Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Call for Progessive Blogs and Progressive News to Cover Kurdish Issues More Thoroughly

First of all, I need to say that I like Op-Ed News and respect all of the people who volunteer and work on it. That is why I feel when a form of ethno-biased censorship emerges; I'd like to suggest that Op-Ed considers putting the issue up to debate and scrutiny.

Here is what happened this past week after I submitted pieces on the bombing of Kurdish territory in Iraq by Iran. (I felt like the subject was not getting but minimal light of day in the Western press and that people still understand too little about the complex journey the various Kurdish groups have made to this junction in history where statehood is within inches of their grasp (as is further annihilation).

So, this is the article I wrote—with the hope that more peoples would dig into what and who are Kurds and come to realize how interconnected and multifaceted we all need to see their complex existence in four separate nation stats now in 2008.

The article was called: Iran Continues to Attack Kurds in Iraq—but West Barely Takes Note

The article was rejected by the OpEd News editor—something that happens now and then.

What was new was the following letter from the Op Ed News Administrator is this response:

Op Ed News Administrator wrote:

“The Kurds of Northern Iraq were given that territory on a silver
platter by the Bush/Cheney regime, and yet they just cannot stop
killing Turks and Iranians.”

“Until the Kurds in Northern Iraq stop the terrorist attacks, Turkey and
Iran will continue attacking. Why is the sovereignty of Northern Iraq
more important than that of its neighbors?”

I wrote back to this editor/administrator stating:

My submission was intended to point out(1), in general, all the news most (let's say 85% of the ) people are getting is that of the Turkish-Kurdish-Iraq angle and (2) there are other angles to be paid attention to if you read the margins of the news--which most people don't do.

So, my intent was to put out a very short news article/editorial--summarizing different news stories over a three year period.

Now, turning to the almost condescending and misleading response the editor/administrator made (see above), you will notice, that that the editor/administrator brings up a third or fourth set of issues.

The third issue is that there is a lot of pent up anger in the Middle East and in the USA towards Kurds--for whatever reason.

The fourth is that the editor was writing to Kevin Stoda, i.e. he is talking to someone who knew who were Kurds were as early as 1980 (before most U.S. soldiers in Iraq were born). At that time, 1980, my first and only professor in Political Science that decade was Dr. Charles Benjamin, who had written his doctoral thesis during the previous four to five years on the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

In short, long before mainstream America knew who Kurds were, I (Kevin Stoda) was seeing them as a case study of a people, like the Kosovors, Slovenians, Croats, Slovakians, or Montenegrins, i.e. an example of peoples who have been looking for a country to call their own for centuries.

The news editor’s hyper focus or self-indignation at certain groups of Kurds (and his turning around and painting all the Kurds in whatever color he wants) skews the less abstract reality that these Kurds live. He brushes away their reality in a cursory and almost racist in tone.

I suggest the news editor do a special report on Kurds in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey to balance out the picture he portrayed to me.

Moreover, this request for more special reporting of the whole Kurdish issue is something, I believe all good progressive newspapers and blogs should be doing in any case.


Saturday, March 29, 2008


I don't usually push another article from someone else on my blog, but this campaign in New Hampshire to Impeach President and Vice President quickly and easily must be shared:

The article show the form to be used in all 50 states simultaneously.

Our children, grandchildren and others will thank us for pushing through what Congress has failed to do.

Let's go Democracy and Constitution USA!!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Iran Continues to Attack Kurds in Iraq—but West Barely Takes Note

Iran Continues to Attack Kurds in Iraq—but West Barely Takes Note

By Kevin Stoda

In an indirect tit-for-tat venture, this month Iran has once again begun bombing northern Iraq’s Kurdish region—i.e. one month after Turkey not only began bombing northern Iraq but sent troops in.

The Bush administration made no waves about this attack on the sovereignty of Iraq and made no show of supporting Kurdish allies in the region.

The Voice of America News reports, “The Iranian military has frequently shelled areas of northern Iraq it suspects of harboring members of the Kurdish separatist group PEJAK, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan. Tehran accuses the group of launching attacks inside Iran from bases in Iraq.”

While there are certainly Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria who support greater freedom and autonomy for Kurdish citizens and regions, it is a surprise that the USA has not made a strong statement in response to the recent March 2008 shelling of Kurdish villages in Iraq.

Just as Turkey sees the Kurdish state and Kurdish separatist organizations and military arms as a threat to the nation, Tehran feels the same.

However, silence from the U.S. statement on the recent Iranian incursions into or targeting of Iraqi Kurdish lands in Northern Iraq is telling, the U.S. is pushing away from its 2 decades-long strong support of Kurdish groups in and outside of Iraq.


Iraqi Officials: Iran Shells Kurdish Villages in Northern Iraq

Iraqi Officials: Iran Shells Kurdish Villages in Northern Iraq,

Iran’s War on the Kurds,

Kurds Flee Homes as Iran Shells Iraq’s Northern Frontiers,

Kurdish News,

Wood, Graeme, “Iran Bombs Iraq”,

Iranian Shells Land in Kurdish Villages in Norther Iraq, Killing 2


Thursday, March 27, 2008

OBVIOUS REASONS that Kansans Need to Sack Republican Senator Pat Roberts in 2008

OBVIOUS REASONS that Kansans Need to Sack Republican Senator Pat Roberts in 2008

By Kevin Stoda, internet anti-war candidate for U.S. Senate (KS)

Kansans need set the tone for the whole nation these 2008 U.S. elections, i.e. by getting rid of Senator Pat Robertson (Bush-Cheney crony) as soon as possible.

Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas has again and again failed to take positions of good judgment on issues over the last decade. Roberts has also been found absent when big votes are up on the Hill in Washington D.C., e.g. refusing to vote on the Feinstein cluster bomb reduction bill or to vote on Casey’s Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation bill.

Meanwile, in other Senate votes, Roberts has supported increased sanctions, demagoguery, and military posturing towards Iran, rather than negotiating. Roberts also voted against key immigration legislation by refusing to force cloture on the floor of the Senate and by voting against the Immigration Dream bill.

Starting with Roberts’ failures in the early part of this decade to stave off the poisonous Republican-led invasion and occupation of Iraq (i.e. no WMDs)—costing Kansas tax payers billions of dollars in the interim--, Roberts has continued to support skewed tax policies and has generally not used his moral and political party authority to reign in Neo-con adventurism with Iraq, Pakistan and Palestine.

Worse still, instead of supporting good universities and good research in America, Roberts promotes hiring university students to work for the CIA, etc. during their college years.


Senator Roberts has not done Kansas proud in the most recent congressional sessions, either.

Roberts is on the Senate’s Select Ethics Committee, but he has never considered investigating either investigating or impeaching any leading Republicans—e.g. George W. Bush, President or Richard Cheney, Vice-President for lying to congress or thwarting the constitution by rewriting international standards on torture and war-making. Neither has Roberts supported the people in their outrage against having their phones and e-mails unnecessarily and groundlessly tapped.

Roberts is on the Senate’s Standing Finance Committee, which has overseen the worst economy since the 1930s. He and his oversight buddies in the Senate helped in the creation of this major recession while cutting taxes to the wealthiest and overspending in many pork barrel projects. Nor has Roberts held the line on defense spending. (Kansas needs a Harry Truman-type of Senator—not a revolving door for big military contractors.)

Roberts is on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Children are still getting left behind and testing has not been well directed in schools. Healthcare costs for the many people who are underemployed or underpaid in Kansas are still way out of control.

He is also supported by big drug companies to a great degree.

Roberts has also recently voted against bills to improve the energy efficiency of automobiles in the U.S. The energy costs effect Kansas more than those peoples in most other states due to the huge distances Kansans off need to travel. Energy costs especially hurt the elderly, who are on fixed incomes.


Looking at Senator Roberts’ home page, one of his big interests is to promote businesses becoming dependence on the federal government or federal spending. Here is one of his links that explains the wheres and hows of doing business with the federal government:

The only good investment opportunity with great backwash that could help Kansas businesses would be Roberts’ verbal support of “wind energy”, i.e. energy which Kansas already exports as far away as Florida. However, Roberts doesn’t discuss the creation of gasohol in the USA that is not made from corn. How neglectful when Kansas can grow alternative fuel producing crops, such as sugar beets and a variety of grasses, much more cheaply and while using less water and fertilizer!

In short, Roberts is not a forward thinker.

He is a “yes” man and he covers up for bad policy and bad politicians:

Roberts supported a war in Iraq in 2003—not because Saddam Hussein was a real direct threat nor because Saddam Hussein was promoting global terrorism—but simply because he liked the idea of the U.S. taking over Iraq.

Roberts, like his mentors (George W. Bush and Dick Cheney), thought taking over Iraq would be cheap. He thought a short war would be good for the economy and Kansans always needs jobs in the army reserve, etc. This kind of thinking should not be in charge or our nation’s finance plans in the Senate or anywhere.

Moreover, Roberts is disingenuous in his pronouncements. For example, on his own website, he claims to support the status quo in gun control and legislation. Yet, in 2005

Roberts cosponsored a bill which promotes reckless sales of weaponry in America in a land already having trouble keeping weapons our of hands of mass-murderers on a monthly basis.

Most sadly, Roberts continues to support continuing endless wars in Iraq and elsewhere. He has had many chances to stand against war and has never moved to end cloture or to vote for reducing military commitment and spending—leaving more and more Kansas worried about war and becoming another victim of war.


Not only do Kansans need to get rid of Senators, like Roberts and Brownback, starting in 2008, the whole U.S. voting public is called to throw the bums out in 2008.

Help make America and the world a better place to live in starting with the U.S. Senate this autumn!

If Pat Roberts and other U.S. Senators won’t do the right thing by American veterans of war, clean the capital, please, America!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The late Claire Patterson, Dr. James Hansen and the Need for more Scientific Heroes across the Globe

The late Claire Patterson, Dr. James Hansen and the Need for more Scientific Heroes across the Globe

By Kevin Stoda

Clair C. Patterson likely saves the world twice in the 20th Century and most folks don’t know who he was. Patterson was the scientist who fought big business in America and political allies in the 1950s and 1960s and proved that lead poisoning in the atmosphere stemmed primarily from auto fumes, i.e. Ethel or leaded gasoline.

By the 1950s Patterson had noted through his research that people on planet earth were already suffering and dying from increased atmospheric lead poisoning starting in the 1920s when the Ethel (lead) was first added regularly to fuels to reduce knocks.

Lead in U.S. gasoline was banned in the 1970s thanks to Clair Patterson’s tireless campaigning. The subsequent banning of lead in fuels in other countries around the globe in the following year and decades has saved untold thousands of lives--and possibly helped millions to avoid suffering unnecessarily due to man-made lead in the atmosphere.

In fighting for the health of millions, the brilliant scientist Patterson, who discovered the age of the earth in the 1950s, was one of the first to study glaciers to interpret climate change in the 20th century.

Interestingly, Clair Patterson’s other research also led scientists to warn of the global dangers of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were also banned in the U.S. 1970s and subsequently around the world starting in the mid 1980s. CFCs were identified as the primary culprit behind the depletion of the Ozone in the world’s atmosphere.

Until the 1970s refrigeration technologies & related industries around the planet earth had been expanding the usage of CFCs for decades.


With the passing of Clair Patterson at the end of the last millennium, our planet has needed new scientific heroes.

One of the more important modern heroes, i.e. walking in the footsteps of the forgotten Clair Patterson, has been Dr. James Hansen. Dr. Hansen first spoke to Congress in 1987 about the threat of global warming to our’ and future generations here on earth.

According to the report and interviews on Democracy Now this past Friday, called “Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming”,

Dr. Hansen’s reports for the U.S. science agencies have been censored many times in the past two decades. For example, this occurred around 1990 under the George Herbert Walker Bush administration and then again in this very decade through the antics and weak cover-ups of scientific facts and data analyses by the current George W. Bush administration.

Despite his battles with both NASA, Karl Rove, and others in the Bush administrations who have tried to shut him up, Dr. Hansen has time and again made his voice and the finding of the research from the Goddard Instituted public and well-circulated.

For example, a NASA report last spring 2007 clearly stated the findings of empirical studies and modeling trumpeting the concern for the adverse role that man-made climate change was having on atmospheric warming: “NASA and Columbia University Earth Institute research finds that human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth's climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet.”


In short, despite 7-8 years of trying to squelch the facts, the light of truth is shining from NASA and other scientific communities around the world, global warming is a worse threat than ever.

Not since man-made CFCs and man-made lead products threatened the globe through the 1980s has the world faced a greater threat.

Yet, the disinformation campaign that oil companies and Republican bigwigs have been producing in the U.S. leads me still to find that BBC, CNN, and other discussion lists are still filled with ill-informed naysayers.

They claim the sky is NOT FALLING!!!!

No, propaganda wimp!! They aren’t falling, the skies are getting HOT, HOT, HOTTER!!!!

Just check out the glaciers on every continent warming up at this important website:

This year-old NASA fact-sheet shows temperatures rising in the eastern part of the continental USA by 10 degrees in about 7 decades!

Moreover, NASA finds that storms are furthered to get more volatile as the planet heats up:

Meanwhile, as glaciers turn into wetlands, it is possible that are future will not include a planet that is able (or willing) to absorb the increasing heat and heat related problems that man has had a hand in creating:


According to a National Coalition Against Censorship report on science in America,
Censorship from the government has been occurring on many fronts.

Referring to a recent administrative attack on research related to wildlife in the U.S. said Jay Dyckman, Director of The Knowledge Project at NCAC, stated, “This directive is a violation of scientists’ free speech rights…[and although] the government has the right to require its scientists to clarify that their opinions do not represent official government positions, but it cannot suppress information scientists produce simply because that information does not conform to the Administration’s policy goals.”

On the other hand, worse (in some cases) than direct censorship in science may be the domain of self-censorship promoted by those receiving funds and not desiring to turn-off donors, leadership of various sort, or potential donors & supports by failing to fully reveal findings or to provide adequate details on research in fairly open manners.

National Geographic reported a survey in 2005 about the fact that “surprisingly, the results showed that scientists feel most affected by informal constraints.”
The researchers found: “Such constraints include the threat of social sanction. Scientists may stay away from research not because it's illegal, but because it breaches an unspoken rule about what is appropriate to study and what is not.”
On the other hand, I can certainly think of many scientists in military related research projects who don’t perceive any social sanctions among their peer groups to stop them from continuing.

The National Geographic article did report that research related to sex is frequently the most taboo and both federal funding and private funding have been limiting modern day Kinseys’ research in this field for decades.


The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has put out a scorching report on the world wide decline of glaciers due to suddenly rising global temperatures.

The report is entitled: “Going, Going, Gone. Climate Change and Global Glacier Decline!”
Only now are major political and economic thinkers beginning to push to get China and India, Indonesia, et. al to join the West in the worldwide concern and common interpretation of facts revealing the reality of climate change.

For example, some economists, like Paul Krugman, notice that CLIMATE CHANGE is the issue of the 21st century.

Krugman wrote recently in an article called “Dealing with the Dragon”:
“Last, but most important, is the issue of climate change, which will eventually be recognized as the most crucial problem facing America and the world — maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of our lives. Why is climate change a China issue? Well, China is already, by some estimates, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. And as with oil demand, China plays a disproportionate role in emissions growth. In fact, between 2000 and 2005 China accounted for more than half the increase in the world’s emissions of carbon dioxide.

Krugman continues, “What this means is that any attempt to mitigate global warming will be woefully inadequate unless it includes China. Indeed, back in 2001, when he reneged on his campaign promise to limit greenhouse gas emissions, President Bush cited the fact that the Kyoto treaty didn’t include China and India as an excuse for doing nothing. But the real problem is how to make China part of the solution.”
Basically, the linkage will have to come from the scientists and technological experts in India, China, the USA, and other parts of the globe.

These scientists, engineers, and developmental policy experts will have to be able to come up with not only climate models that are accepted by more and more of the remaining badly informed skeptics world-wide, but they will have to be able to offer technological and policy solutions to the problems of both man-made global warming and natural global warming.

Let us not only pray for such heroes and intellectual leaders to step forward!
Scientists most step forward of their own accord and stand up for what the atmospheric changes are telling all informed peoples to do now.

Simply put, this third major attack on our atmosphere in less than 50 years, i.e. global warming, requires many more Clair C. Pattersons and Dr. James Hansens across the planet who stand up to governments, boards of directors of firms & universities, and screwy think tanks—and tell the truth over and over until no naysayers are left in the room!!!

Self-censorship cannot be allowed a place in this discussion.


Biographical Memoirs: Clair C. Patterson,

“Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming”,

Krugman, Paul, “Dealing with the Dragon”,

“Political Science: A Report on Science & Censorship”,

“Research Finds That Earth's Climate is Approaching 'Dangerous' Point”

“Speaking of Public Health: Lead Pollution”,

World View on Global Warming,


Tuesday, March 18, 2008



By Kevin Stoda

Dear U.S. Senators and Congressmen,

I received in an e-mail today a simple and clear plan to get the U.S. forces out of Iraq as soon as possible and to help the people of Iraq take responsibility for our mess—while we remain helpful to them in rebuilding their depressed country, i.e. their country, which we tore up in 2003 and failed to build as soon as was possible.

The plan is called “A RESPONSIBLE PLAN TO END THE WAR IN IRAQ” and begins by noting that General Petraeus, himself, doesn’t think there is any short, medium, or long term solution for the war in Iraq to be found on the battlefield.

A short synapses of this plan is found here:

According to the authors of the 7-step plan (including many of Americans best diplomatic thinkers and participants in many wars and battles & international negotiations), there are two major steps to be considered and serious steps to be undertaken:

First, “How do we bring American military engagement in Iraq to a responsible end?”
Answer: “There is no military solution to the problems faced in Iraq: the real progress that can be made requires diplomatic, political, and economic means. We must stop counter-productive military operations by U.S. occupation forces and end our military presence in Iraq.”
Second, “How do we prevent a repeat of the mistakes we've made?
Answer: “The breakdown of checks and balances in our government led to bad decision-making which damaged America's national security. Ending this war and preventing future situations like it requires that we restore these Constitutional checks and balances and fix the ways in which our governmental, military, and civil institutions have failed us.”
The full document can be found here:

It is now mid-March 2008. Let’s get this started, CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS, by the end of the week—or impeach anyone who gets in the way!!!!!!


WINTER SOLDIER BLACKOUT CONTINUES: Look in the Mirror America!!!!!

WINTER SOLDIER BLACKOUT CONTINUES: Look in the Mirror America!!!!!

By Kevin Stoda, Kuwait

As there are reports across the globe of a USA-wide blackout of major media news from the WINTER SOLDIERS presentations or soldiers’ testimonies on the Iraq and Afghanistan War at the Labor College outside of Washington D.C. this week, it is time to recall that only one week earlier, George W. Bush told American soldiers in Afghanistan that if he was 20 or 30 years younger he’d love to join them. HOGWASH!

What a ludicrous claim, eh? The man did everything he could to stay out of Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s—i.e. when the original WINTER SOLDIER hearings took place.

Has George Orwell’s predicted-world come fully into reality in the U.S.A. in 2008?

Only the independent media, like REAL NEWS NETWORK
, is doing its job.

Otherwise, only the Huffington News seems to have noticed this gaping absence, despite complaints appearing all over the web, like on YAHOO discussion lists.

Even the BBC’s coverage has not been as good as one would expect from a respected international news network.

This week’s sad and truthful testimonies from Iraqi and Afghanistan during the 5th anniversary of George W. Bush’s illegal pre-emptive attack on Iraq in 2003 should be on the evening news in America for ten minutes a day all this week—or all month till Bush is impeached and the boys and girls of America are called home.

The silence from America is deafening.

No corporate U.S. media was on hand in 1971 for the original WINTER SOLDIER in Michigan. But, why repeat that error?

Now the world’s-most-expensive media conglomerates, like CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS are missing the aircraft carrier of truth in our nation’s harbor

Thank goodness for Democracy Now (which has added over 400 stations since this war on Iraq was revealed as planned by it’s new reporters in August 2002)--and other independents, like Alternet

Well, America, I plead with you to spend at least one hour watching some of the hour-long recordings of those presentations.

Go on the web and get hooked on to the biggest news story of 2008 and the most important stories of the past decade—the real stories of our new heroes, WINTER SOLDIERS 2008.

Penny Coleman says, “If America listens to what they say, the war would be over tomorrow.”

Make these wars over today, America!

Occupy the congressional offices till the troops are brought out of those quagmires.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Even as Kuwait and Gulf Region face the 3rd driest winter in over 50 years, Kuwait will invest $77billion dollars or more in a single new project to b

Even as Kuwait and Gulf Region face the 3rd driest winter in over 50 years, Kuwait will invest $77billion dollars or more in a single new project to bring more people and development to the Gulf

By Kevin Stoda

In contrast to the USA in 2008, Kuwaiti investors and government appear to have a magnificently positive attitude towards investment.

This past February 2008, the government and Kuwaiti investors reported the opening of the largest investment project in history—on the border of Iraq—and a short distance from Iran.

This large investment, expected to cost over $77 billion dollars, is taking place even though Kuwait—as a potential future home to migrants from all continents—has many strikes against it.

The project is called, “The City of Silk”. The name is based on the fact that one of the famous ancient silk routes had passed for centuries through the tiny region where present day Iraq and Kuwait are situated.

Strike One!

In February 2008, meteorologists reported that the region of Kuwait was suffering the third driest winter since 1957. Twice in four days Kuwait suffered major dust storms in late February and more storms in March. Usually these storms occur only in late spring or early fall.

Rumors are abound in Kuwait currently that the meteorological community is predicting that summer 2008 may be one of the hottest in memory as well—as little or no spring rain arrives.

Kuwait is already annually number one or number two in the heat index each summer.

Strike Two

In anticipation of Earth Day 2007, scientists in, Ker Than and Andrea Thompson, had already predicted that between 2008 and 2018 (Kuwait and) the world will have reached its peak production capacity in petroleum.

These two futurologists predicted that by 2020, at the latest, “global oil production will begin an irreversible decline, possibly triggering a global recession, food shortages and conflict between nations over dwindling oil supplies.”

Let the world not forget that one of the albeit-er claims evoked by Saddam Hussein in his country’s 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait was, namely, that Kuwait was drilling into its oil fields!

Currently, Kuwait is also planning a great expansion of oil exploration and development on the Iraq border. Couldn’t history repeat and war break out again some day over oil or water in the region?

Such a large multibillion dollar investment at a time when the Iraqi neighbor remains so politically unstable would appear to be like bating a lion.

Strike Three

Israel has been buzzing with rumors for more than a year that if the USA doesn’t get involved in a military conflict with Iran in 2008, it will likely send some sort of attacking force against nuclear related facilities.

Such rumors have been rampant since 2005 when U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney first claimed that the U.S. was holding Israel on a leash to not attack Iran.

A new impetus for Israel to go ballistic (not just metaphorically) occurred in early February 2008 as Iran launched a rocket into space. The Israeli Institute for National Security has responded this month of March with a report on that rocket test.

Luckily, for world oil prices, the Iranian launch of its own rocket is seen by most level-headed analysts as simply a step towards increasing national pride in its Persian science and rocket achievements—i.e. not as posing much of a new threat to the region since Iran had already launched Russian built rockets over the previous three years.


According to the official hype on the humongous project, “Silk City” will take shape on islands and wetlands south of where the Euphrates River flows into the Persian Gulf.

Official statements from the organizers of the mammoth project explain:

“The oil-rich Gulf state of Kuwait plans to build a major new city inspired by the Silk Road that it hopes will become a global trade and tourist attraction. . . . The $77 billion ‘City of Silk’ aims to revive the ancient trade route by becoming a major free trade zone linking central Asia with Europe.”

It will be larger than any other development in the Middle East, topping even the magnificent scale of projects in Dubai.

Although the government of Kuwait has not fully signed off on the project yet, it should be noted that with oil moneys flooding into Kuwait currently at such a high rate, this probably Kuwait’s only opportunity to overcome its 2 decade-long economic decline in regional political-economic strength and build for the long-term.

This investment project would enable Kuwait to keep many of the fast-arriving petrodollars from simply making capital flight, i.e. if there are any downturns in the global, regional or local economy.

Moreover, the Kuwait Investment Authority alone, has currently some $225 billion dollars on hand for investment. It is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

In addition, there are Saudi investors and other regional investors—possibly even from Iran or Iraq--who potentially will be able to chip in, too.

Meanwhile, with the USA economy in the dregs, investors from the USA are looking to the Persian Gulf as one region to take their funds and capital to these days.

Even after the U.S. Congress vetoed a UAE companies takeover of a major U.S. port two years back, the UAE and other regional states in the Gulf have continue to seek and receive U.S. investment.

Still, it would seem strange for any state or private investor to bet all their capital on projects in Kuwait, i.e. with a civil war raging still in Iraq—only miles from the “Silk City” investment site (and only a 50 to 100 miles from Iranian waters).

Moreover, as a lowland country, Kuwait is likely to be effected adversely by rising sea levels from global warming than many other nations around the world are. (Perhaps this is why, in fact, a whole new city is needed in the future.)

Nonetheless, like the builders of the Tower of Babel or the World Trade Towers, the designers of the Silk City project are prepared to move forward in this turbulent time and in a turbulent corner of the globe and build a leisure and trade center that the northern end of the Persian Gulf could certainly use as a development anchor for years to come.

If peace through infrastructural development is possible, perhaps this project should be attempted—even where the war-torn states of Kuwait, Iraq and Iran come together.


Friday, March 14, 2008

ARAB TIMES REPORTS: “U.S. Can’t Handle Care Demand”

ARAB TIMES REPORTS: “U.S. Can’t Handle Care Demand”

By Kevin Stoda in Kuwait

It is no world-wide secret! The United States is not keeping up (nor will it try to keep up) on the physical and mental health care needs of American Veterans returning from war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That is why one headline for an Associated Press (AP) article this last weekend in Kuwait’s ARAB TIMES read: “U.S. Can’t Handle Care Demand”.

It sounded like the phrase in the Jack Nicholson & Tom Cruise film where Nicholson shouts, “You can’t handle the truth!”--doesn’t it?

Americans and American congressmen need to come to handle the truth about war costs and healthcare expenses.

The AP article above noted statistics in recent US military reports that show that during the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are “15 soldiers wounded for every fatality, compared with 2.6 per death in Vietnam and 2.8 in Korea.”

This huge shift in war statistics involving the huge percentage of those surviving--but injured—American veterans in war these days results (1) from U.S. advances in medical handling of injuries and (2) from the fact that the weapons of choice in these 2 locations of asymmetric-warfare have often been roadside bombings.


Two sets of recent official governmental reports have indicated that already, over 29,000, U.S. soldiers have been treated for physical injuries--while more than 31,000 other cases of non-combat related illnesses and injuries have been reported stemming from both battle field theatres.

Veterans for Common Sense provides a helpful advocacy forum & website for veterans (and their loved ones) looking for support.

Paul Sullivan is executive director for Veterans for Common Sense, and he is cited as stating recently that “the VA’s budget request for 2009 … does not pay adequate attention to chronic problems facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, such as drug and alcohol addictions.”

Here is the Veteran Administration’s mental health care website:

However, it needs to be noted that there is currently a backlog of 400,000 medical claims at the VA.

On the other hand, as of last Autumn 2007 it is reportedly a bit easier to have a claim reviewed. (Also, budget expenditures on the VA have increased a little bit over the past year.0

Meanwhile, Dr. Gerald Cross of the Veterans Administration notes that already 68,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars have or will have post-traumatic stress disorders.

The same ARAB TIMES article (cited above) noted that 120,000 veterans have filed a class action suit which is now holding hearing in the U.S. courts.

AL-WATAN DAILY in Kuwait also ran these headlines on a related set of recent reports from Washington, D.C: “U.S. Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan Find Harder Time Getting Mental Health Care”.

In this article (printed in a country where nearly 35,000 U.S. troops are regularly based), it is noted: “More than 27 percent of troops on their third or fourth combat tour [in Iraq or Afghanistan] suffered anxiety, depression, post-combat stress and other problems. That compared with 12 percent among those on their first tour.”

In rugged Afghanistan, many soldiers have had a particularly tough time getting mental health treatment. In 2003, three soldiers who were veterans of Afghanistan occupation & fighting returned home and killed their wives.

Suicide is also rife in both Afghanistan and Iraq for American soldiers, too. On the other hand, whereas in Afghanistan there were only four reported suicides this past year, in Iraq some 34 Americans have reportedly killed themselves—the highest rate during the past 5 years.


A series of military, medical and governmental reports and draft-reports have reviewed the mental health of veterans.

The following are some of the recommendations which have been made time-and-again to help troops in-and-out of battle zones:

(1) Give them longer home time between deployments
(2) Undertake more focused suicide prevention training
(3) Give more insurance for marital and family counseling

Since the wars began, the U.S. military has actually raised the length of the tour of duty for U.S. forces in both war theatres.

In addition, it has also been recommended in a recent Army report that much additional private or civilian psychiatric help for the battlefield areas needs to be hired and deployed, i.e. as the VA and military are currently overwhelmed.

Interestingly, it would seem that the overall number of veterans with mental issues, such as depression, are still being undercounted by the U.S. government and the U.S. military.

Some years back, a much more independent report on the psychiatric needs of Americans in war zones, like Afghanistan and Iraq, was issued by the New England Journal of Medicine. The article was called “Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care”, and it notes that there were in 2004 already 103,000 instances of mental health disorders among veterans at that stage, i.e. stemming from these two wars.

I really doubt the numbers have gone down annually since that time.

Moreover, the lack of sleep felt by soldiers—few of whom get their nightly ration of sleep while living and operating in war zones—reinforces both long and short-term psychological stress.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan alone, up to 16 percent of U.S. troops have reported taking some sort of mental health medication.

If the Vietnam War-era rise in PTSD reported cases is matched, mimicked, or surpassed by those soldiers who have been involved in the Wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan in this decade, this following re-run is surely to be expected.

The following abstract of a 1988 Science magazine article, “The Psychological Risks of Vietnam for U.S. Veterans: A Revisit with New Data and Methods” is sobering. If the Vietnam War-era rise in PTSD reported cases is matched, mimicked, or surpassed by those soldiers who have been involved in the Wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan in this decade, a re-run of heavy societal and financial costs is surely to be expected:

“In 1988, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) of a representative sample of 1200 veterans estimated that 30.9% had developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their lifetimes and that 15.2% were currently suffering from PTSD. The study also found a strong dose-response relationship: As retrospective reports of combat exposure increased, PTSD occurrence increased. Skeptics have argued that these results are inflated by recall bias and other flaws. We used military records to construct a new exposure measure and to cross-check exposure reports in diagnoses of 260 NVVRS veterans.”

That abstract continued as per its findings, “We found little evidence of falsification, an even stronger dose-response relationship, and psychological costs that were lower than previously estimated but still substantial. According to our fully adjusted PTSD rates, 18.7% of the veterans had developed war-related PTSD during their lifetimes and 9.1% were currently suffering from PTSD 11 to 12 years after the war; current PTSD was typically associated with moderate impairment.”


It is timely that as the 5th year of the War and Occupation of Iraq approaches, a new group of Winter Soldiers are converging on Washington to make the case that these two wars need to be ended.: NOW!

What this weekend’s veterans have to say about the war can be seen at Iraq Veterans Against the War:

Support can also be made at this organization’s website:

One hopes that, while making their case to the nation to end the war, these same activist veterans can also call attention to the needs for medical and mental health treatment which most veterans have been succumbing to while making their case to the nation.

In the meantime, U.S. citizenry need to recall that Middle Eastern oil countries might bail out Citicorp and the banking sector.

However, who will bail out the victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? That would be--the veterans and the U.S. taxpayers in North America—wouldn’t it?

Americans cannot depend on foreign countries—like Saudi, Kuwaiti, UAE or other Gulf countries--to take care of U.S .veterans and their needs.

America must do it. Moreover, companies profiting from war should be charged a bill by U.S. taxpayers.

This week Americans and other war veteran supporters can take these issues of veteranmedical care and mental health costs to the politicians in Washington and demand that Washington take better care of patriots, citizens, and the U.S. economy—and do it immediately!!!.


Dohrenwend, et. a l. “The Psychological Risks of Vietnam for U.S. Veterans: A Revisit with New Data and Methods”,

Hoge, Charles W. , Castro, Carl A., Messer, Stephen C., McGurk, Dennis, Cotting, Dave I., & Koffman, Robert L. “Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care”,

Jelenek, Pauline, “U.S. Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan Find Harder Time Getting Mental Health Care”, Al-Watan, 8-9 March 2008, p. 19.

Laurence, Charles, “Soldiers Kill Wives after Serving in Afghanistan”,

“U.S. Can’t Handle Care Demand”, ARAB TIMES, 8 March 2008, p. 39.
Roehr, Bob, “High Rate of PTSD in Returning Iraq Veterans”,


Monday, March 10, 2008



By Kevin Stoda

I recall 8 years ago sitting in Dr. Kenneth Meier’s graduate level political science seminar on “American Institutions” at Texas A & M University (i.e. Home of the Bush Library and former campus dominated by ex-CIA Chief William Gates and Company) and hearing the good professor of American Institutions share how he was very disappointed in one of the projects and publications he had edited on “The Presidency”.

Dr. Meier shared how that project had been intended to be interdisciplinary from the outset.

The hope was that experts from across the humanities and social sciences would be able to broaden the perspective of political scientists’ current-take on the “institution of the American presidency”.


Alas, when the resulting work was published on the institution of the U.S. Presidency around 2000, Dr. Meier sniffed with disappointment and indicated that he had only to report that he personally was not convinced by the strong arguments in the edited work concerning the historical studies of the presidents as individual, i.e. psychological histories.

I.e. Professor Meier was disappointed by the perception of the interdisciplinary grouping of academics that the character and psychological make-up of the individual personage acting out the role or office of the U.S. President actually played a greater part in how the institution of the executive branch functioned in the U.S.A. in any epic than did any game theoretical- or statistical manifestations developed or described by political scientists.

Such theoretical and statistical predictions are generally based upon trends in research on bureaucracies or developed through the observations of codes & practices of the 4th branch of government (i.e. our Washington bureaucracy and civil servantry), the judicial branch, or Congress over time.

That particular Ken Meier seminar took place just prior to the Bush Cabinet and Clan taking over the White House the following January.

Within the earliest weeks of 2001, many of the stronger theories of IPE were targeted by this Bush-Cheney administration for testing at the international level.
Further, economic and balance of power theories between the second and first branches of government dating back to the Reagan era (and much earlier) were tested in the area of military spending, deficit spending, and social welfare privatization.


In short, both America and the political scientific world have been shaken in the intervening period. The Bush-Cheney government has gone all out to test theory and to spend, spend, spend.

Right now, political science and the world are still trying to recover from the shake-up of the past 8 years.

Here is a list of some of the theories taken on:

(1) Just War Theory dating back to St. Augustine
(2) Democratic Peace Theory
(3) Cheney’s Favorite—“We learned from Reagan you can cut social welfare, cut taxes, and run up debt—with no long term repercussions—because the government is in charge of money.”
(4) This is not to be confused with the Chicago Business School Theories under Milton Friedman of SHOCK THEORY, i.e. placing an economy in crises
(5) IPE theories supporting the growing GLOBAL WARMING CONTROL REGIME
(6) Theories of basic constitutional rights, like habeas corpus, bills of rights, freedom of dissent, etc.
(7) Theories of human rights and torture in war and peacetime
(8) Theories of separation of powers between all the branches
(9) Anti-monopoly laws, esp. as applied to federal control of communications and bidding on government projects in war zones
(10) Various beloved theories of neo-cons galore
(11) Theories of prisoner rights and military courts
(12) Theories of economics and rebirth of Keynesian economics
(13) Theoretical frameworks and treaties related to arms agreements and balances of powers among states
(14) Attack on prior research and theory concerning tit-for-tat practices in warfare or leading to escalation of conflict.
(15) Military theory of “Shock and Awe”

This is just an appetizer set of the general theories that have been trialed and tortured over the past 8 years.

Come on all you political scientists!

It is clear that the persons in the White House have either challenged or trumped theory at some many turns over the past 8 years.

Cognitivists and political psychologists at the fringes of the Social Sciences have been ignored to long. They have a lot to offer to political science and other humanities or social studies.

At this junction in history, it is certainly time to start reworking/overhauling the past emphasis (biases) on statistics and codification of processes in governance and political party transformation!

New revamped theories are needed imminently for testing now that the”babies have been thrown out with the bathwater”. These must absorb the psychological and cognitive aspect of research by key actors and stakeholders

What will be recovered?

Only time will tell.

However, if both political and social scientific research are going to become more relevant to Americans, they will need to tie in good theories with good observation on the ground. (They will have to have both “barefoot social sciences” as well as “number crunchers” working hand-in-hand with theorists from now on.) Further, specialists from other humanities and from the field of education must be invited into the process of revival.


Returning to Dr. Kenneth Meier’s disappointment that political institutional studies don’t match up to psychological profiling and histories of presidencies, it is time for Political Science in America to regain a balanced means of theoretical theory development.

Political scientists and other social scientists who have been for far too-long enamored with statistics and game theory must get out from under their computers and meet the public and world at the face-to-face level.

Otherwise, these same good social scientists might as well recognize themselves and their publications as no better than those journalists sitting at the bar who watch CNN report the news which they should be doing. (i.e. Quality of communication and level of differentiating information shared broadly are damaged in such processes of number-centered analysis that excludes good face-value analyses.)

NOTE: Again, one tip I can give to political scientists is to look at where history and psychology are strongest at interpreting presidential and other government (institutions) actors’ behaviors. Appropriate those tools and use them often in political science more broadly. Eventually, this will make the profession more respected and appreciated by the masses and end-users of the research.


Saturday, March 08, 2008



By Kevin Stoda, Kuwait

Alongside my regular private school teaching load, for the current two month periods I am teaching Sunday School to pre-teens from India and the Philippines.

So, it was a pleasure as a lifelong educator to find that this International Women’s Day (March 8) weekend, our Sunday Bible school class for Pre-Teens’ focus was first on two strong women found in the Old Testament: [1] Deborah, the prophetess and leader of ancient Israel and [2] Jael (Yael), the female assassin of Israel’s arch enemy, Sisera, whose Canaanite military forces had taken over and dominated Israel militarily in the 20 years prior to Deborah’s leadership.

Happily, at least one boy already knew the tale quite well, but sadly the majority of boys and girls in class here in Kuwait—as well as in the USA and around the world--don’t know the tale of Deborah, and how she also served as judge of Israel (as well as being famed as prophetess).

The second part of this weekend’s Sunday school lesson focused on Burma’s legendary female leader and Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The children in my Sunday school class learned from a handout prepared by DPI publications on Aung San Suu Kyi that this modern day heroine:

-was born in Burma and her name means “A Bright Collection of Strange Victories”.
-became fatherless at age 2 when her father, Aung San, hero of the War of Independence against the British Occupation, was assassinated in 1947
-was educated in India while her mother served as Ambassador there for Burma
-graduated from Oxford University with degrees in philosophy, politics and economy
-returned to Burma to serve her mother at her mother’s death bed around 1988
-was asked to help lead the Movement for change & democracy in Burma
-was the winner of elections in Burma but was immediately jailed for 6 years as the Burmese military oligarchs refused to give up their fascist power
-is a disciple of Ghandi’s non-violent principles and fasted on behalf of persecuted and tortured friends and supporters while under house arrest
-became in 1995 UNESCO’s special advisor on human rights.

I added, to my student’s amazement, that Aung San Suu Kyi is again under house arrest—and has been for most of the last two decades.

These young children whom I was teaching Sunday school to were simply astounded and asked. “How could she still be alive after all that time imprisoned?” they questioned.

“Well, I noted, she certainly must do exercises and eat right most of the time. She must also pray.” I answered.

As our lessons this month focus on “conviction and courage”, I asked the students what they thought Suu Kyi’s convictions are.

Immediately, the children replied that Suu Kyi believed in freedom and felt she had to speak out against the military junta that was destroying her land and her peoples desire for freedom.

The same DPI Sunday school text added this question for the class:

“Suu Kyi (Soo Chee) chose to stand up and fight for her convictions. The opportunity arose for Suu Kyi to live out the convictions she had learned in her family. Her father had died for those same convictions. What are some of the convictions that you have, and how do the people in your life see those convictions?”

Sobering thoughts for any people, eh?


February 29th FRIDAY TIMES here in Kuwait contained an article entitled “Egypt Men Say ‘I don't to Woman Marriage Registrar’”.

This article is about some Egyptians who are opposed to being married under one Amal Soliman, who “is the first woman in the Middle East and possibly the Muslim world to be authorized to performs wedding ceremonies and sign marriage and divorce contracts.”

As my mother, Deloris Click, has been a United Methodist Minister in the conservative Bible Belt in the USA and has been marrying people since the 1970s in America, it is astounding to me that in both the Middle East and in the USA many Christians and Muslims in this year, 2008, still refuse to have a woman marry them.

On the other hand, as my mother has, in fact, married dozens and dozens of couples—even in rural Kansas’ & rural Oklahoma’ counties, I certainly know that not all men are so backward as the Egyptian article portrays.

However, even in Egypt, the new female justice has support.

Amal Soliman’s position of “maazun”, as her official governmental position is known in Arabic, connects “the worlds of bureaucracy and religion—two pillars of Egyptian society—the graduate in civil and criminal law said she is ‘more qualified’ than her colleagues to perform the function of ‘maazun’.”

The Egyptian Justice Minister, Mamduh Mari, concurred--indicating “Soliman’s nomination depended on her abilities rather than on her gender, but it has raised eyebrows and anger in the streets in the male dominated Arab Country.”

Despite the uproar in the streets in some sections of Egypt, Ali Saman, former head of Al-Azhar University’s religious dialogue committee, notes, “I’m not shocked at all, it’s a purely legal job, reading Koranic verses and conducting a marriage.”

In short, despite Islam’s professed historical bias in support of women’s rights in the Middle East, many tribes, political parties, and peoples in the Middle East don’t desire to see any more Deborah-like judges springing up all around the region in 2008.


Journalist Welsh Irvine writes that once the Teleban was kicked out, the number of girls entering school was much higher than anticipated. For example, NGOs and government officials expected an immediate jump of 1.2 million students in school but the jump was all the way to 3 million!

On the one hand, there have definitely been improvements in the area of schooling for woman and girls in many corners of Afghanistan since the NATO-allied Invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. However, there is a strong backlash against women and women’s rights in that war-torn land this 2008, too.

An example of this tribal and primeval backlash was the recent assassination of Mohammed Kamal Khan, father of one of the few daughters in Afghanistan to attend public and religious school training during the Taliban years.

Arti Pandey tells the story of “The Girl who Grew up as a Boy” in a 27th of February International Herald Tribune article. This girl referred to as “Azaad, the boy” was born to Khan as Azaada as a girl.

Kamal had noted the young girl, Azaada’s “strong aptitude for learning”. Soon, with the support of this loving father, Azaada became a real modern-day Yentil. (See movie of Barbar Streisands of the same name, set in a 19th century Russian Jewish community.)

Azaada was enrolled in school under the name of Azaad, which means “Freedom” in Hindi and Urdu.

“From then on, Azaada was treated as a boy, both at home and in school. Over the next several years, Azaada’s conversion to Azaad was complete. The liberty she had as a boy far surpassed anything girls experienced before, during or after the Taliban rule.”

It should be noted that Mohammed Kamal Khan’s “commitment to girls education was part of a lifelong endeavor.” After the Taliban were ousted, he began to support the non-profit organization Barakat’s Literacy Courses for girls in Faryab.

Sadly, Azaada’s father Kamal Khan was shot dead in December 2007. It is hoped that his daughter Azaada and others can carry on the struggle in months and years to come.

In any case, the courage of Khan and his daughter sets an important standard for other parents in the Middle East who are trying to raise their children to create and maintain a better world this 2008.


This past week, for the first time in history, an all-Kuwaiti female political bloc was established to vie for seats in the next set of parliamentary elections, which will likely take place in less than two years. (Kuwaiti women first received the vote and the right to stand for parliament only in 2006.)

On Thursday March 8, 2008, two days prior to International Women’s Day, a group of women activists “declared the first-ever all-woman grouping that represents the country’s diversified arena. The aim of the new women’s bloc is to promote a strong role for Kuwaiti women in the decision making process.”

According to the daily AL-WATAN, the new grouping was announced at the Kuwait Lawyers Society on Thursday. Currently, in Kuwait there is only one female minister and no female representatives in parliament. However, there are some women active in local governments. This is why the new group’s immediate aims are “to prepare women to occupy leading positions among decision makers.”

Interestingly, the women of Kuwait had been very active and open in promoting resistance and political rights during the Iraqi invasion in 1990-1991—as many of their husbands had fled the country or went underground.

However, with subsequent strong pressure from the Islamic bloc in Kuwaiti parliament in the 1990s, women had bowed out of politics for nearly a decade—although the Emir of Kuwait had tried to gain the right of franchise to females in Kuwait in the same era.

Now, as the women actually have now gained the right of vote and the right for participation in national politics, women leaders throughout Kuwait today are reviewing their previous positions in the political arena and are seeking to be engaged more and more.

One area in which women and the youth of Kuwait have been most active is in the press. One other arena, the women and youth coalitions have been seeking to reverse the Islamic bloc’s passage of segregation laws in Kuwaiti schools 8 years ago. They have also been vocal in the area of Bedouin rights.

For example, Muna Al-Fuzai, writes brilliant and fair societal articles for the Kuwait and Friday Times. Sheikha Muneerah Al-Sabah speaks out for improving education in Kuwait. Dr. Ebtehel Ahmad of Kuwait University finds herself being interviewed often in the press on topics that include liberalism in Kuwait, women’s roles in society and culture, and for making reports on the National Democratic Alliance.

In 2000, schools in Kuwait were officially segregated by gender as the Islamic bloc in the Kuwaiti parliament pushed through legislation turning-back-the-clock on improving education in Kuwait for all.

In the intervening years, though, most schools in Kuwait have been showing a variety of forms of civil disobedience and civil resistance in this arena of segregation--with many private schools and all universities, for example, ignoring and circumventing this segregationist legislation time-and-again.


This anti-segregationist trend in Kuwait is an important shift in focus in this land at a time when segregation in U.S. schools is actually increasing for boys and girls.

In an ARAB TIMES article entitled “Georgia County Eyes Single-Sex Schools” dated 27 of Februaray, 2008, one AP writer notes, “Nearly four decades after a rural Georgia county stopped segregating its schools by race, it wants to divide students again—this time by sex.”

It is also noted, “Districts across the US have been switching to single-sex education since federal officials issued rules to ease the process in 2006. Nationally, at least 366 public schools are either entirely single-sex or have single-sex classrooms”.

In short, as this particular AP article had been published in Kuwait in the run-up to recent protests against segregation of sexes in Kuwait schools, I would say that what happens in the U.S. in coming months and years in the area of the re-segregation of schools by gender will probably have an affect both on developments in female education in Kuwait and throughout the states of federal Afghanistan—i.e. places which are trying to recover from the years of Taliban dominance.


Abduldayem, Mervat “ Kuwait Witnesses First-ever Female Bloc”, AL-WATAN, 7 March 2008, p.1.

“Georgia County Eyes Single-Sex Schools”, ARAB TIMES, p.13.

Irvine, Welsh, “Journalism”,


Thursday, March 06, 2008

HOW DID IT USED TO BE IN AMERICA 30 YEARS AGO, Grandpa??? Marking 30 Years of Radical Rightwing Islamic movements in the Middle East and Right Wing Pa

HOW DID IT USED TO BE IN AMERICA 30 YEARS AGO, Grandpa??? Marking 30 Years of Radical Rightwing Islamic movements in the Middle East and Right Wing Patriotic Backwash in America

By Kevin A. Stoda, on-line candidate for Kansas U.S. Senate post

If your grandchild ever asks you about what life was like in America right after the U.S. forces pulled completely out of Vietnam so quickly in April 1975, tell him the truth next time.

I for one will never forget the sincere sadness on the face of my 7th grade instructor ( and a former helicopter pilot in Vietnam) who with the Fall of Saigon on that fateful day pronounced solemnly that no one would ever forget this date in American history when the U.S. lost its first war.

That was on, of course, the 30th of April. i.e. I still remember the date.

However, with a little more study I soon came to know that the U.S. had been kicked out of the Nicaragua by Augusto Sandino in the 1930s—i.e. after 20 years of the U.S. having forces there.

Moreover, I also learned that in the 1910s the U.S. had had to leave Mexico twice—the second time in 1916 after General Pershing’s failure to find Pancho Villa and his rag tag “terrorist forces”. (This was during Mexico’s Revolution—i.e. a 10-year long Civil War.)

I wonder when the U.S. will realize it is time to pull out of Iraq and/or Afghanistan.?? Or any other civil wars?

Moreover, how many other times have Americans had to suck up their pride and pull out of wars or other people’s civil wars?

Well, during the Reagan era, I recall the U.S. forces being pulled out of Beirut after heavy losses from a terrorist attack during the Lebanese Civil War.

Then in the 1990s, there was that high-tailing out of Somalia’s civil wars.

At least in the period between 1975 and 1980 when I went to high school, there was a historical reality of a phase in U.S. history when there was a majority of Americans who had a common sense of purpose.

We told ourselves time-and-again in those days in the post-Vietnam Quagmire period: NEVER AGAIN!


I remember the late 1970s, i.e. as the so-called political and spiritual post-Vietnam era malaise spread across America.

On the other hand, I recall there was a great joy and hope as a country bumpkin Baptist, named Jimmy Carter from Georgia walked between the Capitol and the White House on Inauguration Day in January 1976.

That idealist politician set in place the first and only U.S. foreign policy that was actually intended to really support human rights and democratic choice at the center. (Arabs and Muslims actually look fondly at the Carter-era these days. They see him as an honest broker in the White House—fairly rare in U.S. Middle East history.)

Similarly, there had been great relief in America and around the world when the U.S. Congress had actually had the backbone to tell the Executive Branch and the CIA to pull their plug on Angola, i.e. another covert U.S. supported war in Africa in 1975-1976. (George Bush, Sr. was CIA chief around that time, too, and he had had to apologize all over the capitol to help a lot of old spooks who were likely to lose their Cold War era jobs.)

I recall, too, how great it was to be in a Kansas high school (Sterling High School) and to remember clearly that in that time and place that American school district did not allow Army recruiters to wander the hallways shagging down students.

(In contrast, by the time, I myself was a high school instructor in Great Bend High School in Kansas in 1990, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Army-Reserve recruiters were allowed to wander not only the hallways--but were invited to sit down at lunch in the cafeteria recruiting students in the months leading up to the first Iraq War.)

In short, the immediate post-Vietnam Era in America was a relatively safe and secure era —even though the 1940s era of U.S. industrial dinosaurs were hurting and high oil prices were gutting many peoples’ short term hopes for easy money, i.e. as their parents had known so well through the late 1940s through the 1960s.

At least, land prices were high for the farmers in those days. (However, land prices would soon fall around 1982, leaving many in the Midwest agricultural sector worse off throughout the subsequent decade of the popular Reagan-era.)


1979 ended with a series of formative trends in full-swing.

Certain religious and conservative movements merged and painted the word “liberal” as a dirty word in the U.S. press as the Chicago School of Milton Friedman began to dominate MBA classrooms as Keynesians were kicked out right and left—although Keynesian principles would continue to propel economies & countries, like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan forward for another decade or more.

In the international arena, Carter’s policy on promoting real democracy and human rights sent shivers through Latin American and Middle Eastern oligarchies & hegemonies.

The Somoza regime collapsed under a popular movement --later co-opted by the Sandinistas to some degree.

In Iran, the Shah fell and the Saudis began to shake—as even Mecca was taken over by religious and political fanatics--following in name certain messianic figures.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union decided to throw salt in America’s wounds by starting a small arms race and simultaneously invading Afghanistan.

By this time, the U.S. Embassy in Iran had been run over by out-of-control student groups cum-terrorists caught up in the euphoria of a so-called revolution—a movement which has proven to be totally counterrevolutionary in actual practice.

This Islamic revolution, led by some religious zealots, caught the Islamic world by storm in the weeks and years to come—eventually leading not only to the U.S. counterrevolutionary support for Saddam Hussein in a War of attrition with Iraq, but also lead the Saudis, Kuwaitis and others in the region to support that monster Hussein in his attempted war for oil property in Iran.


Finally, it was in January 1980 when Americans had to decide whether they would cooperate in the great U.S. Arms buildup of the 1980s (or not).

That month, Jimmy Carter reinstated draft registration as part of a fairly weak threat to the Soviets after their bungling into Afghanistan the year before.

1980 to 1983 was when the Anti-War movement in America had made its somewhat inadequate stand, encouraging thousands and thousands of young males to ignore the government’s regulations to sign their name on the dotted line, i.e. committing the newest 18-, 19-, and 20- year olds spiritually and mentally to future wars for the coming decades—whether these young men were actually drafted or not.

The anti-war movement actually did strike a cord in America—a land and people still weary of endless wars after being in major conflicts and arms buildups for nearly 35 years, i.e. between 1940 and 1974.

Despite the rah-rah-proud-to-be-red-white-and-blue of the Reagan era, it would take nearly a full decade for the U.S. military to feel secure of itself in the American system to take on an adversary any bigger than the tiny island of Grenada heads-on.

Meanwhile, draft-registration stayed fairly low until the U.S. Congress began threatening to take student loans and grants away from those thousands and millions of young Americans uninterested in encouraging American military journeys and forays into foreign wars once again.

In a way this anti-war movement was supported by war-weariness and inertia than by actual national leadership.

In short, despite the humongous spending on the U.S. military throughout the 1980s, it took until January 1991 before the U.S. actually participated again in a major war. (There was that war in when Bush, Sr. took over Panama in order to kill or arrest Manuel Noriega in 1989. However, that involved almost no U.S. military bloodshed at all.)

I was in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. in January 1991 and heard the Senate debate whether to go to war or not-to-go-to-war. It was a relatively close call.


Despite the U.S. and its coalitions’ surprisingly quick victory in Kuwait in February 1991, I recall that there were continuing brisk quick sales of “Bring the Boys home!” t-shirts in Junction City, home to Ft. Riley until summer 1991 when U.S. forces did begin to trickle back.

In short, Americans were still not ready to return to the sad and strenuous period of American history, i.e. between 1939 and 1975 when every generation of American youth faced constant threats of continuous global deployment.

It wasn’t actually, though, until the combined leadership of the Neo-Liberal Clinton and the Neo-Con dominated Bush-Cheney administration when Americans surrendered their hard fought logic and aversion in the post-Vietnam War America to perpetually sending U.S. troops into harms way around the globe—even proudly calling for unending war against terrorism and a few selected despots.


Now, in 2008 America is in Recession but denial runs rampant—despite the legitimate and illegitimate costs of fighting unending high-cost high-tech wars for nearly 10 years.

This was the nightmare that those of us who refused to sign the selective service papers in the early 1980s had tried to oppose (or at least had tried to get the selective service act repealed-- and disrespected by all Americans in a continuous act of civil disobedience against war ventures).

2008-2009 is time to stop talking about the immediate post-Vietnam War-era as a malaise or the bad-old days as the religious right has historically tried to do and define it as an era of inequity or as “liberal” lost generation.

It is time to stop the 30-year counter-revolution and occupation of the American mindset by those losers of the Vietnam era who sought to replay the endless wars of old in this 21st Century.

Let’s take up where we left off in 1975 and get a U.S. Congress to tell the security regime to sit and heel when told. Vote all big war spenders out—start with Kansas Senator Pat Roberts.

Let’s be bold and redo our foreign policy and build up both an American economy that is (1) not run-Amok, (2) a domestic policy not ignorant of the masses of poor and long-term under-employed, and (3) a foreign policy that speaks carelessly of bombs and war at all costs rather than negotiating peace, respecting human rights, and real populist & democratic trends and forces on this planet.

We will need such a policy if we are to reduce global warming and learn to work well with other nations for the rest of the century.


Monday, March 03, 2008



By Kevin Stoda

At 9:45pm Iraq Time, I checked YAHOO to gain a pulse on how the buzz on the internet is currently on about “IMPEACH BUSH CHENEY” this March 3, 2008, i.e. as the U.S. faces its most expensive single-theater war in history for the 5th straight year.

YAHOO registered 8,250,000 hits. This is an increase of nearly 3,800,000 hits in 3 months time on YAHOO.


A few minutes ago, I had perused the article, “How Republicans Created Executive Branch Hegemony” on OpEd News in which the author, Paul Craig Roberts, writes:

“Following the now established practice by the Bush Regime, Mukasey [the new U.S. Attorney General] told the Speaker of the House that members of the executive branch are above the law and are not accountable to the US Congress, formerly a co-equal branch of government under the US Constitution in the days now past when the executive branch felt obliged to abide by the Constitution.”

After a dose of this article, it was time for me to check up once again on the pulse of the internet to find out how very interested Americans and patriots are still becoming as far as the topic of impeaching the president and vice-president of the United States is concerned.


I originally began this particular on-line research concerning “impeachment bush cheney” in late Spring of 2007 as I simultaneously began studying how the various algorithms used by GOOGLE and YAHOO function these days over time in order register hits and to sort out news and data on the web.

I first published on this phenomena in a short piece at the end of July 2007 called: At 8a.m. Monday July 23: Google Search Shows 2,000,300 Results under "Impeach Cheney Bush"

In that piece I noted that in a single 24 hour period the number of results had increased by 300 under the terms “IMPEACH BUSH CHENEY” on the GOOGLE search engine.

A little more than a month later, I reported again, “ GOOGLE WATCH: IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY rises by 110,000 in less than six weeks-September 5, 2007 “


Suddenly in late autumn, possibly under some political pressure (who knows?), GOOGLE changed its algorithm and the number of hits dropped from 60 to 70% on GOOGLE for the terms “IMPEACH BUSH CHENEY” in a single month. On December 9, I wrote: “At around 8pm tonight my GOOGLE search recorded only 327,000 results for “Impeach Bush Cheney”.”

However, I also headlined a short article: "IMPEACH CHENEY AND BUSH": YAHOO is GOING STRONG with nearly 4.5 Million RESULTS while GOOGLE APPEARS MANIPULATED DOWNWARD.

MARCH 2008

Today, YAHOO results for these words “IMPEACH BUSH CHENEY” are now between 80 and 90% higher than just three months ago at 8,250,000.

GOOGLE results are also back up several hundred percent in the same period to 1,800,000 hits.

With this huge increase shown in articles and websites interested in topics involving “impeach bush cheney” in a three month period, there is no popular reason in existence not to impeach Richard Cheney and George W. Bush this election year.

Now if the politicians would demand what the constitution would demand. IMPEACH NOW!


Craig Roberts, Paul, “How Republicans Created Executive Branch Hegemony”

Stoda, Kevin “At 8a.m. Monday July 23: Google Search Shows 2,000,300 Results under "Impeach Cheney Bush",

Stoda, Kevin, “GOOGLE WATCH: IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY rises by 110,000 in less than six weeks—September 5, 2007”,




By Kevin Stoda, Kuwait

Less than a week after I wrote an article on how safe Kuwait generally is, i.e. SAFETY and LIVING in KUWAIT, i.e. PROXEMICS & LIVING NEXT to the CIVIL WAR in IRAQ , there was a bomb scare in Marina Mall in Salmiya Kuwait at one of the local bank venues on March 2.

The U.S. Embassy’s warden letter states: “At approximately 1230 local time, Kuwaiti authorities ordered the mall evacuated in order to conduct a search of the premises. Post first learned of the evacuation order from Embassy dependents who were present at the mall at the time of evacuation. The order to evacuate was confirmed shortly thereafter . . .Kuwaiti authorities concluded their search with negative results.”


Let me say, I actually Knew it was coming--I mean another bomb threat. It was only a matter of days.

You see, last month while the U.S. press was all focused on the U.S. economy, the presidential race and whether the Writers’ Strike would ever end (and bring back their TV shows), there occurred in Syrai an assassination of one infamous Imad Mughniyah, i.e. one of Hezbollah’s leading militants for decades.

Now, both Israel and Kuwait took immediate notice of what the murder in Syria of Imad Mughniyah likely meant in February 2008.

For Israel it meant that Hezbollah would likely blame Israel. For Kuwait it meant bad memories of Kuwait’s 1980s simultaneously flirting with Islamic extremists and pan-Arab & Palestinian terrorists.

Surprisingly, at the public level, there was actually initially apparent ambivalence in Kuwait as to how to respond to the assignation of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyah on February 12, 2008—i.e. almost exact three years to the day that Rafik Hariri was assassinated in Beirut. (Interestingly, the blame is still more on Israel than on any Lebanese for the death of Mughniyah.)

There was apparent ambivalence because, despite the fact that Mughniya was once charged with terrorism on Kuwait soil, for many decades various Kuwaitis and Kuwaiti groupings have privately blindly supported factions of Hezbollah—no matter how many wars Hezbollah create or governments they undermine.

Meanwhile, within a week a few Kuwaiti MPs actually held a wake for Mughniyah.

Throughout Kuwait discussion became suddenly very excited and agitated. Eventually those same Kuwaiti MPs were expelled from office.

This is primarily because several years ago, “Mughniyah was involved in an attempt on the life of the late Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed, Kuwait's Interior Minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Khalid al-Sabah, told Al-Watan newspaper, adding that no honorable Kuwaiti citizen could defend Mughniyah.”

Moreover, as another Kuwaiti Sunni MP noted, “Mughniyah … is also suspected of hijacking Kuwaiti planes in 1984 and 1988 among a string of anti-Western and anti-Israeli attacks.’”

The Kuwaiti MPs and other famous Kuwaitis at the infamous wake for Mughniyah have been called in the press: The Kuwaiti Hezbollah. Further, they are being sued in court for various actions against the state.

According to Al-Arabia News, “The lawsuit is against Abdulsamad and Lari, as well as former minister Abdulhadi al-Saleh, former MP Abdulmohsen Jamal and municipal council member Fadhel Safar, lawyer Dhaidan al-Mutairi told AFP.’We accused them of being founders and members of Hezbollah Kuwait, undermining national unity and declaring loyalty to Lebanon's Hezbollah,’ Mutairi said after meeting with the public prosecutor. These charges are punishable under Kuwait's penal code, he said. Lebanon Shiite militant movement Hezbollah does not have a known offshoot in Kuwait but some people in the Gulf emirate believe there is such a group operating underground and refer to it as ‘Hezbollah Kuwait.’”


Do you remember the 1980s? Bush and Cheney would like to forget those days. That was when Bush, Sr., Cheney, and Ronald Reagan had a friend in Saddam Hussein.

Most Kuwaitis would like to forget the 1980s--and 1990s when Saddam Hussein invaded and destroyed their homeland.

The 1980s helped set up years of destruction of Kuwait with government and non-governmental groups supporting both sides of the Iran-Iraq war as well as serving technically as a home front for the Palestinian struggles in Lebanon and Palestine. (The Kuwaiti economy also went south with oil prices dropping and property values & the stock market crashing. I think Americans in 2008 can empathize with the economy being a wreck.)

In any case, after the two Kuwaiti MPs of the Popular Action Bloc were expelled at the end of February 2008, it appeared that it would only a matter of days before bomb threats went up around Kuwait Embassies worldwide. This occurred at the end of last week.

Now, Kuwait itself is getting a few bomb threats called in—as was the case this week at Kuwaiti’s favorite leisure location and shopping venue, i.e. Marina Mall in Salmiya.

In short, I believe Kuwaitis were the target of such a bomb threat, but as the U.S. Embassy states, “Be aware of your surroundings!” The embassy warden also asks Americans in Kuwait to call the embassy at these numbers if they see or hear of any future incidents.

The numbers in Kuwait are (965) 259-1581, 259-1583 or 259-1240.