Happy Christmas, Jon...
Over the last month I have been swapping emails with a pro-Bush blogger, Jon Reimer. Jon, who is so enamoured of Bush and his aggressive neo-con agenda that he is joining the US military reserves, says I should have a Comments board so that readers like him can post their opinions.
Unfortunately, I don't have time to respond to everyone's comments on a Comments board, but as a special Christmas present to my new friend Jon, I'll give our correspondence an airing here.
I hope these emails will make interesting reading for others. As you can see, Bush really has polarized US public opinion and it is going to be VERY hard for any Democrat to sway pro-Bush voters like Jon in '04.
P.S. If anyone else has any issues with my Blog, please email me.
It all started with me trying to convince Jon that Bush Thanksgiving turkey was a cheap PR stunt...
From: Jon Reimer
Sent: Sunday, 7 December 2003 1:13 PM
so youre telling me that the pics of George holdin the turkey surrounded by
smiling soldiers was staged with a plastic turkey? and what, actors? and i
find it hard to believe that the president of the united states can be
afraid. especially when surrounded by his own troops.
personally ittl be Bush 04 for me.
ashame your not an american or id ask you which democrat youd vote for
(since we can see you dont like bush)
take a picture of a kangaroo for me
Sent: Monday, 8 December 2003 7:03 AM
To: Jon Reimer
The Bush thanksgiving story was widely reported outside the USA. I guess
you would call the UK Independent (one of the top 5 broadsheets in Britain)
a reputable paper. Here's what they had to say about the turkey story:
"Yesterday it emerged that the Bush turkey, images of which were published
round the world, had been a "model" adorning the end of the buffet line and
that soldiers were served their meals from cafeteria steam-trays."
Similarly, the White House lied about a supposed encounter with a BA
airliner en route to Baghdad. Here's a reputable story from ABC News.
Sorry, Jon, but the man you plan to vote for is an habitual liar.
Unfortunately, Americans always seem to feel constrained to believe their
coutry is a religion and their incumbent president is therefore as far
beyond criticism as Jesus Christ.
And yes, I am not an American, but you could argue that the policies of G.
W. Bush affect my world more profoundly that my own government's decisions.
I can't vote for or against the guy, even though he is probably the most
powerful person in the history of the universe. So my Blog is my vote.
I really hope I can help you change your mind about Bush... any chance???
From: Jon Reimer
Sent: Wednesday, 10 December 2003 2:13 PM
uh, didnt get the plane deal, so they filed as another plane? cool, way to
make it a surprise.
and dont ever compare George to Christ. As a Christian I have a relationship
with Christ because he is my savior. he granted me eternal salvation.
Bush is simply the president of my country and therefore deserves my
allegiance. i have extreme patriotism (obviously) but i do not worhsip or
idolize my country and theres no way my country can compare with my God.
other people maybe, but not me.
btw, if you want to hear more about Christ, Ill tell you, but George he is
not, and George is NOT he.
and GW has alot to do to beat Clintons lying presidency.
Sent: Thursday, 11 December 2003 8:38 AM
To: Jon Reimer
There's a fascinating statistic in US politics. If you go to church
regularly, or synagogue, you vote Republican two to one. If you don't, you
vote Democrat two to one.
Obviously we know which side you are on! But surely you can't just vote
Republican all the time without seriously considering the candidate and the
policies they espouse?
What would it take for you to vote against Bush? I mean, the guy is the most
despised US leader in history, he can't go anywhere in the world without
being cocooned by security people because he is so despised, but back in the
good ol' USA he still has this stalwart, unquestioningly loyal Republican
backing. What would it take for you to change your mind about him?
He has invaded two countries for oil, he has openly launched a new doctrine
of pre-emptive stikes against countries which pose no threat to the USA, he
has walked away from the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse emissions and the
International Criminal Court, not the mention the International
Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, he has sent the US national debt up to record
levels and watched over the deaths of houndreds of soldiers, not to mention
the mutilation of many more, not to mention civilian fatalities... but you
STILL support him!!!
So my question is, really, whether it is worthwhile continuing this
conversation. I imagine that if Bush were tried and convicted of War Crimes
by an international tribunal in the Hague, you would still support him,
right? So what on earth would make you change your mind about him?
What if I proved that he lied, not once but ten times? Would you still vote
for someone you knew to be a liar?
From: Jon Reimer
Sent: Friday, 12 December 2003 9:18 AM
I certainly respect you for your steadfastness.
Find for me one president that hasnt lied. or any nation leader.
now that by no means makes it right, and sure bush has probably made
mistakes, but yup i still back him.
now about war and pre-emption. those countries were obvious threats to the
afghanistan's taliban was a huge backing for al-queda, the cause of 9/11.
what would you have done if terrorists destroyed and devastated two national
icons with thousands of casualties and wouldve destroyed another? sit back?
not america im afraid. we do not stand by and watch or citizens die. the
terrorists have started this war, we are simply bringing it to them. saddam
was a terrorist supporter, and even if he wasnt that he was a tyrannical
despot that deserved a regime change. less iraqis are dying today then when
saddam was in power. the iraqi people are better off because of our
and duh, people die in wars. it is an effect that our soldiers are willing
to accept. personally i am enlisting in our selective service. and if im
drafted (i shouldnt be but anyway) than i will gladly fight for my country,
or the liberation of an oppressed people, or to eliminate terrorists.
dont mention 'nam, i didnt agree with that.
what about ww2? that had millions upon millions of casualties and i dont
hear anyone complaining about fdr being a murderous leader.
and there is no way you can call bush our worst president. you need to work
on your us history. his leadership after 9-11 was unprecedented. if al gore
had been in office i would be ashamed to be an american.
personally, if i was president, i would have invaded all those middle
eastern islamic terrorist-supportin countries. bin laden or saddam has got
to be in one. and they all need reconstructed. i say put the entire us army
in the area to fix it. but thats not possible becuz of islam.
im not sure about all that stuff you said bush walked away from, could be
true, i just havent heard it. and the turkey is embarassing, hey, it was
just a pr coup.
and i totally agree about the church. except you may want to check your
views on authority with christ's.
christianity is a much more interesting topic than politics. ;)
Sent: Friday, 12 December 2003 7:00 PM
To: Jon Reimer
I agree that Christianity is more interesting than politics. Unfortunately I
think the Bush administration has brought about a crisis in international
relations that will determine what kind of world we all live in for the next
thousand years, so I feel obliged - as a Christian who cares for his fellow
men and women - to deal with that right now.
In an ideal world, politicians would do their jobs with honesty, decency and
humility, then we could all forget about politics. Unfortunately, as
everybody knows, politicians today are far from that ideal! No wonder half
the USA doesn't bother to vote, even though the US President is now the most
powerful individual in the history of the planet (in Australia, by the way,
voting is compulsory).
And you are right again - nearly all politicians lie, it's more or less a
necessary part of the job. On the other hand, there are great leaders who
arise from time to time, like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, who do not
resort to lies. The US President should be such a person. You should all
demand such a person as your leader. But politics in the corporate
capitalist world is designed so that anyone without powerful financial and
political backers has never got a chance - and who is going to back someone
who always tells the truth? Nobody who matters.
You're also right about the Taleban. They were a ruthless regime that
deserved to be removed from power over a decade ago. And certainly they were
the kind of regime that would support anti-US terrorists at any opportunity.
The threat needed to be removed.*
But the same doesn't apply to Saddam Hussein. He was a ruthless dictator,
but he had been severely disabled by a decade of UN sanctions. Do you know
that on the day after 9/11, General Wesley Clark was on air with CNN and
someone phoned him from the White House and told him to pin it on Saddam?
Clark hesitated, saying there was no proof - and all this time later, there
is still no proof! Just because Bush and his buddies keep linking Saddam and
9/11 in all their speeches doesn't make it true. Even Bush admitted, a few
months ago, that there is no proof to link Saddam and 9/11.
The Bush boys said Saddam represented a threat to the USA. Maybe back when
he invaded Kuwait he did. But at the time the US invaded Iraq, he didn't.
Saddam was trying to save his own ass from his own people and from the UN.
He apparently met with Osama and the Al Quaeda boys about 8 years ago, but
he was not interested in getting involved with religious fanatics - the
Muslim clerics in Iraq and Islamic fundementalists in general were probably
his greatest danger. Saddam wanted nothing to do with Al Quaeda! He never
talked to them again!
So why did the USA invade? Why did the White House try to pin 9/11 on
Saddam, instead of going after the real culprits? Think about it...?!
You say, "the terrorists have started this war, we are simply bringing it to
Sadly, no, you are not bringing it to them. Bush tells the troops they are
better off fighting terrorists in Iraq than back in the USA. But you cannot
call everyone who opposes the USA a "terrorist". It's stupid! A US general
in Iraq recently admitted that they have found very few foreign fighters
amoung the Iraqi resistance. Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, and in
fact the support for anti-US terrorists is growing around the world as a
direct result of Bush's oil-grab in the Middle East. The war in Iraq is ding
nothing to help stop terrorism - it is helping it grow!
You say "the iraqi people are better off because of our intervention."
That's easy for you to say, watching Fox News and CNN. But the Iraqi people
themselves do not agree. Just read a few Iraqi Blogs - try
http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/ which is a blog by a well-educated,
Westernized girl in Baghdad. Her blog today says:
"Iraq no longer feels like a country- it feels like war spoils: the winning
team gets the pickings."
The Iraqis ARE thankful that Saddam is gone. Now they want the USA gone as
well. Most believe they have swapped one oppressor for another. They are not
getting freedom, or peace, or even justice.
You say "if im drafted (i shouldnt be but anyway) than i will gladly fight
for my country, or the liberation of an oppressed people, or to eliminate
Noble sentiments. I admire you. I am a pacifist myself and I would never
harm anyone, but I do admire your readiness to sacrifice yourself for the
good of others. But would you die just to secure the oil-based energy future
of the US economy? Would you die to help Bush get re-elected?
And as for WWII...!!! Hitler was universally detested, he invaded half a
dozen countries before the world moved against him and he had already
declared his intention to conquer more countries. He was a racial
supremacist who had the strong support of his propaganda-blinded people. You
can't compare Saddam to that, however bad he was.
n the other hand, you COULD compare Bush's moves towards global empire with
Hitler's. You could compare Bush's manipulation of public opinion with
Hitler's. You could compare the amazing phenomenon whereby a whole nation of
people actually go along with this crap... !!
Listen, Jon. Don't you think it's kind of funny that you actually read my
blog and emailed me in the first place? I get the feeling that you are
searching for the truth on all this, it's important to you. I think that is
very admirable - it is what I am after too.
Christ said we should "do unto others as you would have others do unto you".
Put yourself in the shoes of the people around the world who oppose Bush. We
don't get to vote for this guy, but we suffer the consequences of his
actions. We look to US citizens like yourself to vote against him and save
the world from further madness. We believe in the values of truth, justice
and equality which the USA professes to support, but we don't see any
evidence. Instead, we see GREED.
* NB while I agree that both Saddam and the Taliban should have been
removed, Bush should have supported the UN efforts to remove them. Instead
he sabotaged the UN so he could grad the oil. But that's another long
(John's next reply here is missing - I'll dig it up later - but I've quoted him in my reply below)
Sent: Wednesday, 17 December 2003 6:16 PM
To: Jon Reimer
I don't think the Democrat candidates are ridiculous, but I think their
protracted debating across the country does nothing to help their cause and
it does makes them look foolish, particularly against an unopposed
candidate like Bush. It's good to have a public debate on issues, but
perhaps it would be better to choose a candidate by a less public method,
and unite behind that person. I think Dean will win the candidacy, which is
great because he is the only serious contender who consistently opposed the
US invasion of Iraq. He cannot be worse than Bush.
Responding to your other points, there is no doubt that the
neo-conservatives who put Bush in the White House (Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld,
Cheney and others) have a plan for "global empire". They even published a
document declaring this policy about a decade ago - it's called the
"Project For The New American Century" and you can read it at
www.informationclearinghouse.com (or do a Google search). What is
particularly scarey is their
suggestion that they would not be able to implement these "global empire"
ideas without the support of the US people, and that support would only
come about through a dramatic attack like 9/11. This has lead many people
to suspect that the neo-cons allowed Bin Laden to hit the WTC, or even
encouraged the attacks - why else is Bush freezing sensitive documents
which the 9/11 investigating panel is demanding to see?
The neo-cons' crazy ideas were an embarrasment to previous Republican
administrations, but while Clinton was in power the neo-cons grew more
powerful. These people are the new Nazis, in my opinion. You can be quite
sure they already have plans for invading Syria, Iran and North Korea.
You said: ‘Then how come Japan and Germany arent our 51st and 52nd states?’
Fortunately for Japan and Germany, post-WWII USA was quite a different
country to what it is today. Americans are proud of talking about how they
"won" WWII and saved everybody else's sorry asses, but the truth is the USA
probably wouldn't have even JOINED the war if Japan had not attacked Pearl
Harbour. The US has only ever joined in a war if it thought there was an
economic advantage to doing so, and it has benefitted economically from
nearly every war it has fought.
You said: ‘i find the oil charge extremely hard to stomach. first, im still payin a buck 50 for gas.’
Because the Iraqi resistance keep blowing up the pipelines and sabotaging
US efforts to increase oil production. And because a decade of US-sponsored
UN sanctions crippled the Iraqi oil industry and left their oil refineries
rusting and rotting. And because Bush doesn't want you and your family to
get cheap oil, he wants to stock up the Federal Reserve. He wants his oil
baron buddies to make millions by importing cheap oil from the Middle East
and selling it to the US government at top dollar. It's already happening.
They'll bring the price of oil down when it's politically convenient.
You said: ‘and the us army is not "another oppressor", we're simply fighting the
terrorists who are pickin fights.’
Really? Why are they "terrorists" just because they fight against US
soldiers? Surely that is not the definition of "terrorism"? If someone
invaded your country and you resisted, would that make you a terrorist?
Absurd! The whole concept of a "war on terror" is absurd. You have fallen
for the Bush post-9/11 propaganda in a big way, haven't you?
You said: ‘and bush is shootin for a July 04 pull out date for our troops.’
Yeah, just perfect for the elections. Surprise, surprise. Do you really
think the USA will leave the Iraqis to run their own country? Do you think
they won't maintain a massive military presence there for another 20 years?
Do you think they will allow an Iraqi government which is not basically a
puppet regime like in Afghanistan?
You said: ‘lets see who answers the call when either ww3 breaks out, or some oppressed
ppl somewhere cry out for liberation’
Ideally, that would be the UN. That is why the UN was created. The UN had
contained Saddam Hussein. He wasn't a threat to the USA or even Israel. The
UN was doing its job, their weapons inspectors didn't find anything because
there was nothing to find. But that wasn't good enough for Bush. He said
the USA had to invade, they couldn't wait any longer because the UN wasn't
doing its job properly. Remember?
The US government doesn't like the UN because they want to maintain US global
supremacy. That is my fundamental objection to US foreign adventures - they
don't want peace, equality and justice for everyone, they just want it (or
the illusion of it) for the US public. That is not a very enlightened
stance. It condemns the rest of the world to Second Class status, and why
should we be happy with that? Indeed, it is an utterly hypocritical stance
- how can you preach equality for only a select few? It is hardly very
Christian, is it?
As for Revelations, yes I have read it. But if you think that YOU can tell
me exactly what it means and how it applies to US policy in the Middle
East, wel... you are more into conspiracy theories than me!
Sent: Sunday, 21 December 2003 7:56 AM
To: Jon Reimer
Are we making any progress here? Your arguments are certainly not convincing
YOU SAID: "heck ya theres a plan for invading Syria, Iran and North Korea.
on Terror would be inconsistent if those countries werent neutralized as
- Neutralized? Do you really think Iraq has been "neutralized"? Don't you
think there is more real on-the-ground anti-US feeling than there ever was
before the invasion? Not just in Iraq, not just even in Islamic countries,
but around the world? The US is more disliked now than ever, and radical
Islam has been strengthened by the US "crusade" (as they see it).
YOU SAID: "Nazis? Do you know what a Nazi is?... Visit the Holocaust Museum
in Washington, D.C. Look at the pictures of the piles of bodies, the mass
graves, the concentration camps, and the gas chambers. That is what Nazism
means... Bush is a Nazi huh? Yup, just like them."
- Do you know how any Iraqis have been killed since the US began its Shock
and Awe campaign? I bet you don't. Because your government doesn't even keep
a body count of Iraqi. Go have a look at the photos of dead children at
www.iraqbodycount.net , or go read the story at
Of course I realize that Bush's crimes, right now, are nowehere near as bad
as Hitler's holocaust, but - strangely enough - the fact that they are even
comparable doesn't seem to bother you. When Hitler invaded one country, then
two, then three, there will still many people in Europe inclined to leave
him alone, many even supported his ideals until they themselves felt
And the neo-con agenda certainly IS fascist. Go find any definition of
facism and apply it to them - it works.
Regarding WWII, you said "ppl like you ... insist any armed conflict America
into is an attempt to conquer the world. No offense."
- OK , no offense taken. But I think the neo-con agenda for world domination
is NEW, that's what makes Bush and these idiots so scary. Nobody I know
believes the US ever tried to take over the world before. This is a radical
change in US values, yet the US public (ie, you) don't seem to know or care.
That is even more scary.
You said "If the US knew about the concentration camps there is nothing that
stop our military from paying Hitler a not so friendly visit (if he
dominated Europe because we stayed out of the war)"
- The US knew Saddam was gassing thousands of Kurds and Iranians using
chemical weapons that were sold to him by the Reagan administration.
Rumsfeld went to visit Saddam and assured him that the US' public opposition
to chemical weapons was LESS IMPORTANT than their desire to maintain good
relations with Iraq (in other words, less important than the oil pipeline
deal they were working on). The US also knew Pol Pot was massacring hundreds
of thousands in Cambodia 20 years ago, what did they do about that? What
about Idi Amin in Uganda? What about Chinese human rights abuses right now?
When the Agentine junta was "disappearing" thousands of innocent civilians
in the 70's and 80's, the US gave them a nod and a wink and said they
supported their efforts in the "civil war". I could go on... (sigh)
YOU SAID: "You are terribly misinformed my friend."
Yeah, sorry about that. I gotta watch more CNN...
YOU SAID: "Please explain the rejoicing upon the capture of Saddam."
Of course the Iraqi (mostly) hated Saddam. But that doesn't justify what
Bush has done.
YOU SAID: "here in America we believe in human rights."
Tell that to Jose Padilla and the detainees in Gitmo who have been detained
without charge or access to a lawyer for 2 years.
YOU SAID: "North Korea is ruled by a despot that rivals Saddam. He
periodically rounds up the beautiful women in his country, rapes them and
then kills them."
Where did you get THAT story from? I agree that Kim Jong-Il is a sick mofo,
but seriously you are way more into "conspiracy theories" than me... Sounds
like another attempt to demonize the bad guy and find a new face for
Ultimate Evil. Which makes Bush's schoolboy comic book crusades all the more
palatable on US TV.
YOU SAID: "Do the Korean people deserve democracy and freedom? Absolutely. I
assume you stand against that."
- why would you assume that? Of course I don't oppose that, I strong support
it. I just don't thinnk an illegal invasion of their country is the best way
to achieve it. There are peaceful means available. But what about
Mozambiqueans? Do they deserve the blessings of a US invasion as well?
And I mostly agree with your definition of terrorism. YOU SAID: "Terrorists
plant bombs in vehicles, strap them to
themselves and drive to public places and kill armed and unarmed personnel,
innocent Iraqi citizens and American soldiers. The people supposedly
resisting against invasion are killing their own kin. That is terrorism."
Agreed, except for the bit about "armed" personnel and "American soldiers".
WWII French resistance members who atacked Nazi soldiers were not
terrorists, were they?
How come everybody who opposes Bush is a "terrorist"? I suppose I am a
You said you would define the "war on terror" as "someone invading my
country and me resisting" - eh?? That makes no sense to me at all. I still
say the whole concept of a "war or terror" is absurd.
YOU SAID: "I dont know about you but I will not stand idly by
while the Muslims in the Middle East stir up their cesspool of terrorism
caused by the poverty that Islamic leaders create."
Yeah, but that poverty is aided and abetted by the US and Israel. One of Bin
Laden's primary demands after 9/11 was that the US withdraws it's military
bases and stops colluding with the Saudi royal family. Both those goals have
been achieved. Like I said above, the US supported Saddam and even sold him
chemical and other weapons for many years. Talk about not seeing the
"splinter in your own eye"...
YOU SAID: "lay out to me what you think will happen in Iraq and we will
I think Bush will try to stay in Iraq as long as possible and the Iraqi
people will not get a truly democratic government... unless the political
situation in the USA means a full pull-out (a la Vietnam) is the only
alternative to losing an election, or unless Bush is defeated by a principled
Democrat who is willing to stand up to the oil industry and other powerful capitalists.
YOU SAID: "where was the UN when Saddam slaughtered the Northern Kurds? Or
when he invaded his fellow Muslims in Kuwait?"
I don't know if the UN tried to pass a resolution condemning Saddam for
gassing the Kurds, but if it did I assume the Reagan administration would
have opposed it (since they were supporting him at the time). And as far as
I can remember, the UN actually supported the first Gulf War, which was a
totally different can of worms to the present illegal US invasion. Saddam
invaded Kuwait, an illegal (pre-emptive?) strike which deserved to be
opposed. Doesn't make Gulf War II justified.
YOU SAID: "the UN wasn't doing its job properly..."
- partly because the US doesn't let it. How many UN resolutions against
Israel has the US ever supported? I think there have been about 73 and the
US has opposed them all. The UN Security Council doesn't work, it needs to
be revamped, but the US will not even support that. Because the Bush Boyz
think it is in the US interest, as the sole superpower, to have a weak and
control-able UN. They just want it to rubber stamp their own actions and
block anybody else's.
I'll post some of this stuff on my Blog soon, so you can remember what you
Cheers and beers, happy Christmas and a peaceful 2004 for all...
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