Bill to Bush: Stop It

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 13 Jun 2004 12:00:00 GMT
# Bill St. Clair - An Open Letter to George W. Bush: Detention, treatment, and trial of alleged terrorists - I sent this to Bush, Cheney, my congress critters, and a few newspapers. It was printed here in this week's Libertarian Enterprise. I don't expect much to come of it, but who knows...

# Charley Hardman - The life and times of Janet Reno - scroll down for a graphic reminder of why Janet Reno and friends must be tried, convicted, and executed.

# Arundhati Roy - Come September - an adult perspective on the adolescent neocons' war on "terror". And a reminder of how many 9/11's the US has visited on other countries. Click here for a transcript of Ms. Roy reading this essay to a Santa Fe, New Mexico audience on 18 September, 2002, followed by a conversation with Howard Zinn. Her novel, The God of Small Things, for which she was charged with "corrupting public morality", is available from Amazon. [smith2004]

Since it is September 11 that we're talking about, perhaps it's in the fitness of things that we remember what that date means, not only to those who lost their loved ones in America last year, but to those in other parts of the world to whom that date has long held significance. This historical dredging is not offered as an accusation or a provocation. But just to share the grief of history. To thin the mist a little. To say to the citizens of America, in the gentlest, most human way: Welcome to the world.


What if Iraq does have a nuclear weapon, does that justify a pre-emptive US strike? The US has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. It's the only country in the world to have actually used them on civilian populations. If the US is justified in launching a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, why, then any nuclear power is justified in carrying out a pre-emptive attack on any other. India could attack Pakistan, or the other way around. If the US government develops a distaste for the Indian Prime Minister, can it just "take him out" with a pre-emptive strike?

Recently the United States played an important part in forcing India and Pakistan back from the brink of war. Is it so hard for it to take its own advice? Who is guilty of feckless moralizing? Of preaching peace while it wages war? The US, which George Bush has called "the most peaceful nation on earth," has been at war with one country or another every year for the last fifty years.


Fortunately, power has a shelf life. When the time comes, maybe this mighty empire will, like others before it, overreach itself and implode from within. It looks as though structural cracks have already appeared. As the War Against Terror casts its net wider and wider, America's corporate heart is hemorrhaging. For all the endless empty chatter about democracy, today the world is run by three of the most secretive institutions in the world: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, all three of which, in turn, are dominated by the US. Their decisions are made in secret. The people who head them are appointed behind closed doors. Nobody really knows anything about them, their politics, their beliefs, their intentions. Nobody elected them. Nobody said they could make decisions on our behalf. A world run by a handful of greedy bankers and CEOs nobody elected can't possibly last. Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market-capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.

# Alan R. Weiss at The Libertarian Enterprise - The Economics of Sitting Ducks - Mr. Weiss does the math and determines that the U.S. government values the life of an army grunt at $139,126 and of a civilian killed in the World Trade Center bombing at $1.185 million. [tle]

Lll these people demanding war, let them shoulder an M16 and stand a post. If that were the case, Americans would quickly find a different way to prosecute the war on terror.

All these people who insist "we" must "fight this war", do so by proxy with soldiers underpaid and clearly undertrained. Those soldiers are not only victims of bad policy, they're economic victims, too.

When those soldiers, made sitting ducks by an moronic policy of "nation-building", are killed, their families receive a pittance, except for the standard symbolic flag and letter. The amount they receive is a $6000 death benefit (which is taxable!), $1750 for burial costs (did anyone say, "pine box"?), and a flag most likely made in China. If there is a surviving spouse, they get $833 until they remarry, and if there are children, its $211 per month per child until they are 18 years old.

# Kaptain Kanada, aka Manuel Miles at The Libertarian Enterprise - Courage - somes tales of true courage. [tle]

A relatively unknown, but equally courageous man, was a German soldier who refused to execute Serb civilians in Yugoslavia during WWII. The Nazis routinely rounded up people and murdered them after every partisan killing of an occupying soldier. This killing of armed invaders, of course, was called "terrorism" by the occupiers. Some things don't change...

A movie was made from the captured Nazi archives' report of this incident. The report included a series of black and white photos, and these were used to reproduce the scenes in the film. [The title of it I have, unfortunately, forgotten, but I think it may have been "The Execution Tree" or some such. If you know anything about this movie, please email me!]

The young German soldier was part of a firing squad formed to kill the unfortunate civilians who had [been] seized. He asked to be excused from this "duty"; this was refused. He was several times ordered to shoulder his rifle; this he refused. Finally, he was told that he had either to join the firing squad or its targets. Now remember, this is a true story which was taken directly from the Nazis' own report of it...

There is a tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the USA, and one in France, and who knows how many other countries, but there should be a huge monument called "The Tomb of the Unknown Hero", for that young man, who had his whole life before him, handed his rifle to his sergeant and walked over to stand and die with people whom he didn't know and whose language he probably couldn't speak. I guess, though, that in those last few moments they became his friends, for "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." ~John 15:13

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