Wednesday, April 26, 2006

World Contempt

Scott Manley, in his April 17 letter ("My Fellow Americans: We Cannot Bomb Iran Into Peace"), expressed his deep concern of "the possibility that the Pentagon has operational plans to use bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons" in Iran.

He is right to be "shocked" that 57 percent of people responding to a KQV poll would support using nuclear weapons in Iran. The use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable, and the devastation would be catastrophic for the world. Aside from the immorality of such a strike, the United States would not win this war, and Americans at home and around the world would suffer.

Richard Clarke, former national coordinator for security and counter-terrorism, states that Iran, in response to Washington's continued threats, has enlarged its terrorist network.

Immediate possible outcomes of an attack on Iran could result in: 1) attacks on oil facilities and tankers, causing oil shortages around the world; 2) Americans and their interests being targeted at home and abroad; and 3) escalated attacks on our troops from sympathetic Shiite militias in Iraq.

Many Europeans expressed to me on a recent trip to Europe that Washington neither respects nor abides by international law, and the American people have reaped the contempt of much of the world because, by re-electing this administration, we have given it our approval.

What will be the reaction if the greatest military power on Earth unleashes nuclear weapons again? Isn't it strange that our "pro-life" politicians and their constituents are quiet on this subject?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My fellow Americans: We cannot bomb Iran to peace

Letter to the editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The news has been filled with stories about Iran's nuclear program -- and the possibility that the Pentagon has operational plans to use bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons to destroy it ("Magazine Reports Iran Attack Planning: Sources Say Nuclear Attacks on Sites Not Ruled Out," April 9).

Pittsburgh's AM radio news station, KQV, did a poll on April 11. The question was, "Should the U.S. consider using nuclear bombs to halt Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?" This is both Orwellian and nightmarish. There is a slogan in "1984" -- "War Is Peace." It reminds me of a jingoistic bumper sticker: "Nuke Their Ass and Take Their Gas."

Although the poll is not scientific, I found the result shocking. Fifty-seven percent of 2,386 respondents -- that's 1,363 people -- would support using nuclear weapons on Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons. I haven't seen much analysis in the news about the consequences of such an attack. For example, how are 1.2 billion Muslims going to react if a major Islamic nation is attacked by America with weapons of nuclear force?

Who are these people who voted yes? Are they just ignorant and scared, or are they card-carrying members of the rapture right ("end-timers," like Bush). Or both? Whatever they are, I'm terrified of them, and scared for the future of the world, for good reason.

If we use nuclear weaponry against Iran, then Russia and China, who need Iran's oil, will have to choose sides. A picture of how WWIII could unfold is not hard to draw from this scenario.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Republican attacks against Feingold's censure resolution backfiring

Last week, Republicans actually let a Democrat hold a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is rare. Usually, if Democrats want a hearing, Republicans will only let them hold it in a basement office somewhere. This time, Republicans were pushing to bring the resolution to the full senate floor for a vote because they think they have a winning issue. They launched an all out media blitz in order to hype what Feingold wants do as a threat to the President, and rally Americans to his patriotic defense by branding Democrats as weak on security and a bunch of crazed kooks from whom he needs to be protected. They are hyping the fact that John Dean is one of the witnesses: (John Dean says to censure Bush: Watergate figure testifies in Senate on eavesdropping Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 1, 2006) The problem is that Bush's poll numbers are tanking, so nobody's really in the mood to rally around the president, and John Dean and Russ Feingold sound reasonable. They did not back down when various Republicans accused them of helping the terrorists by having the audacity to question the legality of the President's use of warrentless wiretapping in a time of war. Republicans say it's about terrorism, but Americans aren't buying it anymore. Feingold says it's about accountability. "The President must be held accountable for authorizing a program that clearly violates the law and then misleading the country about its existence and its legality," Using what has been called a political ju-jitsu move, Feingold turned the force of the attack back on the aggressor by saying that the reason we go to war in the first place is to protect our civil liberties.

Nowadays, most Democrats are willing to stand back and let the Republicans self-destruct. Thank God we have a few brave senators like Feingold who are willing to stand up now, because time is ticking. We are coming upon a mid-term election this year, and a presidential election in '08. If Democrats don't grow some cahunes, they could lose both of them. They should get a clue and a spine from Feingold, who almost single-handedly put the focus back on this illegal program, strengthening both his supporters and the Democratic base as a whole, making the old school Republican propaganda tactics backfire.