Dear Telluride Watch (Editor),
The Children's Hospital CHIP Program wants to thank TAB, the community
Telluride and the Telluride Watch for you perseverance in support, both
financial and emotionally to the families and children living with HIV
AIDS from Children's Hospital in Denver. You are an incredible
that has shown collective strength through the Telluride AIDS Benefit,
support and hard work on the TAB fashion show and silent art action.
should all be proud.
Melissa Reid Carpenter & The CHIP Team
Feb 27, 2002
Concerning the Iraq conundrum:
There is no arguing that terrorism is a threat to our nationís physical
and economic status. The terroristsí goal is to keep us off balance, and
to destroy our way of life. They have been partially successful. It would
be horrible if there were more attacks, no matter the size. Having said
that, a much larger threats to our way of life are what happening right
here, right now. One example is the cancerous deterioration of our urban
areas. Many, many people die on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis because
of the influx of all sorts of drugs, and the resultant murders, property
crime, rising insurance costs, etc. The cost to our country has to be in
the billions. We have savage dictatorships right here, in the persons of
big city drug lords, and we cannot solve that problem. If we want a fight
against the potential destruction of the fabric of our nation, it is right
here. In fact, if you go to Washington D.C., the seat of our government,
and the home of the Justice department, there is rampant crime and
deterioration just blocks away. We have all sorts of battles waiting
inside the bounds of our country, including potentially bankruptive
escalating health care costs. But what do we do? Our administration
decides to go 6,000 miles around the world to overthrow a savage dictator
because he has not lived up to his end of the bargain, in spite of the
fact that it will cost our country untold billions of dollars, lives of
our soldiers, the lives of innocent Iraqis, really will not make our
country any safer, and will make our economy even worse than it is.
Our administration is using following reasons to invade Iraq:
a. Saddam Hussein is a bad guy.
b. Saddam Hussein has, or may have Weapons of Mashtrushin. Pardon me, Mass
c. He has violated UN resolutions.
d. He could develop nuclear weapons.
e. He is a threat to his own people, neighbors, and potentially to us.
f. Iraqis should be liberated from oppression, and there should be regime
No one argues any of these points. Iraq would be better off without
Saddam, but if we use the above reasons, we will invade all kinds of
countries as time goes on; Iran, Yemen, North Korea, Pakistan, India, a
few in Africa, and for fun and adventure, China. It is not difficult to
find places where there are potential enemies, destructive weaponry, and
manís inhumanity to man. The above reasons arenít the real ones. There
has to be something else. It all rings so untrue. Perhaps there is solid
proof that Saddam is behind most worldwide terrorism. Or perhaps it has
something to do with George W. Bush trying to tie up for some loose ends
related to George H.W. Bush and the 1991 Gulf War, and the fact that there
was an assassination attempt on him later. Perhaps it has to do with oil.
Do you think maybe? It can only be an altruistic motive, because, after
all, we are seeking peace. Itís just that we may have to kill a few
thousand Iraqis, and sacrifice a few thousand more of our own, along the
way. That should not be necessary. With the technology we have, we should
engage in nothing but surgical strikes and put as few ground troops in
harmís way as possible.
If Iraq is violating UN resolutions, then it seems to me that it is a UN
problem. How does it become only the United Statesí problem? Imagine if
Russia or China used our justifications and stormed Iraq? We might think
they were a little out of line. It seems that it would be better to
accumulate as many members of the UN as possible as a united front to
remove Saddamís weapons, or him from power. That certain knowledge could
possibly make any invasion unnecessary. But we had to draw our sword and
lay down the law. It reminds me of a 4th grader who says he is going to
beat someone up, then tells them many, many times, that they get one last
chance all the while checking to see if his toadies are behind him, hoping
to accumulate more toadies.
Letís say, now, that we do lead the charge into Iraq, regardless of a
majority of U.S. opinion, and a vast majority of world opinion. What then?
Who or what are we going to attack? Does the Bush administration somehow
imagine that the people of Baghdad and the rest of Iraq will gleefully
race up to our soldiers waving American flags? Does it imagine that Saddam
Hussein will see the light and cry Uncle? It may end up being easy, but
the probable reality is that many people on both sides will die, and that
many months or years will pass before there is any true resolution to the
problem, along with that alienating other Middle East countries and untold
I want to ask some questions of the ultra-conservative hawks; the Rush
Limbaughs, the Sean Hannitys, the Michael Savages , Tucker Carlsons,
Robert Novacks, Ann Coulters, Laura Ingrahams, Donald Rumsfeld, and all
the way up to George W. We would get straight answers. When pigs fly.
1. What is an acceptable number of our forces to sacrifice? And donít
say none, because that is a convenient, politically correct answer. A
certain loss of life has already been factored into the equation, as if it
is some sort of game or business plan.
2. What is an acceptable number of Iraqi citizens to sacrifice?
3. Are you going to the front lines? I would love to see a masked Rush
Limbaugh trudging around Baghdad as the mustard gas lies heavy in the air.
There would be a whole lot of fumbling and mumbling before a straight
answer to these questions is given, especially the last one. I would be
the first one to cheer on our combatants, as long as they include the
children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives of
the Radio and Television Conservatives, the hawks in the halls of Congress
and the administration, all the way to the President. If that criterion
was met, we would never go to war.
Here is another question: How many billions of dollars do we spend if this
drags on and on? The latest wrinkle is that Turkey is going to allow us to
station our troops in their country. Allow. For a mere 20 billions dollars
or more. Think of the precedent that sets. Who pays for it?
I have some suggestions. Anyone who has a pulse knows that our economy is
in trouble. People with 401Ks and other retirement accounts have lost a
lot of money in the first two years of the Bush administration. It is now
in the third year, too late to blame everything on Bill Clinton. People
without retirement accounts find it difficult to make ends meet, and many
have lost their jobs. Fuel costs are rising, unemployment is up, and
consumer and investor confidence is down. The vast majority of our people
cannot afford to help pay for a war that could cost a trillion dollars.
And by the way, how are we going to pay for this endless drain and cut
taxes? To make matters worse, our president misses no opportunity to makes
his tired, well-rehearsed ďWeíre gonna disarm this manĒ Preaching to
the Choir speech, and the effect is usually a steady downward spiral of
the stock market. The Far Right claims that the economy is just fine, and
that there is no recession, and if there is, it is not their fault. Let
those who are happy with their bank accounts, and who are so gung ho about
charging into Iraq put their money where their mouths are. Let them write
some large checks specifically earmarked for the war.
A more serious suggestion: There is terrorism, real or just below the
surface in the planning stages. There are those who fund it. It may be
Saudi Arabia, it may be Osama bin Laden (from Saudi Arabia), it may be
Saddam Hussein. If we are able to corner that money, it should be used,
all of it, to compensate countries engaged in the war on terror. That is
the real war, and a difficult one to attack. There is no easy, specific
target, so it appears that Iraq has become the dog to kick. That is what
people have a hard time understanding.
Unfortunately, it seems that the Bush administration is Hell-bent on
rampaging into this war no matter what, no matter how illogical or
inconsistent their rationale. Additionally, they have done an atrocious
job at diplomacy, and getting others on board. Cowboy diplomacy does not
work, except for those with a mindset to sit back and watch a television
war, like watching football or pro wrestling. This is not a game, and is
not a sport. This is life and death.
When you have time, watch the movie JFK. In the middle of it is a great,
long scene between Kevin Costner and Donald Sutherland, who plays a former
CIA operative. He explains why Vietnam went on so long when it could have
been curtailed. It might give a clue as to some motivations for this
looming, potential catastrophe. It has to do with money, power, and the
A few months ago, I talked with a real former CIA undercover operative. He
said that the decision to go into Iraq has been made for some time, and
all that we are hearing now is meaningless; a lot of sound and fury and
smoke and mirrors. It is a fait accompli.
The only thing that could happen to make me feel better concerning the
Iraq situation is that worldwide intelligence indeed has some information
that we do not know about, and should not know, making it absolutely
necessary to proceed as threatened. If that is not the case, invest in