Topic: GLOBAL AFFAIRS
PHOENIX - The host of a popular prime time afternoon show at a commercial Phoenix news radio station, Bob Mohan, whose program airs starting at 5 p.m. every weekday, asked the TiM editor to be his special guest today, and to comment about the looming new Iraqi crisis and answer the KFYI listeners' questions.
The discussion was originally planned to last about 20 minutes - between 5:10 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with a possible extension of a few more minutes after the 5:30-news, in case there were some calls from KFYI listeners. As it turned out, the Iraqi air strikes discussion was twice extended as the callers lit up the KFYI switchboard. At one stage, a TiM staff member was unable to get through to the show's producers as all KFYI lines were busy. The originally planned 20 minute-show ultimately stretched into more than one hour and 45 minutes of live debate on the U.S. role and interests in the Middle East.
Here are some of the highlights from the show, though not necessarily in the order in which they were discussed:
A. Answering this opening question by the talk show host, Bob Mohan, the TiM editor first said that that if the Clinton administration does make good on its threats against Iraq, this could quickly become a "local issue" for some Valley of the Sun residents, as their loved ones return home in body bags. Whereupon we agreed that the preceding was indeed the reason for the threat of U.S. air strikes, if the Clinton administration officials' comments were taken at face value.
But a distinct lack of success of rallying even the allies behind this cause, let alone the neutral countries', during the two high-level selling jaunts around the globe - first by Madeleine Albright, the Secretary of State; second by William Cohen, the Secretary of Defense - suggests otherwise. The fact that only Britain and the U.S. are in agreement on this, and that the majority of the five U.N. Security Council nations with veto power - France, Russia and China - strongly oppose the military action against Iraq, suggest that Albright and Cohen have not made the sale. They also suggest that there may be other ulterior motives for the proposed military action.
"Exactly!" the talk show host agreed. "So what are these other motives?"
Well, at one level, we replied citing the columnist, Eric Margolis' Feb. 5 column, "The War of Monica's Lips," the latest escalation may be a well orchestrated effort to divert the country's attention from the "Zippergate" scandal which is highly embarrassing for the President. But if American taxpayers' money is being spent, and if the U.S. troops' lives are being placed in jeopardy so that the President could try to save what's left of his badly scarred political hide, this is another low to which the highest office in America has sunk.
At a different level, however, we saw the latest U.S. government's threats as yet another example of its hypocrisy. During the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, for example, it was the U.S. and British governments that supplied most of these terrible genocidal weapons of mass destruction to Iraq. And who looked the other way as Iran vainly protested at the U.N. the genocidal use by Iraq against its troops.
Now that we've let the genie out of the bottle we want to put it back by bombing Iraq and causing more casualties. Two wrongs don't make a right. We have no business meddling in other countries' affairs, especially when no American national interests are at stake.
If you listen to what the government spokespeople and the trigger-happy establishment media say, one would conclude that we'd be indeed defending our "national interests" by killing innocent Iraqis. That's hogwash. There is no reason for the U.S. troops to be deployed in the Middle East whatsoever - in defense of our "national interests."
True, Saddam may be a threat to his neighbors. True, some privately-owned multinational oil companies with the U.S. zip codes may have vital interests at risk in that part of the world.
But what does that have to do with the U.S. (public's) "national interests?" As far as we can see, Iraq is no threat to anyone in the U.S. Bombing Iraq on account of its threat to some multinational companies' interests is spending PUBLIC money and risking American Main Street lives for the sake of PRIVATE interests. Why is our government doing it if it still is the government "of the people, by the people, for the people?"
We pointed out to the KFYI host a report from the Associated Press in Moscow which said that the Russian Defense Minister, Marshal Alex Sergeyev, publicly upbraided the U.S. Defense Secretary, Cohen, during the Clinton official's visit to Russia today. The Russian Defense Minister lectured Cohen by saying that, "force can conquer all but its victory won't last long", referring to an Abraham Lincoln's admonition.
In other words, winning a battle may cause us to lose the war. A short-term gain - of destroying Iraq - may lead to a destruction of the United States and all it had stood for over 200 years. Earlier this week, the Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, also warned that the U.S. may be risking a world war if it were to proceed with its plan to bomb Iraq.
After the inevitable commercial breaks and the news, the first caller referenced a book he had read from a former (Canadian) Mossad asset, Victor Ostrovsky. And he said how this $1.99-book purchased at a local store opened up his eyes to the reality of the Middle East. "Before reading Mr. Ostrovsky's book, I was all gung-ho for going in and hurting the Iraqis. But now I've done a complete 180-degree turn in my opinions."
Which is what truth tends to do to decent people, provided it is allowed to reach them. Without being able to comment about a book we haven't read, we said that there is a lot of truth in the allegation that Saddam is not the only Bad Boy of the Middle East. We pointed out that many middle-eastern countries have accumulated weapons of mass destruction which are equal to or greater than Iraq. Iran, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Turkey... all have varying degrees of such weapons, with Israel having the only U.S.-supplied nuclear warheads in the Middle East.
We also pointed out that the Clinton administration's threat of war against Iraq was unconstitutional, as only Congress has the powers to make war, not the President, according to our Constitution. And since Congress has neither debated nor voted on the issue of the U.S. Air Force strikes against Iraq, such a unilateral action by the executive branch of our government would represent yet another effort on its part to usurp the powers it does not have.
The TiM editor also added that he laid a part of the responsibility for that at the feet of our elected representatives - the Senators and Congressmen alike - whose sheepish silence signaled a sign of acquiescence to a power-hungry President..
Furthermore, if the objective of the air raids were to kill Saddam Hussein, this would also violate our own laws which prohibit such actions by our government.
But even assuming that the Clinton administration were to succeed in killing Saddam, and destroying his chemical and biological weapons, however unlawfully, and probably at a cost of thousands of human lives, "what then?" we asked. Who else would succeed Saddam? Madeleine Albright? William Cohen? Sam Berger? Spare us the laugh. Give us a break.
Or is the whole point of this saber-rattling for the U.S. troops to move in and take over Iraq, just as we did in Bosnia, for example? And then run this formerly sovereign country according to Washington dictates?
If so, what makes this Clinton administration different from the imperial ways of His Majesty, George III, against whom George Washington and the other American patriots rebelled in 1776?
As one of the callers subsequently remarked, such actions and policies are no different than those of the Roman Empire. And we all know what happened to it in the end.
Except for one caller - a "Dan from Scottsdale" - who wanted to know what security clearance the TiM editor had for voicing his opinions, all other KFYI listeners' calls were very supportive of the general drift of the above position. In fact, several subsequent callers unloaded on this "Dan from Scottsdale" while backing up the TiM editor's earlier comments.
As for a security clearance being necessary for an American citizen to be a writer and a columnist - my God, what's this country coming to? If any person comes to mind who would have failed the lowest security clearance in our country - it's our President, the draft-evading, Soviet-sympathizer who participated in anti-American demonstrations in London in 1969. Just like the oodles of neo-liberal "armchair generals" who would send our sons and daughters to their deaths at the press of a button, the lowly Bill Klinton never served his country.
"Dan from Scottsdale" was eventually cut off by the KFYI radio talk show host, Mr. Mohan. But his question gave rise to an interesting thought which occurred to this writer later on. If Dan's ideas were implemented - that you had to have served in the armed forces, and that you had to have proper security clearance before voicing your opinions, my wouldn't that be an outstanding way of getting rid of all whining, neo-liberal columnists in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other globalist publications? :-)
This writer would gladly give up his right of free speech if such a sacrifice would help rid our country of the vermin whose warmongering rhetoric sent so many of our fine countrymen to their needless deaths.
We have no business bombing anyone except in self-defense
In summary, the TiM editor said that we have no business in bombing any nation except in self defense; that our troops have no business being in the Middle East; that we have no business meddling in other countries affairs; that most Americans have lost their trust in government; that most Americans don't believe what they read in the establishment media newspapers, or radio and TV programs; which is why organizations willing to tell the whole truth, show the other side of the coin, like the Truth in Media, have sprung up.
Not Learning from History
Another caller and the host, agreed we should stay out or Iraq, but Mr. Mohan asked why then so many Americans support a military action, at least judging by the letters to the editor?
First, the letters to the editor themselves go through an editorial filter, and therefore, reflect a particular news media organization's bias, rather than public opinion. Second, most Americans alive today have only seen war on their TV or movie screens. The tragedy and reality of war doesn't hit home until you lose someone you know.
"But we've been in wars," Mr. Mohan contended. "We've had our Vietnam, Korea..."
"True, but that was several generations ago. People have short memories. Unfortunately, we don't seem to learn from history."
"History, what's that?" the KFYI caller asked mockingly. "Most Americans don't even know how to spell the word."
Also, check out also the TiM GW Bulletins: "Christianity Under Siege... Revisited", "New World Order's Control of Israel's Economy", "Caspian Sea Oil: The Matchmaker?", "We Have No Business Bombing Anyone Except in Self-Defense", "A Year of Awakening," "Like Bosnia, Like Lebanon"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Christianity Under Siege: Toward a One World Religion" and "The Three Musketeers"