Thursday, December 22, 2005

Re: George the Disconnected, Reading Woodward, Etc.

December 20, 2005

Dear Colleagues:

In the last few weeks I have received an unusual number of emails regarding postings on this blog. Almost all of those not previously posted here are set forth below. Most of them, I am happy to say, are favorable. Only one calls me names. (Naturally that person does not want his email address shown.)

Lawrence R. Velvel

From: Noel Acevedo
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 8:35 PM
Subject: George the Disconnected


Your last paragraph concerning the US never tries its political criminals brings to mind a rhetorical question. Taking as an example Baltazar Garzón's, the Spanish investigative judge, efforts to place Augusto Pinochet under arrest and to have him before a court of law for multiple crimes committed in Chile against foreign nationals during the Pinochet dictatorship, could it be at all possible to have a similar scenario in which an Iraqi national were to file criminal charges of crimes against humanity in a European forum against G Bush, placing G Bush in the extremely uncomfortable position of having to defend himself before those forums or restrict his travels? In the best case scenario, at least having his PR specialists having to truly spin..Thank you for your comments,

Noel Acevedo-Méndez Guaynabo,
Puerto Rico

From: jeffrey shonka
Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 5:17 PM
Subject: On Trying to Read Woodward

Do you really think you'd be attacking Woodward this way if he shared your ultra-liberal, socialist philosophy?

Your hypocrisy is in full view.

From: ruth hosek
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:03 PM
Subject: (No subject)

Dear Dr. Velvel,

Your most interesting discussion on nuclearization leads me to lead you to an horrific website. It is simply 'depleted uranium bombs information'. As you scroll down and through the information, you will find pictures. Friends of ours are dying of the aftereffects of these bombs. Many people seem to have no knowledge or understanding that there is no such thing as a depleted uranium bomb that is not radioactive. Is there any way to inform the public? How can these goings on continue? When and if we support the Iraqis with air power will we be using these bombs? The land these poor people inhabit is practically dead. Iraq was the cradle of civilization - the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers. Does no one remember?

Does anyone care?

From: John Hoff
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:03 PM
Subject: george disconnected.....?

dear sir,

nice article but poor george has very, very little to do with it (hell, him and cheney could be under blackmail). as long as zionist run this country, this will only be the beginning.

p.s. the fasten seat-belt light is on, and you might want to keep it fastened.

From: Scott Beckman
Date: Friday, December 16, 2005 3:46 PM
Subject: On Woodward


Scott Beckman

From: Howard Rogers
Date: Friday, December 16, 2005 1:28 PM
Subject: What the hell is going on?

Bush invades a country based upon faulty intelligence. To garner the support of our elected representatives, he cherry picks the intel that those reps actually see. Having invaded the offending country, he then arrests/detains/kidnaps those he deems to be enemies of the USA. He holds some of those arrested/detained/kidnapped at a network of overseas camps where they are apparently beyond the reach of US laws outlawing torture. Said prisoners are apparently flown (illegally?) through our allies airspace. He authorizes the NSA to expand its spying activities on American citizens. All this done to protect our way of life? Obviously I'm missing something.

Howard Rogers

PS Merry Christmas

From: Ellen Johnson
Date: Friday, December 16, 2005 5:45 PM
Subject: "On Trying to Read Woodward"

Maybe it was Carl Bernstein who was the reporter and writer and not Woodward. I've tried to read a number of Woodward's books, and to be truthful, have not finished a number of them. He is boring. He writes just likes he talks on TV. He gives me tired head. And I'm a political junkie.

Ellen Johnson

From: Paul Knopp
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 3:37 PM
Subject: Bush Prediction

My prediction is that Bush pulls the troops out, declares "freedom" and his poll numbers go to 65%. I've seen this movie before.

From: Freeberg, Richard
Date: Friday, December 09, 2005 11:55 AM
Subject: Honesty

Dear Dean Velvel -

I greatly appreciated your essay on counterpunch regarding honesty and openness, or the lack there of, in contemporary America as it reinforces my own perceptions, which I often have a hard time explaining to other "Amurcans". Keep up the good work.

My own humble analogy is to a family that attempts to function on a basis of secrecy and dishonesty, is a family that is deeply troubled and most likely, will not last for long.
The all Amurcan family has become one in which Mom and Dad are keeping their activities secret, and lying to each other. Spending wildly beyond their means, pursuing ill defined and narcissistic goals, running up unsustainable debts. Kids running wild, imitating their parents with lies and secrecy and exploiting the situation for their own selfish benefit.

For those wacko religious types who seem to like to pick and choose which part of the Bible they wish to quote (mostly old testament), I would point out that one of the most important of the Ten Commandants (along with Thou Shall Not Kill (Murder, Napalm, 'Neutralize', etc)) is, THOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS!

Keep up the good work. I have faith that, ultimately, Truth Shall Prevail.

Regards, Richard Freeberg

From: Bill
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 8:41 PM
Subject: Good Points Thank You

How true, the national press has not been showing that Bush is speaking mainly on military bases. I've been noticing this for weeks. Bush is a chicken, he showed it during the Vietnam war, of which I'm a disabled veteran, by using daddy's influence to put him ahead of thousands to get into the National Guard. Then he wasn't even honorable enough to finish or complete that obligation, and records disappear.

Bush was also a chicken on 9/11. I watched his face after the first plane hit, he was clueless as to what to do, then after the second one, he was scared, and clueless. The secret service had to keep telling him to get out of there, and then he heads to where. West, towards his home state of Texas, but somehow, someone, got through to his pea brain that the base in Nebraska would be safest against a plane attack. Only when everything was once again under control, for very sure, he headed back east. The man is just a stupid, coward, bully. Stereotype behavior isn't he.

Saddam could have been taken out with one bullet, even though it was, wink wink, against our law to take out foreign leaders. But then, how would the foolish ones friends in the oil industry, arms industry, and Haliburton make any money. We torture now, we kill leaders, the CIA has for years. I had a top secret crypto clearence in the service, same info Nixon was getting.
Why isn't our famed network news, cable news and others, reporting the facts in Iraq!!! I didn't mention FOX because they belong to Bush and his lies.

Anyway, thanks for keeping the truth out there, we can all only hope Rodan flies into the engine on one certain plane.

William Floyd

From: Curtis & Rosemary Schalek
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 2:31 PM
Subject: war criminals


I wholeheartedly agree, "...where we never bring national leaders to justice no matter how horrible their crimes or how many deaths they have needlessly caused. In America we never try the Johnsons, the Rusks, the McNamaras, the Nixons, the Kissingers, the Bushes, the Cheneys,...". It is something I have been saying for decades, but have been dismissed as being over-the-top. It is good to see someone of stature making the charge. Unfortunately, it will go unnoticed and virtually unreported in this nation of morons.


From: David P. Hamilton
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 9:48 PM
Subject: Obduracy.

Bush/Cheney obduracy is the linchpin of their doom. They are headed for defeat but cannot change course. That is a good thing. The historical verdict on Bush/Cheney will be that they crippled American imperialism and set the stage for Republican Party defeat.

David Hamilton

From: Gregory C. O'Kelly
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 6:56 PM
Subject: George the Disconnected

Amazement at the tonnage of bombs dropped on Viet Nam as compared to WWII Europe, and now upon Iraq, is partly due to a misconception as to what that tonnage is for. In WWII the targets were both strategic and tactical, with the strategic targets being the biggest waste of time and ordnance for result, with greater losses of aircrews and aircraft. Strategic bombardment, i.e., the targeting of civilians and industry, was a bonanza for military industrialists and armaments manufacturers despite having been judged by the post-WWII Strategic Bombardment Survey to be a military waste of time. Arms industrialists pushed even harder for indiscriminate 'carpet' bombing during the Viet Nam war to expend the iron bombs left over from earlier decades so that more could be manufactured. Jet planes even with only two engines could carry more than a WWII bomber, with a crew of one or two. As a cadet at the USAF Academy in 1968 I was told how the B-52s would bomb across the Ho Chi Minh trail rather than along it so that it would be guaranteed of being hit at least once or twice with each many-thousand pound load in the bombay and on the wings. The bombing was intensified not because of military necessity, but because of a military-industrial nexus which tailored tactics to industrial profit. Sure, the air force cannot bring about victory even while American troops are in Iraq, even though there is no opposing air force. Hell, the air force cannot even protect these troops. But that is not their mission. Their mission is not to gain control of the air, but to expend ordnance. Pulling out U.S. troops will result in ideal conditions for even more indiscriminate and massive bombings without people like Cindy Sheehan raising a stink, will allow for the testing of even more expensive weapons systems like bunker busters and hyper baric bombs, and, who knows, maybe a new generation of satellite weapons to protect the oil fields from the greedy inhabitants. The replacement of aging stockpiles of explosive devices hard to sell to third world countries unless they also have the aircraft to deliver them, and the loans to pay for both, is what drives this fall back upon the air force. Can you imagine how an embedded journalist with the air force or on an aircraft carrier can enlighten us about the realities of the war? It's all so clean, and profitable. And that is why I hate Bush more than you.

Gregory O'Kelly

From: scott denny
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 12:35 AM
Subject: Bush as bubble boy

Dear Lawrence:

I enjoyed your article and am glad you posed the question that, given this man'spersonality and track record, why would anyone believethings will change? It's beyond me though I do knowthat his party will begin to really put the screws tohim the closer they get to elections. We will see howhe responds.Also, haven't you always wondered what thosemilitary people are so wild about when Bush speaks? Is it "Hooray, we're going off to die"? or are theybought off with bribes of extra days off or something.I can't make sense of it. Finally, I thought that when Bush invaded Iraq themost telling and symbolic act was the looting. Anarchy. Then the disbanding of the army? It becameobvious to me that the war was the "thing" and thereal concern for the people was non-existent. Justlike Katrina, and as you point out, this man has nevershown any capacity for caring for those who are notrich. Your article does an excellent job by linkinghis failure and disasters to an utter lack ofcompassion. His recklessness is frightening. Thanksfor your articulate writing as it makes very strongconnections.Sincerely, Scott Denny

From: Anonymous
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 5:58 PM
Subject: Internet Free America:

Just read your article on George W's disconnectedness in "counterpunch." I'm only writing to thank you for your work. I'm a 58 year old non-combat Viet Nam vet and had the ability to watch Nixon on TV and tell he was lying. When I said Nixon was a lier my mother retorted, "that's the President of the United States you are talking about."
Anyway thanks again, guys like you are a true lifeline for some of us.

From: Rex
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 5:35 PM
Subject: "new" Iraq army will have old officiers

After hearing the Bush speech and reading the Victory in Iraq document I emailed Centcom in Iraq and asked for some details on what the actual plan is. They told me they plan to recruit 8,000 former Iraqi officers to lead the new army. These would the same people who were labled as "terrorists, al qaeda sympathizers, liars and deceivers" by Bush when they denied the existence of WMDs before the war. Now Bush trusts them to fight the "war on terror" as our surrogates. However we are apparently not planning to give them armor and weapons comparable to those of US forces which makes you wonder how they are supposed to put down the insurgents when our better equipped forces have not been able to do so. How effective will an Iraqi army be if it feels that the US has denied it the weapons it needs for its own protection?

Apparently we will also be providing air support to Iraqi forces for a long time to come although I could get no details on this.

From: Robin E Gaura
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 8:18 PM
Subject: your counterpunch article

Dear Professor,

I read with interest your article in counterpunch. I wanted to offer a thought, something that comes to me often while reading analysis of resident Bush's intentions or failings, etc.
It seems to me that the intentions of the neo-cons (perhaps more accurately described as cons.) was and is to destroy Iraq as a viable nation, just as they did to Yugoslavia. The parallels are striking. Both had national economies that were not open to the predations of international financial institutions. Both were broken apart by outside bombing campaigns which stimulated and revived local rivalries.

The cons have been quite successful in both cases. They have shown the world what will happen if you don't open your economies to predation. Your countries will be destroyed economically, and literally. Only cooperative dictators need apply (for loans from the international sharks). I understand that the mineral wealth of what was Yugoslavia is now run by American-French-Swedish consotia. They no longer have unions, or decent wages. The Bremer administration handed out the wealth and systems which produce wealth to their friends in Iraq. And during both conflicts Haliburton made money hand over fist in just providing support and housing to the troops. The industries which produce weapons of mass destruction (our biggest export) have also done quite well. Bombs are the ultimate in consumer products, you always need more!
So, I think they are feeling pretty successful. I don't really listen to speeches and such. They've been lying all along. They'll say anything to have free rein to pursue their objectives. Looking for logic or reason in it all is a pretty fruitless exercise. I don't credit poor Mr. Bush with what passes as thought. During the 9/11 event he looked drugged and hapless. He is a poster boy for a certain industrial/military agenda.

So, I expect Israel to bomb Iran next, since we can't invade them. Chaos and destruction in whole regions does not interfere with some interests making a lot of money. It has also had the effect of removing such civil rights as we may have had, and consolidating the media myth machinery to an absurd extent.

Oddly, I may have cynical moments, but I think that working on the front of conciousness we can pull out of this nightmare. When people see through a myth, it quickly changes everything. I chug along teaching, praying, and looking for openings.

Best Wishes and happiness of the season to you and yours,


From: Michael Walker
Date: Monday, December 12, 2005 7:04 PM
Subject: op-ed

As a Bush hater, I just love your ramblings.....Keep up the good work. Unfortunately for the American people, It all rings true.

Michael Walker

From: CQuil
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 11:49 AM
Subject: Iraqi army disbanded or "disappeared"

I read your article on Counterpunch this morning and found it very interesting. Regarding the disbanding of the Iraqi army after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Paul William Roberts in his recent book "The War Against Truth" speculates that there was a more permanent solution to the Iraqi army than simply disbanding it. The palaces, government buildings and airport in Baghdad are apparently connected by a vast number of underground tunnels. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, it is thought that the Republican Guard were ordered to go to the airport via the tunnels, where they would be evacuated to a friendly country. The number 2 in Iraq - forgive me if I forget his name - was the only one who had the authority to do this. In exchange for this, he was allowed out of the country unharmed. Once the Republican Guard were assembled, the tunnels were sealed and the Republican Guard dispatched by some kind of tactical weapon - incendiary, chemical, micro-nuke - who knows? He said that the comments by armed forces spokesmen begin to make sense in the light of this. They were often heard to say that the Guard had simply vanished, or "vapourized". As far as taking Saddam Hussein and his buddies out and simply shooting them, I have often wondered if that option hadn't already been tried, considering that special forces of several countries - U.S., Britain, and Israel, among others - had been operating in the region. It wouldn't have been a public execution, but the result would have been the same. I have a feeling that these guys just couldn't get anywhere near him (or any of his many body-doubles). Or maybe they got a few of the decoys, but not the man himself. Paranoid theories abound. I enjoy your columns. Counterpunch is wonderful to read when I feel I'm about to drown in spin or propaganda.

Carmelita McQuillan

From: Anonymous
Date: Saturday, December 17, 2005 4:34 AM
Subject: George the Disconnected

Dear Lawrence,

I 100% agree with your great "counterpunch" article.

From my point of view, you missed one point. Bringing Saddam before an international court of justice would allow him to explain in full details his relationship with CIA and US administration at the beginning of his reign. See how censored are the trial reports.

You give the example of Eichmann tried in Israël. Just remember that, at his trial, he didn’t deny what happened in Nazi camps but he also mentioned (obviously carefully censored) this was in intelligence with those who were just trying him. That’s why he was rapidly executed, before he could write his memories.

So the same may happen to Saddam unless America gets rid of Bush and his neo-cons faster.


From: matthew carmody
Date: Sunday, December 18, 2005 1:26 PM
Subject: Woodward

Dear Dean Velvel:

Thanks for the article on Counterpunch.

I have only read one of Woodward’s books, Veil, and I only read that because I thought I could glean some tidbits that would out Bush I’s role in Iran-Contra. I received Plan of Attack as a gift and I am waiting for Christmas so that I can give it to my sister-in-law as a gift (I received it from her husband).

Having read Len Colodny’s Silent Coup I was not, and am not surprised, by Woodward’s actions in this Plame case. Woodward is a part of the intelligence community. He was an integral part of it when Nixon was done in, and he has never ceased to be a part of it.

His actions are reprehensible and why the Post continues to employ him is beyond me, although I do not have any illusions about that organ’s part in the massive disinformation campaign that has been perpetrated against the American people in the past thirty years.

For someone of your background to call Woodward’s books boring makes me certain that I have not missed anything from him. Hubris runs deep in Washington these days, doesn’t it?

Matt Carmody

From: Dev Parikh
Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 8:47 PM
Subject: thanks

Dean Velvel:

I really appreciated the piece that you wrote in Counterpunch a while ago about the incredible snobbery and elitism in the legal community, especially as regards Supreme Court appointments. I think that you wrote in the context of the Harriet Miers appointment. As an attorney, I have frequently received the condescension of rather witless Yale and Harvard graduates. I can remember in law school, that the dean attempted to retain bumbling teachers who graduated from Ivy League law schools, but he would not retain talented professors who went to state schools. So, thanks for shining a light on the elitism in our profession.

Dev Parikh

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2005 7:34 PM
Subject: counterpunch article on iraq

I am your former student from CUA Law School. Except for your course and about two others, I hated CUA as a boring unimaginative place in 1973. Nevertheless, I graduated, became a lawyer for a trade magazine association for about 25 years, and now teach high school literature to black and Hispanic kids in PG County. My interest in your views has been continual; I'm aware of your gallant fight against ridiculous accreditation policies.

I'm delighted to see you are in the forefront of legal education in Massachusetts. Prior to my attendance at CU, I lived in Mass. from birth, graduating Brandeis in 69.

I find your article as to be expected well-written, sardonic, and clear. I agree with your assessment of bush as a leader, but I do believe contrary to your view, that the effort in iraq is worthwhile. Islamist ideology is a threat to Western Civilization which I do believe is better than any posed alternatives. Yes, Saddam kept the islamists in torture chambers where they belong. But here we are with the islamists crawling all over the iraqi landscape. They must be stopped as many Arab countries understand (Algeria as an example which used brutal methods to survive as a modern society).

The limited brained American public did need to be scared into war, but oil not Wmd, was and is the reason to be scared. The war is about oil, and that is as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. What would the price of oil be if the islamists controlled the pump? Economic collapse of the West would lead to political demise of constitutional democracy. I recall that you were a defender of civil rights, but with few illusions of the intelligence of the general public. Your skepticism still redounds in your recent article.

Roosevelt barely preserved democracy against a depression; the public then was used to hardships even in time of prosperity. The end of cheap oil from the Middle East? Today's non-agricultural, automated society would sacrifice democracy for creature comfort in a minisecond.
Since I value what freedom we do have in our ipod obsessed world, I say let the Shia liquidate the Sunnis. Just keep the oil flowing so I can teach one or two kids that Western Civilization is better than multicultural blah blah or Chinese capitalist fascism or African phony kwazaaism.
You've heard the old saw: put the First Amendment on the ballot and it would be defeated. "We the People" haven't the slightest idea of what's in the US constitution and wouldn't like it if they did know.

Good to know you're alive and kicking. I am proud that you were my instructor.

From: Anonymous
To: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
Date: Saturday, December 17, 2005 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: Lies, Lies & More Lies

That's a great point you make, Dean, that lying inevitably leads to incompetence and disaster.

All these nominees are nominated because they WILL write their biases into the law. That's the whole point and their various champions, including Bush, make no bones about it. Becker certainly IS deluded. I have noted that people who fall victim to the delusions brought upon themselves through hubris, lose awareness of how they are perceived by others much the same way alcoholics do in their grandiosity. I regard all these people as quite "potty" to one degree or another. Not a comforting thought.


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