Editor’s Note: Readers had comments on our articles about the New York Times and the Iraq War, the continuing press idiocy about Al Gore, the argument for impeachment, the Libby commutation and the review of the Lockerbie verdict:
I'm puzzled by the enthusiasm for the NY Times new editorial on Iraq. They hardly called for a true withdrawal and reparations. They want bases in Kurdish territory and in Kuwait and elsewhere so that we can intervene whenever we want or feel the need to do so.
This seems to have been the original plan for the post invasion operation and is the one that is now being floated out there by the White House as the new withdrawal plan.
It can be argued that the NYT, based on Nuremburg, should be held accountable for its support for the war which included the dissemination of what amounted to propaganda.
To me it looks as though the NYT is once again carrying water for the administration.
Bob Reynolds, Orange Park, FL
Like you, I was clear and on record before the war that the war had no justification and would likely be a disaster.
Although I've been a reporter (I'm now a non-lawyer judge), I didn't need to do any reporting to figure that out, just to read carefully in reliable and unreliable sources alike.
But I write just to comment on your concluding question in your piece about the NYTimes out-of-Iraq editorial. As long as mainstream media are owned by defense contractors and other predators, there's little hope for any reliable performance with integrity. Who is out there calling for media de-concentration?
I was excited to see the [New York Times] headline. The first part of the article is rich with "sound bites" that we can use in our fliers. However, the more I read, the more concerned I became.
Essentially, it is the old "Get out of Iraq but stay next door for a long time" plan, first proposed by the Democrats, i.e., "The military will need resources and bases to stanch this self-inflicted wound for the foreseeable future," so we can continue bombing the enemy/ insurgents/ radical-Islamists/ Al-Qaeda (pick your own pejorative term) into submission. This will only continue the antagonism against the United States and encourage more terrorist attacks against us.
The Times even brings up the tired "partition for their own good" suggestion.
All of this will continue the Bush-Cheney-MIC legacy with no significant contribution to give the Iraqis a stable nation-state, i.e., "Cheney wins." What the NYT conveniently forgets is what the Iraqis had, prior to Hussein's foray into Kuwait. Most Iraqis you see/read in today's alternative press agree that they, culturally, economically, quality of life, etc., were better off at that time, in all aspects except for those who protested against Saddam's oppressive regime.
Major conflicts among the cultures and religions of the region, for the most part, are the creation of the Western powers, Britain, France, and later the U.S. and Israel. (I am aware of the local tribal conflicts.) I would like to believe that there is enough cultural memory across the older generation of the region to allow a new beginning, with the concept of the various groups living in relative peace.
The U.S. probably will have to shoulder the financial burden of rebuilding the country, since we bullied the other countries into cooperating with us ("cooperate or no oil"). However, since we are spending 10 billion a month on the war, the money saved by truly getting out, militarily, could easily pay for its physical reconstruction.
The psychological trauma we have inflicted on the Iraqis will require massive amounts of counseling, education, training, etc., to help them recover their humanity. This also must be funded by the U.S. Obviously, other countries will be invited to give their economic support but I doubt that we will get much help.
When conflicts do arise, the other ME countries and the U.N. would be obligated to intervene. There must be no U.S. military activity, on the ground or in the air or at sea. This includes elimination of the U.S. covert funding of one group to fight another. This also includes the elimination of the "private military" contractors, such as Blackwater.
Congress must rescind its demand that the Iraqi Parliament sign the U.S.-oil-company-written oil contract, which gives foreign oil companies 50% of the oil with no obligation to pay anything to Iraq.
The U.S. must cooperate fully and exert its influence for a peaceful and equitable settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Without this, there can be no peace in the Middle East. The U.S. must return to our Democratic ideals of cooperation for the common good of all countries. It is blatantly obvious that forcing a country (or a people) to cooperate with the United States through the use of sanctions and the withholding of monies rightfully belonging to that country, e.g., Israel withholding Palestinian tax revenues, creates enemies, not advocates.
When the mainstream media, including the Times, propose their exit plans that incorporate the well-being of Iraq's people, and the region in general, I will be happy to give my enthusiastic support.
Like a tree that falls in the forest, little is heard there to report the impact it has. The same goes for the NYT, and all the other media that has been slow on the draw. The real dilemma is that G.W. has a year and a half to go. What will he have to do before he leaves office, to satisfy his advisors, who so diligently pursued their wishful agenda, that may have everlasting consequences. They along with the president and the vice president ushered us into a region that has known nothing but war and chaos, for a thousand years.
Our intrusion, I`m afraid has left us little recourse. We have in fact forfeited our legitimate position as broker for the whole region. Now that we have done this, we have to cope with billions of people who have begun to hate us, and put us in a danger that may not have been so intense, had we been more wise.
In retrospect could there have been a more reasonable coarse to pursue the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. By bullying our way in, we have tilted the scales against us. In the recent attack in Glasgow, I was wondering why an educated group of Iraqi doctors would attempt such a treacherous act. Are they in fact a reflection of the sentiment of a population that is fed up with the results of our invasion of their country?
Sometimes nationalism runs deeper than religious fervor. Could it be that for the time being, the Iraqis are in fact using ABL`s group to win back control of their country, and of course the administration will have a different slant on this. I know this is a lot to surmise, but after all that has gone on, we should be able to grab at straws also.
Until this, all washes out, what will, in the end, a gallon of gas cost us. At one time we were the most savvy of all traders in the world. Have we become that dumb, or is it that there has been a multitude of agenda`s parlayed in with us, we can not make heads or tails of it. We all must hope a more reasonable group of leaders can figure this out for the benefit, not only for this country, but for the whole world.
Thanks for the concise delineation of the media's horrendous behavior in the War on Gore. Somerby has done a masterful job of documenting it up, down, left and right over the years, but it's real important for other voices to weigh in on how irresponsible (criminal in my mind) the MSM has been, and continues to be.
Marcus is hardly alone in still dredging up these phony lies about Gore. There are fresh examples every time Gore makes the news. Maybe some of the offending journalists are stupid, many are surely lazy, and some might have an agenda. In any event, they have to stop it. It would also be nice if some of them might recognize what they've done and apologize for the worldwide disaster they helped create. I won't hold my breath. Thanks again for aiming the spotlight at such an important story.
I have just read the subject article. It seems obvious to me that this is not idiocy at all; rather a cleverly crafted political assassination. The press has become the propaganda organ of the fascist corprotocracy that now rules us. I write because it seems that a piece like this from Mr. Parry tends to excuse and mask the truly sinister activities of this corrupt system that is so cleverly cloaked in the shroud of freedom and democracy and wrapped in our once revered flag. Absent an independent press, the electorate has not the necessary facts to sustain a functional democracy.
Thank you for what you do and please, for the sake of our pitiful nation, keep up the good work.
Yes, impeach the little tyrants, throw them in jail, and throw away the key. They are far more destructive to far more people than most violent criminals that many Americans want hanged from the neck until dead.
Bush and Cheney are trampling the Constitution and being enabled in the process. I don't understand why the entire country is not up in arms over this. They enshrine the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War, but do not see that another King George is behaving as abominably as the III, probably worse. King George III honored habeas corpus.
And make no mistake, these two, Bush and Cheney, are consciously seeking to break the Constitution, which is the best guarantor of the American Way of Life: not the stinking guns, but the checks and balances and the Bill of Rights. As best as I could tell from the four-part Washington Post series, Cheney intentionally sought every illegal way to implement his policies. He intentionally wants to dominate the process and make clear that no check, no balance, no oversight applies to either him or the President. And the best way to put those practices in place is to break as many treaties and laws as possible.
And since these two don't believe they should be fettered in any way, why does anyone think that they would be fettered by a limited term in office. If no Constitutional restraints apply to them, why should they even allow an election that would limit their time in office. They did mention suspending the presidential election in 2004 because of "War."
Call me hysterical, but I have believed for quite a while that the only way Bush and Cheney will leave the White House is by being frog-marched out by federal officers.
Ly in upstate NY
Re the Lockerbie verdict: Yes, the whole thing is flimsy. It doesn't make sense that a shopkeeper would remember any customer for months or years, unless that customer was really weird. And a "secret agent" would of course do everything not to "look weird", especially if he's planning something big.
Another problem is this:
http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/lockerbie/resources/glossary.html Tom Thurman, Former forensic specialist in the FBI's lab, told ABC News in 1991 that he had matched the piece of circuit board to another one seized from Libyan agents in West Africa. He was later discredited.
Looks like the little people have lost again. You know, the ones who foot the bill for all that is going on in D.C. "Scooter goes free". Since this administration is the most secretive of all time, how then do the "little people", know how their hard earned money is being spent. Through the years we have seen scandals involving vast amounts of money being stolen by our largest institutions, but this scandal goes far beyond losing money.
"Scooters" obstruction charge, has in fact protected those who have led us into this, "pre-emptive” war in Iraq, who have gone, free of accountability. The cost for all of this has been in the blood lost in the Middle East, by the sons and daughters of these "little people", the tax payers of this nation. The ones I referred to as "collateral" damage to them.
How insulting it is to trivialize all of this, while they hide behind presidential privilege, and national security, which they have chosen to use to their advantage or private use. The news media as we know it has said, the president was pressured or strong armed into his decision. If the office of the president is the most powerful position in the world today, where was his backbone to do the right thing.
Who are these people, who in fact, seem to have been holding this nation hostage to a failed policy, and will not stop until they fulfill their agenda. When will they all be held to public account, or will they continue to rule from the shadows. Then, they have their "mouth piece", in G.W. who will continue to fool the public with his constant appearances before our military and beat his chest about America, and the sacrifices being made by them, while all along, those responsible continue to hide in the shadows, so to speak.
The "little people", will get their next chance in 2008, if there is something to salvage. The next challenge will come when, we can figure out who is not being influenced by monies that will continue the status quo. Anyone who thinks this does not go on, is not in this century. These people really have no political preference, but rather, would influence the people who will continue their power grab. If they then, have no political preference, what are they using all this power for. If someone would come forward and expose this all for what it is, I`m sure the "little people", would not stand for it. Holding our elected officials to account is the last chance we have. Will this be tampered with again.
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