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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 02-04-2007 02:34 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

President's Address to the Nation: January 10, 2007

I have to say that ever since I heard President Bush's televised speech January 10th, where he called for an increase of 21,500 troops to Iraq, as well as issuing a direct military threat to Iran, where the particular part of the speech I found scary is quoted below:

*

"Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We're also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region."


*

Currently, both Iraqi and U.S officials are continuing to suspect Iranian involvement in the January 20th attack in Karbala that claimed the lives of five Americans, which continues to be under investigation. And while I do believe if solid evidence comes up that links Iran to the killings that we must respond strongly and tell them we will not tolerate any coordinated and sponsored bloodshed such as that, the rhetoric appears to be deja vu all over again; so much as if you swear to yourself you heard the exact same words about Iran said about Iraq, that somehow the rhetoric was all recycled and your ears and your instincts are deceiving you.

Consider the similarities of White House rhetoric from now in 2007, before a possible military confrontation with Iran, and in late 2002 and early 2003 before the March 20th, 2003 invasion of Iraq. I've looked through various White House transcripts, ones from 2002 and 2007, which I believe you will find shocking similarities everywhere:

*

Presidential Signing of the Iraq Resolution: October 16, 2002

President Bush Congratulates General Petraeus on Senate Confirmation: January 26, 2007

*****THEN & NOW #1*****

"The Iraqi people cannot flourish under a dictator that oppresses them—threatens them."

"Our struggle is not with the Iranian people.As a matter of fact, we want them to flourish."


*

President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat: October 7, 2002

President Bush Congratulates General Petraeus on Senate Confirmation: January 26, 2007

*****THEN & NOW #2*****

"Iraq is land rich in culture and resources and talent."

And the Iranian people are proud people, and they‘ve got a great history and a great tradition."


*

President's Remarks at the United Nations General Assembly: September 12, 2002

President Bush Congratulates General Petraeus on Senate Confirmation: January 26, 2007

*****THEN & NOW #3*****

"If we fail to act in the face of danger, the people of Iraq will continue to live in brutal submission.The regime will remain unstable.The region will remain unstable, with little hope of freedom and isolated from the progress of our times."

"One of the things that the Iranian government is doing is they‘ve begun to isolate their nation, to the harm of the Iranian people."


*

Presidential Signing of the Iraq Resolution: October 16, 2002

President Bush Congratulates General Petraeus on Senate Confirmation: January 26, 2007

*****THEN & NOW #4*****

Hopefully this can be done peacefully."

"I believe we can solve our problems peacefully."


*

*

Also, in both years it was announced that "all options are on the table."

What's especially startling to me is how before it was argued that American success in Iraq would lead to success in Iran, yet now we're told vice-versa; that we must succeed with Iran to ensure success in Iraq.

All of this leads me simply to believe that by "networks" they mean Iran and the same neoconservatives that tirelessly pushed the Iraq war are now determined to get us into war with Iran, even while we're still in Iraq with an army that's stretching thinner than ever.

And then there's the "evidence" that they are pushing to the White House, which State Department spokesman Sean McCormack spoke about last month:

*

U.S Department of State Daily Press Meeting: January 24, 2007

"There is solid evidence that Iranian agents are involved in these networks and that they are working with individuals and groups in Iraq and are being sent there by the Iranian government."

*

And yet it is known that while historically the U.S and the Iran have always had tense and even hostile relations, Iran has a natural affinity with the Shi'ite majority of Iraq, and has actually opposed al-Qaeda, with many in the goverment, especially the moderates, condemning the 9/11 attacks and supporting the United States in Afghanistan. Syria has done the same. In addition, investigations by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and others, including British military officials, conclude that Iran is not engaged in the cross-border supply of weapons. Even General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said no such evidence exists.

And while we must take deep concern about the country's potential move toward nuclear capability, a "nuclear threat" is currently years away from ever happening in earnest, with the CIA estimating that, even given the political will, Iran is incapable of building a nuclear weapon before 2017, at the earliest. In addition, the head of the IAEA, Mohamed El-Baradei, says that an attack on Iran will have catastrophic consequences and only further encourage the regime to become a nuclear power.

*

As an American citizen who believes wholeheartedly in defending this country and all that we stand for and cherish, I recognize all too clearly that there are ruthless individuals in the world who are hell-bent on attacking our nation and the innocent, and it is our moral obligation to break down these terrorist networks worldwide without hesitation.

But everything I've seen and heard thus far regarding justifying going to war with Iran, my anti-war pragmatist pacifist politics aside, is entirely manufactured and abetted by familiar, compliant media language that refers to Iran's "nuclear ambitions," just like with the vocabulary regarding Saddam's now-disproven WMD arsenal became common usage in trumpeting the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

These neoconservative architects are reckless and won't give up without a fight to get us into another war, as Seymour Hersh has hinted out in that bombers "have been flying simulated nuclear weapons delivery missions...since last summer." And ALL of this, especially while North Korea, a country that actually DOES have nuclear weapons, is dismissed as a much lesser threat.

All I can think now is: "Can all of this REALLY be happening again, less than four years after this colossal mess in Iraq began, which has claimed nearly 3,100 of our young men and women, leaving tens of thousands more with life-threatening and/or handicapping injuries, claiming anywhere between 55,400 and 650,000 Iraqi lives, and has only generated increasing sectarian violence and has fomented new terrorism?"

I have to say that, as optimistic as I am, I am really scared right now in what our nation is getting further bogged down into, and unless we kick this "long war" habit, I think our great nation will only become more and more unpopular than ever before in the eyes of the world, and we'll only be at a MUCH greater risk of being attacked.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
iliana
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1 posted 02-04-2007 03:37 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

"But everything I've seen and heard thus far regarding justifying going to war with Iran, my anti-war pragmatist pacifist politics aside, is entirely manufactured and abetted by familiar, compliant media language that refers to Iran's "nuclear ambitions," just like with the vocabulary regarding Saddam's now-disproven WMD arsenal became common usage in trumpeting the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

Noah, I know exactly what you mean and feel the same way.  How stupid does the war machine really think the American populace is?  It is the same rhetoric as before and many will buy into it, I fear; but not as many as before because there are journalists willing to question things now.  I read an interesting article tonight about the real reason for the war being the economic war between the euro and the dollar....it made sense.  If you email me, I'll send you the link.  

The thing is, Noah....fear.  That element can accomplish much.  

I was wondering when someone would be courageous enough to post this subject.  Are people afraid now to even talk about these things?  Noah, I'll be reading the thread as it progresses.  *hugs*....jo

[This message has been edited by iliana (02-04-2007 04:55 PM).]

Balladeer
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2 posted 02-04-2007 10:27 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

But everything I've seen and heard thus far regarding justifying going to war with Iran,

Noah, I'm not sure what everything you have heard is. On the contrary, there is much more speculation that Iran does NOT have an active role in Iraq, at least on a governmental level.


Top U.S. Military Official: No Evidence of Iran Involvement in Iraq http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/14/AR2006031401083.html

U.S. can't prove Iran link to Iraq strife http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran3feb03,0,2695314.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Gates Says U.S. Not Planning Iran War http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/02/04/national/w013005S19.DTL&type=politics
"Because we are acting against the Iranians' activities in Iraq, it has given rise to some of these talks" of U.S. intentions to attack Iran, he said, adding that there is no such plan.

Evidence 'is inconclusive on Iran involvement in Iraq' http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Iraq/10101764.html

On a personal level and gut feeling, I think that Iran and Syria do indeed have interest and involvement in Iraq. Can I prove it? Nope. Do I think Bush or the government can do it? Certainly not at this point. Do I think that we would be justified into entering a conflict or war with either? No, I don't....and neither do the generals or the majority of the American people, I'm sure. I confess that part of that feeling comes from the fact that I think the administration is too incompetent to do it right. I firmly believe that the invasion of Iraq was the right decision but I also see sadly that, although Bush can start a war (even for the right reason), he can't run one very well. There are many excellent things happening in Iraq but they are being overshadowed by the publicity feasting on the terrorist activities involving such a high loss of life.


And while we must take deep concern about the country's potential move toward nuclear capability, a "nuclear threat" is currently years away from ever happening in earnest, with the CIA estimating that, even given the political will, Iran is incapable of building a nuclear weapon before 2017, at the earliest.

On this point I will disagree. For someone like yourself who would champion environmental issues for the sake of our future generations, it sounds strange that you would not be in favor of making sure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons just because they can't make one for 10 years. That's less than the time our future generations will have to deal with the results of this activity.Shall we wait until they have them before dealing with it?  People then would be screaming, "Why didn't you do something before they got them?????"  

Do I feel, however, that this point would justify war now?  Absolutely not. There are other ways to deal with these issues....and more effective, too.

I agree with you, Noah, that the American people are sick of war, sick of hearing of the daily loss of life. I do not think that Bush would go that route and, even if he did, he would not get the support, either from Congress or the American people. I can assure you he would not get mine.

Mistletoe Angel
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3 posted 02-04-2007 04:40 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Thanks, Jo, for your thoughts here.

I think many Americans are afraid to ask questions not because they don't care about what's happening nor that they really believe that patriotism means no questions asked, but I think many Americans just feel intimidated in that if they were to question the government's intentions in taking action against a country that truly historically has not had really warm relations with us, they can be accused and deemed as unpatriotic and soft on terror and such, and are sensitive about being bombarded in accusation as something they're not, which continues to happen to an extent on Iraq as well.

Scarborough Country: February 1, 2007

If I may, I want to share this YouTube video excerpt with you, which may sound as though it's coming from a liberal or biased anti-Bush program, but it's actually from a conservative news and opinion program known as "Scarborough Country" on MSNBC.

I've generally disagreed with Scarborough, especially when he was staunchly defending the war in Iraq particularly from 2003 through late-2005, but I 100% ABSOLUTELY share his thoughts and frustration and anger as he shows in this clip, sparked particularly by what White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said about Republicans who oppose the troop surge last Thursday:

*

"As you know, I‘ve said many times Osama bin Laden thought the lack of American resolve was a key reason why he could inspire people to come after us on September 11.  I am not accusing members of the Senate of inviting carnage on the United States of America.  I‘m simply saying you think about what impact it may have."

*

Although I'm not a Republican like Joe Scarborough is, I absolutely sympathize with him in that Republicans like him are being accused of encouraging "our enemies and undermine our allies and deflate the morale of our troops is to me the worst of all possible worlds." as John Cornyn said and "splintering off and playing into the hands of our enemies." as Senator Jim Bunning said......simply for believing the obvious point that a small increase in troop levels in Iraq (the fourth time this has happened thus far) won't make any difference just like it didn't the first three times, and opposing the surge, and just for that Republicans like Chuck Hagel, John Warner, my state's Gordon Smith, Sam Brownback and Olympia Snowe are accused of sucking up to the terrorists.

I absolutely sympathize with him in his anger that you're not a true conservative if you don't support the president 100 percent, and that some generals and administration officials continue to shrug off thoughts that things are not going well in Iraq while more and more of our young men and women are being killed. I highly respect him for speaking what's truly on his mind.

That's one reason I think many continue to be weary of asking these simple questions, but secondly because as Americans, a vast majority of us are truly sensitive and always prefer and wish to believe that our elected officials are serving with nothing but the best interests of our country; that we like to glorify and think of our presidents as someone we can trust and believe in who you can count on to do the right thing in protecting our country and keeping us safe. That's exactly what me and over 90% of Americans did following September 11th; back then, up until late-summer of 2002, I admired President Bush very much for embracing all Americans regardless of political background and vowing loudly and clearly to work together to bring to justice those DIRECTLY responsible for the attacks on our great nation. That's exactly what I did when both Congress and the President agreed to invade Afghanistan, for though I'm no fan of war in general, I believed Bush was absolutely following this nation's best interests in keeping his eye directly on those responsible for harming the innocent in New York City and elsewhere that tragic day.

I began getting suspicious of our president around the first anniversary of September 11th, where I began hearing them make a case for war in Iraq, and regardless of the WMD concerns aside, I had heard that none of the 19 9/11 hijackers had come from Iraq among other details, and thus were among the Americans already skeptical this war would directly be taken on those responsible for 9/11. I reasoned that it was possible Saddam Hussein truly had WMD's, but I also believed from my experience in history class in high school that following years of sanctions and economic dust bowl in Iraq, that there was no way he can be a direct threat to us from thousands of miles away and an ocean apart. And the more I heard the arguments for going to war, the more I thought it didn't make any sense whatsoever to me; to go to war with a nation that played no role in the attacks on September 11th. So I decided to be one to publicly question the policy, and when I heard barely any questions being asked by either Congress or journalists, I joined others in large anti-war protests nationally.

Although I do believe far more Americans will be skeptical, and outspokenly so, about a possible confrontation with Iran, it also truly breaks my heart as well in relation to my second point in why there's not more questioners out there; in that many more are speaking out because that ideal in wanting to believe our president will always step up and follow this nation's best interests has been tarnished, in that many Americans who used to put their trust in the president just can't do so anymore, that many feel as though there's little credibility in the White House anymore. And as much as I'm opposed to many of this administration's policies, I am just as heartbroken as the next American like Joe Scarborough or Pat Buchanan, who may still support this president much more than I do, that it has come to this.

I believe that's the second reason many Americans still are reluctant to question; it's not because they believe it's unpatriotic or sucks up to our enemies or anything like that whatsoever, but because they just want to be respectful and give the president a chance to prove himself, for the good of this country. And while I believe that way of thinking is naive now to a great extent, I also respect why many think that way, as we'd all like to see the best intentions in everyone.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Mistletoe Angel
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City of Roses


4 posted 02-04-2007 05:07 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Balladeer, I wholeheartedly appreciate sharing your thoughts here!

You're absolutely right that much speculation insists that, as far as we know, Iran has not been involved with the bloodshed of our troops and civilians in Iraq. What I was basically pointing out, and fearing, in my initial response here was that often, despite mountains of evidence pointing otherwise, there has been a tendency for administrations to generate a drumbeat around a particular argument or soundbyte, and hammer it over and over again, through speeches and media coverage, until it seems like the absolute truth to the American public, and that sort of conduit can often get us into unnecessary disfortune.

Again, even though we may disagree fundamentally on the Iraq decision, I too believe not 100% of what's happening in Iraq is bad. Our young men and women in uniform have done extraordinarily commendable things on the community and local levels; repairing and building schools, hospitals, clinics, as well as provinding children with all sorts of second chances among other things. And I absolutely wish those stories could get reported more often so that spiritually everyone can be convinced that even in the most flawed of wars, there is always a human side to it that's brighter.

As for making sure we do something about the issues that confront us BEFORE they happen, I'm certainly not suggesting that we sit back and pretend these things will dismantle themselves. I'm suggesting simply that we must consider all the other options and treat military force as the last resort option, rather than resort to the least common denominator of pre-emptive strike policy, and so I happen to agree with the Baker-Hamilton Commission report that direct talks with Iran and Syria are at least worth a shot for a start.

The problem, as I see it, is that there appears to be a continued unwillingness to challenge the neoconservative strategy of “preemptive”, or one might even say, “predictive” war currently. And while administration officials say that they're not going to attack Iran in the few months to come, I absolutely understand why many are skeptical and remain quite concerned, especially when Craig Unger reported in Vanity Fair that Bush has turned to the U.S. Strategic Command (StratCom) to draw up plans for the bombing campaign against Iran, which oversees nuclear weapons and missile defense.

Whether you feel in your gut that Iran and Syria are behind the violence indeed in Iraq is one thing, and I respect and understand why you will feel that considering our history with these nations, and believe that's certainly a plausible possibility. But pre-emptively attacking countries based on what one feels in ones gut is another thing, and I do fear that that's precisely what some (certainly not all, but some) in the administration are likely doing.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
 
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