THE WATCHMAN - A Quarterly Publication of Mem Research
Vol. II No. 3
March 1, 2003

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"Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." – Psalm 127:1
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EDITORIAL

It has been very encouraging for the past three months to see both international and domestic opposition building against a hasty war with Iraq. At the same time it is unnerving to observe what looks like the beginning of a total meltdown in world affairs. I can’t possibly keep myself or anyone else up on all the news, and won’t make any pretense of it this issue. I can only hit one or two points about which I think I have something interesting or relevant to say.

“CONFLICT” seems to be engraved in the earth by God’s own finger in large letters spanning the entire globe. On one side: the Bush Administration, its corporate backers, the Party’s “true believers,” and America’s foreign lackeys. On the other side: the rest of America and the world.

A few members of congress are trying to gain back the war authority which they and their peers unconstitutionally handed the White House last year. Americans are rallying by the tens of thousands to protest a war that hasn’t even begun yet. The religious community ran a full-page ad in the New York Times graciously pointing out the hypocrisy of Bush’s push for war: “JESUS CHANGED YOUR HEART. NOW LET HIM CHANGE YOUR MIND.” The New York Times and Washington Post seem to be coming off the White House bandwagon with cutting editorials and reports that world leaders see Bush as a greater threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein. America’s oldest allies are becoming alienated. A career American diplomat has resigned in protest, despite his stated commitment to his country and a lifelong belief that the interests of America and the rest of the world did coincide. His feelings are shared by many of his peers.

The administration may be finding itself backed into a corner, but that is when some animals become the most dangerous. The troop deployments not only continue in the Gulf, but are now being scaled up in Colombia and the Philippines. War plans are in the works for Korea, where Kim Jong Il becomes increasingly belligerent. And on the domestic front, the Bush administration is concocting a follow-up to the draconian October 2001 PATRIOT act that makes the former act look tame by comparison. If the administration becomes desperate enough in its bid to regain control, we may be facing another 9-11.

Despite all this, there are a number of good people in America who are convinced that war protesters are either evil or stupid. Here is what I might say to such a person whom I knew personally:

WHY I OPPOSE THE WAR

I do not support unilateral action against Iraq nor many of the administration's other initiatives, such as legislating away our constitutional rights. In fact, I plan to join a public protest next Wednesday.

There seems to be a common perception that anti-war activists oppose war in all circumstances and/or that they are anti-American. I have never served in combat, but there are days I would like to take up arms against the most dangerous enemies of democracy – the domestic ones. I am not afraid to kill or die or be imprisoned for my cause and my country, but I feel that I would be doing disservice and bringing dishonor to the name of my Lord and Savior to go to extremes in pursuit of this cause. I patiently wait for the good people of America to realize that they are being misled down the road to oppression and fascism and I do what I can to get their attention.

If you would like to understand some of the reasons people like myself are protesting this drive toward war, here they are.

Perhaps the best summary of my feelings about this war is found in the New Testament: "a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit." Even if this war were right and necessary, I could not expect the Bush administration to conduct it in an honorable manner. There will be too much butchery, too little regard for justice and decency in establishing a replacement regime.

I believe that - like Castro, Ho, Stalin, bin Laden, Noriega and Hitler - Saddam is just another "enemy du jour" which our government created in order to have an enemy to rally the people against while covering their own misdeeds.

The US has done more harm than good over the past 15 years of its relations with Iraq. For a brief review: The former Bush White House illegally armed Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. They gave him a "green light" to invade Kuwait, then reacted with pretended shock when he did so. They left him weakened but still in power at the end of the Gulf War. The Iraqi people, whose exclusive right and duty it is to bring democracy to Iraq, might have done so in the past twelve years if US-led economic sanctions hadn't made them sick and hungry, and if occasional US airstrikes hadn't reminded them that Saddam was the only protection they had against the West.

Saddam is a dangerous man. But America cannot solve this with unilateral military action. The US is already becoming a rogue state in the eyes of the rest of the world. The Washington Post reported two days ago that many world leaders see George W. Bush, not Saddam Hussein, as the primary threat to world peace. How can we export our ideals in such a climate? The US' insistence on immediate enforcement of UN resolutions that Saddam must disarm is seen as utter hypocrisy in view of the US' complete apathy toward UN resolution 242, a much longer-standing decision that Israel must withdraw from the territories it invaded in 1967. We decry Saddam's human rights violations but have turned a blind eye to the Israel's post 9-11 escalation of brutality toward the Palestinians.

We are being lied to. The evidence that Tony Blair was touting at the beginning of this month (and which Colin Powell praised before the UN) was plagiarized from a graduate student's paper which described Iraq as it was ten years ago. If anyone but the Bush administration and its foreign lap-dog were pushing for this war, then it might have some credibility.

Though this is not a belief commonly held by other anti-war activists, I believe that the Bush administration and its backers have more responsibility for the 9-11 attacks than Osama bin Laden or anyone in Afghanistan. What little the administration has told us about the attacks is as phony as a three-dollar bill. The FBI had to quit looking for the source of the anthrax mailings to Congress when the trail led them to a CIA-connected military lab. Mohammad Atta's money came from a so-called "ally" in Pakistan's intelligence service, one who was visiting Washington in the days before the attacks. The real “terrorists" live in places like Washington DC, Texas and Florida. So show the facts. This administration is at war with its own people. It is putting constant pressure on Congress to undermine whatever constitutional rights it can get away with. It is actually testing the waters for a follow-up to the October 2001 PATRIOT act which would provide for naturalized citizens to be stripped of their citizenship if a secret tribunal finds them guilty of supporting terrorism.

9-11 is the 21st century's Reichstag Fire. If we give this administration more power by supporting its war, there will be many more tragedies to follow.

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PASSAGES
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December 13
“Blond Ghost” fades into un-history
Former CIA officer Ted Shackley, about whose career we may never really know the smallest fraction, died at the age of 75 in Maryland. Nicknamed the “Blond Ghost,” Shackley’s name has been connected to several agency scandals, many of which are still shrouded in secrecy even after partial exposure to an outraged public. He headed the CIA’s Miami station during some of the more intense years of the anti-Castro campaigns and then went to Southeast Asia as the Agency was hitting the big time in the heroin business there. As head of Latin American operations in 1973, he oversaw the overthrow of Chile’s Salvador Allende and the rise of the brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet. Rising to the Agency’s number 2 position under director George Bush, Shackley was let go by Bush’s successor after his ties to terrorist Edwin Wilson were discovered. His name surfaced again during the Iran-Contra scandal. He died a free man.

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