Letters on US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
14 January 2004
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
Please take a look at the January 12 hour-long “Nightline” program with Ted Koppel returning to Iraq. At the end of the program, Koppel now states the whole invasion and occupation is about oil—specifically that a weak and chaotic (paraphrasing, but pretty much close to the actual quote) Iraq was a danger to a “stabilized” flow of oil, and the US had to do the stabilizing.
In other words, he was saying, this is not a fight for democracy or against terrorism, but for the prosperity of a relatively few people, mainly outside Iraq—refreshing, almost, in its candor. With more such candor, maybe we could have a real non-Orwellian debate and discussion on the true underlying matters. The American public might shun the idea that iron heels are imposing its own desperate relative “prosperity.”
13 January 2004* * *
Is it time to ask when a lie is too large to be the subject of impeachment? On Sunday, 10 January 2004, the New York Times, the world’s largest source of lying innuendo suggests in a lead editorial that the US and the “coalition” had “faulty intelligence estimates.” (Is that a euphemism?) If you repeat a faulty intelligence estimate and expand, embellish and trot it out before the UN threatening the laggards with ostracism if they don’t agree to the lie—does that constitute an impeachable offense or is it just a war crime?
If everyone in the Bush administration repeats countless times over a year that they know where the tons of impermissible weapons are hidden but since you’re the UN we won’t tell you where—after all we had bombed the sites for 10 years—is there no accounting? Or are we simply too grossly arrogant, rich and fat to be engaged by the 95 percent of the world that has nothing? And was it David Kay, now out the door, who knew that Hans Blix was a superannuated fool?
And please ask General Judy [Miller] to let us know where the mobile labs are hidden—without taking us to Damascus. At least Wolfowitz once said we chose the war gambit for bureaucratic reasons. While on the “Newshour,” Perle blamed the poor quality of UN intelligence for our mistakes.
One ought at least to say what our policy is—what is a pre-emptive war, if the pre-emptive object doesn’t exist? And we were given reams of documents that said so. If we are trying to kill Arabs to get them out of the way and/or into Bantustans, can’t we just say it and let the accountants in the Army reserves do the rest?
This really is in some ways far more disciplined than the Gulf of Tonkin; no one believed Johnson and very few of his cabinet—ah, Robert McNamara—were forced to help him tip the Congress over. He did it alone. Given the unbelievable Rumsfeld, the ball should have simply been given to him.
Albany, New York
11 January 2004* * *
The mention of the presence of WMDs in Iraq as a reason for the war not only is a lie, but also defies simple logic that could have been considered even before the war. If Saddam and Iraq possessed significant quantities of chemical (poisonous gases) and biological (harmful bacteria) and the means to deploy them at short notice, where did the administration get the guts to launch an announced war? What if those weapons got released into the atmosphere?
That infers that the coalition forces were either sure that Iraq did not possess significant WMDs or too arrogant and indifferent to the imminent dangers of the release of the WMDs into the atmosphere!
11 January 2004* * *
While I salute Pilger’s courage and integrity, he would do well to examine the UN’s role in the murder of Patrice Lumumba and the installation of the dictator, Mobutu.
12 January 2004* * *
Once again another concise and informative article from WSWS. Readers who may have missed “Breaking the Silence” on TV may like to know that it is still available for download at:
12 January 2004* * *
In regards to “US-imposed ‘democracy’ in Afghanistan,” it is important to keep the following points in mind when analyzing the loya jirga:
1) Burhanuddin Rabbani, head of Jamiat-i-Islami, is himself is a war criminal and his opposition to the outcome of the jirga cannot be viewed as principled. Rather, it is based on the fact that his ethnic Tajik party has lost the favored position that it secured after assisting the US in overthrowing the Taliban.
2) Karzai was buoyed by a strong Pukhtun block that voted in his favor. The Pukhtun block vote can be seen, at least in part, as a reaction to the heavy-handed tactics of ethnic Tajik and Uzbek militias in northern Afghanistan towards the Pukhtun minorty, as well as an under-representation in the current administration.
3) Of course, the United States has a keen interest in seeing a strong Pukhtun presence in the new government, as they desperately hope that it will stem the rising anti-American insurgence in southern and eastern Afghanistan. There is also strong suspicion that Pakistan may be currently aiding in the resistance because of the staunchly pro-India stance taken by members of the Northern Alliance in the current administration, and the US hopes this will eliminate Pakistan’s strategic need to aid the resistance. There is a strong chance, however, that the new governmental setup will cause new instabilities in the north.
8 January 2004* * *
I just recently read this article (“Afghan war documentary charges US with mass killings of POW’s”). I am appalled that the United States has done this. I am a US citizen and I live in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first time I have heard of this. I know the American media block a lot of news, and their excuse is that it is for the good of the American people not to hear such things. I am thoroughly disgusted with the Bush Administration. They are taking our rights away and almost no one is standing up to them. They say we are doing this for your protection. I think not. They are securing our borders, and once it’s secured they will start with internal issues that threaten them. I believe the era of a free America is coming to an end slowly but possibly surely.
Reader from Ohio
13 January 2004