What Is True?
April 13, 2003 - D

Liberty, War & Politics

Iraq War

April 9, 2003 The Casualties: Number of Iraqi Dead May Be Unknowable

""In the bombing of the different divisions, the destruction there was terrifying," the official said, speaking on condition that he not be named. "Whole divisions were destroyed...""

"...they occasionally release figures on individual engagements. The most startling such estimate came from Central Command officials on Saturday, when they said that 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqi soldiers had been killed in a three-hour sweep through part of Baghdad by a column of American armored vehicles..." (1)

April 10, 2003 Civilian casualty figures cause concern

"Indeed, the US has never published official estimates of Iraqi casualties in the 1991 Gulf war. The closest thing to an official count came in a 1991 Defense Intelligence Agency report, which estimated that 100,000 Iraqi troops had been killed and 300,000 wounded. No such estimates were ever made of civilians killed..."

"...The International Committee of the Red Cross said this week that hospitals in Baghdad had been overwhelmed by the influx of wounded civilians and military following the US attacks on the city, and had long since lost count of the numbers..."

"...Humanitarian agencies have asked the US to investigate the dropping of cluster bombs into civilian areas in Hilla..." (2)

April 7, 2003 My Oscar "Backlash" by Michael Moore

"It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude -- and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died..."

"...So, where are all those weapons of mass destruction that were the pretense for this war?..."

Gives an account of his Oscar speech.

"...Well, take a look at my Oscar "backlash": -- On the day after I criticized Bush and the war at the Academy Awards, attendance at "Bowling for Columbine" in theaters around the country went up 110%..."

"...I want to counteract a message that is told to us all the time -- that, if you take a chance to speak out politically, you will live to regret it..."

"Take the Dixie Chicks. I'm sure you've all heard by now that, because their lead singer mentioned how she was ashamed that Bush was from her home state of Texas, their record sales have "plummeted" and country stations are boycotting their music. The truth is that their sales are NOT down. This week, after all the attacks, their album is still at #1 on the Billboard country charts and..."

"They have not been hurt at all -- but that is not what the media would have you believe. Why is that? Because there is nothing more important now than to keep the voices of dissent -- and those who would dare to ask a question -- SILENT..."

"...the real point of this film that I just got an Oscar for -- how those in charge use FEAR to manipulate the public into doing whatever they are told... "

"...Don't let the false patriots intimidate you by setting the agenda or the terms of the debate. Don't be defeated by polls..." (3)

April 11, 2003 Has America Gone Commie? by Christopher Deliso

"...The America that is today has also received a powerful injection of three toxic substances. The first is relentless paranoia of the outside world. According to this, all kinds of civilian restrictions and pre-emptive foreign wars become justified for the sake of "national security." Second is the all-pervasive cronyism between government oligarchs and corporations, which retard the practice of a free market economy. Finally, there is a belief in the ineluctable nature of "progress," i.e., a teleological narrative that describes America's political system as supreme, and destined to supercede and convert those of all other nations..."

"...To stay in business, these companies require the state make constant interventions and war;..."

"...Producing war thus becomes a cyclical race to artificially shore up these industries, industries that are not sustainable without continual murder and maiming. In its essential conception, however, economy is diametrically opposed to this, being directed by and for humans, for the sustenance and continuation of human life..." (4)

April 11, 2003 The Joy of Looting by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

"...Waging war is no greater achievement than any other act of destruction. It involves a government grabbing as much as it can get from its own population through taxes and borrowing and inflation, turning those resources into machines that kill and wreck, and then unleashing those machines on an enemy country.

"Governments may not be able to create wealth-which is why socialism cannot work-but they can destroy it, which is why wars do work. Bombs, built on the backs of taxpayers, destroy not just military targets but the products of genuine human creativity: houses, markets, restaurants, schools, and hospitals..." (5)

April 9, 2003 Contain and Isolate: The New York Times and the Peace Movement by Susan Davis

"...the antiwar movement has done something, and become something, remarkable.... It's an international movement that has made it impossible for many otherwise supportive governments to join the coalition of the "bribed and the bullied"..."

"...We have built an international movement that has made it much harder than it might have been for the Bush administration to act militarily..."

"...The lack of cooperation from Turkey is an example. So are the resignations of labor MPs and cabinet ministers in Great Britain..."

"...There should be some limits, given the scale of mass death, the violation of the Nuremberg and Geneva conventions by our own country, the scale of impoverishment of an already brutalized country -- there should be some limits on how polite we want to be about this..." (6)

April 9, 2003 U.S. imperial policy carries consequences
Concern about events in Afghanistan.

"...It seems obvious to any observer that, in reality, the Taliban and their supporters and allies were following, in meticulous detail, the well-tested strategy of Afghans throughout history whenever faced with a foreign invader..."

"In short, you don't attempt to defend the urban centers but withdraw and leave them to the enemy. You regroup in the impenetrable mountains for a period, and then, when your strength has been rebuilt in peace and quiet, begin a guerrilla war of attrition on the now scattered forces of your enemy..." (7)

April 11, 2003 Can Catholics Support This War? by Stephen Bertucci
I think Just War theory is a healthy and rational component of Christian tradition.

"...Nor has Iraq even threatened aggressive action against the U.S. The Iraq war is one of U.S. aggression. The aggressive character of this war immediately puts it outside the parameters of a just war. You can't kill people who haven't attacked you and who are not threatening to attack you. An aggressive war cannot be just..." (8)

April 11, 2003 Foxa Americana

"...Like CNN, [Fox] presents to the globe the face of America and its perception of reality, and it exports its dark side, the infuriating side that inspires so much hostility: the self-righteousness, the brutality, the pretension, hubris, and simplicity, the feverish faith in its moral superiority, the saccharine and infantile patriotism, and the deep self-persuasion that America is not only the most powerful of the nations, but also that the truth is always American. Fox looks like the media arm of the superpower mentality, indifferent to any perspective that is not American and alienating vast portions of the world. Its war coverage is as governmental as that of Iraqi TV..." (9)

April 9, 2003 We said it would be a nightmare by Alexander Cockburn

"Baghdad's hospitals admit a hundred casualties an hour and have run out of anesthetics. Surgeons try to numb up mangled children with short-term pain-killers..."

"...For a sense of perspective read the grand speeches of the British who entered Mesopotamia in 1917, only to face a concerted uprising by Shi'a, Sunni and Kurds three years later." (10)

April 9, 2003 Welcome, Mom, to the Neo-Fascist, Imperialist, Police State by Karen De Coster

"...there are two versions of the Patriot Act holding sway over us. The latest version - Son of Patriot - is still misunderstood by the average Joe who is clueless because he's held in a stupor by the relentless rah-rah of wartime spectacle created by the networks. Our politicians strategize to take advantage of the circumstances created by all of this mindless war unity in order to shove another massive increase in federal powers down our throat. Increased active surveillance, increased database surveillance, forced DNA procurements, the freedom to grope consumer credit reports, new citizen spy programs, and anti-encryption laws are all a part of our future, thanks to Ashcroft and his fellow fascists in Washington..."

"...But perhaps our politicians really believe that killing Muslims, occupying a Muslim country, setting up a puppet government, taking over its resources, and threatening the rest of the Arab nations will have no repercussions here in the United States. And perhaps the American public is foolish enough to believe them..." (11)


April 10, 2003 Lessons From Somalia by Karen Kwiatkowski

"...Somalia is today several countries. Somaliland, left alone with little help, has been stable and productive with a representative democracy for over a decade, at peace since 1991. No country or international body, U.S. and U.N. included, recognizes Somaliland. It receives very little aid or support from any country or international organization. It does not threaten its neighbors, except through competitive trade and market practices. The free trade environment in tiny Somaliland has indeed caused complaint by nearby statist entities of Ethiopia, Djibouti and to a lesser extent Eritrea. Efforts to gain international recognition for Somaliland as a country, or even to recognize its successful transformation as a democracy, languish... "

"...The political and economic lessons of Somalia are echoed in Iraq. Decentralized government, free markets, a free press and lively competition of people and ideas help a country recover. Aid dependency, centralized management of everything, and international manipulation don't..." (12)

Rothbard on Nationalities

August 1990 The Nationalities Question by Murray Rothbard

Discusses the European nations that emerged after the Cold War, Northern Ireland, Lincoln, individualism, "nation", connection between Imperialism and Marxism in Africa.

"...National boundaries are only just insofar as they are based on voluntary consent and the property rights of their members or citizens. Just national boundaries are, then, at best derivative and not primary. How much more is this true of existing State boundaries which are, in greater or lesser degree, based on coercive expropriation of private property, or on a mixture of that with voluntary consent! In practice, the way to have such national boundaries as just as possible is to preserve and cherish the right of secession, the right of different regions, groups, or ethnic nationalities to get the blazes out of the larger entity, to set up their own independent nation. Only by boldly asserting the right of secession can the concept of national self-determination be anything more than a sham and a hoax."

"...In short, national self-determination must remain a moral principle and a beacon-light for all nations, and not be something to be imposed by outside governmental coercion..."

"...One practical way of implementing self-determination and the right of secession is the concept of a partition referendum in which each village or parish votes to decide whether to remain inside the existing national entity or to secede or join another such nation... " (13)


[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/10/international/worldspecial

New York Times, April 9, THE CASUALTIES: Number of Iraqi Dead May Be Unknowable by JOHN M. BRODER

[2] http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid

Financial Times, FT.com, April 10, 2003, Civilian casualty figures cause concern, By Richard McGregor, Peter Spiegel, Frances Williams

[3] http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/

MichaelMoore.com, April 7, 2003, My Oscar "Backlash": "Stupid White Men" Back At #1, "Bowling" Breaks New Records

[4] http://www.antiwar.com/orig/deliso73.html

[5] http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=1205

[6] http://www.counterpunch.org/davis04092003.html
CounterPunch, April 9, 2003 Contain and Isolate: The New York Times and the Peace Movement By SUSAN DAVIS

[7] http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/116480_hensher09.shtml
seattlepi.com, Wednesday, April 9, 2003 U.S. imperial policy carries consequences By PHILIP HENSHER

[8] http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/bertucci1.html

[9] http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=282047&contrassID

Haaretz.com, Sunday, April 13, 2003, Foxa Americana by Rogel Alper

[10] http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?

[11] http://www.lewrockwell.com/decoster/decoster80.html

[12] http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/kwiatkowski2.html

[13] http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch35.html
The Irrepressible Rothbard, Essays of Murray N. Rothbard Edited by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. THE NATIONALITIES QUESTION August 1990