Democratic Underground  

Speaking Truth to Ignorance: An Open Letter to Charlie Daniels and the Warmongers
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 pro-war rallies.

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 propaganda.

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 0211/sloyan.html).

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 for.

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 civilians.

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 dodge taxes.

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 advantages.

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 and neurosis.

George W. Bush is as complicit in murder as any mafia don who orders a thug to kill a rival.

Sincerely,

Christian Dewar

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