Letters to
We get a lot of letters, and publish some of them in this column, "Backtalk," edited by Sam Koritz. Please send your letters to backtalk@antiwar.com. Letters may be edited for length (and coherence). Unless otherwise indicated, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published.

Posted January 5, 2002

Walking Vampire

[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 2, "India's Terrorist Minister":]

Very good piece by Justin Raimondo. He should continue by adding the following facts: 1) One of the BJP's slogans is "One Nation, One People, One Culture" which is very similar to one NASDAP of Germany. 2) George Fernandes is a Socialist that merely sold his soul for a chance at power. During the breakup of the Jananta government of 1979, George supported the breakup of the Desai ministry as a stand against the RSS. Now to gain power he teams up with those he fought against over the last few decades. 3) George Fernandes was a civil libertarian and labor activist in the 1970s and was jailed by the Indira Gandhi "emergency regime" of 1975-77. He now is the main proponent of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance which had it been in place in 1977 he would have never been released. 4) George Fernandes was forced to resign as Minister of Defense of the NDA government early in 2001 when it was disclosed that his ministry was corrupt to the core and the presidents of his party, the Samata, and the BJP demanded cash for several reporters posing as arms dealers at his own house. He resigned vowing not to return unless he is absolved. Now he his back when he is nowhere near being absolved. 5) All these facts point to one thing: George Fernandes is merely a walking vampire, a body that lives but a soul that is dead. He is merely a shell of himself when, whatever our political outlook, we could respect him for his principles. Now he sells out everything he has worked for in exchange at power.

~ Tony Tang, New York


[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 2, "India's Terrorist Minister":]

I am not a Hindu fundamentalist, rather I detest those RSS-BJP people described in ... [Justin Raimondo's] article. However, a number of lies have been published and I am eager to see then corrected. ...The leaders of the RSS do not need to be Blue-Eyed Saraswat Brahmins (BESB?). The last two leaders have in fact not been. The earlier leaders were, but that was mostly due to the fact that the initial origins of the RSS are in a place called Nagpur, which had a rather high percentage of the BESBs. Much as I find wrong about the RSS, the fact remains that the RSS is caste-free. The allegation about Fernandes being hand-in-glove with ... [the LTTE] is just that – an allegation. Not only is there no proof, there is no suspicion of the same either. The very same news article [that makes this claim, also] claims that Rajeev Gandhi was a big LTTE supporter. Oh! Is that why he dispatched the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka to wipe out the LTTE? Is that why the LTTE decided to use a human bomb to kill Rajeev? I have a huge set of other objections too, namely, how the attack by terrorists on the Indian Parliament is the direct cause of this belligerence, how the Kargil conflict (when Pakistan illegally occupied – yes, even Pakistanis admit the occupation was illegal – Indian land) was sparked off by the very same general who now leads Pakistan, how it now turns out that 3 out of 4 terrorists operating in Kashmir are Afghan, how even Pakistan admits that there are terrorist camps on its soil but claims to be powerless against them – but then, would you listen?

~ Pradeep V.

Mass Insanity

Justin Raimondo's columns regarding India's ambitions have been excellent. At one point I lived in Jersey City, New Jersey, which has one of the largest Indian immigrant communities in the USA. Shopping in stores in that neighborhood, one frequently encountered really rabid anti-Muslim material. Also tracts regarding the Aryan race ideology and the necessity of conquering Pakistan. Some of the material was truly creepy and it surprised me how openly it was displayed. It was like viewing the mainstream, Nazi pop publications of Germany in the thirties. A shuddersome peek at mass insanity.

~ Carola S.

The 'Struggle' Thing

While I generally like Justin Raimondo's articles, his December 31 piece ["Fasten Your Seatbelts"] about India-Pakistan showed a total lack of understanding of the facts. The biggest deficiency is that he is unaware of the constant stream of Pakistani fundamentalists and military personnel being sent into Kashmir and other parts of India for terror attacks. Thousands of soldiers were sent to Kargil disguised as "freedom fighters." Just like the Taliban's successes in Afghanistan were really due to the fact that the "divinity school students" really were commanded by Pakistani Army officers and fortified by actual Pakistani troops. Former President Benazir Bhutto blew the lid off the Kargil operation when a month or so ago she spelled out in detail the fact that Pakistan (specifically Musharraf) had sent tons of army troops into Kashmir to sabotage peace talks that were then going on. Then when the troops were killed, Pakistan refused to accept their bodies claiming they were "freedom fighters." I was extremely surprised that she did not end up in a Pakistani jail for these speeches. After the clear example of the Contra "freedom fighters" in Nicaragua I'm surprised that he doesn't see that the same tactics are being used in Kashmir. Also a plebiscite would result in an independent Kashmir, not in Kashmir voting to be part of Pakistan. The Kashmiri's themselves, like the Afghanis, are sick of the whole "struggle" thing that is being orchestrated by the Pakistani Army and Muslim fundamentalists. And behind the scenes, I'm convinced, is the US/CIA.

~ Thomas V.


[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 2, "India's Terrorist Minister":]

Thank you for exposing hypocrisy. India is far from democracy; I am getting tired hearing about the "world's biggest ... democracy." India continues to look at Pakistan as part of India that should be united with the motherland, India. Hindu extremism and fundamentalism are on the rise. Many Indian states have enacted laws restricting other religious groups other than the Hindu majority, laws regulating preaching and conversion.

~ Salem S.

Mr. Rivera

[Regarding "Blame This Bad Reporting on 'the Fog of War,'" by Carl Hiaasen, The Miami Herald, December 30, 2001:]

Mr. Rivera is not a serious news reporter. I cringed with embarrassment for him several years ago as he was interviewing a former Russian KGB agent. The questions were childish and showed ignorance on the part of Mr. Rivera. He was way out of his depths. Mr. Rivera did a better job interviewing the fattest man on earth, or the person with the most ridiculous phobia. Fox News has lost credibility as a serious news source.

~ Eva O.


[Regarding "The Things That Are Caesar's" by Joseph Sobran, LouRockwell.com, December 20:]

Mr. Sobran's point of view regarding John Walker is mistaken. The founders of America renounced the once accepted notion of state religion when they created our secular state. It's perfectly possible to be a Buddhist or a Moslem or an atheist and live comfortably and patriotically in America. The only virtue required here is tolerance – we renounce fanatical adherence to the tenets of our faiths to achieve mutual liberty and harmony. The Puritans, Catholics, Unitarians and, I suspect, agnostics, wanted to insure religious freedom for us – and they did. That probably bothered true believers then as it bothers Mr. Sobran now. So of course no one cares that Mr. Walker abandoned his religion – the same religion I abandoned after a sincere Catholic upbringing in a good girls' school, because I saw no reason to accept its entirely unproven theology as true. My country, founded by seekers of intellectual freedom, made my questioning and search possible – as it might not have been if Catholicism's once totalitarian, heretic-burning and mind-controlling regime had not been defeated. And so I, and millions of others, naturally hold that freedom more precious than various religious theories and mythologies. Walker stupidly renounced freedom itself, and embraced a totalitarian religious and political doctrine that denies others the freedom he had practiced in his search for religious meaning. If his parents' liberal ideas are at fault, it is in failing to instill a love of freedom and suspicion of tyranny that would have made his conversion to that particular brand of Islam unthinkable.

~ Adrien Rain Burke

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