John Simkin

Tim Gratz and the Iraq War

83 posts in this topic

Material conditions help to breed political violence, it really is that simple. until we in the West learn this fact, what we term terrorism will continue, just as stagnant water helps spread maleria, the situation in Palestine and Iraq will help breed terrorists/freedom fighters. Its not so much or freedoms they hate, as our imported violence, and our complete indifference to their suffering. If I had witnessed either of my Children being murdered by "security forces" I'd be strapping on the semtex.

Very well stated ... I couldn't agree with you more.

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What worries me is the stress the war causes between Europe and the US.Please remember the things common to both and shared by both ,not least our common biology.For example there is now more of my personal historical biology in the US than in the Uk and this matters more than short term difficulties.

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What worries me is the stress the war causes between Europe and the US.Please remember the things common to both and shared by both ,not least our common biology.For example there is now more of my personal historical biology in the US than in the Uk and this matters more than short term difficulties.

Quite. There was a stand-up comic in the US in the 60's called Murray Roman who had a great routine called "You can't beat people up, *and* have them say 'I love you'!" It's a lesson which needs to be re-learned every decade, it seems.

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I'm keen to hear what Tim Gratz has to say about Greenspan's recent revelation that the Iraq war was about oil after all:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/16/3879/

A candid admission, giving lie to the entire invasion pretext.

p.s. for mine, Greenspan is only telling half the truth. The invasion was also about improving Israel's strategic position within the region, but that part of the reason is the part they want hidden.

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I'm keen to hear what Tim Gratz has to say about Greenspan's recent revelation that the Iraq war was about oil after all:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/16/3879/

A candid admission, giving lie to the entire invasion pretext.

p.s. for mine, Greenspan is only telling half the truth. The invasion was also about improving Israel's strategic position within the region, but that part of the reason is the part they want hidden.

In a recent Associated Press interview, Greenspan added ousting Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was vital to securing world oil supplies. Saddam was "very dangerous" and had "to be taken out"

In that AP interview Greenspan revealed some Robin Hoodian economics:

On other issues, Greenspan said the United States must look at ways to reduce gasoline use both as a matter of national security and to protect the environment.

Greenspan said he favors a tax on gasoline to help curb demand. But recognizing that this could be an "undue burden" on poor people, he suggested a rebate of some sort. There is a national gas tax of 18.4 cents a gallon.

and:

In the interview, Greenspan also expressed fresh frustration about expanding social programs, especially at a time when a wave of 78 million baby boomers will start to retire next year, putting a huge burden on the country's resources. He singled out Medicare, which is projected to go bust by 2019 unless something is done....

In his book, Greenspan suggests Medicare benefits would have to be cut substantially for the affluent, whom he envisions having copayments approaching 100 percent.

Full article: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jSSJzC1...eW21xsZ7HJcM8WQ

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I'll have to get Greenspan's book. It sounds like the guy is talking sense. I note his frustration with the medicare issue in the article you posted Mike, to whit:

"Nobody wants to....look at the issue and come up with a rational solution. This is, I regret to say, irresponsible"

Nothing focuses the public's attention on rational solutions more than a recession, imo. If Greenspan's predictions about the possibility of recession are accurate then I can suggest one rational solution which will definitely ease the burden on the public--end the war on drugs. How much has been spent by State and Federal authorities (ie. taxpayers) on this ridiculous flawed policy in 2007 alone? Why $36.5 billion, of course. And the year is far from over.

http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm

The taxpayers take a lickin' but the clock keeps tickin'.

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Material conditions help to breed political violence, it really is that simple. until we in the West learn this fact, what we term terrorism will continue, just as stagnant water helps spread maleria, the situation in Palestine and Iraq will help breed terrorists/freedom fighters. Its not so much or freedoms they hate, as our imported violence, and our complete indifference to their suffering. If I had witnessed either of my Children being murdered by "security forces" I'd be strapping on the semtex.

On the other hand, Steve, violence is such a useful tool, don't you think.

Maybe we in the West leaned that fact long ago --- the Crusades and Roman Legions being excellent examples.

David

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(2) On page 7 you write: “Even by its own standards, Operation Enduring Freedom is proving a disaster. Taking western leaders at their word, it stated aim is to defeat terrorism. A reasonable test of their war aims, therefore, would be to ask whether their actions have made a terrorist attack more or less likely.”

Like most people, I would argue that the invasion of Iraq has made the problem of terrorism worse. Living in the UK I feel far less safe from terrorist attacks than I did before the invasion. As Kenneth Clarke predicted in the House of Commons during the famous debate on Blair’s Iraq policy, terrorist attacks on London would be inevitable consequence of British troops taking part in the invasion.

However, the problem is that Americans might well feel safer from terrorism since invading Iraq. After all, they have not seen a repeat of 9/11. It is possible for Bush supporters to argue that the reason for this is that they have frightened off terrorist action because of their aggressive foreign policy. Of course the real reason is that London and Madrid were targeted because it was easier to do and that political leaders in Europe were far more vulnerable to political pressure than those in the United States.

Do you think another terrorist outrage in the United States would increase or decrease pressure on George Bush to pull out the troops from Iraq?

The quote you use was from an article written on October 15th 2001. The context is important. Neither Spain nor London bombings had happened yet. I was predicting them. I think there are a few reasons why there has been no terror attacks since 9/11 in the states, foremost among them being that they had the first one. The demographic profile of the Muslim community in the US is also very different. US Muslims are generally wealthier and better educated than the population at large. The pool of alienation and resentment which provides the political base from which bombers might emerge - the bombers themselves in Europe have been well-healed but the context is one of greater political resistance - is less pronounced here.

Indeed, according to a Pew survey that portion of the Muslim population here most likely to sympathise with violent acts are not from immigrant communities but African American converts. I think a terrorist outrage - God forbid - would increase pressure on Bush to pull out the troops. Most Americans I know disagree. They have logic on their side - acts of terrorism generally produce the kind of fear that prompts reactionary responses. But I think Americans are able to draw the conclusion that the war has made them more vulnerable and the war isn't working. I hope we never find out.

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