I received this email this other day and I managed to put together some responses to the claims made. I apologize for the length, but as we all know,
soundbytes often fail to portray the truth. Here they are...
There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq during the month of January. In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January.
That's just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war torn country of Iraq.
This is a sad statistic. However, you cannot compare civilian fatalities with combat fatalities…it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The current
estimates for the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the approximate 19-month (and counting) war ranges from approximately 5,000 to 10,000 (from
Christian Science Monitor). That being said, between 263 and 526 Iraqi civilians have died every month since the war began. Talk about a sad
When some claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war, state the following:
FDR...led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us; Japan did.
This is correct...at least partially. On December 8, 1941, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan. However,
“on the morning of December 11 the Government of Germany, pursuing its course of world conquest, declared war against the United States. Italy also
has declared war against the United States. I therefore request the Congress to recognize a state of war between the United States and Germany, and
between the United States and Italy.” – signed Franklin D. Roosevelt (from the Congressional Declaration of War on Germany). Saddam Hussein did not
declare war on us.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost -- an average of 112,500 per year.
Another sad statistic. But again, you cannot compare apples to oranges – World War II was in response to Hitler’s attempt to conquer Europe (through
the invasion of several sovereign nations), and quite possibly the world. Although Saddam did invade Kuwait in the early 1990s, he was “punished” by
the former President Bush and the coalition of 32 nations, which was consistent with past presidential behavior. Saddam had invaded no one since.
Truman finished that war and started one in Korea. North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost -- an average of 18,334 per
This is correct…following the June 25, 1950 North Korean invasion of South Korea, and the subsequent capture of Seoul in early July, Truman agreed
with his advisors to use U.S. airstrikes, unilaterally, against the North Korean forces. However, prior to the airstrikes, the western powers gained
an explicit United Nations mandate for action (from Department of Navy – Navy Historical Center). Still searching for justifications, eh.
John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives
were lost -- an average of 5,800 per year.
As the United States went to war in 1965, a few voices were raised in dissent. Within the Johnson administration, Undersecretary of State George Ball
warned that the South Vietnamese government was a functional nonentity and simply could not be sustained by the United States, even with a major
effort. Antiwar protest groups formed on many of the nation's campuses; but major dissent would not begin until 1966 or later. By and large in 1965,
Americans supported the administration's claim that it was fighting to stop communism in Southeast Asia, or people simply shrugged and went about
their daily lives, unaware that this gradually escalating war would tear American society apart (from The Oxford Companion to American Military
History). This sounds awfully familiar. Let’s hope that we have the wisdom to learn from the past as to not repeat it.
Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times
by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.
Oui! oui! Since when do we need a “permission slip” from another nation. Although I would argue that acting without considering global impacts to be
short-sighted at best.
The above statement is at least partially correct. However, President Clinton did not go to war in Bosnia. The U.S. involvement in that nation was
as a “peacekeeping force” in an attempt to end the war in Bosnia – it was not to overthrow the current government (although I have reservations that
military action can be “peacekeeping”). Additionally, although President Clinton may have had Osama within his grasp, it does not justify President
Bush going to war in Iraq, nor do his actions in Bosnia.
Here are some interesting GOP tidbits concerning Bosnia:
Dole, the GOP front runner for the 1996 presidential nomination, said he and Clinton discussed the situation in the former Yugoslavia. Dole said the
president must convince Congress and the American people that:
The mission serves vital U.S. interests.
The proper number of troops is going for a set length of time.
The expense is worth it.
There is a strategy to withdraw once the military objective is attained.
(from the Associated Press)
I find it interesting that the same things GOP members were complaining about President Clinton and Bosnia are incredibly similar to the issues now
occurring in Iraq. Not only does President Bush not learn form his own mistakes, he apparently doesn’t learn from others, either.
In the two years since terrorists attacked us President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear
inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.
First, the “liberation” of Iraq:
I’m not sure that I consider being fearful of going out after dark, waiting up to 10 hours to fill my car with gas, spreading rumors in the absence of
reliable media, watching landmark buildings set on fire and wondering who is in charge as liberated (from Christian Science Monitor). I do not
disagree that Saddam caused great harm to his people, but you cannot create justifications for war after going to war.
How has Iraq been liberated? Let me count the ways . . .
1. The country is occupied by a foreign power.
2. Its officials are appointed by that foreign power.
3. Its citizens must carry ID cards – hmmm, national ID cards?
4. They must submit to searches of their persons and cars at checkpoints and roadblocks.
5. They must be in their homes by curfew time.
6. Many towns are ringed with barbed wire.
7. The occupiers have imposed strict gun-control laws, preventing ordinary citizens from defending themselves — making robberies, rapes, and assaults
8. Trade with some countries is banned by the occupying authorities.
9. The occupiers have decreed that certain electoral outcomes won't be permitted.
10. Families are held hostage until they reveal the whereabouts of wanted resisters — much like the Nazis held innocent French people hostage during
World War II.
11. Freedom of assembly is outlawed – this would be like banning pro-life rallies outside of abortion clinics.
12. Private property is raided or demolished — with no warning and with no due process of law.
13. The occupiers have created a fiat currency and imposed it on the populace.
14. Newspapers, radio stations, and TV are all supervised by the occupiers – sorry Rush, not in Iraq.
15. Money from the country's oil resources are confiscated and spent in secret by the foreign occupying power (from HarryBrown.org)
I find it amazing how the United States can brag about the freedoms possessed by its own citizens, but refuses to grant these same freedoms to other
nations it has dealings with.
Second, the Taliban:
Prior to September 11, 2001, the Bush administration cozied up to the Taliban regime at a time when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposed
sanctions on Afghanistan because the Kabul government would not turn over Bin Laden (from LA Times).
When one peers beyond all of the rhetoric of the White House and Pentagon concerning the Taliban, a clear pattern emerges showing that construction of
the trans-Afghan pipeline was a top priority of the Bush administration from the outset. Meanwhile, President Bush says that U.S. troops will remain
in Afghanistan for the long haul. Far from being engaged in Afghan peacekeeping -- the Europeans are doing much of that -- our troops will effectively
be guarding pipeline construction personnel that will soon be flooding into the country. Karzai's ties with UNOCAL and the Bush administration are
the main reason why the CIA pushed him for Afghan leader over rival Abdul Haq, the assassinated former mujaheddin leader from Jalalabad, and the
leadership of the Northern Alliance. After Bush's accession to the presidency, various Taliban envoys were received at the State Department, CIA, and
National Security Council. The CIA, which appears, more than ever, to be a virtual extended family of the Bush oil interests, facilitated a renewed
approach to the Taliban (from the Center for Research on Globalization).
Third, al Qaida:
The Bush Team, which can now rely on the support of the interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan, may think that war and oil profits mix. But there is
simply too much evidence that the War in Afghanistan was primarily about building UNOCAL's pipeline, not about fighting terrorism. From the outset,
the Bush administration took a hostile attitude towards the Islamic State of Afghanistan, otherwise known as the Northern Alliance. Even though the
United Nations recognized the alliance as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, the Bush administration, with oil at the forefront of its goals,
decided to follow the lead of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and curry favor with the Taliban mullahs of Afghanistan (from the Center for Research on
Far from being crippled by the U.S.-led war on terror, al-Qaida has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in
Iraq is swelling its ranks. The report suggested that the two military centerpieces of the U.S.-led war on terror - the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
- may have boosted al-Qaida. Osama bin Laden's network appears to be operating in more than 60 nations, often in concert with local allies. The
IISS said its estimate of 18,000 al-Qaida fighters was based on intelligence estimates that the group trained at least 20,000 fighters in its camps in
Afghanistan before the United States and its allies ousted the Taliban regime. In the ensuing war on terror, some 2,000 al-Qaida fighters have been
killed or captured, the survey said. Al-Qaida appears to have successfully reconstituted its operations by dispersing its forces into small groups
and through working with local allies, such as the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front in Turkey, the report said (from International Institute of
Strategic Studies – the London-based institute is considered the most important security think tank outside the United States)
Before responding to the next four items, I would just like to note that I find it reprehensible that anyone would ever try to compare the sacrifices
made by U.S. troops to Senator Kennedy sinking his car, counting the votes in Florida, and the other statements below.
The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but it took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian
compound. That was a 51-day operation.
It may have taken less time to “take” Iraq than the Branch Davidian compound, but it certainly did not cost the lives of over 1,000 U.S. troops or
5,000 Iraqi civilians (low estimate). Nor did it cost the U.S. taxpayers between $100 and $200 billion (from Christian Science Monitor).
We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.
Yes, but Hillary did not use the billing records as a justification for war.
It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police
after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.
Please see above.
It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!! Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB! The Military morale is
high! The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts.
Please see above and below.
Wait, there's more!!!!
JOHN GLENN ON THE SENATE FLOOR Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:13
Some people still don't understand why military personnel do what they do for a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Howard
Metzenbaum is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it's also a good example of one man's explanation of why men
and women in the armed services do what they do for a living. This is a typical, though sad, example of what some who have never served think of the
Senator Metzenbaum to Senator Glenn: "How can you run for Senate when you've never held a real job?" Senator Glenn: "I served 23 years in the
United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in
the space program. It wasn't my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line. It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the
daily cash receipts to the bank. I ask you to go with me ... as I went the other day ... to a veteran's hospital and look at those men -- with their
mangled bodies -- in the eye, and tell THEM they didn't hold a job! You go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the
widows and orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee ... and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their DADS didn't hold a job.
You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more friends buried than I'd like to remember, and you
watch those waving flags. You stand there, and you think about this nation, and you tell ME that that those people didn't have a job? I'll tell you,
Howard Metzenbaum; you should be on your knees every day of your life thanking God that there were some men who held REAL jobs. And they required a
dedication to a purpose -- and a love of country and a dedication to duty – that was more important than life itself. And their self-sacrifice is what
made this country possible. I HAVE held a job, Howard! What about you?"
For those who don't remember - During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the Communist Party in the USA. Now he is a Senator! If
you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran. It might not be a bad idea to keep this circulating until
Yes, there is more! However, not only does this section not relate to the war in Iraq, it is merely an attempt to tug at the heart-strings of those
reading this email hoping that it will somehow secure the credibility of the claims made in this email.
Please do not take my previous statement for support of Senator Metzenbaum’s comment to Senator Glenn. I think it is imperative that we support our
troops. However, I do not believe that to support our troops we, as citizens of the United States, need to blindly follow the mistakes made by an
ideological demagogue. In fact, I can think of no better way to express my patriotism than to exercise every right granted to me under the U.S.
Constitution. To quote Thomas Jefferson, “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”.
The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech". But if the First Amendment is to mean anything,
it has to protect political expression that is considered revolutionary or otherwise not in line with mainstream America, not just expression approved
of by the majority. That being said, I am proud that we as a nation allow those who wish to support communism to do so. Additionally, a huge
assumption is made in the original email in discussing Senator Metzenbaum’s affiliations as an attorney – indeed; attorneys are often called upon to
represent ideologies not held by the many, and upon closer inspection, to represent the very system itself (e.g.; The ACLU defending Rush Limbaugh’s
privacy rights involving alleged “doctor-shopping.”).
FYI – there is no official language of the United States (from U.S. Constitution online).