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.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bert Sacks
Date: Feb 13, 2006
Subject: in response to John Barton's letter today
To: letter to the editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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
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
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.