7/7 and the War in Iraq

News Abroad

J. R. Kerr-Ritchie is a visiting associate professor of U.S. history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has written Freedpeople in the Tobacco South: Virginia, 1860 to 1900 (1999), Rites of August First: West Indian Emancipation and Antislavery in the Black Atlantic World (2007), and edited an anthology African American Social Movements (2006). He has opposed war on Iraq since 1990. The following article was prepared in connection with a conference sponsored by Historians Against the War in February at the University of Texas, Austin.

On July 7, 2005, four bombs exploded on London’s public transport system. The final death toll was 56, including three Asian and one Jamaican suicide bombers of the Islamic faith. Stunned but resilient, the British populace including Muslims later partook of a two-minute silence to honor the slain victims of the worst terrorist attack on mainland Britain. Fourteen days after the original attack, Londoners awoke to discover that four more attempted bombings had been thwarted.

Several explanations were offered for the events of 7/7. Prime Minister Blair and his spin-doctors argued that those responsible were murderous terrorists whose horrible actions put them outside the civilized norms of protest, democracy, and rational debate. British Muslim leaders attributed 7/7 to the incendiary teachings of radical preachers who fanned the flames of violence in the hearts and minds of impressionable youth. Some politicians and journalists pointed to a global terror network stretching from Pakistan to London, especially through the madrassa--schools for propagating militant Islam. Others argued that these events illuminated the social alienation of minorities in modern Britain.

All these explanations are less than convincing. Although Blair has tried to use 7/7 to buttress his case for going to war--even going so far as to mimic Bush’s post 9/11 response--many people do not buy it. The notion that these bombers were brainwashed by radical clerics begs all sorts of questions: Why these four youths and not others? Were their actions not the consequence of a more complicated set of factors than one set of teachings? The existence of a global terror network needs to be linked to the complicity of British and American intelligence services in the past which supported radical Muslims to fight proxy wars against the Russians in the 1980s and in Bosnia during the 1990s ( www.guardian.co.uk, Sept. 10, 2005). The argument for alienation fails to explain why many minorities have not turned to revolutionary violence. Besides, these bombers hardly fit the profile of alienated youth: one was a teacher, another a sports science graduate, while another was a keep-fit enthusiast and carpenter (Independent, July 16, 2005, p. 7).

By far the most persuasive explanation for the London bombings links them to the war on Iraq. The British government has repeatedly denied this connection. The evidence to the contrary, however, is quite compelling. In response to 9/11, the United Kingdom has supported the global war on terror spearheaded by the United States. This has resulted in the death and maiming of thousands of Muslims, illegal detentions, prisoners of war abuses, desecration of Arab and Muslim life, and the persecution of innocent American and British citizens of the Islamic faith. According to Chatham House, an independent think-tank on foreign affairs, the events of 7/7 exemplify the problem that the United Kingdom is “riding as a pillion passenger with the United States in the war against terror” (Guardian, July 18, 2005, p. 1).

Moreover, the corruption of British foreign policy has contributed to recent events. The original reasons for the attack on Iraq (WMD’s, links with Al Qaeda etc), have proven to be spurious. Yet Blair has refused to rethink his original position. Meanwhile, the British government continues to support the illegal invasion and occupation of a secular state with a Muslim majority. The July bombings were one consequence. The issue was not one of blind hate or inhuman savagery. This is the way proponents of revolutionary violence are invariably portrayed, whether slave rebels, Irish nationalists, Vietnamese communists, the African National Congress etc. Rather, 7/7 should be seen as an expression of armed struggle in the metropolis in response to the killing and maiming of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children. In a video featuring Mohammed Khan, the bomber describes himself as a “soldier” concerned with “protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters” (Newsweek, Sept. 12, 2005, p. 11). Put another way, the 7/7 bombings and the loss of life would not have happened without war on Iraq. Far more people would be alive today in London, Madrid, Baghdad, and Fallujah if Bush had not waged war on Iraq and Blair had not supported him. Even senior Muslim leaders appointed by the British Home Secretary to investigate the causes of 7/7 concluded: “We believe it [British foreign policy] is a key contributing factor” (Independent, Nov. 11, 2005, p. 5).

Along with explanations, there has also been talk of responses. The British government has proposed sweeping new legal powers of identification, surveillance, arrest, and detention, along the lines of the U.S. Patriot Act. British Muslim leaders support the deporting of radical preachers and the denial of entry visas to various clerics. Those concerned about global terrorism advocate joint intelligence operations among the British, Europeans, and the Americans. The issue of alienation has not been responded to directly, although some effort has gone into trumpeting the successful integration of Britain’s minorities, including its Muslim members.

One has to question these putative solutions. Popular concern about the erosion of local democratic rights through an overbearing centralized state has already resulted in serious challenges to the introduction of identity cards and the extension of periods of special custody for suspected terrorists in Britain. The problem of “silencing” radicals raises the familiar problem of who is identifying whom as being radical? Indeed, one wonders to what extent 7/7 is being used by some moderate Muslim leaders to rid themselves of the growing threat to their leadership of communities posed by radical clerics? (Upon reflection, why not adopt this policy of expelling radical preachers? That way, Pat Robertson could be removed for proposing the assassination of the democratically elected leader of Venezuela). There are numerous problems with the creation of a global anti-terror network. Taxpayers would have to foot the bill for special services that are neither accountable nor transparent beyond the hearsay of the state. There is the problem of state control and the monitoring of citizens undermining local democratic traditions. And, even if we were to tolerate the most sophisticated global network, how would this have prevented low-level terrorist attacks? Finally, Great Britain must come to terms with its imperial past and the consequences of that past. Otherwise, we will continue to experience the empire striking back, either through urban rebellions, military operations in the streets, or something altogether different.

My premise is that 7/7 is due to support for the United State’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. What would happen if these occupying troops withdrew? One common argument against withdrawal is the possibility of civil war! Actually, there has been an ongoing low intensity civil war in Iraq that is now reaching its culmination. It is, furthermore, bizarre that proponents of staying the course should care about the potential, rather than current, loss of life. I am persuaded that troop withdrawal from Iraq will be beneficial for three reasons. It would remove a powerful destabilizing force. It would unite Iraqis against extremist, foreign, and criminal elements. Third, it would reduce the loss of life everywhere.

Although there has been discussion of British troop withdrawal since September of last year, it is clear that this is not intended any time soon. The senior British general in Baghdad, Lt. General Nick Houghton, recently told The Daily Telegraph that most of the current 8,000 troops would be withdrawn by mid-2008 (U.S. News Today, Mar. 8, 2006, p. 5A). This is clearly far too long, and the British anti-war movement must step up the pressure to remove these occupying forces. Moreover, although the Italians will leave by the end of the year, Polish troops have promised to stay. The key is the U.S. military. British troop withdrawal will leave the U.S. virtually isolated and remove the fig leaf of protection provided by Blair. Moreover, the U.S. military will have to withdraw eventually, not least because of military over-reach and the growing unease of Americans three years into a war. In my opinion, the anti-war movement must exert maximum pressure before the November mid-term elections to bring the troops home and call for the rebuilding of a political and economically independent Iraq.

We are at an important crossroads in March 2006. This is the third anniversary of the military invasion, the sixteenth year of a failed policy toward Iraq, and the ninety-second year since Britain first invaded Iraq. We could continue with the policies at present resulting in further regional and global destabilization, together with the awful loss of Muslim, American, and European life. There is little evidence that the clamp down on domestic civil rights, together with brandishing the big stick abroad, is making the world a safer place. Alternatively, we can continue to struggle against the dogs of war, mobilize for the withdrawal of all occupying forces immediately, and begin to make the world a better place to live. At the same time, nations and international organizations should be prepared to facilitate the movement of Iraq from a failed to a viable state. Let the phoenix rise from the ashes of 7/7.

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Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

1. Slick Willie was a "precursor" of the Frat Boy.

2. 9-11 was a "rare catalys"t for mass hysteria in Washington DC

3. What such mumbo jumbo terminology is supposed to mean is anyone's guess

4. The Baradei article proves nothing except perhaps the degraded reading ability of the poster of it:

"Mr. President, as I have reported on numerous occasions, the IAEA concluded by December 1998 that it had neutralized Iraq's past nuclear program and that, therefore, there was no unresolved disarmament issues left at that time.

Hence, our focus since the resumption of our inspection in Iraq two and a half months ago has been verifying whether Iraq revived its nuclear program in the intervening years.

We have, to date, found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq."

5. Despite all this dredged up confusion, Saddam was no more a threat to America in 2003 than he was in 1983 when Rumsfeld et al were rushing to help him strengthen his cruel and bloody tyranny.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

It is unclear which sentence you are talking about: mine with the [sic] or yours with error that prompted the [sic]. Either way, I detect no conjugational jarring. Saddam is the subject in the first instance. I is the subject in the second case. It would be nice if the current U.S. President would not butcher English the way he does, but this [here the subject DOES change] render his deceptions, waffling, and cover-ups about Iraq less egregious

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

...but this WOULD NOT render his deceptions...

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Well, Mr. Heuisler. So you have not gotten a life after all. Welcome back (sort of). Were you in Iraq, by any chance?

I am not going to bother to check every line of your many whereases against my file copy of the infamous October 2002 resolution. Excepts of it will someday probably be reprinted in history books next to one probably one of the most arrogant and incompetent U.S. president of all time. (What have you got against McCain, by the way? He is popular in Arizona and you aren't?).

The reason for not scrutinizing your post is (unsurprisingly) that it is irrelevant. The United Nations DID indeed authorize actions on Iraq. It sent in an inspection team with unprecedented powers, which Saddam was forced to pretty much let do what they wanted. This would be a very handy little technique to use against Iran today (if your chickenhawk idols in DC hadn't trashed it in a rush to "cakewalk" to Baghdad). Many members of the UN, such as Canada (which last endangered the U.S. circa 1814) expressed a strong willingness to go well beyond the unprecendently instrusive Blix Inspection team, and use force against Saddam. But, the chickenhawks instead had to launch their bungled and invasion, NOT authorized by the UN, first, before their BS about WMD began to stink too noticeably.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

So, it seems, three years later, the propagandists for this "war" to to win the swing state vote, have now discovered the Shores of Tripoli in some pre-PC-era grade school history text.

Wonder what took so long (other than C grades in history, cocaine-ingestion, drunk-driving etc.)?

Maybe it has something to do with Jefferson not responding to the outrages of the Barbary Coast by launching a half-assed attack against the King of Sweden based on lies about his imminent arsenel poised to destroy America. Or Jefferson being able to converse in whole grammatically correct English sentences. Or the action against Tripoli not being a disastrous blunder-ridden flop.

Come on, Thomas. Every political Party has in America has to have its all-time most lame president ever.
The Whigs had Millard Filmore. The Democrats had James Buchanan. The Republicans USED to have Warren Harding.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

That Blair has been a foolish and reckless lap dog for one of the most incompetent and corrupt American administrations of all time is an overwhelming historical reality which I would not dream of contesting. But, I don't think any of this explains 100% of what is going with radical Islam, ala:

"7/7 is due to support for the United State’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq"

George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Karl Rove, and Tony Blair were not the targets on 7/7. Random ordinary Brits were.

Ronald Reagan did not try to blame Jody Foster for the assassination attempt upon him.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

This VX stuff is interesting. Rather ancient by 2003, though, and, given the prior experience on this website, I wonder how much of it is true. For the record, I never "denied" that Saddam was a "threat". Obviously he was, as most "cruel and bloody tyrants" (my words) are: to the Kurds, to the Shiites, to the Iranians, to the Kuwaitis, to the Israelis, to anyone who disagreed with him in the palace hallway, to the world. THAT is not the issue. Never was, in my book.

The issue is whether that threat was fundamentally worse in 2003 than in 1993 or 1983, or anytime in between, such that an idiotic, rash, ill-planned, and bad-bungled and internationally illegtimate invasion of the country was justified, and whether as part of that collosal cock-up, it was necessary to trash America's foreign policy, international reputation, and national security in the process. I say, no and shame on the nitwit Republicans who cannot bring themselves to admit that they have thrust one of their all-time most pitiful and disastrous duds upon the country. Far worse than Nixon and Reagan, who had their less savoury moments as well. And worse than the convicted Democratic bunglers Carter, Clinton, and Kerry. It "isn't funny" indeed. Our country badly injured for years if not decades to come, by a team of inept cowards who cannot stop leaping from one disastrous screw-up to the next without ever admitting their deceptions, mistakes, or lack of qualifications. Why don't we just agree to disagree, except re the article here, "7/7 and the War in Iraq" (remember it?), where I do not doubt that we both give it a large thumbs down?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I have not gone in detail re my views on what is after all a tangential matter to the question of 7-7, but let me just point out that the question for me is not whether getting rid of Saddam was a Good Thing To Do or not. It was, from the moment he took power in the late 1970s. The question is HOW it was done. To do it suddenly and in a mad deceit-laden rush, and for no good reason that wasn't equally applicable over the past two decades, was blatantly hypocritical. Huge numbers across the whole civilized world outside of the "Red States" (which not coincidentally rank below average in education level vis-a-vis the rest of the civilized world) knew it and will not forget it for a long time to come. To then bungle the bejesus out of the operation again and again and again (losing Europe, losing the Saudis, losing Turkey, losing the UN, the Red Cross, and finally most Iraqis, not to mention the vast stockpliles of CONVENTIONAL weapons of non-mass destruction, and committing the idiocies of Abu Ghraib, and the serial fumbles of Garner/Bremer/Chalalbi, etc.) amounts to nothing less than gross derilection of badly misapplied duty.

The cowardice of top officials in our government having nothing to do with military service (hiding in bunkers, backing down and waffling endlessly, constantly backing and filling) is a matter of public record. Any one who is planning to run for such public office themselves (e.g. no one anywhere near here except maybe a would-be replacement for McCain) ought to be ready to make their past experience similarly known. It is irrelevant otherwise. This is a comment board, not a recruiting office.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007



Please do not post comments that are irrelevant to the subject under discussion.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Thomas,

My personal hang-ups, or rather your imagined versions thereof, are not relevant here. I invite you to review the HNN "rules for discussion boards" at http://hnn.us/articles/982.html#civil, e.g. “No ad hominem attacks," and try to locate a dictionary to look up "ad hominem" if that word is new to you.

As an alternative to your cheerleading for Karl Rove's administration (above), I am advocating discrimination: not for people generally, on the basis or race, creed, or color, but for government officials based on competency. I am suggesting that the object of your slavish devotion, George W. Bush, is unworthy of such worship.

Here is the proposition, restated so that you can perhaps comprehend it this time:

George W. Bush is a leading contender for the position of all-time most incompetent Republican president.

Your fantasies about "frothing" have nothing to do with that proposition, one way or another.

You can agree with this assessment, or suggest an alternative (for example, that all Republican chief executives have been identically competent in office, from Ulysees Grant, to Theodore Roosevelt, to Dwight Eisenhower, to Gerald Ford, etc.) or you can explicitly claim that competency in government should be of no concern to Americans, past or present. Both are examples of possible meaningful replies, however unpersuasive. To attack my style, on the other hand, as an evasion, suggests that that you realize that the current president was a Republican Party mistake but are unwilling to honestly admit it.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I will not comment on the pseudo-psychological speculations about intellectualism going on here, but I want to correct one of Mr. Keuter's "corrections", namely that "the war was fought to enforce a [sic] UN resolutions."

By "war", let us presume the 2003 invasion of Iraq is meant, because the usual sense of "war" as a conflict between states barely applies at all to the recent situation in Iraq and has almost no relevance three years later (violence and war are not identical).

A war to "enforce UN resolutions", can by definition, only be fought by parties acting under explicit UN authorization. George W. Bush, or one of his propaganda stooges, can CLAIM to have been "fighting a war" on behalf of the UN, but that claim itself proves nothing, just as Saddam claiming in early 1991 that he was lobbing Scuds at Israel to help liberate the Palestinians is no proof whatever that he was in fact up to any such thing.

There is a difference between the lies and deceptions of incompetent rulers on the one hand, and historical realities on the other.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Let's all take the time to wish our beautiful child-- the Iraq War a Happy 3rd Birthday.

Happy Birthday Iraq War... This toast, held high, is to you... Blow out the candles...

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

The Duelfer Report...

This may be of interest to the forum team. It is laborous reading for someone at my level but, maybe one of you guys can make use/translate it.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Yes, there have been no domestic attacks since 9/11 but, the fear that you and others display/live in... the psychological terror/stress... seems quite burdensome... OBL winning without firing a shot.

I'll pass on your absurd highway/murder rate comparisons... It's another one of your errant throws from deep in the right field corner that badly misses the cut off man.

Let's take a closer look at your installation of representative governance in Iraq point. [You did not post the word 'democracy'. You're becoming more astute/realistic. Good job.] It does have many positives including the elimination of former GOP strongman Saddam Hussein and introduction of participatory style western electioneering but as democracy... oops I said it... does it pass the smell test?

Test Sample 1. The Sunni Arabs soundly rejected the new constitution thus, Iraq has a permanent constitution that is absolutely unacceptable to the country's most powerful minority. Fuel for sectarian strife.

Test Sample 2. The new constitution enshrines Islam as the religion of state and stipulates that parliament may pass no legislation that contravenes the established laws of Islam. Clerics and ayatollahs will be appointed to court benches. Therefore, legitimizing/codifying Sharia Law.

Test Sample 3. The constitution allows provinces to establish provincial confederacies. These confederacies can claim all revenues from future petroleum, natural gas and other resources. Therefore, it is possible that these provincial confederacies may break up the country. Money has a way of creating it's own realities.

The three tests do not even consider the Iranian paradigm nor the power brokers Ayatollah Sistani and Muqtada Sadr and others including Ibrahim Jaafari, Maqdad Baghdadi, Iyad Allawi, Ali Aziz or Samir Sumaidai nor the various party apparatus SCIRI, UIA, KDP, PUK. INA or Dawa along with a dozen others. This mix surely is representative but, will it keep the country bound together as a sovereign entity?

Your comparative of the current Iraq War to the Barbary Coast War (1801-05) and Algerian War (1815) is quite good and one that I never considered. Jefferson was one hell of a great man. Maybe, the greatest statesman our nation has ever produced.

Arnold Shcherban - 3/30/2006

You're mistaken, mister.
That wasn't an analogy (though it can be easily and justifiably made), but only the statement of the facts of current history, which was coincidentally, but very accurately, expressed by one of Nazi leaders.
Had it been pronounced by Ronald Reigan, it wouldn't loose a speck of credibility to me.

Steve Broce - 3/29/2006

And no political rant is ever complete until an anology between the Nazi's and the Bush Administration has been made.

Arnold Shcherban - 3/28/2006

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of
the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter
to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship,
or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the
people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is
easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and
denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the
country to greater danger.”
- Hermann Goering

Arnold Shcherban - 3/28/2006

And noone of the zealots of international peace and democracy is
saying that the "change of regimes" (any way, in a "rush action" or slow
"action") unless those regimes attack your country (and not in the remote possibility, but actually) is defined
as agression by the UN, i.e by international community.
Oh my, Oh my! When the world is going to see a grain of conscience, objectivity, and non-schovinism coming from even a so-called liberal American observers?

Steve Broce - 3/25/2006

Peter, while the risk may or may not have been greater in 2003 than in 1993, the way that Bush looked at “risk” changed on 9/11. Risks that had been “acceptable” on 9/10 became unacceptable on 9/12. You can agree or disagree with Bush on this (I think I know where you come down on the question), but Bush made that point clear in his address to the nation right after 9/11. At the time, I believe the vast majority of Americans agreed with him.

People also seem to have forgotten the “no fly zone” war that brewed right up to the start of “Iraqi Freedom”. On a daily basis, the Iraqi’s were attempting to shoot down Coalition aircraft enforcing the “no-fly zone”. While this was never stressed by Bush as a cause to topple Saddam, it undoubtedly played a part in the decision to take out Saddam, because it symbolized his defiance, in a dramatic way.

All this, of course, is off-topic from the instant matter of “7/7”. We apparently all agree that this article is poorly done.

By the way, Peter, I note that you enjoy referring to the current administration as “cowards” and “chickenhawks”, a reference, no doubt to Bush and Cheney’s failure to have served in combat. Could you post some highlights of your own distinguished military career, so that we might know the vantage point from which you call others “cowards”.

Bill Heuisler - 3/24/2006

VX is the most toxic of all chemical agents. Similar to sarin and tabun, but more toxic, VX paralyzes the nervous system, causes convulsions and rapid death with a drop of less than 10 milligrams on the skin.

Iraq admitted researchers worked on VX in 1987 at al-Muthanna State Establishment, Iraq's nerve gas production ministry and accomplished industrial organophosphorous synthesis, a difficult process required to produce an ingredient of VX.Iraq also admitted producing vast amounts of precursor agents for VX, including 58 tons of the chemical choline.

That's a precursor, Clarke. The other stuff is the main ingredient.

UNSCOM estimated that by 1991, Iraq could have produced 100 tons of VX gas. By 1998, UNSCOM estimated that Iraq was capable of producing 200 tons. Iraq at first told UNSCOM that it had only produced 240 kilograms of VX, but in 1996 admitted that it had produced 3.9 tons.

Remember a drop on the skin or a few milligrams inhaled kills quickly.

Iraq said it had scaled-up all chemical weapons processes at al-Muthanna except VX, a claim UNSCOM rejected as incompatible with Iraq's massive R&D efforts. Iraq also said it abandoned the VX project because the gas was of poor quality and was unstable. Iraq never backed up its claims with verifiable evidence, so the total quantity of VX Iraq had actually produced is not known.

WMD? You bet. Look this stuff up and read about Halabja where they tested it. Imagine the carnage from 3 tons.

Since you obviously know nothing about all this, your denial Saddam was a threat is rather foolish.
Bill Heuisler

Bill Heuisler - 3/24/2006

Mr. Clarke,
The final report on Iraq inspections by ElBaradei is full of references to attempts - and facilities for - Nuclear capability. He confirms the possession of materials used in the processing of uranium to a weapons-grade level. In a later interview after the war began, he complained about the denial of access and the shifting of material and personnel in order to avoid his IAEA teams.

The report is linked here:

Please read it and be more aware of the real situation in Iraq prior to our 2003 resumption of the 1991 war.

Two points: The United Nations gave the proper authority and Iraq was a clear danger to our forces in the region and to our allies.

Don't believe the nuclear capability?
Okay. Digest the fact that only two nations within thousands of miles of the Middle East had labs, material and personnel capable of making VX. One was Iraq. VX, a highly unstable combination of precursor and rare catalyst, was manufactured and used by the Saddam regime. Trace elements were found in three sites near Baghdad and in the Tigris River fter the capture of Baghdad. One vial has the potential to kill a large city with the proper distribution.

VX is a WMD sufficient to any day.

The Hoekstra Committee has released papers detailing meetings between Saddam and his ministers where use of chemical terror against the US was discussed. Look up VX. Google VX and Iraq. Be aware of the terrible possibilities our country faced and please stop the accusations.

My internet access isn't limited; HNN is my companion everywhere.
Bill Heuisler

Bill Heuisler - 3/23/2006

Mr. Clarke,
Your claims of no claims are bogus.
Connections with the UN are obvious. Authorization by that body and our own US Congress was overwhelming.

You babble on with nonsense because apparently you've never read the
October 2002 "Joint Resolution to Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq"

At approximately the 13th "whereas" the real connections become clear.

"Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;

Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677";

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1)," that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and "constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region," and that Congress, "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688";

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to "work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge" posed by Iraq and to "work for the necessary resolutions," while also making clear that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable;..."

There are many more whereases, but I'm tired of your inaccurate rants.
Bill Heuisler

Jason KEuter - 3/22/2006

I've gone back to read the posted article and am amazed at what it says, and thus tag on to the "pathetic" post to agree:

the author of the article is actually pretty damn near endorsing the London bomb attacks, portraying them as a rational response to England's support of the invasion and a rational way to force England to withdrawal and thus weaken America's position in Iraq in order to hasten its withdrawal.


Jason KEuter - 3/22/2006

I'm most impressed by your use of the word "sic" to indicate that you, the author of the reply, was aware of my grammatical error. Since you seem to be a grammarian, I wonder if you could comment on whether it would be best to conjugate the verb in the second clause of the preceding sentence in accordance with the subject pronoun, or the third person subject in the sentence. Either way, the effect is somewhat jarring.

Gonzalo Rodriguez - 3/22/2006

Mr. Keuter,

You say: "Knowing that the average person concludes the obvious, the intellectual must find a different reason that eludes the average person, and in doing, distinguish themselves from that average person."

You are wrong. Intellectuals arrive at bizarre, fact-challenged positions because they're SMARTER than we are.

Jason KEuter - 3/22/2006

I did not intend to state that Sadaam was an Islamist. What I meant was the idea that because he wasn't an Islamist, he couldn't work with Al Qadea or vice-versa - presumably out of respect for some imaginary ideological purity and consistency. This view too, is a projection by intellectuals, who think that mass murderers are sticklers for intellectual consistency...

Jason KEuter - 3/22/2006

I don't necessarily dispute the argument, in this particular case, but, assuming the bombers did it because England was in Iraq, one should not assume that not being in Iraq would spare England Islamic terror. Moreover, this argument rationalizes these acts: were the bombers responding to a war fought on a false pretext on the basis of spurious evidence? If so, then one is left assuming that the bombers respect evidence itself.

The corrections I want to mention are as follows:

1. The war was fought because Sadaam Hussein was, and had been for more than a decade, violating UN resolutions about his weapons programs.

2. Thus the war was fought to enforce a UN resolutions.

3. The ties to Al Qadea are less than spurious; evidence is emerging that such ties did, in fact exist (the argument that Sadaam is "secular" and thus an opponent of Al Qadea has always been laughable).

4. Sadaam encouraged the perception that he had weapons of Mass Destruction, thinking this would deter both a US invasion and an internal revolt, and, perhaps, give him leverage once the UN resolutions he was so easily subverting were finally ignored all together (how easily people forget the widespread opposition to the UN resolutions against Sadaam and the US embargos among the very same people who, in light of the war, now retrospectively argue for their greater effectiveness!)

Ultimately the problem with any inquiry into the "reasons" for Islamic terrorism is their presumption that these acts are "reasonable", that there is something rational going on beneath the psychotic surface. This amounts to rationalization of psychosis.

I strongly encourage people to pick up a copy of Paul Berman's Terror and Liberalism. No, this book doesn't argue that liberals are at the root of the problem. Rather, it argues that Islamic terror is a continuation of the war against liberalism, and, the Islamists have replaced the Nazism and commmunism as its foes, and most of the rhteoric against liberalism (in the classical sense: meaning open, free, secular, etc) is, in fact, an export of European anti-liberalism. I have not done the book justice. It is excellent.

But, I wonder why it should be necessary; I think part of the reason rests with the intellectual's discontent with simple explanations. Seeing innocents murdered, the average person of little education says it's a psychotic act. Knowing that the average person concludes the obvious, the intellectual must find a different reason that eludes the average person, and in doing, distinguish themselves from that average person. The intellectual thus arrives at absurdities. Other intellectuals, cognizant of unpleasant historical facts and less anxious to elevate themselves above the malleable herd, share those facts that buttress the average person's viewpoint. Because the average person's viewpoint must be less knowing than the intellectual, the intellectual then must ignore any and all information that erases the distinct status their well reasoned absurdities have govern them.

The huge mistake the intellectual makes when finding reasons for psychosis, is that they actually think they're right, and that terrorists are reasoning as well. In other words, the intellectual projects themselves (their knowledge, their mentality) onto the terrorist and sees in the terrorist a reflection of themselves.

This leads to even greater falsehoods, as the terrorists are not secular liberal intellectuals wiling away their time on college campuses. So the intellectual then objects to the presentation of any facts which refute the entirely false image of the terrorist as rational being that the intellectual has constructed. In other words, thety encourage suppression of facts about terrorism and the deranged culture from which it comes.

A tangled web.

Frederick Thomas - 3/21/2006

I had to overlook some forgettable paragraphs to share a few moments with another Jefferson groupie.

He was truly the intellectual foundation for our political system, or at least one half of it, as long as one gives original credit to Hume, Smith, Locke, etc.

By the way, your analysis of the three possible outcomes is correct.

Ever notice that everywhere the British had colonies, they always mixed tribes indiscriminatly? Nigeria? India? Rhodesia? Rwanda? Kenya? and war resulted.

The only place it worked for them was here, and they lost that one. In all of the UK disaster colonies, a little civil war was needed to get folks to love one another, right now. I hope the one in Iraq is short.

Frederick Thomas - 3/21/2006

I told you to never do that in public!

And by the way, your problem with Bush is rooted in your your inate feelings of intellectual inadequacy.

Feel better now?

Steve Broce - 3/20/2006

"By far the most persuasive explanation for the London bombings links them to the war on Iraq.”

“Moreover, the corruption of British foreign policy has contributed to recent events.”

“The July bombings were one consequence. The issue was not one of blind hate or inhuman savagery.”

“Put another way, the 7/7 bombings and the loss of life would not have happened without war on Iraq.”

And so on and so on and so on….

Sooo many unsupported assertions, so little time.

It appears all one really has to do to get published on HNN is make a ton of anti-Bush and/or anti-Blair assertions, completely unsupported by any evidence and voila—your in.


Frederick Thomas - 3/20/2006

Mr. Ebbitt:

During that three years, no American civilians have been killed by terrorists outside of Iraq, and those killed there were all there voluntarily. Sounds like a success to me. Or are you aware of any attacks that were not reported?

So why the whining? If you want to save lives why not go after the 2400 killed every two WEEKS on the highways, or the same number murdered every month? The stated purpose of this war is to protect Americans. It has done that.

The secondary purpose was to install representative government, which is nearly complete. Before you start carping about that, think about how long it took for Italy to come up with a coalition government after WW II.

I believe that the whining comes from a simple political disagreement between yourself and the Republican centrists represented by Bush.

Please just admit it and stop the silly bemoaning of three years of a very low level war, something which is sometimes necessary. I presume you would not have agrees with Jefferson about the Barbary pirates either. See
Library of Congress:

"America and the Barbary Pirates: An
International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe." Looks as if Jefferson is a lot closer to Bush than some would like to admit:


"When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli's demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000... President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean...

"The American show of force quickly awed Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli...

"The aggressive action of Commodore Edward Preble (1803-4) forced Morocco out of the fight...Commodore John Rogers and a land force...threatened to capture Tripoli... that a treaty brought an end to the hostilities..."


N. Friedman - 3/20/2006


Note that I said I agreed with your position. That, to me, makes the comment relevant.

Pointing out, in the process, where you could improve your writing is not an attack on you and does not violate any rules. It is certainly no worse than what you have written about me. If anything, the cause of the study of history is advanced best with non-polemic writing.

Now, again, I agree with the substance of what you write. Is it so awful for you to hear it?

N. Friedman - 3/19/2006


I agree with most of what you say.

I disagree with how you say things. Learn not to be so polemic and people will take you more seriously.