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Re: Reparations, withdrawal and Apology

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  • holderlin66
    http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/04/11/con04476.html They wouldn t have died if we hadn t invaded. We caused all this chaos. It is blood on our hands.
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 1, 2004
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      http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/04/11/con04476.html

      "They wouldn't have died if we hadn't invaded. We caused all this
      chaos. It is blood on our hands. Every one of us in the good ole USA.

      You know what? ONE DEATH is not acceptable, especially if it is your
      son, daughter, mother, father, sister, or brother.

      At some point, we will be keeping pace with Saddam at his peak in
      killing Iraqis. We are now the Soviets, and Bush is Stalin.

      Oh! Wait a minute: Iraqis, being poor and brown, barely register on
      the human scale. So silly of me to forget!

      100,000 people dead in an illegal war is a massacre. It is a war
      crime on par few with others. If any other country did this,
      Americans would be up in arms, but because this is us, "its not so
      bad."

      No small wonder George W Bush doesn't want the US to be part of the
      International Criminal Court. He doesn't want to be dragged there
      and put on trial for war crimes. And I see now what Bush means when
      he tells us what a tremendous success Iraq is! How the Iraqi people
      are just delighted with their new freedom! How happy the Iraqi
      people are now that the murdering thug Saddam Hussein is gone.

      We can now unequivocally say that the Iraqis were, in fact, better
      off when Saddam Hussein was in power. There is no way Saddam would
      have killed as many Iraqis in the past year and a half as we have.

      You know, it must be 'really hard work' to butcher that many people.
      And so we have a new Bushism: "death of brown people = freedom",
      perfectly designed to appeal to Bush's Christian Fundamentalist
      base.

      I saw a bumper sticker today: "Support Terrorism! Vote for John
      Kerry".

      How will this country ever be sorry enough? How will we ever atone?

      I guess I'll be seeing you in the deserts of Iran after the draft.

      Donald L Feinberg
      Naperville, IL
    • holderlin66
      When someone asks what conditions are right for a surge of disturbing volcanic soul incarnations or, maybe, what does the Earth Spirit think about our moral
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 28, 2004
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        When someone asks what conditions are right for a surge of
        disturbing volcanic soul incarnations or, maybe, what does the Earth
        Spirit think about our moral depravity? We enter head on into a
        world of hypocrisy, lies and political and religious self
        righteousness in canned Orwellian lingo for the insane and morally
        bankrupt.

        Christimas Spirit, bah humbug. The web site What Really Happened
        adds this to my own feelings:

        "Colin Powell invoked it before the invasion, telling aides that if
        the US went into Iraq "you're going to be owning this place". John
        Kerry pledged his allegiance to it during the first presidential
        debate, saying: "Now, if you break it, you made a mistake. It's the
        wrong thing to do. But you own it."

        "The analogy does not hold up. "We" didn't break "it", Bush and the
        Neocons did, but their goal is to force We The People (including the
        millions who told them NOT TO INVADE) to have to pay for the
        breakage.

        'This, of course, is something all americans should oppose. The war
        was illegal, violating both international and US law, and We The
        People are not obligated to pay the costs of an illegal war launched
        without our permission. If someone has to pay the costs, it should
        be those individuals who hijacked the US military for a personal
        adventure. Let them write the checks out of their own personal
        funds. And if the flag-waving morons who thought this war was a good
        thing want to chip in, that is fine as well. But those of us who
        knew the war was wrong from the start and opposed it are NOT
        obligated to pay for either the war itself, or its aftermath.

        Naomi Klein
        Monday December 27, 2004
        The Guardian

        Colin Powell invoked it before the invasion, telling aides that if
        the US went into Iraq "you're going to be owning this place". John
        Kerry pledged his allegiance to it during the first presidential
        debate, saying: "Now, if you break it, you made a mistake. It's the
        wrong thing to do. But you own it."
        It's the so-called Pottery Barn rule: "You break it, you own it."
        Pottery Barn, a chain of stores that sells upmarket home furnishings
        in shopping malls across America, apparently has an in-store policy
        that if you shatter anything while shopping, you have to pay for it,
        because "you own it".

        In US foreign policy, this little dictate has come to wield more
        influence than the Geneva conventions and the US army's law of land
        warfare combined - except it turns out that the rule doesn't even
        exist. "In the rare instance that something is broken in the store,
        it's written off as a loss," an exasperated company spokesperson
        recently told a journalist.

        Never mind that. The imaginary policy of a store selling $80
        corkscrews continues to be the favoured blunt instrument with which
        to whack anyone who dares to suggest that the time has come to
        withdraw troops from Iraq: sure the war was wrong, the argument
        goes, but we can't stop now - you break it, you own it.

        Though not invoking the chain store by name, Nicholas Kristof laid
        out this argument in a recent New York Times column. "Our mistaken
        invasion has left millions of Iraqis desperately vulnerable, and it
        would be inhumane to abandon them now. If we stay in Iraq, there is
        still some hope that Iraqis will come to enjoy security and better
        lives, but if we pull out we will be condemning Iraqis to anarchy,
        terrorism and starvation, costing the lives of hundreds of thousands
        of children over the next decade."

        Let's start with the idea that the US is helping to provide
        security. On the contrary, the presence of US troops is provoking
        violence on a daily basis. The truth is that as long as the troops
        remain, the country's entire security apparatus - occupation forces
        as well as Iraqi soldiers and police - will be exclusively dedicated
        to fending off resistance attacks, leaving a security vacuum when it
        comes to protecting regular Iraqis. If the troops pulled out, Iraqis
        would still face insecurity, but they would be able to devote their
        local security resources to regaining control over their cities and
        neighbourhoods.

        As for preventing "anarchy", the US plan to bring elections to Iraq
        seems designed to spark a civil war - the civil war needed to
        justify an ongoing presence for US troops no matter who wins the
        elections. It was always clear that the Shia majority, which has
        been calling for immediate elections for more than a year, was never
        going to accept any delay in the election timetable. And it was
        equally clear that by destroying Falluja in the name of preparing
        the city for elections, much of the Sunni leadership would be forced
        to call for an election boycott.

        When Kristof asserts that US forces should stay in Iraq to save
        hundreds of thousands of children from starvation, it's hard to
        imagine what he has in mind. Hunger in Iraq is not merely the
        humanitarian fallout of a war - it is the direct result of the US
        decision to impose brutal "shock therapy" policies on a country that
        was already sickened and weakened by 12 years of sanctions. Paul
        Bremer's first act on the job was to lay off close to 500,000
        Iraqis, and his primary accomplishment - for which he has just been
        awarded the presidential medal of freedom - was to oversee
        a "reconstruction" process that systematically stole jobs from needy
        Iraqis and handed them to foreign firms, sending the unemployment
        rate soaring to 67%.

        And the worst of the shocks are yet to come. On November 21, the
        group of industrialised countries known as the Paris Club finally
        unveiled its plan for Iraq's unpayable debt. Rather than forgiving
        it outright, the Paris Club laid out a three-year plan to write off
        80%, contingent on Iraq's governments adhering to a strict
        International Monetary Fund austerity programme. According to early
        drafts, that programme includes "restructuring of state-owned
        enterprises" (read: privatisation), a plan that Iraq's ministry of
        industry predicts will require laying off an additional 145,000
        workers. In the name of "free-market reforms", the IMF also wants to
        eliminate the programme that provides each Iraqi family with a
        basket of food - the only barrier to starvation for millions of
        citizens. There is additional pressure to eliminate the food rations
        coming from the World Trade Organisation, which, at Washington's
        urging, is considering accepting Iraq as a member - provided it
        adopts certain "reforms".

        So let's be absolutely clear: the US, having broken Iraq, is not in
        the process of fixing it. It is merely continuing to break the
        country and its people by other means, using not only F-16s and
        Bradleys, but now the less flashy weaponry of WTO and IMF
        conditions, followed by elections designed to transfer as little
        power to Iraqis as possible. This is what Argentinian writer Rodolfo
        Walsh, writing before his assassination in 1977 by the military
        junta, described as "planned misery". And the longer the US stays in
        Iraq, the more misery it will plan.

        But if staying in Iraq is not the solution, neither are easy bumper-
        sticker calls to pull the troops out and spend the money on schools
        and hospitals at home. Yes, the troops must leave, but that can be
        only one plank of a credible and moral antiwar platform. What of
        Iraq's schools and hospitals - the ones that were supposed to be
        fixed by Bechtel but never were? Too often, antiwar forces have
        shied away from speaking about what Americans owe Iraq. Rarely is
        the word "compensation" spoken, let alone the more
        loaded "reparations".

        Antiwar forces have also failed to offer concrete support for the
        political demands coming out of Iraq. For instance, when the Iraqi
        national assembly condemned the Paris Club deal for forcing the
        Iraqi people to pay Saddam's "odious" debts and robbing them of
        their economic sovereignty, the antiwar movement was virtually
        silent, save the dogged but undersupported Jubilee Iraq. And while
        US soldiers aren't protecting Iraqis from starvation, the food
        rations certainly are - so why isn't safeguarding this desperately
        needed programme one of our central demands?

        The failure to develop a credible platform beyond "troops out" may
        be one reason the antiwar movement remains stalled, even as
        opposition to the war deepens. Because the Pottery Barn rulers do
        have a point: breaking a country should have consequences for the
        breakers. Owning the broken country should not be one of them, but
        how about paying for the repairs?"

        A version of this column was first published in The Nation

        www.thenation.com

        holderlin on moral stance:

        http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/04/11/con04476.html
      • Steve Haag
        ... be those individuals who hijacked the US military for a personal adventure. Let them write the checks out of their own personal funds. And if the
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 28, 2004
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          --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "holderlin66"
          <holderlin66@h...> wrote:
          >
          > If someone has to pay the costs, it should
          be those individuals who hijacked the US military for a personal
          adventure. Let them write the checks out of their own personal
          funds. And if the flag-waving morons who thought this war was a good
          thing want to chip in, that is fine as well. But those of us who
          knew the war was wrong from the start and opposed it are NOT
          obligated to pay for either the war itself, or its aftermath.

          Bradford,

          Yes, it raises the basic question of taxation without representation.
          So how to live in a society of collective shared organization, while
          not getting swept down paths the self as individual is firmly against?

          SteveD
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