Bert Sacks

Tue, Feb 14, 2006

To: John Barton

Dear Mr. Barton,

 

Thank you for sharing your email address with me via the Times.

 

Below is the letter which I sent to the Times in response to yours.

They have informed me that they will not print my letter, so I

appreciate the chance to send mine to you personally.

 

There is much more that I did not have time to address. Specifically,

the issue of Saddam's palaces (of which I do not approve), of the

so-called oil-for-food scandal, of where Saddam got the overwhelming

amount of smuggled money, and where he squandered the greatest amount

of his country's resources.

 

After spending 10 years studying this issue, the conclusions I have

come to are not those widely held here. I'm glad to discuss them more

with you, but would ask that you read what I sent to the paper and --

if you are willing -- get back to me.

 

In short, the statements of U.S. bombing strategists from the '91 Gulf

War convinced me that we intended to inflict great suffering and death

on Iraqi civilians in order to get what we wanted.

 

Saddam has some responsibility, but the 1991 bombing and sanctions are

ours. www.concernforiraq.org/infrastructure has some quotes and links

to the sources. Please have a look.

 

Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

Bert Sacks

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Bert Sacks

Date: Feb 13, 2006

Subject: in response to John Barton's letter today

To: letter to the editor <opinion@seattletimes.com>

 

John Barton writes [in response to my column of Feb. 9] that it is

Saddam's propagandists who spread hatred by blaming Iraqi civilian

deaths on the U.S.

 

Here is U.S. Air Force Colonel Kenneth Rizer, writing in an official

USAF journal: "... destruction of these facilities [Iraq's electrical

plants in 1991] shut down water purification and sewage treatment

plants. As a result, epidemics of gastroenteritis, cholera, and

typhoid broke out, leading to perhaps as many as 100,000 civilian

deaths and a doubling of infant mortality." Should the USAF take

these deaths into consideration? He answers, "The US Air Force has a

vested interest in attacking dual-use targets because ... [these deaths]

indirectly target[s] civilian morale."

 

The New England Journal of Medicine wrote: ... the Gulf War and trade

sanctions caused [the excess deaths of] more than 46,900 children" in

1991.

 

Mr. Barton makes my point: How much has our media covered such

reports? [See BertOnIraq.blogspot.com for more details.] Saddam's

palaces and WMDs let us feel better about ourselves. But we have told

ourselves many half-truths to hide a simple fact: the U.S. used

epidemic and famine against Iraqi civilians as tools of our foreign

policy.

 

###

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

From: JR Barton

To: Bert Sacks

Date: Feb 15, 2006

 

Dear Mr. Sacks

 

War is HELL . . . and people die.

 

Strategic targets such as electrical power plants, and destroying the

civilian morale are all part of winning. Just as in World War II.

 

Had Saddam focused his efforts on the well being of his people, most of the

deaths could have been avoided, as well as those resulting from the invasion

of his country in 2002.

 

We have been at war with Islamic terrorists for 25+ years. There were 11

attacks on the US during the Clinton administration. Thank God we now have

an administration that recognizes that we are in a war.

 

The Bush Administration is trying to bring about a long-needed cultural

change in the Middle East. As a direct result, he has had the following

successes (prepared in 2005, and not quite up to date):

 

a. The Taliban government of Afghanistan fell in a number of days.

b. Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq fell after a couple weeks.

c. Libya's Moammar Qaddafy gave up his nuclear weapons program. (Ever

wonder who the potential targets were to be?)

d. The government of Pakistan, which had supported the Taliban in

Afghanistan, switched alliances and joined the U.S. in its war on terrorism.

e. North Korea pushed its way to the bargaining table, revealing their

nuclear weapons program.

f. Qatar's new Constitution gives the right to vote to every Qatari citizen.

g. Saudi Arabia has allowed elections at the local level.

h. Egypt's President Mubarak has allowed an election-law change so there are

now opposition parties. (Not perfect, but a start.)

i. The Palestinians recently had free elections. Hopefully, this will make

them face the reality of the situation.

j. People in Lebanon have demonstrated for free elections, and forced the

removal of Syrian troops from their territory.

Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Moslem community, says the

people want the truth about Arab regimes and why they have failed to deliver

on their promises of progress and prosperity.

k. Afghanistan had elections, and even women were allowed to vote.

l. Iraq has had elections with massive turnouts in spite of death threats

against voters, and women voted.

m. The people of the Ukraine threw out a corrupt government. They were

inspired by the free elections in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And most important of all:

 

n. There have been no attacks on U.S. soil.

 

A Lebanese newspaper editor noted [in 2005] that there have been three major

elections in the Moslem world in recent times. Two were provided by the

U.S. (Afghanistan & Iraq) and one by the Israelis (Palestine). He

questioned why Arab leaders can't do the same.

 

I noted that you are retired. If you are about my age (70), you should well

remember the unanimity of our country during World War II. We need that

same level of support to win this war. Instead, we have the hate Bush crowd

and the hate America first crowd ridiculing nearly everything the

Administration does, and all spurred on by the liberal media. It is mostly

just plain old politics, which should be set aside when it comes to issues

of war.

 

President Bush is not my favorite president, but neither was FDR. I would

encourage you to support Bush, and every future president, in our struggle

against the terrorists.

 

John Barton