Mark S. Blackburn, MBA
Surely some of my dearest friends believe this war will somehow make the world a better place. I love them, and I pray to God for guidance for all Americans as they line up for or against this tragic conflict. In my article I cite credible sources such as CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq poses no threat whatever to US Security. Each of us must make up his own mind who the terrorists are: whether the USA in it's pre-emptive attack, or Iraq in it's desire to not join the American Empire. Here are the best intellectual arguments I am aware of for NOT spending our children's inheritances on this war. Are we liberating Iraq, or simply making more enemies (as if we could)? I have tried to objectively weigh all the evidence, and I have decided to oppose this war. And I love my country. I support our troops. But, I don't support putting them in harm's way except for what little national defense is absolutely essential. If you believe it is unpatriotic for an American & veteran to oppose a war like this, please read this.
In the past two months President Bush has come under increasing attack by all sides for having launched this war based upon deliberately falsified 'intelligence.' I stand by this editorial all the more firmly. -Mark 7/30/03
Photos of Sacramento's spontaneous War Protest today,
Friday, March 21, 2003
by Mark Blackburn
As a wartime veteran, I have a natural bias against war. Every now and then we can forget how awful war is. Sadly, the first casualty of war is usually the TRUTH. This time, it's no different. Under the Constitution, the sole legitimate justification for the use of military force is the defense of vital U.S. security interests. We cannot afford either the fiscal, emotional, nor the diplomatic cost of war for anything less than self-defense.
Iraq does not have the capability for a direct attack on the United States lacking long-range missiles, bombers, and naval forces. Even if Saddam Hussein has nuclear weapons or other 'weapons of mass destruction' (WMD), he would not risk using them on the USA knowing our retaliation would be utterly annihilating since we are the world's premier repository of bombs and their delivery systems. We characterize Saddam as a mad-man, but even the CIA director George Tenet admitted in a letter to congress that Hussein "would not risk an attack on the world's only superpower." The Bush administration has faked and forged documents which indicate Saddam renewed his nuclear program. This smear campaign has been proven a fraud by UN investigation. It makes me wonder why GW is so hell-bent on taking control of Iraq, from the man we put in power there. (Incidentally, I dismiss the oil argument. I don't believe it washes).
USA's leaders believe in and practice nuclear apartheid. In a policy paper for the Cato Institute, researchers Ivan Eland and Bernard Gourley indicate that 12 nations have nuclear weapons, 13 nations have chemical weapons, and 28 nations have ballistic missiles. "But no other of those nations is facing the threat of having its leadership overthrown [by armed invasion and bombing]." The USA is the most guilty having all weapon types and the most sophisticated delivery systems.
Many other thoughtful analysts agree that a war against Iraq is not justified and not in the best interests of the USA. John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt in Foreign Policy (January/February 2003) write "The campaign to wage war against Iraq rests on a flimsy foundation. Americans should realize that a compelling strategic rationale is absent."
Rallying the citizens for Peace in Sacramento, CA March 21, 2003
Saddam Hussein is very unlikely to give WMD to al Qaeda for future attacks against the USA. Hussein would fear retaliation by the USA if he looked culpable. Further his ideological difference with al Qaeda would cause him to fear that group using WMD on Iraq, according to Mearsheimer and Walt.
There is only one thing that would cause Saddam Hussein to use WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) against the USA. This would be a full-scale invasion such as what began 2 days ago. At this point Saddam would know that he has little to lose. And, we'd be close enough for him to use his weapons which he cannot deliver to our shores. In a scenario such as what we have, Saddam realizes he has little to lose. How foolish we are to provoke him! Is this what our leaders are hoping for--that they can bait Saddam into desperate measures? They are certainly making him a desperate man.
The President has provided no evidence that Iraq supported the Sept. 11 attacks. Yet it has hoodwinked the public into believing this war will somehow end or avenge terrorism. Not only will it do neither, it will greatly encourage more terrorism on US soil.
Our invasion of Iraq will cause Muslims everywhere to hate the American unbelievers even more than they already do! Our blood-lusting government is causing great harm to the security of Americans everywhere by increasing the already seething hatred of our country. This makes future terrorist attacks on innocent US citizens almost certain. (No Thanks, President Bush)!
Iraq is a third rate military power posing no threat to the USA whatever! But if you listen to President Bush you would think they are a severe security threat. Not so says Owen Cote, Jr., associate director of Security Studies at MIT. In 1991 Iraq fielded a 3rd rate military force which was quickly defeated. Today they have only 40% as many men in uniform as in 1990! They have less than 1/2 the aircraft, 1/2 the tanks. And, under UN sactions they have almost no munitions left. In fact, many of their tanks are old soviet heaps left over from the 1940s! "...the Iraqi military has done nothing except decline in size and degrade in capability. Iraq's military has been devastated by the Gulf War and a decade of sanctions." Ivan Eland writes, "Americans should ask why the United States--half a world away, is more concerned about the Iraqi threat than are Iraq's neighbors (who oppose a U.S. Invasion)."
The current war in Iraq is unconstitutional. Article 1 Sec. 8 is clear: "The Congress shall have power...to declare war." Congress has no delegation authority in this regard. Our founding fathers took great care to NOT give one single man the power to declare a war. Eland and Gourley state, "An unprovoked attack on another sovereign state...undermines the principles of a constitutional republic." The president of the US has no authority to declare a war on anybody. This war appears as illegitimate as it does immoral and unnecessary.
Click to support world peace
This war will be sinfully expensive. Estimates range well into the trillions of dollars, with additional costs if there are oil well fires (which there already are). The lowest official congressional staff estimate for the invasion and occupation will be $100 billion dollars. Is this how you want your hard-earned money spent--spent guaranteeing more terrorism against America? If this war costs a trillion dollars, that will translate to roughly $14,300 for every family of four! We continue to mortgage our children's lives as IRS-slaves! We have yet to fully pay for our war debt from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or Gulf War I. Bush wants to pay for his war with deficit spending (more interest revenue for international banksters). Why not ask government to sacrifice just like American citizens? --a thoughtful analysis of the funding of this war by the Libertarian Party.
US wars: The cost in today's dollars
Source: William Nordhaus, Yale University. Cost in 2002 dollars.
A pre-emptive strike against a foreign country is un-American. Our super-power status, unique among the nations of the earth today, must require great restraint! President Bush's policy is untenable, unconstitutional, and just plain wrong. There are good reasons the UN Security Council did not favor an invasion. This is why hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world are voicing their extreme displeasure at this aggression against a nearly defenseless country.
Sacramento War Protest March 21, 2003
Who made President Bush ruler of the world? America has the arrogance but not the stability or the maturity to skillfully determine whether foreign rulers are despotic within the context of their distinct foreign religions and cultures. An international league of nations would be much better qualified to do this. And, that it why the United Nations was created. They have voted that no military action should be taken against Iraq, in spite of the Bush administration's powerful lobbying & deal-making. So who is being defiant to the United Nations? Saddam Hussein , or President George W. Bush? It appears to me that President Bush is more defiant, and should be the one placed under UN sanctions.
What is the reaction of other countries to our violent attack?
From the Sacramento Bee (March 21, 2003) in a full-page ad placed by 62 Area businesses:
Questions we should ask:
Who wrote the above ad:
"We are a group of doctors, lawyers, architects, real estate developers, restaurant, salon and shop owners, farmers, artists, journalists, theologians, etc. We are all patriotic people who love our country and city. We understand the difficult problem rogue regimes around the world present. We support our troops whereever they are, always. We just don't support the leaders who needlessly put them in harm's way. We feel it is ultimately more dangerous to the safety of Americans, and the rest of the planet, to irresponsibly throw around our massive weight in a unilateral manner. We started as 44 and succeeded in erecting 6 billboards in the Sacramento area. We have grown to 62 and have now placed full-page ads in the Bee and News and Review.
I oppose this war. And I love my country. If you believe it is unpatriotic for an American to oppose a war like this, please read this.
My prayer: Dear God in heaven bring peace to Iraq and it's people. Bring humility and charity to America's leaders. And bring back tolerance to all Americans, and a love for and understanding of freedom. And, thank God that as many problems as America has, I am still free to express my dissenting opinions. I deeply cherish the fewer freedoms that remain after 9/11.
Matthew 5:39 - But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
1 Peter 3:9 - Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing
John 8:7 - And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone...."
Hebrews 12:14 - Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
2 Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
When our Christian President reads his bible, is he reading and meditating on the above scriptures or ignoring them? Is he violating an innate sense of right and wrong which is easily discernable by all men whether Christian, muslim, hindu, Jew, or agnostic?
There was a very telling passage in 2 Samuel about the prophet Nathan having to tell David that God was going to judge him for sending Uriah the Hittite into intense battle so he would be killed. David lusted after Uriah's beautiful wife, Bathsheba, and had Uriah killed so he could steal his wife...a great offense in Jewish tradition. Recall that David already had many wives, and was blessed by God above all other men at that time. I see Mr. Bush's takeover of Iraq in much the same way as David's treachery to have Bathsheba. Here is the passage:
(Note: Imagine George Bush is the rich man, Saddam Hussein the poor man.)
2 Samuel 12
Imagine that David is the rich man, Saddam is the poor man.
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man! Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel: I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 and I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that] had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the word of Jehovah to do evil in his sight? thou hast smitten Urijah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Urijah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst [it] secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun. 13 And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against Jehovah. And Nathan said to David, Jehovah has also put away thy sin: thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme, even the child that is born to thee shall certainly die.
America: The Ultimate Terrorist by John Pilger
Have you forgotten what War is? by Harry Browne
"Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all."
George Washington's farewell address 1796
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
The peace makers shall be called the children of God.
One can always win a war, but how does one conquer peace?
Michael Holmboe Meyer
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas Alva Edison
It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mark S. Blackburn, MBA
1310 E Street Victorian
Sacramento, CA 95814
Last Updated: February 14, 2010