February 28, 2003
# What he really meant

If you have a fast connection, the re-mixed State of the Union Speech [14MB, Quicktime] is a must-see.

posted by dru in us
# War Crimes and Diplomacy

Sydney Morning Herald: Coalition of the willing? Make that war criminals
A pre-emptive strike on Iraq would constitute a crime against humanity, write 43 experts on international law and human rights.

LRB: The Laws of War, US-Style

Times Online: Spain begs President to restrain Rumsfeld

posted by dru in us
# John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation

[I recieved the following on the same day that the letter was sent, via a staff member at FCNL, a lobby group. Since the quotes in news coverage match up with what follows, I'm assuming that it's mostly authentic. Presented as-is, since there is no other copy online that I know of. Also because it's interesting. Update: it is authentic; the NYTimes recently printed it.]

U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation

The following is the text of John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Mr. Kiesling is a career diplomat who has served in United States embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan.

posted by dru in us
by Tom Niccolls

The courage as well as the political interpretation of the sinking US international diplomacy are fascinating. It takes guts to give up what he calls his "dream job" because he sees the Adminstration squandering our national ideals at home and abroad. My hat it off to Brady Kiesling.

by Peter B Pitsker

What a shame to lose a voice of reason within the State Department when all seems headed toward madness. I sincerely hope that Mr Brady goes public with his resignation letter and that people listen to his thoughtful words.

I, for one, applaud his courageous stance against powers seemingly out of control.

by j.f. kadlec

eloquetly stated.

we all know that the greatest producer of terror is our own government. with their duct tape and plastic and their orange and red alert, our populace has somehow been brought to a tenuous conclusion that to decrease our own anxiety, we must attack iraq.

we have been encouraged to denegrate france and germany because the bush administration couldn't buy them as it has done with other nations. we have paid a huge price in our investment portfolios because of the anxiety over the economy. we have destroyed the international relationships built for hundreds of years by other presidents.

but why have we done this? the answer is quite simple and obvious. it is because of "texas honor". george bush is going to make up for his daddy's mistake by not driving to baghdad. it cost his daddy the election, and to worsen it, his daddy was targeted by saddam hussein ten years ago.

how long must we put up with having this inept leader? unfortunately, possibly as many as six more years.

by US Vet

Good Riddance to bad rubbish

by Doc Suzi

Another American Hero: Mr. Kiesling.
I wonder if he would consider running for president. After this administration, we will need a President with a strong understanding of foreign diplomacy in order to rebuild trust in the international community.

by Lisa Kochinski

I am an American citizen and long-term resident of Saudi Arabia. I was in the USA in February and was shocked to see how public opinion is formed and manipulated by the media and the cheap one-liners of our President. The fear- and war-mongering are a disgrace. Mr.Kiesling's courageous letter is a thoughtful counterbalance. Thyank you.

by Julio Marquez

When has "the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known" ever been good for the USA? It's just a way for other countries to get money, loans and goodies from the US taxpayer. It's about time it was dismantled!

by Sofia Stephen Kostos

This is a wonderful opportunity to sing Mr. John Brady Kiesling's praises. He stood up for the truth as far back as the Clinton administration Balkans policy. Now when he realized that Washington, D. C. did not care to listen to reason, he did the next thing he could do he resigned. His resignation rings loud and clear! I hope he writes a book.

A similar hero once walked the earth, he was George Horton. Out of horror and frustration he wrote his book, THE BLIGHT OF ASIA in 1926. George Horton had served as U.S. Consul General of the U.S. in the Near East for 30 years. In his book he wrote, "One of the keenest impressions which I brought away with me from Smyrna [which now is Turkish Izmir] was a feeling of shame that I belonged to the human race." Since that time, under threat of death, his daughter has been warned by Turkish authorities to not reprint her father's book.

How refreshing it is to know that yet another outstanding human being such as JOHN BRADY KIESLING still walks this earth.

Sofia Kostos
Greek American

by Rodger Fetters

I am glad he resigned. It eliminates the need for Bush to fire him. I hope all the rest of the dissenting career diplomats follow suit. We need all the unity we can get to fight this war on terrorism. As far as what other governments think - - Bush's job is to protect the citizens of the USA. I am not very concerned if Greeks and French and Russians do not agree with us.
Sincerely, Rodger D. Fetters SFC U.S.Army Retired

by David Kayser

He spent 8 years under the most ineffective foriegn policy president since Carter (remember Iran, Guatemala, Soviet Union) and resigns now? The real reason for his resignation was FEAR, the United States is the only country that will actually do something for no other reason than its the RIGHT thing to do, and stopping the oppressive dictatorships that sponsor TERROR real TERROR not the "BOO!" of buy duct tape and plastic. But rather the poison gas and death squads not to mention suicide bombers. Anyone not willing to do what it takes to make a real difference should resign

by Iakovos Garivaldis

I am so happy that there are still people in this world and in every country and every race and every creed, who make the pain of living in our times seem a little less painful and a little more bearable.

John Brady Kiesling is such a person. We owe more to him and all these people than we ever are going to imagine.

by David Henderson

A career ending act of conscious. I honor him.

by BG

Wo do we believe anymore? I voted for Bush because I thought he stood for less government, and would try to undo some of the harm to our country by the last adm.Just the opposite is true! The war on terror should begin at our borders, not in some two bit desert far removed from us. A threat to world peace? It didn't take me long to see through this spin. I would like to know the adm. Mr Kiesling first worked for.Is this just political? It wouldn't mean as much if he is a registered Demo.

by oltanner

If you knew your neighbor was planning to blow up your home and kill all your neighbors, would you just build a stronger fence and wait for the inevitable. Or would you take the initiative and stop it before your home was blown to bits or you were killed by biological means???
If we wait for the EU to get off their thumbs we will have lost the momentum we now have. Most of the governments over there are only friends as long as the money continues to flow.
If we cut off all the treaties that sucked us dry of tax monies and monitored every dollar we would have NO money crunch at home.
Get rid of all career diplomats that have no backbone and are afraid of change for the good of Americans and people of all nations who want to live free of the terrorist threat.
We CANNOT stop the biological fanatics at our boarders who would kill themselves to wipe out millions of Americans.

by Dave R

If a person had proof that his neighbor was planning on harming him and others, they could get the police. The problem is we don't have proof of anything, just conjecture, posturing and old news. The only thing the international community has that resembles a police force is the UN so we should work through them. any wayI hope all the good guys don't leave. If they do who will counterbalance the misadministration we have now?

by George N.Stavron

Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is,but always to be blest...........Euripides,Phoen.396 Humans like Mr Kiesling,give us hope,

by Warren Carlson

Whether John Brady Kiesling's moving letter of resignation is legit or not, it certainly expresses so much of what seems obvious to me about our present misguided foreign policy.

It took colossal ineptitude and arrogance for this administration to parlay the sympathy and best wishes of the world less than 18 months ago into mistrust and fear of United States.

When much of the world thinks our nation is a greater threat to world peace than documented rogues and thugs, it is a clear message we have squandered both our credibility and the moral high ground.

On the world stage Boy George looks more and more the buffoon I feared he was.

I hope John Brady Kiesling will be able to use his courage, wisdom, and patriotism to continue to serve our nation in ways which will reflect positively upon us.

Warren Carlson


John Brady Kiesling, who just resigned from the Foreign Service after 20 years (NY Times, Feb. 27), deserves the profound gratitude of all his fellow Americans. And if his courageous act, and his astutue letter to Secretary Powell have any effect in changing the ill-conceived, deadly, shameful rush to a genocidal war by this Administration, the whole world will be in his debt.

by Hera Moon

John Brady Kiesling's open letter of resignation is a voice of a man defending courageously the core values of civilized world: humanity and justice. You feel the warmth and genuine concern in his criticism as well as an uncompromising will to live up to his conscience. His thoughts and words testify his wisdom and intellect. In parlance of G.W.Busch, here is a real good guy worrying about a bad guy. It's a pleasant surprise to see so many Americans still seeing the things as they are despite the government and mainstream media manipulation of opinion. And pity to those singing after the bully gang's song like parrots.
Hera Moon, Berlin

by Daniella Leifer

For people who support the war, I'm sending some quotes from a few notable people who don't. A diplomat resigning is one thing, but senior military officials saying that this war will be catastrophically bad is compelling to say the least.
(General Norman Schwartzkopf can be added to this list, although I don't have a quote from him here):

"It's pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot, and are hot to go to war, see it another,...We are about to do something that will ignite a fuse in this region that we will rue the day we ever started..”
Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Head of Central Command for U.S.
Forces in the Middle East

“Should the president decide to stay the war course, hopefully at least a few of our serving top uniformed leaders – those who are now covertly leaking that war with Iraq will be an unparalleled disaster – will do what many Vietnam-era generals wish they would have done: stand tall and publicly tell the America people the truth about another bad war that could well lead to another died-in-vain black wall. Or even worse.”
Col. David Hackworth (ret), America’s most highly decorated soldier.

“Mr. President, ...The candidate we supported in 2000 promised a more humble nation in our dealings with the world. We gave him our votes and our campaign contributions.
That candidate was you. We feel betrayed. We want our money back. We want our country back....A Billion Bitter enemies will rise out of this war.”
“A Republican Dissent on Iraq”,
Full page ad in Wall Street Journal by major GOP contributors
Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2003

"If we go in (to Iraq) unilaterally, or without the full weight of international organizations behind us, if we go in with a very sparse number of allies, if we go in without an effective information operation...we're liable to supercharge recruiting for al-Qaida"
Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Commander

“...a growing number of military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats ... privately have deep misgivings about the administration's double-time march toward war...”Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books," said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. A dozen other officials echoed his views .... No one who was interviewed disagreed.”
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 28, 2002

"Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW (Chemical and Biological Weapons) against the United States. Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions."
Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet October 2002

“..analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war...At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said.”
The New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003

I mean, really, when you have Marine General Anthony Zinni warning against this war, what else is there to say? When you have Bush and Cheney very closely tied to the oil industry, virtually ignoring the threat from North Korea (which happens to not have any oil), what else is there to say? what more evidence do you need?

by t. calbaz

I hope you all don't feel too discouraged or apprehensive about John Kiesling's letter of resignation or the situation so far in the middle east. I too have grave reservations and doubts about the course that the United States is taking.

But ultimately I think of and remember about Hitler. And how he swept through the European countries while everyone (especially the UN) quibbled, pontificated and stalled until it was way too late. Hitler used the delays to his advantage just as Saddham is doing now. He also lied and hid the development of his Luftwaffe air force just as Saddham is with his Nuclear Weapon program.

The French hate being reminded of this. Since they were a country attempting a policy of appeasement with Hitler. After all the other countries fell, there was no one left to defend France. France paid the price by being demolished with Germany's blitzkrieg attack.

Less we forget; War is ugly, war is death, war contains an unfathomable cost in human lives and moral chaos. Nobody likes war. And somehow I don't believe it is the United State's intent go to war if it can avoid it.

But I do believe that Saddam like any Stalinist is a thug. A man who only respects one thing: Money, Strength, and Force at the point of a gun.

That the United States has built up its forces this much and has not attacked is commendable. Lesser nations would not have hesitated. I do believe the last thing anyone really wants is the blood of innocent Iraqians on our hands or to endanger the lives of our men and woman in the armed forces.

I do believe the course of action that the United States has taken is deadly necessary. I don't believe you can bluff with a man like Saddham. Since the presense of the US forces has been strengthened this region of the world has become considerably quieter, calmer and not surprisingly more respectful.

I actually believe this present course of action can and will actually avert war both now and in the near future. Much in the same way as a mugger will think twice before going after an armed and alert victim.

Regarding the United States interest in oil fields I believe and hope that the US will follow the same policy it did with other nation states it has conquered. Basically once the shooting is over the United States usually assists in rebuilding efforts and vacates the region when it's safe to do so.

So there you go. My fervent wish is that we don't go to war. But be prepared for it and all that goes with it.

Best regards to all,

Ted C.

by Karl

The world appears to be in the process of some profound diplomatic and political transformation, the shape of which is only dimly perceptible - perhaps even those whose business it is to see to these lines of force cannot fully appreciate the changes apace.

I suggest we focus on the confluence of environmental with technological risks (both wmd and the internet are born of technologies blindingly rapid evolution). The net effect of such forces as unpredictable shifts in global resources of all kinds (from fresh water to ready credit), the empowerment of the global proletariat through trickle-down technology, and finally, the fanatic radicalization of apocolyptic religio-political ideologies, would appear to make the next several decades a rather chancy go.

Mr. Kiesling makes an excellent case for regretting what's inevitably lost. The very real question is how to deal with what's to come. I too am deeply suspicious of the current press-gang drive to militarize this society, but have the vague fear those in power might just know what we may be facing. Look to your own.

by Marcia Hart

First the marching of millions around the globe, now the courageous, conscience-driven. action of John Brady Kiesling. These developments are the first cracks in the armor of the PNAC - Project for a New American Century. This think tank founded in 1997 by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz and others has developed a "grand" scheme the goal of which is world domination. They must be exposed and stopped. A good place to start learning is an article by NY Times best selling author, William Pitt Rivers which can be found at: http://truthout.org/docs_02/022203A.htm. Spread the word.

by Poncho - also a US Vet

Thank you, Mr. Kiesling, for your courage, your perspicacity, your eloquence and your forthrightness.
Would that these virtues shone more brightly in the Bush administration, but all I see in there is an enveloping darkness, with scarcely a point of light to relieve it.

by Vic-Another vet

I believe that Saddam and George Bush are both thugs. The difference is that George Bush really does have weapons of mass destruction at his disposal. Thank you, Mr. Kiesling, for your courage, but it will not stop the world's greatest bully for destroying Iraq.

by Nick Bauman

Norman Schwartzkopf opposes the war.


Most of you posting pro-war, have you seen war firsthand? If so, are you going to see it again now if we go to war? If not, why are you so eager to shed other's blood? Do you know over 50% of Iraq's people are children under the age of 15? What is "acceptable collateral damage" to you? Where will it end?

If Afganistan is a template for Iraq, then an invasion is already a disaster: we have practically dropped Afganistan like a hot rock. Kabul is the only secure place and many women now say they prefer the Taliban over their current masters, who have exported the largest heroin crop in that nation's history. So much for freedom and democracy.

by M. Gómez

Being one of those bloody foreigners who happens to be married to an American and has two wonderful American daughter’s I wish to defend and honor, I was elated to see Mr. Kiesling’s poignant letter of resignation for many reasons, but particularly one.

Indeed, because it has become harder and harder to convince my compatriots that, whatever may be happening lately with the war policy of the United States, this doesn’t mean that everyone here feels everything’s all right. I’ve already sent that letter of resignation to a good number of souls I know, and believe that all who have received it has now a better understanding of what I’ve tried to convey without ever been certain if the points I’d tried to make were fully understood.

Infinite peace = Universal happiness. Therefore, let us please pursue happiness with the same zeal we seem to pursue war, and I firmly believe that the world will be a better place to live. Indeed, for all concerned…

My very best to Mr. Kiesling in whatever path he plans to follow now.

PAZ to all,

by Don Price

John Brady Kiesling for President! What a brave and honorable man! He is just what we need to lead this country out of the chaos that Bush and his war mad adminstration is leading us into. Mr. John Brady Kiesling is the light at the end of the tunnel.

by Justus Dallmer

I am a German citizen. I am happy that there are
US-politicians who do not follow the present government. Though they don't see another way than to resign. But maybe they can build a new, better one.

by Pat Henning

Today was an election day in L.A. My walking buddies and I were all dispairing that most of the votes we make these days are for who is the lesser of the two evils. It is so refreshing to find someone with ethics, a conscience, a willingness to put principle over greed, and a true sense of responsibiity to people. I applaud John Brady Kiesling and would love to vote for him for president as others are suggesting.

by Terry

There's no doubt that Saddam is an evil man. But clear and present danger to the West? No. Bush is the wrong man at the wrong time for the right job - and his current course will hasten the decline of the prosperity and stability of American and the post-WWII global order. Shame on us all for allowing it.

by Simon Wigzell

I have read many many pieces opposed to the policies of George Bush, none as eloquent as this letter by John Brady Kiesling. I keep returning to it, I've posted it on my web site, I've sent it to people, I've printed it. This letter is light compared to the darkness of all the drivel written and spoken by the Bush Administration and those in favour of this rediculous war. Thank you John for your courage and eloquence. Sleep easy knowing that you have done more with this act of defiance to further the true purpose of your nation than any number of functionaries who only espouse the party line. I only hope that there are a lot more like you in the USA and that soon you will all have a chance to put things right again! The pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

by Dolores Curran

John Brady Kiesling's powerful letter lifted my book club of fourteen out of the increasing depression we've shared at gatherings, always ending with the question, "Where are the statesmen/stateswomen speaking out against our imperial role and negative image in the world today?" His eloquent words give hope to us when we most need them. Thank you, Counselor Kiesling.

by Anthony Theodorakis

I see that Mr. Kiesling is getting a lot of attention with his letter of resignation. I am sorry, who is Mr. Kiesling? What great accomplishments, or peace treaty has he ever made or brokered for the US? or for that fact, humanity? Suprise, a liberal makes it in the New York Times spewing his own propoganda. Mr. Kiesling states he hasnt seen such "systematic manipulation of American opinion" since the Vietnam War? Really, how was the Carter and Clinton years? Isnt this what the public wanted? If the governemnt has an idea of a threat of terrorism in our country, isnt it there duty to tell us? Thats what the Democrats and the Media where screaming for after 9/11. That the Bush administration should have known. Well here it is! And, now its propaganda? Please, you cant have it both ways, the rules and the condition have obviously changed since 9/11. Also, Mr Kiesling, I dont know how much courage it takes to quit, but I do know it takes courage to stand up for what is right, and denounce what is wrong. Those who dont believe Iraq is a series threat, are doomed to re-live the horror's of Sept. 11th in there local newspapers and tv staions! Wake up america, there is only one reason the world doesnt go to hell in a handbasket. GOD BLESS THE USA...

Anthony Theodorakis

by TIm Acosta

History is repleat with examples of the logic of empire and the current American example resembles the 19th century colonial British caricature. Though the pith helmut, jodhpurs, and swagger stick have been replaced by current technology-which will likewise fall by the wayside-the notion that unmitigated power can and should be used as a force for civilization seems eternal. It always fails. The dominant power always falls apart from within. America, look at yourself. Who are your leaders? How did they get there? Why are they there? What ideals are you defending, and whose children are you sending to defend them?
Tim Acosta

by worried woman

It is clear to me that our countries leadership has developed a very large opinion of them selves. With this attitude they are creating breading grounds for fascism and poverty amongst the people they supposedly represent. All hiding under the pretence of God and country…. How do they find a following??? Are the Americans that ignorant? I hope not! More need to do what John Brady Kiesling has done!

by bravo!

Dear Mr. Kiesling,

I'm sorry that all your valient efforts and service end on what may taste like a sour note for you. However you resignation and brave words will have historic effect. I applaud you and your integrity. Thank you for taking a stand! I only wish that more of the government officials in this country would be as true to the American spirit and demonstrate such concern for the humanity as you have done today. I

by M Welch

Regarding John Brady Kiesling......I hope someone has an email address for him because I would love to thank him personally for quitting. He did the right thing. We are a stronger nation for his departure. Yes, it was eloquent. He is so eloquent in fact that he needs to be teaching/deceiving young college students of a liberal arts college in the Northeast somewhere instead of representing our interests abroad.

Rebuttal to snippets from his quitting letter:

1- "Domestic politics vs. international politics"- We have "bureaucratic self interests".....you're darn right we do! Wasn't that what led to the Revolutionary War in the late 1770s?? Why can't we look out for ourselves?? We have to have approval of the world community to protect our country and our people??

2- If I hear the correlation to the "war in Vietnam" again, I am going to scream!! This is a desperate analogy by the left! We are in the 21st Century folks! Our air strike capability combined with satellite intelligence will make this such a lopsided victory that "the war" part will basically be over in weeks to maybe 2 months. We've come such a long way from even the Persian Gulf War! The occupation period is the only thing I fear. We need to get to Saddam Hitler quickly, set up the new government, and leave. Hopefully, this doesn't become a multiyear occupation which will lead to some casualties by snipers and bombs tied to whatever a bomb can be tied to!

3- Terrorism and Iraq are unrelated?? Hmmmm....I guess Saddam's comments of "we had it coming" after 9-11 attacks strengthen that comment. So, the Al-Queda are the ONLY terrorist group in the world and the only ones out to get the Imperialistic Evil empire called the United States. I didn't know that Mr. Kiesling!

4- "the misallocation of shrinking public wealth"- So, Mr. Kiesling, how many times a week do you talk to Mr. Gephardt? Last time I checked, our GNP was rising and the average income levels of Americans was rising. I guess we should not do that "tax-cut for the rich" so we can have the 2% of the population that pays 80% of the taxes flip the bill for the war!!

5- "the mercenary US"- Yup, that's us....a bunch of militaristic, hired thugs! What an insult to our brave military to reduce them simply to mercenaries!!

6- "the cherished VALUES! of our partners"- Boy, I need to check with Webster on the definition of values. Then, I need to really study those Socialist governments in Europe. I have to witness their high moral fiber! Maybe a visit to Paris or Amsterdam is in order!

7- "Greece....the "purported" hotbed of Anti-Americanism"- Purported?? Kiesling obviously never got out into Athens much! Every time I've been there, I have witnessed graffiti stating, "Yankee go home!" I used to say I was English instead of American so I wouldn't get a dirty look or sneer from strangers! They simply HATE our government for supporting Israel for so many years. I can't say I totally disagree there.

8- The Greeks want "a strong international system"- Any national government that is in disarray and is weak wants a strong international system because they are failing domestically! They need a shark so they can attach themselves like a remora to swim.

Mr. Kiesling....in spite of your opinions....I have bad news for you....I hope you are sitting down. The USA IS a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet! Thank you again for quitting and God Bless the USA!

by Merle Allshouse

You have followed in the great steps of Socrates in the Agra, seeking the meaning of justice and democracy. Your action is not in vain and will inspire countless others to make their personal sacrifices for a better world....

by Julia Taylor

I would like to personally thank John Brady Kiesling.

by John

It's interesting to see how well informed, polite and rational are messages pro-John Brady Kiesling and how the opposite seems to be just copies of the same un-cultivated un-informed cheap- patriotism rubbish. That must say something about the two different ideologies.

by H. Prager

This is one of those moments in history that cries out for a leader. We face a time where the people's voices are being ignored. As Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. did years before, we now need a leader to help us be heard. Perhaps John Brady Kiesling is that person for this time.

by Kathy

Mr. Kiesling's resignation may have indeed been an act of conscious, but I can't help but notice that he waited until he could retire with a full pension (20 yeaers of service) and that he had not succeeded in reaching the top levels of the diplomatic corps. Obviously, he was not a roaring success in this field and, if he had stayed in the Foreign Service any longer it would be very hard to start a new carreer, so he has done exactly the right thing financially.

by Glenn

I notice John Brady Kiesling didnt get very specific. He cited mostly philosophical differences except his denial of a link between 'Al Queso' and Baghdad. Under Clinton, he didnt have much to do since we let the world around us milk off our teat and hate us for it. Maybe the current conflict was too much work? Maybe he got soft? Maybe if he believed a word he said he would stay in a position to make a difference? Maybe.

by Tim

When I read his letter, it drove the nail into the wood for me. This war isn't about disarming saddam. its much more than that. Realistically, who's the bigger threat to the U.S.- Iraq or North Korea- the latter openly admitting to starting a nuclear program. In tonight's speech, President Shrub said that America was 'under attack'.. excues me, but for something to be 'under attack', doesn't it have to be hit more than once? there have been no more terrorist attacks since 2001. now israel is under attack!
but back on topic, this war is about 3 primary things:
1. He's finishing what his father started, its a family ordeal
2. Iraq produces more oil than all of n. america, and its one of our greatest suppliers of oil. With american occupation of Iraq, we get a nice big american hand on middle eastern affairs, and especially oil. I don't think we will have complete control of their oil, but comeon, the US is going to occupy Iraq for at least 10 years after this war. We're going to have a nice big hand in an area where we currently have very little influence
3. I do believe that bush honestly wants to protect people by disarming saddam. but go after that fruitloop korean dude first!

Also in Bush's speech tonight, he said that war was his last option, and he will use it if necessary, and he doesn't need anyone's permission. Well ok, lets see.. saddam publically said he'll fight, and its their jihad (holy war). its not 'if we go to war' its 'when we go to war'. There is no way in hell this is going to end without bloodshed.
About the doesn't need anyone's permission stuff. Is it just me, or is the whole purpose of the U.N. to be UNITED in making their decisions? Its like a child asking his mother if he can have $5, and when she says no asking his father for $5, and when he says no he takes the $5 from them anyways. Ok maybe that analogy wasn't the best... but do you get the point? Who are we to say "if you dont' agree, f#ck you, we're doing it anyways"? Since when did the US become the supreme ruler of the world deciding what should happen in other's people business?

When the war is over, and many lives are lost, the US is going to impose a democratic government, like in afganistan. But the same thing is going to happen in iraq that happened in the Soviet Union. The government is going to collapse. As much as we all wish it could, democracy doesn't work everywhere. you cant' force it onto people, they have to have a want for it.

And lastly, this war isn't going to solve any problems, its going to cause more. Allies will be lost, and millions of people will see the U.S. has a Holy enemy.

This is very not good.

by Dallas Bergen

If the US defies the UN how does the world respond?

Last week in John Brady Kiesling's resignation letter, refering to the US betrayal of world stability organizations--the UN, NATO--and its coming consequences:

"Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security."

Last night in Bush' national press conference address:

[Q: Mr. President, are you worried that the United States might be viewed as defiant of the United Nations if you went ahead with military action without specific and explicit authorization from the U.N.?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I'm not worried about that... when it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission.]

So it is quite clear that the US doesn't give a damn what the world thinks, which has maybe always been the case, but is now unveiled by the current administration and will put the rest of the world on increased alert against American unilateralism.

What if the following scenario unfolds in the coming weeks:

Hans Blix gives a positive report on Iraq's disarmament process; the US rejects it and takes a proposal to the UN for immediate war against Iraq based on a "material breach" of resolution 1441; the proposal is vetoed by permanent members France, Russia, and China and receives few votes from the non-permanent members; the US and Britain (with insignificant support from Italy, Spain, Australia, etc... hopefully not Canada) spit in the eye of the UN and attack Iraq...

What does this mean for the future of the world? This could be the pivotal point of 21st century history, not because of the Iraqi threat or the devastation from an Iraq war, but due to the resultant change in the world's understanding of and response to American global pursuits. Does this wake-up call make you hopeful or fearful?

read John Brady Kiesling's complete letter of resignation above:

read the complete transcript of President Bush' National Press Conference Address here:

by Andy

So it comes to this. I'm not afraid of people outside of the US. I'm more afraid of the administration - witness the single name identifying this writer. I doubt that anyone in recent history has so polarized America as our president.

My wife spoke with a retired friend from Argentina last night. He said that he had personally witnessed an administration in Argentina become completely corrupt. He also said that this US administration appears to be a mirror image of that one and that our government is fast sliding into the abyss of a puppet dictatorship.

Thank you John Brady Kiesling. You've got guts!

by matthew

"While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."
--Former president George Herbert Walker Bush, TIME, MARCH 2, 1998

by T. Martirosyan

I had a pleasure of knowing you well, Brady. Regardless of your political convictions, I admire your personal courage and integrity.

by shukri Omer

This is the most unselfish and courageous act of humanity I have seen in the last few years. I am glad that people like John Brady Kiesling are speaking out at last. I am confident that if others like hem dared to voice their opinion professionally and with consideration to humanity, things may change from this devastating and drastic path world politics is heading towards. This regains my confidence in people, who have always enjoyed the fruits of this global milking and tyranny we face today. I salute you and hope others will follow you towards regaining their dignity as human being.

I was amused and not surprised by some of the reactions of other readers, who condemned this action. I just cannot believe how childish people can react, when they know that they are fighting a lost battle. Grow up people, wake up and smell the coffee. You are living in a civilized world, were boundaries are fading and people are exchanging a knowledge books could never teach. Stop living in the past and learn from it to build a better future.

I have come to study in the US for few years and give the American people a chance to show me the humanity their administration denies them. Mr. Kiesling and I dare, why don’t you?

A concerned world citizen


by rh clark

This Iraq situation is getting very serious - a geopolitical fault line comparable to fall of Berlin wall ? Bush and his group of of simplistic jingoes have made a complete balls of presenting what is a perfectly good case ? and have delayed and wasted time assembling a massive military overkill worthy of the Normandy landings ? against a 9th rate wretched potential enemy who has been under embargo for 11 years -

If we feel it is time to establish a pax Americana in M/E - then lets set forth our objectives and gather a coalition for that ? and we make it clear that such a policy includes a balance between legitimate interests of both Israel and Arabs -

The French are an old, sophisticated, and proud nation ? they have indeed always been individualistic and maddening - in private and public life -
This practice of deflating American egos goes back to the Roosevelt / De Gaulle relationship - when FDR was violently opposed to CDG and French aspirations in general ? if the French owe anybody anything it is rather the brits and Winston -
US intervention in both great European wars came after the turning points in those conflicts - Verdun and Stalingrad - obviously new material and fresh blood shortened both wars - but the Prussians had lost before the doughboys got here -

Like it or not ? De Villepin has demonstrated skills which leave the state dept looking pretty amateurish ? yet when the chickens come home to roost I am afraid it will be Powell who gets the chop ? not Rumsfield -

when a medium size second rank power like France can put together a coalition against usa policy which includes china, germany and russia ? then uncle sam had better start looking at how he could have done a better job selling his case ? Blair has already lost his next election for the privilege of being the cherry on the frosting of the heavy fruit cake -
I don?t see any signs of polish - Spanish or Italian troops in Kuwait -
Oddly enuff ?I know for a fact that American special forces are training with French commandos and the foreign legion in Djibouti right now -

by SimplyEdie


No emotion exists that is so counterproductive to a soul, to a village, to a country, to the world.
The odor of fear reduces logic to rubble, makes enemies of friends, rips families apart, tears the fabric of nations.

I have a big, ugly neighbor. He waves his arms at me screaming nasty oaths. He sometimes carries a large stick. I often see him sitting on his porch after midnight. Should I 'get' him before he gets me? Should I do him in because he scares me to death and is threatening?

Is this the message that I'm to teach my children?
I think not, but can't help noticing it IS what Mr. Bush, who says that we need 'character education' in schools, is saying when he wants to start dropping bombs in scary Iraq.
I wonder if hypocrisy would be taught in schools, too. We know what Iraq has because we supplied them in their war against Iran and turned face with the knowledge of chemical weapons.

My children are learning the constitution and the bill of rights and I have to wonder if Mr. Bush's (as well as Ashcroft's) grasp of those are any better than his knowledge of math.
Freedom of speech ends with: "If you're not with us, then you are against us."
Privacy, can fall under liberty or the pursuit of happiness--- down the drain with the information collection being organized by Mr. Poindexter.

True peace will never come when you have fear mongering going on anywhere. The only reason we were 'encouraged' to buy duct tape was to perpetuate the fear and possibly give the economy just a little boost. Those devoted to war making need votes. If they find support waning and the possibility of a 'regime change', then perhaps better reasoning than fear will arrive into the picture.

Americans need to remember the power of the vote. And you might want to remember a familiar war-cry of the 80's. "Kick the bums out!"

Back to that neighbor. I decided to talk to him instead of thinking of doing him in. (Really, what Christian would think of doing that?) It turns out that he has a dog that won't listen, his big stick is a handmade cane and he works third shift.

by Andrew Hovhannisyan

If this war starts, it will be a clear manifestation of how self-contained and easily manipulated the American society has become (or always were?). And, subsequently,...dangerous in the eyes of the international community. All US int'l preaching about the importance of democratic values will turn into a bad joke. Americans, wake up and open to the world! Do not get so easily manipulated!

Brady, I am very glad I had a chance to know you personally. I hope your move will prompt many to
take a sober look at US foreign policy.

by George Kinal

I cannot finds suitable words to express my congratulations to Mr. Kiesling for his courage and wisdom. I do hope that these best wishes somehow reach him.

It saddens me to no end to read the messages of those who do not agree. Time will tell whether or not the unilateralist neo-colonialistic approach now reaching unstoppable proportions will make the world a safer place or in fact one where Americans will not feel safe either at home or abroad.

George V. Kinal

by P. Nulton

Please excuse my need to reply to a reply, and my rather acerbic tone. But being a "teacher/deceiver" at a northeastern liberal arts university (see below) I felt compelled to reply to the commentary which showed obvious lack of comprehension regarding Kiesling's points.

To M. Welch, a point-by-point commentary on Welch's point-by-point commentary.

>departure. Yes, it was eloquent. He is so
>eloquent in fact that he needs to be
>teaching/deceiving young college students
>of a liberal arts college in the Northeast
>somewhere instead of representing our
>interests abroad.

I am glad to see that you weren't "deceived" by the benefits of a college education. That certainly shows in your reading comprehension skills. If you are college-educated, I suggest you write the university and request a formal apology for letting you graduate without the comprehension ability to read a letter.

>Rebuttal to snippets from his quitting letter:

Let's look, shall we?

>1- "Domestic politics vs. international
>politics"- We have "bureaucratic self
>interests".....you're darn right we do! Wasn't
>that what led to the Revolutionary War in the
>late 1770s?? Why can't we look out for
>ourselves?? We have to have approval of the
>world community to protect our country and our

I don't think that the revolution was about Washington's need to make more money from his hemp farm after the war was over. You seem to argue against this point by suggesting that our right "to protect our country and our people" is the "bureacratic self-interest" to which Kiesling refers. Protection of the US is _international_ politics. Money from oil for certain corporations that members of the administration have ties to is domestic, even personal, perhaps. As for the "protection" issue, where is the credible threat to "our country and our people"? When did Saddam invade us, bomb us, or anything similar?

>2- If I hear the correlation to the "war in
>Vietnam" again, I am going to scream!! This is a


>desperate analogy by the left! We are in the

True, if used in reference to how the battles will be fought. But it is a reasonable analogy in that this war is one in which the media plays a vital role in attempting to assuage the populace, most of whom oppose it.

>21st Century folks! Our air strike capability
>combined with satellite intelligence will make

Such great intelligence as we had regarding the Chinese embassy in Serbia? Impressive.

>this such a lopsided victory that "the war" part
>will basically be over in weeks to maybe 2
>months. We've come such a long way from even the

Yes, we will drop bombs on millions of innocent children 10 times faster than we used to be able to. If Serbia was any indication, our reconaissance skills and targetting systems lead a great deal to be desired.

>Persian Gulf War! The occupation period is the
>only thing I fear. We need to get to Saddam
>Hitler quickly, set up the new government, and

If we wanted him out, we'd simply send the CIA to arm and train resistance fighters. The man is very unpopular in some parts of his own nation. This is how we have traditionally accomplished regime changes of our choosing in the post-WWII period.

>leave. Hopefully, this doesn't become a
>multiyear occupation which will lead to some
>casualties by snipers and bombs tied to whatever
>a bomb can be tied to!

Oh, it will. Why invade if we don't intend to occupy and cash in on the oil supplies?

>3- Terrorism and Iraq are unrelated?? Hmmmm....I
>guess Saddam's comments of "we had it coming"
>after 9-11 attacks strengthen that comment. So,

He can say all he wants, that doesn't mean he was connected. To al-Quaeda, Saddam is a bloody Heathen.

>the Al-Queda are the ONLY terrorist group in the
>world and the only ones out to get the
>Imperialistic Evil empire called the United
>States. I didn't know that Mr. Kiesling!

Mr. Kiesling never said in the letter that Al-Quaeda was the only terrorist group. We have a number of them who are home-grown, and most of them seem to think that our government is too liberal and too concerned what the UN thinks. Ask the Oklahoma City bomber.

Anyone who is aware of the goals of Al Qaeda and the goals of Saddam Hussein realize that they are fundamentally incompatible.

>4- "the misallocation of shrinking public
>wealth"- So, Mr. Kiesling, how many times a week
>do you talk to Mr. Gephardt? Last time I
>checked, our GNP was rising and the average
>income levels of Americans was rising. I guess
>we should not do that "tax-cut for the rich" so
>we can have the 2% of the population that pays
>80% of the taxes flip the bill for the war!!

Why certainly, it is barely a hardship for them to give up one of their yachts! Besides, they will be the ones profitting for the oil after all. It will be blood from the other 98% that is shed, all to line the 2%'s pockets, they might as well fund it. Most of the prominent members of the administration were too rich to have to go to war when it was their turn, or they enlisted in cushy military service at home.

>5- "the mercenary US"- Yup, that's us....a bunch
>of militaristic, hired thugs! What an insult to
>our brave military to reduce them simply to

Please consult a dictionary before responding to that which you do not understand. If you had, you might have seen:

1. Motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain

>6- "the cherished VALUES! of our partners"- Boy,
>I need to check with Webster on the definition

Yes, you really should do that more often.

>of values. Then, I need to really study those
>Socialist governments in Europe. I have to
>witness their high moral fiber! Maybe a visit to

It's certainly no worse than ours. Not even during the Roman Empire, or the British Empire, etc. Yes, their moral fiber is about the same--only we are the ones on the imperialist end this century.

>Paris or Amsterdam is in order!

Yes, broadening your horizons might be a good thing.

>7- "Greece....the "purported" hotbed of Anti-
>Americanism"- Purported?? Kiesling obviously
>never got out into Athens much! Every time I've
>been there, I have witnessed graffiti
>stating, "Yankee go home!" I used to say I was

That's nothing, I lived there for a few years, one of them was 1999. There were Anti-American rallies that turned into riots pretty much daily. But you can't blame them. We supported a coup by military dictators using the CIA because we were afraid that they would turn communist in the 70's. Those dictators destroyed the country, caused Turkey to invade Northern Cyprus, declared that Greece was a country only for Christians, and used the army to subdue student protestors with extreme prejudice and violence. Why should they love us?

>English instead of American so I wouldn't get a
>dirty look or sneer from strangers! They simply

How courageous and patriotic of you!

>HATE our government for supporting Israel for so
>many years. I can't say I totally disagree

>8- The Greeks want "a strong international
>system"- Any national government that is in
>disarray and is weak wants a strong
>international system because they are failing
>domestically! They need a shark so they can
>attach themselves like a remora to swim.

Perhaps. A "strong international system" is useful to any country that wants imported goods. It is useful to pretty much everyone.

>Mr. Kiesling....in spite of your opinions....I
>have bad news for you....I hope you are sitting
>down. The USA IS a beacon of liberty, security,

Liberty? Have you read the patriot act?
Security? We have none compared to other countries..we foolishly assumed that having an ocean on each side was enough protection. Now that we have security, we are losing liberty.

"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."
--Benjamin Franklin

>and justice for the planet! Thank you again for
>quitting and God Bless the USA!

When the war is over, talk to the parents of the children (and there will be lots of them, remember how our pilots tend to "mistake" civilian refugee caravans for military targets because we fly so high that we can't tell) who were blown to smithereens because we wanted oil, or, giving you the benefit of the doubt, even because their leader was evil. Talk to them about justice, about security, and about god blessing the USA.

I'm no peace-loving dove. If Saddam ever acts in a convincingly agressive fashion against another country, as when he invaded Kuwait, I would be the first in line to depose him through forcce. But while he's sitting around, twiddling his thumbs because we put him in his place last time, there is no necessity for that. If we wanted regime change, it should have been accomplished during the Gulf War.

Maybe then we won't make those who are ambivalent about the US right now run out and join terrorist groups, those who like us now indifferent to us, and those who already hate us have an excuse and a rallying cry to use against us. I can hear it now: "Americans are evil. Remember Baghdad."

We couldn't play into Bin Laden's propaganda any better than we are doing right now.

by Peter Wild

re:neighbor analogy

"If you knew your neighbor was planning to blow up your home and kill all your neighbors, would you just build a stronger fence and wait for the inevitable. Or would you take the initiative and stop it before your home was blown to bits or you were killed by biological means???"

I think it is good to personalize the conflict to concieve the psychology involved. However,

1)what attempts at good neighborliness could be tried before being at odds.

2)this whole bad neighbor idea must have roots in mutual misunderstanding or mistreatment.

3) if the neighbor is sociopathic - in a civilized society, the insane must be dealt with humanely and by the proper parties.

A 'neighborhood' is not the Wild-West these days.

How about this analogy:

If you were a cowboy and you saw a band of rustlers hiding out in a grove of trees in a nearby valley, would you shoot them before they shot you and took your bosses cows?

(w. - please don't use this one)


by Joe Shabba

It seems sad that we have fogotten that diplomacy can only go so far. Reality doesn't allow us to wait for others to accept universal peace through diplomacy.
The fact that a diplomat quit when we the American People needed diplomacy the most doesn't strike me a heroic or laudable. When we do exhaust our diplomatic options and send our brothers and sisters to the desert to fight for their lives maybe it will be a little more clear, diplomacy is civilized way to avoid killing each other that has never achieved a lasting peace. His resignation hasn't achieved a consensus or made their terrible jobs easier.
Sad but true, in the real world people will use violence to get their way. Especially when those who have the strength to resist (read the cynical dissenters of the World), lazily stand by waiting for "diplomacy" to take effect on those who have no stake in it.
Did diplomacy work in Kosovo? No NATOs military might did. No amount of conversation would have ever stopped them from killing. Nor stopped the Communists, nor the Nazis, so on and on and on. If you are afraid it is because you don't understand the sacrifice it takes to stand up to the truly barbaric people of the world. Until you are willing to put your life on the line, directly in the way of gun, then you will never understand the true brute nature that you gallantly accuse the US of having. You don't see that someone has to make these sacrifices. You only see you don't want to.
The people that walk the line between chaos and civilisation are often brutal themselves. But if the US weren't "war mongering" with brutal dictators you wouldn't have the option of critisizing anyone.

Some nations are willing to protect the rest of the world at their own expense, others are only willing to talk about it. And when it becomes clear that this diplomat abandoned his country when we needed him, when his reputation was on the line and his work could actually save lives and he walked away, ask how civilised is that and what did his diplomacy accomplish? Is his resignation more valuable than his work would have been?
Heroes don't run away and abandon their post. And I pray that when the time comes we will stand up to the sacrifice for those that come behind us.

by Jon K

Wow. A beautifully written letter that sheds a lot of light on why mildly retarted chimpanzees are usually left in the wild or kept in zoos rather than allowed to sit behind a desk and make important decisions. If Curious George Dubya, the eloquent, suit-wearing, disgrace to all chimps of the world was given one-tenth the moral character of Mr. Kiesling, he would keel over and hit the floor from his body going into shock.Good luck and thanks very much Sir.

by Arthur

Vietnam vet
son of wounded WW II vet, and son of
Holocaust victim WW II

Thank you Mr.Kiesling for your outstanding moral courage, integrity and convictions.

When JOHN and ROBERT KENNEDY, together with their Cabinet Advisors, faced the CUBAN MISSLE CRISES, they did so, astutely, with "PRAGMATIC REALISM".

We were truly on the edge of NUCLEAR WORLD WAR, and they protected us. They took care of their beloved country. They truly protected AMERICANS and our country, the USA, and sustained peace for the ENTIRE WORLD. We need to be forever grateful for their perspicacious wisdom and actions. They will remain renown, historic heros, around the world, for their beliefs, intelligence, sophistication, real courage, diplomacy, patience, and international and cultural wisdom, for their attempts toward peace and unity of nations.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND HIS CABINET, perhaps with the exception of Colin Powell, who understands the devastation of war, first hand.


Yes, President Bush, Intelligent Maneuvers--- to apply the Massive Pressure of our Troops on the Border of Iraq, demonstrating ULTIMATE FORCE and POWER to the "MADMAN OF IRAQ", that we CAN, WILL and DO, FINALLY, MEAN "BUSINESS"! BUT...,TO ACTUALLY DEPLOY THEM IN DAYS OR WEEKS...? WHY?! WHAT ARE THE REAL MOTIVES to fight, kill, and destroy, during these Delicate, Vulnerable, International Moments in History?

Is it our Stock Market, our Economy, Big Business..... that will BENEFIT from the Immediate, Devastating Strike of War? Who or what will really BENEFIT from such an immediate attack, killing, and devastation, towards another country of human beings, from our high tech weaponry?

AGAIN, WHY SO IMMEDIATE, if there is a Worldwide Coalition of Escalating Pressure and Proactivity, to FORCE SADAM TO BOW DOWN and SWALLOW DIRT, together with his buddies, STALIN AND HITLER?!

How about Mr. Bush's future Presidency?

The actual deployment of our omnipotent, massive troops in war, is an awfully big "bet", for or against, his future Presidency!

What if "war" produces a totality of consequences that are worse?!! That is, not only Iraq in possible anarchy, but heightened terrorism worldwide and inside U.S. borders, further hate towards Americans, and further war in the Middle East, etc etc.

If President Bush's WAR FAILS to accomplish his VISION, not only will his Presidency fall, but our Economy will also fall into recession, and the great Bush name will be forfeited forever in history! If he hasn't already, Mr. Bush better think about that very carefully, instead of "SHOOTING from the HIP" so hastily.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, DO WE AMERICANS want to take Mr. BUSH's HIGH RISK BET, of "spending" our enormous monetary resources and human lives......through war Right Now, Immediately, without giving Peace a Chance? What about our economy, education, health care for the aged, and protection within our own borders, just to name a few of the forgone RIGHTS we treasure, and need to Finance America with IMMEDIATELY?

Watch television! Read the papers! Always the same--FEAR. It is called "capitalizing on fear". Create fear, and sell.... create fear, and sell.... Like they always say, "follow the money trail...." That is where the motives and answers probably lie....

by J.A.W.S.

Vietnam vet
son of wounded WW II vet, and son of
Holocaust victim WW II

Thank you Mr.Kiesling for your outstanding moral courage, integrity and convictions.

When JOHN and ROBERT KENNEDY, together with their Cabinet Advisors, faced the CUBAN MISSLE CRISES, they did so, astutely, with "PRAGMATIC REALISM".

We were truly on the edge of NUCLEAR WORLD WAR, and they protected us. They took care of their beloved country. They truly protected AMERICANS and our country, the USA, and sustained peace for the ENTIRE WORLD. We need to be forever grateful for their perspicacious wisdom and actions. They will remain renown, historic heros, around the world, for their beliefs, intelligence, sophistication, real courage, diplomacy, patience, and international and cultural wisdom, for their attempts toward peace and unity of nations.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND HIS CABINET, perhaps with the exception of Colin Powell, who understands the devastation of war, first hand.


Yes, President Bush, Intelligent Maneuvers--- to apply the Massive Pressure of our Troops on the Border of Iraq, demonstrating ULTIMATE FORCE and POWER to the "MADMAN OF IRAQ", that we CAN, WILL and DO, FINALLY, MEAN "BUSINESS"! BUT...,TO ACTUALLY DEPLOY THEM IN DAYS OR WEEKS...? WHY?! WHAT ARE THE REAL MOTIVES to fight, kill, and destroy, during these Delicate, Vulnerable, International Moments in History?

Is it our Stock Market, our Economy, Big Business..... that will BENEFIT from the Immediate, Devastating Strike of War? Who or what will really BENEFIT from such an immediate attack, killing, and devastation, towards another country of human beings, from our high tech weaponry?

AGAIN, WHY SO IMMEDIATE, if there is a Worldwide Coalition of Escalating Pressure and Proactivity, to FORCE SADAM TO BOW DOWN and SWALLOW DIRT, together with his buddies, STALIN AND HITLER?!

How about Mr. Bush's future Presidency?

The actual deployment of our omnipotent, massive troops in war, is an awfully big "bet", for or against, his future Presidency!

What if "war" produces a totality of consequences that are worse?!! That is, not only Iraq in possible anarchy, but heightened terrorism worldwide and inside U.S. borders, further hate towards Americans, and further war in the Middle East, etc etc.

If President Bush's WAR FAILS to accomplish his VISION, not only will his Presidency fall, but our Economy will also fall into recession, and the great Bush name will be forfeited forever in history! If he hasn't already, Mr. Bush better think about that very carefully, instead of "SHOOTING from the HIP" so hastily.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, DO WE AMERICANS want to take Mr. BUSH's HIGH RISK BET, of "spending" our enormous monetary resources and human lives......through war Right Now, Immediately, without giving Peace a Chance? What about our economy, education, health care for the aged, and protection within our own borders, just to name a few of the forgone RIGHTS we treasure, and need to Finance America with IMMEDIATELY?

Watch television! Read the papers! Always the same--FEAR. It is called "capitalizing on fear". Create fear, and sell.... create fear, and sell.... Like they always say, "follow the money trail...." That is where the motives and answers probably lie....

by Marcia

I've just printed Mr. Kiesling's letter for my daughter to take to school and read to her American History class. It will join, on my office door, Mark Twain's War Prayer, which for the last two months has been posted there, printed in 24-point boldface type. I predict that it will, over time, assume an equally honored place in the literature of TRUE American patriotism.

Thank you, sir. I hope every person of conscience in America finds a way to strike as firm a blow for peace, freedom, and the REAL American way as you have.

by Dentists Drill

Saddam is evil incarnate and must be gotten rid of before he gets the bomb like Iran and North Korea already have.Saddam would not hesitate to drop the big one on Tel Aviv or NYC. Let's reduce the Axis of Evil by one.

By the way, I just heard the latest news from lovely Rhodesia, I mean hideous Zimbabwe. Who is responsible for the nightmare going on in what was once a prosperous former British Colony. Hunt the guilty parties down and kill them too!

Mr. Kiesling, I predict that you will be persona non grata (a little foreign phraseology myself) in post-war Iraq for not having been on the side of the oppressed Iraqi people.

by Jack Webb

Could Kiesling be the conscience of American foreign policy at the beginning of the 21st Century?

by Rees

Glad to see him gone. Slowly but surely we will root these cowards out. You people in the rest of the world just keep your heads buried in the sand...we will let you know when its safe to come out. I wonder if Canada was situated in another geograpical location (in between Iraq and Iran) if you people would see things differently.

by Nick

Response to P. Nulton:

CIA reps DID try to support a coup attempt by an Iraqi general and northern kurds but the Clinton run administration instead said no and prosecuted 4 cia members for conspiring to commit assassination??!?!!! because as u know it is illegal in our country to assassinate foreign leaders. And your comment about the Oklahoma City bombing, keep in mind there is multiple evidence that shows that iraqi intelligence agents and several muslim individuals were involved in that attack. Do the research, there is plenty of info on the web.

by P. Nulton

True, we know that the net is the place to go if you want credible information from anything from, um, enlarging body parts, to getting millions from the son of a former Ivory Coast official.

We should really lift that ban on assassination, the CIA is how we've always changed governments...look what we did in Greece in the late 60's. There is so much evidence that the State Department doesn't even try to deny that we put the fascists in power there anymore. But we don't need to assassinate anyone, we'l just train/arm the next Contras or the Mujahadeen to fight them, lol. Then we'll fight the ones we trained about 10 years later. It's the "American Way." ;-)

by Mrs. B

Responce to U.S.Vet

If he's bad rubbish, then you are trash.
Shame on you for being rude, hateful and un-American.

by Mrs. B

Responce to U.S.Vet

If he's bad rubbish, then you are trash.
Shame on you for being rude, hateful and un-American.

by Mrs. B

Responce to U.S.Vet

If he's bad rubbish, then you are trash.
Shame on you for being rude, hateful and un-American.

by Ham Slam

Speak Truth To Power. Keisling for President in 2004!

Finally, someone with a clear head.

by Bonified

Mr. Kiesling had the same concerns I had before, at the beginning and still do now that the fighting part of the war is over. And that is 1. We really don't know what we are doing in the Middle East. 2. The US administration didn't fool anyone in the world except some of the US population about the war aims. How silly trying to link the religious fanatical Al Queida to the secular Sadam Hussien, where are the weapons of mass destruction? etc... 3. Was the two bit dictator worth squandering our credibility all across the globe. Who is going to believe a word we say now? 4. We will now get cooperation by fear rather than mutual held values. Frightened people are usually not at their best and most times they are down right dangerous. We won't be on top forever.

I'm not a bleeding heart liberal. I just believe in doing things smartly and not being a complete idiot. This all seems so stupid I ask myself how could people with enough intelligence to make it the top echelleons of our government manage to make such an incredible mess of it all. There are only two answers I have. The first is they are all idiots which I don't beleive for a moment. The other is the correct one and it is such a cynical one on my part and so obvious and ugly selfishly self-serving to individuals in the administration that I can't bring myself to write it. Pardon me while I go throw up!

by Chris Franklin

"there is multiple evidence that shows that iraqi intelligence agents and several muslim individuals were involved in (the Oklahoma City bombing)"

That's why Curious George and his cronies never mentioned it while whipping up the war fever, right? Wouldn't want any real evidence slipping into the script....

To those of us who laud Mr. Kiesling's act of conscience: let us commit acts of conscience of our own. That's what America is all about, my friends, not being the world's bully, and those who disagree may gnash their snidely teeth in vain.

by Ronald W. Albers

I've said it elsewhere, and I will say it again:

If ever a sequel to Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage" is written, John Brady Kiesling's story should be chapter one.

Ronald W. Albers

by Wesley

Heard an interview with Mr. Kiesling yesterday, April 24. It prompted me to find his letter of resignation. He has inspired plenty of rhetoric. For the conservatives who believe that our actions in Iraq were correct, and advise silence to those who dissent, be sure to read or the Constitution. Free speech is a guarantee. Mr. Kiesling is a brave man who acted on his convictions. George Bush went after Hussein because he tried to kill Bush Sr. No evidence of weapons of mass destruction has been revealed, as of April 25, 2003. No connection to Al Qeada has been illustrated. Let's hope the military uncovers the evidence. Let us also pray that our actions do not inspire more terrorism. A final question: Could we have avoided the September 11 attacks if we had assisted the Palestinians in the establishment of a homeland? The Bush administration didn't think so. The staff openly laughed at and criticized Clinton's efforts to find a solution.

February 27, 2003
# Lies lies lies

Caught on Film: a comprehensive (?) list of GW Bush's rhetoric that has directly contradicted his policy, with photos of him at the time he told the lie!

Or: a good indication of just how grim a state American journalism is in these days.

Another one, from The New Forum:

American media kow-towing to Saddam Hussein: The CBC's Patrick Brown is reporting that the major American networks have come together to agree to not report the details -- or even the existence -- of the Iraqi opposition meetings in Salahaddin, Iraq. He says the nets are apparently worried that Saddam Hussein will retaliate for the networks giving his opponents coverage by kicking their talking heads and Scud studs out of Baghdad. But the upshot is the American public are less well-informed about an important meeting, one attended by an American envoy and general.

posted by dru in us
February 26, 2003
# Eagle

Immanuel Wallerstein's The Eagle Has Crash Landed (from last summer.. ah, summer) is worth a second look.

Right now, the U.S. economy seems relatively weak, even more so considering the exorbitant military expenses associated with hawk strategies. Moreover, Washington remains politically isolated; virtually no one (save Israel) thinks the hawk position makes sense or is worth encouraging. Other nations are afraid or unwilling to stand up to Washington directly, but even their foot-dragging is hurting the United States.

Yet the U.S. response amounts to little more than arrogant arm-twisting. Arrogance has its own negatives. Calling in chips means leaving fewer chips for next time, and surly acquiescence breeds increasing resentment. Over the last 200 years, the United States acquired a considerable amount of ideological credit. But these days, the United States is running through this credit even faster than it ran through its gold surplus in the 1960s.

One example of this can be found here: For Bush, support for Iraq war comes with a price tag

Since the Bush administration has committed itself to war before getting the necessary support, it is now in the position of needing to pay for that support, or call off the invasion, risking a singular loss of credibility. So the price to the US government in both cash and influence is much higher. I think that's what Wallerstein means by "calling in chips means leaving fewer chips for next time, and surly acquiescence breeds increasing resentment."

If this is indeed the case, the pricetag for US dominance is going to keep climbing, steadily. But as Wallerstein crucially points out, accepting this is the only way that the US won't cause a lot of damage on the way down.

Cue a few bits from a recent informal report from a journalist who got inside access to the World Economic Forum:

The global economy is in very very very very bad shape. Last year when WEF met here in New York all I heard was, "Yeah, it's bad, but recovery is right around the corner". This year "recovery" was a word never uttered. Fear was palpable -- fear of enormous fiscal hysteria.


I learned that the US economy is the primary drag on the global economy, and only a handful of nations have sufficient internal growth to thrive when the US is stagnating.


Not surprisingly, the business community was in no mood to hear about a war in Iraq. Except for diehard American Republicans, a few Brit Tories and some Middle East folks the WEF was in a foul, angry anti-American mood. Last year the WEF was a lovefest for America. This year the mood was so ugly that it reminded me of what it felt like to be
an American overseas in the Reagan years. The rich -- whether they are French or Chinese or just about anybody -- are livid about the Iraq crisis primarily because they believe it will sink their financial fortunes.

posted by dru in us
# Body and Soul

Excellent collection of commentary and links on war with Iraq: the Body and Soul weblog. Includes another great Remember Afghanistan? collection of stories.

posted by dru in sites
# -47 C

A week ago, the wind chill here dropped below -47 C. A strange side effect of this was that, when the temperature climbed back up to -10, it was over 30 degrees warmer. I found myself running across the street to buy eggs in a t-shirt, and some people even wore shorts for an afternoon.

We're now back to a considerably less mild -35 wind chill, so it looks like another week will be spent inside waiting for the air to be almost not freezing, which will surely be a sign of spring.

posted by dru in blog
# coalition-of-the-willing.org

Some guy in Germany bought coalition-of-the-willing.org just to post my summary of polls in European countries that are standing with the US.

posted by dru in sites
February 23, 2003
# Full Control

Washington Post: Full U.S. Control Planned for Iraq

The Bush administration plans to take complete, unilateral control of a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, with an interim administration headed by a yet-to-be named American civilian who would direct the reconstruction of the country and the creation of a "representative" Iraqi government, according to a now-finalized blueprint described by U.S. officials and other sources.

posted by dru in us
# Photos of Iraqis

Two activists were arrested in Manhattan for posting printed snapshots of Iraqis. The photographs, taken recently in Baghdad, are available as black and white and color pdf files.

posted by dru in activism
February 22, 2003
# Canadian support for war hits new low

According to the most recent poll, 74% of Canadians would support a war only with the "full support" of the security council. 61% of Quebeckers oppose war under any circumstances.

Seemingly as a direct result, the NDP now has 17% support, according to polls. That puts it second only to the Liberals, and ahead of the two right-wing parties, which the media has been inexplicably obsessed with for too long. The NDP hasn't been that popular in a decade.

Meanwhile, our Prime Minister is saying he is "not a part of the coalition of the willing" in French, and still waffling when he speaks English.

posted by dru in canada
# Star System

Over at Mediageek, Paul reckons:

Fame, celebrity and mass audiences are the products of inequality. They're the product of a monopolization of the tools and resources for making media. When there were only 3 TV networks, anyone appearing on one of them immediately became a star. It's even sort of true with 150 cable networks. But it becomes less true with 10,000 or 10,000,000 channels.

Personally, I have no use for stars or celebrity. If expanding the accessability of media tools creates more voices and chips away at the power of celebrity then I'm all for it. Let's recognize that democratizing the tools of communication means eroding our own inflated egos.

posted by dru in politicsoftech
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February 20, 2003
# Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg (he of the Pentagon Papers) has an excellent collection of interviews and writings which give an extremely well informed and intelligent take on US agression in Iraq from the perspective of someone who worked in the Defense Department for years. Full of great information and sensible reasoning.

Some selections:

The senior Bush administration has prepared us to the idea of responding to chemical or biological weapons with nuclear weapons. That turns out to have been the function of this new category, which at first puzzled me, of "weapons of mass destruction." I've been in the arms control field for nearly forty years now, and I'd never heard of this "weapons of mass destruction" category, which lumps together biological, chemical, and nuclear. Between chemical and nuclear there's an enormous difference of destructiveness, by a factor of at least a thousand. So what's the purpose of lumping them together in this new category, "WMD"?

It came in about 1990. I now realize that they already had Iraq in mind with that, and the purpose of that is to say that, if we use nuclear weapons in response to chemical weapons, that would not be first use, we would not be initiating nuclear war. Rather, we would be retaliating to a weapon of mass destruction with a weapon of mass destruction, which happens to be about a thousand times more destructive.


After Iraq, we are not going to be able to get any degree of cooperation from governments with large Muslim populations. Al Qaeda can grow and do what they want—they're safe, essentially. That doesn't mean they're going to beat the U.S., and it doesn't mean they're going to drive us out of the Middle East. But it does mean they're going to be able to kill a huge number of American civilians, much more than if we had the police and intelligence cooperation of Arab and Muslim states, which the Iraq war will destroy.


I would be happy to see Saddam yield to inducements from his Arab neighbors and others to seek asylum somewhere, with assurance against war crimes prosecution if necessary. It would mean a success for threats of US aggression, but it would be a much better prospect for all than a war. France's warning that it might veto a UN-authorized attack for at least the next several months, while the inspections proceed, is both appropriate and could be effective; it should be joined by Russia and China (it would be too much to expect of Blair), while other members of the Security Council, starting with Germany, should warn in advance of a "no" vote in the absence of obstruction of inspection by Sadddam or positive findings of forbidden weapons (not empty casings) by the inspectors.

Even one to three vetoes would not guarantee that the US would not attack on the basis of a claimed "provocation"—a Tonkin Gulf incident, manufactured or simply claimed—but it might actually slow down the US attack by months, long enough for the illegality and recklessness of the whole project to become a matter of consensus, even in the US. The chance of this is small, but not zero: definitely worth pursuing.

Very good stuff.

posted by dru in sites
# Democracy in Iraq?

Over the last week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been emphasizing the moral case for war against Iraq. Saddam Hussein, as the argument goes, has used chemical weapons against the Kurds, kidnapped and murdered people who defy him, and is now using the sanctions to deprive half of the population of Iraq of food and medicine.

posted by dru in article
February 19, 2003
# Think Locally, Act Globally

There are now some photos of the local march here in Sackville.

I've been spending most of my time updating the coverage of anti-war activism for Indymedia Maritimes. I also put together a reading list of articles which (I think) are essential for anyone who wants to be informed about the (still preventable) war.

Hearing that 10 million people came out on Saturday has put me into some kind of activist overdrive, so I've been churning out material like mad... and at the expense of schoolwork, which seems less and less relevant.

There's a great photo of my friend Robert Force at the protest in Seattle.

posted by dru in activism
# F15 Poster

Poster: Feb 15: Global Day of Protest Against War on Iraq [200k, pdf]

posted by dru in original
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# A Coalition of the Willing?

Monkeyfist: A Coalition of the Willing?

posted by dru in original
by Trevor Stanley

No, the "Coalition of the Willing" is not a misnomer. I know you're all worked up and ready to flog some yanks, but you'll just have to put down that horsewhip for a moment.

As an Australian, I can assure you Australia was willing. Polls showed reluctance at first, but once the war started there was majority support. Indeed, Prime Minister Howard's popularity rating is now on a record high and the carping Opposition Leader Simon Crean has the lowest rating as leader of his party ever recorded (10%). His leadership is now in apparently terminal crisis.

Australia is far from the only country supporting freedom and _true_ peace for Iraq. The media was flooded with material ridiculing the coalition of the willing, pointing out that some of the smaller, less 'civilised' countries had joined, but they forgot to mention the many larger or more advanced countries. The criticism of these countries was a corallory of the claim that Arabs simply aren't up to democracy so we may as well leave them in tyranny.

Having read much of what Czech President Vaclav Havel wrote when he was a dissident, I was unsurprised when he asked neighbouring countries to sign on. You claim that the Eastern European countries only signed on because they were candidates for NATO, but you ignore the fact that they were also candidate members of the EU. If they are currying favour, why one group and not the other? Could it be that they see the Coalition as liberating the Iraqi people (and therefore more likely to liberate them from a potential Russian invasion as projected in your article), and at the same time they see Germany (another serial invader) and France sitting on their hands? I was speaking to former Czech dissident Mila Dvorakova (a confidant of Havel) recently, and she brought up the parallel of the Munich Agreement. The East has not forgotten how selfish countries let them down so many times in the past.

More comment on the Coalition:

Check out the colour-coded map of Europe in particular :)

Trevor Stanley.

# Iraq Reading List

Monkeyfist: War in Iraq: Selected Articles

posted by dru in original
February 16, 2003
# Huge Protests Everywhere

Between 5 and 12 million people in over 600 cities worldwide protested against a US war on Iraq yesterday. From reading the police estimates, I suspect it's pretty close to 9 or 10 million. London, Madrid, Barcelona, and Rome had well over a million each, and a large number of cities had 100,000+.

I made a poster [200k, pdf] to help convey the magnitude of the event. Suitable for home, office, or telephone poll use.

Photos from protests on every continent provide a good sense of the massive scale of the event.

Even if it was 4 million, I can't really see how it wouldn't be front page news everywhere. But the politicization of crowd numbers and the power of willful ignorance can never be underestimated. Police managed to whittle the New York City figure down to 100,000 (Organizers say 800,000, Indymedia says 500,000), and CNN talked about "as many as 500,000" in London when the rest of the media was saying one million or more.

That's why I made the poster.

posted by dru in activism
by Larry Dennison

Hi Dru! I got your URL from your mom this morning and am delighted to see you are in the thick of things through your web site. Great site by the way! I sent a link to your protest photo page to my e-mail list a few moments ago. I suspect you'll be getting some "home town" hits soon.

Drop me an e-mail if you feel the urge. And if you are in the vicinity again give me a call and we'll go fly fishing. Gibbs Lake is pretty good these days, only spring and late summer are the best times.

Keep up the good work and stay in touch.

Larry Dennison

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February 13, 2003
# Interview: Darin Barney

Dr. Darin Barney is an assistant professor of communications at the University of Ottawa and the author of Prometheus Wired: The Hope for Democracy in the Age of Network Technology, a look at some of the philosophical and political problems with the hyper-optimism surrounding digital communications technologies.

Dr. Barney recently lectured at Mount Allison as a part of the Democratic Audit series, which is coming out in book form one of these days. Of the lectures in the series that I attended, Barney was the only speaker to explicitly and rigourously question the influence of corporate interests on democratic processes (something that, one would think, would be necessarily central to any "democratic audit" taking place in the last 200 years). Specifically, Barney elaborated on the corporate stranglehold of development of communications infrastructure policy and regulation in Canada.

Dr. Barney answered my questions via email. What follows is an unedited transcript; an edited version with an extended introduction is forthcoming.

posted by dru in interview
by André Carignan

The above e-mail interview with Dr. Darin Barney mentions the book, the Canadian Democracy Audit, would be coming out in the Summer of 2003.

Since this interview was published last February and we are now in the Fall, can you tell me where I can find the book.

André Carignan

# Invading Iraq

Argosy/Monkeyfist: Invading Iraq or Courting Calamity?

posted by dru in original
February 12, 2003
# Intertidal: Travels in a Moral No-Man's-Land

[The ongoing series of guest articles continues with this essay by Amanda Jernigan. Amanda is a writer living in Guelph, Ontario. She currently works for Porcupine's Quill, a fine imprint of the small, Canadian variety.]


Travels in a Moral No-Man's-Land

by Amanda Jernigan
Photograph by Erin Brubacher

It has now been almost a year and a half since we woke up on a morning in mid-September to a phone call telling us to turn on the TV. Since then the world has gone galloping warwards, committing all sorts of injustices in deed and speech, and all this time I have been silent.

I've spoken, sure - I've griped about the news to friends and family, in desultory conversations had while chopping onions or driving to work. But as for serious expression - language polished by thought polished by language? Nothing.

Andrei Alezseyevich Amalrik says, 'If a person refuses the opportunity to judge the world around him and to express that judgment, he begins to destroy himself before the police destroy him ... ' I encountered this quotation not long after that September day, and the words have lingered in my mind as a reproof to me.

Why silent?

posted by dru in article
by Rick Gladwin

Right on, Amanda.

Not only is this reluctance to imagine other humans' states of being dangerous in its own right, it leaves our arsenal weakened in the face of divisive rhetoric.

The bourgeois and the brutal elite take no apparent shame in using language for their own purposes, even where it twists and wrings what philosophical matter it has from the words. Look at the ambiguity of the recent US political and military rhetoric: phrases like "the evildoers" and "the terrorists" garner at once a sense of ominous, elusive power about their subjects, while deepening and solidifying that sense of separation from whatever human beings the speaker cares to lob into those categories. (yes, read this paragraph twice and tell me where my own battles with hypocrasy lie)

I enjoyed your essay very much. It was another reminder of the power of language in our personal and public politics.

Consider this chain: political logistics and the running of our daily lives depend on decisions. Decisions are based on knowledge. Knowledge is extracted from information.

If one controls the information, one influences the politics and logistics of our lives and our nation. This is one of the central things that makes media monopoly contrary to democracy.

Here's to the voice and language of the people.


by Pekar Kara Sherwood

What's on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?

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# Anti-War Resolution in Sackville

The governing body of the small town of Sackville, NB, where I live passed a strongly worded anti-war resolution the other night. Sackville is one of the first towns in Canada to do this, by the looks of it.

Update: after a long debate, the Mount Allison Students' Administrative Council passed a similar resolution.

posted by dru in activism
February 11, 2003
# A Coalition of the Willing?

From the Washington Post:

France and Germany lead European opposition to a speedy attack. But Britain, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Portugal, as well as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, have firmly backed the U.S. position. On Wednesday, 10 more European governments, in the former communist east, jointly declared support for Washington. They were Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

A quick scan of opinion polls reveals that, while governments are supporting the US, the people are solidly opposed to unilateral and even UN action in all but a few countries. This can be explained by diplomatic pressure which has, for now, overcome a distinct lack of popular support in the following countries:

Britain: 86% say give weapons inspectors more time, 34% think that US and Britain have made a convincing case for invasion. »

Spain: 80% opposed to war, 91% against attack without UN resolution »

Italy: 72% opposed to war »

Portugal: 65% say there is no reason to attack now »

Hungary: 82% opposed to invasion under any circumstances »

Czech Republic: 67% opposed to invasion under any circumstances »

Poland: 63% against sending Polish troops, 52% support US "politically" »

Denmark: 79% oppose war without U.N. mandate »

Australia: 56 per cent only backed UN-sanctioned action, 12% support unilateral action. 76% oppose participation in a US-led war on Iraq. Australian Senate voted 33-31 to censure Howard for committing 2,000 soldiers to US action. »

The "Vilnius 10" is a group of 9 countries that are seeking membership in NATO and Croatia. In many cases, their future security depends on NATO membership. In Estonia, for example, there is a tangible fear that Russia will take over again, given a militaristic enough government and the right opportunity (the--thankfully past--popularity of the fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky was a good indication of this possibility. Zhirinovsky had a map in his office showing the borders of Russia expanded to include the former Soviet Union and Alaska). In any case, it's doubtful that these governments are supporting the US for any other reason than to get diplomatic points (or conversely, not piss away their chances of NATO membership).

Taking Estonia as an example again, we find that the government has supported war without any debate in Parliament, despite 70% of the people and major newspapers opposed to war in Iraq.

Latvia: 74% oppose taking out Hussein with military force »

Romania: 38% opposed, 45% in favour »

Macedonia: 10% support war on Iraq »

Bulgaria: 21% support war »

Estonia: 30% support war »

Slovakia: 60% oppose sending Slovak soldiers »

Information for Albania, Croatia, Slovenia and Lithuania was immediately available via Google news, but according to this report, Romania is the only country in the "Vilnius 10" that has a majority of the population supporting the war.

For comparison purposes:

France: 76% against war without UN support »

Germany: 55% against war with UN support, 90% against war without UN support. 57% hold the opinion that "the United States is a nation of warmongers". »

posted by dru in us
February 09, 2003
# Iraq. Public Dialogue?

Paperlessarchives.com is selling a CD ROM with 2,440 pages of declassified CIA, State Department, and Congressional documents for $10. A lot more convenient than trying to do an actual Freedom of Information Act request, which I hear is largely futile for any reasonably valuable information.

Royal Roads University had a full-page ad in the Globe this weekend promoting "E-Dialogues" about sustainable development; specifically the implementation of Kyoto.

posted by dru in blog
February 07, 2003
# Blogging from Baghdad

Someone is posting weblog-ish updates from Baghdad or thereabouts on a site called Where is Raed?. (via canoe)

Powell speech is around 6pm in Baghdad, the whole family is getting together for tea and dates-pastry to watch the (Powell Rocks the UN) show. Not on Iraqi TV of course, we have decided to put up the satellite dish to watch it, yes we will put it away afterwards until the next event. I don’t exactly like the thought of two months in prison just to have 24 hour BBC (no free CNN on ArabSat which is the only sat we get with our tiny dish).

Raed has a great Huntington quote, which I feel compelled to include here.

the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
--Samuel P. Huntington

posted by dru in sites
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February 06, 2003
# Afghanistan, After

Remember that war in Afghanistan, and how the future was going to be bright for the impoverished and war-torn country? Well, it still exists, but things aren't getting better yet. Maybe we need to drop more bombs?

In other news, there's a record budget deficit.

posted by dru in us
by AEC

Dru, your comments here remind me of an interview I saw on CBC Newsworld the other day. Some dude from the NDP (not an MP, a party activist, I think) was talking about Afghanistan and Iraq and how the US shouldn't (or shouldn't have, as the case may be) use force. Don Martin pressed him, "So, if the Taliban were to regroup and try to wrestle for control of the whole country again, the US should just retreat?" The NDP guy responded, "Well, no. But the use of force is never justified. Not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, never." (Again, I am paraphrasing.)

Now, I don't know if you hold this position, but it is at least implied in your comments above. Which raises the question: though Kabul has control of only a small part of the country, if that control were threatened by the Taliban once again, what should we do? It's not an easy question, but I (personally) haven't been satisfied with a lot of the answer I've heard. Wondered what you thought ...

Anyway, I like the re-design of your site. Andy

by dru

hi Andy,

Thanks for commenting. I tend to be a little bit flip when I post to misnomer, so you're right to take me to task :>

I don't believe that the use of force is never justified. Terrorizing a country until it switches to the government that the US thinks would be better is most certainly not justifiable. That's the demonstrable aim of material like this.

War--especially the kind that is conducted with 500 pound bombs, kills a lot of people, injures more, cuts off essential humanitarian aid, and creates hundreds of thousands of starving refugees--just cannot be said to be good for the people of a country.

As for your question, I don't think that we should have gone in guns blazing in the first place (much less executing and torturing POWs and taking them prisoner illegally). But now that we're in there, commited to a course of action that made no sense in terms of a) helping Afghanistan or b) curbing terrorist activity, you're right, it is a tough question.

In terms of (a), the US spent $300,000,000 on bombs dropped in Afghanistan alone (before December '01). Now, I'm pretty much convinced that the approx. $1 billion that was used to fight that war could have been used in a way that was much, much better for everyone involved. As for getting rid of terrorists, police action would have been much more effective.

The Taliban declared that they would hand over any terrorists that the US would identify, but the US never even tried that course of action, choosing instead to go in bombing. They ignored the saner alternative in favour of a show of force, and a huge profit opportunity for the defense dept. And as one of the news stories linked above notes, bombing a population into submission doesn't win a lot of friends. It creates new populations of desperate, pissed off people who are willing to repay terror with terror, or at least join the Taliban (who are, in some ways, less barbarous than the northern alliance types.)

Minimally, war should be a last resort, or an exercise in level-headed calculation across the board. The reasons for it should be examined, the people who would be affected by it interviewed, the number of civilian casualties estimated and then documented. A full examination should be carried out of who profits from it, and how much. Most importantly, all alternatives should be examined and then exhausted before people are killed.

These seem to me to be the minimal conditions for military action that isn't abhorrent.

by dru

I feel morbidly obligated to add that the US's military action in Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Kosovo, Iraq, and now Afghanistan came nowhere close to meeting any of the conditions I described above.

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February 03, 2003
# Gujarat

BBC: Gujarat's Muslims live in terror

Unofficial figures say more than 2,000 people have died, the vast majority Muslims killed by Hindus who constitute more than 80% of the state's population.

Independent reports accuse hardline Hindu organisations of orchestrating the violence with the support of India's ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

Fresh deaths are still being reported almost every day and an estimated 150,000 Muslims are still sheltering in relief camps.

No one has been held responsible yet, though the Palestinian ambassador to India was asked to leave the country after he attended an event where speakers condemned the violence in Gujarat.

Remember: if it's state terrorism, it's not terrorism. Or maybe: if it's terrorism, it's not terrorism unless going after it with guns blazing serves US interests.

For an elaboration, read Arundhati Roy's talk at the World Social Forum last week. She reckons:

It is not a coincidence that the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Disinvestment Minister — the men who signed the deal with Enron in India, the men who are selling the country’s infrastructure to corporate multinationals, the men who want to privatize water, electricity, oil, coal, steel, health, education and telecommunication — are all members or admirers of the RSS. The RSS is a right wing, ultra-nationalist Hindu guild which has openly admired Hitler and his methods.

posted by dru in race
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February 01, 2003
# Social Design Weblog

Another worthwhile weblog: Social Design Notes: Design + Activism

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