SeaViews: Insights from the Gray
(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News
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being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating
the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for
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On last month's Fix;
the answer to last month's Fix,
"What military actions should be taken to respond to the
Sept 11 event?"
What cost victory?
The recent bills signed by Bush make it trivial for the
FBI to get a roving tap on cell phones, and retroactively
make it legal for large scale email surviellance. Expect a
renewed push to ban strong encryption. Start using it
I have several mid-Eastern co-workers (Iran, Jordan,
etc). One thinks that the Bush policy of food drops and
bombing is hypocrital, "Operation shake and bake", he calls
it. They think to a man that America could have avoided
being attacked if we would have done 3 things;
1. Pulled all US troops out of the Arab penninsula
2. Quit supporting Israel
3. Get the UN to lift the Iraqi embargo
I countered, "But in '92 we helped defend one Muslim
country against the invasion of another."
"No," they said. "You defended cheap oil."
"OK, then how about this. If America was energy self
sufficient, and we had no client states (Israel) in the
area, we could pull out of it geo-politically. Are you
saying that if we had done this, there would be peace in the
"No, we are not saying that. Arabs would still be
fighting among themselves, but America would not be in the
line of fire."
"OK," I said, "But can you really expect Bush to reward
MidEast terroists after 7000 Americans have been
"No," but the Americans shuold turn this over to the
United Nations and treat it as a criminal investigation,
rather than a war." What your policy now is doing is
guaranteeing a generation of revenge against America. If a
war has to be fought let the UN do it.
Hmmm, I recall the UN didn't fare to well in the
Korean War and I don't have much faith in the UN to pull
this off, but what they said makes some sense. Could the US
public support it though?
While the idea of stepping out of Mideast politics is
atttractive to a large segment of isolationist Americans, I
think the editorial this month shows that there are
occasionally still good reasons for the US to support
Israel. If not for the preemptive strikes that Israel has
made, in her own interest certainly, then there is every
likilihood that some fairly unrestrained people would have
nukes that do not have them now.
And this is the crux of the argument, should the US
retreat into it's shell ala pre-WWI, or is it the
responsibility of great powers strive to maintain peace? A
policy that follows the latter course runs the risk of
looking arrogant and imperial, but to do nothing allows the
rise of Hitlers.
The correct course, I think, is to favor nation's with
trade who have free market democracies, and to be less trade
friendly with nations as they move further from that ideal.
We should be wary of entering into regional struggles, but
we must reserve the right to defend our nation when
attacked. We must avoid getting into bed with temporary
allies, just because we share a common enemy, if they do not
support American values.
In sum, I believe this will be a long, dirty, guirilla
style war. I wish that the UN could help with it, but I fear
they are not up to the job, and America will likely create
more enemies a result.
November 1, 2001
Israel prevented atomic disaster in 1981
WASHINGTON--When Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres,
accompanied by Ambassador David Ivry, recently
visited the Oval Office, President Bush remarked that Israel
certainly has the right ambassador for the moment. He
this because Ivry has shown that he understands how
preventive action is pertinent to the problem of weapons of
destruction in dangerous hands. Bush's remark, pregnant with
implications, revealed that the president as well as the
vice president remembers and admires a bold Israeli action
for which Israel was roundly condemned 20 years ago.
On the afternoon of June 7, 1981, Jordan's King Hussein,
yachting in the Gulf of Aqaba, saw eight low-flying Israeli
F-16s roar eastward. He called military headquarters in
Amman for information, but got none. The aircraft had flown
below Jordanian radar. So far, so good for Ivry's mission,
Ivry, a short, balding grandfatherly figure with a gray
moustache, was then commander of Israel's air force, which
acquired some of the 75 F-16s ordered by Iran from the
United States but not delivered because of the 1979
revolution that toppled the shah. The F-16s were to be
tested to their limits when Israel learned that Iraq was
about to receive a shipment of enriched uranium for its
reactor near Baghdad--enough uranium to build four or five
The reactor was 600 miles from Israel. Ensuring that the
F-16s had the range to return to base required the
expedient of topping off the fuel tanks on the runway, while
the engines were running. Measures were taken to reduce
the air drag of the planes' communications pods and
Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered the attack to occur
before the uranium arrived and the reactor went ``hot,"
which point bombing would have scattered radioactive waste
over Baghdad. The raid was scheduled for a Sunday, to
minimize casualties. It was executed perfectly. Aren't we
The raid probably was not Israel's first pre-emptive act
against Iraq's attempts to acquire nuclear weapons. In April
1979, unidentified saboteurs blew up reactor parts at a
French port, parts awaiting shipment to Iraq. In August 1980
an Egyptian-born nuclear physicist important to Iraq's
nuclear program was killed in his Paris hotel room.
The U.S. State Department said Israel's destruction of
the reactor jeopardized the ``peace process" of the day,
relations with Israel were being ``reassessed," canceled
meetings with Israeli officials and suspended deliveries of
military equipment, including F-16s, pending a decision
about whether Israel had violated the restriction that
weapons obtained from America could be used only for
defensive purposes. The New York Times said Israel had
embraced ``the code of terror" and that the raid was
``inexcusable and short-sighted aggression." The Times added
this remarkable thought:
``Even assuming that Iraq was hellbent to divert enriched
uranium for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, it would
have been working toward a capacity that Israel itself
acquired long ago. Contrary to its official assertion,
therefore, Israel was not in `mortal danger' of being
outgunned. It faced a potential danger of losing its Middle
East nuclear monopoly, of being deterred one day from the
use of atomic weapons in war."
The Times was sarcastic about fear of Saddam Hussein
(``even assuming ... hellbent") and sanguine about his
nuclear weapons which would deter Israel from using such
weapons. But 10 years later Americans had reason to be
thankful for Israel's muscular unilateralism in 1981.
Today on Ivry's embassy office wall there is a large
black-and-white photograph taken by satellite 10 years after
the raid, at the time of the Gulf War. It shows the wreckage
of the huge reactor complex, which is still surrounded by a
high, thick wall that was supposed to protect it. Trees are
growing where the reactor dome had been.
The picture has this handwritten inscription. ``For Gen.
David Ivry, with thanks and appreciation for the outstanding
job he did on the Iraqi nuclear program in 1981--which made
our job much easier in Desert Storm." The author of the
inscription signed it: ``Dick Cheney, Sec. of Defense
Were it not for Israel's raid, Iraq probably would have
had nuclear weapons in 1991 and there would have been no
Desert Storm. The fact that Bush and Cheney are keenly
appreciative of what Ivry and Israel's air force
accomplished is welcome evidence of two things:
In spite of the secretary of state's coalition fetish,
the administration understands the role of robust
neither lawyers citing ``international law" nor diplomats
invoking ``world opinion" will prevent America from acting
Israel did, pre-emptively in self-defense.
1. David Gay writes;
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 20:04:50 pdt
"What military actions should be taken to respond to the
Sept 11 event?"
I keep thinking of that line from the Joni Mitchell song
Taxi"..."They paved Afghanistan and put up a parking
lot...You don't know
what you've got till it's gone". The only question I
have is how long it
will take for the radiation levels return to normal?
We need to execute any military action that will
guarantee victory! Losing
is not an option. We need to defeat the Taliban for
harboring bin Laden.
Then see where the other countries stand and the ones who
are against us,
should be defeated too. Once we defeat the holy and battle
the other countries will start to fall in line. If not, we
can take them on
one at a time. There is no need to prematurely expand the
war to include
Iraq etc. until necessary... If we don't defeat the Taliban
will forever be afraid of our own shadows...
2. Eric Lazada responds
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 20:08:50 pdt
From: Eric T Lozada <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Women Power For Military Action
One of our young female attorneys wrote the following in
re: Women Power
For Military Action:
Take all American women who are within five years of
menopause - train us
for a few weeks, outfit us with automatic weapons, grenades,
moisturizers with SPF15, Prozac, hormones, chocolate, and
canned tuna -
drop us (parachuted, preferably) across the landscape of
let us do what comes naturally.
Think about it. Our anger quotient alone, even when
doing standard stuff
like grocery shopping and paying bills, is formidable enough
to make even
armed men in turbans tremble.
We've had our children, we would gladly suffer or die to
protect them and
their future. We'd like to get away from our husbands,
if they haven't
left already. And for those of us who are single, the
finding a good man with whom to share life is about as
likely as being
struck by lightning. We have nothing to lose.
We've survived the water diet, the protein diet, the
and the grapefruit diet in gyms and saunas across America
and never lost
a pound. We can easily survive months in the hostile
Afghanistan with no food at all!
We've spent years tracking down our husbands or lovers in
stores, or sporting events...finding bin Laden in some cave
will be no
Uniting all the warring tribes of Afghanistan in a new
please...we've planned the seating arrangements for in-laws
families at Thanksgiving dinners for years...we understand
Between us, we've divorced enough husbands to know every
trick there is
for how they hide, launder, or cover up banks accounts and
We know how to find that money and we know how to seize
without the government's help!
Let us go and fight. The Taliban hates women.
Imagine their terror as
we crawl like ants with hot-flashes over their godforsaken
I'm going to write my Congresswoman. You should
Quote(s) of the month:
-- SGL, 10/31/2001
"The Senate passed a bill that would Federalize airport
security. To see how that would make the sky safer, one need
only look at the effectiveness of another Federal
enterprise, the US Postal Service, and see how safe they
have made the anthrax laced mail"
Fix of the month:
How do we jump start the economy?
1. Seattle, Sep 27: A women who was egged on by irate
commuters to jump from the I5 overpass bridge 200 feet into
the ship canal underneath in August, was released from
Harborview Hosp today having suffered over 20 broken
2. Seattle, Sept 15: Siting falling orders as a result of
Sept 11, Boeing cut 30,000 jobs world-wide. Over half will
come from western Washington state.
3. Seattle Oct 28: Having lost the bid for the US Defense
Dept Jint Strike FIghter (a $200 billion contract) Boeing
announced another 3300 loayoffs.
1. St. Paul, Sept 25: Siting decreased revenues due to
Sept 11, NW Airlines has not payed its airport fees and the
bill is growing at the rate of $5 million/week. With 2 weeks
lost revenue the airport officials say Minneapolis/St. Paul
may have to close within the month.
1. Los ANgelas,Sept 28: An Air Canada jet was escorted
back to LAX when a passenger on board was caught smoking in
the restroom and uttered antu-US threats.
1. Harvard, Setp 20: A year ago the Harvard Univ paper,
the Crimson, castigated the administration for not paying
it's low level employees a minimum wage of $10.25/hour. They
ran editorials, organized sit-ins, etc. This year, editors
of the Crimson decided to put the 100 year archive of
liberal reporting on-line. They hired Cambodian peasants to
type in the papers - at $0.40/hour.
1. Chicago, Oct 1: City alderman Tom Murphy represents a
black ward on the SW side. To best serve his constituents,
the Dem asked to join the city's black caucas. He was
refused. City leaders such as Jesse Jackson and Louie
Farrakan, refused to speculate on whether Murphy was denied
membership because he is white.
1. Nov 1: The US and Russia are set to sidestep the 1972
ABM treaty, at least enough to permit extensive AMB testing.
The deal would also include large warhead reductions on both
2. Oct.31: The US will tighten immigration rules to bar
entry to the US by country of origin or support of any of 74
different political groups. To date 1100 people are being
held by the FBI and 187 are being held on immigration