Truth to Ignorance: An Open Letter to Charlie Daniels and
April 5, 2003
By Christian Dewar
Dear Mr. Daniels,
While many people have criticized celebrities such as Susan
Sarandon, Tim Robbins, The Dixie Chicks and Sean Penn for
voicing their dissent against the massacre that is taking
place in Iraq and some screeching heads such as Mike Savage
call for protestors to be locked up in concentration camps,
the hallmark of democracy is to allow all citizens to voice
their opinion, no matter how unpopular their view may seem
to some people. It is this "marketplace of ideas" and the
give-and-take of political debate that allows our citizens
to educate themselves and make informed decisions about important
events. An informed electorate should debate issues that are
critical to the well being of our country. Your criticism
of the opponents of this war has been noted but I have to
question the assumptions upon which you make your decisions.
It is understandable that people want to rally behind our
troops and attack the world's tyrants. No one in the anti-war
movement likes Saddam Hussein and they will be relieved when
he is dead and gone. That said, most Americans are not informed
about the real issues behind this military campaign. One of
the reasons for this is the media as it exists today. It is
important to understand that because of deregulation, television,
radio, newspapers and other means of communication are consolidated
in the hands of perhaps ten corporations. They have their
own agendas and conflicts of interest that prevent them from
covering all of the news.
For example, NBC is owned by General Electric, which is
a defense contractor. GE has been accused of dumping one million
pounds of carcinogenic PCBs into the Hudson River. They don't
think they should have to clean it up. Understandably, NBC
is not going to be scrutinizing this story in great detail.
This is just one of many examples of conflicts which arise
in the press.
As the media has been increasingly corporatized, there has
been more of an emphasis on the bottom line and making a profit.
For this reason, many papers have drastically cut back on
staffing at offices overseas. When a story breaks in a foreign
country, they dispatch state-side journalists with no or little
previous experience in that nation. It makes it much more
difficult to get the real story.
Much of the media is owned by people with a political agenda.
Rupert Murdoch who owns many media outlets is widely know
to be a supporter of very far right-wing causes.
Reverend Moon, the head of the Unification Church who was
convicted of tax evasion, has been linked with far right wing
governments in Latin America. He is best known for his weddings
where hundreds of strangers are married to one another. Moon,
who considers himself the new messiah, has contributed hundreds
of thousands of dollars to the Bush family and his paper,
The Washington Times, has always been a megaphone for the
Republican party. He also donated one million dollars for
Bush Senior's presidential library. (See related articles
by Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com. Mr. Parry broke many
of the first stories on Iran-Contragate. The Reagan/Bush administrations
put tremendous pressure on his bosses to fire him. He was
later vindicated when a plane load of arms and a CIA asset
were shot down over Central America.)
Clear Channel, which owns hundreds of radio stations, has
close ties to the Bush family. They have been instrumental
in bleating out the administration's messages and encouraging
Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, was a media consultant
for the Bush family. He has been quoted as saying that Americans
don't want to be informed; they only want the illusion of
being informed. Ailes continues to foist off right-wing ideology
on unsuspecting viewers.
The media has also been consistently co-opted by American
intelligence agencies. Ronald Reagan's CIA director, William
Colby, was once quoted as saying, "The CIA owns everyone of
significance in the major media." Their agents infiltrated
the newspapers and magazines posing as legitimate reporters
and generated stories that were slanted and biased toward
their political agenda. Deceptive articles were planted in
the press domestically and abroad. They called the program
Operation Wurlitzer for its ability to loudly broadcast their
This present administration has openly declared their intention
to develop disinformation here and abroad. Public Relation
hacks from Madison Avenue such as Charlotte Beers, who once
shilled for Uncle Ben's Rice and Head and Shoulders were hired
to spin stories favorable to the administration's positions
and sell Brand America. Cover-up artists from the first Bush
administration were rehired by Bush Junior to suppress unfavorable
information. Discredited government officials such as Elliot
Abrahms, John Negroponte, Otto Reich and John Poindexter are
working for this administration despite having been involved
in covering up the Iran-Contragate scandal, lying to Congress
and violating their oath to uphold the Constitution.
After the Vietnam war, many conservatives blamed our loss
on the media, never mind that the Pentagon Papers revealed
that the military planners secretly believed that it would
end up as a stalemate. Pictures of napalmed babies, civilian
casualties at My Lai and other atrocities made Americans rethink
our nation's involvement in the war. Consequently, the press
was heavily censored in the following military campaigns.
For example, many of our citizens are unaware that U.S.
troops may have killed as many as 3000 civilians in Panama
in their effort to oust Manuel Noriega, never mind that he
was a close associate of the Reagan/Bush administrations who
praised him for his efforts on their behalf a decade after
the DEA knew he was collaborating with drug dealers and smugglers.
The invasion of the Grenada Colossus was similarly censored.
When a split television screen coincidentally showed Bush
Senior celebrating his hard won victory at the same time that
coffins with the bodies of American soldiers were arriving
in the United States, the embarrassed White House ordered
that no more filming of the return of our dead military personnel
should ever take place again. Some viewers may note that pictures
of the coffins of American soldiers arriving stateside from
this crusade have rarely appeared on their television screen
or in the newspapers.
During the first Gulf War, Dick Cheney said that he saw
the media as something that had to be managed. Information
and footage were heavily censored. Independent journalists
covering civilian casualties were assaulted and had their
filmed seized. As a result, most Americans are unaware of
the atrocities that took place there. For instance, our M1A2
Abrahms tanks which were impervious to small arms fire, poured
7.62mm machine gun fire into miles of Iraqi trenches. Other
tanks with plows known as ACEs, or Armored Combat Earth movers,
poured tons of sand into the trenches, burying dead, wounded
and living Iraqi troops. Other vehicles with plows followed
and leveled off the earth where limbs were sticking out. When
asked by a seasoned combat journalist where the bodies were,
the commander in charge of the operation asked rhetorically,
"What bodies?" (See "Where the Bodies Went: Censorship in
the First Gulf War" by Patrick J. Sloyan. digitaljournalist.org/issue
A few independent photographers did manage to smuggle out
pictures of atrocities such as the devastation of a retreating
column of Iraqis at the "Highway of Death". (see digitaljournalist.org/issue0212/pt01.html
or do a web search for "The Unseen Gulf War" by Peter Turnley.)
In the campaign against the Taliban, most Americans are
not aware of allegations of U.S. complicity with Dostum's
Northern Alliance in the massacre of 3000 prisoners of war.
A former BBC producer's documentary of this atrocity, "Afghan
Massacre: The Convoy of Death", received considerable attention
in Europe but the American press has remained mostly mute.
Witnesses that were interviewed claimed U.S. Special Forces
and CIA agents were aware that the killing was taking place
and did not intervene. The film shows body parts and limbs
sticking out of the ground. Unfavorable media coverage has
been consistently suppressed. Pictures of dead civilians which
could make Americans question Bush's wars are once again censored.
(See The Mercury News, Dec. 23, 2002, "Documentary Alleges
US Complicity in Afghan Massacre.)
In this new war on Iraq, the government "embedded" journalists
to allow them to control their movements. They were banned
from using their own transportation. It was also hoped that
camaraderie and friendship would lead to favorable coverage
of the troops who were protecting their lives. One BBC reporter
claimed that the Pentagon threatened to target independent
journalists. At this point in the war, around ten journalists
have died, some under suspicious circumstances. The Pentagon
also threatened to target their weapons at satellite communication
equipment possessed by reporters.
Some independent journalist have been roughed up, had their
equipment seized and then were kicked out of the country.
This administration is outraged at the vivid coverage of civilian
"collateral damage" and the bloody reports of the carnage
by respected reporters such as Robert Fisk. Peter Arnett was
treated as a traitor for simply stating the obvious. Gone
are the days when brave, intrepid war correspondents like
the beloved Ernie Pyle could travel freely and report the
truth. Pyle was killed by a Japanese sniper and the nation
mourned his death.
The Bushies have made every effort to stage-manage what
Americans could see and read. Cent Com, where they announce
their spin on the war, was even built by a Hollywood set designer.
Indeed, the coverage of this war overseas is markedly different
than what is presented for mass consumption here. We are told
that we are liberators who are overthrowing a despot. Foreigners
widely believe it is a crusade against Islam, an oil grab
and an attempt to establish regional hegemony. Jihads have
been declared against Americans. Huge anti-war demonstrations
in Arab countries threaten to destabilize allied Middle Eastern
countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt with Islamic revolutions.
This, of course, is precisely what Osama bin Laden had hoped
Many Americans realize that they do not get good coverage
of this war from the U.S. press. Foreign papers in Europe
and elsewhere report that the 'hits' on their web sites from
citizens of this country have greatly increased. Even Russian
news agencies are doing a more accurate job of covering this
war and have more credibility than our media.
This censorship issue aside, there are many reasons why
so many people oppose this conflict. Even those who think
that this is a splendid little war should know that even if
no shots were fired, U.S. troops were going to die and become
extremely ill. Friendly fire, or 'blue on blue' killing of
Americans and their allies by one another are always inevitable.
There have been several instances of this already.
But far more worrisome is the Gulf War Syndrome. Between
170,000 and 200,000 veterans of Bush Senior's war have sought
medical help for their disabilities. Around 10,000 have died.
The Pentagon denied for years that there was any connection
between the war and the illnesses, but it now appears that
it is caused by a toxic stew of various chemicals and agents.
Some experts believe that nerve gas was released when a chemical
plant was bombed. Others speculate that experimental vaccines
contributed to the illness. (Several vets returning from Afghanistan
killed their wives in domestic disputes. It is thought that
an anti-malaria vaccine which causes psychosis and paranoia
was to blame. Many military personnel are refusing to re-up
out of fear of these required vaccinations.)
The most likely cause of GWS is the use of depleted uranium.
A very heavy metal with incendiary properties favored for
anti-tank projectiles, it slices through armor and carbonizes
the crew into what vets morbidly call 'crispy critters'. Upon
impact, the uranium oxide atomizes into particles which are
inhaled. It becomes embedded in the spine and skeletal system
where it continues to emit radioactivity. Cancer rates have
skyrocketed in Iraq and among our vets. The children of vets
are much more likely to be born with horrific deformities.
Leukemia and Lou Gehrig disease is also much more prevalent
among these soldiers. There are over 300 tons of depleted
uranium shrapnel and exploded munitions in the desert from
the first campaign. Our military appears to be using DU again
in this war. The new "bunker busters" are thought to contain
even higher quantities of the toxic metal.
The half life of depleted uranium is over a billion years,
meaning that it will be killing innocent civilians long after
the memory of a United States has been forgotten. Most countries
believe that our use of depleted uranium is a war crime. The
UN wants it banned. Indeed, Vietnam vets have been warning
soldiers that go to Iraq that they very well may be considered
to be war criminals and liable for prosecution even though
Bush Junior has opted out of the International Criminal Court.
After all, Hitler's henchmen did not have any say as to whether
they would be tried at Nuremburg.
Bush has also hinted that he may use tactical nuclear weapons
raising the grim possibility that our soldiers will also be
exposed to that radiation. Our victory over Iraq could very
well be a Pyrrhic one.
Another reason why many Americans oppose this war is because
they see Saddam Hussein as only a pretext for our attack.
Neo-conservatives have been planning to rearrange the Middle
East and establish hegemony for over a decade. The "Project
for a New American Century", championed by Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz
and Richard "The Prince of Darkness" Perle, is the blueprint
for this plan. If we control the oil spigot in Iraq, we can
control the economies of other nations such as Russia, China,
Japan and those of Europe. These countries have no illusions
that this war is to liberate the suppressed Iraqis, depose
a tyrant and bring democracy. We have done precisely nothing
to rebuild Afghanistan beyond Kabul. And if we did establish
a true democracy there, they would elect a Moslem which would
be an anathema to this administration.
Opponents to this war also question why we are attacking
Iraq when it was Osama bin Laden who is alleged to have been
the master mind of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
As some people have pointed out, the Bush administration managed
a remarkable magic trick in morphing Osama into Hussein. As
a result of manipulating our citizens perceptions, many Americans
now believe that Hussein was connected to the WTC attacks
when no proof has ever been presented that it is true. CIA
analysts have leaked that they have been under tremendous
pressure from the Bushies to find such a link, but have been
unable to do so.
Many Americans also believe that Iraqis were among the terrorists
that flew into the twin towers, when if fact, there were none.
Most were from our good and faithful allies, Saudi Arabia
and Egypt. (John O'Neil, the lead FBI agent investigating
terrorism resigned because he claimed the Bush administration,
with big oil backing, refused to allow him to investigate
Saudi ties with terrorism. He subsequently became head of
security at the World Trade Center where he died on September
11th. See the book, Forbidden Truch: US-Taliban Secret
Oil Diplomacy that Failed.)
Another reason we oppose this war is because of the blatant
hypocrisy of the Bush regimes. It is an historical fact that
Reagan took Iraq off of the list of nations that sponsored
terrorism. Reagan sent Donald Rumsfeld as his envoy to Iraq
to restore diplomatic ties. (Pictures of Rumsfeld shaking
Saddam's hand are all over the internet.) Bush signed secret
national security directives encouraging the sale of dual-use
equipment to Iraq that could be used for military as well
as civilian purposes.
Of course, these sales to Iraq did not keep Oliver North
from covertly and illegally selling missiles to Iranian Islamic
fundamentalists in an attempt to manipulate the hostage crisis
and prevent Jimmy Carter's re-election. Profits were skimmed
by the intermediaries and directed toward our mercenaries,
the Contras, in violation of the Boland Amendment. The CIA's
inspector general declared in 1998 that the agency was complicit
in Contra drug smuggling. North clearly violated the oath
he swore when he enlisted to uphold the Constitution. Is he
as much of a traitor as John Walker Lindh is supposed to be?
This administration sided with Iraq in their war with Iran
to stem the expansion of Islamic fundamentalism. Bush gave
Saddam strategic advice for bombing Iranians. Reagan/Bush
covertly sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons
to Iraq. We also sold them anthrax and other pathogens. (See
award winning journalist Alan Friedman's book, Spider web:
How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq for an overview.)
This is a matter of record in the U.S. Senate. In short, many
of the weapons that Saddam used in the first Gulf War against
U.S. troops were made available by Americans. When Iraq recently
released their report about weapons of mass destruction in
their country, the U.S. illegally seized it and censored thousands
of pages. A German paper revealed that the missing papers
reported at least 24 U.S. corporations that had sold Saddam
weapons and equipment.
When Saddam became too bellicose and threatened Israel,
Congress insisted something be done. Hussein, who claimed
that Kuwait was slant drilling and poaching Iraqi oil, threatened
to invade. April Glaspie, a U.S. ambassador in the Middle
East, let Hussein know that the administration did not consider
it to be their business to intervene in Arab wars. Saddam
felt that he had the green light from his ally Bush to invade.
When the U.S. threatened to go to war, Iraq offered to retreat
if we would not attack. Other nations tried to intervene with
a peaceful resolution but Bush, wary of being labeled a wimp,
wanted war and would allow no option.
PR firms such as Hill and Knowlton fabricated lies about
Kuwaiti babies being ripped from incubators and left to die.
Bush Senior claimed that Iraqis were massed on Saudi Arabia's
border for an invasion. Satellite photos revealed that to
be untrue. The justifications for the first Gulf War were
lies. As a result, around 150,000 Iraqis died, many of them
Anti-war protestors also note the hypocrisy of the chickenhawks
in this administration who lust for a bloody war. Bush's father
pulled strings so that Junior could get into the Texas National
Guard twelve days before his student deferment expired, despite
a year and a half waiting list. Dubya checked the box on his
application indicating that he would not volunteer for overseas
duty. He was assigned to fly an obsolete plan that was being
phased out, ensuring he would not go to Vietnam. He was banned
from flying after he refused to take a physical exam which
included drug testing for the first time. Despite the thousands
of dollars of tax money to train him, he never flew again.
Vietnam vets have offered rewards to anyone who can prove
that he was not AWOL for the last seventeen months of duty.
It has been alleged that Bush associate Dan Bartlett scrubbed
Dubya's military records of incriminating details. The book,
Fortunate Son: George Bush and the Making of an American
President by the late J.H. Hatfield is a good source of
information about this and other Bush scandals. The Bushies
almost succeeded in censoring it. (Also see awolbush.com)
Cheney received five deferments. When asked why he didn't
enlist he said he had "other priorities". The chief architects
of this slaughter are also chickenhawks, including Wolfowitz,
Perle and Bolton.
Many other top GOP figures are also chickenhawks including
Jeb Bush, John Ashcroft Karl Rove, Phil Gramm, Dick Armey,
Jerry Falwell, Tom Delay (He claimed minorites took all the
spots so there was no room for him), Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich,
Andrew Card, Bob Barr, Bill Bennet, Antonin Scalia, Clarance
Thomas, Spencer Abraham, Frank Gaffney and many, many others.
Among the screaming media heads who want war but avoided
service are Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, George Will, Charles
Krauthammer, Geraldo Rivera, Brit Hume, Tony Snow, Roger Ailes,
and Rush Limbaugh who got a deferment for anal cysts or an
"ingrown hair follicle on his bottom." (Go to nhgazette.com/chickenhawks.html
or do a web search for the site.) As General Anthony Zinni,
the former Chief of the Central Command said, "It's pretty
interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and
all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to
go to war see it another."
George Bush will send your kids to die but Jenna and Babs
will be safe to knock back beers here in America. Cheney's
children won't be going. Scalia and Rehnquist's children have
cushy jobs in government. Only one person in congress has
a child who is enlisted. Like Vietnam, the soldiers who will
fight and die in this volunteer army will be disproportionately
minorities who are seeing their civil rights being eroded
at home by this administration. Without affirmative action
to help them get an education, more blacks and Hispanics will
have to resort to enlisting.
Many opponents of this war also are aware of the hypocrisy
of the close ties in this administration with the U.S. military-industrial
complex. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton which has huge contracts
with the defense department. Cheney was not hired for his
business expertise. (He acquired another corporation which
had huge legal exposure due to asbestos suits which devastated
their bottom line.) Cheney was hired for his rolodex. As a
former secretary of defense, his contacts enriched the company
and he made millions.
Bush senior is a consultant for the Carlyle group that similarly
makes outrageous fortunes selling to the defense department.
Carlyle buys failing defense companies and the uses their
contacts at the Pentagon to win huge contracts.
And who will get the job of rebuilding Iraq with the profits
from that country's oil? Cheney's Halliburton was secretly
given an immense no-bid contract by our government to rebuild
Iraq's oil wells, much to the chagrin of our allies who wanted
a place at the trough. Other contracts estimated at around
$100 billion will go to Kellog Brown & Root which is owned
by Cheney's Halliburton, the Bechtel Group which houses many
former GOP politicians, Parsons Corp., Louis Berger Group
and Fluor Corp. According to writer Christopher Brauchli in
a March 19th article for NBC news, these groups donated more
than $2.8 million in campaign contributions, more than two
thirds of which went to the GOP. Cheney still receives considerable
money from Halliburton in deferred compensation, a ruse to
Richard Perle recently had to give up his position at the
Defense Policy Board for conflicts of interest involving his
attempts to sell sophisticated fiber optic equipment to the
Chinese and for other war profiteering. Sy Hersh recently
broke this story. (And they accused Clinton for selling defense
secrets to China?) Don't forget all of those U.S. corporations
like Enron that moved their headquarters offshore to avoid
paying taxes. Not only did Enron pay nothing to support this
war, the government some how owed them a rebate on their taxes.
Informed citizens are also appalled that much of the Bush
family fortune (which Junior will presumably inherit) came
from his grandfather Prescott's treasonous collaboration with
the Nazis after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He had many assets
seized by the U.S. government for trading with the enemy.
His steamship line was found to be a front for Nazi espionage
and propaganda. It is thought that George Senior enlisted
in the service as a way to redeem the family's soiled reputation.
(Go to any search engine for the online book, George Bush:
The Unauthorized Biography by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton
Chaikin." A recent Google search for the words, "George+Bush+Nazi"
resulted in 117,000 hits in 0.16 seconds.
Opponents of the war also question the Bush family's secretive
ties with the Saudis. Most American are not aware that the
bin Laden family had invested in the first of Junior's failed
oil companies. It wasn't because they expected a hefty return
on their investment. All of Junior's oil businesses went bust,
losing millions in other people's money. The Arabs wanted
connections to his dad's administration which they got. The
infamous BCCI also had ties to Bush's endeavors.
The bin Laden family also had significant investments in
Bush Senior's Carlyle company. Most of the terrorists were
from Saudi Arabia. None were from Iraq. Yet, the Bush administration
has gone to great lengths to block any investigation of the
events of September 11th. Henry Kissinger, who restricts his
travels abroad for fear of being seized as a war criminal
had to resign from the investigation because he would not
reveal his clients and conflicts of interest. The Bushies
approached Tom Daschle about severely limiting the scope of
the probe. Then they tried to defund it. What do you suppose
they don't want us to know?
After taking office and before 9/11, the Bushies quietly
met with the Taliban seeking their cooperation in building
a pipeline for U.S. oil including Unocal and Enron. They offered
a "carpet of gold" if they cooperated and a "carpet of bombs"
if they did not. (See Forbidden Truth: US-Taliban Secret
Oil Diplomacy by French intelligence experts Jean-Charles
Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie. Are those Bush envoys "American
Taliban" like John Walker Lindh?
Informed Americans are also aware of the many explicit warnings
from Egypt, Russia, Israel, the Phillipines and other countries
about sensational huge attacks on American icons using airplanes.
Warned in August about the impending attacks, Bush went on
vacation for a month. Conspiracy theorists suspect complicity.
Other less cynical people belive that they expected an attack
of smaller proportions but allowed it to happen so that they
could frighten citizens enough to create a police state. In
two short years, our constitution and the bill of rights have
been gutted. Mainstream Australian papers such as the Sydney
Morning Herald have reported that our government is prepared
to establish martial law in the U.S. (See Foundations are
in Place for Martial Law in the US by Ritt Goldstein,
July 27, 2002.
The world's citizens might have been more receptive to our
invasion if it were sanctioned by the UN. Bush's unilateralism
has alienated most of our former allies. Bush's "Coalition
of the Coerced" are largely small countries who have been
bribed to sign on to this war but who will not be sending
soldiers. Our only significant coalition ally is England with
around forty- five thousand troops, but the majority of English
citizens opposed the war. Members of Tony Blair's own party
are demanding that Blair be impeached and sent to The Hague
to be tried as a war criminal. Australia's head of state also
supports Bush as his countrymen protest in the streets. There
are reports that Americans have been spat on in Europe. International
boycotts of American products are rapidly gaining momentum.
The heads of state in Spain and Italy also signed on to
this war although the vast majority of their citizens oppose
it. Both of those countries have seen massive protests. It
is almost certain that Spain's government will be replaced
in the next elections. Press coverage in Italy, unlike that
of the rest of Europe, has little coverage of civilian deaths
and the atrocities taking place in Iraq since their head of
state, Burlusconi (who has many of his own corruption scandals
brewing), reportedly owns around ninety per cent of the media.
Our former allies detest Bush for his unilateralism. He
has backed out of treaties on global warming, the International
Criminal Court and numerous other treaties. Bush has engaged
in petty, childish snits with the leaders of many foreign
countries including our once strong allies, France and Germany.
His coercive threats have alienated countries such as Mexico
that he tried to enlist for his coalition. Rumsfeld dismisses
"Old Europe", tells the world that we don't really need Britan's
help and blames Syria, Ukraine and Russia for selling military
equipment to Iraq (even though Cheney was selling millions
of dollars of Halliburton's products and services after sanctions
which he helped establish were in place.)
Bush "dissed" the Nobel prize winning leader of South Korea
and single-handedly destroyed their improving relations with
North Korea. Bush sabotaged their peace talks. He diplomatically
declared his hatred of the North Korean leader and called
him a Pygmy. Suspecting that they too will be attacked, North
Korea has kicked inspectors out of the country and has restarted
their nuclear program. Although they are suspected of having
nuclear bombs and the missles to deliver them to our west
coast, Bush attacks Iraq where inspectors believe Saddam's
nuclear project was dismantled and what missles he had only
could travel a hundred miles or so. Pakistan and India, who
both have nuclear bombs, have been lobbing missles into the
atmosphere to test their capability to deliver warheads accurately.
The entire world has been massively destabilized by Junior's
lust for war.
Bush's mindless comments about his war on the Taliban being
a "Crusade" have convinced Arabs that this is indeed a war
on Islam. Moslem clerics have called for a jihad against Americans.
We will be targets anywhere we go in the world. There are
over one billion Muslims and it is the world's fastest growing
religion. Egypt has warned that Bush's folly will create hundreds
of new suicide bombers and bin Ladens.
Iran and Syria think that they might be attacked next. England's
Jack Straw recently informed that they will not cooperate
if the U.S. invades those countries. China is gearing up for
World War III. Bush, who claimed to be able to see into Putin's
soul, now blames them for also selling equipment to Iraq and
has angered them to the extent that they may well postpone
plans to reduce their nuclear arsenal. One million Iranians
came out into the street on September 11th to show their solidarity
with America. Germans wore T-shirts which proclaimed that
"I am an American". This goodwill has been squandered and
much of the world now hates us.
Any child who has played "Risk", the board game of global
domination, knows that once one player becomes too powerful
the others unite and gang up on the would-be emperor. This
has just begun for the United States.
Many Americans are against this war because we were told
our generals that it was a terrible idea. Wesley Clark, Anthony
Zinni and Norman Schwarzkopf are only a few of the commanders
who voice extreme skepticism. Barry McCaffrey said that Rumsfeld
"dangerously" ignored our generals. Two thousand vets, including
many high ranking officers signed a petition against the war.
They tried to deliver it to the White House which would not
accept it. Veterans groups have widely opposed this military
action. The warned about the Gulf War Syndrome and the post
tramatic stress disorder afflicting so many vets.
Bush has mired the country down in another bloody quaqmire
at a time when he wants to cut the Veterans Administration's
budget. There is a six month waiting list for a vet to get
treatment. Bush also wants to cut around $170 million for
schools that educate the children of enlisted men and women.
Administrators for the VA were told by this administration
not to notify vets of some benefits that they were eligible
for in order to save money. Now Junior wants billions in tax
cuts that will disproportionately go to the richest one percent
of our citizens. Nobel prize winning ecomonists say these
cuts will be disasterous. Our grandchildren will still be
paying down the deficit.
Civilians in this administration who dodged the draft and
never spent a day in uniform ignored the generals who warned
them of faulty battle plans. One general who estimated that
hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed for an occupation
was repremended by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld. According to Sy
Hersh's recent article in the New Yorker, high-level Pentagon
staffers claim Rummy continually discounted their warnings
and severely underestimated the number of U.S. troops necessary
for a successful campaign. Much of his strategy rested on
the assumption that the Iraqis would surrender immediately.
With all of the finger pointing now taking place allocating
blame for this debacle, the CIA leaked memos showing that
they warned the administration of the real possibility of
guerrilla warfare which is now taking place. Rummy, who never
saw combat, apparently never even learned by proxy the lessons
of irregular military tactics that the Viet Cong used.
Some in the administration like Ken Adelman claimed that
war on Iraq would be a "cakewalk". Cheney said our troops
would be greeted as liberators. The war would be won in a
matter of weeks, not months. The chickenhawks' plans, developed
with no historical recollection of Napolean and Hitler's campaigns
against Russia, have resulted in a poorly organized , bogged-down
cluster-fuck with the longest supply lines of any of our military
campaigns. Troops have reported shortages of food, water and
vital equipment. Ammunition has run low. Spread out for over
200 miles, the lines are under attack by snipers and guerillas.
It is not as if Saddam hasn't had a great deal of time to
prepare for this war. The bellicose warmongers in the White
House have been banging the drums of war for months. This
is probably the most widely telegraphed assault in history.
The Iraqis have had the opportunity to disperse their troops
and fortify their positions. Realizing that their best defense
would be similar to that of the Russians who fought in the
rubble of Stalingrad, they have moved their troops into the
cities for bloody urban warfare that negates U.S. technological
Napoleon's and Hitler's troops discovered that the weather
was as much of an enemy as the Russians. The snow and cold
decimated their fighting forces. Soldiers froze to death in
the sub-zero temperatures. In Iraq, wind storms have prevented
supportive arm cover and nullified the advantages of our night
fighting abilities. Sand between the tires and rims of our
vehicles causes flat tires. The sand destroys equipment and
the windstorms allow Iraqis to move undetected. Helicopters
take off and land, creating blizzards of sand which obstructs
the pilot's vision. The heat is demoralizing for troops who
have to wear suits that protect from chemical and biological
agents. These suits reportedly have many defects.
Rumsfeld bellows that the Iraqis are not abiding by the
Geneva Convention even as the U.S. has done the same. By declaring
captives as "enemy combatants" instead of POWs, he incarcerates
them in brutal conditions with sensory deprivation. American
intelligence agents have admitted using "stress and duress"
tactics on prisoners, including having special forces personnel
and M.P.s beat them up. They have admitted "rendering" prisoners
to other countries where torture is applied. According to
a recent article in the New Yorker, the Justice Department
had to drop many of the charges against the "American Taliban"
John Walker Lindh, for fear that his physical mistreatment
would come to light. The United States government has morphed
into Nazi Germany replete with Gestapo and SS stormtroopers.
Many critics of this massacre also see it as this administration's
attempt to distract the American people from our profound
domestic problems. Karl Rove circulated a GOP memo that said
the election campaign would be run on a platform of war. Andrew
Card inadvertenly disclosed that the administration would
sell the war to the American public much like a pair of running
shoes or a super-sized Happy Meal.
The economy is tanking, Wall Street is in shambles, stockholders
and investors have lost fortunes. Retirement funds, 401ks
and pensions have vanished. Unemployment is skyrocketing.
Junior and Cheney have been accused of the same insider trading
and illegalities as the disgraced CEOs doing the perp walk
in handcuffs. (Where is Kenny Boy, anyway?) WorldCom, Quest,
Tyco, Enron and other corporations give huge stock options
to CEOs as their companies head into bankruptcy. The once
substantial surplus is now a deficit heading south. Cheney's
energy board appears to have conspired with their cronies
in the oil industry to loot California's consumers.
The environment is under unrelenting attack. A woman's right
to chose is in jeopardy. Civil rights are being dismantled.
Convicted felon John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness
program allows the government to snoop into every aspect of
our lives. The administration thrives in an atmosphere of
fear and paranoia as we approach Code Red. We are told to
protect ourselves from terrorists with duct tape. Protest
is considered treason.
Bush touts his born-again Christianity and urges our troops
in combat to pray for him. Some of this evangelical fundamentalist
allies believe these are the end-times and that we are seeing
the apocalypse unfold. They see this as the Armageddon that
will bring the second coming of the messiah and that good
Christians will ascend into heaven while those who haven't
been saved will perish in the ensuing conflagration. Many
people are dying as this self-fulfilling prophecy unfolds.
Bush is the Christian who presided over the execution or
over 130 death row prisoners, some defended by incompetent
counsels or ones who slept through the proceedings. He laughed
and mocked Karla Faye Tucker's pleas for clemency. He smirked
in the debates when he discussed the death penalty for the
men who dragged a black man to his death. What part of "Thou
shall not kill!" does this Christian not understand?
The Bushies have hit the hornet's nest with a mighty big
stick. As former representative Lee Hamilton said recently,
"The ripples of this war will continue for a good many years
to come." The future doesn't bode well for the United States.
We are less, not more, secure.
Slogans such as "Our country; love it or leave it" or "My
country; right or wrong" did not make the Germans who collaborated
with the Nazis morally right and it doesn't morally justify
all of America's actions especially a "shock and awe" campaign
that mirrors Hitler's blitzkriegs. To the rest of the world,
these hawks are just as much war criminals as the Nazi leaders.
If we citizens believe our government is not right, we should
voice our opinions to make it better.
At the end of the day when all is said and done, a lot of
people are going to die. Some will be Americans, some the
feared Republican Guard and some conscripted Iraqis who probably
hate Saddam but will be shot if they retreat. But a lot of
innocent men, women and children who want nothing more than
to return to their families at the end of the day will also
die in brutal, bloody ways because of Junior's obsessions
George W. Bush is as complicit in murder as any mafia don
who orders a thug to kill a rival.