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A Slim Hope...

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CBS, home of '60 Minutes', an hour-long news brief that has widely been regarded as an 'effective media outlet for investigative journalism', is going to interview about 8 representatives of a group of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who are either in the active or reserve components, the National Guard, or are still listed as being a bound member of the Individual Ready Reserve called Appeal for Redress (information on this organization that is speaking out against the Iraq occupation can be found at www.appealforredress.org ).


I am a member of this 700-strong group that has displayed the courage to actively sound off and demand a redress from Congress. This is a right of all military personnel under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, a Department of Defense regulation.


I'm insanely excited, and I seriously hope I get picked for this; so much to say...so large an audience!!! This has a very large potential impact for the benefit of the anti-war movement.

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While I respect your desire to speak your mind and express your dis satisfaction with war, sometimes things need to be done. I agree with the war because we are there. I didn't support it from the onset, however I do support our troops. Pulling out until the Iraqis can at least do an adequate job defending themselves would make all of those deaths in Iraq vain.

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They were wasted to begin with...the men and women I personally saw die with my own eyes...no amount of oil and wealth is worth the blood, sweat, tears, and trust they gave. The agenda was not to liberate the Iraqis so they could be independent and democratic, but cater more easily to the whims of multinationals. Plain and simple, no matter how the Rovemeister and his propaganda musings may try to spin this thing.

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Make no mistake comrade. I agree with everything you say, but I do feel that pulling out now would do the men and women an injustice. Those that died, must be avenged. Truth be told I never supported the war. I'm a member of the CPUSA, and nobody understands corporate greed and war for oil more than I do. 1st Gulf war or second, I did not support either. If it was about democracy, this would have been done the first time.


But rember, Rove is no longer in direct control of anything war related. Its Cheney and Bush.

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Why prolong the inevitable?


The Middle-East will never see peace. Whatever we finally manage to establish in Iraq will be for nothing in a decade when another dictator comes along and pushes the elected government out of power through revolution or fixed elections. And you say they we must avenge those that have died? With what, the death of more soldiers?


Won't we have to 'avenge' those deaths as well? If we fight out of vengeance for the dead, we just create a endless cycle where more people will die, and more people will die avenging the ones who died before them.


So, the sooner we pull out, the more American lives we save.

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I'm not saying that we should fight out of vengance, but we are there to train the Iraqis and at this point they cannot survive if we pull out within the next 6 months. If we concetrated our efforts on training more and busting into houses less, then we might get somewhere. But I honestly John Kerry had a point when he said we terrorized women and children in the night. I don't think its as bad as he stated or as dramatic, but I know that the likes of FOX and sean hannity and the rest of the " Stay the course, or you hate america " crowd never reports it. I see videos of it ALL THE TIME.


So what I am saying is this: We're there, we need to do it, or the time we spent there will simply fall apart. We know that FOR SURE at this point in time. What DON'T know is what you said. You don't know if a dictator is going to come in, so don't make assumptions.

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I'm not making assumptions.


I'm basing my statements on the fact that no matter how hard we have tried in the past, nothing has been done to truly improve the Middle-East.


History doesn't lie, kiddo.

How often have we actually used the tactic of a direct, military removal of an oppressive regime? Usually its done via the CIA, not the US Army. This is Unprecedented. Look at Afghanistan.

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Iraq was a mistake from the beginning and the fact that the United States continues to fight for that broken nation is amazing. The US had been over there for years and what does it have to show for it? Death. Nothing but death. There is no order or peace. Innocents die every day and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. How many factions are fighting over there anyway? I say either the Iraqis get on the same page and try to rebuild their country instead of doing all this infighting or the United States pulls its troops and lets them duke it out. It seems like there is no cooperation anywhere in that whole region to me and the war in Iraq is a lost cause and a gigantic waste of lives, time, and money. There are more important things to do than waste any more resources on Iraq.


And in the past, the US has done a far better job of propping oppressive regimes up than remove them.

Edited by Miiros (see edit history)
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Card-carrying member of the SP-USA. mellow.gif I was told by an Air Force shrink that 'the stress of combat has radicalized my beliefs'. Makes sense to me. People tend to get fustrated when two major political organizations can't seem to get it through their head and figure it out. Meanwhile, people are dying, and at this point their only reason that they're still in now is to fufill what they think is an obligation to this country.


It's high time that those who have abused such trust MUST be brought to accountability. Not just bombarded with editorials and expose articles, but powerful, actionable justice.

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The problem is that they have committed no crime. How can they be brought to justice for a crime they didn't commit. And 650,000 Deaths are not the fault of Bush or Cheney. Its the faulkt of the pilots and soldiers who did it. People kill people. Not guns. Thus, in war, people kill people.


Bush is a lame duck anyhow.

Edited by New Novistranya (see edit history)
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Lying under oath is an impeachable offense...and otherwise very simple to prosecute. Furthermore, the Iraq occupation is a gross violation of international law...I hear the German Federal Prosecutor is looking at a few cases in relation to this as we speak.


International law has no bearing on Bush, since he is not under any obligation to follow it. So it's unlikley it would be a viable option. As for the Eastern Europe Death Camps of the CIA, prosecute away if you can. The US Screams human rights violations left and right yet they promote torture camps in Europe during this war.


When did bush lie under oath? Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There is evidence that Saddam paid 3 Million to have them transported to syria in the Bekka Valley.

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Myths That Became the Founding Elements of the Global War on Terrorism!

"Saddam Hussein presents a grave and present threat to the United States of America."


After the 1st Gulf War, they couldn't have mounted an effective struggle against even Kuwait (even though America had only maintained a stripped-down brigade combat team there since).


Furthermore, Pakistan and India both have weapons of mass destruction. In both instances, we have seen that they do not present a threat to us, and likely won't.


The argument was to go into Iraq to prevent the Iraqis from hitting us, and that Saddam was directly linked to Al Qaeda. No evidence of this exists, the only link is that Saddam and Al Qaeda are both Sunni centers of power. The majority of Muslims are Sunni, while the majority of Iraq is Shiite. Furthermore, Saddam, like most Middle Eastern leaders, invoked Islam, but never truly followed it.


If we were serious about the WMD issue, we would not have continued to waste so many resources in Iraq, preventing us from focusing forces into Syria. Hence, the WMD argument is irrelevant with regards to the Iraqi occupation. Iraqis will not accept democracy, because the Islamic world is much like Europe during the height of the Roman Catholic Church's power, and they're not going to just cut Islam out of their lives like the West has with religion in general, which has been on a steady decline in terms of spirituality.


"North Korea presents a grave and present threat to the United States of America."


No evidence exists of this. And if they ever made a move, they would definetly overrun South Korea, but would be highly incapable of maintaining the occupation; their strategic planning has only included seizing and maintaining the initiative, and would crumble against a concentrated counter-strike.




President Ahmadinejad has no bearing on foreign relations and the military; his role as defined by the Iranian Constitution limits him solely to domestic affairs; the Supreme Leader, i.e. the Grand Ayatollah, is the only authority on the issue of 'extraterritorial operations', what we have misconstrued as 'terrorism', has only one concern: Israel. And there is some legitimacy to a global check on Israel's operations; they sought to invade all neighboring countries and create buffer zones.


Sounds like a familiar Cold War nemesis, if you ask me.


Now, getting back to the issue of holding American officials accountable...


The world, as well as many American citizens, would, if informed of the concept, support the doctrine of 'universal jurisdiction'. The first step would be to repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006 because this not only makes it legal for the federal government to detain anyone at will indefinetly, it renders high officials immune from similar treatment. Sufficient public outcry at someone like, say, Rumsfeld, being convicted of war crimes by, say, the German government (which is soon to be reviewed by the German Federal Prosecutor) will, if a strong grassroots effort is conceived (that means YOU, everyone, not just Americans, either), render any efforts to immunize the criminals from prosecution ineffective.


However, if they manage to hold off such efforts for two years, only time will tell what will become of these insidious figures. I, for one, will not be discouraged by a complex and ineffective legal system to ensure that the People of the United States will hear the message of 'justice for all'.


And for anyone to discourage or suggest otherwise have, in my eyes, no cause to be thankful for American men and women dying and putting themselves in harm's way for them, for yellow ribbons do not keep disabled veterans off the streets, and stubbornly following a failed course does not atone for death; only justice can honor the fallen.


"By God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome!"

George H.W. Bush, following Operation Desert Storm

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America can't do a damned thing about North Korea or Iran unless it's willing to play ball with the world, and there are a couple of simple things we can do to help that along.


Eliminate the embargo on Cuba! Let's face it, Cuba's done well for itself without pandering to American demands for the Cuban nation to get in line with the neo-con's ambitions to control Central and South America with CAFTA, and won't be defeated by the American government continuing to starve its economy. Besides, as a former resident of New Orleans told me, the state legislature of Louisiana was already doing business with Cuba, as well as several Native American nations.


Withdraw the multibillion dollar funding of Israel's military. At present, we are supporting a government that has no qualms about policing the Middle East in its own image. Frankly it's kinda eerie how we end up supporting alot of hardline governments, dictatorships, etc, when we're supposed to be the champions of democracy. huh.gif Diplomatically support the initiative for Israel to withdraw itself to pre-1967 borders, instead of encouraging Israel to destroy its neighbors. There can be no absolute Israeli state, just as I do not support its complete destruction. When nobody is willing to compromise (apart from certain members of the Arab League, remarkably), then extremism will endure, and Iran's hardliners will have legitimacy in their arguments amongst their people.


Gotta scratch backs to get ours scratched. The world ain't no neocon's playground, as much as Faux News likes to have others think.

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A few comments from my point of view:


North Korea:

In my opinion: A regional threat. The regime is unpredictable in its actions (rockets fired over Japan, a test that could've triggered a war) and breaks treaties (in 1994 it abolished the nuclear program to get international aid). The regime has nothing for its people other than military, nuclear weapons and "re-education camps". No electricity, no culture, nothing to buy, nowhere to go. It's a giant military prison.


Worst-case scenario: An attack against South Korea.

Best-case scenario: North Korea breaks down due to economic instability and a food desaster within the next 20 years. This is followed by an extensive civil war (due to the overwhelming amount of weapons inside the country) in which control of the nuclear weapons is the key to victory.


My proposal: International isolation plus improved air defense against nuclear bombers plus missile defense system.




In my opinion: No threat. Iran's leadership is hung up on nuclear weapons, but it faces many neighbours with nuclear weapons (India, Pakistan, Israel, Russia, China) or nations with allies with nuclear weapons (Iraq/Turkey/Afghanistan/Jordan/Saudi-Arabia/Kuwait/Katar = USA). The nuclear weapons are an assurance against a US-attack against the hated mullah regime.

Iran has no interest in using nuclear weapons or selling them to terrorist groups. Those weapons could be traced back to Teheran and Teheran can't be sure that these weapons won't be used against those they want to target - they may even become targets themselves.


Worst-case scenario: An attack against the Iran which would lead to a terrorism offensive and maybe a small exchange of WMD (Iran may already have chemical weapons).

Best-case scenario: A regional conference of the US and Iran during which the Middle East is parted into spheres of interest. Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan go to Iran, the arabian peninsula, Lebanon and Turkey remain under US protection.


My proposal: Work for the best-case scenario.




Fidel Castro has reigned there since 1959. At that time, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States, Chruschtschow was head of the Soviet Union, no man had reached Earth orbit yet and the F-104 "Starfighter" was the fastest fighter on Earth.

Cuba hasn't changed much since. Dissidents are still persecuted, there's no demcracy and still the old propaganda.


Worst-case scenario: Fidel Castro lives another fifty years and rules the country to his 130th birthday in 2056. Nothing changes until then.

Best-case scenario: One way or the other another leader takes over Cuba, one that doesn't have the name "Castro". The next US administration might be able to smooth relations to Cuba.


Proposal: Wait.




We have a complex and difficult situation in Israel.

On the one hand we have an israeli government that seems to be much less cautious than the ones before. Ariel Sharon would never have fought the lebanon war like Ehud Olmert. We also have an israeli government that has appointed incapable military leaders, otherwise the offensive against southern lebanon would've never taken so long.

On the other hand we have the palestinians, lebanon and Syria. The palestinians are on the brink of civil war. The government has no control over its citizens - dozens of independent groups do what they want and don't care about Hamas or Fatah. Sooner or later this will lead to civil war. If the latest israel-war had started a few later, the gaza strip would've become a battlefield of Fatah vs. Hamas.

Lebanon is also on the brink of civil war. In Syria is a leader who has no interest in coexistence with Israel. A withdraw from the Golan Hights would mean to cut-off Israel from life-depending water supplies.

And last but not least: Israel is the only real democracy in the region. Lebanon is chaos, the Palestinians live in anarchy and Syria is a dictatorship.


Worst-case scenario: Civil war in Lebanon, civil war among the palestinians, hisbollah rearms with weapons from Iran, Syria and China and begins new war with Israel in spring 2007.

Best-case scenario: Civil war is avoided in Lebanon, Hisbollah loses power and is being disarmed; Palestinians avoid civil war, Fatah and Hamas create united government, Hamas acknowledges israel's right to exist; Syria isolated; change of government in Israel


Proposal: Wait. There's nothing the west can do - the solutions must come from the region or they won't be accepted.

Israel can supply itself with weapons as can the palestinians and (with a little effort) the Hisbollah. Regulating the flow of weapons will only increase the amount of weapons purchased at other sources (Russia, China etc.)

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My proposal: International isolation plus improved air defense against nuclear bombers plus missile defense system.



I strongly doubt the North Korean Air Force has anything hefty enough to carry a nuclear weapon. Let alone get beyond the DMZ without being shot down as it is.

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In fact, the old Il-28 bomber is the only carrier for nuclear weapons the North Koreans have right now.


An Il-28 isn't a problem for any fighter that isn't older than an F-104 "Starfighter", but we don't know if North Korea is going to purchase some new type of bomber from Russia or China. And even then - a low-flying Il-28 may be able to slip through the air defense net, maybe if it comes from the sea - just because nobody expects such a move with such an old bomber.

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Hahaha, I FOUND IT!!! laugh.gif


This is for New Novistranya...


The Very Legal Code of Which President Bush and His Cronies Are All Punishable Under!



Title 18, United States Code, Section 371!In this case, the charge is...


Conspiracy to Defraud The United States of America

(which, like corporations these days, is a very legal entity that you can defraud, like an Enron investor mellow.gif ).


Kudos to Elizabeth de la Vega, a brief bio of whom I will provide below...


Elizabeth de la Vega is a former federal prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience. During her tenure, she was a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. She may be contacted at ElizabethdelaVega@Verizon.net


And just for a little clarification (sorry, Tam, the breakdown of the myths was more or less a distraction to the keep the argument going, good arguments, however! And yes, I'm aware of my American-ness, improvising and such...), the fact is that, like Enron did with its investors, the Bush Administration deliberately manipulated data, made false and misleading statements, and conducted critical material omissions, clearly a case of criminal fraud.

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In my experience, that's really what counts...it helps to know that we can still make sound arguments, even if it's really just with ourselves sometimes (insanity is not an end unto itself!)


Furthermore, the recent elections in the States proves that politics is NOT all local. It's good to hear new ideas and opinions for the problems of my country from foreign observers, considering we have bases in many countries around the world!!!

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