Letters on the war in Afghanistan
15 January 2002
Dear Sir or Madam,
I have just come across your web site and read several of your rather disturbing articles concerning the Bush administration and the attacks on 9-11. I have long held that most American government elites are amoral men and woman seeking power for the sake of power. Though many good people serve in their midst they always somehow are incapacitated by the greater strength of this force in our government.
Though some of the information in these articles is now somewhat out-of-date, the general undertones in my view have already been corroborated by many in the media as well as numerous people in Congress. I am hopeful that some of what the Bush administration has done will be blunted by common sense. Yet again, he goes on his own and just recently has announced plans to withdraw from the 1972 ABM treaty which both Russia and Europe hold as a cornerstone to peace in those regions.
Though the ABM treaty may in fact be somewhat out-of-date itself given the changing circumstances in the past decade, the psychological impact of such a treaty has still yet to be construed as a major underlying factor in its importance. Pulling out of it so quickly and with so little discussion on the matter while at the same time engaging in horrific conflict speaks little of his abilities to comprehend the consequences of his actions or his concern for any other opinion but that of his own and his immediate lieutenants.
I am a survivor of the attack on the World Trade Center and like many who survived with me I want my sense of vengeance fulfilled as much as any one else. And like most, I suffered the immediate aftermath of major trauma which inhibited any reasonable thought which would allow for the analysis of all the events in a coherent manner. Nonetheless, some semblance of analytical ability has returned at this date. And though I believe we must use military action to subvert such monsters, my concern is largely with the people who are having them do it. As your articles suggest, there is more than enough culpability to be found right here at home.
The problem is what can the average American really do about it? Most Americans refuse to understand history or its sociological tenets. And just as many seemingly don’t care as they believe they are being fed credible “truths” by simply watching a television news show.
The only reason people like Bush and his lieutenants are able to take such steps as they have is because the average person refuses to take responsibility for their share of the control and simply abdicate their rights as too difficult or tiresome to concern themselves with.
Your articles are correct that the United States has embarked on a very treacherous path as we are rallied for it with a glut of flag-waving commercialism while Congressional leaders for the most part remain silent. Yet, such power shifts which usually occur in political “vacuums” often result in only two end-games; the rise of dictatorship which in this case has given way to what is slowly becoming known as “institutional dictatorship” whereby it is the culture of the ruling institutions that control power and not the people themselves, or revolt both politically and/or violently. I don’t believe either result is an acceptable solution since historically neither has produced any results beyond more of the same.
Yet I am a student of military history and there is a way out. A way that no one has ever thought of before ... but it has been done.
12 December 2001
I just read Patrick Martin’s highly intriguing and provocative article, “US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11,” and I had a few questions in response to it. While I agree with the entire argument of the article—Martin provides evidence to corroborate theories I have had since the September 11 attacks—I wonder how the driving economic factors (primarily oil in the case of the Taliban and Afghanistan) will play out in the future of this “war on terrorism.” It seems to me inevitable that America will go after at the least North Korea and probably Iran following the overthrow of the Taliban (and death of Osama bin Laden, whom some reports now say might kill himself before American troops get the chance to do so).
My question, then, is how do those two countries fit into the grander economic scheme? Of course pursuing North Korea will seem to be a preventive measure (their refusal to comply with international nuclear arms demands being the catalyst for a growing “fear” that they might strike the US, hence the imminent withdrawal of the US from the ’72 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia in order to establish a missile defense shield), one that allies nicely with the propagated ideology of the current war against Afghanistan, but what economic factors, if any, will be behind any US strikes against the DPRK?
If there are not any—but that is a big “if”—then I wonder how driving a force the economics of the matter is behind the “war on terrorism.” I simply do not see why this war would NOT be, as propagated, a war against terrorism, if the only seemingly common bond between the various attacks across the world is, in fact, terrorism. Pretend there are other, even non-economic factors that will bring the US to North Korea: are we then to think that the US has had a hit-list of nations they wanted to affect for a variety of reasons, and that suddenly, with the catalyst of September 11, now a cohesive war is being waged under the false aegis of combating terrorism? It seems too good to be true (a bitten tongue-in-cheek, no less) that the “ruling class” of the US (how exactly is the “ruling class” defined?—I have seen it appear in a number of the articles on the WSWS web site) would play God with all the countries that ever looked crossly at it.
So those are just some of my thoughts in reaction to your article. If you could provide any response or direction in obtaining more information, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
12 December 2001
Thanks for an extremely interesting read! It confirms absolutely everything I suspected as news of the attack first broke in UK, and brought to light some ideas which I hadn’t even considered until now. How do we go about tackling such a giant, though? I’m writing this e-mail to you on a computer which uses a US operating system, and sending it to you via a US owned ISP, because they’re cheap. Just about everything we touch, see, hear, smell and rely on has a degree of US influence attached to it! It doesn’t take a monkey to realise that this must be wrong, whichever side of the political fence you sit on.
What are your views on Europe? Will the integration of so many countries act as a catalyst to strengthen the working class internationally, or will it be the cause of a greater burden, as more national companies merge to form larger conglomerates, ever increasingly out of touch with life outside the board room?
Once again, thanks for the read. I shall be returning to WSWS frequently in the future, as well as directing other people there!
17 December 2001
The colossal bloodshed of the twentieth century continues into the twenty-first. The WSWS article on the massacre of POWs is revealing, but naturally cannot cover the full extent of so-called civilized western and eastern nations’ participation in massive civil and international battles. If the USA declines to comply with international codes of “civilized conduct,” then they will reap what they sow. Japan’s moderate leaders in the 1930s feared the predictable consequences of war plans put in motion by its own military. Japan’s World War II experience should be a warning to the USA of the predictable consequences of foreign aggression. Americans know so little of the truth, e.g., the Bush family “in bed” with Saudi Arabian oil millionaires, whose wealth, paid for by the American people, helped finance the al Qaeda terrorists. Thank you for your in-depth research.
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
3 January 2002
The conclusion of the article [“The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui: FBI refused to investigate man charged in September 11 attacks”] is underscored by the material that appeared in Cambio (Mexico City) for 7-13 October, giving photocopies of a memo sent out by the FAA August 28, including:
“The FAA has received information that a number of individuals associated with terrorist activity are planning to travel by commercial aircraft operators.”
There follows a list of 5 persons, none among the famous 19 or 20. At the very least, this raises the possibility that the FBI and/or CIA were simply outfoxed by a decoy team. When those did nothing, the bully policemen stopped thinking. Or said something like, “Well, if something does happen, maybe the country needs a wake-up call.”
Cambio is a moderately progressive weekly, with people like Monsivais on the masthead. Its covers may put a sensational face on things, but not the text of its articles.
5 January 2002
Very interesting, your article about Zaccarias Moussaoui (Patrick Martin—January 5). May I add that I read the US indictment and it turns out to be full of junk.
Please for Zaccarias’s sake, for his Mom’s sake, and for the Muslim world’s sake and for human rights respect’s sake, try to help him escape from the death penalty (remember that he’s a French citizen and that the death penalty was abolished in France 20 years ago and that he must be treated like a French citizen).
Thanks and regards,
5 January 2002
Thanks for the article “US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11.” Well researched, credible sources and an essential point is made there: the activities of the government of the United States of America are nothing short of crime against humanity (war in Afghanistan), of non-assistance to people in danger (September 11, 2001), according to their own terms, of terrorism, and of the usual f—-king around the world of the government’s traditional friends: oil and military and big corporations supported by the CIA and the FBI.
No, nothing changed on September 11, 2001, except maybe that for the first time the USA got a taste of what the government of the USA view as business as usual in the rest of the world, for decades. They just do more of what they know best: Supporting their friends’ activities at the cost of lives, widespread misery, torture, terror and destruction of the planet’s ecosystem.
Isn’t about time that we bring these psychopathic bullies to International Court? Isn’t there any body that could collect evidence and charge every single guy, and Condoleeza [Rice], who messed up with this oil war with the above mentioned accusations? I am serious. I’ll do some research on my own to find such a body.
I suggest that they are condemned to a never-ending tour around the planet in a space ship, to give them a chance to get the point about what is Gaïa all about—a tiny, beautiful spaceship for humanity and all living creatures—feeding them with genetically modified rice, or corn, once a day, drinking polluted water and breathing CO2-saturated air. Just what these guys, and Condoleeza, and Madeleine [Albright], have to offer the world.
I would like to print and show around the article as an eye-opener to a few people, with the due references to the web site and author.
6 January 2002
It would be very refreshing to see the emergence of a serious global movement to bring George Bush et al to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, thus exposing these atrocities and their architect to world justice in the same way that the Nuremberg trials exposed the leadership of Nazi Germany.
11 January 2002
In response to the article “The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui: FBI refused to investigate man charged in September 11 attacks,” it might be interesting to note how history repeats itself, to put it in Marx’s terms. The US government, before WWII, knew full well that an attack on Pearl Harbor was imminent. According to the reports, US intelligence had received notice of a mass of Japanese war planes embarking towards Hawaii yet chose to sit and wait to see what would happen. Although they did not know the extent to which the attack was carried out, they did have prior and viable warning that something big was going to happen. If I’m not mistaken, there were even communications between Japan and the US about an imminent attack.
We all know now what the outcome and response was. It’s logical to assume that the US was waiting for a good excuse to enter the war, and that was one of the best they could have received.
It could very well be the same thing Washington was planning last year.
12 January 2002
It was with great relief that I read the articles published by your web site. I was totally alone amongst narrow minded, gullible people here in Australia, where we are being dragged along with the USA whether we like it or not.
Here in Australia we have also had the events of the liberation of East Timor and the refugee crisis, the result of which has been basically the presence in the Timor sea of an Australian naval force, by coincidence in the area of a huge natural gas resource.
Maybe I am a paranoid “conspiracy theory” freak, but I am beginning to see a terrifying master plot behind all these recent events.
The September 11 attacks were indeed too fortuitous for US interests, indeed, why would the terrorists have risked detection by pilot training in the US? There were plenty of aircraft in Afghanistan. Why would they leave flight manuals on the seats of their hire cars? Why did no terrorist organization admit proudly to the attacks? The US authorities had ample knowledge of their presence in that country. Why were they not stopped? Who was really at the controls of those planes?
Sorry, but it’s all too glib, I don’t believe any of it, and I’m really, really scared.
12 January 2002
Patrick Martin, I couldn’t have said it better! Your article was absolutely the best. I don’t think you missed one concern that all Americans ought to have on the treatment of these “detainees”. The United States would not tolerate such treatment of its “detainees” should such ever be taken. Keep it up!
14 January 2002
In recounting the conditions facing the alleged Taliban and Al Qaeda “detainees” at the US Navy base at Guantanamo, Cuba, you state that the prisoners there are being treated “like animals”. Your headline should have read “worse than animals”. No dog pound in the US would get away with leaving animals in cages in which the occupants could not find shelter from the elements. While abusing and degrading these prisoners before setting them before rigged courts might satisfy some Americans’ desire to avenge the events of September 11, the US government is committing yet another public relations blunder. Recognizing that the US is not beloved by the average Muslim/Arab “man on the street,” after September 11 the president, along with other politicians, members of the press, etc., said that the US has to start doing a better job of selling itself. No amount of PR will overcome the images of carpet bombing with B52s, dropping “Daisy Cutters” and cluster bombs and the deliberate mistreatment of prisoners of war.
Sioux Falls, SD
14 January 2002