Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Cry Havoc

"Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." This quote from Shakespeare came to mind immediately after 9/11; when our emotions of anger, hate and fear were not tempered by reason. At such time, we fail to recognize that: "Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well as destroy the object on which it is poured." Ann Landers

Our frustration of having to deal with a shadowy, cunning and elusive enemy was to be expected. Adroitly, the Bush regime surreptitiously diverted our frustration and rage away from Saudi Muslim fundamentalist to the secular regime of Saddam Hussein. The invasion of Iraq is a distraction from the global war on terrorism and by fraudulently linking Iraq and al Qaeda; Bush was able to carry out an agenda. which was first revealed by Paul Wolfowitz in 1992.

Senator Robert Byrd's "Losing America" discloses: Donald Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were among 18 signatures on a letter to then President Clinton in 1998, which urged a preemptive war against Saddam Hussein. Of the eighteen signers of the letter; eleven held post in the Bush administration, when Iraq was invaded. In Ron Suskin's "The Price of Loyalty" former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill confirms that ten days after Bush's inauguration the focus at the first National Security Council meeting was war with Iraq.

The Bush regime (which includes a majority in both houses of Congress) have gotten their preemptive war and have succeeded in creating havoc for our overstretched military.

"Wars are all about chaos and catastrophes, death and suffering and lifelong grief, which is why you should go to war only when it's absolutely unavoidable...Since we learned nothing from Vietnam, we are doomed to repeat it again, this time in horrifying slow-motion in Iraq." Bob Herbert; NY Times

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Have we lost our voice?

The following quote was found in Senator Robert Byrd's"Losing America":

"Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farming in one piece.? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship."

At this point the interviewer asserts: "There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war."

The response: "Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Hermann Goering, quoted in the Nuremberg Diary (1946) by G. M. Gilbert. (Goering was Hilter’s designated successor.)

Since, World War II, Congress has avoided discharging, its Constitutional responsibility to declare war. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Senator Byrd pointed out: "We stand passively mute in the Senate...only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there...discussion of the prudence..of engaging in this particular war." Thus; members of Congress avoided being labeled unpatriotic or weak on defense. Have we lost our voice? Was Goering correct about democracy?

Why they hate us

We have repeatedly heard;" They hate us", but no one seems to explain, why they hate us? Since 2003, we have provided more reasons for them to hate us. Career counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke author of "Against All Enemies" points out. "We invaded and occupied an oil rich Arab country that posed no threat to us...We delivered to al Qaeda the greatest recruitment propaganda imaginable."

Clarke served four presidents and established a record for continuous service in national security policy positions. His career began as an analyst on nuclear weapons under Reagan. On 9/11, he was the nations crisis manager in Bush’s White House situation room. His book is a non-partisan chronology of the facts before, during and after 9/11.

In 1993, Clinton ordered cruise missiles launched against Iraqi intelligence headquarters. Initially, Clarke was disappointed that the response had been so small. Ten years later he wrote: ....."U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities never developed any evidence of further Iraqi support for terrorism directed against Americans. Until we invaded Iraq in 2003."

Another reason al Qaeda will have no shortage of recruits is the humiliating torture of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. Donald Rumsfeld says "We are different." Are we? If so when are we going to start to prove it?

Major General Tabuga had investigated this abuse of Iraqi prisoners and testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Most Senators expressed outrage. Oklahoma Republican Senator Inhofe angrily remarked "I’m outraged by the outrage of humanitarian do gooders." Senator Inhofe represents an element of the Republican party, that views concern for mankind as a personality defect.

Our outrage should be that the invasion of Iraq and the humiliating abuse of Iraqi prisoners provided our original enemy al Qaeda an opportunity to regroup, fostered more hatred; thereby encouraging more terrorists to kill Americans. "When we mistreat one person, I've got a net increase of nine enemies." Major General Peter Chicarelli, Baghdad, Iraq, September 2004.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Traitor and Turncoat

In a hospital in Vietnam two young Marines; an officer and a corporal were recuperating from severe wounds. The officer visited the corporal from his point team. The corporal was depressed, but finally blurted out: "Sir, why are we here?" The officer gave him the "party line" response, but soon realized the answer was inadequate.

Many years later, the officer, Anthony Zinni remembers: "I swore that from then on...if something...put the lives of our troops at needless risk...I would speak out, never hesitating to put my career on the line for doing what was right by my men."

Marine General Anthony Zinni established his impeccable credentials during nearly forty years of military service. After retirement, he served as Colin Powell's special envoy to the Middle East, before disagreements over the Iraq war and its probable aftermath caused him to resign. Zinni is quoted by Tom Clancy in "Battle Ready;" a segment entitled "The Obligation to Speak the Truth."

He says: "In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw at minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence, and corruption. False rationales presented as justification; a flawed strategy; lack of planning; the unnecessary alienation of our allies; the underestimation of the task; the unnecessary distraction from real threats, and the unbearable strain dumped on our overstretched military, all of these caused me to speak out."

For speaking out Zinni was called a traitor and a turncoat by Pentagon officials. Zinni strongly disagrees with the mentality which says: "As long as guys are dying out there, it is morally reprehensible to criticize the flawed policies and tactics that put them into the predicaments."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I don't find Kerry's record `hilarious'

Since this is my first blog posting, here's my first letter to the editor...

Disparaging remarks were published recently by an ex-Marine about Sen. John Kerry. The crux appears to be that Kerry doesn't have a limp and that he served only four months in Vietnam. Consequently, he found the idea of Kerry being a legitimate war hero "hilarious."

A half-century ago, I served under Maj. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller. He was considered the most highly decorated Marine in the history of the Corps, by virtue of having been awarded five Navy Crosses. For the uninitiated, a Navy Cross ranks second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor and a step above the Silver Star. Chesty had been wounded numerous times, but didn't walk with a limp. Are his credentials to be considered "hilarious"?

Kerry served two tours of duty in Vietnam. They should be eager to examine the credibility of a testimonial given by a veteran at an Iowa caucus rally, in which he told a national TV audience, "I owe this man my life."

Ironically, Kerry doesn't consider himself a hero. However, his credibility was challenged. The presidential election is going to be on current issues but will be primarily about credibility.

It's our patriotic duty to become educated on the issues, stand up and challenge misinformation, while actively seeking truth.