Readers' Feedback

Democracy

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Generated : 15th December 2017


047

Jim Bystrom

First I would like to say that I love your web site. Second I would like to say is that you are the perfect example of Democracy working, stating your opinion, views and , experiences is what it's all about. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your conversations about "the act of the democracies". I really like that every response to a statement is well thought out and put in a way that even a person like me can understand.

The rest of your site is great, I spent a whole day just reading about physics, math, chemistry excetera. You have no idea how much I have learned from your site, I commend you.

If you are ever in the USA, I would like to sit down and listen to your views about the universe and all. Thank you for your great site.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your very kind words. It makes all the hard work worth while.


046

Graciela Hammer
Bulgaria

This is an amazing site. Thank you for taking the time to post all of this information on the web! You really inspired me...

KryssTal Reply: Thank you. You are the first person to write to me from Bulgaria.


045

Nic Doig

I like your site and appreciate the obvious effort. I disagree with your assessment about regime change [in Iraq] and attach my response based on the best part of three years in the Gulf and further reading. It would interest me to hear if you think it holds water. One comment: you say that the PNAC letter to Clinton in 1998 does not mention Weapons of Mass Destruction. This is untrue, unless the copy on display on their website dated January 26 1998 is not the one you are referring to. If not I think you should correct that statement to maintain any integrity.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you, Nic

You are quite correct about the PNAC comment and I will make the necessary correction shortly.

Again, thank you for writing.

Nic's Essay:

I lived and travelled in the Gulf States from 1993-1996 and was a regular visitor to Saudi Arabia. The society within these States is rigidly hierarchical and of the States themselves Saudi Arabia is pre-eminent. In terms of those who seek to overthrow the existing order in the Middle East Saudi Arabia is the jewel in the crown. However, for the time being in all matters Saudi interests prevail amongst the Gulf States. In coming to an understanding of the Middle East I believe one must first look at how any issue affects Saudi Arabia. It is the economic powerhouse: so follow the money, as always, but more in a moment.

I gained insights into the culture which galvanised my views, something like Churchill's after Agadir. In 1995 I was struck by the comments of a Saudi billionaire, (at lunch on my employer's A$40m motoryacht), that were generally in line with the views I heard throughout the Gulf. I quote from this individual: "the Jew cannot be trusted"; "It is a pity Hitler was not allowed to finish his work"; "the West is corrupt and weak"; "Western women are prostitutes"; and for good measure, to a table of industrious and successful Australians: "Australians are stupid and lazy"*. The rest of the lunch was fairly subdued, enlivened only by my wife's response to his questioning why Australians did not encourage intra-family marriage, apparently popular in Gulf States as it "provided social stability", she said "because it's illegal". None of us elaborated.

This evident hatred, repeated by many after long alcohol fuelled discussions, focused my attention on the cultural chasm between the Gulf States and the West. It is unlike anything else on earth. In the superficially pleasant business circles I moved in there was the hatred of the West of a duplicitous, resentful people who rely on the West for economic advancement yet decry its very being. All the while piteously blaming the West for putting them in that position. Western intervention over the decades produces many an appalling tale but no history of any nations or peoples misdeeds reads well in isolation. No one people can claim the right to a totally one-sided historical review on which to base their future, but in any discussion this was the norm.

Opposition to Jews harsher than Nazism itself is rampant. Western "facts" are fabrications if not suited to their purpose in discussion. The Gulf States have slavery, pure and simple. Foreign labourers are not referred to as slaves but observe how they are treated, as I did, and disabuse me if you can. Rape and murder occur in all countries but the prevalence of these crimes against foreign female domestic servants in the Gulf States was just alarming when I was there.

All the regimes there are maintained at the point of a gun, generally fearing Iranian designs when I was there but as often as not pointed at other of their Royal Family members given their history. There is no freedom of the press. There is always official denial, regardless of evidence, of any event that runs contrary to the interests of the Gulf States. AIDS did not exist officially when I was there. Take a ludicrous but revealing example of official denial. What is the temperature in Bahrain? Ask any Westerner who has lived there and they will tell you 45 to 50 degrees in summer is common. The official line, I think you will find 44 degrees is the highest temperature reported in Bahrain in recent history due to the official calculation of the temperature taking into account the appropriate "height at which the measurement is taken", "weather conditions", ie deductions for a hot wind, and "the effects of modern clothing". I know because I asked the local newspaper responsible for publishing the weather report. And the reason? To promote tourism, where permitted, and I understand a concession obtained on behalf of foreign labourers is they do not have to work in 45 degree heat.

Whether the deceit is petty or on a grand scale it is all-pervasive.

The horrors perpetrated in Saudi Arabia after the removal of Western influence following Gulf War I, especially against women who took advantage of the liberating presence of Western media and, say, drove a car, are still officially denied and went largely unreported in the West. The recent series of bombings directed at foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia is regarded by Westerners as the work of domestic terrorists. This is officially denied and the Saudi response is the arrest of Britons who they claim are killing each other due to a falling out over alcohol smuggling. (It was always "alcohol smuggling" in the local press when I was there). The fierce Wahhabi fundamentalism receives official sanction from the Saudi rulers in preference to the various external threats of neighbouring fundamentalist sects. This retreat into fundamentalism is a calculated response to pressures created by demands for democratisation and liberal reforms. The fall of the house of Saud has been predicted for quite some time and the severe restrictions on liberty, and the harsh response to any dissent, indicates the final stages of a regime that fears democracy more than militant Islamic fundamentalists.

Now follow the money, (and incidentally, the Saudis funded Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war): Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian State survive on Saudi funding. Does Yasser Arafat negotiate with Israel contrary to Saudi wishes? Do the competing Palestinian factions conduct themselves contrary to Saudi interests. It is hard to imagine that Saudi Arabia could not have helped to resolve the Palestinian conflict, or at least improve the situation, if it chose to. By standing aside it watches the US stumble, and waits mercilessly to see events unfold to its advantage. Knowing of their long term funding of Yasser Arafat I always assumed Saudi funding of other terrorist groups. I now read that it was common knowledge that Al Qaeda was tolerated by the Saudis as long as it did not operate within the Kingdom. Tolerated but not funded: not likely.

Saudi Arabia employs media managers worldwide to protect their interests, is it Hill & Knowlton in the US? All countries promote themselves in this way. How do the Saudis do it? By maintaining the lowest possible profile. Where is Saudi culture promoted in the West? It is not, because the alliance of convenience we have with Saudi Arabia cannot withstand the scrutiny of the Saudi culture by the West.

I could go on, and on, but as I would repeatedly have to say after my return to Australia: "Don't get me started!". When people who had not been beyond the Duty Free at Dubai asked me what it was like I would say simply that there was a reason why our ancestors rode thousands of miles on horseback, or trudged that distance on foot, for a chance to smote this enemy, thinking I was being mildly amusing. The truth of the repression, the backward, violent, vicious nature of this terrorist fomenting intolerant culture did not bear talking about because there is no cultural common ground, only an unbridgeable chasm and economic interests. Paul Sheehan's apt "sea of hate" is the best description of what I saw there. However, in the West most still had some vague concept, particularly of Saudi Arabia, consisting of "Arab hospitality" and belly dancing, soukhs and camels, sand and oases: exotic, essentially harmless and isolated. Well, isolated no more.

September 11: a preponderance of Saudi nationals and Saudi funds. Al Qaeda operating outside the Kingdom. Thomas Ricks in The Washington Post reports that the Rand Corporation analyst Laurent Murawiec briefed the Pentagon last year on Saudis being "active at every level of the terrorist chain; the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" in the Middle East. Washington at the time dismissed suggestions that it took this briefing seriously. Thomas Ricks claims that, despite these denials, this view has growing support in Dick Cheney's office and the support of one Richard Perle. The Bush administration instead focuses on eliminating Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass-destruction and starts mobilising. The world signs up to UN Resolution1441 and is at first appreciative when the US brinkmanship appears to be working.

A phrase the Bush Administration used at the time, "we're not gonna just keep kicking this can down the road", resonates. Clinton did this in the Middle East & North Korea (with Jimmy Carter's help) and the results are being dealt with today. Clinton reversed this policy and partially redeemed himself in the former Yugoslavia, forcing belated but effective UN/US action and in doing so acutely highlighted the UN's failings. This recent history coupled with September 11, USS Cole and previous attacks explains the determination of the Bush administration to draw a line against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism now. How do they plan to do this? Regime change in Iraq.

What about Osama bin Laden? Where is the link between Al Qaeda and Iraq? the world asks, not comprehending that the Bush administration has established the more important link between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia. This debate is a sideshow to the main game, and it suits the Bush administration. They go through the motions of establishing Iraq's links to terrorism, of "proving" the existence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and despite the apparent lameness of this performance, to the discomfort of their two allies (whose supporting acts were lamer still) and the derision of those opposed to them for economic, historic or pacifist motives, they move forward with the plan for regime change in Iraq.

The diversion works. There is no real debate about what form the new regime for Iraq will be. Being US sponsored it will of course be a democracy, with a vibrant economy to showcase the benefits of this democracy to the rest of the Middle East. This announcement is delivered in an almost breezy way by President Bush amongst denunciations of the tyrant Saddam Hussein and his evil regime. A momentous undertaking, breathtaking in its scope given the fragility of the only other true democracy in the Middle East. The announcement of this truly historic event passes almost without comment in the clamour from all sides to stop, or modify with UN sanction, the US march to war with Iraq. Plans for the US attack on Iraq proceed apace with US plans for installing the new regime. Belatedly the UN seeks a role in post war Iraq but has been outmanoeuvred. The Bush administration has no intention of being hamstrung by UN involvement in the main game.

To digress for a moment; we in Australia are witness this week to our own uncomprehending Foreign Minister delivering stern warnings to the Bush administration about the need for UN control of post war Iraq, I believe he even used the word "must" in relation to this, aping the UK position of wanting to thus "legitimise" the war against Iraq. Well, within a nanosecond of arriving to meet with the Bush administration our man was catapulted back out the revolving door spouting the nonsense that by and large the administration saw the sense of his position and it was generally agreed that the UN would have a significant role in "liaison". Having narrowly escaped the disaster, from their point of view, of reluctant UN involvement in the war the Bush administration will do no more than allow the UN to carry on the pretence of participating, which is essentially what all but France and Russia, the financial losers in this, want to do anyway.

Regime change in Iraq. A secular democracy on its border, the one thing the Saudis fear most. Preferring to attempt to harness Islamic fundamentalism, with all the opportunity for their own destruction that entails, rather than risk democracy the Saudi rulers now see the end-game and their own mis-reading of the "corrupt and weak" Americans. The Americans are in fact in the process of doing the unthinkable, after Israel, after Lebanon, after Iran, after Libya the Americans are tackling Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, which the Saudis thought they had deftly deflected, head on and right on the Saudi doorstep.

A new Arab democracy with a thriving, possibly western styled, economy in Iraq, sharing its borders with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Kuwait. A lightning rod for dissent and an implacable challenge to the tottering Saudi regime and the terrorists attempting to assume power. With this audacious move our world is about to change forever, and in so doing will continue its terrible history of conflict and for individuals the almost impossible choice of the least of many evils.

September 11 made that choice much clearer.

KryssTal Reply: I have read you essay (eventually - sorry about the delay). I enjoyed reading your views.

Any funding the (occupied) Palestinians get is small compared to the huge amounts given to Israel (the occupiers) by the USA. Al Qaida was certainly funded and backed by Saudi Arabia. But the USA was also behind this group who were trained to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. It is not funded now by the Saudi government because it turned against the Kingdom's rulers and the Kingdom's closest ally the USA.

I have also written about the discriminatory nature of the Saudi government. It is far from being a democracy yet the USA and UK sell this regime millions of dollars worth of arms every year. The royal family was placed in power by the British and kept there now with USA help.

Read my history of the Arab region since WW1 on www.krysstal.com/democracy_terror.html

Of course, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. This was an excuse. All the USA and UK forces were bunched together in Kuwait before the invasion meaning that either their commanders were incompetent or they knew there were no such weapons. The West supported Saddam as long as he did as he was told. When he disobeyed, he was removed. It's nothing to do with democracy or human rights. The so called "axis of evil" is simply a list of regimes not under USA control.

As for terror. there are far more victims of USA foreign policy than could ever be caused by the most fanatical Middle Eastern terrorist. Already more than 100,000 have been killed in Iraq, hundreds are held in concentration camps from Cuba to Afghanistan, and the real face of the USA was seen even by its allies in the Abu Graib scandal. Iraq and Al Qaida were mutually hostile - Iraq was secular while Al-Qaida is fundamentalist Islamic.

There will be no real democracy in Iraq - the Quislings are already in place (as in Afghanistan) and will remain there. The economy is being altered to suit American companies. The West is happily doing business with the new dictatorships in Central Asia, Pakistan's generals are now labelled as "democrats", and Turkey (who oppressed its Kurds more than Saddam ever did) is an ally.

As for Kuwait - when were the last elections there? Who re-installed the absolute monarchy in 1991?


044

Umit Yaz

Hi

I'm Umit Yaz from Turkey. First of all, excuse my bad English.

History is a tricky matter; it is all subjective. If you take a single case, there are lots of alternatives histories and the history related to events in the South East Anatolia, between 1980- up to now, is no exception. When one looks at the events from our perspective; it is a terrorist movement provoked by several countries to prevent emergence of a powerful country in the Middle East. Also, several coups are provoked in the history of Turkish Republic. Of course, to provoke, one needs to give reasons to make people fallow the route shown. There were several reasons in the South East Anatolia; the region was very poor and the government did not attempt to imrove the life standarts of the area. There were lots of unemployed and hopeless people. Also, there was a different culture and language.

In Turkey, the influence of the military was always a significant figure in the political life. It is true that, because of the nationalist reasons, not only Kurdish, but any other regional language was forbidden. Before 1980, these were not a problem to make an armed attempts against Turkish Government by Kurdish population. After 80s, a terrorist movement emerged in the North Iraq supported by several European countries, even USA. It is clear when you look at the armor they used. Some of the population supported this movement, and some rejected. People from the region say that, when night come, PKK comes and kills who opposes to help, and in the morning, soldiers come and threatens to punish who helps. It was a very big problem for Turkish Government. More than 30,000 people died, including 10,000 soldiers, 40 billion dollars spent. It took almost 20 years to get rid of PKK.

I believe, it is true that, villages are evacuated and sometimes forests are burned. But, it was not a war againts Kurdish, it was a war agains PKK. Also, this was not an "ethnic cleansing and genocide". There are more than 10 million Kurdish people in Turkey, it is more than 15 percent. If it was an "ethnic cleansing and genocide", then it is a very very unsuccessful attempt. These events after 1980s, did not make Kurdish life better. In fact, the people in the region suffered most because of this armed movement. After Abdullah Ocalan is arrested, PKK is diminished, at least, there is no armed movement anymore. Kurdish and any other regional language can be spoken freely now. There are attempts to improve the region by the government.

Of course, these attempts are far less then sufficient. But, there is imrovement. In our near and far history, Europe(sometimes USA) always causes some internal problems in Turkey. Because of that, there is almost no trust to Europe, and little to USA.

I don't know how you think about the matter. As I mentioned, we probably looking at the events from different perspectives. But I really don't understand the support from Europe and USA to armed terrorist movements. There are several armed terrorist movements in Europe who fights for the freedom of their region. What is the difference?

Sincerly

KryssTal Reply: Tesekur

Thank you for writing. I agree that conditions in Turkey have improved since the late 1980s. It is not just Kurds who have been affected by this. There are many Turkish and Kurdish exiles here in London.


043

Daniel R Zink
Boat People SOS

Interesting website, however it appears to be greatly inaccurate. Do you have citation to prove your allegations? I don’t think that using different fonts is acceptable citation. Also, using your own reports to back up your claims is a bit dubious.

Cute attempt, but wholly unreliable. i.e. UN resolutions are not cited by external evidence.

“George W Bush (President): Received $2,800,000 from energy companies and another $2,300,000 from the car sector. Enron donated more than $1,000,000. Bush is a shareholder in General Electric, BP, Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, Newmont Gold Mining Corporation, Pennzoil and Tom Brown, Inc.”

proof? Documents to back up this claim?

I could just as easily make a website saying that “Krystall was offered nearly $50,000 to set up a website by the Iraqi government” If I made some of the words in blue and some in bold black, would it then be true? Your ridiculous work amuses me. Have a nice day.

KryssTal Reply: Daniel,

I wish I had $50,000 for my web site.

You are correct that citations would be good. I put the site together fairly quickly after the crimes against humanity of 11 September 2001. Only the quotes are sourced so far.

This is something I will correct when I get time. You are doing exactly as I asked by questioning everything you read or are told and I fully approve. A good place to look for more information is the ZNet web site or Corporate Watch.

Thank you form taking the time to write. Stay safe.


042

Dynesh Raghvan, Chennai. India

iqdyn@netscape.net

I'm Dynesh Raghavan. If you'll remember, I wrote to you a few weeks back when I wanted to talk to you about Terrorism in Kashmir. You had stated that the Chief Minister of J & K had been quoted as saying that many Kashmiri Civilians had been killed by Indian Forces. I looked through the Report and you've neglected the number of people killed by Militants in J & K. Over 40,000 people have died at the barrel of the Guns held by groups like the Lashkar - e - Toiba. There's no point in blaming the Indian Army for those atrocities, becuase the leaders of these groups have admitted to the atrocities and as they call it, have taken ' responsibility' for the attacks. Is this evidence not enough? Apparently, you find all sorts of ways to overlook this evidence and point the finger of accusation at the Army.

Look, facts are facts. I'm patriotic but that does not mean I'm overly nationalistic. I'm a liberal person and I can accept that the Indian Army may have committed atrocties in J & K , but please dont forget all those civilians , many of them muslims, many hindus(Kashmiri Pandits) and even people of other faiths who have been slaughtered by the same people whom the US drove out of Afghanistan and who now are in Pakistan.

Anyway, onto this comment I saw on the feedback page. As I said, I am a Liberal and I do believe that healthy Debate is a good thing. But this kind of thing is outrageous. Diana, as I will politely call her, seems to think that she has the freedom of speech to say things like this, but you guys dont have the freedom of speech to put up the stuff she doesn't like on your website. First, she is being immature(as I have found most Americans to be recently), by simply resorting to name calling and not actually trying to detail any 'lies' on your website. Second, as I have already mentioned, she is stepping on your Free Speech rights. When I see things like this, I feel ashamed that people like this exist on the same, supposedly serene, supposedly tolerant planet that I live on.

Why dont Americans like Diana ever realise that they were not the first country that was struck by terrorism, and that the lives of the 3000 people who died in the WTC Attacks are not valued more than the countless other lives that have succumbed to the sprectre of terrorism? Your angry, immature visitor probably has a mindset best described as follows: 40,000 Indians, or 125,000 Kurds, or any other death toll from Asian or African countries? doesnt matter, who the hell are they? Just some Asians who were killed. Why should we bother? But 3000 Americans dead? Lets roll - Kill all our enemies, destroy their houses, rape their women and children, do it all. Just call it Collateral Damage in front of the Camera when the good right wing reporter from CNN comes up asks you how the war is going.

That is probably her mindest. I dont want to make this issue one of racism, but I will suggest that as a probable reason that White America doesnt care of non-whites elsewhere. I cant speak for her, and after reading her comments, I dont want to. I can tolerate pro war protestors, but I cant stand the Right Wing or as i call it, the Mentally disabled Wing. They've got no brains if the only thing they can say is that Leftists are stupid. Mind you, I dont like the left too much. But I would anyday prefer the left to the right. The left is driven by People, the right by Money. That's the old point of view. It still stands. The War is one example. People who claim that companies are not going to benfit from the war should look at the facts.

I've also seen people on NYC's streets claiming they are so proud that they are attacking America. I followed a link from your website to another site which was supporting a boycott of American Goods. In the same healthy sense of debate that you guys also possess, they've published all the anti-boycott campaign emails that they have received. People have threatened them, villified them and want to ostracise them from American Society. Such is the country they call the land of the free. I'm very sorry about the long email and I do sincerely apologise. But i felt outraged after seeing Diana's comments and I felt that I should table my views as well. If you can, please send this to her as well. I would love to see her reaction. It will probably be in the same flowery language which you guys received. Thank you for letting me have my say and long live the Liberal Revoluation!

* * * * * * * * *

I must admit that i feel a bit foolish about writing to now after just sending you a big mail about the acts of democracies section. But I just wanted to say the Football Section is really great. I've found a lot of information that I've been searching for on the web. The League Cup seems to be the most mysterious trophy when it comes to football websites. I tried searching for it under all sorts of keywords - league cup, worthington cup, Milk Cup etc. Your website gave me all the info I needed. But i have a suggestion. You could include a short introductory paragraph for each table. Anyway, great website! Pity is, I'm a Man U fan.

Also, your section about London was fascinating. Even though I live in India, I have a great curiosity about London. I've never seen it, but I really have come to like the city a lot. Your website, detailing its history and such, was beyond comparision.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for both your emails. Your interests appear to be as wide as mine.


041

Raymond Perkins, Jr

Hi, KryssTal,

Very nice and very useful web site. It's also very shocking. Regarding US votes in the UN, I did notice that there seems to be a confusion between US vetoes (in the Sec. Council) and US "no" votes in the General Assembly. Both sorts of votes are interesting and indicative of US unilateralism and general disharmony with the international community. But they should be distinguished.

Nice job. I look forward to seeing the finished product. Best wishes.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you, Raymond.

I agree, although a no vote in the General Assembly is also a veto if from one of the "big five". That will be my next project after this Iraq battering ends.

You may be right, but as I read Chapt 4, Art. 18(3) of the Charter, a resolution in the Gen Ass. is carried by a two-thirds vote, whether there are any of the big five in the "no" category or not.


040

Ewa Robertson

Thanks for giving me so much information on Iraq in such a condense manner. Had I come across your pages a few months ago I would have saved myself a small fortune on books which I have no time to read. To provide all this data is a monumental task. Why are you doing this and where do you get money for doing it?

One of your grateful readers.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your kind comments.

I have to admit, buying books is one of my favourite activities so I have no problems with that. I do not get paid for my web site apart from when people buy recommended books from Amazon. Most of my site is used by schools and universities.

If you don't get paid for the extraordinary work which you do what motivates you? The fact that you have answered my questions at all makes me even more wonder. What on earth gives you the enthusiasm and enegry to read emails from complete strangers probably containing little, if any, useful information?

Your website states that you are UK based, so perhaps you can clarify my mind understanding British reality and opinions which differ greatly from those in the States. Well, you had the patience to answer me once, so I'll try my luck again.

Recently I joined Stop the War but I am not a pacifist. The stated objectives of the movement seemed to have fitted with my personal views. While wars should be avoided at all cost there are exceptional circumstances which may justify a war which then should be given moral and legal international support. Conflict with Iraq does not seem to fall into these criteria. The case for war on Iraq has not been proven.

Most Brits fall in the same category as I on the issue of war per se and on the issue of war with Iraq. However, the anti-war movement in the UK seems to be moving to a pacifist point of view and as such is likely to lose its support. What is your view?

KryssTal Reply: You are certainly not bothersome.

Rather than believing the fierce propaganda in the media supporting the war, you have questioned things and attempted to find out more. If everybody did this our rulers would not be able to do this. Too many people simply believe what they see on TV or what they read in the newspapers.

The British anti-war movement is NOT pacifist. Remember this country fought against Nazi Germany alone for three years after the fall of France and before the USA joined in. This country re-took the Falkland Island after they were invaded by Argentina in 1982 with over 80% public support. The 1991 Gulf War had about 60% support.

This conflict has less than 20% support. I went on the February 15th march and spoke to many people of all backgrounds, nationalities and political views. Most people fear the power of the USA and cannot see why Iraq should be attacked for violating UN resolutions when Israel and Turkey have done the same (over Palestine and Cyprus). They cannot see why Iraq should be criticised for its lack of democracy when we base our troops in undemocratic states like Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and turn a blind eye. The double standards of the West annoy people.

The media has tried to make out that the anti-war people are anti-American . But, as one person said to me: "we would fight for the American people but for Bush and his oil chums". Most people think this was is about oil and American power. Having said that a small minority of the anti-war movement is pacifist. These people are normally denigrated in the media which refers to them as "the usual suspects". Unfortunately for the government, the opposition to the war in Britain is made up of more than the "usual suspects".

To read some investigative journalism (remember that?), have a look at ZNet on:

http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm

Today in the Independent newspaper (a very good paper that gives both sides of the story and lets the reader make up their own mind) there was an article about USA people scouring the internet for news because they have ceased to trust the jingoistic coverage of CNN and other stations. I don't normally watch CNN but a few months ago I was in Zambia and they had it at the hotel. I felt physically ill at its international coverage. The locals told me they didn't take it seriously. In Britain our BBC is better although it is getting misleading in its coverage.

Hope this helps. I'm curious to know what your background is and why you are seeking answers on the internet. Thank you for writing.

I was going to leave you in peace after my last note, but you have asked for it! So now, here is some more.

I am from Poland, the country that wouldn't exist had it not been for Britain and others who defended the principle of national independence, the right to self determination, equality of all races and religions. However, the same countries stood by as others were absorbed into German empire. So the fairness of action depends not so much on high morals as on private arrangements that countries have with each other. The allocation of spoils in the post WWII world contradicted the dedication of people and countries with different ideologies. In the end the principles for which the war was fought give way to self interest and money and the two perceived superpowers were given the lands and souls to dominate.

I came to England many years ago as a student without strong political views. I lived rather sheltered life (including convent education) among the family who disagreed with the political system in Poland and who lost quite a lot in the territories annexed by the Soviets after WWII. I always opposed one party system but intuitively leaned towards the political left. Since my childhood I was "in love" with the principles of equal society, free of religious, ethnic and ideological prejudices, none of which could be found in Poland.

In Britain I finally parted company with religion but for a long time I could not find political home in which I would feel particularly comfortable. Eventually I joined the Labour Party of which I am still technically a member.

Before I went on the march on 15th February I contacted CND and Stop the War to clarify their stance on the principle of war. CND person handling my enquiry was very adamant that any war is unjust and cannot be accepted while Stop the War was a bit more ambiguous in their response. Among the resolutions passed at the creation of Stop the War in October 2001 are:

1. Supporters of the Coalition, whether organisations or individuals, will of course be free to develop their own analyses and organise their own actions.

2. The Coalition shall elect a steering committee which reflects the breadth of those involved to carry forward the aims and objectives.

Unfortunately, subsequent events contradict these statements.

I devised a leaflet dealing with issues of false information and facts relating to Iraq. I wish I found your website before I did my leaflet so I could save myself huge amount of time on reading and research. "My" leaflet also stated that "Stop the war Coalition is a non-political and multi-religious organisation uniting all who oppose war with Iraq on the basis of the information provided". While in the first instance the wording was accepted by the central office of the movement my local activists, most of whom are Socialist Workers Party zealots, did not allow me to use Stop the War logo in conjunction with this wording. There was no room for discussion. Either I condemn all wars or I am not welcomed. The fact that the vast majority of the British people do not hold pacifist view of war made little headway among the intransigent views of SWP faithful. It did not matter to them that coalition means alliance, federation, combination. Their concern for the view of the majority was the same as Blair's.

Subsequently I participated in People's Assembly as a representative of a bunch of far left activists whom I met for the first time on the evening of the selection. I accepted their nomination so I could get uncensored view of People's Assembly. My disappointment was total. The show was run and attended by the "usual suspects". Whether you like this phrase or not that is the truth.

In a few days time I will be reporting to the group who selected me as one of their representatives (perhaps I was viewed as a potential recruit) and my findings will be as follows:

1. People's Assembly does not represent British people. The selection process for the representatives to People's Assembly is even less democratic than the conventional system used for parliamentary elections. Among the 500 or so representatives at the Assembly most were members of the far left organisations, which does not reflect the political landscape of this country nor the marchers from February 15th.

2. The voting system within People's Assembly is totally undemocratic. The show of hands on issues that were not debated promotes the agenda of a narrow, most active and most vocal groups, which do not represent the British majority.

3. The principle resolution of People's Assembly differs from the initial aims of the Stop the War Coalition and opposes any war for any reason in any circumstances.

4. Too many issues on too many undeclared agendas were put forward at the Assembly. The fire-fighters might have an outstanding pay claim but that has nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of wars. If the principle on which the war is launched is fair then the cost of it should be irrelevant irrespective of what employees of public services demand at the time. Additionally, criticism must be fair and equally applied to America, Britain and Israel as well as to the nations who despite their unique opportunity to affect the events in the Middle East do not use their privileged position to achieve just settlement for the Palestinians.

5. The People's Assembly is not interested in the democratic process. The calls for local Assemblies were rejected without explanation or discussion. I suppose this was to give those who started the movement the maximum power and control over what potentially could be a huge organisation financed by many disenchanted trade unions.

I could go on for much longer, but I do have to do some work.

As a parting shot I would like to explain one more issue. Despite my long-standing support for Palestine I cannot bring myself to join any of the pro-Palestinian organisations as I view them as hypocritical and bigoted. To my knowledge there is not a single one that would criticise the affluent Arab nations for doing nothing beyond lip-service to the Palestinian cause. If oil is even partially responsible for American aggression then who better to fight the battle with the Americans than the oil-rich Arab states? It doesn't take a genius to realise that closing the oil-tap would quickly focus American mind on the just peace in the Middle East. However, no Muslim will speak out publicly against the oppressive, undemocratic and subservient to the American interests Islamic states, while they are quick to blame the USA and Israel for all their misfortune.

The probability of the American swift and successful war (from the military point of view) on Iraq would be far less likely if the Arab states refused the use of their territory for the attack. Iraq could easily prove to be another Vietnam if the Muslim countries refused the massive American basis in the region.

I tried to have a discussion on these issues with Muslim activists and with members of the radical left groups but the answers I get are so predictable and so one sited that I lose interest in listening.

I hope that you had enough patience to get to the end of my note. I also hope it gives you some idea of my background. I can assure you that I am the last person on earth that would believe unquestionably in any information published by the media. My staple diet consists of The Guardian and The Times, New Statesman and the Economist. Occasionally I even read Mother Johns and Salon on the net.

I feel frustrated and disappointed that so many good minds get so wasted, bogged down and forced into a straight jacket of party obedience.

Your long-winded net-friend, Ewa.

KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your letter.

I agree with most of what you say. The SWP is an extreme party but I have no time for any political party as I prefer to think for myself rather than tow a party line.

The majority of Arab states have governments that are undemocratic but are supported by the West. Most Arabs would agree with your views about denying the USA flying rights and using their oil to put pressure on the USA and Israel. The moment one of these countries attempts that, however, it will be labelled as terrorist and attacked. Of course, Iraq broke out of that and now it will be brought back into line. With Iraq, the USA will effectively control OPEC so will be able to put oil pressure on other countries.

After World War 1, UK and France effectively split the Arab nation into a number of smaller components that were easier to control, other wise a larger single Arab state might be powerful enough to be a counterweight to Western power in the region.

Apologies if I offended you in any way.


039

Rytis

Hi, we have a web site about exposing government media fraud and a message board. i was wondering if you could place a link to one or both on your web site. and if you want email me your link, i will place it in our "friends/links" section

http://pgov.org - peoples' government web site
http://independents_unite.aimoo.com/ message board

KryssTal Reply: Hi Rytis,

Here it is

http://www.krysstal.com/democracy_whyusa03.html

I'll check out your site properly in the next day or so.

I noticed you site uses phrases like "Boycotting our government" the word "our" is not a good one to use on the WORLD wide web as you do not know where your readers might be. I live in London. Is "our" government the one in Westmister? Probably not. Better to use the country name instead of "our". Boycotting the USA government or Brazilian government or whatever.

I always try to explicitly define country names so I use terms like "the USA newspaper, New York Times", or "the UK newspaper, the Times" rather than assuming "The Times". Also terms like "last year" are better replaced with "2002" otherwise the reader needs to know when the piece was written. It's tricky, isn't it, making writing self contained for the internet.

Have a look at my essay: www.krysstal.com/worldww.html for more details. Hope you don't mind my comments.


038

Tony Sugrue

Hi There,

I would just like to say well done, I myself am honored to have Americans as my friends, indeed my Sister lives in the USA [ I'm from the UK].

I became so incensed by US aggression which resulted in the horror of 9-11, that I felt I had to say something. So I built a basic web site to link to information regarding the state of the world right now and how we arrived here, I have added your site as a link, I hope you don't mind.

I do not support Saddam Hussien, both he and Areil Sharon should be brought before the World Court charged with crimes against humanity. The US needs to withdraw it's support of Israel whilst is occupies the Palestinian Territories, indeed it must insist Israel withdraws back to it's 1967 borders, otherwise Muslims will see an attack on Iraq as an attack on Islam, just what Bin Laden wants. THE ISSUE IS PALESTINE.

All the best

KryssTal Reply: Hello, Tony,

Thank you very much for your kind comments.

I, too, know many Americans (including several from the USA). I tend to use the word American in its geographical sense since I met Bolivians who told me "we are Americans also". I too am from the UK, USA's poodle at present!

My fears are not against USA citizens but against the military and oil complex that backs the current administration. I feel that these are a danger to the world. As for 9-11. Since I am not a USA citizen, I would read this as 9 November. This is the day the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 - a great day in Europe - unless you had a pension in Russia!

You are absolutely correct about Israel and Palestine. The attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001 (I put the year in as 11 September 1973 is the date that the USA killed democracy in Chile by organising the coup that put Pinochet in power) are certainly related to the USA's role in the Middle East.

I also agree with you about Sharon and Sadaam. Unfortunately, the International Criminal Court has been undermined by the USA in its "do as we say - not as we do" policy.

I am honoured that you have placed a link to my site. I will look at yours and put a reciprocal shortly.

Nice to here from you Kryss,

Yes the Chile coup was a crime against the free world, all that was good about Chile was corralled in the National Sports Stadium, prior to their murder.

I feel disgusted that our Prime Minister should act as he is doing, I also believe the US and UK will act outside the UN. Well I hope they are forced so to do if that is the case, least ways history will have to record the undeniable fact that the Bush and the Blair destroyed the UN.

We have an American friend staying for a few days at the end of March, she will no doubt be one of the few Americans abroad not in uniform.

Anyway I must dash, oh by the way I have just posted a link to your site on the Guardian talk boards as there seems to be a few Americans in need of re education posting there.

My site is very basic [unlike yours] it was more an exercise in learning html, I use it for uploading pictures mostly. The Realities part was an add on really, with links to informed sources like your own.

Anyway all the Best


© 2017, KryssTal

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