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SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
October 2001

(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard


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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 now.

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 Mid-East?"

"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 murdered?"

"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.

Guest Editorial:

George Will
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 said
this because Ivry has shown that he understands how preventive action is pertinent to the problem of weapons of mass
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, code-named Opera.

Ivry, a short, balding grandfatherly figure with a gray moustache, was then commander of Israel's air force, which had
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 Hiroshima-size bombs.

The reactor was 600 miles from Israel. Ensuring that the F-16s had the range to return to base required the dangerous
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 munitions racks.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered the attack to occur before the uranium arrived and the reactor went ``hot," at
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 glad. Now.

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, said
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 acquiring
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 1989-93."

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 unilateralism. And
neither lawyers citing ``international law" nor diplomats invoking ``world opinion" will prevent America from acting as
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 "Big Yellow
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 hardened Taliban
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 completely, we
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 <>
Subject: Women Power For Military Action

Hi Steve,

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, gas masks,
moisturizers with SPF15, Prozac, hormones, chocolate, and canned tuna -
drop us (parachuted, preferably) across the landscape of Afghanistan, and
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 prospect of
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 carbohydrate diet,
and the grapefruit diet in gyms and saunas across America and never lost
a pound.  We can easily survive months in the hostile terrain of
Afghanistan with no food at all!

We've spent years tracking down our husbands or lovers in bars, hardware
stores, or sporting events...finding bin Laden in some cave will be no

Uniting all the warring tribes of Afghanistan in a new government?  Oh,
please...we've planned the seating arrangements for in-laws and extended
families at Thanksgiving dinners for years...we understand tribal

Between us, we've divorced enough husbands to know every trick there is
for how they hide, launder, or cover up banks accounts and money sources.

We know how to find that money and we know how to seize it...with or
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 terrain.

I'm going to write my Congresswoman.  You should too!


Quote(s) of the month:

"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"

-- SGL, 10/31/2001

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 bones.

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.

Washington D.C.

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 sides.

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 violations.