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01/10/2003 Archived Entry: "Justin is optimistic"

Political Watch:

Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com actually sounds semi-optimistic on today's "Behind the Headlines" editorial feature. The usually dour (tho' politically solid) Justin writes, "It may be in somewhat poor taste to say 'I told you so,' but I can't resist. My prognosis that the Iraq war, far from being 'inevitable,' as we've been endlessly told, has been postponed if not put on the back burner indefinitely has been all but verified by recent events."

He believes the impetus toward immediate war against Iraq is being successfully blunted, partly because:

Tony Blair, Bush's poodle, is under severe pressure from his own Labor Party to delay invasion plans, which would leave the U.S. without an invasion-buddy.

"The UN inspectors have so far visited 300 Iraqi sites, including 47 facilities that have not been inspected before, so far without uncovering even a trace of the alleged hidden arsenal." Where is the smoking gun?

**International support is wavering. For example, Turkey is demanding "as the price of their cooperation more 'aid' and publicly wavering over the prospect of letting American ground troops on their soil. Reeling from an economic crisis, and with a new Islamic party at the helm, Turkey is essential to the US military strategy of a short and decisive strike, but Turkish public opinion is overwhelmingly opposed: eighty-eight percent say no to war."

Also heartening are the many stories that testify to the swell of grassroots war resistance. One example.... In the UK, train drivers who are "conscientious objectors" refused to ship "a freight train carrying ammunition believed to be destined for British forces being deployed in the Gulf."

Meanwhile, the American government's war on human beings within its own borders proceeds unfettered. It is sped along by what some FBI agents are calling "scripted hysterics" -- that is, "manufacturing terrorist alerts" that keep fear alive in the American public and keep President Bush's approval ratings high. One example...the five Middle Eastern men whose photographs CNN (and other media, but CNN especially) posted ad nauseum, asking viewers to be on the look-out. (CNN admitted that they didn't know what the men had done or why they were being sought.) Then, the photos abruptly stopped running. Why? Because the nationwide dragnet was based on a false tip. The embarrassing story was reported in Europe and Canada but, as far as I can tell, it has yet to break on CNN. How many innocent men were turned into the police based on the media scare? How many other stories are nothing but media scare?

Today is another INS deadline for suspicious swarthy-faced people to register with the American government for "special treatment," even if they have already been legally admitted to the country. Even if they have been in the United States for years...legally. the nations targetted for today's registration are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It is extraordinarily unlikely that those who obey the law and register are terrorists but it *is* likely that law-abiding men from specified nations will refuse to register because of the fear inspired by stories of arbitrary detention, deportation, and abuse that are already surfacing from the process.

It breaks my heart to see the United States become a police state.

Stay safe,

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