Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 16, 2004

Cease and Desist

There are rumours that a decent answer to this recently discovered letter could have prevented the war in Iraq.

Mr. Saddam Hussein
Presidential Palace

Bagdhad, Iraq

VIA FACSIMILE

Dear President Hussein:

It has been brought to our attention - and was confirmed by the Los Angeles Times yesterday - that your country is sponsoring and promoting a false and misleading campaign designed to scare America into believing that there are no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

As you must be aware, this urban myth regarding the non-existence of WMD in Iraq has been thoroughly debunked by no less than the President of the United States, who explicitly stated in a radio address, "We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons," as well as the Vice President, who declared, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Additionally, the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said, "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.'"

In the light of the above statements, the only conclusion to be drawn is that your campaign is being conducted with malicious intent and a reckless disregard for the truth. You have an obligation to immediately cease and desist from promoting or conducting your "nonexistent WMD" campaign.


As we know, the addressee of the letter did not cease and desist his campaign.

Senior administration officials, citing the President and the Vice President, now assert, that a fulfillment of the request to cease and desist the campaign would have avoided the issue.

Thereby, if Rock for Vote would only cease and desist their "Draft" campaign there would be no draft.

A PDF version of the letter
Josh has the story

Posted by b on October 16, 2004 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

Comments

They could have telephoned Scott Ritter.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 16, 2004 3:04:16 PM | 1

This is really a desperate bit of stupidity on the part of the Republicans. With many mainstream anlaysts musing about how troop levels can possibly be kept up in the next 1-2 years, letters like this just look like ham-fisted intimidation, the kind you'd expect to see from some thuggish legal firm.

Posted by: Harrow | Oct 16, 2004 3:11:44 PM | 2

Not that this is much of a
surprise, considering the new depths to which the presidential campaign has sunk.

In one of President Bush's latest advertisements, a clock ticks menacingly as a young mother pulls a quart of milk out of a refrigerator in slow motion, a young father loads toddlers into a minivan and an announcer intones ominously, "Weakness invites those who would do us harm."

All they missed was the mushroom cloud from the dirty bomb blowing up the young family.

Posted by: Harrow | Oct 16, 2004 3:20:32 PM | 3

"Weakness invites those who would do us harm."

Harrow: Disgusting. I have to say, though, it *begs* for an appropriate follow-up, like:

"Don't be weak on November 2 -- Vote Democratic and OUST those who would do us harm!"

(Till then, kids, just "duck and cover"!) ;-)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 16, 2004 4:08:32 PM | 4

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1015-29.htm>Piven on the politics of fear and resistance strategies

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 16, 2004 4:10:49 PM | 5

All they missed was the mushroom cloud from the dirty bomb blowing up the young family.

Didn't Lyndon Johnson air an ad where a little girl was picking a flower and a mushroom cloud blossomed behind her, signalling the death of innocence?

looked it up ::

The commercial begins with a small girl picking the petals of a daisy while counting slowly. An ominous-sounding male voice is then heard counting down as the girl turns toward the camera, which zooms in until her pupil fills the screen, blacking it out. Then the countdown reaches zero and the blackness is replaced by the flash and mushroom cloud from a nuclear test . A voiceover from Johnson follows: "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die." Another voiceover then says, "Vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay home."

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Daisy_%28television_commercial%29>Link

http://www.lindqvist.com/kitSiPub/bilder/20030120192805.jpg>Picture

Posted by: Blackie | Oct 16, 2004 6:21:37 PM | 6

DeAnander: What Piven subtly suggests -- and I wholeheartedly endorse -- is that directly confrontational tactics are absolutely necessary to sway typical politicians, that people like the Weathermen were essential to turning the tide of the War in Vietnam to ultimately get us out.

I've always believed that myself, based on experience. The more mainstream Peace Movement of the 1960's saw equally tepid reactions from the powers that be, while the radicals were simply *impossible* to just ignore. I'm certainly willing to give Kerry a chance to set things right. But nothing short of civil insurrection is likely to sway the Bush Regime; that's been obvious for a long time now.

Those who repeatedly insisted, "Play nice" or "Don't give Americans any cause to criticize the anti-war movement", simply don't get it or have never really "been there". (More was likely accomplished in the long run by those nearly 2000 illicit arrests in New York, and the subsequent lawsuits, than the massive, peaceful protests themselves.) "The Keys to the White House" -- a standardized predictive index based on historical, retrospective analysis -- includes among its 13 critical determining factors "civil unrest"; if the people have remained relatively placid during his tenure, the incumbent holds an *automatic* advantage.

To draw a parallel from simple physics, when push comes to shove, there *must* be equal force, or one side falls. Better that it be the belligerent, corrupt chickenhawks of this so-called presidency than the American people themselves. (And clearly, mere attempts at "equalization" will not suffice!)

Thanks for the link.

Viva la Revolucion!

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 16, 2004 6:37:34 PM | 7


@ JMFeeney

I think it was Chomsky who asserted that the fear of revolution (or at least civil chaos) and the lack of militaty force to confront it, had a lot to do with the decision to withdrawl from Vietnam.

Curiously, the Symbionese Liberation Front probably instilled more fear in the Nixon whitehouse (and the public) than even the SDS or the Weathermen -- after all, they had both the spector political (celebrity) kidnapping and the fear of won-ton irrational civilan bombing going for them -- and it is also kinda weird how closely their methodology resembles that of the Zarqawi gang, Did they call them "terrorists" on the media back then? i can't remember.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 16, 2004 7:32:08 PM | 8

In one of ******* ****** latest advertisements, a clock ticks menacingly as a young mother pulls a quart of near empty milk out of a refrigerator in slow motion, a young unemployed father loads toddlers into a minivan with an empty gas tank and an announcer intones ominously, "Real wage loss invites those who would profit off of YOUR deliquent mortgages payments...."

Sorry folks...

I got no pity whatsoever for America or Americans...
They deserve Bush, and Bush deserves them:
Stupid + Stupid = A very secure stupidity.

In a sentence:

What a great opportunity for China and Europe to step up and fill a void.

You all gonna do something about it? Or you gonna continue to carp about America as a failed state? Sure we are banana republicans over here. That's obvious. So step up and take the helm of civilization.

Step up.
Step up.
Step up.

Posted by: koreyel | Oct 16, 2004 7:46:03 PM | 9

what were the physical realities of that resistance in america:

the continued incarceration of many many people

the liquidation of generation of indian, afroamerican & hispanic leaders

the extermination of their political leadership

there is a very strong documentary - that i saw here - which is essentially about the black panthers but covers the waterfront goes into this in as much detail as a documentary can & it spoke to the present

i think it was called 'all power to the people' with a chinese director or perhaps japaanese or none of the above - it might have been subtitled as a history of the black panther party

but what remains clear was that resistance, armed reistance was met by disproportionate military & judicial force - the assasination of the saint fred hampton & bobby hutton come to mind - but it is clear beyond words that even a militant organisation in todays america will meet the same repression

they have shown they are prepared to meet resistance with absolute force & to some degree they would welcome it as it would supply an evidence of their perverted logic

it is the catch 22 of the left - by the time organised resistance starts to have real meaning - because of the elaborate security networks of the government - these organisations become comprimised in fact & in detail

resistance must be based on a community level, always - even when it is slow & hard work

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 16, 2004 7:46:32 PM | 10

Excellent article, but I disagree with one thing.

Piven:
"I think we should work to get Kerry and Edwards elected, and after that, if Kerry and Edwards are elected, we should raise hell."

It doesn't matter who wins, the organizing that's going on needs to keep working for more no matter who takes the executive, or legislature.

Posted by: Citizen | Oct 16, 2004 9:19:02 PM | 11

The Guardian today had an article on an intense negotiation underway between the U.S. Administration and the Blair Administration over moving a substantial number of Brit troops north from Basra into the so-called Sunni Triangle area to help take up the slack while U.S. troops are redeployed to kick the shit out of Fallujah.

How can anyone who is aware of what is going on over there not see that there is no way we will have enough troops to continue this occupation unless they join the military involuntarily?

Posted by: maxcrat | Oct 16, 2004 9:33:32 PM | 12

Sorry folks...

I got no pity whatsoever for America or Americans...

C'mon, Koreyel, that's mean-spirited. You sound like a conservative who says countries always get the leader they deserve. There may be precious few democrats in the Middle East, but that doesn't mean Saddams are inevitable; the US may not have many progressives in the government, but no one deserves a radical rightist meathead like Bush. Certainly not the half of the electorate that didn't vote for him.

What a great opportunity for China and Europe to step up and fill a void.

Oh great. The small countries of the world can transfer their allegiance from pimp-daddy America to pimp-daddies China and Brussels. Oh well, it's probably inevitable anyway.

Posted by: Harrow | Oct 16, 2004 11:08:18 PM | 13

... they have shown they are prepared to meet resistance with absolute force & to some degree they would welcome it as it would supply an evidence of their perverted logic ...

rememberinggiap: That's why successful resistance movements typically employ guerrilla tactics. It cuts down the likely "casualties" while maximizing the damage inflicted. That's one reason, relatively speaking, that the insurrection in Iraq is going rather well (for the insurgents). They know better than to lead a frontal assualt against a massively superior force.

As for would-be "evidence of their perverted logic", this regime hardly needs *us* to provide them any. They make it up as they go along! Conversely, our seeming compliance offers abundant "evidence" that they can simply continue to dictate in this fashion.

They've already managed to fabricate a state of national emergency where none exists, via these Pavlovian "terror" alerts. What's worse, the root cause of this state of panic -- 9/11 -- simply

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 12:34:32 AM | 14

... they have shown they are prepared to meet resistance with absolute force & to some degree they would welcome it as it would supply an evidence of their perverted logic ...

rememberinggiap: That's why successful resistance movements typically employ guerrilla tactics. It cuts down the likely "casualties" while maximizing the damage inflicted. That's one reason, relatively speaking, that the insurrection in Iraq is going rather well (for the insurgents). They know better than to lead a frontal assualt against a massively superior force.

As for any presumed "evidence of their perverted logic", this regime hardly needs *us* to provide that. They make it up as they go along! But our seeming submission offers them abundant "evidence" that they can simply continue to dictate in this fashion.

They've already managed to fabricate a state of national emergency where none exists, via these Pavlovian "terror" alerts. What's worse, the root cause of this institutionalized alarm -- 9/11 -- sim

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 12:41:57 AM | 15

... they have shown they are prepared to meet resistance with absolute force & to some degree they would welcome it as it would supply an evidence of their perverted logic ...

rememberinggiap: That's why successful resistance movements typically employ guerrilla tactics. It cuts down the likely "casualties" while maximizing the damage inflicted. That's one reason, relatively speaking, that the insurrection in Iraq is going rather well (for the insurgents). They know better than to lead a frontal assualt against a massively superior force.

As for any presumed "evidence of their perverted logic", this regime hardly needs *us* to provide that. They make it up as they go along! But our seeming submission offers them abundant "evidence" that they can simply continue to dictate as they please.

They've already managed to fabricate a state of national emergency where none exists, via these Pavlovian "terror" alerts. What's worse, the root cause of this institutionalized alarm -- 9/11 -- simply *reeks* of government complicity, no matter how you slice it. Moreover, the largely fictitious goal of "countering terrorism" has allowed the people to once again be victimized by their own government.

One thing's for sure: Nobody is going to TALK George W. Bush and his NeoConNazis out of anything! So if Americans want their country back, should this regime manage to slither its way *back* into office, they're going to have to fight. As it was for the French Resistance during World War II, it will be for us.

Besides, it isn't necessary to *vanquish* the powers that be. What's needed is merely to jolt them out of their complacent belief that Americans are sheep who will simply bleat incessantly but do nothing. As anna relayed above, it's the *fear* of chaos that induces change in governments. (Of course, this bunch would likely require a lot more "persuading" than most.)

The alternative, I believe, is fairly foreseeable -- a continued descent into Fascism in a nation ruled by NeoConNazis. What's most important about this *election*, I think, is that it may be our *last* chance to get these lunatics out.

The stakes are very high, but so are the rewards. And I didn't plan on living forever, anyway. ;-)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 12:45:07 AM | 16

... they have shown they are prepared to meet resistance with absolute force & to some degree they would welcome it as it would supply an evidence of their perverted logic ...

rememberinggiap: That's why successful resistance movements typically employ guerrilla tactics. It cuts down the likely "casualties" while maximizing the damage inflicted. That's one reason, relatively speaking, that the insurrection in Iraq is going rather well (for the insurgents). They know better than to lead a frontal assualt against a massively superior force.

As for any presumed "evidence of their perverted logic", this regime hardly needs *us* to provide that. They make it up as they go along! But our seeming submission offers them abundant "evidence" that they can simply continue to dictate as they please.

They've already managed to fabricate a state of national emergency where none exists, via these Pavlovian "terror" alerts. What's worse, the root cause of this institutionalized alarm -- 9/11 -- simply *reeks* of government complicity, no matter how you slice it. Moreover, the largely fictitious goal of "countering terrorism" has allowed the people to once again be victimized by their own government.

One thing's for sure: Nobody is going to TALK George W. Bush and his NeoConNazis out of anything! So if Americans want their country back, should this regime manage to slither its way *back* into office, they're going to have to fight. As it was for the French Resistance during World War II, it will be for us.

Besides, it isn't necessary to *vanquish* the powers that be. What's needed is merely to jolt them out of their complacent belief that Americans are sheep who will simply bleat incessantly but do nothing. As anna relayed above, it's the *fear* of chaos that induces change in governments. (Of course, this bunch would likely require a lot more "persuading" than most.)

The alternative, I believe, is fairly foreseeable -- a continued descent into Fascism in a nation ruled by NeoConNazis. What's most important about this *election*, I think, is that it may be our *last* chance to get these lunatics out.

The stakes are very high, but so are the rewards. And I didn't plan on living forever, anyway. ;-)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 12:45:40 AM | 17

Oh, CRAP!! (I posted that "4X" above -- two full iterations and two partials -- only ONCE!!!!)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 12:50:16 AM | 18

WoW Top Billing on Google News!
Florida Today


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 17, 2004 3:04:12 AM | 19

what about this - HR 163 and this - S89. feel kinda dumb mentioning them because they're so obvious, but does anyone know what's happening with these bills nowadays.

Posted by: esme | Oct 17, 2004 6:37:45 AM | 20

ok, did some further reading and seems S89 was quashed this month...

Posted by: esme | Oct 17, 2004 7:03:40 AM | 21

Maxcrat & Citizen:

At this point I think we're going to wind up with a draft no matter who wins the Presidency.

Posted by: | Oct 17, 2004 10:27:34 AM | 22

@JMF
The mulitple post syndrome is because of the CIA interfering with your posting :)

Seriously, have you tried changing browser? I hear Mozilla is good.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Oct 17, 2004 11:40:43 AM | 23

A swedish kind of death: Well that first part I could sorta believe. Although, I suspect it would really be the *FBI*. Past and current CIA folks have been fiercely engaged in their own brawl with this regime, and personally I've been rooting for them for some time now! ;-)

I have IE, but Opera is my browser of choice. (IE is slow as molasses on my system.) But if worst comes to worst ...

[I'd love to use Mozilla, but we're strictly a 16-bit family here.]

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 10:38:29 PM | 24

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