Maturin42's Blog

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Defending the Peaceniks

A peace group on the Eastern Shore posted an ad in a local paper. It provoked an angry letter from a person who differed on the war, claiming they did not "support the troops". His letter is below this post. I could not resist a reply, and I apologize for the length of the post.

I hope you don't mind if I chime in on this subject.
I was a U. S. Marine for 20 years. I fought in Vietnam, and came out of that a little cynical, but basically thought that we were still the good guys - fighting the communists, and all that. I retired in 1984 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Since then I have learned some things I didn't know or preferred not to think about.
We were lied into that war as well, perhaps with the best of intention, but the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a fabrication to justify building up forces to intervene in a civil war.
Even that has little in common with the the situation in the middle east. While Afghanistan could possibly be justified on the grounds that they harbored the people who attacked us (the validity of that theory is far from established) the invasion of Iraq was for oil. There is a reason why the neo-conservatives running our government picked three oil executives to head their government. There is a reason why Dick Cheney still holds the makeup of the Energy Task Force a secret from the American people. There is a reason why the Project for a New American Century called, in 1998, for a "New Pearl Harbor", which it received in 2001 on Sept. 11. There is a reason why our great leader has close ties to the Bin Laden family. There is a reason why we can't seem to capture a 6'4" Arab who needs dialysis. There is a reason why our radio dial was taken over by propagandists that make Father Coughlin look like a rank amateur. The Neo-Cons needed 9/11 in order to justify to the American people, something they could not otherwise justify - an invasion of a sovereign, oil-rich country that presented no threat to us. That is why the Bush administration didn't lift a finger to stop the 9/11 attacks. Instead several key players took active measures to prevent discovery of the plot. Dave Fracas, an FBI agent, was the recipient of two key memos from the field in the months prior to the attack. He received the Colleen Rowley memo pleading for permission to examine the laptop of Zacharias Moussoui, the so-called "20th hijacker" - which was stonewalled and refused, and the Phoenix Memo, in which the Phoenix agents were screaming about arab men taking flight lessons but who showed no interest in learning to take off or land - which, as a jet pilot, I can tell you is always the primary concern of every legitimate student pilot. Mr. Fracas sat on those memos right through August, 2001, until it was too late, stopping any chance that it could have triggered a warning of the impending attack.
There is one other key piece of information about Mr. Fracas. He was promoted following the attacks. Don't take my word for it - look it up. In fact, every person who had a duty to protect America on 9/11 - and who managed to fail at the task in a spectacular fashion - has been promoted or otherwise rewarded (Tenant got the Medal of Freedom after presiding over the "worst intelligence failure in American history???" The only people who have been punished are those who stood up and told the embarrassing truth - like Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, and John O'Neill. Rice, who lied and said "nobody could imagine planes flying into buildings", is Secretary of State. In fact there is plenty of evidence that plenty of people in and out of our government had imagined that very thing. Mr. Cheney, who was given the job of heading the counter-terrorism task force, did not meet once pre-9/11. He met with the secret Energy Task Force about 8 times in the same period. Our fearless leader got out of town for the month prior to the attacks and John Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial airlines.
In what universe, except where the bad guys have taken over and are bent on empire would any of those facts make any sense? Not that there were not plenty of warnings anyway. Recently, it was revealed that there were 57 separate warnings leading up to 9/11 that the FAA sat on. See a pattern there? The coverup of the inconvenient facts is one of the best pieces of evidence that the administration is culpable. One of my most profound disappointments in the America people is that they accepted this disgraceful charade without rising up in anger and demanding an accounting. Distracted by Michael Jackson and the Scott Peterson case, I guess.
Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD Detective, in his book "Crossing the Rubicon - The Decline of the American Empire at the end of the Age of Oil" lays out the evidence that the Bush Administration assisted the plotters of 9/11.(Mr. Ruppert runs a web site < > that also has much of this evidence. I know that to someone like yourself, that seems unthinkable, but if you examine the record, consider the actions of the President on that day, and look at how the Kean commission distorted the evidence and falsified the timeline of the attacks to cover up the fact that our air defenses were crippled and prevented from doing the job of protecting our skys, you are left with few other options.
Anyone who suggests this has been fitted for a tinfoil hat by the Corporate media, and Bush and the neo-cons. So where do we stand? We have a president who was defeated by the voters in 2000, but placed in office by his daddy's cronies - who are rich and powerful reactionaries. We have a war to seize 10% of the world's known oil reserves based on a series of lies and distortions. We have another election which returned the same cabal to power for a second term in which the exit polls showed a landslide for his opponent, but, thanks to the absence of a paper trail in certain key "swing states", we can't check to see whether votes were actually switched. We have the same conditions that led to millions in the street of the Ukraine that overthrew an illegitimate regime, being ignored by the "liberal" American press, TV networks, and Cable News. There is your "true democracy". We have not had a democracy in this country for 5 years, and frankly I question whether we can ever get the reigns back in the hands of the voters. And we have the unmistakable pattern of programs put forward by this administration that consistently rewards the multinational corporations at the expense of the ordinary American, and thanks to wrapping themselves in the flag they have disgraced, they make ordinary people identify with THEM as the patriotic ones.

It is enough to make you sick, or fighting mad. It had both effects on me.

If I understand you right, a just war is one that the U.S. happens to be fighting, no matter where or why?

Obviously, as a Marine, I was not opposed to war to defend my country. But now I find that my country has been seized by people who represent values I was taught from the cradle up to oppose and to fight. In the period following World War II, we tried Nazis in Nuremburg. The American judge, in front of whom they were called to account, told them the following. (Paraphrase) - You are not being tried because you lost the war, but because you STARTED the war. By that measure, George W. Bush is a war criminal, almost 1600 of the troops you profess to support and around 100,000 Iraqis - purple finger or not - have paid the price. We don't plan to pull out any time soon. We have oil assets to protect and exploit. The U. S. is building some 14 permanent bases - significantly clustered around the oil wealth- that will hold about 110,000 soldiers (some of them may be private contractors) in order to protect what we have seized. $9 BILLION of Iraqi oil revenues have gone missing (MISSING!) under the administration of Halliburton - Dick Cheney's old company.

I am not an active member of ES Peace and Justice, but I support their cause in this instance, and in general. Since I started to question our foreign policy, I find it is not something that you can easily put down. There is a famous Marine from the 1930's, General Smedley D. Butler who, as one of his last public acts, blew the whistle on a plot by a group of wealthy, right-wing industrialists to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt's government in a fascist power grab. They had contacted him in hopes he would lend his leadership to the plan. Thanks largely to him, the plot was foiled. Interestingly, the plot was largely in reaction to the the New Deal, a key part of which was establishment of Social Security, which BushCo is working very hard to dismantle at the behest of the same type of people. General Butler concluded that "War is a Racket" (look on Amazon for the book of that title), and that he had served as little more than a Bully Boy for Wall Street in Haiti and South America. I have pretty much concluded the same thing.

I am the organizer of a group called Salisbury Democracy for America. We put on a TV show each week on PAC-14 on Comcast cable in Wicomico. We meet the first Wednesday of each month in the Wicomico library at 7:00 PM. I urge you to come out and discuss your views with us. Calling the people who see the truth about Iraq and question the policy that led us there unpatriotic, while giving a traitorous and vicious gang of neo-fascists a pass just because they have learned how to package and sell their empire-building as "defense" is not productive and just demonstrates a profound ignorance of the ugly facts.

You obviously care about the issue, but your anger is directed in the wrong direction if you love what this country once stood for. You "support the troops" and buy that formulation as a reason not to think about how the troops got where they are. You buy the conflation of supporting the troops with supporting the reasons for the war. I am sure that in the '30's, the Germans were being urged by Herr Schicklegruber to "support the troops" when they were storming through Poland and France. According to him (Hitler), God was on their side, too. You have to listen to the propagandists on the right, like Rush and Sean pretty hard to still feel good about what is being done in our name - oh, and also pretty much turn off your own brain - otherwise it could make you sick to your stomach. We DO support the troops. Bush and Rumsfeld have pretty thoroughly demonstrated that they do not, when they send them in ill-equipped, extend National Guardsmen far beyond their obligation, and tell people whose enlistments are up that they are trapped in Iraq as long as it takes, all to protect the real beneficiaries - Halliburton and the companies we brought in to loot the country.
Like the group you are vilifying, I want God to bless the whole world, not just America. But if He does, it might get a little rough for us for a while.

Care to discuss it? Come on out to our next meeting on 6 April. Take the red pill, Neo.

Shelton F. Lankford
Salisbury Democracy for America

" A Republic, if you can keep it."

Benjamin Franklin, in answer to a question as to what type of government the framers had created.

"A man who is honestly mistaken, when presented with the truth, either ceases to be mistaken, or ceases to be honest."

Andrew Krumm's letter to the ESP&J:

"Eastern Shore Peace & Justice Society,

I was reading my Eastern Shore News today and saw your article in the paper.
I must say I was truly amazed. I didn't know that their was that type of unpatriotic
organization or society or what ever you call your group on the Eastern Shore. I must tell
you I can't stand people when they say war is not the option. I would not have even
wated my time to write this e-mail if it wasn't for the slogan/title at the top of the article.
I know every one doesn't agree on the war in Iraq and that is ok. That is what we call a "true democracy."
It's "war is not a family value" that bothers me. By now you have probably deleted this message but I'll say my peace anyway. If it wasn't for war you wouldn't even be able to write article such as these. If it wasn't for war I wouldn't be writing to you to disagree. Just think if our founding fathers before the Revolution had said oh "war is not a family value" we can't FIGHT for our independence. What about during WWI & WWII. What if we had said you know what war is not a family value lets have peace. Well needless to say we would either still be under the british tyrants or more than likely we would all be speaking Japanese or German right now. Robert E. Lee stated "It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow to fond of it" But Lee realized that war was necessary for freedom from oppression. To summarize it war is not a pretty thing, that is why it is always a last resort. Sometimes war is absolutely necessary for survival and freedom. It is because of this is the reason why America is that "beacon of liberty." Everyone does not agree on Iraq but we need to stop throwing the blame on others and we need to start supporting our troops. We all want them home, but they are over there protecting us from terror. It is better for them to fig! ht the terrorist 1000's of miles away in Iraq then in the cities of New York City. I think I have said enough. Thanks for you time if you finished reading this. God Bless America and God Bless our troops.

Andrew Krumm "