Editor’s Note: With all the recent news about Iraq and the presidential election, we’ve gotten many interesting comments from readers. Here is a selection:

Re: “A Few Big Lies: Not Handling Iraq Truth”:

I really appreciate your efforts to address this factor (and so many other of your stories)

You’re missing a number of people who predicted, however:

  1. Abu Musa (head of the Arab League) said presciently, “The gates of hell will open”.
  1. Various military officials were leaking here and there, as I recall at the time.  I noted before the war actually began -  to my husband, an Iraqi American, that a number of people inside the Pentagon must really be wanting to stop the war given how many comments were leaking out.  Not sure if I can find the actual comments in my archives however.  Perhaps there  was a Dana Priest article for the Post, and something on talk of the nation?  
  1. And of course, our own AFSC and many other peaceniks with experience on the ground in Iraq were also questioning the drive to war….  At the time AFSC was one of the few groups addressing the human impact of the economic sanctions.  

Linda Lotz

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In 2000, I tried to warn against Bush becoming President. Not many listened.
Then, when the "winds of war" started up, I again tried to warn. I sent 7 letters
to 7 Senators with speaking points such as in the article - to no avail. To a last
person, man and woman, they all voted to give this President the authority to
go to war.I had read several books on the Bush family, Cheney and neocons.
There was no doubt in my mind that it was an illegal war and the one thing that
really puzzled me was the participation of Colin Powell.I had always admired him and had he run for President, I would have voted for him though I am a Democrat.

It is strange to me that so many in Congress have been fooled and intimidated by this administration when just ordinary citizens like myself could see through all of the fol-de-rol and nonsense that was being put out by them.When 2004 elections were on the horizon, I warned again and especially the influence of the "religious right" and their influence on the voting. Bush had convinced them that he was  "born again" and that his cause was just. Thus, they went for it. Many today are still convinced that he was right and the trainwreck continues.

John McCain is more of the same. However, the other two, have not yet told the American people who are against this war continuing, just how they will bring it to a close and bring the troops home. It's sort of "well, we will wait and see". Why can't we find a third party that will spell it out and go for it?. The media is not telling the truth, afraid they will be choked out of getting the news.

I will have to write in my choice for President this time.....I can't vote for any of these people.

Mary Newlon

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The United States committed what the Nuremberg Tribunal called the "supreme international crime" of aggression.  I would go further: The deliberate total destruction of Iraqi society is so heinous that it should prompt the international legal community to formulate a new category of "crimes against humanity."  Beginning with the severe sanctions forced upon Iraq by the United States in 1991, which resulted in the death of possibly a half-million children whom the sanctions deprived of adequate food and medical supplies, Iraq -- pre-invasion, the most developed state in the Middle East based on the quality of its education, health care, public transportation systems and infrastructure -- was systematically deconstructed as a modern state.  The invasion capped off that process, and the U.S. should be formally held accountable for the years-long devastation and death it has visited on the Iraqi people.  The willful dismembering of an entire nation that causes infrastructural collapse; collapse of the social, cultural, economic and political order; rampant violence; indiscriminate civilian deaths, and, thus, mass flight should be codified as a new "crime against humanity."

Jean Carey Bond
New York City

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Re: “When a Great Power Goes Mad”:

Some day perhaps there will be broader recognition that the architects of the Iraq war and their enablers in Congress and the media are quite literally criminals. I'm not holding my breath, but we never expected to see Pinochet under house arrest in Chile before he died either. One never knows.

Keep up the good work-keep giving 'em hell.

Peter Dyer

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Another superb report! You truly nailed the corporate press. Looking at them today, it's hard to believe that the NYT published the Pentagon Papers!  Equally impossible that the Washington Post broke the Watergate story!
  
I have a bumper sticker, the only one I've ever had on any car I owned.  "I DON'T TRUST THE CORPORATE PRESS!" 

Frank Hagan

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I have your book; it is excellent. I want, however, to call your attention
to Noam chomsky's "We Own The World"
(http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19540.htm) on 3/16/08.
Everything you have written is true and everything in Chomsky's depressing
article states the purpose of this entire murderous bunch of capitalist
thugs pretending to be the government of the United States. The Founders
warned us about war for anything except defense. It also goes along with
Brezinski's theory ("The Grand Chessboard")that Eurasia has the resources,
the people, and that Africa and the Americas will be cast aside (as our
policies are rapidly doing to our people's general welfare) unless we center
ourselves in the Mid-East and direct the world from there. Capitalism is not
sustainable and neither is autocracy. The world itself is showing us that
our methods are madness. I write for www.Swans.com. My next article after
the 24th will be on the chess board theory of humanity.

Anyway, my point is that Chomsky and you seem to be the few gatherers of
actual truth around. Thanks. All the news sources are basically useless. Not
only do we pretend we own the world, we think we own humans and can use them as pawns at will. As Samuel Adams is one of my ancestors, I am horrified at the barbarity and illegality of this nation now.

Carol Christen

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...how to convince Speaker Pelosi that impeachment of both Bush and Cheney needs to be "on the table".

The crimes and misdemeanors of this administration are far greater than the dalliances of Bill Clinton or the break-in at Watergate...and yet we hesitate to bring charges against the gravest of crimes to the Constitution and the American people since the formation of the Republic. Why?

Kathleen Flanagan
Fallon, NV

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Re Election Coverage:

Damn.  Even you are not immune to the effects of the Obama koolaid. Now that is a real pity. I fail to see any light between the stated Iraq policies of Clinton and Obama. I’ve never seen as huge of a collective swoon over a candidate, ever!

Bill from ct

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Want to make a money, bet that Obama loses the general election?

I usually admire your 'work' .but not when you seem to be serving as a tool to put another GOP President into power Normally you show more foresight.. perhaps despite your excellent historical sense, you have a blind side....=  'blinkered idealism.''

Wake up.. no Democrat   is ever going to win the GE with a coalition of students and latte drinking elitists....

White ethnics are never going to vote for some lightweight who would throw his own grandmother who raised him under a bus, to score a few cheap political points on race....

These may not prevent him from winning the nomination, but they are insurmountable obstacles to a GE win...

This election is already lost....

About that bet...At least remember what was said here.... unless you have $20 to spare?

Dane
Marysville, CA

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James Carville signed LIBBY PARDON REQUEST -  He has a lot of damn GALL to brand OTHER Dems as "JUDAS" traitors!

Carville among many signing request that Judge commute or reduce Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence for OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, and PERJURY, at the very heart of the Bush-Cheney-Rove White House's efforts to;  #1. SMEAR a war critic by "outing" her CIA wife; and #2. OBSTRUCTING the resulting FBI investigation into that CIA 'outing'  past the 2004 election,  thereby enabling the Administration to STEAL ANOTHER ELECTION.... from DEMOCRATIC VOTERS! 

James Carville has a lot of nerve - a lot of damn gall - criticizing any other Democrat for being a "JUDAS". Carville tries to minimize the sheer spite and contempt of the term in his above video, but Judas was only a TRAITOR disciple who got his master executed, and then ended his own life by a suicide. Coming from a man who has made a political career railing at the abuses of power, the lies, the criminal conduct, corruption, and theft of voters' votes and taxpayer funds... but then goes home to his wife, who has made a career whitewashing, minimizing, glossing over, spinning, defending, and apologizing for that very CRIMINAL CONDUCT coming out of the Bush-Cheney White House, Mary Matlin was and is Vice President Cheney's PR spin-meister, that is rich.

And it isn't just the general notion, that no matter how vehement he has been over past 16 years in his condemnation of Republican abuses of power and grotesque policy votes Carville goes home to his wife and pretends that his fury and outrage were all an act, that he really didn't mean what he said...  for THERE is Mr. James Carville's signature, alongside that of his wife, CALLING FOR JUDGE Reggie Walton to COMMUTE or greatly reduce  Lewis "Scooter" Libby's  sentence for his conviction of PERJURY and OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE re the FBI's investigation into the CIA "outing" scandal shortly before election 2004, an CRIMINAL obstruction of justice which helped President Bush and Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove STEAL ANOTHER ELECTION! 

It  wasn't just any  "perjury trap" lie and conviction:  Washington Super-Lawyer Libby was at the very center of the effort, from within the circle of TOP 5 White House officials (Bush, Cheney, President's Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Pol. Affairs Director Karl Rove, and VP Chief of Staff Libby), to "OUT" the undercover identity of CIA undercover ("NOC") officer Valerie Plame Wilson, in a determined effort to smear and undermine her husband's war-critic testimony about a fraudulent rational (lie) to justify the Iraq war. (The "Niger yellowcake uranium for Iraq's WMD program" story, which President Bush KNEW was not true when he told the story to Congress during his 2003 State of the Union Speech.)   And the OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE for which Libby WAS CONVICTED (by a sympathetic jury), was what ALLOWED Bush and Cheney to 'win' re-election in 2004, had they not obstructed the FBI investigation into that illegal 'outing',  they undoubtedly would have had to steal even more Ohio votes to 'win' their re-election than they did!

Verity Fidelity

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From the outset, Obama, was the one who refused to use his race as a factor in this pre-nomination process. So far, from my own, perspective, I have had to watch Joe Scarborough, and Pat Buchanan, push the Rev. Wright issue, consistently, in a way, I’m sure, to push their republican goals, and there are more, like the latest remarks by Pa. governor Rendell, talking about the white vote in his state, to, in my view, create, or widen the gap between, white working class voters, and Obama.

I didn`t actually see it, but on Bill Maher’s show, he brought to light, how Pat Buchanan`s remarks, on a recent cable news channel, bordered on outright racism, which will not have legs in the mainstream media. Bill, had a black guest, that explained for those who are lax in the history of the plight of black people in America, the historical justification for Rev. Wright’s remarks. He put in context, the frustration, of blacks, that brought about, Wright’s remarks, and do justify, the fact that, the racial divide in this nation is far from over.

It was easier for someone like myself, who witnessed some of this, to understand, more than most. It just, makes you understand the lengths, powerful groups, through their surrogates like James Carville, don`t think the use of the Rev. Wrights remarks, are not out of bounds, to tie them to Obama.

This, coming from a person who would, jump down your throat, if you mentioned his ethnic background in the same way they have been, justifying remarks about Obama`s race. Those same forces, if they do succeed to cripple Obama`s campaign, are, without a doubt, and even if they don`t, are going to keep up the attack, on into the general elections.

As far as the Clintons are concerned, if they lose, it is not hard to believe, they will harbor these hatreds for all time. If Hillary, suffered all this time, with the record her husband has brought with him, and on her, by staying with him, to promote her own chances to become president, and failed, then the old saying about, " a woman scorned", may be in play, and has to frustrate her beyond belief.

If Obama, can convince the electorate, that he is who he says he is, and believe him, which I do, he may carry through, and become our next president. 

Bill     

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Reverend Wright was right; Geraldine Ferraro was wrong and Americans should learn the truth about the distinct difference between them.

Ever since Oprah Winfrey's endorsement helped Barack Obama move from pretender to contender in the  struggle for the Democratic nomination, there has been a mounting effort to stop him. The urgent goal is to dismember the man and his message, no matter the cost.

Barack Obama has made every effort to play the game by the rules. He refused to join in tit-for-tat attacks against his opponents. He remained above the fray, buoyed by his message of hope and compassion. But, there are evil forces afoot. They want to demean and destroy him and his compelling campaign for change.

Bill and Hillary Clinton played unfairly since the South Carolina primary. Hill-Bill-y introduced race into the mix of topics for discussion. They did this because they realized Obama was winning the battle of ideas. While Hillary is an excellent candidate in her own right, she simply can't match Barack's verbal eloquence. Early on, Hill-Bill-y knew they couldn't contend for the nomination using legal tactics. So, they bought Karl Rove's Manual of Dirty Tricks and started hitting Barack below the belt.

Our media gleefully joined in the assault, attempting to portray Barack as effete, messianic, anti-American, anti-Christian and a silver-tongued liar. Despite the relentless barrage, Obama muted his responses because he couldn't be seen directly attacking Clinton. Hill-Bill-y knew this. They used her sex as cover while their surrogates did their dirty business. The Hill-Bill-y attacks came to a head with the racist comments by Geraldine Ferraro.

Ms. Ferraro crudely insinuated Obama's rise was merely the result of some kind of affirmative action quota rather than hard work and personal brilliance. An uglier remark couldn't be made in civil discourse. Yet, she refused to acknowledge the racist nature of her comments. She vowed to continue the assault after leaving the Clinton campaign. The depravity of these words were even more irresponsible, coming from Ferraro who broke the glass ceiling to a woman's right to compete for higher office. She was Walter Mondale's choice for vice president in the 1984 race. Ferraro made these false statements in public and on the record. It should be noted they were not made to tell the truth. The intent was clearly to effect the voters negatively about Obama, regardless of whether her words were true or not. Ferraro's mean-spirited remarks stand in stark contrast to the sermons of Jeremiah Wright, Barack's long-time pastor and friend.

The media, with the tacit support of Hill-bill-y, revealed portions of a few fiery sermons given by Rev. Wright. The attempt was to characterize the pastor as a racist wild man and to smear Obama by association. This tactic backfired because it gave Barack the opportunity to address the fierce racist attacks against him in a national forum.

We must remember Rev. Wright gave his sermons in his church, to his members and for a specific purpose. His remarks were never designed for consumption by the general public. Therefore, it's wrong to release his private statements as if he'd spoken them publicly. Moreover, a sermon is a story, just like Christ's parables. Many elements of it are heavily embellished to convey a particular sentiment. It's certainly not the evening news. Yet, virtually everything the pastor said was either true or based upon a known fact. The comparing of Ferraro's false public remarks with Rev. Wright's truthful private sermons is a classic case of mixing apples with artichokes. They simply aren't one and the same.

Geraldine Ferraro's task was to destroy Obama's credibility by asserting a cleverly contrived lie about him. Rev. Wright's obligation has always been to praise people when warranted and to rebuke them sternly when necessary. This includes our nation when America engages in evil deeds. Sermons are meant to be strong medicine. While it may taste bad, strong medicine is usually good for you.

The media and Hill-Bill-y used one of the oldest dirty tricks in the Rove Manual. They worked hard to divert the voters' attention away from the problems facing our nation and Obama's message of a unified solution. They resorted to fear-mongering about an alleged Islamic race war. They wanted to make Barack seem as unappealing as possible by painting him as being un-American as possible. The racist rants against his middle name and implied ties to Islam are part of their plan to ruin him. Hill-Bill-y tried to move Obama away from his unity agenda into a political pigeon hole where he'd only be allowed to discuss race and poverty, like all the black leaders who came before him. But, Barack won't let them get away with this silly ploy to isolate him into irrelevance. In response, he made an epic move to get himself and America back on message with his stunning speech on race.

Obama used his superb oratory skills to dismiss his pastor's statements without condemning the man. It was the politically expedient thing to do. The comprehensive nature of his address leaves very little for the media, Hill-Bill-y or John McCain to exploit for political advantage in the future. More important, it releases him from the racist cage they were trying to shove him into. He can now get back to the task of winning the Democratic nomination. And, if anyone raises the race issue again, he can refer them to his speech. This is tactical brilliance beyond words.

Barack avoided the temptation to turn his bid for the Democratic nomination into a race war. He refused to couch his remarks about race in black/white, separatist terms. And he refused to allow himself to be turned into a betrayer of his beliefs. He knows he can't win a race war against the majority from a minority position. This approach would never bear productive fruit for anyone involved. Now, Obama can return to the mission of winning the nomination and defeating John McCain's bid to extend the failed Bush regime.

Dubya and Dick are methodically destroying the Middle East and the economy. They are doing this to pressure the electorate into considering voting to leave the Republicans in control of the White House. We must resist the temptation to surrender to the criminals who are now running our government. We have a choice to make in the fall. It will be between four more years of brutal Bushism and a new direction for our country. If given the chance, we will vote Barack Obama into the Oval Office. His presidency will mark a change from business as usual to building a better America. It's time we grew up and started living by the principles in our creed: To judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. And we can start this healing process without resorting to Hill-Bill-y's race war.

Franklin L. Johnson
New York, NY

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Purchased Power

where is the bush tool
in this ballot box
who takes the wheel 
on this $amboni machine
looks as if hillary is getting
paid to cancel obama
can we say
mcain/clinton
2008 -2016

thanks
bob brendle
poet

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