Mark S. Blackburn, MBA

Surely some of my dearest friends believe this war will somehow make the world a better place.  I love them, and I pray to God for guidance for all Americans as they line up for or against this tragic conflict.  In my article I cite credible sources such as CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq poses no threat whatever to US Security.   Each of us must make up his own mind who the terrorists are:  whether the USA in it's pre-emptive attack, or Iraq in it's desire to not join the American Empire.  Here are the best intellectual arguments I am aware of  for NOT spending our children's inheritances on this war.  Are we liberating Iraq, or simply making more enemies (as if we could)?  I have tried to objectively weigh all the evidence, and I have decided to oppose this war.  And I love my country.  I support our troops.  But, I don't support putting them in harm's way except for what little national defense is absolutely essential.  If you believe it is unpatriotic for an American & veteran to oppose a war like this, please read this

“The Gulf War was one big lie from beginning to inconclusive end.”

— Col. David Hackworth
LIBERTY, November 1998

In the past two months President Bush has come under increasing attack by all sides for having launched this war based upon deliberately falsified 'intelligence.'  I stand by this editorial all the more firmly.  -Mark 7/30/03

Photos of Sacramento's spontaneous War Protest today, Friday, March 21, 2003
Gulf War II - Invading Iraq is wrong                                        March 21, 2003

by Mark Blackburn

As a wartime veteran, I have a natural bias against war.  Every now and then we can forget how awful war is.  Sadly, the first casualty of war is usually the TRUTH.   This time, it's no different. Under the Constitution, the sole legitimate justification for the use of military force is the defense of vital U.S. security interests.  We cannot afford either the fiscal, emotional, nor the diplomatic cost of war for anything less than self-defense. 

Iraq does not have the capability for a direct attack on the United States — lacking long-range missiles, bombers, and naval forces.  Even if Saddam Hussein has nuclear weapons or other 'weapons of mass destruction' (WMD), he would not risk using them on the USA knowing our retaliation would be utterly annihilating since we are the world's premier repository of bombs and their delivery systems.  We characterize Saddam as a mad-man, but even the CIA director George Tenet admitted in a letter to congress that Hussein "would not risk an attack on the world's only superpower."  The Bush administration has faked and forged documents which indicate Saddam renewed his nuclear program.  This smear campaign has been proven a fraud by UN investigation.    It makes me wonder why GW is so hell-bent on taking control of Iraq, from the man we put in power there.  (Incidentally, I dismiss the oil argument.  I don't believe it washes).

USA's leaders believe in and practice nuclear apartheid. In a policy paper for the Cato Institute, researchers Ivan Eland and Bernard Gourley indicate that 12 nations have nuclear weapons, 13 nations have chemical weapons, and 28 nations have ballistic missiles.  "But no other of those nations is facing the threat of having its leadership overthrown [by armed invasion and bombing]."  The USA is the most guilty having all weapon types and the most sophisticated delivery systems.     

Many other thoughtful analysts agree that a war against Iraq is not justified and not in the best interests of the USA.  John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt in Foreign Policy (January/February 2003) write "The campaign to wage war against Iraq rests on a flimsy foundation.  Americans should realize that a compelling strategic rationale is absent." 

Rallying the citizens for Peace in Sacramento, CA March 21, 2003

Saddam Hussein is very unlikely to give WMD to al Qaeda for future attacks against the USA.  Hussein would fear retaliation by the USA if he looked culpable.  Further his ideological difference with al Qaeda would cause him to fear that group using WMD on Iraq, according to Mearsheimer and Walt.

There is only one thing that would cause Saddam Hussein to use WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) against the USA.  This would be a full-scale invasion such as what began 2 days ago.  At this point Saddam would know that he has little to lose.  And, we'd be close enough for him to use his weapons which he cannot deliver to our shores.  In a scenario such as what we have, Saddam realizes he has little to lose.  How foolish we are to provoke him!  Is this what our leaders are hoping for--that they can bait Saddam into desperate measures?  They are certainly making him a desperate man.

The President has provided no evidence that Iraq supported the Sept. 11 attacks.  Yet it has hoodwinked the public into believing this war will somehow end or avenge terrorism.  Not only will it do neither, it will greatly encourage more terrorism on US soil.

Our invasion of Iraq will cause Muslims everywhere to hate the American unbelievers even more than they already do!  Our blood-lusting government is causing great harm to the security of Americans everywhere by increasing the already seething hatred of our country.  This makes future terrorist attacks on innocent US citizens almost certain.  (No Thanks, President Bush)!

Iraq is a third rate military power posing no threat to the USA whatever!  But if you listen to President Bush you would think they are a severe security threat.  Not so says Owen Cote, Jr., associate director of Security Studies at MIT.  In 1991 Iraq fielded a 3rd rate military force which was quickly defeated.   Today  they have only 40% as many men in uniform as in 1990!  They have less than 1/2 the aircraft, 1/2 the tanks.  And, under UN sactions they have almost no munitions left.  In fact, many of their  tanks are old soviet heaps left over from the 1940s!  "...the Iraqi military has done nothing except decline in size and degrade in capability.  Iraq's military has been devastated by the Gulf War and a decade of sanctions."  Ivan Eland writes, "Americans should ask why the United States--half a world away, is more concerned about the Iraqi threat than are Iraq's neighbors (who oppose a U.S. Invasion)." 

The current war in Iraq is unconstitutionalArticle 1 Sec. 8 is clear:  "The Congress shall have declare war."  Congress has no delegation authority in this regard.  Our founding fathers took great care to NOT give one single man the power to declare a war.  Eland and Gourley state, "An unprovoked attack on another sovereign state...undermines the principles of a constitutional republic."  The president of the US has no authority to declare a war on anybody.  This war appears as illegitimate as it does immoral and unnecessary.

Click to support world peace

This war will be sinfully expensive.  Estimates range well into the trillions of dollars, with additional costs if there are oil well fires (which there already are).  The lowest official congressional staff estimate  for the invasion and occupation will be $100 billion dollars.  Is this how you want your hard-earned money spent--spent guaranteeing more terrorism against America?   If this war costs a trillion dollars, that will translate to roughly $14,300 for every family of four!  We continue to mortgage our children's lives as IRS-slaves!  We have yet to fully pay for our war debt from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or Gulf War I.  Bush wants to pay for his war with deficit spending (more interest revenue for international banksters).  Why not ask government to sacrifice just like American citizens? --a thoughtful analysis of the funding of this war by the Libertarian Party.   

US wars: The cost in today's dollars

  Conflict Cost (billions) Per capita cost
Revolutionary War (1775-1783) $2.2 $447
War of 1812 (1812-1815) 1.1 120
Mexican War (1846-1848) 1.6 68
Civil War (1861-1865) 62.0 1,686
Spanish-American War (1898) 9.6 110
World War I (1917-1918) 190.6 2,489
World War II (1941-1945) 2,896.3 20,388
Korea (1950-1953) 335.9 2,266
Vietnam (1964-1972) 494.3 2,204
First Gulf War (1990-1991) 76.1 306

Source: William Nordhaus, Yale University. Cost in 2002 dollars.

A pre-emptive strike against a foreign country is un-American.  Our super-power status, unique among the nations of the earth today, must require great restraint!  President Bush's policy is untenable, unconstitutional, and just plain wrong.  There are good reasons the UN Security Council did not favor an invasion.  This is why hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world are voicing their extreme displeasure at this aggression against a nearly defenseless country.

Sacramento War Protest March 21, 2003

Who made President Bush ruler of the world?  America has the arrogance but not the stability or the maturity to skillfully determine whether foreign rulers are despotic within the context of their distinct foreign religions and cultures.  An international league of nations would be much better qualified to do this.  And, that it why the  United Nations was created.  They have voted that no military action should be taken against Iraq, in spite of the Bush administration's powerful lobbying & deal-making.  So who is being defiant to the United Nations?  Saddam Hussein , or President George W. Bush?  It appears to me that President Bush is more defiant, and should be the one placed under UN sanctions. 

What is the reaction of other countries to our violent attack?

France "France Regrets this action taken without approval of the United Nations.  We hope these operations will be as rapid and least deadly as possible, and that they don't lead to a humanitarian catastrophe." President Jacques Chirac
Russia "This Military action cannot be justified" President Vladimir Putin
Chile "Its a tragedy.  Another tragedy is going to begin now." U.N. Ambassador Gabriel Valdes
United Nations "This is a sad day for the United Nations.  I know that millions of people around the world share this sense of disappointment and are deeply alarmed." U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan


From the Sacramento Bee (March 21, 2003) in a full-page ad placed by 62 Area businesses:

Did you know:

  • Zogby Poll shows 54% of Americans oppose this war if it means thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths
  • The Pentagon forecasts 10,000 civilian deaths (50% children) during the current conflict (when US troops will march on Baghdad)
  • The US government supplied Saddam with chemical weapons for use in his war with Iran!
  • By 1998, after years of inspections, the UN claimed to have discovered and dismantled 90% of Iraq's capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • "Iraq had, in fact, been disarmed to a level unprecedented in modern history."  -  Scott Ridder, chief UN inspector
  • There is absolutely no proven connection between 9/11 and Saddam, yet somehow 42% of Americans believe he was directly responsible, according to a recent ABC news poll, signalling a high percentage of misinformed Americans (duh)!
  • The vast majority of Christian leaders who have come forward in this country, and everywhere, express opposition to this war

Questions we should ask:

  • Will American be a safer place because of this massive attack?
  • Does our unilateral action against a Muslim country that has not harmed us, discourage or encourage more terrorism?
  • Does thumbing our nose at the UN and the rest of the international community make it more or less likely that other nations will share terrorist information with us?
  • Is the brand new Bush Doctrine of "striking another country first because they have the potential to do us harm  a sound doctrine on which to stake the future of our country?"  Is this consistent with America's heritage and leadership role in a peaceful world?
  • Is it wise foreign policy to insist that, "you are either for us or against us?"
  • Does it mean that China, Russia, France and Germany are now against us?   Should we begin the systematic murder of tens of thousands of their people, too?  What crimes have they committed?  Or, do only citizens of the American empire have value and civil rights?
  • Why do millions of people , in countries considered to be our allies, now believe President Bush to be a greater threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein?
  • Is it responsible to begin this costly war with a huge and ballooning budget deficit, and an economy teetering on the brink? 

Who wrote the above ad:

"We are a group of doctors, lawyers, architects, real estate developers, restaurant, salon and shop owners, farmers, artists, journalists, theologians, etc.  We are all patriotic people who love our country and city.  We understand the difficult problem rogue regimes around the world present.  We support our troops whereever they are, always.  We just don't support the leaders who needlessly put them in harm's way.  We feel it is ultimately more dangerous to the safety of Americans, and the rest of the planet, to irresponsibly throw around our massive weight in a unilateral manner.  We started as 44 and succeeded in erecting 6 billboards in the Sacramento area. We have grown to 62 and have now placed full-page ads in the Bee and News and Review. 


I oppose this war.  And I love my country.  If you believe it is unpatriotic for an American to oppose a war like this, please read this

My prayer:  Dear God in heaven bring peace to Iraq and it's people.  Bring humility and charity to America's leaders.  And bring back tolerance to all Americans, and a love for and understanding of freedom.  And, thank God that as many problems as America has, I am still free to express my dissenting opinions.  I deeply cherish the fewer freedoms that remain after 9/11.

Matthew 5:39 - But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;

1 Peter 3:9 - Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing

John 8:7 - And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone...."

Hebrews 12:14 - Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Galatians 5:22 -  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

When our Christian President reads his bible, is he reading and meditating on the above scriptures or ignoring them?  Is he violating an innate sense of right and wrong which is easily discernable by all men whether Christian, muslim, hindu, Jew, or agnostic?

There was a very telling passage in 2 Samuel about the prophet Nathan having to tell David that God was going to judge him for sending Uriah the Hittite into intense battle so he would be killed.  David lusted after Uriah's beautiful wife, Bathsheba, and had Uriah killed so he could steal his wife...a great offense in Jewish tradition.  Recall that David already had many wives, and was blessed by God above all other men at that time.  I see Mr. Bush's takeover of Iraq in much the same way as David's treachery to have Bathsheba.   Here is the passage:

(Note:  Imagine George Bush is the rich man, Saddam Hussein the poor man.)

2 Samuel 12

Imagine that David is the rich man, Saddam is the poor man.

1 And Jehovah sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich had very many flocks and herds; 3 but the poor man had nothing at all, but one little ewe lamb which he had bought, and was nourishing; and it grew up with him, and together with his children: it ate of his morsel, and drank of his own cup, and slept in his bosom, and was to him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveller to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that had come to him; and he took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that had come to him. 5 Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As Jehovah liveth, the man that hath done this thing is worthy of death; 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man! Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel: I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 and I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that] had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the word of Jehovah to do evil in his sight? thou hast smitten Urijah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Urijah the Hittite to be thy wife.

11 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst [it] secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun. 13 And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against Jehovah. And Nathan said to David, Jehovah has also put away thy sin: thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme, even the child that is born to thee shall certainly die.



3 Big Lies about Iraq

America: The Ultimate Terrorist by John Pilger

Representative Henry Gonzalez's testimony to congress of the murder of 200,000 Iraqi civilians by US military & sanctions

Iraq's Poisoned Water (US violation Geneva Convention)

Stop America.Org

Have you forgotten what War is?  by Harry Browne

Hack says restore the draft -- it will lessen the likelihood of unnecessary wars!

* * * * * * * * *
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it ...always."

Mahatma Gandhi

"Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all."

George Washington's farewell address 1796

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.

Max Lucade

The peace makers shall be called the children of God.


One can always win a war, but how does one conquer peace?

Michael Holmboe Meyer

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.

Thomas Alva Edison

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.

Albert Einstein

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

Thomas Jefferson

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


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Mark Blackburn

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Mark S. Blackburn, MBA

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Last Updated: February 14, 2010