A Letter to My Fellow Americans

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George
Bush II has a bug regarding Iraq. I think he wants to finish
what his father couldn’t finish. He thinks that Iraq needs to
be dealt with because of the danger it poses to the region. After
all, Saddam Hussein killed a bunch of Kurds — his own people —
with chemical weapons. Or did he?

News reports
circulating in the United States continue to repeat the story
that Iraq killed a large number of Kurds in Halabja during the
Iran-Iraq war. But studies have shown that it was actually the
Iranians who used the chemicals, not Iraq. Yet the false story
that Saddam gassed his own people continues to circulate, making
him appear evil to the average American. After all, the only
other person to ever gas his own people was Hitler.

According
to UN and other reports, our economic sanctions since 1991 have
killed perhaps a million Iraqis, half of which are children
under the age of five. Ramsey Clark, our former attorney general
under LBJ, authored one such report. How do you think the Iraqi
people must feel about us? Iraq has only 33 million people,
so that’s a pretty high percentage of their total population.
About 600,000 Americans were killed during the Civil War. At
that time, our population was about 34 million, so, as a percentage
of population, Iraq’s losses are nearly double what our losses
were during the worst war in our history.

What’s
the big deal about weapons of mass destruction? The United States
has more chemical and biological weapons than any other country
on earth, in spite of the fact that we signed a treaty banning
such weapons. And let’s not even mention our nuclear arsenal.
Then there’s Israel, which has an estimated 200 to 300 nuclear
warheads. Why don’t we demand that weapons inspectors check
them out? The UN is too chicken to even investigate the slaughter
at Jenin and the Bushies are too lilly livered to put up a squawk
about it.

How about
anthrax? It has been revealed through chemical tests that it
came from a US government laboratory in Maryland, just about
a mile from where my daughter lives. That makes me feel really
good.

So why do
the Bushies keep blaming Iraq? Because Saddam Hussein is a threat
to Israel, our “most loyal ally” in the Middle East. Oh, yeah,
I almost forgot – Israel’s also the only democracy in the
Middle East. Well, it is if you forget the inconvenient fact that
Yassir Arafat was democratically elected, although the Israeli
occupiers are preventing the Palestinian democracy from functioning.
Why don’t the Bushies squawk about that? Perhaps someone would
accuse them of being anti-Semitic.

And what’s
so sacred about democracy anyway? Both Hitler and Mussolini came
to power by the democratic process — not to mention Ariel Sharon.

The attack
on the World Trade Center was a direct result of our supporting
Israel all these years. Osama bin Laden gave three reasons for
the attack and they all point to Israel. (1) American troops are
stationed on Saudi soil. Why? So that we can launch air attacks
against Iraq and so that we can protect Israel. (2) Our Iraq policy
of bombing and economic sanctions. Why are we doing it? To protect
Iraq's neighbors. Which neighbors are we concerned about? Not
Lebanon. Not Iran. Not Yemen. Could it be … Israel? (3) Our support
of Israel.

What has
Israel done for us lately? Or ever? It doesn't even have oil.
It is a socialist country that American taxpayers have been forced
to support with our tax dollars since 1948.  The attack on
the World Trade Center caused a few billion dollars damage to
lower Manhattan and a few hundred billion dollars damage to stock
prices. Is it worth it? 

The security
measures imposed on us after September 11 are destroying our freedom.
They are checking our e-mails. They are tapping our phones. 
They are even checking our shoes at airports. Thousands of Americans
and legal residents have been arrested, taken in for questioning
and even jailed as a result of the World Trade Center attack.
The vast majority of them had nothing to do with the attack. Their
only crime was being Muslim.

George Bush
and company are pushing us toward a major war with their idiotic
and blind policy.  At the very least, we should demand
that our government cut off all aid — economic and military —
to Israel. Better yet, we should allow the Palestinians to be
armed so they can defend themselves.

If we don't
stop our unconditional support for Israel, we are going to get
hit again. And for what purpose? 

May
4, 2002

Paul
Goldburg [send him mail],
an economist and accountant, was born, raised, and educated in New
York City.

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