Friday, April 14, 2006

Privacy Rights

Privacy Rights Alerts & New Fact Sheets -- for the following topics:
FAQ & Index
Identity Theft
Background Checks &
Financial Privacy
Internet Privacy
Medical Records
& Telephone
Public & Government
Direct Marketing
Speeches - Testimony
Consumers Speak Out
Privacy Links & Blogs
Sample Letters

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

UCI New University Newspaper

UCI New University Newspaper: "Robert Scheer, an editor emeritus at the Los Angeles Times once said, “The greatest instrument of a free and democratic society is the press.” The staff of the New University should take Scheer’s words to heart and fight our hardest to fulfill that ultimate duty of the press: to inform our readers about the news and information that directly affects their lives."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Iran Focus-News

Iran Focus-NewsPublished in English. Iran Focus is a non-profit news service provider that focuses on events in Iran, Iraq and the Middle East. With a network of specialists and analysts of the region and correspondents and reporters in several countries, Iran Focus is able to provide fast and reliable news and analysis on the political, social and economic situation in the region.

Iran Focus is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date information and news on the Persian Gulf region in a fair and balanced manner. We provide a wide array of daily news, weekly and special feature packages, commentary, news analysis, and investigative reporting. Through editorial initiatives and access to intelligence sources, our stories offer an insight into the complex situation in the Persian Gulf region that is indispensable to scholars, journalists, politicians, business people and all those interested in this sensitive part of the world.

Reflections/comments by some of the best....

1) Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a
member of Congress. But then I repeat myself ............Mark

2) I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity
is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself
up by the handle. ........Winston Churchill

3) A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always
depend on the support of Paul. .........George Bernard Shaw

4) A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow
man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
.........G Gordon Liddy

5) Democracy must be something more than two wolves and
a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
..........James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

6) Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from
poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
.........Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown

7) Giving money and power to government is like giving
whiskey and car keys to teenage boys
.............P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

8) Government is the great fiction, through which everybody
endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
......Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

9) Government's view of the economy could be summed up in
a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it If it keeps moving,
regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
........ ...Ronald Reagan (1986)

10) I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report
the facts. ..........Will Rogers

11) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you
see what it costs when it's free. .......P.J. O'Rourke

12) In general, the art of government consists of taking as
much money as possible from one party of the citizens
to give to the other. ......Voltaire (1764)

13) Just because you do not take an interest in politics
doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.
.......Pericles (430 B.C.)

14) No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the
legislature is in session. ........Mark Twain (1866)

15) Talk is cheap except when Congress does it.

16) The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a
happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
.........Ronald Reagan

17) The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of
the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the
equal sharing of misery. .....Winston Churchill

18) The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. ........Mark Twain

19) The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of
folly is to fill the world with fools.
...........Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

20) There is no distinctly native American criminal class... save
Congress. .........Mark Twain

21) What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
.......Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)

22) A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
..........Thomas Jefferson

David Ray Grifiin

David Ray Grifiin: "View the program online now for free. David Ray Griffin Reveals Major 9/11 Cover-up. C-SPAN
Windows Media Player required (free download)"

Secret Government

Secret Government: "“The National Security Act of ‘47 gave us the National Security Council. Never have we had a National Security Council so concerned about the nation’s security that we’re always looking for threats and looking how to orchestrate our society to oppose those threats. National Security was invented, almost, in 1947, and now it has become the prime mover of everything we do as measured against something we invented in 1947.' - "The Secret Government" Part 1 (11 minutes) - "The Secret Government" Part 2 (11 minutes)
Windows Media Player (free download) is required to view documentary - Written transcript of "The Secret Government" - PBS website gives brief bio of Bill Moyers
-- U.S. Navy Admiral Gene La Rocque in PBS Documentary 'The Secret Government' (view free)"

Power of Nightmares

Power of Nightmares: "Both an eye-opening BBC documentary, The Power of Nightmares (view free), and my own personal experience as a presidential interpreter expose disturbing manipulations in the war on terror. The Power of Nightmares and two other highly revealing videos are available online for free viewing at the links provided below. My own personal experience working in secret meetings with several presidents and other top officials as an interpreter for the US Department of State are also described below. Links are provided to recent articles in the mainstream media about my experiences. At the end of this email are empowering suggestions on how you can help to strengthen democracy and build a brighter future for us" View the three-part BBC documentary Power of Nightmares free at the Google video links below:
Real Player required, free download available at

Each episode is one hour. If you have time for only one, Part 3 is the most revealing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS Before the U.S. House of Representatives April 5, 2006

Here is a very pertinent message delivered by Republican
Representative Ron Paul before the U.S. House of Representatives in
which he describes the negative effects of the war against Iraq, but
whose primary purpose is to warn Congress against an attack against
Iran. He says " we have suffered over 20,000 American casualties In
Iraq already and Iraq civilian deaths (plus their military deaths)
probably number over 100,000 by all reasonable accounts." He also says
that the Iraq war has caused the price of gas at our pumps to double
and if we attack Iran, it is sure to double that, at $6.00 or more
dollars per gal. at the pumps a certainty.

It is a long read but you are sure to value the information given by
the Republican, Hon. Ron Paul of Texas.


HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS Before the U.S. House of Representatives April
5, 2006

Iran: The Next Neocon Target

It's been three years since the U.S. launched its war against Saddam
Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Of course now almost
everybody knows there were no WMDs, and Saddam Hussein posed no threat
to the United States. Though some of our soldiers serving in Iraq
still believe they are there because Saddam Hussein was involved in
9/11, even the administration now acknowledges there was no
connection. Indeed, no one can be absolutely certain why we invaded
Iraq. The current excuse, also given for staying in Iraq, is to make
it a democratic state, friendly to the United States. There are now
fewer denials that securing oil supplies played a significant role in
our decision to go into Iraq and stay there. That certainly would
explain why U.S. taxpayers are paying such a price to build and
maintain numerous huge, permanent military bases in Iraq. They're also
funding a new billion dollar embassy- the largest in the world.

The significant question we must ask ourselves is: What have we
learned from three years in Iraq? With plans now being laid for regime
change in Iran, it appears we have learned absolutely nothing. There
still are plenty of administration officials who daily paint a rosy
picture of the Iraq we have created. But I wonder: If the past three
years were nothing more than a bad dream, and our nation suddenly
awakened, how many would, for national security reasons, urge the same
invasion? Would we instead give a gigantic sigh of relief that it was
only a bad dream, that we need not relive the three-year nightmare of
death, destruction, chaos and stupendous consumption of tax dollars.
Conceivably we would still see oil prices under $30 a barrel, and most
importantly, 20,000 severe U.S.

causalities would not have occurred. My guess is that 99% of all
Americans would be thankful it was only a bad dream, and would never
support the invasion knowing what we know today.

Even with the horrible results of the past three years, Congress is
abuzz with plans to change the Iranian government. There is little
resistance to the rising clamor for "democratizing" Iran, even though
their current president, Mahmoud Almadinejad, is an elected leader.
Though Iran is hardly a perfect democracy, its system is far superior
to most of our Arab allies about which we never complain. Already the
coordinating propaganda has galvanized the American people against
Iran for the supposed threat it poses to us with weapons of mass
destruction that are no more present than those Saddam Hussein was
alleged to have had. It's amazing how soon after being thoroughly
discredited over the charges levied against Saddam Hussein the
Neo-cons are willing to use the same arguments against Iran.

It's frightening to see how easily Congress, the media, and the people
accept many of the same arguments against Iran that were used to
justify an invasion of Iraq.

Since 2001 we have spent over $300 billion, and occupied two Muslim
nations--Afghanistan and Iraq. We're poorer but certainly not safer
for it. We invaded Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden, the ring leader

9/11. This effort has been virtually abandoned. Even though the
Taliban was removed from power in Afghanistan, most of the country is
now occupied and controlled by warlords who manage a drug trade bigger
than ever before. Removing the Taliban from power in Afghanistan
actually served the interests of Iran, the Taliban's arch enemy, more
than our own.

The longtime Neo-con goal to remake Iraq prompted us to abandon the
search for Osama bin Laden. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was hyped as
a noble mission, justified by misrepresentations of intelligence
concerning Saddam Hussein and his ability to attack us and his
neighbors. This failed policy has created the current chaos in Iraq--
chaos that many describe as a civil war. Saddam Hussein is out of
power and most people are pleased. Yet some Iraqis, who dream of
stability, long for his authoritarian rule. But once again, Saddam
Hussein's removal benefited the Iranians, who consider Saddam Hussein
an arch enemy.

Our obsession with democracy-- which is clearly conditional, when one
looks at our response to the recent Palestinian elections-- will allow
the majority Shia to claim leadership title if Iraq's election
actually leads to an organized government. This delights the Iranians,
who are close allies of the Iraqi Shia.

Talk about unintended consequences! This war has produced chaos, civil
war, death and destruction, and huge financial costs. It has
eliminated two of Iran's worst enemies and placed power in Iraq with
Iran's best friends. Even this apparent failure of policy does nothing
to restrain the current march toward a similar confrontation with
Iran. What will it take for us to learn from our failures?

Common sense tells us the war in Iraq soon will spread to Iran. Fear
of imaginary nuclear weapons or an incident involving Iran-- whether
planned or accidental-- will rally the support needed for us to move
on Muslim country #3. All the past failures and unintended
consequences will be forgotten.

Even with deteriorating support for the Iraq war, new information,
well planned propaganda, or a major incident will override the
skepticism and heartache of our frustrating fight. Vocal opponents of
an attack on Iran again will be labeled unpatriotic, unsupportive of
the troops, and sympathetic to Iran's radicals.

Instead of capitulating to these charges, we should point out that
those who maneuver us into war do so with little concern for our young
people serving in the military, and theoretically think little of
their own children if they have any. It's hard to conceive that
political supporters of the war would consciously claim that a
pre-emptive war for regime change, where young people are sacrificed,
is only worth it if the deaths and injuries are limited to other
people's children. This, I'm sure, would be denied-- which means their
own children are technically available for this sacrifice that is so
often praised and glorified for the benefit of the families who have
lost so much. If so, they should think more of their own children. If
this is not so, and their children are not available for such
sacrifice, the hypocrisy is apparent. Remember, most Neo-con planners
fall into the category of chicken-hawks.

For the past 3 years it's been inferred that if one is not in support
of the current policy, one is against the troops and supports the
enemy. Lack of support for the war in Iraq was said to be supportive
of Saddam Hussein and his evil policies. This is an insulting and
preposterous argument.

Those who argued for the containment of the Soviets were never deemed
sympathetic to Stalin or Khrushchev. Lack of support for the Iraq war
should never be used as an argument that one was sympathetic to Saddam
Hussein. Containment and diplomacy are far superior to confronting a
potential enemy, and are less costly and far less dangerous--
especially when there's no evidence that our national security is
being threatened.

Although a large percentage of the public now rejects the various
arguments for the Iraq war, 3 years ago they were easily persuaded by
the politicians and media to fully support the invasion. Now, after 3
years of terrible pain for so many, even the troops are awakening from
their slumber and sensing the fruitlessness of our failing effort.
Seventy-two percent of our troops now serving in Iraq say it's time to
come home, yet the majority still cling to the propaganda that we're
there because of

9/11 attacks, something even the administration has ceased to claim.

Propaganda is pushed on our troops to exploit their need to believe in
a cause that's worth the risk to life and limb.

I smell an expanded war in the Middle East, and pray that I'm wrong. I
sense that circumstances will arise that demand support regardless of
the danger and cost. Any lack of support, once again, will be painted
as being soft on terrorism and al Qaeda. We will be told we must
support Israel, support patriotism, support the troops, and defend
freedom. The public too often only smells the stench of war after the
killing starts. Public objection comes later on, but eventually it
helps to stop the war. I worry that before we can finish the war we're
in and extricate ourselves, the patriotic fervor for expanding into
Iran will drown out the cries of, enough already!

The agitation and congressional resolutions painting Iran as an enemy
about to attack us have already begun. It's too bad we can't learn
from our mistakes.

This time there will be a greater pretense of an international effort
sanctioned by the UN before the bombs are dropped. But even without
support from the international community, we should expect the plan
for regime change to continue. We have been forewarned that "all
options remain on the table. And there's little reason to expect much
resistance from Congress. So far there's less resistance expressed in
Congress for taking on Iran than there was prior to going into Iraq.
It's astonishing that after three years of bad results and tremendous
expense there's little indication we will reconsider our traditional
non-interventionist foreign policy. Unfortunately, regime change,
nation building, policing the world, and protecting "our oil" still
constitute an acceptable policy by the leaders of both major parties.

It's already assumed by many in Washington I talk to that Iran is dead
serious about obtaining a nuclear weapon, and is a much more
formidable opponent than Iraq. Besides, Mahmoud Almadinjad threatened
to destroy Israel and that cannot stand. Washington sees Iran as a
greater threat than Iraq ever was, a threat that cannot be ignored.
Iran's history is being ignored, just as we ignored Iraq's history.
This ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of our recent
relationship to Iraq and Iran is required to generate the fervor
needed to attack once again a country that poses no threat to us. Our
policies toward Iran have been more provocative than those towards
Iraq. Yes, President Bush labeled Iran part of the axis of evil and
unnecessarily provoked their anger at us. But our mistakes with Iran
started a long time before this president took office.

In 1953 our CIA, with help of the British, participated in
overthrowing the democratic elected leader, Mohamed Mossedech. We
placed the Shah in power. He ruled ruthlessly but protected our oil
interests, and for that we protected him-- that is until 1979. We even
provided him with Iran's first nuclear reactor. Evidently we didn't
buy the argument that his oil supplies precluded a need for civilian
nuclear energy. From 1953 to 1979 his authoritarian rule served to
incite a radical Muslim opposition led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who
overthrew the Shah and took our hostages in

1979. This blowback event was slow in coming, but Muslims have long
memories. The hostage crisis and overthrow of the Shah by the
Ayatollah was a major victory for the radical Islamists. Most
Americans either never knew about or easily forgot our unwise meddling
in the internal affairs of Iran in 1953.

During the 1980s we further antagonized Iran by supporting the Iraqis
in their invasion of Iran. This made our relationship with Iran worse,
while sending a message to Saddam Hussein that invading a neighboring
country is not all that bad. When Hussein got the message from our
State Department that his plan to invade Kuwait was not of much
concern to the United States he immediately proceeded to do so. We in
a way encouraged him to do it almost like we encouraged him to go into
Iran. Of course this time our reaction was quite different, and all of
a sudden our friendly ally Saddam Hussein became our arch enemy. The
American people may forget this flip-flop, but those who suffered from
it never forget. And the Iranians remember well our meddling in their
affairs. Labeling the Iranians part of the axis of evil further
alienated them and contributed to the animosity directed toward us.

For whatever reasons the Neo-conservatives might give, they are bound
and determined to confront the Iranian government and demand changes
in its leadership. This policy will further spread our military
presence and undermine our security. The sad truth is that the
supposed dangers posed by Iran are no more real than those claimed
about Iraq. The charges made against Iran are unsubstantiated, and
amazingly sound very similar to the false charges made against Iraq.
One would think promoters of the war against Iraq would be a little
bit more reluctant to use the same arguments to stir up hatred toward
Iran. The American people and Congress should be more cautious in
accepting these charges at face value. Yet it seems the propaganda is
working, since few in Washington object as Congress passes resolutions
condemning Iran and asking for UN sanctions against her.

There is no evidence of a threat to us by Iran, and no reason to plan
and initiate a confrontation with her. There are many reasons not to
do so, however.

Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and there's no evidence that she
is working on one--only conjecture.

If Iran had a nuclear weapon, why would this be different from
Pakistan, India, and North Korea having one? Why does Iran have less
right to a defensive weapon than these other countries?

If Iran had a nuclear weapon, the odds of her initiating an attack
against anybody-- which would guarantee her own annihilation-- are
zero. And the same goes for the possibility she would place weapons in
the hands of a non-state terrorist group.

Pakistan has spread nuclear technology throughout the world, and in
particular to the North Koreans. They flaunt international
restrictions on nuclear weapons. But we reward them just as we reward

We needlessly and foolishly threaten Iran even though they have no
nuclear weapons. But listen to what a leading Israeli historian,
Martin Van Creveld, had to say about this: "Obviously, we don't want
Iran to have a nuclear weapon, and I don't know if they're developing
them, but if they're not developing them, they're crazy.

There's been a lot of misinformation regarding Iran's nuclear program.

This distortion of the truth has been used to pump up emotions in
Congress to pass resolutions condemning her and promoting UN

IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradi has never reported any
evidence of undeclared" sources or special nuclear material in Iran,
or any diversion of nuclear material.

We demand that Iran prove it is not in violation of nuclear
agreements, which is asking them impossibly to prove a negative. El
Baradi states Iran is in compliance with the nuclear NPT required IAEA
safeguard agreement.

We forget that the weapons we feared Saddam Hussein had were supplied
to him by the U.S., and we refused to believe UN inspectors and the
CIA that he no longer had them. Likewise, Iran received her first
nuclear reactor from us. Now we're hysterically wondering if someday
she might decide to build a bomb in self interest.

Anti-Iran voices, beating the drums of confrontation, distort the
agreement made in Paris and the desire of Iran to restart the
enrichment process. Their suspension of the enrichment process was
voluntary, and not a legal obligation. Iran has an absolute right
under the NPT to develop and use nuclear power for peaceful purposes,
and this is now said to be an egregious violation of the NPT. It's the
U.S. and her allies that are distorting and violating the NPT.
Likewise our provision of nuclear materials to India is a clear
violation of the NPT.

The demand for UN sanctions is now being strongly encouraged by

The "Iran Freedom Support Act," HR 282, passed in the International
Relations Committee; and recently the House passed H Con Res 341,
which inaccurately condemned Iran for violating its international
nuclear non-proliferation obligations. At present, the likelihood of
reason prevailing in Congress is minimal. Let there be no doubt: The
Neo-conservative warriors are still in charge, and are conditioning
Congress, the media, and the American people for a pre-emptive attack
on Iran. Never mind that Afghanistan has unraveled and Iraq is in
civil war serious plans are being laid for the next distraction which
will further spread this war in the Middle East. The unintended
consequences of this effort surely will be worse than any of the
complications experienced in the three-year occupation of Iraq.

Our offer of political and financial assistance to foreign and
domestic individuals who support the overthrow of the current Iranian
government is fraught with danger and saturated with arrogance.
Imagine how American citizens would respond if China supported similar
efforts here in the United States to bring about regime change! How
many of us would remain complacent if someone like Timothy McVeigh had
been financed by a foreign power? Is it any wonder the Iranian people
resent us and the attitude of our leaders? Even though El Baradi and
his IAEA investigations have found no violations of the NPT-required
IAEA safeguards agreement, the Iran Freedom Support Act still demands
that Iran prove they have no nuclear weapons-- refusing to acknowledge
that proving a negative is impossible.

Let there be no doubt, though the words "regime change" are not found
in the bill-- that's precisely what they are talking about.
Neo-conservative Michael Ledeen, one of the architects of the Iraq
fiasco, testifying before the International Relations Committee in
favor of the IFSA, stated it plainly: "I know some Members would
prefer to dance around the explicit declaration of regime change as
the policy of this country, but anyone looking closely at the language
and context of the IFSA and its close relative in the Senate, can
clearly see that this is in fact the essence of the matter. You can't
have freedom in Iran without bringing down the Mullahs.

Sanctions, along with financial and political support to persons and
groups dedicated to the overthrow of the Iranian government, are acts
of war. Once again we're unilaterally declaring a pre-emptive war
against a country and a people that have not harmed us and do not have
the capacity to do so. And don't expect Congress to seriously debate a
declaration of war resolution. For the past 56 years Congress has
transferred to the executive branch the power to go to war as it
pleases, regardless of the tragic results and costs.

Secretary of State Rice recently signaled a sharp shift towards
confrontation in Iran policy as she insisted on $75 million to finance
propaganda, through TV and radio broadcasts into Iran. She expressed
this need because of the so-called "aggressive" policies of the
Iranian government. We're seven thousand miles from home, telling the
Iraqis and the Iranians what kind of government they will have, backed
up by the use of our military force, and we call them the aggressors.
We fail to realize the Iranian people, for whatever faults they may
have, have not in modern times aggressed against any neighbor. This
provocation is so unnecessary, costly, and dangerous.

Just as the invasion of Iraq inadvertently served the interests of the
Iranians, military confrontation with Iran will have unintended
consequences. The successful alliance engendered between the Iranians
and the Iraqi majority Shia will prove a formidable opponent for us in
Iraq as that civil war spreads. Shipping in the Persian Gulf through
the Straits of Hormuz may well be disrupted by the Iranians in
retaliation for any military confrontation. Since Iran would be
incapable of defending herself by conventional means, it seems logical
that some might resort to a terrorist attack on us. They will not
passively lie down, nor can they be destroyed easily.

One of the reasons given for going into Iraq was to secure "our" oil
supply. This backfired badly: Production in Iraq is down 50%, and
world oil prices have more than doubled to $60 per barrel. Meddling
with Iran could easily have a similar result. We could see oil over
$120 a barrel and, and $6 gas at the pump. The obsession the Neo-cons
have with remaking the Middle East is hard to understand. One thing
that is easy to understand is none of those who planned these wars
expect to fight in them, nor do they expect their children to die in
some IED explosion.

Exactly when an attack will occur is not known, but we have been
forewarned more than once that all options remain on the table. The
sequence of events now occurring with regards to Iran are eerily
reminiscent of the hype prior to our pre-emptive strike against Iraq.
We should remember the saying: "Fool me once shame on you, fool me
twice, shame on me." It looks to me like the Congress and the country
is open to being fooled once again.

Interestingly, many early supporters of the Iraq war are now highly
critical of the President, having been misled as to reasons for the
invasion and occupation. But these same people are only too eager to
accept the same flawed arguments for our need to undermine the Iranian

The President's 2006 National Security Strategy, just released, is
every bit as frightening as the one released in 2002 endorsing
pre-emptive war.

In it he claims: "We face no greater challenge from a single country
than from Iran." He claims the Iranians have for 20 years hidden key
nuclear activities-- though the IAEA makes no such assumptions nor has
the Security Council in these 20 years ever sanctioned Iran. The
clincher in the National Security Strategy document is if diplomatic
efforts fail, confrontation will follow. The problem is the diplomatic
effort-- if one wants to use that term-- is designed to fail by
demanding the Iranians prove an unproveable negative. The West-- led
by the U.S.-- is in greater violation by demanding Iran not pursue any
nuclear technology, even peaceful, that the NPT guarantees is their

The President states: Iran's "desire to have a nuclear weapon is
unacceptable." A "desire" is purely subjective, and cannot be
substantiated nor disproved. Therefore all that is necessary to
justify an attack is if Iran fails to prove it doesn't have a "desire"
to be like the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France,
Pakistan, India, and Israel-whose nuclear missiles surround Iran.
Logic like this to justify a new war, without the least consideration
for a congressional declaration of war, is indeed frightening.

Common sense tells us Congress, especially given the civil war in Iraq
and the mess in Afghanistan, should move with great caution in
condoning a military confrontation with Iran.

Cause for Concern

Most Americans are uninterested in foreign affairs until we get mired
down in a war that costs too much, last too long, and kills too many

troops. Getting out of a lengthy war is difficult, as I remember all
too well with Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to

Getting into war is much easier. Unfortunately the Legislative branch
of our government too often defers to the Executive branch, and offers
little resistance to war plans even with no significant threat to our

The need to go to war is always couched in patriotic terms and
falsehoods regarding an imaginary eminent danger. Not supporting the
effort is painted as unpatriotic and wimpish against some evil that's
about to engulf us. The real reason for our militarism is rarely
revealed and hidden from the public. Even Congress is deceived into
supporting adventurism they would not accept if fully informed.

If we accepted the traditional American and constitutional foreign
policy of non-intervention across the board, there would be no
temptation to go along with these unnecessary military operations. A
foreign policy of intervention invites all kinds of excuses for
spreading ourselves around the world. The debate shifts from
non-intervention versus interventionism, to where and for what
particular reason should we involve ourselves. Most of the time it's
for less than honorable reasons. Even when cloaked in honorable
slogans-- like making the world safe for democracy-- the unintended
consequences and the ultimate costs cancel out the good intentions.

One of the greatest losses suffered these past 60 years from
interventionism becoming an acceptable policy of both major parties is
respect for the Constitution. Congress flatly has reneged on its huge
responsibility to declare war. Going to war was never meant to be an
Executive decision, used indiscriminately with no resistance from
Congress. The strongest attempt by Congress in the past 60 years to
properly exert itself over foreign policy was the passage of the Foley
Amendment, demanding no assistance be given to the Nicaraguan contras.

Even this explicit prohibition was flaunted by an earlier

Arguing over the relative merits of each intervention is not a true
debate, because it assumes that intervention per se is both moral and
constitutional. Arguing for a Granada-type intervention because of its
success," and against the Iraq war because of its failure and cost, is
not enough. We must once again understand the wisdom of rejecting
entangling alliances and rejecting nation building. We must stop
trying to police the world and instead embrace non-interventionism as
the proper, moral, and constitutional foreign policy.

The best reason to oppose interventionism is that people die,
needlessly, on both sides. We have suffered over 20,000 American
casualties in Iraq already, and Iraq civilian deaths probably number
over 100,000 by all reasonable accounts. The next best reason is that
the rule of law is undermined, especially when military interventions
are carried out without a declaration of war. Whenever a war is
ongoing, civil liberties are under attack at home. The current war in
Iraq and the misnamed war on terror have created an environment here
at home that affords little constitutional protection of our citizen's
rights. Extreme nationalism is common during wars. Signs of this are
now apparent.

Prolonged wars, as this one has become, have profound consequences. No
matter how much positive spin is put on it, war never makes a society
wealthier. World War II was not a solution to the Depression as many
claim. If a billion dollars is spent on weapons of war, the GDP
records positive growth in that amount. But the expenditure is
consumed by destruction of the weapons or bombs it bought, and the
real economy is denied $1 billion to produce products that would have
raised someone's standard of living.

Excessive spending to finance the war causes deficits to explode.
There are never enough tax dollars available to pay the bills, and
since there are not enough willing lenders and dollars available, the
Federal Reserve must create enough new money and credit for buying
Treasury Bills to prevent interest rates from rising too rapidly.
Rising rates would tip off everyone that there are not enough savings
or taxes to finance the war.

This willingness to print whatever amount of money the government
needs to pursue the war is literally inflation. Without a fiat
monetary system wars would be very difficult to finance, since the
people would never tolerate the taxes required to pay for it.
Inflation of the money supply delays and hides the real cost of war.
The result of the excessive creation of new money leads to the higher
cost of living everyone decries and the Fed denies. Since taxes are
not levied, the increase in prices that results from printing too much
money is technically the tax required to pay for the war.

The tragedy is that the inflation tax is borne more by the poor and
the middle class than the rich. Meanwhile, the well-connected rich,
the politicians, the bureaucrats, the bankers, the military
industrialists, and the international corporations reap the benefits
of war profits.

A sound economic process is disrupted with a war economy and monetary
inflation. Strong voices emerge blaming the wrong policies for our
problems, prompting an outcry for protectionist legislation. It's
always easier to blame foreign producers and savers for our inflation,
lack of savings, excess debt, and loss of industrial jobs.
Protectionist measures only make economic conditions worse. Inevitably
these conditions, if not corrected, lead to a lower standard of living
for most of our citizens.

Careless military intervention is also bad for the civil disturbance
that results. The chaos in the streets of America in the 1960s while
the Vietnam War raged, aggravated by the draft, was an example of
domestic strife caused by an ill-advised unconstitutional war that
could not be won. The early signs of civil discord are now present.
Hopefully we can extricate ourselves from Iraq and avoid a conflict in
Iran before our streets explode as they did in the 60s.

In a way it's amazing there's not a lot more outrage expressed by the
American people. There's plenty of complaining but no outrage over
policies that are not part of our American tradition. War based on
false pretenses, 20,000 American casualties, torture policies,
thousands jailed without due process, illegal surveillance of
citizens, warrantless searches, and yet no outrage. When the issues
come before Congress, Executive authority is maintained or even
strengthened while real oversight is ignored.

Though many Americans are starting to feel the economic pain of paying
for this war through inflation, the real pain has not yet arrived. We
generally remain fat and happy, with a system of money and borrowing
that postpones the day of reckoning. Foreigners, in particular the
Chinese and Japanese, gladly participate in the charade. We print the
money and they take it, as do the OPEC nations, and provide us with
consumer goods and oil. Then they loan the money back to us at low
interest rates, which we use to finance the war and our housing bubble
and excessive consumption.

This recycling and perpetual borrowing of inflated dollars allows us
to avoid the pain of high taxes to pay for our war and welfare
spending. It's fine until the music stops and the real costs are
realized, with much higher interest rates and significant price
inflation. That's when outrage will be heard, and the people will
realize we can't afford the humanitarianism" of the Neo-conservatives.

The notion that our economic problems are principally due to the
Chinese is nonsense. If the protectionists were to have their way, the
problem of financing the war would become readily apparent and have
immediate ramifications-- none good. Today's economic problems, caused
largely by our funny money system, won't be solved by altering
exchange rates to favor us in the short run, or by imposing high
tariffs. Only sound money with real value will solve the problems of
competing currency devaluations and protectionist measures.

Economic interests almost always are major reasons for wars being

Noble and patriotic causes are easier to sell to a public who must pay
and provide cannon fodder to defend the financial interests of a
privileged class.

The fact that Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for oil in an attempt to
undermine the U.S. dollar is believed by many to be one of the
ulterior motives for our invasion and occupation of Iraq. Similarly,
the Iranian oil burse now about to open may be seen as a threat to
those who depend on maintaining the current monetary system with the
dollar as the world's reserve currency.

The theory and significance of "peak oil" is believed to be an
additional motivating factor for the U.S. and Great Britain wanting to
maintain firm control over the oil supplies in the Middle East. The
two nations have been protecting "our" oil interests in the Middle
East for nearly a hundred years. With diminishing supplies and
expanding demands, the incentive to maintain a military presence in
the Middle East is quite strong. Fear of China and Russia moving into
this region to assume more control alarms those who don't understand
how a free market can develop substitutes to replace diminishing
resources. Supporters of the military effort to maintain control over
large regions of the world to protect oil fail to count the real costs
once the DOD budget is factored in. Remember, invading Iraq was costly
and oil prices doubled. Confrontation in Iran may evolve differently,
but we can be sure it will be costly and oil prices will rise.

There are long-term consequences or blowback from our militant policy
of intervention around the world. They are unpredictable as to time
and place. .the Ayatollah Khomeini's success in taking over the
Iranian government in 1979 was a consequence of our CIA overthrowing
Mossadech in

1953. These connections are rarely recognized by the American people
and never acknowledged by our government. We never seem to learn how
dangerous interventionism is to us and to our security.

There are some who may not agree strongly with any of my arguments,
and instead believe the propaganda: Iran and her President, Mahmoud
Almadinjad, are thoroughly irresponsible and have threatened to
destroy Israel. So all measures must be taken to prevent Iran from
getting nukes--

thus the campaign to intimidate and confront Iran.

First, Iran doesn't have a nuke and is nowhere close to getting one,
according to the CIA. If they did have one, using it would guarantee
almost instantaneous annihilation by Israel and the United States.

Hysterical fear of Iran is way out of proportion to reality. With a
policy of containment, we stood down and won the Cold War against the
Soviets and their 30,000 nuclear weapons and missiles. If you're
looking for a real kook with a bomb to worry about, North Korea would
be high on the list.

Yet we negotiate with Kim Jong Il. Pakistan has nukes and was a close
ally of the Taliban up until 9/11. Pakistan was never inspected by the
IAEA as to their military capability. Yet we not only talk to her, we
provide economic assistance-- though someday Musharraf may well be
overthrown and a pro-al Qaeda government put in place. We have been
nearly obsessed with talking about regime change in Iran, while
ignoring Pakistan and North Korea. It makes no sense and it's a very
costly and dangerous policy.

The conclusion we should derive from this is simple: It's in our best
interest to pursue a foreign policy of non-intervention. A strict
interpretation of the Constitution mandates it. The moral imperative
of not imposing our will on others, no matter how well intentioned, is
a powerful argument for minding our own business. The principle of
self-determination should be respected. Strict non-intervention
removes the incentives for foreign powers and corporate interests to
influence our policies overseas. We can't afford the cost that
intervention requires, whether through higher taxes or inflation. If
the moral arguments against intervention don't suffice for some, the
practical arguments should.

Intervention just doesn't work. It backfires and ultimately hurts
American citizens both at home and abroad. Spreading ourselves too
thin around the world actually diminishes our national security
through a weakened military. As the superpower of the world, a
constant interventionist policy is perceived as arrogant, and greatly
undermines our ability to use diplomacy in a positive manner.

Conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and many of today's
liberals have all at one time or another endorsed a less
interventionist foreign policy. There's no reason a coalition of these
groups might not once again present the case for a pro-American,
non-militant, non-interventionist foreign policy dealing with all
nations. A policy of trade and peace, and a willingness to use
diplomacy, is far superior to the foreign policy that has evolved over
the past 60 years.

It's time for a change!