How To Stop Terrorism? A Just U.S. Foreign Policy Would Be A Good Start.

I was proud to serve my country as a Paramedic in The United States Air Force during the first Gulf War.
I am proud today of each and every service member serving in the United States Armed Forces.
As a civilian now, it is my duty to use my voice to speak out with other veterans against putting soldiers in harms way as a means to an unjust end.

America's sons and daughters as well as untold numbers of Iraqis have died and are dying right now as a direct result of our trusting an administration that has cleaned out the treasury and handed over the cash to their preferred corporate partners who then failed to deliver anything of substance to stabilize Iraq when the opportunity was there to do so.

I believe those who have given their lives for their country would expect us to honor them by exercising our duty as Americans to question the motives and the actions of the power that asked of them the ultimate sacrifice. These soldiers deserve to have those of us who are free to speak and act challenge the multitude of questionable actions undertaken by our government under the umbrella of fighting terrorism.

The dead and wounded deserve that we ensure their sacrifice is made in the service of the constitution and not wasted in the service of power, profit and empire.

The following is a great article I found at OP-ED News.

The Big Truth
by John Scanlon

Op-Ed News

The war on terror is a lie. America is fighting for empire in a gross contravention of American ideals. Justice in American foreign policy would eliminate ninety percent of the terror against us, but instead of reversing our aggressions this Administration is planning new aggression in Iran.

Outline of a speech to Democratic Clubs –

9/11/2006 Version

Part 1 - Past: Stopping Terror with Justice

Part 2 - Present: Intentional Dysfunction in the Occupation of Iraq

Part 3 - Future: "Just say No" to an attack on Iran

Stopping Terror with Justice 08/01/2006 Version

The six points of the new "Democratic Vision" to be used by our precinct workers includes (1) Honest Leadership and (2) Real Security – "We will protect Americans at home and lead the world by telling the truth to our troops, our citizens, and our allies." I submit we shouldn't just promise to tell the truth. Win or lose, we should be telling the truth in all our campaigns for Congress. I submit the truth is Republicans don't have a national security policy; they have a national aggression policy. The "Big Truth" is that the war on terror is a lie; we are fighting for empire in a gross contravention of American ideals.

We don't need a war on terror. Justice in American foreign policy would eliminate 90% of the terror against us. The Danish cartoons were only minor provocations. Muslims dislike us for many substantive reasons:

• Our aid to Egypt's Mubarak and petrodollars to the Arab Monarchies enable them to oppress their people

Iran (See below.)

• We supported an arms embargo of Bosnia that left Serbs well armed and Muslims less able to defend themselves against genocide, systematic rape, and ethnic cleansing. In addition, we allowed Karadzic and Mladic, the President and General of the Bosnian Serb Republic, to live in NATO controlled areas with impunity for years even though they are two of the most egregious, genocidal terrorists on the planet.

• We have helped pay for Israel's aggression in the Occupied Territories for a generation. 400,000 settlers east of the green line is aggression and/or conquest. These terms apply. Israel under Olmert is planning to partially reverse this aggression, but that doesn't change the fact that Israel has pursued a greater Israel plan since 1967 with our aid.

• We committed unprovoked aggression against Iraq, and a John Hopkins University Report estimates more than 100,000 Iraqis have died.

Actions such as these have combined to create the hatred against us. But, we can eliminate this hatred and its resultant terror with justice. Where America has been in error, we must recognize those errors and make amends.

Intentional Dysfunction in the Occupation of Iraq An Executive Summary 1/15/2006

Our guys are killing and dying in a war they are not being allowed to win. It will take a combination of military and political action to win this war, but the Administration is not willing to take the necessary actions. I believe Mr. Bush has intentionally created instability in Iraq to rationalize an unending occupation. Intentionally and/or incompetently, Mr. Bush has created a decrepit, dependent Iraq and facilitated the creation of an insurgency that could be as unending as this occupation. I believe the following combine to indicate intention rather than mere incompetence:

• The Bush Administration is philosophically opposed to peacekeeping and nation-building.

• In 2002, Rumsfeld closed the Army's Peacekeeping Institute which trained officers in post-conflict issues.

• The Pentagon did not adequately plan for post-war operations and ignored extensive State Department studies on how to achieve stability after an invasion.

• There have never been enough American forces in Iraq to provide security for themselves let alone security for Iraqi civilians.

• Ammunition dumps all over Iraq were unsecured, giving insurgents access to unlimited supplies of arms. As of 10/2004, the military estimated a minimum of 250,000 tons of munitions remained unaccounted for.

• After less than a month, General Garner was fired. He supported early elections, opposed privatization, allowed low level Baathists to keep their jobs, and planned to call up half the former Iraqi Army to provide security and aid with reconstruction.

• Mr. Bremer, who replaced Garner, under orders from the President, issued a de-Baathification decree that kept Iraq's most capable and experienced leadership out of the governance and reconstruction of Iraq.

• Mr. Bremer disbanded the Iraqi Army. Without more American troops, this army provided the only other means to provide peace and security to the people of Iraq.

• On 6/13/2003 hundreds of American intelligence officers were transferred from Iraq to Florida, leaving only 30 Intel officers in Iraq for counter insurgency work.

• Only 13 billion of 30 billion that Congress allocated for rebuilding Iraq and training its security forces had been spent through August 2005.

• The Administration has refused almost all international, non-military help rather than lose sole control of Iraq.

• Iraqification has been a failure. After two and a half years, American training had created only one Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without US help.

This is not just historical information, most of these errors continue. Gross errors that continue without correction indicate intention. The Bush plan to "stay the course" is a plan for unending occupation and empire. An immediate withdrawal as an alternative is not supported by most Americans as they don't want our forces to have killed and died for an Iraq that is worse off than it was before the invasion. There is, however, a third way.

We will only win this war with a combination of military and political action. Iraq is in a vicious circle with the occupation causing an insurgency and an insurgency rationalizing a continuing occupation. We can and must break this circle. I believe we can do so by meeting the legitimate political demands of the Sunni nationalist insurgents with a substantial re-baathification and a timetable for a full withdrawal of all American forces. See the full article with sources at:

"Just say No" to an attack on Iran 10/12/2006 Version

Unfortunately, instead of reversing our aggressions, the Administration is now considering new aggression in Iran.

America, with Britain, overthrew the popular prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 transferring power to the Shah who, with his Savak secret police, oppressed his people for a generation. We supported Iraq, the clear aggressor, in the 1980's Iran Iraq war, and 400,000 Iranians died. In 1979 Iran took Americans hostage.

One of their primary demands was that we not interfere in their internal affairs (as we did in 1953), and all hostages came home. America has done great harm to the people and state of Iran, while Iran has not done great harm to us.

An attack on Iran's nuclear sites would be an act of war and lead to a significant escalation in both war and terrorism. It would not be a surgical strike as Iran's nuclear sites are hardened and dispersed throughout the country.

Time is of the essence. An attack on Iran may be only months away. Iran may be years away from nuclear weapons, but Israeli intelligence estimates Iran is less than one year away from knowing how to make the bomb and believes that any military action taken after that "point of no return" will only be delaying action.

"The Bush administration is ruling out a guarantee not to attack Iran to induce it to halt development of nuclear weapons."

Demand the Bush Administration commit to non-aggression in return for no nuclear weapons in Iran. If Iran does not agree, demand the United Nations be allowed to deal with Iran as it should have been allowed to deal with Iraq. If the Bush Administration refuses these demands, Congress must declare war, or our military must support the Constitution by refusing illegal, executive orders to attack Iran. Just say No.

In conclusion, we don't need to spend the additional hundreds of billions we have been spending since 9/11 on defense, security, and intelligence. We don't need to be occupiers and torturers. We don't need an empire to be secure – quite the opposite. We're creating more terrorists than we are eliminating. We don't need to give up our privacy and our freedom. Democrats don't need to prove ourselves strong on Defense. Rather, we need to prove ourselves strong in the defense of truth and justice.

Iraqi Sunnis, Iraqi Shiites, Iranians, and real Americans must unite to stop aggressor Americans, preferably non-violently.

See related articles at:

I've been a Democrat since 1984 and have been politically active periodically since then from working against Contra Aid to working against the war in Iraq. I'm a mere Irish-American, a retired bank examiner, and a former Marine.

I am also a contributing author at Op-Ed news and I encourage you to visit and support the work Rob is doing there.

Peace y'all
Kim Gongre
USAF Gulf War Veteran


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