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Hands Off Iran > Letters

Look before you leap

Well, I appreciate this attempt to delineate what would happen should "we" attack Iran with bombs and soldiers. This is something that the neocons have not informed us about, so as responsible citizens we should be doing the thinking for them and for ourselves. One letter-writer stated that the threat from Iran will be ongoing and that the need for a possible invasion by American soldiers should remain a possibility sometime in the future. He hasn't tried to look into the content of the author's analysis.

You have to take the scenario on three levels. Strategically, there will be international repercussions, politically and economically. Tactically, it will be easy to bomb Iran with stealth weapons, but a larger-scale bombing campaign would be more vulnerable to the Iranian air defense. Tactically, it would be absurd to ask Americans to foot-soldier into Iran, a death march. Anyone with a pea brain can see this. Morally, it is tragic to kill others when there is no good reason.

The density of the American public is more profound than anywhere in the so-called civilized world. Unless we set limits on our compulsive militarism, we will all have to suffer the consequences.

Personally, I will continue to pay my taxes and work toward a change in policies. It sucks.


Jim Willingham

St. Petersburg, FL

Dec 13 2007 - 12:35pm

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There is no substantial evidence that the Bush Administration is preparing air strikes on Iran in the short term, although it is common sense that this will be the first step in using force to make Iran to comply with its international obligations as signatory of nuclear proliferation treaties. These strikes will target identifiable nuclear facilities only at this stage. A second stage if some events evolve as the result retaliation from Iran might involve “beheading” the Iranian government.

Land invasion may follow up as a second step if the speed of events do not allow the creation of a new government willing to work peacefully with the rest of the work on common matters and on the contrary a more radical group takes power, but this scenario can be present only long after George Bush has left the White House.

My main question is: why is this obsession with GWB all about if he will leave the office in only one year? At the end the United States is a free democratic country where there is succession of power, division of power in branches, and with or without Bush we will be facing the same international dilemmas and acting the same way, or in a different way but not pleasing everyone. We have a legislature controlled by Democrats right now, what have they done? Some are concerned about GWB's approval rating being in the 20s right now, what about the Congress approval rating in the 10s?

Finally if you do not pay taxes you will be jailed and it will be a useless action not correctly appreciated or fully understood by a single Iranian or American.

Good luck!

Jorge Mallea-Blanco

Jacksonville, FL

Dec 4 2007 - 7:28pm

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Most of your argument on why we should not attack Iran revolves around the fact that we can not carry out a clean strike and that the goals of our military actions won't be fulfilled. This argument essentially acknowledges, and vindicates, the neocons' goals that you are willing to go to jail for.

You are wrong, sir; we should not attack Iran because Iranians deserve the same human rights that we do.

Mike Hands

Berkeley, CA

Nov 27 2007 - 9:38pm

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Chris Hedges has the right idea. There's a reason why the Bush Administration has been able to perpetrate its wars and assaults on liberty: too many Americans who should know better are content to merely disapprove, tsk-tsk, wave signs or protest at rallies. When we move from disapproval to actual opposition, we'll start to have some real-world effect. It's way past time to put our money where our mouths are.

I'm only surprised Hedges has drawn his line in the sand as far back as he has. For me, the government crossed that line with the Iraq invasion in 2003. I stopped paying the federal income tax then, and have since reduced or eliminated my contributions to other federal taxes as well. Now I'm putting all of my time and money on the side of my values, instead of letting Congress spend it on Pentagon priorities and political pork.

Why wait for the next atrocity? Join the War Tax Boycott today. There are many ways to resist taxes: legal ways and ways that require civil disobedience, safe ways and ways that take courage. There's a method that's right for you.

David Gross

San Francisco, CA

Nov 26 2007 - 4:29pm

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If we permit the Democrats' flaccid leadership to stand in the way of an impeachment that would remove this madman from power, we are complicit no matter whether we pay our taxes or not.

Duane Galensky

Beallsville, PA

Nov 26 2007 - 3:27pm

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Instead of going to jail for not paying taxes, why not ask Iran and the Islamic states to promote freedom and consensual government and equal human rights for all people including the freedom from being blown up or occupied by Hezbollah and the other terrorists?

Arthur Taylor

Baltimore, MD

Nov 26 2007 - 1:26pm

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Get a grip, man. Take deep breaths. You're advocating a course that is unrealistic, ineffectual and expensive to anyone who tries it.

Peter Desmond

Cambridge, MA

Nov 25 2007 - 3:13pm

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Regarding Mr. Hedges's commentary, I am encouraged to come across others who have similar sentiments toward our current governmental predicament.

Having studied German language and history, I have been noticing parallels with Nazism since January 2004 or even a little earlier. Granted, some things could be coincidences, but too many are manifesting themselves. What's the maxim: once is an event, twice is a pattern and three is a trend. What word would we use for, say, 134?

I believe many need to refresh their memories by picking up Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" and giving it a good, long read.

Lip service is the same as apathy.

Richard Nantelle III

Asheville, NC

Nov 25 2007 - 2:33pm

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I say any war protest is good protest, each in their own way. The intensity level of the responses here makes for great reading, it is sad it's not fiction.

Withholding taxes in a pleasing intellectual concept, and no surprise coming from a writer who probably doesn't make any money. But it may be impossible for most Americans on philosophical grounds as it is fundamental to our culture that Americans would rather help dump a dead body than instigate the IRS into looking at them. Suggesting folks not buy oil is sado-masochistic at best; none of us can fathom not buying oil--ironically, because we have to get to work on time to be abused by our bosses.

We need to both save oil and defund the war. How about we all agree to not drive to Wal-Mart for a month? We basically finance our military with borrowed money originally spent by Americans on unnecessary goods sold there, most made in China. It's a possible broad consensus builder, older Americans upset we've never stuck it to China like we did the Soviets might go for it, and soccer moms pinned to the latest lead-painted toy stories on Fox News will, too!

Back in the '60s when we had a like situation, real American radicals motivated by the draft would do radical things to carry the mood of the nation to the mass media, and so to The People. It was Us against Them. Now, with no edgy students under duress of induction marching in the streets, it seems we are all them, the media are ineffectual, and we really don't have the time. We get a suggestion of a partial tax protest, put our two cents in on the topic and it's off to work.

History suggests therefore that to end this unending war cycle, we just need more of it, and the inevitable draft that follows.

Chris Kent

Portsmouth, NH

Nov 25 2007 - 1:54am

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For some reason, the American people seem not to be in a protesting mood. However, attacking Iran is about as sensible as throwing gold down a sewer. Iran may develop a nuclear weapon. However, it is surrounded by nuclear states: Israel, Russia, Pakistan, India, France and England. I am trying to remember when Iran attacked anyone. I believe it was Saddam who attacked Iran. Certainly, Iran has fomented trouble by supporting those we oppose. The case for attacking Iran is so weak, I doubt the American people will swallow anything this Administration trumps up. The question is whether enough pressure can be placed on Congress to have backbone to say No to Bush.

Robert Berger

Minneapolis, MN

Nov 25 2007 - 12:27am