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Teaching & Understanding Sept 11:

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For many years, I have opposed the war on drugs without being anti-police. I disagree with drugs laws that run counter to individual liberty, disproportionately hurt minorities, are inconsistent with how we treat other drugs like tobacco, and would be much better dealt with through a public health approach. I'm troubled that even with the country at elevated levels of alert, the Bush administration launches Operation Pipedream and busts Pipesforyou.com, while Ken Lay and other corporate scoundrels haven't been indicted. But I can still appreciate the police who implement these laws and I respect that they act out of a sense of duty and patriotism, including many of my students - who have been beaten up, stabbed, shot and left for dead in the line of duty. 

Likewise, I oppose the war in Iraq and support the troops. I disagree with the unilateralist policy that guides their orders, issued by a President who caused 'a diplomatic train wreck.' I'm not supporting Saddam, but see the U.S. squandering our international legitimacy when there are other important threats like North Korea, bin Laden (still haven't found him 18 months into the war on terrorism) and Al Quaeda (which is weakened, but likely developed chemical weapons). Saddam certainly isn't causing our economic problems, which are an immediate problem for many Americans. So, I support our troops - I'd like to see my students and everyone over there return healthy - but not the policy that put them there. [Still don't get it? Try Vietnam Vets Against the War and Veterans Against the Iraq War.]

This page is part of Teaching & Understanding Sept 11, whose contents include Justice & War: The Ethics of International Conflicts and understanding anti-Americanism

Up ] July 02 ] Aug 02 #1 ] Aug 02 #2 ] sniper ] Nov 03 ] [ Iraq 1 ] Iraq 2 ]

Photo of the Week

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Daily update, Christian Science Monitor

CURRENT CONCERNS (scroll down for other links - church & religion links moved to photo page)

The NY Times headline was Bush Offers Optimism to Cheering Marines, but the last half of the story quotes a senior administration official as noting "our task is now changing from managing irrational skepticism to managing irrational exuberance."  Also, "Both Pentagon aides and officials close to Mr. Bush cautioned today that it might take some time before forces were ready to enter Baghdad, and the battle for Baghdad could take some unexpected turns. 'There is still much work to be done, some of which will be very, very difficult,' General Myers said.

"Mr. Rumsfeld argued that the much-questioned war plan had 'avoided a number' of potential troubles, including missile attacks on Israel and other major risks. But he said risks continued, adding that 'nothing is over until it's over'."

Universal health care. Rebuilding the nation's schools. Repair of the road and rail networks. Sounds like a Democratic domestic agenda, right? Actually, it's the Bush administration's plan for the re-construction of Iraq. Now, I'm all for rebuilding Iraq when Saddam's gone. But it's ironic that Republicans don't have plans to stop the rise of Americans without health care. [rest of comment and response ~ 2.1 million jobs lost during Bush administration]

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said yesterday the war on Iraq would produce "one hundred new bin Ladens", driving more Muslims to anti-Western militancy.

Outrage Spreads in Arab World: Civilian Deaths in Baghdad Market Called a 'Massacre' (Washington Post)  "Mr. Bush has lost us. We are gone. Enough," said Diaa Rashwan, head of the comparative politics unit at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "If America starts winning tomorrow, there will be suicide bombing that will start in America the next day. It is a whole new level now."

The anger was a clear sign that U.S.-Arab relations, despite the Bush administration's campaign to win hearts and minds, was at a low point. "Bush is an occupier and terrorist. He thought he was playing a video game," said George Elnaber, 36, a Arab Christian and the owner of a supermarket in Amman. "We hate Americans more than we hate Saddam now"

Channel-Surfing Carnage of War, Saudis' Anger At U.S. Grows: With Protests Prohibited, Emotions Flare in Private. (Washington Post)  "America is so unfair it makes people frustrated and they want to kill every American in the street," she says. "If America wants to step over everybody, then we will fight. I will kill Americans in the street."

Rich and poor, young and old, Saudis are seething over the war in Iraq. Many feel connections to the people across the border, sharing names with Iraqi tribes. It is virtually impossible to find a Saudi who has even a vaguely sympathetic word to say about American intentions. 

"I don't understand why Israel can have nuclear weapons and Saddam Hussein cannot,"

al-Qaida website to their "brothers in Iraq": “victory over the U.S. [in Iraq] is very possible ... easy beyond the imagination” and depends on “depleting, exhausting and terrorizing the enemy.” It advises Iraqi Muslims to fight in small groups trained in “reconnaissance, traps and raiding operations,” and to mount rocket launchers on pickup trucks.

In Afghanistan, al-Qaida’s secret weapon was not the ever present pickup truck, but a Toyota Corolla — a passenger car — filled with bombs and shoulder-fired missiles. “The enemy did not notice we were using them, and most were not directly targeted” 

Marines Face 'Vietnam-Style' Combat With Mixed Results - maybe it's time to read up on asymmetric warfare?

Suicide Bombing Kills U.S. Troops ~ Assaults on Baghdad intensify; Iraq vows more bombing attacks against US troops

German Builder Says US Bombs Can’t Bust Saddam’s Bunkers

NOT SO SMART BOMBS DEVASTATE ORDINARY LIVES - British paper shows Iraqi civilian casualty photos most other western media have not run

Letter of resignation, written by career diplomat John Brady Kiesling to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell: "The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security." [Much more...]

 International humanitarian law (IHL) in brief: International humanitarian law is a set of rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. International humanitarian law is also known as the law of war or the law of armed conflict.

Not In Our Name


United For Peace

Great Photos of protests from around the world

Photo is from a story at ForeignPolicy.com called The Terrorist Notebooks. "During the mid-1990s, a group of young Uzbeks went to school to learn how to kill you. Here is what they were taught." 

Link just goes to a short teaser, but has other photos and it's worth checking out their website if you haven't been there before.

They hate us for our freedom? DOWNS AND HIS SON each had a pro-peace shirt made at a store in the mall. One shirt simply said "Let Inspections Work" on one side and "No War With Iraq" on the other. The other shirt said "Give Peace A Chance" on the front and "Peace On Earth" on the back. The men were not disturbing any shoppers, but their presence apparently caused a Macy's employee to report them to mall security. When security approached them in the food court, Downs and his son were asked to remove their shirts. Roger Downs complied, but when Stephen Downs wouldn't, he was told to leave the mall. When he refused, he was arrested for trespassing. [charges dropped after protests...]

The Human and Humanitarian Consequences of a War on Iraq (GlobalIssues.net)

Not Fit to Fight?: With War Looming, the Military Is Still Discharging Gays: Although his language skills will be in high demand if the United States attacks Iraq, Alastair Gamble knows he won't be going to the Gulf. Gamble, who has had training by the Army to interrogate prisoners in Arabic, was discharged last summer for being gay. Dr. Monica Hill, an Air Force reservist who received a military scholarship to complete her medical studies, was eager to serve in the Gulf, too. But she won't be going either: she was discharged in October after notifying her superiors of her homosexuality because she wanted to care for her partner, who was dying of cancer.  [also: Human Rights Watch report on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and anti-gay harassment in the military]





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