Obama and the GWOT: our readers write

Our February issue featured the story “Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal: ‘A Risk That is Unacceptable’?” by Billy Wharton, documenting the bureaucratic slight-of-hand by which “counter-terrorist” troops could remain in Iraq even after “combat troops” have been removed in 2010. Our January Exit Poll was: “After Obama took office, the Washington Post announced in a headline: ‘Bush’s “War” On Terror Comes to a Sudden End.’ Does this mean that World War 4 Report has outlived its mission? If you don’t think so, will you please make a $10 donation to encourage us to keep going?” We received the following responses:

From Frank Connelly, New York, NY:

The World Wide War on Terror was fought first with disinformation on the grandest scale, and then with bombs and bullets. Once a war is declared, whether it is against terror, drugs, crime or any other political distraction, the first casualty, as always, is truth.

The Republican Party and the extremist right wing has succumbed, for the moment, to its own self delusion. That does not mean that they will change, they will just find scapegoats for the current ills in the nation. There are many followers of Joseph McCarthy and Father Coughlin extolling with great certitude how the people of the United States have been deceived and betrayed by Jews, liberals, homosexuals, New Yorkers etc. One must also be mindful of extremists on the left, who extol the virtues of all parties at odds with the United States, ignoring the desperate hardships which independent thinkers experience in those countries.

I greatly appreciate the dedicated work of the WW4 Report Team. I am confident that in using it I will be more fully informed of what forces might arise in the post-Bush era.

I intend to support WW4 Report with my contributions as well.

World War 4 Report replies: Contributions received, Frank. Many thanks!

From Stephen Thompson, Baltimore:

Of course the War on Terror isn’t over! Please keep publishing. I’ll send you a check tomorrow.

World War 4 Report replies: Check received, Stephen. Many thanks!

From Donovan Ritch, somewhere in Canada:

Maybe only in the limited sense that I wouldn’t anticipate Barack starting any unauthorized wars of his own. Unfortunately, the ‘war on terror’ extends far beyond this and rests upon a fundamental ‘othering’ of the Muslim world, which I believe serves to continually legitimate American imperialism across the Middle-East and in parts of Africa in the eyes of the American public (although they of course are not led to understand it as being ‘imperialism’). The importance of control of these regions is heightened by the fact that American influence in Latin America continues to wane.

World War 4 Report replies: We largely agree, though Obama’s bellicose posture towards Pakistan is worrisome. On lesser points, “America” stretches from Tierra del Fuego to the Yukon; it is not a synonym for the US. Phrases such as “American influence in Latin America” should clue you in that you are using a word imprecisely. And “legitimate” is an adjective. The verb is “legitimize.”

From Grace Nichols, Albany, NY:

Of course the mission isn’t over: Obama just sent a missile into Pakistan and killed civilian children. This sort of thing bears analysis (eh?) We can be grateful to see Guantanamo Bay dismantled, but it’s the tip of not just an iceberg but a glacier of policy.

We still fund Israeli military action. We’ve still got Yassin Aref and Leonard Peltier in prison, along with large populations in for nonviolent crime. And check out the “Obama body count.”

Our position as lead criminal in greenhouse emissions only seals us in as the primary perpetrator of the final solution to the problem of life on earth.

My whole neighborhood was elated, ecstatic actually, after the election. Not a reason to compromise the demand: a genuine, comprehensive end to all US-sponsored terror in the world.

World War 4 Report replies: Yes, we have noted the ongoing Pakistan air-strikes, as well as the atrocious and all too typical case of Yassin Aref. But we dissent from use of the pronoun “we” to denote the government. We aren’t in the government; are you?

See our last posts on Iraq, Obama’s withdrawal plan and the politics of the GWOT. See also our last Exit Poll results.

If you did not answer the Exit Poll, please make a small donation:

  1. I wonder…
    Would I have been saved from the lesser point police if I had mentioned that I had made a donation back in December?

    I will be sure to subject my next response to a more rigorous proofread!