Backtalk, August 26, 2008

Jonathan Gress’ Backtalk

“The fact is both the Serbs and the Albanians are nasty pieces of work, just as both the Russians and the Georgians are nasty pieces of work.”

This is exactly the attitude in the USA that has lead to so many problems in the world. If we look at what Americans have done during their foreign adventures and throughout their blood-soaked history, we would have to find a new word besides “nasty” to describe the USA. …

~ Milan Radosavljevic

AP’s Iran-Trained Hit Squads Story: Iraq News Nadir?

Dear Mr. Porter,

Congratulations for writing the article “AP’s Iran-Trained Hit Squads Story: Iraq News Nadir?” that sets the record straight, exposes the AP’s questionable reporting tactics, and evidences their lack of professionalism. At this sensitive time when a military conflict with Iran would result in war in great cost to life, I appreciate your truthfulness and valued journalism. Like you, I believe American journalism can and must do better as we navigate the tumultuous waters of the 21st century. At all costs, the media must report accurately factual narratives, safeguard abuses of governmental power, and promote responsible public debate. Rather than reporting counterproductive and misleading leaks that misinform the American public and harm U.S. interests, the media must follow your example and question the “facts.”

~ Christopher Feld, public relations coordinator, U.S.-Iran Alliance

The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism

While I agree with many of the points that Andrew Bacevich makes, I disagree that the government is just carrying out the will of the American people.

Yes, it is true that people no longer look to the government to preserve liberty; rather they believe that the only function of government is to give them something, and as long as the check is in the mail they ask no questions, happy to exchange liberty for security.

However, even if it were otherwise, I doubt that the result would be different. We have a government that is out of touch with its citizens, controlled by special interests, AIPAC, Big Oil, the military-industrial complex – and that has succeeded in co-opting the media that now functions only as an element of government propaganda. How could anyone succeed in challenging this power? What methods would they use? One can send letters to the editor or to his representatives, even to the president, but would that work? I think not. …

Unfortunately, the only thing that could possibly change the current situation is a catastrophic failure resulting in military defeat and economic and social collapse. But that would be of little consolation to those of us who would want to return to limited government, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and an expansion of liberties at home.

~ John Dente

Who Started Cold War II?

The U.S. and Israel have been selling/supplying and training Georgia in the use of up-to-date military weapons and tactics for years. Beginning on July 18, Georgia and over 1,000 U.S. Marines spent two weeks in military exercises, called “Immediate Response 2008.” (See Pepe Escobar at Real News.)

Yet the U.S. claims it was surprised when, after declaring a “truce” with Russia following days of tit-for-tat skirmishes, in early August, Georgia launched a violent nighttime assault on Ossetia’s capital, using its new U.S./Israeli “toys.” I don’t buy it.

Georgia got its “immediate response,” which was to get its ass kicked. Russia is now removing or destroying Georgia’s fancy new weapons and no doubt gathering useful intelligence from military bases in Georgia. Truce or no, Russia will not end these activities until it has disarmed Georgia and gathered information on U.S./Israeli meddling in the Caucasus.

It’s quite clear Georgia believed the U.S. would come to its rescue. Both Georgia and the U.S. are led by reckless fools. Bush has not given up on military solutions to political problems. He green-lighted Israel’s hugely disproportionate attack on Lebanon, and supported a plot to overthrow Hamas using Fatah fighters, two other, similarly disastrous adventures.

In a November 2006 referendum, Ossetians voted on the order of 90+ percent to join with North Ossetia, which sounds something like the “freedom,” “democracy,” and “self-determination” we ought to recognize, as we did in Kosovo.

~ Gary Rose, Los Gatos, Calif.

“If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.”

Reads to me, Mr. Buchanan, like an apt description of both John McCain (erratic hothead) and neoconservative America (volatile nation), no?

~ Michael Nash

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