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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor  [May 7, 2014]




[]  Eighteen candidates are running for California's 33rd Congressional District seat in the June 3rd primary. As the 33rd C.D. is heavily Democratic and progressive, you won't find many hawks. But the two candidates with the toughest antiwar rhetoric are Democrat-turned-Independent Tom Fox, and Libertarian Mark Matthew Herd.

Fox, a Malibu attorney and dotcom entrepreneur, is not afraid to use the "Neo" word -- as in Neoconservative and Neocon.

Here's an excerpt from Fox's website:


"There is no shortage of Neoconservatives, or Neocons, that support American intervention at every turn. There has been support for American troops to invade Iran in order to destroy their nuclear research program. The cry for American military intervention in Syria has been going on for a couple of years now. Most recently, there has been an outcry for the American military to intercede in the Ukraine to stop the Russian advances in that region. There has been criticism for American troops withdrawing from Iraq as well as the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan. Looking at the instability of those hot spots, there is no rational reason for us to use our military force. Our involvement won’t be able to bring stability to the region, nor will it promote our national interest of defending our country.

"I came of age in the early 1970's when America was drafting its young men and sending them off to the Vietnam War. At that time, the young of America were very involved in protesting that war because it had a direct impact on us, we were being drafted and forced to go fight a war that didn't make any sense to many of us. I vividly recall experiencing those, then rights of passage for every young American man: registering for the draft and receiving a draft card on the 18th birthday, and being glued in front of the television set on that evening once a year when the draft lottery numbers were picked that determined, based upon that birth date, the order in which they would be drafted that year. Once drafted, a young man was sent to 8 weeks of basic training and then off to combat....

"Historically, these wars of choice seem to have a pattern and they never end well. In the Vietnam War, the drumbeat for war was advanced by Hawks, the Neocons of the day. The American people were told that an American destroyer had been fired upon in Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin. That act of aggression became the basis for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that resulted in American’s going to war. After the escalation of that war and sometime during the death of over 58,000 American service members and over 1 million Vietnamese, we later learned that the “attack” never occurred....

"In Iraq, we were told various stories by our leadership; that Saddam Hussein had collaborated with Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda in the planning and implementation of the September 11 attacks. We were also told that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that he had used on his own countrymen, that he would use on us. We were told that the administration had proof, but it was classified and with that proof withheld from the American people, our country went to war....

"While the American people were insulated from the financial realities and the horrors of that war from the outset, they are accountable for them now and those costs now play a major role in our dismal economy...."

Libertarian Mark Matthew Herd, a Westwood Neighborhood Councilman, also embraces tough talk. He does not shy away from naming the "military industrial complex" or defending Muslims against false charges (still a controversial stance among many conservatives and even some libertarians).

Here's an excerpt from Herd's website:


"[I]t seems odd to describe the years since the start of the 21st century as a relatively peaceful time, but that is because, as Americans, we are living with a military-industrial complex whose financial future depends on keeping us as scared as possible for as long as possible....

"The military budget of the United States, conservatively measured at around $700 billion (but probably closer to $1 trillion once all security measures and veteran benefits are considered), is approximately equal to all of the military budgets of all other countries combined. If the US military budget were cut in half, it would still be the largest in the world. Then, if it were cut in half again, it would STILL be the largest in the world. Then, if it were cut in half a third time, reduced to only one-eighth its current size, it would STILL be the largest in the world. And that's using the conservative measure.

"Whatever motivates this enormous budget, it is certainly not for the defense of American soil. Indeed, when the Department of Homeland Security was created, this was a virtual admission that the Department of Defense had goals other than homeland security. No foreign army has the slightest capacity to invade the United States, and as North Korea has demonstrated, even the possession of a single nuclear weapon is enough to deter invasion....

"Louise Richardson, in her book What Terrorists Want, identifies three basic motivations for terrorism: revenge, renown, and reaction. McVeigh made it clear that the purpose of his action was to avenge an FBI siege of a religious group's compound in Waco, Texas two years before (the Oklahoma bombing took place on the second anniversary of the fire that ended the siege).

"Al-Qaida stated clearly, even before 9/11, that their plan to attack Americans was a response to three ongoing US policies: (1) the stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia, (2) the embargo of food and medicine that had so far killed over a million Iraqis, and (3) support of Israeli persecution of Palestinians. Osama bin Laden also stated explicitly that his goal was to get a reaction from the United States government that would bankrupt the empire. [Note: like any good prosecutor, we are seeking the motives of the criminal right now, not justifying them.]

"Charles Kurzman notes in The Missing Martyrs that there are remarkably few Muslim terrorists: less than 1 Muslim in 15,000 has even gone as far as attending a terrorist training camp, let alone engages in terrorism. Muslims have often provided the tips to arrest terrorists, and the intelligence needed to prevent or punish terrorists would undoubtedly be greater in a world where the US government didn't build up so much ill will. That is another sense in which current policy is unintelligent.

"We cannot indulge the ignorant desire to blame anti-American terrorism on a 'hatred of freedom,' '72 virgins,' or other such nonsense. After a suicide truck bomber killed 241 US Marines stationed in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, President Ronald Reagan wasn't justifying this massacre when he decided to withdraw American troops from the Middle East. He understood that people, all people, hate foreign armies on their soil.

"Unfortunately, his successor, George H.W. Bush, went back into the Middle East to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, and his stationing of American troops in Saudi Arabia after that war was specifically cited as the primary reason for Al-Qaida's declaration of jihad against America. Since then, of course, the US military has undertaken attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. If you were a Middle Eastern Muslim, might you think of some reason to hate Americans other than not liking freedom?

"The best form of anti-terrorism insurance is to remove all troops from the Middle East, stop attempts to either preserve or change their current governments, and end all government-to-government aid."



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