Sunday, September 30, 2007

Op Ed that will never see paper

I submitted this to the Charlotte paper a week ago. Have not heard a thing, so I guess they are not going to use it. Here it is:


There was a story recently by the Associated Press claiming that US troops are winning acceptance in Sunni areas of Baghdad. One Iraqi man had this to say: "We feel safe when the Americans are around… when we see the Iraqi army, we just stay home or close our shops." Capt. Albert J. Marckwardt, of the US army, commands about 100 soldiers patrolling this section of Baghdad. They were part of the last to arrive in Iraq from Bush’s surge.

Isn’t it grand that the US troops are protecting Iraqis from the Iraqi army that the US troops armed and trained? Even more grand, the US taxpayers are paying both the protectors and the army that the Iraqi people need to be protected from…..Mission Accomplished! Apparently, the Iraqi people do need protection from the Iraqi army – another news story I read said that the Iraqi army had invaded a children’s hospital in Baghdad and beat the guards.

In August 2007, we found out that a heck of a lot of weapons (about 190,000) issued to the US military in Iraq have gone missing. According to a CBS report, the CIA has photographic evidence that some of these weapons are in the hands of the Iraqi insurgents. Isn’t it grand that the US taxpayers get to fund the weapons being used against our own troops? More recent news story says that it is suspected that Blackwater, a private security firm out of North Carolina, may have been involved in the smuggling of weapons to insurgent groups.

By the way, Blackwater sent armed men into New Orleans after Katrina, while the real authorities down there stripped the locals of their legally owned guns. This does not sound like a good idea to me, but hey, what do I know? I never liked guns anyway.

Anyway - we are paying to arm the US troops, the Iraqi army, and the Iraqi insurgents, and we are paying a lot of money for Blackwater to get the arms to the insurgents. (Hey, we are also sending plane loads of weapons to Lebanon, and just last summer we sent plane loads of weapons to Israel. I think I see a pattern here!) And, back in Iraq, some of the Iraqi people are grateful that we are “protecting” them from our weapons on the other side. Although it is not clear if the Iraqi army is the same thing as the Iraqi insurgents, or if just some of them are – or maybe they work part time in both camps. I know I am going to follow Barbara Bush’s example and not going to waste my beautiful mind trying to figure that one out.

Well, folks, WHATEVER you do, don’t listen to those unserious (and likely unbathed) anti-war protesters. They just want our troops all back in the USA in order to sit around a campfire singing “kumbiya” or something. They think (unserious people that they are) that we should spend our money on infrastructure or health care or education or something. Where’s the fun in that? Life is much more exciting when you don’t know if a bridge is going to fall down or a levee give way.

You all should only pay attention to those Very Serious People who are in our Congress or White House or part of the corporate media. They are the ones who want to continue this occupation in Iraq and bring the Iraqi people Freedom and Democracy – well, if any of the Iraqi people are left, that is. A lot of the Iraqis seem to be dying or running away with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I guess they just don’t like democracy much, since they keep going to countries that don’t really have that.

And PLEASE, don’t remember that just five years ago the Very Serious People had hallucinations about WMDs! Why, anyone could make a mistake like that. I, myself, had to spend five or six hours researching on the computer before I figured out that no WMDs were going to be found in Iraq. I am sure the Very Serious People are also Very Busy People, and just did not have five or six hours to surf the innertubes. And, while the unserious anti-war protesters were saying “no blood for oil” years ago, just recently the former chair of the Federal Reserve said that the invasion of Iraq was largely about oil. Does that mean he is joining the ranks of the unserious and probably unbathed? I just don’t know.

In September, our politicians in the US Senate and US House of Representatives voted to condemn an ad on TV. Now, when they are doing important work like that, how can we expect them to keep track of all the weapons the US ships around the world, much less who might be using them? After all, it does make it more sporting to have everyone armed in an occupation.

I just wonder why they don’t give the Iraqi insurgents, I mean, the Iraqi army, some airplanes and helicopters? Wouldn’t that make it even more sporting? I mean, gee, Reagan armed and funded bin Laden’s group, but forgot the airplanes, so they had to go out and steal some! I don’t think that was very sportsmanlike to put them in that position!

Of course, all of the above would be quite funny if there weren’t a million dead people now. And while some may argue that having the US Senate and US House vote to condemn a TV ad might actually suppress free speech here in the USA, I rather suspect it will not. After all, a lot of us recognize that those Very Serious Senators and Representatives are really a bunch of clowns.

Maybe we could make up a massive virtual reality game for our Congress and White House, where they can arm everyone to the teeth, and then make war again and again and again….. only, since it would only be a game, they would not actually mutilate, maim and kill real people. And, we might save money doing that. Maybe Blackwater could run it.

The occupation goes on forever and the horror never ends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Letter to Rep Shuler today

Today, due to the fact that I have LOADS of free time on my hands, ha ha, I wrote a letter to Rep. Shuler, who happens to be my representative. I included the picture on this blog post in the letter:

This picture was taken recently in Baghdad. The walls (that were put up by the US troops) are very unpopular there – they wrote NO NO AMERICA and NO NO OCCUPATION to show their displeasure with these walls and the presence of US troops in their country.

The Iraqi people have been holding peaceful demonstrations for years now, and they are always saying that the US troops should leave. Last spring, they had two million people at a demonstration. On April 9, 2004 – the one year anniversary of the pulling down of Saddam’s statue – there were 5 or 6 million people at a mass demonstration. They burned Saddam, Bush and Blair in effigy that day. There was a driving ban that day, so the Iraqis had to walk for miles to get to that mass demonstration. Since the population of Iraq is about one tenth or less than the USA, it would be like 50 or 60 million people showing up in DC to protest.

While there are protests every week in Iraq, there has not been that large of a demonstration since the one in April 2004 in Baghdad. They are much smaller now, with only hundreds or thousands of Iraqis showing up. I guess they feel that peaceful demonstrations won’t get them what they want, so they moved on to other things. I imagine you can figure out what those “other things” actually are.

Now, there are 3,800 US military killed in this illegal war and occupation of Iraq. But that is nothing compared to the suffering that the Iraqi people have faced. There is likely at least a million dead and four to six million refugees. The International Red Cross/Crescent has said that Iraq is in a crisis that is unprecedented in it’s history.

Just last week, the WNC Peace Coalition and First Congressional Church had an Iraq war victim come to Asheville. I invited the staff of your office, Representative Shuler, but none came. It was a little girl named Salee who came. She lost her brother, her best friend, and the bottom of both her legs to a US missile strike. When I say “lost” I mean that they were blown to bits – right in front of her eyes. Her little sister was hurt also. Salee is in the US getting medical treatment and prosthetics for her legs. At this event, a local man named Jason stood up to speak. He was formerly in the US Army and he served in Iraq. He apologized for what our country has done to the country of Iraq.

It is my opinion that the people who fund this war and who profit from it are the ones who should be apologizing, not our soldiers.

I am including a paper that has information on bills in the US House of Representatives that deal with Iran and Iraq. I would like to urge Rep Shuler to co-sponsor these bills. One bill is to ONLY fund re-deployment from Iraq, and to stop funding the ongoing illegal occupation. Some other bills are to prevent another war with Iran. There is lots of war-mongering talk about Iran, and I like to think that the US government is really not stupid enough to actually go and bomb Iran. That would result in the deaths of tens of millions of people in Iran, and in the deaths of tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq. But if they are that stupid and that evil, then the US government in power in 2007/2008 will go down in history as being equivalent to Hitler and his government.

I am sickened by what my country is doing. I want it to STOP NOW. I want the illegal occupation of Iraq to STOP NOW. I want the mass murders to STOP NOW. I want the torture and kidnapping to STOP NOW. I want the illegal imprisonments without the rights of habeas corpus to STOP NOW. I want the war-mongering towards Iran, and the lies about that country to STOP NOW.

I want a country that actually believes and acts upon the saying “and liberty and justice for all” both in the USA and in the world. I want to stop being ashamed of this country of my birth.

Well, I also called Rep. Shuler's office - once in DC, and twice in Asheville. The first call was pretty routine - I loaned a copy of the movie 'THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO' to Randy Flack, who works at Shuler's office here in Asheville. I loaned it to him last July or so, when he told me that he would watch it if I dropped it off for him. So, I did. Now, the students at Warren Wilson would like to watch it, so I called to ask for it back. Bet you a donut that Randy Flack never found time to watch it. And, since he has not watched it, I guess he can remain ignorant of what the US government is doing. Or make that claim, anyway.

I found out today that Rep. Shuler decided to vote to condemn the Move On ad, and that it passed the house, just like it passed the senate. Well, I called up in DC and told them that condemning free speech in a newspaper ad by US congress people might have some impact on free speech, but we can always hope for the best. The "best" in this case would be the that the majority of Americans realize that those congress people are just clowns, and should be ignored.

I then called the Asheville office to talk with Suzanna, who I used to respect. Well, she told me that while free speech issues is important, there are other more important things going on, and besides, Shuler cannot afford to upset the conservatives in our district. (I totally fail to see why upsetting some wingnuts is of any importance in the face of losing our Constitution. But then, I fail to see why anyone would want to be elected to office if they are totally ineffective, either). Suzanna is handing a bunch of cases of people who are facing a bunch of problems. Well, she did not break the confidentially that she is required to keep. But, I would suspect that these people who are suffering, are mainly suffering because of their own choices in life, or because of their government's policies, or a combination of both those things.

For example, if a person is having difficultly getting adequate health care, that is because the US spends 50% of EVERY tax dollar they collect on military stuff instead of providing health care for it's citizens. Furthermore, they keep electing people to office who will not stop the for-profit health insurance industry, and therefore nothing changes. And whatever pain comes to an American from this policy, is pain they worked hard to achieve. And maybe someday they will learn. Or maybe not.

Anyway, after talking with her, I ran some errands and she called me this time. She said she had left a message saying that Shuler had not voted against the Move On ad and that I didn't know what I was talking about. She apologized for that. She had just gotten word that Shuler had voted on this bill, or whatever it was. I mentioned to her how I had left invitations to the event with Salee, the Iraqi girl who was visiting Asheville. No one from their office came, and no one who is part of the local Democratic party came either. Suzanna had some excuse about being totally drained from work, etc, etc.

It was after I hung up that I listened to the message she had left, where she told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, it was the senate that voted, not the house and I should get my facts straight before calling with an opinion.

Well, I do know what I am talking about. I do have my facts straight, although I do make mistakes sometimes (I made two mistakes in the email to the Peace Coalition - two times I listed the WRONG month of some event. That's kinda unusual for me.)

Anyway, I do know that while our government is going around committing genocide, kidnapping, torture, and god-knows-what-else around the planet, they are tearing apart our US Constitution. I do know that whatever Americans are suffering, it is nothing compared the suffering visited on the Iraqi people (hint: go read my blog post for Iraq Today right now!). I do know that getting the democrats in the majority of the house and senate has not made a bit of difference in acknowledging or stopping the suffering visited on the Iraqi people. (hint: go watch the You Tube video on Iraq Today right now! It goes after the "innocent bystander" myth that the democrats just seem to love.) I do know that the Iraqi people did not make decisions to have this hell on earth visited on them, which is quite unlike what most Americans have done. They have made the decisions that have lead to most of the problems they are facing.

And another thing I know - none of the local democrats or people in Shuler's office called me up and said "I cannot come to the event with Salee, but I would like to help and make a donation."

Nope, that did not happen.

Those local democrats think they are improving things just by registering voters and getting a democrat in office - who does nothing to stop this illegal and immoral genocide and occupation, and helps the bushies destroy our constitution. Yeah, real progress there.

Of course, on top of this - the US senate today voted to pass an amendment threatening Iran. I cannot pollute my blog by even typing the names of the evil ones behind this amendment. Now, I personally don't think that the US will bomb Iran in the next few years - they are just working on making them weaker, reducing their power, making them outcasts of the Middle East. They may have the long term goal of attacking them, but like with Iraq, they will work hard on making them much weaker first. And that will likely happen under a democratic president starting in 2009.

What I do know is that I am sick to death of hearing these people in DC with their disgusting war-mongering ways and their disgusting war-mongering talk.

I am sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, of this evil insane pattern of behavior. I am sick of my country killing other people who did nothing to them, sick of the torture, sick of the hypocrisy.

Well, time for me to go and update my "Faces of Grief" blog. Where I will look at the pictures of the suffering of the Iraqi people and put it on that blog. I wonder how many pictures I will make it through before I start crying.

I am so ashamed of my country of birth, so very ashamed.

I am saddened that I can no longer respect Americans who I used to have respect for.

Please note this message from local activists:

The drumbeat to war with Iran is getting louder and louder. There is a call from the First Strike Emergency Response Group to meet at 5pm at Vance Monument in the event we strike Iran and at 5pm the day after. Please spread the word.

I sure hope this is one time I am right and that there will not be a bombing run by the US or Israel on the country of Iran. But if there is, it may end by bringing war directly to the front porches of all Americans, instead of a sanitized version they see on their TVs.

And I do know what I am talking about, even if I make a mistake or two.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A short film - The Shock Doctrine

I strongly recommend watching this short film from Naomi Klein. It is about six minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Salee comes to Asheville

Iraq war victim comes to Asheville

Salee Allawe, the little girl in yellow in the photo, was injured in a US bombing in November 2006. She has been brought to Greenville, South Carolina for medical treatment. Salee lost her brother, her best friend, and the bottom part of both of her legs in this bombing. She was playing hopscotch when it happened. Only children were killed or injured.

It is always the children who suffer the most from war.

This post is to let people know the events that the WNC Peace Coalition and First Congregational Church have planned for September 19, 2007. Salee will be joining us that day, and it also happens to be the day that the US will have been in Iraq for four and a half years. And there is no sign that the US forces will be leaving Iraq, or that the bombing (which happens daily in Iraq) will stop anytime in the next few years.

On Wednesday, September 19, 2007, Asheville will host Salee (an Iraqi girl) and her father for a potluck, presentation and vigil. Salee was hit by a US bomb in November, and she lost her brother, her best friend, and the lower parts of both her legs. She is currently in Greenville, SC for treatment and prosthetics. She was brought to Greenville via the organization NO MORE VICTIMS and the Upstate Coalition of Compassion. These events will happen on the day that marks 4 ½ years of US occupation of Iraq. Salee and her father have seen the worst that America has to offer, I hope that Asheville will show them our better side and let them know that many Americans do not support their government’s decisions. There is no charge for these events, but we will do fundraising during the events for No More Victims. Please join us in making them welcome in Asheville.

Potluck - 5:30 PM at First Congregational Church on Oak Street in downtown Asheville. Please bring utensils and plates and a vegetarian dish to share.

Presentation – 6:30 PM at First Congregational Church on Oak Street in downtown Asheville. Cole Miller, director of No More Victims will speak and hold a short program.

Vigil – 8 PM at Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville

For questions or for more information, please call the Peace Line at 828-271-0022. These events are sponsored by the WNC Peace Coalition and First Congregational Church of Asheville.

The photo above was taken by Ann of Upstate Coalition of Compassion. Thanks, Ann!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wes Clark comes out as pro-war again

Today’s article in the WaPo (written by wes clark) shows his true colors once again. First, he praises petraeus and the US military. Then he goes on to frighten the people who think this man has something worthwhile to say:

For the next war is always looming, and so is the urgent question of whether the U.S. military can adapt in time to win it.

And then he goes on to say the next conflict with be with Iran. He repeats all the known talking points about how Iran is doing this and that – none of which are proven true, and most of which are clearly false. Even a basic knowledge of current events and past history for the last twenty years shows that Iran:


Has not violated the NPT


Has not invaded another country


Has not air bombed another country


Has not sent troops to occupy another country


In short, they have acted like the next Nobel Peace Prize recipient compared the USA. Yet, clark goes on and on, just like the corporate democrats do, about how Iran is such a threat and how they are destabilizing the entire Middle East. It is clear to me that the main destabilizes in the Middle East are the countries dropping bombs from airplanes. That would mainly be the USA, with Israel kicking in now and then.

Clark makes the accusation that Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons. Just like the WMDs claim in Iraq, there is nothing to substantiate this claim, not that that ever stopped any politicians in power (or close to power) from making these insane war-mongering claims.

Clark goes on to say:

Think another war can't happen? Think again. Unchastened by the Iraq fiasco, hawks in Vice President Cheney's office have been pushing the use of force. It isn't hard to foresee the range of military options that policymakers face. The next war would begin with an intense air and naval campaign.

He then goes into detail about how he would run this air and naval campaign, and lists how he would basically destroy the society and the fabric of life of a country that has not invaded or bombed another country (except in self-defense) in hundreds of years.

Let’s play a game and change the nouns in clark’s piece to the United States instead of Iran. And instead of “getting” a bomb, lets accuse them of using it – since we all know the USA has a load of nuclear bombs.

Let's say you're planning the conflict as part of the staff of the German Joint Chiefs. Your list of targets isn't that long -- only a few dozen nuclear sites -- but you can't risk retaliation from Washington, DC. So you allow 21 days for the bombardment, to be safe; you'd aim to strike every command-and-control facility, radar site, missile site, storage site, airfield, ship and base in the United States. To prevent world oil prices from soaring, you'd have to try to protect every oil and gas rig, and the big ports and load points. You'd need to use B-2s and lots of missiles up front, plus many small amphibious task forces to take out particularly tough targets along the coast, with manned and unmanned air reconnaissance. And don't forget the Special Forces, to penetrate deep inside the United States, call in airstrikes and drag the evidence of Washington's nuclear ambitions out into the open for a world that's understandably skeptical of Germany assertions that yet another world rogue is on the brink of using the bomb.

Now, doesn’t that sound lovely? Would you want this man to write op-eds in Germany’s leading paper like this? Would you want this man promoting the candidacy of a leading politician to the highest office in the land?

No, of course not.

He goes on with some criticism of how such a war might go (again, I changed the noun to the USA):

We certainly could not occupy the nation with the limited ground forces we have left. So what would it be: United States as a chastened, more tractable government? As a chaotic failed state? Or as a hardened and embittered foe?

Clark goes on with his scary war-mongering, and he even indicates that war could be more wide spread and could be against countries like China. He points out that who could have imagined that the US would invade and bomb the snot out of Afghanistan in a couple of months, back in August 2001? No indication that this might not have been our ONLY CHOICE OF ACTION after 9/11. No, it’s war, war, and more war, with this guy.

But he is where he does offer up his “words of wisdom”:

Here, the lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan couldn't be more clear: Don't ever, ever go to war unless you can describe and create a more desirable end state. And doing so takes a whole lot more than just the use of force.

Of course, FORCE has to be part of the equation, per clark, just have to do it right. This was pretty much his criticism of the Iraq war and occupation also….. just do it right, or don’t do it. He does acknowledge we need “more than just the use of force” without noting that a lot of political outcomes would be a hell of a lot easier if we weren’t seen at the United States of Monsters by a large part of the world.

Here’s another clip of his “words of wisdom”

Now, in an age when losing hearts and minds can mean losing a war, we find ourselves struggling in Iraq and Afghanistan to impart the sort of cultural sensitivities that were second nature to an earlier generation of troops trained to eat nuoc m?m with everything and sit on the floor during their tours in Vietnam.

Yeah, those troops in Vietnam really had that “hearts and minds” thing down. That’s why we killed two or three million of them – we knew some of them (about 10% of the population?) did not deserve having our troops over for dinner. And then we sprayed them with Agent Orange so they could remember the US forces forever by looking at the deformed bodies of their children. A lovely souvenir, to be sure.

Of course, Vietnam never attacked us or was a threat to our country, but why let those silly little facts stand in the way when you want to get a war on?

Another example of clark’s “wisdom”:

One of the most important lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and Vietnam, for that matter -- is that we need to safeguard our troops.

Yeah, right. We need to go into other countries and bomb the hell out of them, then occupy them and do that “hearts and minds” thing --- ALL, SUPPOSEDLY FOR THE GOOD OF THE OCCUPIED COUNTRY ---- and the most important lesson is that we protect our troops. You know, protect them from those ingrates who don’t appreciate having dinner with US troops.

Of course, our troops would be vastly safer STAYING IN OUR OWN COUNTRY and that would likely also be vastly safer for the rest of us also. But where would be the fun and profits in that? Clark goes on to complain that the Pentagon did not have their priorities right – they didn’t save the lives of US troops well enough.

He does not mention, and I am certain it never occurred to him, that saving the lives of innocent civilians are of any importance. With all this talk of better body armor for the troops, what about better body armor for the children of Iraq? Why not make about 12 million child sized body armor suits and sent that over there, so maybe the children of Iraq will have a chance to survive?

So, clark’s position is not anti-war or even anti-unneeded war. His position is WE GOT ENOUGH TESTOSTERONE TO DO THE JOB RIGHT, SO LET’S DO WAR RIGHT!

He is anti-losing wars. And that was his position on the invasion of Iraq. In the movie, WAR MADE EASY, you can see clark on CNN promoting the vast splendor of our military and how proud he is of them. He carries the Pentagon and the bush administration’s water for them consistently during the early stages of the war.

He warned the US Senate about pitfalls ahead of time – because he did not want to see the US military to lose. He was not really trying to stop the war, in my opinion. If he really felt that way, he would support candidates like Kucinich instead of hillary clinton. And he is raising the same concerns now about Iran – not that war is unneeded and immoral and illegal – but that we need to do the war right.

He goes on to criticize the leaders of our current military, and then goes on to praise the troops. He even presents them as “stands head and shoulders above any other military in skill, equipment and compassion”. Now, I think it is great that we are ahead in skills and equipment in our military – but COMPASSION? What the hell does COMPASSION have to do with defending our country? Do we want troops who are compassionate towards enemies who want to kill us? Well, of course not! This is part of the unending bullshit put forth by leaders (military and political) when they want to invade and bomb a country that did not hurt us. They want the US public to think that we drop bombs on other countries out of the kindness of our hearts, to actually help other people. Now, there may have been times in our history when the end result was helpful to other people, but those times were very, very few and very, very far apart. When we drop bombs, WE KILL INNOCENTS. And there is nothing moral or compassionate or even intelligent about that.

Iraqi people do not see the bombs we dropped on them (and are now dropping in 2007 at a higher rate than ever) as compassionate or kind or helpful. They hate us for it. They grieve the losses from our unending violence. The majority of the US ignores this reality.

Iran will feel exactly the same way.

Clark goes on for the rest of his piece claiming how we didn’t do war right in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sure brings back memories of Kerry claiming, in 2004, he would do war right in Iraq, which is why we should vote for him. Kerry started right off with glorifying his military career and totally ignoring how he felt about his Vietnam service in the early 1970’s.

Clark finishes up his piece with this disclaimer:

But the big lesson is simply this: War is the last, last, last resort. It always brings tragedy and rarely brings glory.

He waits to the end to bring this up, as a minor last point, instead of making it the theme of his entire piece. He then goes on to claim that he was a ‘general that won’ which I think many victims of his bombing runs would totally disagree with, except the dead ones of course. They have nothing to say, and no life left to live.

I am so sick of all this war-mongering and militarism here in this country.

As one commenter pointed out – even talking like this about bombing Iran is total nonsense, unless your goal is endless war and violence. Yet many of the Democrats feed and fuel this endless American myth – that we do violence out of loving kindness and the basic goodness of our nature. The rest of the world does not agree with this stupid mythology. I suppose it is the last comment that makes people think clark is anti-war. He is not - he is anti-losing. Don't get fooled again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Comments on Juan Cole

Yet again today, someone tried to tell me that Juan Cole was opposed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq back in 2002 and early 2003. That simply is not true. Someone once made that claim on my blog Iraq Today and later came back and commented that I was right all along. That commenter figured it out by reading the earlier blog posts by Dr. Cole.

Juan Cole knows a great deal about the Middle East, and has a knowledge base that I do not have, he also has some serious blind spots, in my opinion. He runs a blog called “Informed Comment” and it is worthwhile reading (and I have read it since 2002), but he does, on occasion, change things in his blog without marking them. He also has been known to delete things. I guess he looks on the writings on the blog as a work in progress, and subject to corrections. I have often cited his writing in the Iraq Today blog, and like I said, he does know a great deal about the Middle East.

Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Juan Cole was in favor of it – but he had reservations. He seemed to have more reservations about it as the time approached, and that was because he was seeing more and more evidence of the bush/cheney/wolfowitz/rumsfeld incompetence, hubris and stupidity. Cole pretty much believed that there were WMDs in Iraq, and the brutal history of rule by Saddam Hussein justified a war anyway. After the war started, he was thinking that things would go pretty well, overall, and that this was an overall benefit to the Iraqi people, particularly the Shi’ites in Iraq. It was when things started going really sour that he turned to be opposed to this war.

I have clipped a few things from Juan’s prior blog posts (which may or may not be the exact same thing he posted back in 2002 and 2003 – he has been know to change his posts without marking that). I have also made a few comments and those are in brackets. I would also like to warn anyone who reads Juan Cole (which I recommend that you do) – to keep in mind that he has his blind spots. He will often claim that Sunni extremists did some violent act, but when I read the source he quotes, it does not provide evidence for that claim. I have often asked him “how do you know that?” and have not received an adequate answer. Others have raised that concern also. With a lot of the violence in Iraq, we often don’t know who did it.

Also, there is another blogger who reads and interprets Arabic press. He is often contradicting to Juan Cole’s conclusions, and I often find his analysis to be more complex and detailed. His blog is Missing Links. He has not been around as long as Juan Cole has been, but I think he has a better handle of what is going on in the Arab press overall. One good post was about the basic assumptions behind the bush surge. He ends with “Ask your self which set of assumptions better reflects what is going on.”

Here is one blog post that Missing Links blogger wrote about Juan Cole. Be sure to read the comments. And another one here. And a blog on how a bombing is covered in the Arabic press vs. Juan Cole’s interpretation. (I clicked back to Cole’s post, and then to his link to the original press story – but that last link did not go to the right place. Cole will often say that an attack was done by Sunni extremists, and the fact is – we just do not know who did the attack.) There are many more blog posts where this blogger challenges Juan Cole’s interpretation of the Arabic press or of events on the ground. Below are some quotes from Juan Cole’s blog in 2002 and 2003, prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Juan Cole, September 23, 2002:

Internationally, I think one key to his success was to go to the United Nations, thus invoking international law. There is a difference between going to war with Iraq because Donald Rumsfeld doesn't like the looks of Saddam Hussein, and going to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein has thumbed his nose at Security Council resolutions. Bush's earlier skittishness about approaching the U.N. (as late as August the LA Times was reporting that Bush would not go to the Security Council for a resolution) was hurting him internationally. [Bush did go to the UN, they sent in UN weapons inspectors, and would not rubber stamp bush’s invasion. Bush ignored them. – dancewater]

I agree with the point made earlier that it is impossible to distinguish between an idealist multilateralism and a cynical one. The normative force of the UN is significant, and Bush spent half an hour Friday trying to get Putin on board. This is what he should have been doing last spring. Asharq al-Awsat had a piece again today in which Saudia emphasized that it would abide by Security Council resolutions. Its earlier opposition to the war was an opposition to having no fig leaf of international legitimacy, and opposition to being seen as a mere isolated lackey of American cowboys. [uh, no.]

The other international factor that made it easy for Bush to go forward is that Saddam Hussein has no regional friends or allies. His 1980 invasion of Iran was extremely costly geopolitically. Despite the Iranians' noises about not liking an American invasion of Iraq, I can't imagine they won't be delighted to see Saddam removed. [Again, he is wrong. The majority in the whole world opposed this invasion and occupation.]

If an Iraq emerges with a Shiite majority, this has to be a positive for them. If it is a real democracy, it could even strengthen the Iranian reformers. Most Iraqi Shi`ites are less oriented to clericalism than their Iranian counterparts, and they might create a new model. [Sure does not look that way in 2007.] The conservative ayatollahs may be nervous about this, but that SCIRI and the Hakims are on board with the Americans would mute their criticism in private.

Saddam's invasion of Kuwait set the whole of the Gulf against him. The little Gulf states may be nervous about a war, but Qatar and Kuwait are clearly on board. [Qatar was not. Kuwait was.] Without Kuwait, the US would have had no plausible staging ground against Saddam. Although the Arab League is against the invasion of an Arab country by a Western one in principle, the likelihood that any of the Arab states would give Saddam any practical support is very, very low. [And the likelihood they would support the US was non-existent.]

Saddam's long feud with the Syrian Baath party likewise hurts him. The Syrians are among the non-permanent members on the Security Council. Again, despite Bashar's statements to the contrary, it is clear that Syria could live with Saddam being gotten rid of. [Syria was opposed from 2002 onwards.]

Saddam's mass murder of Kurds and virtual genocide against Shi`ites (why does no one ever talk about the latter?) make him impossible to defend for liberals. [Note – no mention of the US government’s role in any of this.] The most anyone can say is that perhaps Baathist Iraq can be contained militarily, and that the abuse of the population by this bloodthirsty regime has to be allowed to continue because . . . well, no one can think of a good ending to the sentence. [I could, and did, and shared it with him. Saddam had to be allowed to continue because a war of aggression against Iraq was illegal, immoral and very, very stupid. I said this in 2002.]

A world in which Saddam had kept at least correct relations with Iran, Syria and the Gulf, and in which he could be depicted as at least a progressive tyrant, would have been a far more difficult environment for Bush to operate in with regard to an Iraq campaign. As it is, Saddam dug his own grave. [And the US proceeded to dig the grave for the country known as “Iraq”.]

I continue to have grave worries about the possible instability that could ensue from such a campaign. [POSSIBLE???? What fantasy world is this???] But these are worries about the aftermath of the war, not its plausibility per se. [RIGHT!] If Bush can get a Security Council resolution authorizing the war, I think he can get the world to support it. [Wrong again on both counts.] China often abstains about these things, and wants a free hand in
Xinjiang, which the U.S. has given it. Russia probably can be gotten on board if it is guaranteed to get back the $7 bn. Iraq owes it and to be able to compete for oil deals. France increasingly sounds as though it can be recruited. [Sure.] Tony Blair seems to have his back benchers in hand, though this was not always a sure thing. With the UK and France on board, Germany becomes a little irrelevant (it didn't send troops for the Gulf War, either, anyway).

I believe that this is actually the greatest test of his leadership Bush has faced. Can he put together a consensus on the Security Council? If so, his path will be far smoother. If success at the UN SC in turn allows Saudia to lend air space and other support to the war, that will be very important to the ease of its prosecution. No doubt the war can be prosecuted even if Bush fails in this, but it would be a different sort of war and risk isolating the US. Military power is not the only kind, after all, and even though the rest of the world cannot stand up to US might, it can stop cooperating in key ways that would cost us. [Note: no concerns from Juan Cole about the effects of all this on the Iraqi people….. at this point in time, he felt if the war “could be done right” then all would be okay, AND a net benefit for the Iraqi, particular, Shi’a, people.]

This is what I wrote to G2K in late April, 2002:

"The first Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan were done right. International consensus was built, and collective security was invoked. The planned war against Iraq is not being done right so far. If the Security Council and the European Union get aboard with it, then I will be all for it." [Well, I don’t know where he got the fantasy that the first Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan were done “right”. I think the word for the first Gulf War was “turkey shoot” and having talked with a former US military guy who claimed that the US troops buried massive numbers of Iraqi soldiers alive, I have no doubts that that war was evil and useless. And in 2002, Afghanistan was looking “successful” – if you don’t notice the dead people and the problems that came from the violence. Today, in 2007, it is looking a hell of lot less “successful”. It looks like the Taliban are winning, and over a third of the country is in turmoil. Go see my blog News about Afghanistan and click to the interactive map in one of the recent posts. It shows the progression of the violence in Afghanistan.]

As for the possible impact on the Palestine issue, the neocons may get a surprise. The US is beginning to have fair numbers of close Muslim allies--Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudia, and now possibly a post-Saddam Iraq. At some point their diplomatic weight and credibility, combined with the increasing voting
strength of US Muslims (which will not stop growing as long as the 1965 immigration act is in place), may induce the US to be more even-handed and to try actually to resolve the problem.[OH, what a fantasy piece that is!!! The world hates us for what we have done to Iraq, and the immigration of Muslims to this country is down significantly. And BUSH BEING EVEN-HANDED AND TRYING TO RESOLVE THE ISREAL-PALESTINE ISSUES? That is one big HA! Bush wants the entire Middle East to go up in flames, and he is more than ecstatic to sell them the weapons to do that! His goal is get the Muslims to kill other Muslims, not to “resolve” any problems.]

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Saudis Refuse Participation in an Iraq War

The Saudis are again saying as loudly as they can that Saudi Arabia will not take part in any attack on Iraq. Prince Sultan, the minister of defense, said that Saudi Arabia would not "provide any assistance in any strikes against Iraq." His reasoning appeared to be that because the kingdom is host to the two holiest sites in the Muslim world--Mecca and Medina--it would be wrong for it to ally with foreigners in a war of aggression against another Muslim state. [I guess with this post, Juan “got it” that Saudi Arabia would not go along with an invasion of Iraq.]

October 5, 2002

“The Real Reasons for War”

I believe that the civilian leadership of the Defense Department wants major US land bases in the Gulf, so as not to be dependent entirely on carriers. Iraq would be perfect for this purpose, and indeed is the only really viable site for a large concentrations of US soldiers aside from Iran and Oman. That is, if the US is to be the major Power in the Gulf, it needs bases commensurate with that role, and Iraq is among the few countries that can supply them.

I do not believe this endeavor is exactly imperium. Rather, it is simply old-style Sphere of Power diplomacy. No colonies are being established in the classic European sense (and nor are Germany and Japan such colonies). [Germany and Japan benefited from a sincere effort at reconstruction – Iraq would be subjected to “disaster capitalism” and “shock economic” reform. And that was the way it was planned all along. Cole does go on to warn of the dangers presented by people like Wolfowitz, who wanted to break up states and make them weaker, thinking this would make things safer for America – and likely, Israel.]

October 31, 2002 – [Talking about Iran and their vocal opposition to the upcoming war on Iraq: ] “So, I think they are of two minds about it.” [Nope, Iran was always opposed to the US going into Iraq. ALWAYS.]

[On several posts in January 2003, Cole warned about a US invasion without proper UN Security Council approval. He also warned about Rumsfeld’s ideas concerning “democracy” in Iraq.]

January 30, 2003

*The question was raised on a list of what would happen if the US invaded Iraq and found there were not weapons of mass destruction there. I fear I replied somewhat cynically, but also called it as I see it. If Iraq turns out not to have much WMD, the administration will fall back on its other main argument, that Saddam is a monster who has killed and brutalized his own people and repeatedly invaded his neighbors. We already have had Halabja survivors among the Kurds protest the doubts some Westerners have expressed about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and willingness to use them. They say, basically, *we* know all about WMD. And, given the thousands of Shi`ites the Baath killed in the south, there are almost certainly mass graves that will provide a macabre justification ex post facto for the removal of that regime. Footage of the Iranian vets injured by mustard gas could also be put on television. How wars are justified before they are launched and how they are justified afterwards is frequently different. If there is a relatively quick victory, no one will inquire into the justifications too closely. If it becomes a quagmire, it won't matter what the justification was: the public will turn against the war anyway if it goes badly. [And today in 2007, we have a situation where the US government intends to stay in Iraq permanently – probably for those military bases Cole mentioned in last years post – and the US occupation has resulted in far more deaths of Iraqis than Saddam had ever murdered. And no end in sight.]

January31, 2003

My reading is that Saddam's combination of overweening pride and ambition, and profound fear of everyone around him drives the obsession with WMD. Without the latter, he would just be a tinpot dictator of a small 3rd world country. It doesn't suit his self-image. [Saddam did not have WMDs, and Saddam said so publicly. Furthermore, the UN weapons inspectors had been in Iraq for a couple of months by this time, and they found NOTHING.]

February 11, 2003:

“I am an Arabist and happen to know something serious about Baathist Iraq, which paralyzes me from opposing a war for regime change in that country (Milosevic did not kill nearly as many people).”

February 27, 2003 “I will be ecstatic to see Saddam go. But I have a bad feeling about this, as Han Solo once said prophetically.”

NOTE: As I stated at the beginning, my comments are in brackets, the rest was from Juan Cole’s blog itself, under the dates listed. It is my feeling, which I cannot prove, that some of the more pro-war comments are now gone from his blog. It is my recollection that he did support the war and invasion, but had some cold feet as it drew closer. Cole went on thinking it would all work out grand for 2003 and a part of 2004, if my memory serves me right. He expressed pride in what the US military had “achieved” back then. He has since turned decidedly against the war. I recommend reading Missing Links blog….. he often has some information that contradicts what Cole is saying. And I recommend taking Cole with a grain of salt. He is a valuable source of information, but his information has real, and serious, limitations.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An evening at the FAIR

In response to an email reminding me of my agreement to work for the local Democratic party at the Mountain State Fair, I sent this email:

I remember that I agreed to be at the Fair on Monday from 7 to 10. It is just that I am not seeing any reason to support the Democratic party anymore. They are helping bush destroy our constitution and bill of rights, and helping to continue the wars. They have excuses, excuses, excuses, as they continue to be the opposite side of the same corporate coin as the repubs. We have a government by the corporation, of the corporations, and for the corporations..... and they have both parties covered. Hillary will be our next president. It is already decided - of course, she would normally lose, but the elites realize the public won't vote for another repub right now. And while hillary will certainly be more competent to run the country than bush, she will likely keep the slaughter going..... just like her husband did.

I was especially distressed by all the pictures this morning on Yahoo News of the recently dead Iraqis, thanks to US bombings. It is the pictures of the babies that get to me the most. They were killed while they were sleeping, in their own beds, in their own homes, in Baghdad. Did anyone in the US notice? Can't see that they did.

Meanwhile, the democratic party has their canvassing events for local politicians, gets presents together for the US troops who doing this slaughter, makes no efforts to impeach these criminals in power, does nothing to stop the war, keeps paying to continue it, and worries about the silliest of things.

The national democratic party, on the other hand, if far, far worse. They are not just blocking the reality of cold blooded murder by the US government (via our military) out of their minds - they are actually helping to keep it going!!!

They seem to be in full agreement with the war, actually, no matter what they say.

Here's a story on the national democratic party and their efforts to suppress the voice of the "little" people:

Democratic House Officials Recruited Wealthy Conservatives
Matt Renner, Truthout, Thursday 06 September 2007

It was the day after Christmas 2005 and Christine Cegelis sat alone at her dining room table, trying to figure out how to tell her campaign volunteers that she was going to drop out of the 2006 Democratic primary.

The next evening she was to meet with friends and colleagues who had organized around her candidacy for the House of Representatives in the 6th District of Illinois. Her volunteers had walked block after block of the suburban district and spent hours making phone calls to solicit donations and promote the campaign. Many of these people had been at Cegelis's side during her 2004 campaign and witnessed the fruits of their labor when long-time Republican Representative Henry Hyde decided to retire instead of facing Cegelis again in 2006. This was their shot to have a national impact.

But pressure coming from the national Democratic Party was too great. The Democrats had found a challenger for Cegelis, an Iraq veteran named Tammy Duckworth. Contributions were pouring into the opposing campaign and Duckworth was shuttled into the national media spotlight. Cegelis began receiving calls from Democratic members of Congress informing her that they were planning to support Duckworth.


We are losing, no make that --WE HAVE LOST,-- our country. WE HAVE LOST OUR WAY. And we are busy slaughtering people who never, ever hurt us in any way shape or form, and most Americans go right on paying for it without a serious moral qualm to be had.... without any moral qualm at all, actually. They are only opposed to this war because we are LOSING THIS UGLY EVIL war, not because they are killing innocent people.....and they don't like losing.

So, on September 19th, the Peace Coalition is bringing an Iraqi girl to Asheville for a pot luck and vigil. Her name is Salee. In November 2006, she lost her brother, her best friend, and the bottom half of both her legs to a US bombing in Fallujah. She was playing hopscotch when the bombing hit. Only children were hurt by this bombing. Salee was brought to the US for medical treatment by NO MORE VICTIMS organization.

At 8 PM we will hold a vigil in Pritchard Park. I guess I will see, yet again, who in this city will stand up to show some degree of protest against this government, and show Salee and her father that we do not agree with our government.

And, I will be there on the 10th, but there is a fair chance I will not be a happy camper in the face of this ongoing slaughter. And I certainly will not be able to tell anyone what the democrats are doing to stop it.

UPDATE: The lady from the local Democratic party who I was responding to said that she understands my frustration that things are not changing fast enough. She just does not get it at ALL. And while talking to her in person, it seems she is determined to continue to remain clueless. Boy, will she be surprised when things do start changing very, very fast..... because it won't be in the direction she is expecting at all.

2005 Discussions on a listserve

Email from May 2005 – from a listserve about audiology:

Judy wrote:

I have a student right now who has tri-care insurance from the military. The family does not have the money for hearing aids, and supposedly tri-care won’t pay for the hearing aids. Even if they did, to find a dispenser in the area that takes this insurance is impossible. This little girl’s father is in the army and is currently serving in Iraq. What a system—someone leaves to fight for their country, and his wife and 3 kids are struggling to get hearing aids and make ends meet. It’s sad. -JUDY

My response:

I agree that it is pathetic that someone chooses to serve our country in the military and then their kids cannot get the simple help they need. I don't agree that the US military in Iraq is "fighting for our country" however, since this war is not helping, and has not helped, our country in any way that I can observe. It is not helping Iraq either.
MARY then wrote:

I really don't appreciate your political remarks on this listserve. It has nothing to do with helping the families that come to us for help in obtaining amplification. In fact, I found your remarks very upsetting. My son is putting his life on the line in Iraq (he is very tired as he has not had a day off since he got there 2 and a half months ago and no one in his squadron has either) serving his country. Yes, I said serving his country. Each of the military men and women over there would say the same thing. In the future, I would appreciate you keeping your negative remarks about the military to yourself. - Mary

(That’s right – this women who has a son in the military supposedly fighting for our freedom and safety, thinks I should keep my remarks to myself. Not much of a supporter of the US Constitution, is she? And she decides that I am making negative remarks about the military just because I claim they are not “fighting for our country” and that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has not helped our country in any way. This invasion and occupation of Iraq sure has made some people quite rich, however. Her son is not one of them. Now, over two years later - I still can see no evidence that this occupation is helping our country. Rather the opposite.)

I responded with:

I agree with you that each and every person who signed up to be in the military is serving our country, and I appreciate and respect them for doing that. I think the US troops are being abused when they are sent to Iraq, however, since what is happening there is not in "service to our country" nor is it "fighting for our country". So tell your son thanks for serving his country, and sorry he got sent to Iraq for terrible reasons that will not serve our country in the long or short haul. I hope he comes home safe. And I hope they all come home soon. And I should NOT have put this on the listserve! Not the right place for it. I am sorry for that. peace

MARY then wrote:

Thank you for your courtesy in personally responding to me. I appreciate your concern. Although I do not feel a professional listserve is the place to vent personal political viewpoints, I realize that Americans have very differing viewpoints about the war in Iraq. Having a son in the military makes me much more sensitive to that issue on a very personal level. He does not believe "he got sent to Iraq for terrible reasons that will not serve our country in the long or short haul". Thankfully, we have NOT had another terror attack on our country since 9-11. He would tell you that is mainly because we have gone on the offensive against the terrorists, rather than being on the defense against them. We have thwarted much damage and harm they had planned on doing to us by undertaking this War on Terror. I have NO doubt that another attack would have already happened if we had not taken the more offensive position that we have taken. I would agree with you that war is a terrible evil that should never be taken lightly. I am sure I do not have to remind you that we would not be in this war if we had not been attacked first on 9-11. The WAR on TERROR is not a pleasant undertaking for anyone. Thankfully there are people that are willing to risk their lives to protect us. I believe every person in the military would disagree with your statement that "since what is happening there is not in "service to our country" nor is it "fighting for our country". They are taking on the terrorists over there on their turf, so that we don't have to take them on over here on ours. I would hate to have to worry every time I got on a public bus that it might be blown up, or see suicide bombers attack cars and buildings over here like they do over in the middle east. Even worse, I would hate to see another 9-11 attack, or a dirty bomb go off in one of our cities. We have real enemies that constantly plan harm to us. We are fortunate to still have the peace of living without suicide bombers in our midst. Hopefully the war being fought over there will prevent such occurrences from ever happening over here.

I, too, hope that my son, as well as every other young man and woman serving overseas, will come home safely and soon. I appreciate so much their great sacrifices so that I can live in peace and freedom.

God bless and peace to you. Mary

I responded with:

Mary, there were 8 years between the first and the second attack on the WTC, but Iraqis were not behind either one. I hope it doesn't happen again either. peace

I did not bother to try and correct her many, many critical thinking errors or her misinformation - particularly on how "our military" feels about this war. Even in 2005, there were active military speaking out. I figured it might take me the rest of my life to correct all her errors. A great number of Americans are uninformed and very stupid (not all of them, however). I don’t know why they choose to be that way. They will be mighty surprised one day when the next terrorist attack happens. I am hoping I won't be around to see it. I don't want to live through a real crisis here in the USA with all these stupid people who cannot think, even if their lives depended on it.

And Katrina showed us all that our government will not be able to do a thing to help us. It still blows my mind that American babies died of dehydration at a major American landmark in a major American city - during peacetime!!! Just imagine how bad it would get if there was a war or occupation going on here. God, I hope I never see that.

And to all the Iraqi people out there: I am very, very, very sorry for the pain and suffering that my country has inflicted on you. You never deserved it, and I tried my best to stop it, but the fact is, the dumb people of the United States of America allowed this to happen, in spite of my best efforts. You can see from the above exchange just what we are up against.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 1973 - Santiago

Santiago – a song by David Rovics

As I looked out my window

At the clear blue sky

At the planes that flew so low

At the smoke that rose so high

The air filled up with dust

That blackened out the sun

And the politicians went on

About the new day that had begun

And when I looked at my calendar

Somehow I knew it would be so

It was on this day in Santiago

Less than thirty years had passed

And how clearly I remember

What the city had been like

Before that day in September

There were doctors on the sidewalks

Helping those in need

Students in the barrios

Teaching children how to read

There were milk trucks in the shanties

Driving to and fro

On this day in Santiago

I could tell you about the rallies

The whole city in the street

The President was speaking

And we all were on our feet

Allende was the future

Destitution was the past

The city was in motion

And things were changing fast

Just how fast they were changing

Only Kissinger could know

On this day in Santiago

We’d been striving for a world

Without a single cardboard shack

Where each woman, man and child

Could have the basic things they lack

It was socialism by demand

Elected free and fair

A society without need or greed

Where everybody got their share

And then came Uncle Sam

With dictatorship in tow

On this day in Santiago

Anaconda Copper

And Nixon got their dream

A country torn apart

Ruptured at the seam

A fascist coup was what they wanted

And that’s just what they’d get

When they sent down from Fort Benning

General Pinochet

Lady Liberty

Hung her head down low

On this day in Santiago

They dropped bombs on La Moneda

With jet planes from DC

They killed five thousand people

In our city by the sea

A reign of terror started

When they cut off Victor’s hands

The rivers clogged with bodies

And our blood drenched the sands

And I remember wondering

Which way future winds might blow

On this day in Santiago

Created November, 2005


*** Allende's Last Speech

My friends, Surely this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the antennas of Radio Magallanes.

My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May they be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief, Admiral Merino, who has designated himself Commander of the Navy, and Mr. Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday pledged his fidelity and loyalty to the Government, and who also has appointed himself Chief of the Carabineros [paramilitary police].

Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign! Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seeds which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever.

They have force and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested by neither crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.

Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had, the confidence that you deposited in a man who was only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law and did just that. At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the Armed Forces broke their tradition, the tradition taught by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya, victims of the same social sector who today are hoping, with foreign assistance, to re-conquer the power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.

I address you, above all, the modest woman of our land, the campesina who believed in us, the mother who knew our concern for children. I address professionals of Chile, patriotic professionals who continued working against the sedition that was supported by professional associations, classist associations that also defended the advantages of capitalist society. I address the youth, those who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle. I address the man of Chile, the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, those who will be persecuted, because in our country fascism has been already present for many hours -- in terrorist attacks, blowing up the bridges, cutting the railroad tracks, destroying the oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to act. They were committed. History will judge them.

Surely Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal instrument of my voice will no longer reach you. It does not matter. You will continue hearing it. I will always be next to you. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to his country.

The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.

Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again and free men will walk through them to construct a better society.

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!

These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.

Santiago de Chile, 11 September 1973