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Here, There and Everywhere

Both Brian Fishman and Fawaz A. Gerges confirm the Administration's claims that al Qaeda indeed has a presence in Iraq. Yet both equally contend that there are many other factions at play in the region and that the situation is much more complex than simply the "U.S. vs. al Qaeda."

So, how can the United States successfully fight the terror threats of al Qaeda? Within the borders of Iraq, or elsewhere in the region, perhaps farther away from the epicenter of a Sunni/Shiite sectarian war?

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently stated:

I believe that it is al Qaeda that has done the most in terms of trying to stoke sectarian violence, from the bombing of the Samarra mosque a year ago February to the second bombing of the mosque just a couple of weeks ago, and to try and provoke exactly the kind of reaction that happened after February of last year. So I think that at least in terms of the combat operations that we're conducting now, the principal enemy that they are facing is in fact al Qaeda.

While Fawaz A. Gerges, a Carnegie scholar who is undertaking a 15-month field study in the Middle East tracing the journey of what he calls “the Iraq generation” of activists and jihadis, contends that the U.S. presence in Iraq is actually bolstering the central al Qaeda network:

The administration's argument that we have to stay in Iraq in order to win the war against al Qaeda does not make sense. In fact, the opposite is true. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more we help al Qaeda spread its ideology and tactics.

What do you think?
  • Does the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq justify a continued US military campaign there?
  • Does it similarly justify our presence in Pakistan, Algeria, the Philippines, Malaysia or other regions where the terror organization allegedly has a foothold?


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Comments

THIS PROGRAM WAS THE LAST BASTION OF HOPE FOR CITIZENS IN THIS WRETCHED NATION IN DESPERATE NEED FOR ACTUAL INFORMATION -- NOT OPINIOTAINMENT.

I WILL MISS IT DESPERATELY. PLEASE KEEP THE ARCHIVES OF THE PROGRAMS ON YOUR WEBSITE.

HIS PROGRAM WAS THE ONLY REASON WE USED TO SEND DONATIONS. I THINK I'M GOING TO CRY.

US military and intelligence services must seek the real persons hiding behind Al Quida in Saudi Arabia.

I would recomend the new president take a copy of Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" so they can be aware of the dangers of basing policies on religeous mythology. Also the new president needs to be aware of why seperation of church and state was so important to our founders, and why it should be important to our leaders today.

Al Qaida... Al Schmaida

“US lawmakers voted Wednesday to split Iraq into a loose federation of sectarian-based regions and urged President George W Bush to press Iraqi leaders to agree.” ADE Sept 26 2007.

Thus the bombing campaign and a million plus Iraqi dead…

Iraqi’s Accuse US Of Bombing al-Askari Shrine in Samarra: Both Sunnis and Shia say the bombings are a plot to incite sectarian violence at the behest of John Negroponte, US Deputy Secretary of State... Murdoch and Co will have you believe an internecine struggle between Shia and Sunni sects within the Moslem infrastructure of Iraq, supported on the Shia side by Iran attempting to establish hegemony in the area, is at the heart of the problem. That is total BS.

Some of the deadliest attacks against mosques in Iraq since the US led invasion in 2003:

—June 19: A car bomb strikes near the Shiite Khillani mosque in Baghdad, killing at least 78 people and wounding more than 200.

—Feb. 24: A truck bomb explodes as worshippers leave a Sunni mosque in Habbaniyah, west of Baghdad, killing more than 50 people
and injuring at least 60.

—Jan. 30: A suicide bomber strikes a crowd entering a Shiite mosque, killing 19 people and wounding 54 in Mandali, near the Iranian border.

—July 14, 2006: An explosion kills 14 people and wounds five as worshippers leave services at a Sunni mosque in northern Baghdad.

—July 6, 2006: A suicide car bombing kills 12 people, mostly Iranian pilgrims, at a Shiite shrine in the southern city of Kufa.

—June 23, 2006: A bomb strikes the Grand Hibhib Sunni mosque in Hibhib, northeast of Baghdad, killing 10 worshippers and wounding 15.

—April 8, 2006: Several suicide bombers, including one dressed as a woman, blast worshippers as they leave the Shiite Buratha mosque in north Baghdad after Friday prayers, killing at least 85 people and wounding more than 160.

—Feb. 28, 2006: A car bomb hits the Shiite Abdel Hadi Chalabi mosque in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad, killing 23 people and wounding at least 55.

—Feb 22, 2006: Bombers destroy the Golden Dome of the Askariya mosque, one of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines, in Samarra. Nobody is injured, but it sets off an unprecedented wave of sectarian violence.

—Jan. 5, 2006: A suicide bombing kills 63 people and wounds at least 120 near the Imam Hussein shrine, in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad.

—Nov. 18, 2005: Near-simultaneous suicide bombings kill at least 76 worshippers and wound more than 100 at two Shiite mosques in Khanaqin, near the Iranian border.

—July 16, 2005: A suicide bomber detonates explosives strapped to his body at a gas station near a Shiite mosque in Musayyib, killing at least 90 people and wounding more than 150.

—March 10, 2005: A suicide bomber blows himself up at a Shiite mosque during a funeral in the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 47 people and wounding more than 100.

— Feb. 18, 2005: Suicide bombers attack two mosques in predominantly Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, leaving 28 people dead and at least 30 wounded. A car bomb later explodes outside a Shiite mosque in Iskandariyah where hundreds have gathered, killing eight people and wounding 10.

— Aug. 26, 2004: A mortar barrage slams into a Shiite mosque in Kufa that is filled with Iraqis preparing to march on the embattled city of Najaf, killing 27 people and wounding 63.

—March 2, 2004: Coordinated blasts from suicide bombers, mortars and planted explosives strike Shiite shrines in Karbala and Baghdad, killing at least 181 people and wounding at least 573.

—Aug. 29, 2003: A car bomb explodes outside the Shrine of Ali in Najaf—one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites—killing more than 85 people, including Shiite leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press.

While Bush grandstands about how Al-Qaeda wants to kill our children and as Mossad agent Pearlman rants on a video tape about a new 9/11, the only real Al-Qaeda are being equipped, funded and trained by our own government to kill innocent civilians in the Middle East in order to pave the way for the next chapter of NeoCon blood letting while crude propaganda tapes are foisted on us at home in an effort to hoodwink us into supporting it all.

Agriculture, writing, and the domestication of animals all originated in the Tigris Euphrates region called Iraq, the tribes that have been located there since the time of Adam, are the Sunni. The Shia are every one else, the Sunni are often don’t do the manual chores, so they have been bringing in workers from other places for centuries, these workers do not usually attend Sunni mosques which are most often built and maintained by a single extended family. They usually attend to their religious affairs in Mosques that are located in working class areas of the city, that have become known as Shia Mosques. At no time has war or conflict between the two sectors of society been permitted, either under secular law or within the strictures of Islam, and all parties are aware that murder is met with speedy and deadly retaliation, according to the instruction in The Koran.

C4 has been in the gruesome car bombings in Iraq. Asked about those and the dozens of civilian bodies that turn up daily, Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, laid responsibility for the deaths, including gruesome beheadings of civilians, at the feet of the unregulated force of one hundred and fifty thousand private security contractors. Fourteen thousand of whom are from Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi Free Forces, the remainder are from paramilitary forces with some of the worst human rights records in the world: South Africa, Colombia, Salvador, and Chile, and ex regular special forces from the United Kingdom, United States, Israel, Nepal, Fiji, and the Philippines. Beheadings, such as those seen in Iraq, are a hallmark of the Nepalese Gurkhas. WayneMadsen

No, I don't believe that the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq justifies a continued U.S. military campaign there. My reason for this is because if you were to remove Al Qaeda from the picture right now there would still be ninety-five percent of the insurgents left. Also right know even though Al Qaeda is very dangerous the bulk of the attacks on the U.S. are coming from the Sunni and Shiite militia. The U.S. administration keeps telling us that the bulk of the attacks on us are from the Al Qaeda. In fact the bulk of the attacks on us are actually from the Sunni and Shiite militia. Also our presence in Iraq is not needed to get rid of the Al Qaeda. This is because only the Iraqis can do that, which makes the situation a political not military problem. This is why the government has to step up and kick the Al Qaeda out. Finally, our presence in Iraq because of Al Qaeda is causing the U.S. all sorts of problems. One of the problems is that the Al Qaeda is spreading the word around that the U.S. just came to Iraq take their oil. Also, some people think that we came to Iraq just to subjugate the Arab-Muslim world.

When watching this video I had to ask myself, what has the United States government done? I feel that the government dug its self a hole that it will now be very hard to get out of. This hole is also known as blowback. We have interfered with every aspect of these other countries. I feel that the United States needs to find a way to get out of Iraq, there is no valid reasons for us to be there anymore. the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq is not as extreme as my Americans thought it was. Although I believe in one point of view we needed to do something to try to be in control instead of being controlled by any other country, we let this situation get way out of hand. Our government is still allowing other countries (specifically with oil) to control our economy. We are now dumb foundedly giving money to the country we are at war with. We as the citizens have been tricked and only when we can all take the time to look at all the facts, is when we can we be absolutely certain why we are in Iraq and if should we stay in Iraq. Our soldiers lives are far more important then any about of money, these military personnel are real human beings being killed and I believe that many people need to realize this. I can’t wait for the day to finally say, all of our troops are finally home and terrorism is no longer the top issue on our agenda.

The United States has a duty to remain in Iraq having stirred the pot. However, the Iraqi security forces have come up short time and time again in preparing themselves to combat the insurgency in their country. We started the war, we must finish the war. The question was specific in asking, 'Does the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq justify a continued US military campaign there?'. The question did not ask whether or not the US's fight against Iraq is justified, as many of you believed given your responses. The United States, after removing Saddam Hussein from power in 2003, has not been fighting against the Iraqis. In fact, since dethroning Hussein, Iraq has been an ally to the United States. From 2003 to the present, all American military forces in Iraq have been considered “security forces,” working alongside the Iraqi army, as well as other foreign allies, i.e. Poland, Australia, and Great Britain, to combat the terrorist insurgency comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists (and terrorists of other factions), as well as religious rebels of the Sunni and Shiite sects. It is unquestionable that yes, we must continue to fight al Qaeda in Iraq as they were, unlike the country of Iraq, responsible for the September 11th attacks. As long as their is an al Qaeda presence in Iraq, the United States will combat them. The Iraqi army will play a key role in achieving a greater foothold against the terrorists and rebels when established in greater numbers. Until that time, the United States is obligated to remain involved in Iraqi affairs having stirred the pot, in this case, removing Saddam Hussein from power. The 'Democracy' that the United States has established is yet still too weak and plagued by religious disputes to be left alone to manage the entire state of Iraq. If the question was broader, asking generally, 'Is the American military presence in Iraq justified?', there would be room to argue that we are, 'involved in a holy war' and 'simply there for oil.' However, this is not what the question was and asked specifically about the al Qaeda presence in Iraq. A troop withdrawal from Iraq at this point would only further the progress of al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the September 11th attacks, and leave for a larger political, economical and humanitarian disaster than that seen at the conclusion of the Vietnam war and the countries of Asia minor after the fall of the Soviet Union. In conclusion, I believe we must continue our military campaign in Iraq.

I believe the U.S. troops going to Iraq was a mistake and done for no reason. I am against this war, but I also believe that now that we are there, we must accomplish something before returning back home. Americans were mislead that we were going to Iraq for September 11th, but it ends up Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th. We were told by our president that we are in Iraq to prevent terrorists from Al Qaeda but we had no proof that Al Qaeda was even in Iraq. Another reason we were told we went to Iraq was to get Osama Bin Laden, but it turns out he did not even go to Iraq till after the war started. Americans have no proof of who officially is responsible for September 11th, some people think the government either has something to do with it or knows who it is but we continue to be lied to. No one knows why we are in Iraq either; some people say it’s because of oil and others say it’s because of September 11th. I believe our government and President need to come out and tell us everything they know and stop avoiding the truth. I was against our troops going to war and I still am but I also think now that we are there, we need to accomplish something before we leave. If we leave now, Iraq’s government and whole world will fall apart; we will be the cause of Iraq being destroyed and who wants that? No one knows why we are there or when we are coming home, and I’m not sure we ever will, but I have a feeling this war is not going to come to an end very soon.

I believe the United States miliatary is in Iraq for no reason. The president has made up excuses such as connection to 9/11, Shadum Husain, and terriosim sponsor, but these reasons were false. If you ask a group of people why we are in Iraq they would probably all come up with different answers. the president has informed the citizens with different answers and never a direct one. the only possible reasons we are in Iraq i bieleve is because of oil and they have strategic location in the middle east. but instead of fighting and being in war i think we should gain the respect and become allies with them. so what i am saying is that i think we should leave from Iraq before we are in more depth with it and before we lose more troops.

Al Qadea is a threat in Iraq. The U.S. being there isn't helping the problem though. I agree that only Iraq can get Al qaeda out. If Al Qaeda leaves we wouldn't. The government would come up with another reason. If the U.S. were to leave Iraq, Al Qaeda might leave as well. This is because the insurgants that call themselves Al Qaeda would stop and the government might kick out the real Al Qaeda. We have no other fake excuses to stay. Thats why we are sticking to the Al Qadea theory.

I think that Al Qaeda in Iraq does not justify the continued U.S. military campaign. I think that we should be out of Iraq because other than making Iraq a democracy which is not going to well. Al Qaeda is only five percent of the insurgency attacks in Iraq. Also, most people in Iraq do not want us there. I think that if we left Iraq it would be better because there would be less fighting and none of our troops will be dieing in Iraq. Al Qaeda may be doing most of the killing, but being only five percent they will not take over Iraq. If they were to take than we can just go and start all over again. I think that most of the troops rather come home now and then go back later if Al Qaeda took over. I do not even see any benefits that may come from winning the war other than the oil that we could get. The only thing that anyone could tell me to change my mind would be any benefits that are worthy of fighting for other than oil. Other than that I sticking with my thoughts.

The existence of al Qaeda in Iraq is real, but our President has attempted to justify a military campaign for the wrong reasons. Lumping all of the insurgency attacks together while, as Gerges said, "They represent less than 5% of insurgency attacks," is actually counterproductive for the war. It seems now that "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is no more than a reason to stay in Iraq. How can we label every insurgent as a member of al Qaeda if they are able to obtain recognition and legitimacy because of it? I believe the U.S. government's true reason for continuing a military campaign in Iraq is to take control of resources. Right now, we should be worrying more about the ideology that is spreading from al Qaeda to Iraqis. Even other countries are beginning to see us the way many supporters of attacks against the U.S. see us. They do not want us to stay in Iraq any longer. I believe we should come up with a new strategy that allows us to leave Iraq before any more attacks occur. As stated in this interview, this has become a "political" problem more than a military problem. The fact that the government can manipulate the public opinion only makes me more anxious about the outcome of this war.

I believe the U.S troops are in Iraq for no reason. Our President has repeatedly told the citizens of the United States of America that our troops are in Iraq to prevent anymore terrorist attacks from Al Qaeda. The problem with that is there is no proof of Al Qaeda in Iraq. There also isn’t any proof that Al Qaeda is even linked to 9/11 or Osama Bin Laden. So what is the real reason we are in Iraq? We the people don’t even know the real reason. Our president should stop making excuses and should just tell us. My opinion is that we should try to get out of this war before we lose more troops then we should. We are trying to help them fix there problems when we aren’t even wanted in there country. Why do we stay? Is it because of their oil or goods. I think the government will just leave us wondering and will never tell us the real reason why we are in this war.

The US is in Iraq for no real reason. The president fabricates another reason after the other for why we are there. After all no one really wants us to be there. Al Queda is there no doubt but as Gerges stated "only five percent of the insurgency is Al Queda". So why is our military there? I feel that the US military shouldnt be there at all especially if were there to stop terrorism. There is no way the US can stop it we only publicize their want to be known globally or as Fishman stated their "Franchize". So as we remain in Iraq we just continue to feed their franchise making them stronger. We should leave Iraq and allow them to fix their own problem.

I believe that our troops should have never went to Iraq in the first place. Initially us citizens were told that the troops were going there so we can help Iraq form a democratic government, which we have completed. When this was done than why didn't the troops come back? Supposedly the reason is that Al Qaeda is now in Iraq. This is what the United States citizens want to hear. They would much rather hear this than that we are there for oil and a good strategic location in the middle east. This is what the president is using as an excuse as to why our troops are in Iraq. These excuses are not going to keep the citizens is favor of the president. In my opinion, the president should stop making excuses for his actions and tell the citizens of his country what they want to hear, which is the truth. If Al Qaeda is truly in Iraq than why are we held responsible for trying to fix their problems? They do not want the us in their country so why bother. If they don't want our help than why give it to them.

I believe that we have no reason to be in Iraq. Clearly, our president has a unearthly obsession for al Qaeda because he wants a good reason for us to be in that country. I could understand entering Iraq in order to give them a democracy, but we have already done that, as well as taken the tyrannical ruler, Saddam Hussien, out of the picture. After all, as stated by Fawaz Gerges in the July 27th edition of the Bill Moyers Journal, al Qaeda only composes 5% of the overall anti-American militancy in Iraq. I also believe that if we are in Iraq, why don't we (the American Government) go to the other possible hideout countries for al Qaeda, such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Syria? Our presence in Iraq is clearly not justified, even if we do claim that they are harboring terrorists. Not to be skeptic, but I think the American militancy in Iraq is just a conspiracy. In conclusion, the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq gives us no valid reason to be there.

Because Al Qaeda is in Iraq our only valid reason to be there is to get rid of the terrorist group. Other reasons like oil and a good centeral location in the Middle East are not what the people want to hear because that makes them think that we are greedy and the only reason we were over there in the first place was for that. President Bush recently made a speech in Charleston, SC and mention Al Qaeda over 90 times. This is something that the Iraqis should take care of, and not us because we are still losing troops to the Sunni and Shiite civil war. They clearly do not want us there, so my question is, why? Why be in a place where you are not wanted and trying to solve a problem you can't fix. Let the Iraqi government settle the issue not someone they do not want in their country.

The presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq does not justify a continued U.S. military campaign because our president, George W. Bush, has repeatedly told the citizens of the United States of America that our troops are in Iraq because we are trying to defeat Al Qaeda from further “terrorist attacks”. Although there has been no proof that Al Qaeda has related links to 9/11 or Osama Bin Laden, we consistently continue to be stationed in Iraq. It seems that the American troops are not taking any action against Al Qaeda, so therefore people in the United States are confused to why our troops are stationed in Iraq in the first place. The U.S. military has been station in Iraq for years, but what has come of American soldier existence in Iraq? Death of mostly Iraqi civilians, friendly fire, and Iraqi/American troops. Loved ones have been missed from home and people are suffering- the troops in Iraq and the families back home. I do not see any reason why the president still has troops station in Iraq, set a government up for another country? Iraq belongs to the Iraqis. Americans would not approve of Iraq or any other country coming into our homeland and setting up any form of government they though was appropriate. Therefore why should we treat Iraq this way? Sure the U.S. and the Iraq have had rough patches in the past, as a result I believe it is time to call a truce.

I believe that even though there is still Al Quaeda in Iraq, the US military presence there is still not entirely justified. Like Mr. Gerges stated in the interview,"Only Iraqis can defeat Al Qaeda." And if that statement is true, which i believe it is, than the reason that our president gave us, that our military is in Iraq in order to defeat Al Qaeda, is disproved. If we are in Iraq to take down the terrorist group, or "franchise", as Mr. Fishman put it, than we should not even be there because only Iraqis can defeat Al Qaeda. And that is by the Iraqi government removing them governmentally from the country. Therefore, if the US is going to fight Al Qaeda, it should be in the United States, as there are members not only in the middle east, but on our own soil. For example, a man was arrested after the September 11 attacks for being part of Al Qaeda, and he wasn't from the middle east or even a foreign country. He was from the west coast. Just because Al Qaeda is in Iraq, and it is a very dangerous presence there, we cannot defeat them, only Iraquis can, and that is what we should let them do.

The time has come when we stop interferring in other countries internal affairs. Yes, the invasion into Iraq was for Oil. Bush was trying to push it for anything but, because international law states you are not allowed to invade another country for their natural resouces. Most terriorist attacks have been executed by 5-20 people so continued bombings are totally unjustified. There were so few Al Queda in Iraq thry were quite able to handle them themselves. When we first invaded Iraq, Bush destroyed many residential sections and stores,+ water & electrical supply buildings (another violation of international law.)As one writer put it ,every one in Iraq is displaced or dead! Sanctions on countries have no value and harm only the very poor in a country. Our sanctions in Iraq & Afghanastan have killed approximately 300-400 thousand babes under 5 yrs of age. Bush , twice this mo., has said, " Iraq still hasn't decided on it's oil revenues yet" Bush, and ironically Pelosi, could stop the wanton killing today. without Bush's congress.

The United States military cannot defeat Al Qaeda so therefore there is no place to do so. In the video Gerges states that there is no good place to defeat Al Qaeda and the only people who can are the Iraqis. So if the United States stays in Iraq they cannot defeat Al Qaeda. Basically the best place for the United States to fight Al Qaeda is in the United States. If we stay in the United States and just let Iraqis fight Al Qaeda eventually the problem will solve itself. During this civil war between sunis and shiited the United States became involved and are giving Muslims and Iraqis the wrong idea about why they are there. The U.S. says that they are there to create democracy and peace, but the Iraqis think that we are just there for their oil, which distracts them from fighting Al Qaeda and makes them want to fight us. The United States should let Iraq handle their own problems and not get involved and further.

Nothing jusifies us to interfere with the internal affairs of any country by military aggression. The world has become quite globilized and constant diplomacy to solve any problems is the way to go.

We hear so much about Al-Qaeda these day. So much to the point where we are becoming foolish. I remember when my siblings and I were young and our parents wanted to keep us in line, they would tell us the boogie man was going to get us. This is no difference. A vampire is in the house and it is having a field-day praying upon our fears, and drinking the blood of our future.

Who is to be feared? A hand full a rag tag individuals with a few bombs, or the "fear and deceit industry". An industry which have gain currency with the Nation, falsely committing us to a trillion dollar (and growing) war. An industry which has illegaly sent thousands of our young men and women to slaughter other innocent men and women. The same industry which has seen enourmus profits from the proceeds of the "war and security machinery". .."Those who have eyes to see let them see". We are a country steeped in fear, Our great minds are not concerned with minding the store, but how they can fatten their coffers. We have lost sight of the values that has sustained us from birth. We have become blind. Listen to the distant drum-beat of falling stocks, or the collapsing ecomonic markets. We hear how our financial portfolios are suffering. Greed is soaring and fear is raging like wild fire.

We are sourcing the cause of our distress, and this is why we are thankful for an Al qaeda, a Saddham, or a mr boggieman. My brothers, fellow countrymen, let us remember our great country was largely built on sustaining principles,..Not wood, steel and stone! The faith in ourselves to set and accomplish our goals. Charity, consideration for others, sacrifice, honesty (for the most part), hope, and vision. This is what we need to revisit. Instead we are focusing on making the next easy million, so we can retire and die in luxury.

Do'nt you see, it is all about us and our perception of how we see the world and our place in it. In a few months we are going to see a collapse of our system, affecting our way of life. Many are standing in line to advise you of the cause, few will say we caused this on ourselves, and it was long in the making. Advisers will tell you its all about the market, they won't tell you its because our greed, intollerance and fear that went off the charts.

Al qaeda is the least of our problems at this point, look at the trade imbalance. Look at the fact we are no longer feeding ourselves, look at the fact our farm lands is being eaten up by eight and ten thousand square foot homes, homes which are housing only two and three individuals. Look at the fact that our people are being displaces by foreign outsourcing. Our nations wealth is being dicipated at an alarming rate. Those at the top will not bring this to your attention, because they profit directly, while we watch and football, baseball and drink diet soda.

We pride ourselves in our smarts, how we realize much profits with outsourcing. Its all about cheap labor and high profits. We are either drunk or has become fools. Every dime spent is at the expense of our children and grand children. Children who has forgotten the value of work, the skill of their labor, a valued resource to any strong nation. What about our underpaid outsourceee, so you think they are stupid simpletons who are going to be taking our dimes and quarters forever? (oh its the market) What happen when they wake up, and start making their own demands?

My fellow countrymen we are in trouble. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Mr. Moyers is a true asset to PBS. Please keep him around as long as possible. Thank you Mr. Moyers for introducing me to Clive James. I am anxious to read his new book and possibly others books he has written.

Sorry, tyopographical error revision to 2nd last entry of my just posted e-mail should have read:

"Incumbents who answer these questions in the manner that supports whatever belief the voter has should be voted on for re-election. Voters, who have the numbers to effect change they truly want should turf those who do not agree with the answers they want to hear or to maintain the course they want."

Thank for program with West Point Instructor, Brian Fishman, and professor Fawaz Gerges about resistance fighters and insurgencies, knowledge of who the Enemy is, and Al Qadea, whatever it is.
I also saw the Max Blumenthal Internet video you referred to in your final comments honoring LeRon Wilson sacrifice for his country. Blumenthal admittedly indicated a political agenda for infiltrating Republican College Student registration. In another web-video Cindy Sheehan was accosted in the street by a person who questioned her patriotism, his constant loud over-speaking her responses to his questions, and his response to a similar question Blumenthal posed to college students.

The question was: Based on your belief that we must fight Al Qadea in Iraq (or “over there”) to prevent them from fighting us in our country, have you signed up (or intend to sign up) for military service to fight them? In other words, “Put up or shut up” or “Yes Sir. No Sir. No Excuse Sir.” Or as President Bush said, “Either you are with us or against us”.

It is not a question only for well-dressed, designer- haircut, career-oriented Republican College Students who have means to attend colleges. It is a question to be asked of every citizen who “believes” in our country’s stated objectives to fight any war. Ask Democrat student registration rallies, middle-class and above level workers, any 18-40 year old the same questions. The answers will be the same with the same excuses for a country whose majority of citizens are required to sacrifice anything to pursue the war and who do not even vote.

Who really supports current wars? No one, except our service men, whose lives and sacrifices are minimally reported, whose caskets and names are not viewed and publicized nationally, and whose conditions in desert heat or in rehabilitations at home are not photographed, reported, or followed, until someone is caught making a mistake or a cover-up. Why are undocumented immigrants, developmentally delayed, poor high school students who need a job and secure money and benefits, and re-deployed reservists and national guards the majority of personnel fighting this war? Who has the most to loose at home, and therefore, most obligated to join the battles of our country?

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld pursued a war that Congress ratified over two elections. They use money, our tax dollars, that Congress repeatedly provides, because he may veto anything else but what he requests in the exact wording he demands. The White House pursues legally everything repeatedly authorized by Congress in the two votes for the Patriot Act.

Our Senators and Representatives are not “supposed” to vote on anything out of ignorance, emotions, or without thorough investigation of all facts. Isn’t about time that we ask our up-for-election Senators and Representatives the following questions and publicize their answers (even voting records to support their statements): Did you vote to authorize the war? Did you vote twice to establish/re-establish the “Patriot Act” and, thusly, everything in it, including imprisonment of detainees without legal redress? Did you vote for continued authorization of every budget request the administration made for funding this war? Yes. No. No Excuse Sir. Who answers with integrity?

Incumbents who answer these questions in the manner that supports whatever belief the voter has should be voted on for re-election. Voters, who have the numbers to effect change they truly want not, should turn those who do or to maintain the course they want.

Forget impeachments. Inundate Senators and Representatives with our letters. Watch C-Span. Use the power/threat of our votes. Butter OUR side of the bread. VOTE.

Thank you Mr Moyers. Thank you for helping us to see what we have become as a nation. The people of the brave living in the land of the free is now facing themselves. We have become filled with fear, pomposity and arrogance. We have held the sacred power of equity, truth and justice and thrust it to the ground. The very thing that has made this country great has left us. The riches of justice, the power of humility and the strenght of compassion has become estranged from us. Look my fellow citizens, my brothers and my friends. Open your eyes and see, before its too late. Our greatest ememy is now us.

We speak how great we are, so much so we can over run innocent nation, imprison and execute soverign leaders,on nothing more than hear say, and feelings. We claim ourselves so powerful, yet we can't feed ourselves. We invent fancy words and terminology,words such as "out sourcing",and down sizing, but all this is, is a seductive way to drain the life from our people.

I look around, we build huge houses and shopping complex, but increasingly we are producing less and less. We rely on others to provide for our basic sustinance and needs yet we worry about being attacked to foreign sources. Is'nt it clear, we are under attack? We have become fat,lazy complacent, and fearful. We are under attack allright but not by foreign power, but by forces of our own making, by fear, complacency and ignorance.

There is no question we have been lied to and dupped into going to this senseless war. However we need to bear responsibility individually,as well as collectively, because we have abondoned the very foundation of our greatness.

Evil forces have come forward and is even now at work, we need to step up and be counted, We need to take responsibility, we need to wake up before it is too late. Many take comfort in our bombs and big guns, a word of caution. Remeber the anals of history, we need to wake up.

Some of you may have already read the document by Marilyn Mairesse for Hermes Press:
http://www.hermes-press.com/BushSaud.htm. In it she calls for the impeachment of George Bush based upon a relationship between both presidents (41 and 43) and the House of Saud.

If even a portion of what she charges is true, then the invasion of Iraq, the inability to locate bin Laden, and continuing to leave our troops in what we all know to be a misguided war has nothing to do with the present president's inability to perform; but, rather, a carefully planned and executed strategy.

Folks, Bush and Cheney's hubris aside, this goes beyond impeachment. They make Benedict Arnold look like a choir boy.

I'd be proud to be his Dad.

Bill Fishman

In the mid-90's a group of ultra-conservative Republican leaders met and drafted a manifesto which called for the very strategy we are seeing played out today. Among the signers were: Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Donald Rumsfeld. This plan addressed strict adherence to the use of "strong" diplomacy backed by a strong global military (is this the velvet-clad fist?) to ensure that America's global interests were met, specifically access to and stable supplies of oil; bolstering American economic interests in the Middle East through support of "friendly" regimes; and confronting nations whose political philosophies ran counter to the "spread of democracy." Guess which nation was first on the list? That's right, Iraq.

There are frightening parallels between this Administration's long-range goals, and those of the dead fascist regimes of the Thirties. We may not have an insane demagogue in the White House as did Germany in Adolf Hitler, but the political ideology of the men around the President is terrifyingly close to that which was laid out in Mein Kampf.

Think I'm kidding? Read it and compare to the daily pronouncements of Mr. Bush and Cheney. They have planned stragegy of perpetual war which will go on long after they are out of power. They have calculated the bankruptcy of our current political leadership, on both sides of the aisle, and know that neither side has the politicial willpower to defy them. They are hijacking democracy and creating an American empire in similar fashion to what went on in Eurpoe in the Thirties. We even have a form of concentration camp in the "secret" prisons scattered around the globe.
Furthermore, the demonization of Muslims, homosexuals, and immigrants is reaching levels similar to the Jew-baiting in pre-war Germany.

Here's a suggestion for a future Moyer's program: Is America Becoming a neofascist state?

Please pray for Peace!

Loved all the excuses the College Republicans gave for sending anyone but themselves. Reminded me of this piece - and another wonderful excuse:

• Thursday, August 11, 2005
By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to the student’s parents.

It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. An American flag adorned the yard. A Bush/Cheney bumper sticker graced the Lexus. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.

Alex Magdaleno, if anyone is in denial, it is you. You are grasping at the thinnest of straws.

No one with even the slightest bit of common sense could have believed that there was any chance that the Cheney/Bush administration would decide not to invade Iraq, if Congress voted to allow the invasion. The Cheney/Bush organization PNAC had been lobbying for war in Iraq, loudly and openly, for more than four years. This was not a secret. It was on their web site! It was in the Congressional Record! (See March 2 1998, for example.) Those senators and representatives knew that they were starting a war, when they voted to authorize war.

When Ralph Nader said that the DLC Democrats were "not different enough," he was right. The four that I mentioned (Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman) quickly proved that Nader was right, by voting for the so-called "Patriot" Act, and by voting to start the war.

I did not make a "huge mistake." DLC leadership will destroy the US, almost as quickly as Republican leadership. If your party continues to nominate these DLC right-wingers who supported the war and the so-called "Patriot" Act, then I will continue to vote third-party, and advise others to do the same.

If you don't like that, then you should devote some energy to fixing our electoral system. Learn about Instant Runoff Voting, or any of the other modifications that would eliminate the "spoiler effect." Then ask your favorite Democratic politician why his party has been blocking IRV.

Why would the Democratic leadership want to preserve the "spoiler effect?" Shouldn't they be IRV's biggest supporters? Didn't they learn anything from 2000? Or perhaps they like the outcome of 2000, because it inspired so many people (like you) to go around attacking anyone who dares to say anything positive about a real progressive candidate like Ralph Nader. As long as they can keep using the "spoiler effect" as a weapon, the DLC Democrats can keep veering further and further to the right, confident that they will pay no penalty for their extreme right-wing decisions, because they know that people like you will eagerly attack anyone who tries to offer a real progressive alternative.

Good show. Mr. Gerges tells about Arab religious leaders, al qaida operatives supported by the Arab media...they all portray GIs as unholy defilers w/boots on in mosque, invaders of Islam, murders of the innocent. Young naive Arabs join the jihad as patriots. Arabs who know the truth need to dispel lies like the Truck Bomber Turns Against Jihad In Iraq story. Saudi Ahmed Al-Shayea says he was misled into driving a butane-gas delivery truck which was detonated by remote control in Iraq, leaving him disfigured. Today, he wants would-be insurgents to listen to his advice: "There is no jihad. We are just instruments of death." he continues “We didn’t think of jihad as something that would lead to our death. It was a fight against occupiers,” said al-Shayea. Al-Shayea met his new “emir,” or leader, an Iraqi who told him his first assignment was to take a fuel tanker to a Baghdad neighborhood to be collected by others.

“I felt scared. I didn’t know Baghdad at all, and I also didn’t know how to drive heavy vehicles,” he said.

Also, he says, he was never told that the truck would contain 26 tons of butane gas, rigged to explode outside the Jordanian Embassy.

“That evening, we performed the last prayer of the day and had dinner — a dish of chicken and aubergines,” said al-Shayea. “The emir gave me a crude map of my route.”

Two al-Qaida militants drove with al-Shayea, but then jumped out 1,000 yards from where he was supposed to park the truck and fled in a waiting car.

“I felt something bad was about to happen,” he said.

The farther he drove, the more nervous he got until, 60 feet from the embassy, an explosion — believed triggered from afar — turned the back of the tanker into a fireball.

“I saw the fire and I started to scream and pray,” he said.

“I looked around me and I saw everything had melted. My hands had turned black. I jumped from the window and started running without thinking of what I was doing.”

The blast killed nine people.

We need Arab governments to step up programs and propagate true media stories like Mr. Al-Shayea's

Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for the excellent interview. The disconnect between the President's words about Al Qaeda and the Iraq occupation shows a dishonesty on the part of the Executive branch. Though clearly marked by the interviewees, all viewers should pause to acquaint themselves with terrorist groups both within the Muslim umbrella and external to it.

The world has many terrorists groups. See, for example,

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32223.pdf

which contains many of the names of key groups that could pose a threat to the USA. In addition, the Wiki article,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_organisations

provides the names and links to the descriptions of many other groups.

Mixing the guerrillas who oppose our occupation of Iraq with the terrorists that might have a relationship to Al Qaeda confuses the busy American public and does a disservice to the Iraqis who simply want their country back. Calling all terrorists and suspected terrorists "Al Qaeda" shows muddled thinking of the highest order, and does not allow anyone to grasp and tackle the terrorist problem.

To REM,

No, it was only one person who started the war, and that was Shrub, and you put him in office. Hillary and others were fooled by his lies. They also did not vote directly for the war, they voted to give him the power to go to war as the last resort. Which was one more of his lies, when he said it would be the last resort.
Your are in denial of the fact that you are responsible for letting Bush get elected. The idiotic spouting by Nader that there was no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats has been proven tragically wrong. Gore would never have gotten us into this mess and you know it. Rather than face that fact you run and hide. Be a man, like Tom Hartman, and admit you made a huge mistake.

I agree with Fawaz A. Gerges proposed strategy for dealing with al Queda in Iraq and the Iraq war. That is -- essentially leaving Iraq and removing the reason for al Queda's presence, and getting out of a sectarian civil war. I wonder about the impact of news shows like this when most americans probably get their TV news from the major commercial networks. I wish that PBS could reach more. Also, is a show like Bill Moyer's Journal just "preaching to the choir"? Would any supporters of the current Iraq policy or even people on the fence watch a left-leaning show like this?

I agree with Fawaz A. Gerges proposed strategy for dealing with al Queda in Iraq and the Iraq war. That is -- essentially leaving Iraq and removing the reason for al Queda's presence, and getting out of a sectarian civil war. I wonder about the impact of news shows like this when most americans probably get their TV news from the major commercial networks. I wish that PBS could reach more. Also, is a show like Bill Moyer's Journal just "preaching to the choir"? Would any supporters of the current Iraq policy or even people on the fence watch a left-leaning show like this?

Why can't you cover the entire congressional debate, in prime time. Haven't you heard of a webcast?

Bill,

Between your earmark piece, the Al Quaeda "presence" in Iraq, impeachment as a necessary tool envisioned by the founders of our republic....... each week I become more frustrated. Now I read that the Administration is going to provide $20 billion in military equipment to Saudi Arabia (and other Middle East allies) and $30 billion to Israel (I suppose to balance things out).

Continually, a passage from the Tao Te Ching echoes in my head, "Weapons are instruments of fear". My nightmares are the seeds sown by this imbecilic "pragmatism".

I also can't help but think that we desperately need another Thomas Paine to pen a modern-day, "Common Sense" or a plain-speaking Publius (who admittedly, was scarcely a master of common-man prose) to spark populist revolution against the "Military, Industrial, Congressional Complex". Eisenhower warned us; and it has all come tragically true.

How do we fight back when the traditional avenues and institutions are all but gone?

Finally, a note of thanks for your marvelous program. I get great pleasure each week in watching.

Bribe-Addicted Legislatures

"If a baseball player slides into home plate and, right before the umpire rules if he is safe or out, the player says to the umpire - 'Here is $1,000.' What would we call that? We would call that a bribe. If a lawyer was arguing a case before a judge and said, 'Your honor before you decide on the guilt or innocence of my client, here is $1,000.' What would we call that? We would call that a bribe.

"But if an industry lobbyist walks into the office of a key legislator and hands her or him a check for $1,000, we call that a campaign contribution. We should call it a bribe." : Janice Fine - Dollars and Sense magazine

In answer to your questions, Bill:

* Does the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq justify a continued US military campaign there?

Absolutely not. Based on the information shared by your guests, a U.S. military presence in Iraq only fuels the anger, resentment and hate among muslims who see the United States as an occupier of their country intent on destroying Islam.

* Does it similarly justify our presence in Pakistan, Algeria, the Philippines, Malaysia or other regions where the terror organization allegedly has a foothold?

Absolutely not. You don't fight terrorist groups such as Al Queda with the use of the military. This is a fight for the "hearts and minds" of muslims the world over and everytime the United States uses its military power in another part of the world it is seen as a direct threat by those nations who view the U.S. solely as a destroyer of their way of life.

George Bush, in his colossal ignorance and arrogance has made the world a far more dangerous place having fanned the flames of anti-American resentment in the Muslim world. George W. Bush must be stopped. Any continuation of his policies once he is gone from office will surely doom any chance of lessening anti-U.S. resentment among Muslims.

Once again another great program. I would like to ask Mr. Moyers to consider this scenario. What if according to this administration everything is going according to plan? What if they are not incompetent? What if they want a "perpetual war?"

With this scenario a perpetual war then everything has been handled perfectly. They have made sure that not only Iraq is "unstable", Afghanistan is "unstable", Israel/Palestine/Palestine is "unstable", Jordan will shortly become "unstable" with the refugee explosion, Turkey is unstable, PAKISTAN with NUCLEAR weapons is "unstable" plus the recent announcement of a "unprecedented" amount of money and escalation of weapons sale to Saudi Arabia (what is Israel going to demand for their approval?) the familiar drum beat of war continues about the "immediate" threat of Iran. This seems to me too many "WRONG" decisions not even a uneducated, slightly retarded third world leader, that had never held a leadership role in his life, could be this INCOMPETENT!

When you consider this scenario it raises many "different" questions. However, it does answer some important questions that Mr. Moyers ask his many guests and the same answers always leads to "incompetence." When I try to answer his very insightful questions I realize that as a 62 year old with no college education it just does not make any sense that so many people holding the highest positions in our government and who were so "competent" to run and win the office twice with the best education can continue to make so many "mistakes" for 5 years and counting.

I came to wonder about this scenario after I heard the following two things. One the book review on C-Span book review "Betraying our Troops" by Rasor and Bauman and hearing on the news the White House and Sec. Gates prompting a "new" strategy." The “war on terror” including Iraq is like the cold war with the Soviet Union. The comparison of 50 years in Korea did not go over well. Sec Gates went to Capitol Hill to form a bipartisan plan no matter what party was in power one policy would continue until terrorism was defeated. In a matter of days the Senate introduced a bipartisan proposal to make the 9/11 recommendations “LAW.” The wording in the report that stays in my mind is "DEPENDING on the conditions on the ground the U.S. troops could be withdrawn." When do you think the Muslims will agree and lay down their arms with western troops on their soil? I don’t remember that any part of the Soviet Union had U.S. troops on their soil.


Having worked as a lobbyist in Nebraska for almost 20 years, I thought I understood that the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) required our federal government to make copies of everything to the public (with minor exceptions for security reasons). Your story with the Taxpayers for Common Sence makes me question that assumption. Please explain why they can't use FOIA to get copies of the documents in Congress about the hideous Ear Marks that are attached to their bills.

Because of OUR ignorant, arrogant, paranoid, and misguided foreign policy actions, al Qaeda now has a foothold in Iraq, and elsewhere. And, because of OUR military presence, al Qaeda now has the effective recruiting tool it lacked prior to 9/11. How is it that there continues to be people in our government who want to continue down this road?

The thinking that we can somehow wipe out every terrorist cell in the world with our military might, boggles the mind. So far, for the past six years, not only has this thinking NOT worked, it has fanned the fires of muslim extremism and made the world a far more dangerous place than it had been.

The only conclusion I can come to is that it's about the money. There is just too much money changing hands around this administration's GWOT, with next to no accountability or transparency, for a thoughtful, intelligent, results-oriented plan to get started.

Gratefully, a critical mass of the American people have awakened to this truth, but whether our will can overcome the monied interests that are hooked in to this incredibly wasteful stream of public money that's being spent, mostly ineffectively, is yet to be seen. I'm not ready to lay my money on the American people, but I hope I will soon feel that way.

So, the US military is in Iraq because al Qaeda is there?
I thought it was WMDs?
Or was it the "Evil Empire?"
The spreading of democracy?
9/11?
Why are we there?

The solution to Iraq will only be found when the truth of that question is answered. Only when the truth is known, will the solution be found, and the truth will set us free!

Thanks again Mr. Moyers,

MJA

at one point mr gerges mentioned mossad in iraq,either as a reality or as a myth. i would like to see this expanded upon if possible.

How much more analysis do we need? This war was justified on the basis of lies-weapons of mass destruction, Al Queda there-, military rushed in with inadequate training, i.e. how to win hearts and minds, to say nothing of equipment failures and the incipient prejudice common to much of US, a leader and administration so inept and corrupt that it bogggles the mind, thousands injured and dead, billions of dollars wasted, public opinion wanting out.

How long, oh Lord, must this go on?

I can recall discussing the invasion of Iraq with friends four years ago. I served in the Army, 1st Division back in the 60's and although I was only a non-commissioned officer, even I know you can't subdue a country that size, population, and heavily armed, without an overbearing presence of personnel. I said at the time, we don't have enough people over there.

What I really would like to know is, when will we find out the real reason Cheny, Rumsfeld, et al were so determined to go there?

Thanks.

No, Alex Magdaleno, Ralph Nader does not have blood on his hands. Why don't you blame the people who actually started the war? It was started by a large number of irresponsible politicians-- including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman. These people really do have blood on their hands. (And they all also voted for the so-called "Patriot" Act.) If anything here is "sickening," it is your attempt to protect the people who actually started the war, by attacking (and falsely blaming) anyone who tries to offer a progressive alternative.

Mr. Moyers and Co., another fine show. It is such a pleasure to see discussion and conversation, as opposed to the propaganda and jingoism we generally see on TV.

The current President and his administration are propagandists, and the American public does not come close to understanding the complexity of Iraq, much less the whole Middle East situation. When 40% still believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the crimes of 9/11, sure, that's down from 70%, but jeez, folks, study some facts.

Also, thanks for showing a segment of the Max Blumenthal piece, and my condolences to Pvt. Wilson's friends and family.

The idea that al Qaeda is now in Iraq and therefore we can't leave is absurd. That's the kind of "thinking" you get from people incapable of abstract or analytical thought. The nature of al Qaeda is such that we can't throw an army at it and make everything ok again. It won't happen. Only on-the-ground Intelligence and a shift to humanitarian efforts will help, and that would include things like hiring Arab translators whether they're gay or not. Instead, we're firing them.

Al Qaeda is in Iraq because we're there. We've killed nearly a million people for absolutely no reason except to control the Iraqi oil supply and line the pockets of Halliburton, et al. People all over the world know this - it's blatantly obvious - and Bush's good vs. evil rap isn't fooling anyone with a bit of education. We've become a tragic and dangerous joke.

No, al Qaeda won't leave if we do, but that's no reason to continue an illegal occupation of a foreign country, or to proceed with the multiple war crimes being conducted in our name. We must stop. We must leave. The only thing worse than the hell we'll leave behind us is the hell we are in right now.

Iraq cannot be fixed. It's F.U.B.A.R. There is nothing within our power that will make the situation better. We can only stop making it worse.

America is faced with an historic dilemma: what do you do when your chief executive has clearly abandoned his committment to the American people in favor of the financial interests of his supporters? Who's going to stop him? Short of a military intervention/coup, which won't happen, I don't see a solution.

Congress has utterly failed to do its duty. The American people don't have the sense of urgency to act in unison or the power to act effectively if they did.

Bush will never leave of his own accord. He's making too much money. Unfortunately, so are the rich people who make up our Congress. This is a nightmare that never ends.

P.S. - to the people discussing Nader - give it a rest. Al Gore won the election in 2000 in spite of him, he just hasn't been allowed to serve the term to which he was elected. Why the American people can't file a class action suit to insist that he be allowed to, I don't know, but here we are. Stop bitching about Nader and put your energy into election reform. All of our campaigning is for naught as long as the Republicans control the voting machines.
"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Josef Stalin

To Roy Eidelson,
Your comments of praise for Nader are sickening. If it weren't for Nader and the idiots who voted for him in 2000 we would not be in this mess today. The blood of all those lost in Iraq and the trillion or so dollars it will cost are on your head.

To L.G. Pickels.
There was not a thing wrong with humiliating the college Republicans. It has long been my thought that the Republican party was the "I've got mine and F_ck You" party. Those college Republicans just proved it. They are all for the war as long as their cowardly asses don't need to be inconvenienced by either fighting in it or paying for it with taxes.

I get so frustrated with all of this. It seems as if everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room - the fact that war is profitable.

The American people demanded an end to the war in Vietnam. But the military-industrial complex had a difficult time making huge profits in peacetime. Now that corporations control the government we have a new war and one that has no end in sight.

There never will be an end in sight. Take this quote:

"...a political economy which creates colossally increasing wealth surrounded by disastrously increasing poverty, needs, in order to survive, a continual war with some invented foreign enemy to maintain its own internal order and security. IT REQUIRES CEASELESS WAR. (John Berger, Britain's Guardian newspaper, 8/24/04)

We the people haven't demanded an end to this war. Perhaps because our leaders have learned some new strategies:

"Of course the people don't want war. But the people can be brought to the bidding of their leader. All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for somehow a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" Hermann Goering (quoted by Jon Stewart)

In order to really stop the madness you cannot sit around and discuss things. You have to come up with a better public relations campaign that will reach the average person.

I suggest starting with IMBY. In My Back Yard, this is what I want for my children and grandchildren: Peace, Jobs, Health Care, Clean Air, Clean Water, Pure Food and the opportunity to use their talents, to learn and to grow.

Mr. Moyers, thanks again – another home run...I only wish more Americans watched your show.

Here's what we have to do if we are serious about reducing the threat of Islamic terrorism (we will probably never eliminate it):
1) Stop being the terrorist's straight man. Terrorists cannot terrorize without a willing audience. We cannot ignore a massive attack like 9-11, but we must stop pervading fear and regain some perspective. Yes, 3,000 innocent citizens were murdered on 9-11, but how many innocents have been lost to drunk drivers since? In 2005, some 17,000 Americans died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. President Bush has personal experience with this terrorism. UBL does not have a million-man army on the Canadian border waiting to attack...you're much more likely to be killed by a teenage driver talking on her cell phone than by one of UBL's henchmen. Every time our leaders pontificate about what a great threat UBL and his kind pose to our nation they serve only to glorify these bastards and help them recruit and raise more funds. When Bush utters AQ 90 plus times, as you reported, he elevates these criminals to almost statehood status and perpetuates the brand name they use to recruit. How is this helpful? Media helps too. Every AQ tape played on Al Jazzera gets heralded by US media through every possible means - Tom Cruise couldn't get that kind of publicity if he grew antenna out of his ears. Want perspective? The AIDS epidemic kills 3 million people every year leaving 11 million orphans (so far) with up to 40 percent of the population of some countries infected and 90 percent of those afflicted unaware of their contagiousness. Not our problem, right? Well, okay but a small portion of the $1 trillion we've wasted in Iraq could have gone a long way to at least ease the human suffering caused by the AIDS terror - but alas, our "pro-life" leadership would rather see us fight our way to a "free and secure" Iraq. I guess pro-life doctrine ends at birth...I'm sure Jesus is in total agreement.

2) Get out of Iraq ASAP. No amount of time in "stay the course" or “new strategy” mode is going to garner the President's desired end state of a "free and secure" Iraq - even with 150,000 troops, we are pissing on a 3-alarm fire. There is a third alternative - get in it to win it...But no politician is willing to reinstate the draft and put another 2-300K troops on the ground to really "clear and hold" the Iraqi borders and Sunni triangle - that isn't going to happen, so let's get out now. “But if we leave, there’ll be chaos, civil war, and terrorists will declare victory.” Gee Dick, since you don’t have the “stomach” to order a draft, I guess the terrorists in Iraq have already won. Now it’s only a question of how many more of our soldiers are you going to let them kill and maim; it’s not one of your daughters, so I guess that’s okay. Our leaders do not have the moral courage to reinstate the draft. Why then should we send our brave volunteers to continue to die for nothing? No gain, no victory, just more of the same and worse (AKA stay the course).

If we leave, Iraq will be a mess, but it won't be a grand Islamist-extremist caliphate state...better even if it becomes one - states are easy for us to target and destroy; insurgents? not so much. “But if we don’t fight them there, they’ll follow us home.” How do you figure on that Dick? They gonna rent a boat, walk, what? Unless you fire the Army and the police in the US like you did in Iraq, I’m guessing they aren’t going to find much freedom of maneuver or grass-roots support in the USA. Those that equate GWOT with Iraq often say "we're defeating terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them over here." Unfortunately that argument is wrong on at least 3 counts:

a) Terrorists cannot fight us here (in the US) via an Iraq-style insurgency. Only 911 / London / Madrid type attacks are possible, but also difficult to prevent and will probably happen whether we are in Iraq or not. If preventing attacks at home is our priority, as it should be, we should be fully enacting the 9-11 Commission recommendations; none of which instructed us to attack Iraq; all of which have been prioritized behind continuing the "war." We all know we are vulnerable to terrorism, the 9-11 commission outlines all the problems…So why not implement or at least debate the solutions? Why do our first responders still not have a common communications network? Why are our ports still insecure? Why are our borders still largely un-patrolled? How many of these problems are resource constrained? How far could the $1 trillion we’ve wasted on Iraq gone to solve each of these problems? Furthermore, we don’t live in Israel. We live in the USA. The US is larger than Vermont. The countries on our border are Canada and Mexico, not Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. The terrorism in Israel is only our problem because the same terrorist motivations resulted in 9-11. The solution is not more warfare – just ask the Israelis. War is forcing your enemy to submit to your will by force. Terrorists are at war with the US but I don’t think they can ever get us to submit to their will; especially if we are an unwilling participant. Without conquering the world, we will never get them to submit to our will either. We must remove the rationale and motivation they use to wage it.

b) 99.9 percent of the terrorists we fight in Iraq would not be terrorists had we not invaded and occupied Iraq. In truth, our being there provides the other 0.1 percent the basis, means, and environment to recruit and train new terrorists, fund their activities, and gain stature by killing Americans. In this way, OIF directly supports terrorists’ interests and actually works against our so called "War on Terror." Where else can terrorists go to have free reign for 22 hours a day for over 95 percent of the terrain in order to prepare attacks against real-live Americans who come to patrol or traverse that terrain for the other 2 hours?...We can’t stay; there were never enough of soldiers or Marines to actually "clear and hold" all the disputed territory, but unfortunately we do occasionally have to patrol through it. We might as well paint targets on our kids’ helmets.

c) Finally, this "over there vs here" concept is a most grotesque and direct affront to the sacrifice of US men and women who die or lose limbs in Iraq every day. Most of those we lose never see the enemy, meet them, or engage them in any meaningful way. Most die from IED explosions, indirect fire on bases, suicide bombing attacks, or sniper fire. These are all unconventional means meant to inflict casualties, not to take or hold terrain…just murder and maim and strike fear in us – in other words, these are terror attacks not engagements. Those political pundits that confidently claim that we fight over there so we don’t have to at home should first be forced to explain to the dead and maimed soldiers’ wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, parents and grandparents that the terror “over there” is not felt and fought RIGHT HERE at home. The bomb may have exploded in Baghdad but the real pain is felt at home, the same as if it happened at First Avenue and Pine. The costs in the US are the same. For those with loved-ones alive and in harms way, the relentless fear also resides at home. For these patriots the war IS right here; the effects of terrorism in Iraq are the same regardless of geographical technicalities.

3) We must show terrorists to be the liars and murderers they are instead of glorifying them as “jihadists.” Which of these actions accomplished more towards winning the war on terrorism? Attacking Iraq under fraudulently falsified pretences or raising billions of dollars and sending US military support to Indonesia after the tsunami? Holding teenage boys and 80 year-old men indefinitely in GITMO and encouraging the abusive behavior of Abu Graib or sending humanitarian aid and US military helicopters and medics to Pakistan after an earthquake? Which of these actions validate everything the terrorists espouse? Which actions undermine and contradict everything they declare? Which fills their coffers with gold and lines up suicidal volunteers? Which gives hope to the populace and vanquishes terrorists’ sanctuary? Which acts create and nurture those terrorists groups Dick most want us to see and fear?

The war on terror will not be won through military destruction, but it is certain to be lost if we continue to destroy our reputation in the world as we are now. Any step forward we take with an act of kindness, we give two back to the terrorists with every un-proportional violent act we undertake in the name of war. The terrorists’ greatest victory in Iraq will not be our withdrawal; it was our invasion and continues with our half-baked occupation. OIF, Abu-Graib, secret CIA prisons, and GITMO validate everything UBL and his kind ever said about the nature of the United States. But our humanitarian actions following the tsunami in Indonesia and to the earthquake in Pakistan left the Muslims there profoundly touched and forever changed. Every life we saved is a family removed from the terrorists' roster; yet every life we forcefully threaten, disrespect, or snuff out in Iraq is a family ready to fill the terrorists' ranks. We must also remove the terrorist's high ground by promoting mainstream Islam and challenge those who would twist the religion into a justification for murder by suicide. Terrorists are liars, heretics, and murderers - we must prove them so within the communities that support them. The greater ideology will win the war on terror, not the greater body count.

4) Bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians...Probably needs to wait for the second coming of Christ...but we could at least try to stay engaged; and for appearances sake, be a little more even handed in negotiations. This conflict and our uncompromising support for Israel provide 80 percent of the motivation and support Islamic terrorists need. I'm not saying we're wrong to protect the Israelis, just that there is a price we pay for being lop-sided in our support.

Klabos' response makes my point exactly: calls us names and cannot answer any of the reasonable challenges
and for the record ours is a generational military family that will put its lives at risk to defend his freedom. As for anon post, I have realized a few of the leftists on the lunatic fringe are dangerous!

A number of times on the show I heard claims that we are fighting in Iraq to keep the terrorists from attacking us here, e.g. “it is better to fight them there then to fight them here” (shades of Vietnam).

Aside from the general claim that having our troops in Iraq is somehow keeping us safe the more specific suggestions I’ve heard are that we are tying down the terrorists in Iraq so thoroughly they cannot hit us here; they prefer to hit us in Iraq than hit us here and our troops are drawing the terrorists to Iraq and therefore keeping them from coming here.

I have no doubt that if the terrorists could hit us here they would do so. Remember it only took 19 terrorists to hit us on 9/11. A dare say they would gladly spare another 19 terrorists from the fighting in Iraq. This says nothing of getting the hand full of terrorists needed to hit us here from somewhere outside of Iraq. Hitting us here would also terrorize this country far more than killing a few American troops at a time in Iraq ever would.

The only thing I can think of that our troops are actually accomplishing in Iraq is keeping a powder keg from exploding and even then only for the moment.

I keep hearing about how the Iraqis need to "step up". The people who say this seem to act as if the Iraqis have an obligation to fulfill our notions of democracy and nationhood.

All politics is local or as some might say tribal. The various factions in Iraq are not as interested in democracy and majority rule as they are in having power or at least not allowing others to have power over them. It should also be evident by now that most Iraqis are not all that interested fighting and dying for a government they do not believe in, especially one they see as an American puppet.

Until this country realizes this we will forever be going in circles about how to solve the problems in Iraq. We will continue to talk about training more and more Iraqis year after year (it’s already been more than four years, people). We will continue to wonder why the weak and ineffective malarkey government isn't meeting our goals, better known as benchmarks. We will continually wonder why the Iraqi troops are so unreliable and unwilling to take over from American troops.

We can't just leave Iraq and just staying isn't the answer either. Either one could easily lead to disaster and haunt us for decades to come. Depending on a military solution or believing that the Iraqis will solve the problem to our liking are both wishful thinking. The only way out for this country out of Iraq that doesn’t end in disaster, that I can see, is to have a neutral Iraq. One in which we have stopped trying to control Iraq, none of its neighbors are controlling it, Iraq isn’t at war with its neighbors or itself, and it doesn’t tolerate terrorists. Without a serious diplomatic effort in Iraq and internationally, which is unlikely to happen with George W. Bush in the White House, and understanding the reality of the situation Iraq will continuously be a mess year after year and long after we leave.

Thanks again to Bill Moyers guests for speaking to truth about the mess in Iraq.

They have clarified the next step in our Iraq policy--withdrawal immediately which our political leaders are afraid to verbalize.


Mr Moyers:

Thank you for your interview last night with Messers Gerges and Fishman. It was timely and
to the point. I would like to add the following points:

The president has constantly asserted that the war in Iraq is necessary so that'we can fight them over there in order to not have to fight them here.' The problem with this kind of
thinking is that it is precisely what Bin-Laden wants us to believe. He is perfectly happy for us to direct all our attention to Iraq and leave Al Queda to build up their real forces in Afghanistqan and Pakistan, where their real energies are. With us bogged down in Iraq (with almost our entire military forces there) they are basically free to direct
the kind of operations that really threaten us here in the U.S. If they were to attack us
again, it would be from those areas (their base, so to speak) not Iraq that they would do so.

George Bush would have us believe that his war in Iraq is necessary in order to 'defeat terrorism', but it is doing precisely the opposite. By putting our troops in harm's way every
day, he has drained resources from where they need to be employed, therby allowing the enemy
to concentrate all their attention on their real objectives. Al Queda in Iraq is merely
an addendum to the real thing, a name given to a group of people better able to blow people
up than their associates, so Zawahiri lent them the name. They are no more dangerous than a dozen other groups in Iraq, but they get far more of our atttntion than anyone else.

This will never work. As long as we 'fight them over there' they will become better able to
eventually 'fight us over here.' We need to fight them where they live: in Afghanitan and in Pakistan.

Robert Kelly
Tempe, AZ
rbkelly11111@yahoo.com

I hate to be a buzz-wrecker, but something didn't smell right about that interview with Gerges and Fishman. Just two weeks ago the Los Angeles Times reported, based on Pentagon sources, that a majority of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudis. This story has actually been developing for a long time (as you can see here: www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com).

Yet neither one of these guys even mentioned the central role the Saudis are playing among the foreign insurgents. At one point, Gerges even rattled off the names of countries from which the Sunni insurgents are coming from. He named practically every country in the Middle East - except Saudi Arabia. Something smells fishy here (no pun intended).

Great program! In so very many ways I want to compliment West Point and Fishman. Indeed, the reflection of many great minds at work in the West. Our freedoms combined with the multi-decade rise of militant Islam has produced quite a bit to contend with, as Gerges' polished, persuasive and timely use of pressure points in play demonstrates.

-D

First comment by mind numb right wing war lover is typical of the types you showed in your closing interviews. All mouth but no action. Won't even post his name... no guts.
Good show. Too bad the current bunch of fools in power are not smart enough to listen to this kind of honest appraisal.

My mind is numbed by the closed loop reasoning of the left,liberals. mainstream media , democrats and moderate republicans concerning the war that is centered on "We don't like war" riff (Duh!) , because war is bad and hurts people, therefore all war, all the time, anywhere is always bad. There is NEVER a case for war or defense, therefore any action we take is always wrong. Mind-numbing! The past has proven that sometimes war is the answer:
it was the only way to stop the military attacks of the Nazi Germany and Imperialist
Japan. For all of its problems, the Vietnam War did confine the expansion of communist dictatorships
to the Southeast Asian water's edge. War stopped the complete communist expansion over Central and South America. Another thing that puzzles me is why everyone is consulted about the war and who the enemy is except the guys actually dodging bullets and returning fire in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ones sweating in triple figure heat. They are the first-hand experts on everything war-related. The
ones paying the only price being paid are re-upping in record numbers, volunteering for three and
four tours, and have ZERO doubts based on the actual facts that this is worth it in the long run for freedom. Now if all this makes someone uncomfortable,
relax, we who sit safely at home aren't paying the price
they are, so take a longer view, and watch the long-term results unfold. We cannot judge this on a moment to moment basis on the emotional response to the latest media propaganga
report agianst the war. It would be refreshing, though I do not expect it, to see the bloggers here respect a
viewpoint other than that so predictably expressed here...you could be wrong, you're view could be slightly changed, you could see this in a new light.

This was a great show, but I wonder why they didn't follow up on Prof. Gerges' findings that many in Iraq think Mossad is the antagonist in the region. I also wonder if what Mr. Fishman says is being taught as Middle Eastern history is "real" or the military's perception of it.

Finally, I wonder why nobody ever points out that, although Al-Qaeda is translated as "The Base", it's more commonly used as a slang in Arabic as "the toilet". Are they teaching that at West Point? And why would you name your group after a slang term for toilet?

Perhaps it's because of this?

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/fakealqaeda.html

Mr. Moyers (and PBS),

Thank you for airing the most accurate analysis of the US tradgey in Iraq that I have seen in the last five years.

"Only Iraqis can effectively stop Al Queda in Iraq" (which both guests either said or agreed to) sums up the absurdity of our current 'escalatory' strategy.

Daniel

I am responding to Tony Willazz' RESISTING THE DRUMS OF WAR.

You made some very good points, but until the 'Information Highway' can be opened to all citizens who wish to discuss and share our opinions with one another the "concent of those governed" is mere window dressing.

Last week I pinpointed two articles dealing with public demonstations. One took place in China by people desiring greater democratic reforms. The second was near Kennabunkport(sp)while Bush and Putin were meeting. This group of demonstaters came from military families requesting and end to this agression.

That evening I saw that the mainstream media presented the story of China's demonstration, but made no mention of the concerns presented by military families.

Way to support the troops, Mr. Murdock! Afterall, the best way to counter an objection is to ignor it.

As I watched the flimsy "case for war" being presented to the world and the U.S. citizens, I was amazed by how easily more than 50% of our population was so easily duped. Even before our agression into a sovereign nation, President Bush backed away from earlier WMD claims.

Looking into his crystal ball W announced that Saddam wanted nukes and could possibly produce them within about ten years.

TEN YEARS! Obviously, no time to disscuss; brash action is required.

Those who still support this secretive administration are kidding themselves. They have to know on some level that the "ideals" behind this action are Oil, Money and Power.

Almost four and one-half years after MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - support the troops-bring them home now!

I want to respond to Pamela Watkins. First let me commend your grandsons for having the courage to risk their lives in the military at this time. I understand your desire to support them.

What you failed to understand about this program is that both Mr. Gerges and Mr. Fishman were not denigrating our troops. They were articulating the widely held positions that there are no good options left in Iraq, that there is no American military solution left in Iraq, and that staying in Iraq only adds fuel to the fire in Iraq and its neighboring countries.

While there are some respected conservative thinkers who believe we need to continue our military presence in Iraq, none whom I've heard or read literally believe the simplistic slogans that constantly come from our President. However, it seems to me that the majority of experts from the left, center and right are now saying what Fishman and Gerges said: The best of the many poor options for Iraq, the region, and the world is to begin withdrawing our troops.

Bill Moyers,
Thank you for the excellent program last night, July 27. The discussion and perspectives offered by your guests reiterate again that our national policy of aggressive militarism is failing. The doublespeak perpetuated by the administration regarding the war, the Justice Department, global warming, and the nation's health continues to shore up the administration's attempts to seize and control the administration's perversion of our Constitution. Your program which enables us to listen to knowledgeable people is a necessary component to maintain a rapidly eroding democracy.
Thank you!
Tony Wilusz

From a psychological perspective, the Bush/Cheney administration and its neocon allies succeeded in promoting the misguided and destructive war in Iraq by targeting our core concerns about vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness. Looking ahead, they will likely try to sell us a continuing occupation of Iraq—or an attack on Iran—in much the same way. I examine these warmongering appeals and how to counter them in a 10-minute YouTube video entitled "Resisting the Drums of War." It's available for viewing HERE.

How can America best mitigate the disaster in Iraq? Ralph Nader answered this question, three years ago. He said that we need to set a firm timetable for the withdrawal of both of our illegal occupations in Iraq: the military occupation, and the corporate occupation.

Right now, ordinary Iraqis (even the ones who aren't particularly religious or ideological) support the killing of Americans, because they know that we only came there to colonize them and steal their oil. When ordinary Iraqis know that we have given up on our plan to colonize them and steal their oil, many of them will lose interest in the so-called "insurgency."

Unfortunately, withdrawal of our illegal corporate occupation is not on American leaders' agenda. See these articles about the "Oil Theft Law" which the so-called "government" of Iraq is currently being pressured, by the Cheney/Bush regime, to enact:

Iraq Occupation Coming to a Head Over Oil by Kevin Zeese
War on Iraq: Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil by Joshua Holland
It's All About Oil by Dennis Kucinich

P.S. Ralph Nader also has been calling for impeachment, since July 2003.

The Fishman - Gerges discussion provided the most informative, clearest and easiest to understand explanation of why the "Global War On Terrorism" is going so poory for the United States. Thank you for this thoughtful and provocative television.

David B Stanton
Rock Falls, Wisconsin

I'd be interested to know what Mr.Gerges unedited point was in the final segment. It seemed relevant at the time.

I was very opposed to our country invading Iraq, but once we started it, I became quietly confused about what to do next. On the one hand, I didn't believe that our military troops could bring democracy to Iraq, but we had created such a mess it didn't seem right to leave until they had peace and stability. Now I am convinced that we must leave right away in order to both protect ourselves against terrorism and allow the Iraqi people to salvage what they can of their country and their lives. As Fawaz Gerges said, the longer our troops stay in Iraq, the more people believe the al Qaeda ideology. To keep troops in Iraq is to help al Qaeda and lose American lives and delay Iraqi rebuilding and spend money we don't have on war. WE MUST BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW!

As a Canadian,I get a greater variety of opinion than Americans seem to. I feel obliged to say to those posters who are disappointed that tonight's program didn't have "the other side"--as if there were only two sides to any argument-- that Bill Moyers--and PBS--give AN other side that you otherwise don't get in a media that is owned by one or two individuals. I found myself changing my mind about one thing--Brian Fishman made me think differently about West Point! If West Point can hire someone as sensible and knowledgeable as Fishman, unafraid to state where he disagrees with White House statements, then I have to take another look at my own biases about West Point. But then, that's one of the objectives of such informative tv, as Bill Moyers presents, isn't it? If I just looked for media that confirmed my opinion, what would be the point in watching?

The discussion tonight was excellent, thank you for another fine installment of the Journal. It was good to hear from Mr. Gerges, a middle eastern scholar on this subject. Its all to rare that we hear the viewpoint of the Muslim and/or middle eastern community on these subjects. There is such a disconnect between the reality and ideological consensus of Muslims and the perception that Americans have of Muslims and the Middle East in general. Our politicians and media seem to ignore or do not care what the people of the middle east believe in, as if their opinion of the conflict does not matter. The fact is Mr. Gerges drove home an extremely important point, that the Bush administration's policy has made Al Qaeda what they are today. How many people had heard of Al Qaeda before 9/11? What was Al Qaeda described to us as after 9/11. Essentially a rag-tag, albeit well-financed, terrorist organization with some training camps in the mountains of Afganistan and a limited network. Their ideology was not wide spread throughout the Muslim world. Bush has become the poster-child for Al Qaida recruitment. Consequently there are now thousands and thousands of people around the Middle East ready to sign up to kill Americans in Iraq. A question to ask ourselves is who has been dictating America's foreign policy? George Bush or Bin Laden? Who is reacting to who? Isn't an invasion of the Middle East exactly what Bin Laden wanted. What better way to spread his message and incite the Muslim world. Going after Al Qaeda after 9/11 made sense, I'm not suggesting doing nothing, but the invasion of Iraq was an enormous mistake, one that needs to be corrected immediately by withdrawing.

Having watched the interviews with Fishman and Gerges, I wonder why their clear-sightedness on the issue of our presence in Iraq isn't more widespread in Washington, D.C., then I remember that the first casuality of war is truth. The fog of war sits heavily on this country, especially when it's Commander in Chief intentionally confuses the issue to maintain his own personal power. Please note that Mr. Fishman asserted that there are no good options left now, and let's all also note that neither Fishman nor Gerges insulted the troops. They accurately reported on the unfortunate images with which the Middle East is saturated. The point being that those images are believed, not that they are true. To report the fact that a large part of the global Muslim population finds such images credible is to report a fact, not to take a side. When you add 2+2 and get 4 there is no point, really, in hearing from the not 4 crowd. As former Sectrary of Defense McNamara tells us in the FOG OF WAR, you must understand your enemy as they actually are. Balance is found in accuracy, not ideological attitude. Bringing attention to the generation of anti-Americanism by our policy is not itself anti-American; it is very much it's contrary.

What nobody has discussed is what was shown live on C-SPAN in early 2002. When Karl Rove, before the Texas Republicans, announced his strategy for Republican the Party's take over our country for quote: "the next 100 years"
By fighting the hewly coined term "waw on terra" AGAINST NATION STATES.

A few days later Mr. Bush ROLLED OUT THEIR "Axis of Evil"...and eventually went after the first (and easiest) one on the list.
WITH NORTH KOREA AND IRAN BEING THE OTHER 2.

This was shocking. Because after 9/11 Tens of thousands of Iranians were allowed to light candles for the US in squares all over Iran, unhampered by the Mulahs.

And Iran contrubuted $600 Million towards our war in Afghganistan and even insisted that the word "Democracy" be included in the Afghani constitution.

But what would you do, in the mean time, if someone put you on such a list and then went after the first one..This administration is responsible for instigating the escalation by North Korean and Iran's nuclear programs.

AND ONLY COWARDS TO NOT TALK TO THEIR ENEMIES.

As for Democrats who voted to authorize Mr. Bush...Let the RECORD BE MADE STRAIGHT..no thanks to the Talking Heads.

People like John Kerry made his vote very clear.
BASED ON WHAT MR. BUSH SAID IN A SPEACH TO GET THEIR VORES...He and other Democrats voted to be part of a US United front to INTIMIDATE SADAM into allowing the Inspectors BACK IN. and WAR ONLY AS A LAST RESORT...AND IF WAR ONLY WITH A COALITION
THAT WOUKD INCLUD IRAQ'S NIEGHBORS..Just Bush Senior had done..in 1991

And since Sadam DID THEN ALLOW the inspectors back in, and they DID NOT FIND WMD...And Mr. Bush PUSHED THE INSPECTORS BACK OUT THE PEOPLE TO BLAME FOR THIS ARE; The administration and the then Republican controlled Congress...And not those Who were BETRAYED BY MR. BUSH...on the silly assumption that he would do anything like what his dad.

Today Mr. Bush is sent out to make informercials several times a week. His office and that of Cheney's have merged and it is Karl Rove who makes many of the decisions...AS THEY CONTINUE TO MAKE OUR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES INTO MOVEMENT AGENTS FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Mr. Bush's emotional claims about Al Quada in Iraq is most likely a way to prevent himself from going mad about the damage he has caused the US, weakened our army, and harmed our warriors and their famillies, NOT TO MENTION THE CREDIBILITY that once made us leaders of many GOOD THINGS in national relations around the world.

And let's not forget the Republican controlled talking heads...who wrote John Kerry off (who has been right at every turn) AS "TOO NUANCED"...and went along with the "flip flopper" kanard..while all along never challanging Mr. Bush for committing THE BIGGEST FLIP FLOP in
HISTORY as he dismantled the Iraqi Army and its institutions and then is trying to put it all back together again.

And how dare they not allow us to mourn our soldiers in Public, as their bodies return from the last traumas they endured..that caused them to lose their lives.

As for the line that the Republicans are better for national security:

Excuse me? Aaide from Gulf War 1 what wars have Republican presidents presided over successfully?. It is The Falklands?

After 9/11 the Democrats held hearings and allocated $30B for Homeland Security (Coast Guard, Port and Airport Security, First Responders and inteoperability)

Mr Bush, with his right hand Tom Delay fought against this relentlessly, and instead pushed for $25B in tax cuts for their biggest supporters including $600M for Texas Utilities alone.

The Talking Heads just rolled their eyes and attributed it to "partisanship" Just as they do today when the newly Democratic controlled legislature has tried to conduct oversight and set right the damage the Republicans left behind. while beening blocked by Republican minority and its "President" at every turn.

One of the worst things for our nation are things like the fact that Tim Russert's contract does not end until 2012. So we have to wait until it's too late to get honest news when we can do something about it.

I spent time in Afghanistan before the Soviets leveled it and killed 1 million. It is tragic to watch the lack of robust action regarding Afghanistan...where Mr. Bush and Cheney allow the Germans and Pakistanis to run the show.

Sadly, these two gentlemen made more sense of the "real issues in Iraq" than all the mumbo gumbo coming out of the White House. I cannot believe that the few "diehard Bush supporters" are so gullible as to believe the rhetoric coming out of Washington. Let me guess...do you suppose the report from General Petreus in September will show that progress is being made over there ...Duh!

It was sickening and gut wrenching to see the funeral of that brave and innocent young man, with a true and demonstrable love for his adopted country, when compared with the smug, jingoist College Republicans, parroting this week's party line from the White House. They dishonor him, and all the brave young men and women we have sent so prematurely to their deaths.

To the republican young men who had their feelings hurt. I get sick every time I think of all the needless death and mutilation in this illegal 'war' in Iraq. I have experienced the energy of some of these young republican men. I've seen them try to intimidate democratic pollwatchers and derail a democratic voting district on election day, storming in, yelling and accusing, after their party neglected to send pollwaters to the site as they were supposed to do. I've seen them screaming to try to obstruct the speech of a democratic candidate on a college campus. Boys, you deserve the same amount of respect that you give other people. I hope that you grow up and learn respect, though judging from most of the republicans in congress, I'm not that hopeful. (I'm also not hopeful about a bunch of the democrats.) There are a number of smart people doing horrible things to our country and to people around the world in our name. It's your heart that determines your success as a human being.

The discussion regarding our occupation of Iraq was realistic and sobering. Unfortunately, there are people who can't handle truth or reality when it comes to this situation. If only the President were not in that group.
The (Chickenhawk) College Republicans are indefensible.
Thank you Mr.Moyers for this programming.You are great!

This war is about oil. Mr. Gerges said twice that American forces are trying to subjugate the Iraquis in order to take over Iraqi resources. One of the Democratic candidates on the CNN UTube debate referenced the privatizing of oil resources in Iraq. Earlier this year the Iraqi parliament passed a bill opening the way for foreign companies and foreign countries to drill for oil in Iraq. Our tax
dollars and loans and our servicemen's
lives are funding this horrible mess.

Using the death of that soldier to humiliate some college republicans was despicable but typical of what one expects from PBS.

I am not a democrat or a republican, but I find that biased journalism is repugnant. It is distasteful when the host of a program gets excited and leans across the table when he hears something that he likes and agrees with, and repeats everything that he can use to discredit the other side. I think journalist should be unbiased, and report both sides of the story or they are just propagandists like every other narrow simple minded bigot in the world.

FIRST LET ME SAY THAT I HAVE TWO GRANDSONS WHO HAVE ALREADY SERVED IN IRAQ, ONE OF WHICH CAME HOME WITH TWO PURPLE HEARTS. I HAVE ANOTHER WHO JUST COMPLETED BASIC TRAINING. I HAVE NOT WATCHED MR. MOYERS PROGRAM FOR YEARS BUT THOUGHT I SHOULD WATCH THIS ONE FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. I FORCED MYSELF FOR THE WHOLE SHOW TO NOT CHANGE THE CHANNEL WAITING FOR THE OTHER SIDE. I'M STILL WAITING! I WAITED WHEN I HEARD THAT THE MUSLIM WORLD BELIEVED THAT OUR BOYS WERE RAPING AND PILLAGING IRAQI WOMEN AND CHILDREN. NO COMMENT. I WAITED WHEN I HEARD OUR BOYS WERE THERE NOT TO BRING DEMOCRACY TO IRAQ BUT TO DOMINATE THEM. NO COMMENT. I CAN HARDLY DESCRIBE MY ASTONISHMENT WHEN I DISCOVERED THAT MY OPINION OF WHAT MAKES A HERO " A PERSON WHO SACRIFICES HIS OWN WELL BEING FOR THE GOOD OF ANOTHER" IS JUST A DILUSION. APPARENTLY A HERO IS A DEAD PERSON. THEN AGAIN WHAT DOES MY OPPINION DOES NOT MATTER I AM NOT IN THE MILITARY NOR AM I LIKLY TO JOIN UP SOON. MR MOYERS ARE YOU IN THE MILITARY?

Thank you for a most timely and substantive piece of reporting. I believe this is one of the most difficult periods the American citizenry has had to face in the area of dishonest and dangerous administrative, leglislative and judicial branches of our government.

Apparently the administration is ignorant of patience and diplomacy but is still willing to deceive the people. The legislature cannot do the bidding of the people and continue to rob the treasury. The judiciary only considers something constitutional if it rewards bad behavior. AND, there is no reason left - be it common logic or just rational sense!

Can we please have a dialog on not waiting until January 2009 to definitely get our country back?

If my memory serves, the founders of this country stated in both the Declaration and the Consitution that if the people do not like what its government is doing it can change it. So, can we discuss just that in open and unrestricted forum?

There are other people in this country besides the parties and their suckling pork. What started out as a grand experiment has become an oligarchy funded by the taxpayers.

We have the legal means, the constitutional method, and need only the will to take our country back before our rights and our childrens rights are greedily sold to the highest bidder.

Mr Gerges' statements during the interview made me feel like I was in the midst of a "hard sell".

I just didn't get the impression that he's an honest broker.

Fantastic interview!

Brian Fishman and Fawaz A. Gerges were incredible.

Moyers is one of the best in the business.

It seems so shameful that our mainstream corporate-controlled commercial news media have such a difficult time providing quality journalism.

Thank goodness for the information made available to us by the Bill Moyers Journal.

Jerry Jones
Boise, Idaho, USA

I would like to thank Bill Moyers for bringing to light the reality of what America does both right and wrong. In this country the reporting of opinion and fact are part of being a "democratic society".

Thank you PBS and the producers of Bill Moyers Journal for an excellent interview with Prof. Gerges and Mr. Fishman.

A great summation of the
mess we are involved in
in Iraq. These viewpoints
are honest and well thought out,
but the adminstration will
never accept them -- will
be in total denial -- I fear the final outcome --
in 2008 we'll have over 4,000 military dead, 45,000
wounded and another 20%-25% added in 2009.

Every Republican Senator, plus Senator Liebermann, should be sent a video CD of this program. The Fishman - Gerges dialogue was, in its closing minutes, the most lucid explication of our dilemma in Iraq I have seen. Brian Fishman stated it perfectly - if we are not now to occupy the country with the "hundreds of thousands" of troops General Shinseki recommended five long years ago before Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz sacked him as Army Chief of Staff, we must withdraw, completely, starting tomorrow - it is the only way to salvage our position, and our interests. To say nothing of beginning to make amends for a horrific and avoidable pursuit of the most outrageous folly, the true motive of which still today remains obscure.

This is one of the most outragious uses of PBS I have ever seen, please have Moyers balance his agenda. Fishman appears to have little or no knowledge of the real politics in the middle East and that is to wear down our resove to defend Isreal. If the US was bent on Mr. Fishman's premise that we are using Iraq for some interest other than defending our own, well why did we not annex Kuwait in 91'. Perhaps there is an explanaition as to why we defenf Afghanistan. i will not comment on his other panelist, as it speaks for itself.

I'm so very impressed with Mr. Fishman, who seems to have a far better grasp of reality than our President. I was pleased to see that very often when Mr. Gerges would explain a situation, Mr. Fishman would nod in agreement.

Oh, if only our ignorant President would just sit down and keep his al-quaida nonsense to himself.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful dream to see Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries sit at a table with our military and make some sense of each point of view, then work out a reasonable cease-fire?

A dream. Only a dream. So sad.


Sounds to me like you're still missing the most significant aspect of this story. The real common thread connecting the Al Qaeda which attacked us on 9/11 and the foreign jihadists working to sabotage our efforts to bring peace and stability to Iraq is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Just today the New York Times confirmed previous reporting that a majority of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi nationals. Likewise, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis. Believe me, this is not a coincidence.

For more help connecting the dots, check out:

www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com

I recommend Bruce Schneier’s Beyond Fear and his weblog to anyone who wants to think deeply about security. The way to fight terrorism is like fighting any other distributed threat: good intelligence work, competent police work, and well-equipped first responders.
A military response is appropriate when a nation is sponsoring terrorism, but short of “if you won’t police the terrorists operating within your borders, we’ll do it for you”, the proper response is law enforcement.

The US military is simply not an appropriate response to a network. International law enforcement should deal with Al Qaeda. If there is truly a network of terrorists, then a network of law enforcers must deal with them.

Besides being legal, as opposed to invading soverign nations, hundreds of thousands of lives would be spared the horror of war.

Enforce the law, restore America's character, and save lives.

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