We got mail

Last May, a “letter from dad” about the war started going around the internet. It was billed as “non political,” although in this particular case non political meant “only a loser wouldn’t vote for George Bush.” A regular correspondent of Sadly, No! and former blogger sent us his thoughts and we copy selected portions of the letter, and his comments, below. (Comments are in italics.)

This was written by a retired attorney, to his sons, May 19, 2004.

Dear Tom, Kevin, Kirby and Ted,

As your father, I believe I owe it to you to share some thoughts on the present world situation. We have over the years discussed a lot of important things, like going to college, jobs and so forth. But this really takes precedence over any of those discussions. I hope this might give you a longer term perspective that fewer and fewer of my generation are left to speak to. To be sure you understand that this is not politically flavored, I will tell you that since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who led us through pre and WWII (1933 – 1945) up to and including our present President, I have without exception, supported our presidents on all matters of international conflict. […]

First, let’s examine a few basics:
1. When did the threat to us start?
Many will say September 11th, 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us: Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979; Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983; Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983; Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988; First New York World Trade Center attack 1993; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996; Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998; Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000; New York World Trade Center 2001; Pentagon 2001. […]

. Yeah, it sure was fucked up that Iraq did all those things. Oh? wait?

. I don’t blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?

Odd, considering that, at the end of this letter he suggests there are not “peaceful Muslims.”

The plan was clearly to terrorist attack us until we were neutered and submissive to them.

When did “terrorist attack” become a verb?

They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be increasingly easier for them. They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn’t matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops. Anything else they want Spain to do, will be done. Spain is finished.

Funny, but it seems to me that Spain was about to undergo a “regime change” due to Iraq well before the attack. Spaniards didn’t want their people in Iraq.

Our one hope on France is that they might see the light and realize that if we don’t win, they are finished too, in that they can’t resist the Muslim terrorists without us. However, it may already be too late for France. France is already 20% Muslim and fading fast.

Weird. We’ve gone from talking about Muslim terrorists to just saying that Muslims themselves are the problem.

We gave up plenty of civil rights during WWII and immediately restored them after the victory and in fact added many more since then. Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him? No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our Political Correctness and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war. None of those words apply to war. Get them out of your head.

Put me on the side of Ben Franklin on this one, “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” In the grand scheme of history, the “War on Terror” is but a battle in the greater war for what is right. If America becomes a different place – a more martial, less free place – because of the terrorists, then what would we win by winning?

Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose. [Who would that be?] I hasten to add that this isn’t because they are disloyal. It is because they just don’t recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening, it concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.

Nice. So I want the United States to lose a war because I opposed it, but it’s not because I’m disloyal, only stupid. It couldn’t possibly be because I didn’t want a bunch of Americans to die needlessly or to be seen as attacking a Muslim country which hadn’t attacked us, making us look even worse in the eyes of other Muslim countries.

We have recently had an issue involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war by a small group of our military police. These are the type prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein.

This is bullshit. “Most of the prisoners, however-by the fall there were several thousand, including women and teen-agers-were civilians, many of whom had been picked up in random military sweeps and at highway checkpoints.”

And still more recently the same type enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally, of the beheading of an American prisoner they held.

Notice that the key here is his repeated use of the word “type.” It’s not those guys, but guys like them. Not so, says reality. Iraqi men women and children – civilians mostly – were responsible for dragging those corpses through the streets. The people who beheaded the American didn’t have anything to do with Saddam Hussein. They were most likely trained in the Kurdish controlled area of Iraq, not Saddam’s area.

Compare this with some of our press and politicians who for several days have thought and talked about nothing else but the “humiliating” of some Muslim prisoners – not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses through the streets, not beheading them, but “humiliating” them.

Right. Shocking them, letting dogs bite them, raping them and, you know, maybe killing a few now and then, but it’s worth it since we got rid of Saddam’s torture chambers, right? Now we have “freedom chambers.”

The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense. If this doesn’t show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can.

Here’s why that’s bullshit.

Rumsfeld himself isn’t sure whether we’re creating more terrorists than we can kill and, by allowing the Abu Ghraib stuff to occur, we’ve given carte blanche to those who would want to torture others.

An example: “American military police yesterday raided a building belonging to the Iraqi ministry of the interior where prisoners were allegedly being physically abused by Iraqi interrogators.

The raid appeared to be a violation of the country’s new sovereignty, leading to angry scenes inside the ministry between Iraqi policemen and US soldiers? A bodyguard for the head of criminal intelligence, Hussein Kamal, admitted that the beatings had taken place.

Nashwan Ali – who said his nickname was Big Man – said: ‘A US MP asked me this morning what police division I was in. I said I was in criminal intelligence.
‘The American asked me why we had beaten the prisoners. I said we beat the prisoners because they are all bad people. But I told him we didn’t strip them naked, photograph them or fuck them like you did.'”

To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned – totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world. Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife.

OK, but it seems to me that when President Clinton attacked Iraq during Desert Fox, Republicans had no problem with the fact that the country was at a political standstill over impeachment. This is especially damning in light of David Kay’s feeling that “Iraq’s large-scale capability to develop, produce, and fill new CW munitions was reduced – if not entirely destroyed – during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox, 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections.”

And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the Press, equal rights for anyone – let alone everyone, equal status or any status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the World.

Nice point, although Egypt’s not as bad as most. And we welcome Indonesia to the free world, thanks to President Clinton. And when are we going to kick out Musharraf and give Pakistan back its elected government? Wait. We can’t do that. He’s willing. I can name a country which seems to be losing its freedom of speech. Here’s part of how President Bush celebrated freedom a couple of days ago: “Two Bush opponents, taken out of the crowd in restraints by police, said they were told they couldn’t be there because they were wearing shirts that said they opposed the president.” Friggin’ evildoers. How about freedom of the press? Equal rights for everyone?

If we don’t win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next 5 years or less.

So when are we going to invade France in order to kill off all their Muslims?

Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the “peaceful Muslims”?

Yeah, like that politically correct George W. Bush. Don’t you think that part of the reason that Muslim countries are more violent is because they’re so fucking poor? Rwanda, remember, is only about 5% Muslim and 92% Christian. When are we going to stop hearing about those “peaceful Christians”? And let’s not forget that Bosnia was only a third Muslim and that the Christians there were responsible for both starting the war and performing the most heinous acts. See again “A Simple Plan?”

[And we saved the best for last! –S,N!]

[2] As you know, I am a strong President Bush supporter and will vote for him.

No shit?


Comments: 18


Let’s hop in the wayback machine and assume that we “temporarily” suspended our constitutional rights after the 1983 Beirut massacre. If we had declared War on Terra back then, we would have had, up to now, 21 years of “temporary” limitations. The fun thing about the WOT is that it has no end. If it extends into the indefinite future, and we have changed our way of life, how is that NOT LETTING THE TERRORISTS WIN? This is an aspect of this arguemnt i cannot get my brain around.

As far as “bringing the country to a virtual political standstill” over the prisoner issue: I don’t understand how we’re supposed to be teaching people about the rule of law while behaving EXACTLY like the people we’re supposed to be fighting. Whether it’s a few bad apples, or systemic abuse, it makes us look like psychopaths to the rest of the world. It’s being done in my name, and I won’t have it! And if it’s systemically tolerated, the administration is either clueless or evil. (IMHO, both.)

I simply can’t follow the logic of this kind of argument. One of us is a cultural moron. I hope it’s not me.


Yes, Virginia, there really is a Law of Narrative Conventions.

This time, the Bad Guys Who Want To Take Over The World really are dumber’n stumps. (How many time a day, do you think, does Overlord-in-waiting Cheney shout “I’m surrounded by fucking idiots! Do I have to do everything MYSELF?!”)


And then the Muslim’s will flip their three matching Risk cards and receive the 50 armies they need to invade Indonesia from Siam and Alaska from Kamchatka. By voting for President Bush, you will deny the Muslim’s that last card.


Nice deconstruction. It’s good that you can get ex-bloggers to do your work for you. 🙂


I always love how those who cite all the “Muslim attacks” make it sound as if there were never any provacation at all. Overthrowing a democratically-elected government in Iran in the 1950s? Nah, not important.


I always love how those who cite all the “Muslim attacks” make it sound as if there were never any provacation at all. Overthrowing a democratically-elected government in Iran in the 1950s? Nah, not important.


The funny thing is, you never see the response from one of the ‘sons’. It says:

‘Dad, I’m sorry, but this always happens when you get off your meds. It’s just me, and I’m your daughter, Anne.’


I especially like the phrase ‘equal rights for anyone.’ For the record, if the rights aren’t equal for everyone, they aren’t equal, period (see pretty much all of US History).


If Abu Ghraib prison isn’t in “the real world,” where the Cheney is it?


I beg to quibble with 1 thing. Spain. Spain was not headed for a regime change, all the polls showed Aznar’s party ahead despite Iraq war opposition. However, the terrorist bombing changed that.


Spain voted out Aznar because of how he tried to cover up that it was Muslim terrorists and tried to blame it on the Basques. They kicked him out because he covered it up for a self-serving reason.


We should impeach Rumsfield for his sheer fucking imcompetence.


“all the polls showed Aznar’s party ahead despite Iraq war opposition.”

Nope, the socialists were ahead by three or four points before the Madrid bombings. Nothing Aznar couldn’t conceivably turn around, which was part of why they were so desperate to try to pin it on the Basques.


Gee, my Dad never sent me any thoughtful and insightful letters like that.

I do remember one occasion though when I overheard a phone conversation he had with a former student (my father taught at a community college). This man called to ask my father for a letter of recommendation, as he had just been released from 2 years in prison and was looking for work. My father agreed, got his address and promised to send him the letter.

I asked my Dad what he knew about this former student and he said he only vaguely recalled having him in class many years earlier. I was shocked that he would do this for, well, a criminal (I was 16 at the time). He said that it must have taken a great deal of courage for this man to call someone he barely knew and admit his past mistakes and that was all my father needed to know about his character to decide that he could write a recommendation for him.

The conversation occurred almost 30 years ago and I relate the incident only because sometimes when people mention what their fathers told them I think about the things my father said to me.

I don’t recall him ever offering an opinion about Muslim “types”.


Here’s the beginning of another very believable letter from the same writer:

Dear Tom, Kevin, Kirby and Ted,

As your father, I believe I owe it to you to share some thoughts.

I never believed anything like this could happen to me. When new neighbors moved in across the street, I noticed the wife checking me out. And I couldn’t help noticing her too, with her long tanned legs peeking out of her flirty sundress…


The orginal says that France is 20% Muslim.

The CIA says at

Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%

So I suspect they are full of it throughout. Amazing how facts don’t get in the way of opinions.


There are many inaccuracies in this “letter to my sons.” I also sniff out that there is no such author. I’d like to know who the retired attorney father of these 4 sons is.

The 400,000 “chemically killed” is a lie. For an attorney to defend our abrogation of rules of the Geneva Convention is very troubling. The most grievous error is the statement that we were attacked without provocation. We have provoked the Muslim world for over 35 years by our unwavering support for their mortal enemy, Israel. There has never been a UN vote when we didn’t back Israel. When a UN proclamation ordered Israel to move back to their ’67 borders, Israel ignored the UN and we backed them. For 35 years over 3 million Palestinians have lived in refugee camps. Israel settlements have been continually expanded so that now 400,000 Israelis live now on what was Arab land. They have run completely run roughshod over them. Palestinians living in contested territories can’t drive on the same roads, must have different license plates, must undergo daily humiliations as they try to live their lives. One of the basic blocks of the UN charter states that land gained through armed conflict must be returned. Israel has always defied it.

The US each year gives 3 billion dollars in aid to Israel, the most of any country. Do you think Israel is poverty stricken? Not by a long shot. When they attack a refugee camp with helicopters and missiles, who do you think supplies the military hardware? The current leader, Sharon, is a butcher, infamous for massacres of Palestinians in Lebanon in 1975. In addition to the outright grant of $3 billion, we regularly guarantee loans which every member of Congress know will never be repaid.

How does Israel get so much of our tax dollars without even a congressional debate about it? Through their lobbying of congressmen. They intensely lobby the House Appropriations Committee and support through contributions the 12 members so that annually they just rubber-stamp approving the money for Israel. I find it galling that agents of a foreign government can influence how we spend our money.

Congressmen who don’t go along with the Israel lobby encounter fierce opposition when they come up for re-election. Paul Findlay was a representative for Illinois for 22 years. After he dared to speak out in opposition against our unfair, unbalanced, one-sided support of Israel, he faced an opponent in the next election who had enormous financial backing by Israeli lobbying groups and was ousted from Congress. Similar assaults have occurred against Senator Pete McCloskey (California) and at least 4 others. The current situation is that our Congressman are afraid to take the Palestinian side in Congress.

Some are not afraid. Senators Byrd (W.Va) and Hollings (SC) are two such. In May, Hollings made a speech in Congress in which his words were “Every Senator and Representative knows why we went to war in Iraq; it was to secure Israel.”

Foreign affairs in this administration have been taken over by neo-conservatives whose leaders in 1996 put together their “Plan for a New American Century.” The linch-pin of the plan was to establish a big US presence in the Middle East, and specifically, Iraq.
The neo-conservative architects? Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, both of whom have had and in Wolfowitz’s case still have, high positions in our government. But guess what? These 2 guys were also, in the 90’s, paid consultants to the Israel Likud party.
The 9/11 attack gave them the perfect opportunity to fulfill the plan they had developed. Blame it on Iraq and shove it down gullible American throats; cloak it in patriotism. So we’ve been fed a pack of lies and dumb, ambitious Georgie W. has been chosen to run with it. While we and the world are so taken up with Iraq, Sharon is acting more vicious than ever because we’re all to busy.

Nobody in government will make the case I just laid out. The first thing would be charges of anti-Semitism.

Joe MacDougall


yo w8 and see what will happen to our dear west world..when the near billion muslims on this planet wake up and unify.
the only thing i have to say
god have mercy on our souls


To Sadly, No: Where are your comments about the situation with Norman Mineta? Where is your ability to disagree without the simple-minded profanity? Where is your common sense? I can only offer prayers for you and those like you, to release yourselves from your hostility and open your minds to reality.


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