March 19, 2003
[posted by : http://metamagic.org]
Finally we know why Bush didn't want to sign up with the International
Criminal Court (ICC). He didn't want US Soldiers to get prosecuted for war
crimes in an illeagal war. This shows foresight and compassion, doesn't
it. So stop critizising him. He's just another President trying to protect
the interests of his constituents..., and his own.
It is an entirely different situation though as concerns for
instance british soldiers participating in an illeagal war. The United Kingdom
is one of the co-signatories of the Rome treaty, instituting the ICC. That
the ICC has opened shop only a couple of days ago, is more than just inconvenient
for a lot of people. It places each and every british soldier who participates
in an illeagal war against Iraq, at personal risk to face not just the regular
dangers of a combattant. For many years after the war has already ended,
they will remain under the Damocles sword of a potential life sentence for
war crimes committed by them. And it may be difficult to impossible to avoid
participation in action leading to a crime of war, especially for those
troops, who closely cooperate with their american counterparts.
If you are in doubt, wether a war of the US against Iraq is
legitimate without a new resolution of the UN Security Council, let me reassure
you. It is certainly not. I rarely do this, but I will quote from one of
my previous articles: "The United States have threatened to strike
'preemptively' against the Iraq. If need be, without the backing of the
United Nations Security Council. Even the use of the term 'preemptive' is
misleading in this case. Based on international law, they would be allowed
to do so, only under two conditions. First, if the UN Security Council were
to authorize such a measure, after determination, that all other means of
resolving the conflict peacefully had failed. Secondly, in self defense,
until the UN Security Council had time to respond. Neither is the case at
this time." and "According to international law, the test for
legitimacy as to the need for preemptive action must be 'a specific, grave
and imminent threat, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment
for deliberation'. The reluctance of the member states of the UN Security
Council to invoke anticipatory self defense, is in itself a clear indication
of the doubtful legitimacy of such a measure. Furthermore, at this time
there is no indication whatsoever, that the Iraq is preparing to strike
The unfortunate thing about charging British soldiers for
crimes of war is, that they may be prosecuted, but those who put them into
a situation, maybe beyond their control, those who really are responsible
for the attrocities of an illeagal war, will probably not be charged, and
go on as if nothing had happened.
By the way. At the same time, that Bush and the other thugs
that make up his administration, denounce Saddams missiles flying a couple
of miles farther than allowed by the UN, telling us about the terrible threat
this poses to the US, they boldly brag about MOAB, a bomb with the power
of a small atom bomb, the newest, cutest little toy of this terrorist administration.
Shame Unto 7 Generations
I am from the United States. I have seen many things, but
for the first time I am ashamed of my country. I am ashamed of our president
and our of our government. We used to stand for something. During the 1990's
I was proud that my nation only took military action in self defense in
pursuit of al qaeda and for humanitarian peace keeping purposes in coalition
with other nations. We took action only by the will of grass roots movement
from people through our representation following Constitutional law. I was
more proud of my nation than at any time in my life. We used to stand for
peace, justice and democracy. Few here now even remember what the principles
of our Democracy are. We have betrayed those principles. We have betrayed
our brother Democracies of the world. We have betrayed the UN. We have betrayed
NATO. We have betrayed Democracy itself. We have betrayed ourselves.
We allowed powerful multi national oil & energy corporations
to take over our goverment. We have allowed the oligarchy of just 5 Communications
corporations to control all news and information in this country and which
sided with the oil corporations. Few people make an effort to find information
from outside of this source. Consequently thier minds are brainwashed from
the constant saturation of propaganda from this system. They have no idea
what is really happening here. They do not know what the rest of the world
sees and says.
Our people are blinded by hatred, fear, anger,ignorance, racism
and vengeance. Any one who speaks out for reason and caution is insulted,
threatened and branded as a traitor even arrested sometimes. You can see
the hatred in thier words posted on this site. People who disagree are affraid
to speak out and demonstrate thier disapproval, for good reason. People
here have no idea that the rest of the world condemns our actions. They
have no idea how the rest of the world views this because they do not take
the time to travel beyond our borders or communicate with people beyond
our borders. They have no idea that we have lost the support of even our
closest allies and of every nation on Earth. They have no idea what goes
on outside our own little world nor do they care. They have no idea that
the actions of our government, the oil corporations, the communications
corporations and the wealthy have severly harmed our nation. They are self
destructive. These people embarrass us.
There are some good, intelligent, couragious people here who
care about the course our nation is taking. They understand what is happening
and care about the future of our country. They care about the future of
the world but our government does not listen to us. I am ashamed and embarrassed
by that. I know politicians who are not affraid to speak out against this.
I know people who are 60 or even 70 years old who say for the first time
in thier lives they are ashamed of thier own nation when they used to be
proud of it. I used to proudly display our nations flag because it always
gave me a feeling of pride for what we stood for. Now when I see a flag
I feel it reminds me only of feelings of anger and shame. It is displayed
now for the wrong reasons by people who don't know what it stands for. I
have seen people display our flag as a statement of war, hatred and venegeance.
I think twice about hanging it up now because people will misinterpret the
meaning of it. They will think it is a pro war statement when it is not.
They are so ignorant that they can not even display the flag properly. I
have seen people hang it upside down and backwards. Leave it on top of cars
until it is filthy and torn. I have seen it lying in the mud in gutters
and in bushes filthy and ragged. I am disgusted and ashamed by what people
think is partiotism. I have seen people say that we have to trust our president
and do what ever he says. I am ashamed that they think this is patriotism.
You see these statements posted here. I know people who didn't protest even
the Viet Nam War but they are protesting this one. I know people who are
American WWII veterans who now say they are ashamed of thier nation for
the first time in thier life. I know people who are Viet Nam war veterans
who are opposed to this war. Everything we care about is being threatened
and our own government is entirely responsible. We have tried everything
we can do to stop it. We will keep trying until it is stopped even if it
takes the rest of our lives. To the rest of the world we are sorry for what
our goverment has done to people all over the world. Our nation is not solving
the problem. It is the problem.
There is no excuse for it.
The Wrong War
By Avishai Margalit
At this writing it seems certain that there will be a war
in Iraq. It is the wrong war to fight. I am not waiting for the next report
of Hans Blix: I already believe that Iraq is hiding chemical and biological
weapons. I also believe that it is hiding a few dozen missiles in western
Iraq. Yet, while holding these beliefs, I still maintain that this is the
If you were to ask American officials after September 11 what
the enemy is, you would hear three different answers: world terrorism, weapons
of mass destruction in the hands of evildoers like Saddam Hussein, and radical
Islam of the sort promoted by Osama bin Laden. I believe that the muddleheadedness
in the American thinking about the war against Iraq comes from conflating
these three answers as if somehow they were one and the same. In fact they
are very different, with very different and incompatible practical implications.
In my view radical Islam of the sort promoted by bin Laden
is and should be regarded as the enemy. And fighting Saddam Hussein will
greatly help this enemy rather than set him back. This will be true even
if the war is successful, let alone if it turns out to be unsuccessful.
The Islamic world, which consists of a seventh of the world's
population, is on the verge of what in the old-fashioned jargon was called
a "revolutionary situation." Lenin characterized the revolutionary
situation as one in which the masses can't stand the regime anymore, and
the regime finds it very hard to control them. In almost all the Islamic
countries, over 50 percent of the population is made up of young people
under eighteen. Their prospects in life are very bleak, and yet they have
a sense of a glittering life elsewhere that comes mostly from the Western
press, television, movies, and the Internet. This makes the gap between
their prospects and their dreams very painful.
There are two ways to go about dealing with this explosive
gap. The first is to enhance the economic prospects of people in the Islamic
world and work for a better life for them, and the second is to change people's
expectations of life by changing their notion of what constitutes the good
life. Secular ideologies work on real-life prospects, while religious ideologies
work on dreams. And when secular ideologies fail, as they have so miserably
in the Islamic countries, the attraction of the dreams encouraged by religious
ideologies increases many times over.
Radical Islam is making a revolutionary bid for the allegiance
of the Islamic world. The attempts of its leaders to increase their following
comes in two versions. There is the "Stalinist" version, which
is a revolution in one country of the sort successfully made by Khomeini
in Iran. A successful Islamic revolution in a major country would, or so
it is hoped, serve as a model for revolutions in other Islamic countries.
And then there is a "Trotskyite" version of the Islamic revolution,
which aims to export the revolution to the entire Islamic world right away.
Bin Laden is trying to promote a permanent and universal Islamic
revolution. The idea is to use terror as propaganda: to stage spectacular
actions such as the attack on the "Babylonian" towers of Manhattan,
the emblem of the idolatrous American shrines. The aim is certainly not
to convert America to Islam. It is rather to recruit a large revolutionary
cadre that will eventually take over the Islamic world, starting perhaps
on the holy ground of Arabia and getting rid of what is seen as phony and
compromised Wahhabism there, and then spreading a new and revitalized puritanical
Wahhabism throughout the Islamic world.
Terror as propaganda-by-action counts on one thing: the overreaction
of its victims. Out of anger and frustration the victims will respond by
punishing bystanders, who will react by becoming more radical in their feelings
and more susceptible to recruitment. Fighting terror is a delicate matter,
and there is little sign that it has been understood in Washington. The
war in Afghanistan notwithstanding, the war against terror is not a conventional
war in which one can assign well-defined targets for the US Air Force to
hit. It is also not a police operation, such as fighting the mafia. It is
something in between, and this calls for a different strategy. But the last
thing one should do is fall for "the fallacy of the instrument,"
namely to use the instrument you know how to use just because it is the
only instrument you know how to use.
I shall say something briefly about how the right battle should
be fought, with the right instruments. But I want first to address the issue
of how the wrong war should be avoided.
Most of the regimes in the Arab world are what I call mukhabarat
regimes. "Mukhabarat" is the Arabic term for intelligence services,
but it is the generic term for the entire apparatus of internal security
services. So a mukhabarat regime is a regime run by the internal security
forces, largely in its own interests. It does not matter whether the ruler
is called a king or a president (who may be elected by 99 percent of the
population); the regime is still a mukhabarat regime, concerning itself
mostly with staying in power. There are, to be sure, differences in the
degree of brutality and sophistication among the various mukhabarat regimes;
Saddam's is perhaps the most oppressive.
Whatever cynical use of religious propaganda has been made
by Saddam throughout his long battle with Khomeini or during his current
struggle against Israel, his regime is brutally secular. His mukhabarat
people may see radical Islamists, and may harbor some of them, but they
meet them mainly in his wretched prisons. Bin Laden himself, while supporting
in his recent broadcast the Muslims of Iraq against "America and its
allies," also said that "socialists are infidels," whether
in "Baghdad or Aden." Whether Saddam is a cynic or not, is he
capable of supplying bin Laden's organizations with the chemical and biological
weapons that I believe he has?
Saddam Hussein is bad, but he is not entirely mad. More than
anything else he wants to stay in power. Given the fact that he is constantly
being watched, he would be mad to put his fate in the hands of a lieutenant
of bin Laden by collaborating with al-Qaeda just for the purposes of taking
revenge on the Americans. The issue about weapons of mass destruction does
not turn on the morality of Saddam Hussein but on his rationality. More
than a few other regimes would provide bin Laden with chemical and biological
weapons before Saddam would.
Bush has made it clear that he would not take "yes"
from Saddam as an answer to his demand for disarmament, and he wants to
attack Iraq come what may. Had Saddam provided Hans Blix with an accurate
list of his weapons it would likely have been taken as a sign that the list
was only "the tip of the iceberg" and that he was hiding far more.
There is no way for Saddam to get it right with the Americans—unless
he were to abdicate. Pushed into a corner, he may be tempted, as his final
legacy, to use his biological and chemical weapons, mainly against Israel.
This would not be an easy thing to do, but it is a genuine possibility.
I find it puzzling that my fellow Israelis find the temptation to support
this war irresistible. Given the immediate danger to Israel, it is a temptation
Israelis should resist in their own interest.
There is very little patience now with moral commentators
concerned about the damage a war will do to the Iraqi people. But recall
that as a result of the Gulf War, which seemed to most of the world a huge
video game, some 150,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. One can only guess
how many civilians will be killed as a result of the coming war, but there
will be many, and this is another good reason to spare the Iraqis from liberation
by guided missiles.
As for the "right" war, it should respond to an
Islamic world on the verge of a "revolutionary situation." This,
rather than terror, is the main problem that the world faces today; terror
is a nasty symptom of this situation. The global economy has torn apart
the social and economic safety nets in Islamic societies. In many countries
it was left to Islamist political organizations, whether in Egypt, Pakistan,
Gaza, or elsewhere, to provide a safety net: this too became propaganda-by-action,
and often successful action at that. I find it hard to believe that any
ideology, except some benign version of Islam, can successfully compete
both against the mukhabarat regimes and against the menacing Islamism of
bin Laden. The ideology that will address both the prospects and the dreams
of the people in these countries cannot be imposed or manipulated from the
outside; but it can and should be helped from the outside.
This is for the long run. In the short run we face bin Ladenism,
which has no single territorial base, although it has concealed bases in
different parts of the world. This is the enemy, as bin Laden made clear
in his recent broadcast. And as difficult and frustrating as it is, it should
be targeted carefully and locally rather than globally. The governing principle
should be: Do not overreact. Acting against Iraq is a glaring example of
—Jerusalem, February 13, 2003
Awaken the Planet
No time for waiting child
listen to the buzz and the hum
every living fiber sings out
born to this day with joy
from a sea of fleshy fear
become tomorrow's hero
surrounded by fierce desire
eyes filled with feral figments
crouch down now into reality
cry out to awaken others
knowing the planet is alive
now we do what we must
our bodies are not our own
our minds are millions more
our hands are now planetary
voices rising over our world
we are the peace prayed for
awake to become the savior
BZ Botani 2003
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow
which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
Corporate reich nuclear regimes
maximizing profit eating identities
plundering natural allies as though Earth is dead
warring against body and soul
Attacking spirit lying to enslave
with an illusion about Freedom
-- John Trudell
Last-Minute Message For a Time Capsule
I have to tell you this, whoever you are: that on one summer
morning here, the ocean pounded in on tumbledown breakers, a south wind,
bustling along the shore, whipped the froth into little rainbows, and a
reckless gull swept down the beach as if to fly were everything it needed.
I thought of your hovering aucers, looking for clues, and I wanted to write
this down, so it wouldn't be lost forever - that once upon a time we had
meadows here, and astonishing hings, swans and frogs and luna moths and
blue skies that could stagger your heart. We could have had them still,
and welcomed you to earth, but we also had the righteous ones who worshipped
the True Faith, and Holy War. When you go home to your shining galaxy, say
that what you learned from this dead and barren place is to beware the righteous
Philip Appleman from New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996
Oil war: 23 years in the making
Analysts see attack this week or next 'We're just waiting on the president'
By LINDA DIEBEL Toronto Star
WASHINGTON—Any day now, there will be bombs falling
Conventional bombs like nothing the world has ever seen.
"The bombs will still be ringing in their ears when the
'Third Mech' shows up,'' says U.S. military analyst John Pike, of Iraq's
Saddam Hussein and whatever's left of his so-called elite Republican Guard
after the first days of aerial pulverization.
"The Third Mech will be driving down the main drag in
Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, describes an assault
on Saddam's regime that begins with "shock-and-awe'' aerial bombardment,
and quickly moves into crush mode with the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized)
rolling up from the Kuwaiti desert and U.S. Marines storming the port city
"Chances are 90 per cent it will go pretty quickly, and
10 per cent it will turn into one big holy mess,'' predicts Pike.
But, before turning to the combat debut of bombs that weigh
about 9,000 kilos and can take out an entire battalion, consider why the
United States is going to war.
Consider who drew up U.S. goals and objectives in the Persian
Gulf, when, and why.
This particular operation — Pentagon working title:
"OpPlan 10-03-Victor" — has been on the drawing board for
a year, according to defence officials. The immediate goal is disarming
Iraq and getting rid of Saddam. It's expected to begin soon, this week or
next. Hard to hold back more than 300,000 U.S. and British troops, in place
and pumped to go.
But the long-term goal, say big-picture analysts, has been
in the works for far more than the 23 years since former U.S. president
Jimmy Carter linked American security — "the vital interests
of the United States'' — to the Persian Gulf and its oil, and threatened
This war, say analysts, is about power and oil. It's about
control of the Gulf states by means of strategic Iraq and, by extension,
a final post-Cold War shakeout to give the U.S. more economic clout over
China and Russia by controlling the oil spigot.
This is the moment, Thomas Barnett, from the U.S. Naval War
College, wrote recently in Esquire magazine, "when Washington takes
real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization.''
The Persian Gulf has the world's biggest oil reserves. After
Saudi Arabia, Iraq has the second-largest proven reserves.
"The only precedent to what is shaping up now is the
Roman Empire,'' says Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security
studies at Hampshire College. "There is only one power. I don't think
Britain, France or Spain even came close in other centuries to the United
"If the United States controls Persian Gulf oil fields,
it will have a stranglehold on the world economy,'' adds Klare.
Washington is betting, Klare believes, that "controlling
Gulf oil, combined with being a decade ahead of everybody else in military
technology, will guarantee American supremacy for the next 50 to 100 years.''
These ideas aren't new.
For years, a small and powerful group, with corporate and
political links, pushed the idea of controlling Persian Gulf oil. They did
it publicly, at think-tanks and in the media. Now, this coterie of like-minded
strategists controls both the Pentagon and the strategic aims of President
George W. Bush's White House.
"You've got a team in the White House that is unafraid
of world public opinion because they know it is unreliable, self-serving
and hypocritical,'' says George Friedman, chair of the intelligence organization,
Originally, this was the "Kissinger plan,'' says James
Akins, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He lost his state department
job for publicly criticizing administration plans to control Arab oil back
in 1975 when Henry Kissinger was secretary of state.
"I thought they were crazy then and they're crazy now,''
Akins tells the Star, adding that Congress studied plans to control Persian
Gulf oil and concluded the idea was absolute madness.
"I thought this whole thing was dead. But now you've
got all these `neo-cons' in power, and here we go again,'' says Akins, a
Washington-based consultant. "They figure once they take over Iraq,
they don't have to worry about the Saudis.''
Akins adds: "These people with their imperial ideas see
themselves as part of the Great American Empire."
The players have moved steadily through the Republican presidencies
of Ronald Reagan and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush and Bush himself.
They include: Vice-president Richard Cheney, a former oilman,
like Bush, and defence secretary during his father's Persian Gulf War in
1991; Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, once Reagan's personal emissary
to the Middle East when Saddam was a U.S. friend and staunch ally; Rumsfeld's
deputy Paul Wolfowitz, who began publicly calling for war against Iraq after
the 9/11 terror attacks; and Richard Perle, chair of the Pentagon's Defence
Policy Board, nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness'' for his political
They are joined by think-tankers from organizations such as
the Project for the New American Century, the Centre for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS) and the American Enterprise Institute. Bush recently chose
an American Enterprise Institute forum, rather than the White House, to
deliver a major prime-time speech to the American people to make the case
Bush often mentions Iraqi oil, a jarring focus for a president
on the brink of war.
"We will seek to protect Iraq's natural resources from
sabotage from a dying regime and ensure they are used for the benefit of
Iraq's own people,'' he said in last week's radio address.
Colin Robinson, an analyst with the Washington-based Centre
for Defence Information, says: "The United States can stand well-accused
of trying to dominate the whole region for its oil. But conspiracy theories
are usually too complicated for everybody to carry them off."
Friedman says the 1991 war left unfinished business, the "status
quo'' of Saddam in power. Not so this time, he says, in a war which, as
U.N. diplomats dither, has already begun.
In recent weeks, British and U.S. warplanes strayed outside
"no-fly'' zones to bomb Iraqi surface-to-air missiles. Robinson describes
these zones, set up by the U.S. and Britain after Desert Storm as "barely
legal'' in terms of international law.
As well, U.N. officials report violations of the demilitarized
zone between Iraq and Kuwait by U.S. soldiers.
But the real devastation should begin within days.
"We've got everything we need. We're just waiting on
the word, the decision from the president," Maj.-Gen. Buford Blount,
commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, told the Washington Post last week
First comes aerial bombardment, an extraordinary 1,500 bombs
every 24 hours during the time it takes heavy mechanized divisions to move
up from Kuwait to Baghdad.
Big heavy bombers, from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean,
buttressed by screaming navy and air force jets will pound Iraqi sites,
picked by aerial drones and U.S. and British Special Forces already in Iraq.
Defence contractors are eager to test out new gadgetry. One
new bomb is the 9,000-kilo MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst).
"Well, it's very efficient,'' says Friedman. "Let's
say you've got a large concentration of Republican Guard units, instead
of having to do repeated bombing sorties, you can take out a battalion (500
to 600 troops) with one bomb.''
Friedman's sources in theatre tell him there are "terrific
fights between defence department officials and field commanders who are
raring to go now.''
He says time is the enemy of troops in the field. Sandstorms
at the end of March, for example, could play havoc with laser targeting
Without the anticipated "northern front'' through Turkey,
there are plans for C-130s to ferry troops to northern Iraq, as well as
missions for U.S. Marines and Special Forces to secure oil sites throughout
"The U.S. military cannot be defeated on the conventional
battlefield,'' says military analyst Pike.
But what about the variables?
How much of a threat is Saddam? What about chemical and biological
"We gonna find out,'' says Pike.
Meanwhile, Iraqi exiles, opposed to Saddam, have been meeting
with U.S. and British oil executives, promising access and leases in return
for political power.
And, the U.S., as Friedman points out, on the brink of world
hegemony, is going to find out who its friends are.
"I do so enjoy Canadians (against the war) getting so
obsessed with human rights, and then pay no attention to places like Venezuela,''
says Friedman, who thinks Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is next on Bush's military
"I read the Canadian press and I wonder what planet your
country is on.
"We have allies, and we are going to see who they are,''
he concludes. "If France, if Canada, can't support us in opposition
to Saddam Hussein, you can't say you are our allies. Canada consistently
says it's an ally of the United States of America ... we'll see, won't we?''
"Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in
the hands of the Arabs."
-- Henry Kissinger
"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in
nations and epochs, it is the rule."
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they
--Johan W. von Goethe
"By logic and reason we die hourly. By imagination we live."
--John Butler Yeats
"Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of
One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it.
"Together we shall either save our planet, or together we shall perish
in its flames."
--John F. Kennedy
FORGE THE FUTURE :::
Salvation thru Mutation!
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the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only.
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