Monday, December 25, 2006

John Lennon about Christmas

And so this is Christmas,
And what have you done?
Another year over,
A new one just begun.- John Lennon

For 2007, I vow to get more involved, to fight for justice for our troops. After all, they are the ones out there exposed to and threatened by the actions of Bush and Cheney. They are the ones who have sent me manuscripts. I owe them back. --Walter Haan,

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, We are the Japanese

We have shown complete disregard for the Iraqis. When they were overjoyed at the fall of Saddam Hussein, the American occupiers accepted their gratitude but exhibited complete disregard for their needs, their allegiance or the potential threats to them. We threw Iraqis out of work, allowed them to use weapons on each other in sectarian violence and deprived them of necessities.

This is what the Japanese did during World War II in places like the Netherlands East Indies. It invaded and overthrew territory of a western colonial power and the Indonesians at first felt liberated. Then reality set in. If an Indonesian looked a Japanese soldier in the eye on the street, he was beaten. All Indonesians were required to look down when approaching the Japanese as a sign of servitude. Millions of them were rounded up and transported against their will on Hell Ships to places like Thailand to be coolies for Japanese construction projects like the River Kwai Railway bridge project. The death rate was terrible, both on the Hell Ships and on the job for the Japanese. Oh, and the Japanese said they did all of this to liberate Indonesia.

I saw a figure this morning that 650,000 Iraqis have died because of our invasion, occupation and our liberation of them from Saddam Hussein.

On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, it is recommended that we fly our flags at half-staff. I suggest that this should not only be for the over 3,000 casualties inflicted 61 years ago in Hawaii BUT ALSO for the casualties we have caused in Iraq since 2003.

Tojo said that the western colonial powers "surrounded" them and needed to be eliminated. That led to Pearl Harbor. How Japan could be "surrounded" by western colonies that were all located south of Japan is interesting. Bush said we needed to eliminate Saddam Hussein because he had weapons of mass destruction. That wasn't true either. In both cases, securing resources, such as oil, was behind the invasions. Bush is our Tojo. --Walter Haan,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group Report Took Nine Months to Compile???

A few excerpts from portions of the Iraq Study Group report, which was being released today, follow.

My question is this: IT TOOK NINE MONTHS TO WRITE THIS REPORT??????? I could have written it overnight nine months ago.

''The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved.'' Duh!

''Our most important recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these two recommendations are equally important and reinforce one another. If they are effectively implemented, and if the Iraqi government moves forward with national reconciliation, Iraqis will have an opportunity for a better future, terrorism will be dealt a blow, stability will be enhanced in an important part of the world, and America's credibility, interests and values will be protected.'' Really?????

''If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al-Qaida could win a propaganda victory and expand its base of operations. The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized.'' This isn't rocket science.

''During the past nine months we have considered a full range of approaches for moving forward. All have flaws. Our recommended course has shortcomings, but we firmly believe that it includes the best strategies and tactics to positively influence the outcome in Iraq and the region.'' NINE MONTHS, NINE MONTHS WASTED, WHILE AMERICAN LIVES WERE WASTED!!!!

And Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are still not being held accountable.

This all reminds me of something I read about 17th Century Dutch history in the East Indies. Native sultans didn't always honor trading agreements with the Dutch, causing friction. The Dutch, eventually under their top leader in the Indies, Coen, attacked those sultanates that were being dishonest in their dealings, causing casualties among the natives. Coen was called back to Amsterdam to explain his violence and scolded for his launching of attacks. The directors of the Dutch East India Company told him he wasn't sent there to do that.

The difference here is that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld sent our forces to Iraq to exactly do that: attack and occupy. And unlike in Coen's case, there is no one with the balls to scold or impeach them for their illegal actions and for overextending US forces. --Walter Haan,

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Who won?"

News Report from this morning:
The USS Intrepid is no longer stuck in the mud.This morning, one month after the first attempt failed, a team of tugboats yanked the old, gray World War II aircraft carrier from its berth in the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan, where it has served as a military museum for 24 years."

The reasons for moving the Intrepid were that its dock needed to be rebuilt and the ship itself needed to be drydocked to clean and paint its bottom. I remember my last visit to the Intrepid with my family some years ago. On board there was an elderly Navy man, in uniform, acting as a guide and resource for the many visitors. We struck up a conversation with him and he commented on the number of children and teenagers that visited the museum. He said they simply had no knowledge of World War II and he was sorry that history classes in the nation's schools were failing their students so badly.

One group of students had asked him who he was and why he was there. After he explained his and the ship's involvement in fighting the Japanese during World War II, one of the students asked, "Who won?"

Today is also the day that Robert Gates is being grilled by a Senate panel in preparation to becoming our new Secretary of Defense. Gates has already admitted this morning that the US went to war in Iraq without a large enough Army. That grave error by outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld results in all of us asking that same question: Because of that blunder, "Who won?"

It certainly wasn't the almost 3,000 Armed Force's casualties we have suffered in Iraq. But the defense contractor Haliburton could certainly be considered a winner. I noticed in our Web Site statistics that someone at Haliburton has been looking at I don't know why, but I find that frightening.

Education is the key. Today's kids in school need to know about World War II. Today's adults need more information about why American Presidents think the US should go to war before he commits our troops and sets up his propaganda campaign to mislead us. --Walter Haan,