to establish a military presence there for the purposes of “securing our national interests” concerning oil seems insane. But what is not insane is to perpetuate the “petrodollar”: our control of the currency used for oil transactions. We get a lot of benefit from having the U.S. dollar be the dominating currency for oil deals. I believe that Saddam Hussein signed his own death warrant when he took steps to employ euros in the Iraqi oil trade. If the euro, the yen, the yuan, or some other currency comes to dominate oil transactions, I think our overburdened imperial economy will burst like a popped balloon. I think that fear of such a possibility may very well be what motivates our current aggressiveness in the Middle East, and I would like to see the media spend a little more time investigating that idea and explaining it to the American people.

~ James Anderson Merritt

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