Quotes from Writings in Response to September 11, 2001
March, 2002

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These quotes are in reverse order – the first posting is at the bottom, with the most recent quotes at the top:

Prevention of terror, I hear you say. Let me use the wonderful words of my friend Ishay Rosen-Zvi: "You are 'fighting against terror'? What a joke. The Israeli government, in its policies of Occupation, has turned the Territories into a greenhouse for growing terror!!!"...

When you treat millions of people like sub-humans for so long, some of them will find inhuman strategies to fight back....

I don't see tribes. I see people, human beings. I believe that the Palestinians are human beings like us...

I refuse to be a terrorist in my tribe's name. Because that's what it is: not a "war against terror", as our propaganda machine tries to sell. This is a war OF terror...It is the terror of Occupation, of humiliation on a personal and collective basis, of deprivation and legalized robbery, of alternating exploitation and starvation.

Open Letter to American Jews  
Assaf Oron, a Jewish "refusenik", on Passover Eve, March 29, 2002

Enron is a scandal so enormous that it's hard to wrap your mind around it. Not just a single financial disaster, it's actually a jigsaw of interlocking scandals, each outrageous in its own right.

There's Enron the Wall St. con game, where company bookkeepers used sleight of hand to turn four years of steady losses into stunning profits. There's Enron the reverse Robin Hood, which stole from its own employees even as its executives were hauling millions of dollars out the backdoor. There's Enron's Ken Lay the Kingmaker, who used the corporation's fraudulent wealth to broker elections and skew public policy to his liking. And then there are the Enron coverups, as documents are shredded and the White House seeks to conceal details about meetings between Enron and Vice President Cheney.

The coverups are still very much a mystery. What were the documents that were fed into the shredder – even after the corporation declared bankruptcy? What is the White House fighting to keep secret, even going to the length of redefining executive privilege and inviting the first Congressional lawsuit ever filed against a president? Were the consequences of releasing these documents more damaging than the consequences of destroying them?...

Is the White House covering up that it was molding foreign policy as well as energy policy to suit Enron? Did the Bush Administration know that Enron's collapse was coming as early as August? If any of these is true, the largest bankruptcy in American history may well connect with the greatest political scandal in American history.

The Enron-Cheney-Taliban Connection?
Ron Callari

...unlike media in the rest of the world, U.S. reports are frequently pulling their punches in the name of "balance," cowed both by Israeli attacks upon foreign journalists and by domestic sensibilities in the United States...

The United States is inextricably linked – by weapons sales, aid programs, investment, and the eyes of the world – to whatever Israel does. And this is no "ordinary" war; it is not even a war, because with few exceptions the "enemy" is not shooting back, is not even present. And in the course of the resulting death and destruction, Israel is violating just about every known convention for how humanity has agreed to conduct itself during its most inhumane moments.

That [Israeli] military is now carrying out calculated actions thought by many to be unimaginable in the 21st century. For much of the world, the United States – which, to the extent it has said anything at all, still seems to blame Yassar Arafat for this spectacle – is equally culpable...

This is a horror unfolding before our eyes, and the United States, alone among international actors, has the power to make it stop; we, alone among outraged people around the world, have the power to petition a government (outside Israel) that can make it stop.

Witness to Horror: Nothing Excuses the Cold-blooded Israeli Attacks Upon the Civilian Population of Palestine
Geov Parrish

Recent events in the Middle East have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that the Bush administration's complete lack of engagement with Israel and Palestine will stand as a historic example of deadly poor judgment. What we see is an administration that is hopelessly in over its head, groping for a solution far past the time when one could be reached, and all the while hedging its bets to keep a conflict with Iraq on the table...

Because Powell holds deep reservations about a war with Iraq, he does not want to undermine his standing in the administration by taking an unpopular position on the current situation...The one man who could pull Israel and Palestine away from each other's throats has his hands tied because this administration wants war elsewhere in the region.

...thousands of demonstrators marched through central London, chanting "War is not the answer!" and demanding that Blair back off any conflict in Iraq...The level of attention Bush pays Blair will inevitably depend on how much he cares to have Britain ruled by the liberal Labor party; a disgraced and defeated Blair replaced by a more conservative British administration would serve Bush's long-term plans. In any event, Bush and his people have never shied away from going it alone.

American blood will be spent in a too little-too late engagement between Israel and Palestine to assure that more American blood will be spent in a cynically-conceived attack on Iraq. Add to this scenario the fact that our war in Afghanistan is far from over - indeed, it may not be finished for a long time if 100 years of regional history holds true - and that the administration foolishly and dangerously put the nuclear option on the table...

This administration has allowed the Middle East to become a bloodbath as it attacks the Stone-Age nation of Afghanistan, all the while failing to capture any of the agents behind the September 11th attacks and guaranteeing a resurgence of civil war and chaos in that country. Meanwhile, the administration plans for war in Iraq while virtually ignoring Saudi Arabia, the birthing bed of international terrorism, because of its interests in the oil game...

This is not foreign policy. It is chaos.

This Sinking Ship of Fools  
William Rivers Pitt

While environmentalists have slammed the White House national energy plan for not doing enough to promote renewable energy, the Bush administration found those government research programs useful in paying the bill for printing copies of the 170-page plan. The administration took money from the Energy Department's solar and renewable energy and energy conservation budgets to pay for the cost of printing its national energy plan.

Documents released under court order by the Energy Department this week revealed that $135,615 was spent from the DOE's solar, renewables, and energy conservation budget to produce 10,000 copies of the White House energy plan released last May. Another $1,317.39 was spent for producing 16 "briefing boards" used by administration officials to illustrate and explain the White House energy plan...

Vice President Dick Cheney, who headed the White House energy task force, criticized environmentalists for relying too much on renewables and conservation to solve the nation's energy problems.

Bush Tapped Solar Energy Funds to Print Energy Plan
Tom Doggett, Reuters

As it currently stands, the U.S. has stubbornly refused to join the 142 nations that have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty forbidding the use, stockpiling and production of anti-personnel landmines...The buried bomblets claim a new victim every 22 minutes – that's 24,000 casualties a year. And of those 24,000, 95 percent are civilians. Even more horrifying, 50 percent of those maimed or killed are children.

What makes landmines so repugnant is their lethal and long-lived promiscuity – they don't care who they destroy. Once sown in the earth, they hold their grudges long after the soldiers who planted them have departed and long after the conflicts that seemed to necessitate their use have withered. Their bloody harvest can sprout days, months, years, even decades after they have been laid.

...it will take over 150 years to get rid of them all. And that's if no new mines are laid. Unfortunately, for every mine that is removed, a staggering 25 new mines are being laid.

Hollywood Sends A Message: Sign the Mine Ban Treaty
Arianna Huffington

A huge crime was committed, the biggest mass murder ever seen directly by hundreds of millions all over the globe. A vast police action, backed by emergency powers, to uncover and destroy any network of the guilty – an action primarily to prevent a recurrence – would be a rational, responsible strategy.

A war, on the other hand, requires an enemy that can roll over, declare it is ready to surrender and sign a peace treaty. Victory over "terrorism" is not possible in the absence of such an enemy, and the alternative – the extermination of always-changing, always-new groups using violence to attain their ends – can never be achieved.

...while the regimes of Iraq and North Korea are truly evil, any comparison to the threat of the Axis powers who menaced the civilized world during World War II is the product of minds that have lost themselves in political opportunism of unspeakable indecency...

In all the sadness and anger after Sept. 11, the world expressed a hope that the tragedy might lead to a serious rethinking of America's political and economic purposes. To support this hope is not to endorse the notion that Americans "had it coming" – of course, no American action in the world has made the terrorist attacks morally comprehensible. But that does not excuse Americans for failing to rethink national purposes in a world that they dominate.

To Keep a Population In Line, Wage Perpetual War Against a Vague Enemy
Karel Van Wolferen

...the most dangerous kind of forest fires aren't the ones that burn in the treetops, but the ones that burn slow and hot in the duff just below the surface of the ground...[Considering the last two political scandals of significance that scorched the woods of Washington, D.C.] the Whitewater scandal of the Clinton years was a treetop fire...the other scandal of note, involving the disgraced firms Enron and Arthur Andersen, glows hardly at all. One must peruse the back pages of newspapers and the daytime television of C-SPAN to hear anything about it. The New York Times, which for a time carried at least two Enron stories per day on its front page, has moved on to more combustible pastures. As a scandal, it has become quite dull from the media perspective. In reality, however, the fire has moved below the surface. It burns slow, hot and undetected. It has become dangerous... If the Justice Department prevails in its case, Andersen's ability to operate will be suspended for five years. This is, as Andersen representatives have claimed, a death sentence for the company...

Congress has begun firing out a new round of subpoenas in the Enron matter, focusing new scrutiny on connections between the energy corporation and the White House. The scope of these subpoenas covers 1992 through the present, which means Clinton's dealings with Enron will likewise be examined. This lends a bipartisan veneer to the proceedings, a wise tactic that should serve to knock down accusations of unfairness by Republicans who feel the ground getting hot beneath their feet...

Watergate burned slow and hot for two years before it lit the sky. The deliberate process behind Congress' Enron investigation is eerily reminiscent of this. One thing is certain: the ground in Washington is slowly heating up. One does not need to see a pillar of smoke to know a fire is burning.

Enron, the Slow Burn  
William Rivers Pitt

"We cannot," said the president, "leave behind half of humanity as we seek a better future for ourselves. We cannot accept permanent poverty in a world of progress. There are no second-class citizens in the human race." Pie in the sky speechifying? Maybe. But it nevertheless represents a major shift in the administration's stated public policy goals...it's a direct result of 9/11...

[Bono has] been such a persistent presidential prodder on the issue, he's earned the ultimate accolade, a White House nickname: "The Pest."...

"We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terrorism," [Bush] said. When it came to fighting terrorism after 9/11, however, Bush was eager to put his money where his mouth was. $30 billion was promptly poured into that effort. Now that he's offered up a noble vision of global economic justice, will he also step up to the plate and address the domestic injustice caused by his budget cuts in health care, education, and public housing programs? In fact, the president has yet to acknowledge the destabilizing impact of poverty here at home, where the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen...So while the reeducation of George W. Bush on the immense challenge of poverty is welcome, it has yet to be matched by a commensurate, meaningful and across-the-board shift in policy abroad or at home.

Poverty, the President and the Pest
Arianna Huffington

...Bush’s minions were maneuvering to limit peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan – meaning the administration did not care much if the country disintegrates into warlord-ravaged territory...The Bush administration promises and pep-talks regarding humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan will mean little if there is no civil stability there... It is not classified info that peacekeeping, in general, is not popular among the Bush crowd. In early March, the word leaked that the Army is considering shutting down its Peacekeeping Institute, a small unit at the Army War College, with a staff of 10 people and an annual budget of $200,000. This is the only office in the military devoted to studying U.S. peacekeeping missions... In the 1980s, the Reagan administration enthusiastically backed the mujahedin battling the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan. Once the Soviet Union was chased out by the rebels, the United States disengaged from Afghanistan – contributing nothing to national rebuilding, doing nothing to promote internal stability. From (what seemed) a comfortable distance, Washington watched as Afghanistan was rocked by violent factional fighting. Out of that chaos rose the Taliban movement, which promised to restore order to Afghanistan – a promise that understandably appealed to many Afghans. The rest is ... tragedy. It would be too easy to warn of history repeating itself. But the Bush administration is sending an ugly signal: the United States cares more for making war than maintaining peace.

The Loyal Opposition:
Bush To Afghanistan: We Make War
Keeping Peace Is For Others

David Corn

Texas populist Jim Hightower's plan to "put the party back into politics" with a rollicking national tour of speechifying, entertaining, organizing and coalition-building along the lines of the 19th-century Chautauqua gatherings...to pack a fairgrounds east of Austin for a day of Bush-bashing, corporation-crunching, plutocrat-poking politics with a punch...The masses were ready for this movement...By the time filmmaker and author Michael Moore arrived at mid-day, to the foot-stomping, fist-pumping and cheers of close to 7,000 rebels against the consensus, this corner of Texas was definitely not Bush country...If there was a theme for the day, it may well have been that dissent is back in fashion.

"We come to this Chautuaqua because 53 million children trapped in separate and not equal schools, and 45 million Americans without health insurance, deserve the same (level of) national response that bin Laden got," boomed [US Rep. Jesse] Jackson Jr, as he called for a restructuring of national priorities that recognizes a need not just for security against attack from abroad but also for security from hunger, illness and neglect at home.

The Lollapalooza of the Left
John Nichols

...catastrophes America has helped create and that are threatening to engulf much of the region...are gathering steam because throughout much of the Americas south of the Rio Grande, there is a sharp cleavage between the people running the various countries and the people living in them, and the Americans are invariably on the wrong side.

The Wrong Side: Bush’s Photo-op Tour of the Other Americas Will Gloss Over the Inequities
Geov Parrish

......for all of the non-policy related embarrassments Clinton's Republican persecutors howled about, they were conspicuously silent on the real crimes.

...people somehow have come to expect that public resources will be given away to private corporations. Or that the U.S. government can break international law with impunity and steadily expand its own power, "smaller government" rhetoric notwithstanding, at home and abroad. Or that, yesterday's campaign finance victory in the Senate notwithstanding, Capitol Hill is still a red light district, and the Fortune 500 are the johns. Or that citizens in the "Land of the Free" now enjoy substantially fewer rights than in many other democracies, and non-citizens' rights here are as shredded as Enron's financial records. Or that, despite our much-vaunted progress in technology, we all somehow seem to be working harder, with less job security or access to health care or future prospects, while a privileged few enjoy unimaginable wealth.

Deeper than Whitewater: Clinton’s Real Crimes Continue into the Bush Administration
Geov Parrish

What is notable about their agenda is that it flies in the face of all of the requirements for peace, global democracy, economic equity and justice, ecological and environmental protection, and global stability. It represents the choice of an overpowerful country's elite, determined to consolidate their economic and political advantage in the short run, at whatever cost to global society. They are accelerating all the ugly trends of militarization and globalization that have led to increasing violence, income polarization, and the vigorous protests against the World Trade Organization, IMF and World Bank...

As Jim Lobe notes, "Whatever hopes existed in the late 1990s for a new era of global cooperation in combating poverty, disease, and threats to the environment seem to have evaporated."...

At every level the Bush team has fought against the basics of democracy and attempted to concentrate unaccountable governmental authority in its own hands...

What can be more frightening and dangerous to the world than facing the Washington Axis of Evil as the overwhelmingly dominant holder of "weapons of mass destruction," which it is seeking to improve and make more usable, with the elite's longstanding arrogance and self-righteousness at an all-time high, and with no countervailing force in sight? Bin Laden's threat is nothing by comparison...

The cycle of violence will only be broken if the Washington Axis of Evil is defeated, removed from office, and replaced by a regime that aims to serve a broader constituency than oil, the MIC, the other transnationals, and the Christian Right.

Axis Of Evil – in Washington, D.C.  
Edward Herman

Israel is by far the largest foreign recipient of U.S. taxpayer money; it goes to both military and economic purposes. Money from private U.S. sources also plays a huge role in the Israeli economy...

The Palestinians can offer nothing, because they have nothing; they can demand nothing, even though they need everything; they have no long-term strategy, because tomorrow is a question. Israel calls the shots, figuratively and literally. And while the dangers posed by suicide bombers, and the crude attempts by Hamas and other groups to fight back, are very real, they are the actions of individuals, not a government.

...only the United States has the leverage to force the Sharon government to stop. What is obvious outside this country is that the world is also associating the United States with Sharon's abuses – an association that, in a time of Islamic jihads and the "War On Terrorism," carries obvious risks for every U.S. citizen...Washington has, for too long, financed and defended this brutal occupation; Washington must now bring it to an end.

It's Our War, Too: America’s Role in Israel Seen Abroad But Not at Home
Geov Parrish

"[The authority to destroy Al Qaeda and eradicate its base of support from the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan] was not intended as an unending license to permit unilateral, unauthorized attacks anywhere on the globe or to drastically escalate US military spending and overseas military bases, to promote massive arms transfers, and to conduct diplomacy by threat...these and other actions of your Administration are fueling anti-American sentiment worldwide. Coupled with inattention to economic development, medical and public health demands, environmental degradation, human rights, education and other needs both abroad and at home, such policies threaten, in the long term, to bring on the instability, conflict, and terrorism we all seek to prevent."

Letter to President Bush  
Physicians for Social Responsibility

...the Bush Administration is facing no meaningful accountability for its policy decisions, foreign or domestic, good or bad...in arguably the most important and far-reaching network of policy initiatives undertaken by the federal government since the New Deal – set in motion by a single catastrophic event – Bush is not only refusing to answer critics, but is refusing to give out enough details to allow informed criticism.

Wanna Know a Secret? Bush’s Troubling Security Shell Game
Geov Parrish

One fundamentalist band cannot be fought by siding with and supporting another. In its war on the Taliban and the al-Qaeda, the US has taken the "Northern Alliance" into service through wooing and arming certain infamous warlords. By so doing, the US is in fact abetting the worst enemies of our people and is continuing the same tyrannical policy against the people and the destiny of Afghanistan which successive US administrations adopted during the past two decades.

Let Us Struggle Against War and Fundamentalism – and for Peace and Democracy!
RAWA Statement on International Women's Day, March 8, 2002

The broken roads and highways of Afghanistan are now ribbons of anarchy and brigandage and murder across the country. The pathetic little force of peacekeepers in Kabul cannot control all of the capital, let alone the rest of the country. The interim leader, Hamid Karzai, can scarcely control the street outside his office. But the "war against terror" comes first...the Americans remain equally indolent when confronted by the infinitely more dangerous conflict 2,000 miles to the west of Kabul, in the streets of Jerusalem, Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Nablus, Jenin and Gaza...

Maybe the Bush administration actually believes that the man held "personally responsible" by an Israeli commission of inquiry for the murder of 1,700 Palestinian civilians in Beirut in 1982 really is fighting America’s "war on terror". Maybe America’s moral compass has become so skewed by the crimes against humanity on Sept. 11 that President Bush simply no longer cares what Sharon does...

Take the watering down of the US government’s latest report on human rights. In 2000, it said that Egypt’s hopelessly unfair military courts "do not ensure civilian defendants due process before an independent tribunal". In the 2001 report, however, that sentence has been censored out. It has to be, of course, because Bush is now setting up his own military courts to try his prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without due process. And while the Americans are distorting the nature of the war between Israel and the Palestinians, they are lying about Afghanistan...When Washington’s top military men are so dishonest, is it any surprise that Israeli tanks can open fire on refugee camps without any serious response from the US or blast cars carrying children because they want to kill their father?...

If Washington is too slovenly to halt this terrible war between Arabs and Israelis, we must try to do so. We’re asked to fund America’s bankrupt policies with our euros. So now it’s time to demand that we have a say in them...

I’m beginning to suspect that Sept. 11 is turning into a curse far greater than the original bloodbath of that day, that America’s absorption with that terrible event is in danger of distorting our morality. Is the anarchy of Afghanistan and the continuing slaughter in the Middle East really to be the memorial for the thousands who died on Sept. 11?

US Morality Distorted by September 11  
Robert Fisk

...George W. Bush is planning to destroy the world... a dramatic and terrifying change in recent U.S. military policy...

...Bush's nuclear planning is far more sickening than it appears at first glance. (And that's saying something.)...nuclear weaponry in 2002 bears about as much resemblance to that of 1945 as today's computers do to the very first prototypes. 2002's nukes are far more destructive...

...if the world's assorted dictators, departments of "defense," and terrorist cells weren't already inclined to consider weapons of mass destruction, of whatever sort they can afford, they will now see a compelling reason to invest in them...the fraudulently-elected George W. Bush has almost single-handedly made the world an infinitely more dangerous place...

The track record suggests Bush and Rumsfeld are just insane and arrogant enough to use such weapons; but if they don't, chances are pretty good they'll have created the "moral" space for someone else to use them...This document also comes at a time when – due to U.S. actions in Afghanistan alone – countless scores of thousands of Muslims have newly pledged themselves to martyrdom.

.. a series of policy decisions, based explicitly upon an aggressive desire for military domination of the world for up to the next 50 years, that if pursued for any length of time will unquestionably kill tens of millions, including many of us. If not all life on earth.

The Doomsday Regime: The Bush Administration is Hurdling us Toward Armageddon
Geov Parrish

There is something about this new, intensely violent, stage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that is starting to feel like the fuse for a much larger war of civilizations. You can smell it in the incredibly foul wind blowing through the Arab-Muslim world these days. It is a wind that is fed by many sources: the (one-sided) Arab TV images of Israelis brutalizing Palestinians, the Arab resentment of America's support for Israel and its threat against Iraq, the frustrations of young Arabs with their own lack of freedom and jobs. But once these forces are all bundled together, they express themselves in the most heated anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiments that I've ever felt...

"The question is whether Palestinian extremists will do what bin Laden could not: trigger a civilizational war," said the Middle East analyst Stephen P. Cohen. "If you are willing to give up your own life and that of thousands of your own people, the overwhelming power of America and Israel does not deter you any more. We are now on the cusp of the extremists' realizing this destructive power, before the majority is mobilized for an alternative. That's why this Israeli-Palestinian war is not just a local ethnic conflict that we can ignore. It resonates with too many millions of people, connected by too many satellite TV's, with too many dangerous weapons."

A Foul Wind
Thomas L. Friedman
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/10/opinion/10FRIE.html [Access to this article requires (free) registration on the New York Times Website.]

War without end is likely to have — indeed is already having — profound consequences for the American constitutional system. It tends to produce the very thing that the framers of the Constitution most feared: concentrated, unaccountable political power...

War inevitably produces an exaltation of presidential power. The president is commander in chief of the armed forces — a distinctive feature of the American system — and in wartime people tend to fall in behind the commander...The danger lies in political use of that wartime popularity...

Secrecy is a second threat to the constitutional premise. The Bush administration is the most secretive Washington has seen in years...

Civil liberties have often been overridden in times of crisis and war — as in the removal of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast in World War II. Those occasions were followed by regrets and apologies. But how will we protect civil liberties in a war without end?"

Taking Our Liberties
Anthony Lewis
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/09/opinion/09LEWI.html [Access to this article requires (free) registration on the New York Times Website.]

[Kucinich] admits he underestimated the depth of the discomfort until February 17, when he delivered a speech to the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, in which he declared, "Let us pray that our country will stop this war."...Kucinich's "Prayer for America" speech was interrupted by repeated standing ovations. But the real measure of the message's resonance came as the text of the speech circulated on the Internet – where a genuine worldwide web of opposition to the Administration's actions led to the posting of Kucinich's words on websites and dispatched them via e-mail."...

Kucinich plans to encourage grassroots activists to tell members of Congress it is not merely necessary but politically safe to challenge "the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his unelected Vice President."... "The key," he says, "is to recognize that there is a great deal of unity in America around some basic values: peace and security, protection of the planet, a good quality of life for themselves and for others. When people express their patriotism, they are not saying – as some would suggest – that they no longer believe in these things. There's nothing unpatriotic about asserting human values and defending democratic principles. A lot of Americans are telling me this is the highest form of patriotism."

Kucinich Rocks the Boat  
John Nichols

For nearly four months, from September through December of 2001, I did not know whether the book I had just written for HarperCollins – Stupid White Men – was ever going to be read by the American public...

I refused to rewrite a single word of my book. I was proud of everything I had written. In my opinion, Stupid White Men seemed even more relevant than before. Enron, Kenneth Lay, Arthur Andersen – it's all there in my book – and I wrote those passages last spring! What if my book had been released when it was supposed to, on October 2nd? The stuff I had dug up on these guys – I would have been talking about them all over the airwaves long before they skipped outta Dodge with the cookie jar...

For me, it really came down to the fact that, as an American living during a time where our own government (and a mostly compliant press) seeks to silence discussion and "manage" the truth, it was important to tell you what I have seen, what I have been through, and to wonder what would have happened if I had not been a writer who was known and had an audience and an email list that on a good day reaches a few million people. I don't like this feeling, and I would greatly appreciate it if this country would come to its senses and start acting like America again (or least our IDEA of America!).

Re STUPID WHITE MEN...And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! – a Letter from Michael Moore  

Bush, by walking away from the ABM and other multilateral treaties, has done more to boost the proliferation of nuclear weapons than any other world leader in recent history, virtually without public debate...

Serious high-level U.S. politicians have urged, in the cases of both Afghanistan and Iraq, the use of at least tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield. Wars work through violence and retaliation – one side's victory is the other's grief and vow for vengeance. One side's "freedom fighter" is the other's "terrorist," one side's "weapon of mass destruction" is the other's "legitimate right to defend itself." And while the United States has more of the hi-tech, deadly gizmos, all it takes is one small group of people with some imagination and psychotic rage to do an awful lot of damage – if they are convinced that Allah and/or the world will approve.

The United States will never be taken seriously when it proclaims the urgency of abolishing weapons of mass destruction so long as we keep developing them, testing them, deploying them, selling them, and using them ourselves...

So long as Washington, D.C. sees targeting non-combatants as legitimate, killing people as the shortest route to peace, and international cooperation as a game for patsies, others will play by the same rules. The American hubris, that our unique virtue and technological advantage can suppress everyone indefinitely, has been the same mistake that has toppled every great empire in world history.

What Nightmares are Made of: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Theirs and Ours
Geov Parrish

...as the United States hurtles toward a vision of the world as being America's to control by force, is the anti-war crowd today?...needing to do a better job of defending our own territory does not automatically translate into the need to control everyone else's.

...so far, the greatest intelligence and military failure in American history – the inability to either anticipate or defend against the attacks of Sept. 11 – has not only failed to result in any public questioning, let alone wholesale changes, of the agencies that failed us most spectacularly, but has managed to result in giving those agencies enormous new powers and budgets to do more of what failed us in the first place...

Someone, somewhere, at some point, has to start questioning these priorities...So what is to be done? I wish I knew. First, perhaps, is to actually name what is happening: the United States is seeking to conquer the world, militarily as well as economically...you can only go so far down the list of the world's unaccountable, violent, and abusive regimes before Washington itself pops up.

The Empire Strikes Forward: America is Trying to Take Over the World, and No One Can Stop Us Except Us
Geov Parrish



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