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 Unless otherwise indicated, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published.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 8, 2002

Names and Power

[Regarding Christopher Deliso's guest column of January 4, "On Names and Power":]

I agree with your article 100%. As a citizen of Makedonija and ... having met the president and VP last year in Washington, I personally do not think they stand for anything, they stand for whatever pressures the rest of the UN and USA forces upon them. It has been that way with every decision they have made, good or bad for the Makedonski citizens.

~ BK


[Regarding Christopher Deliso's guest column of January 4, "On Names and Power":]

...I think the article is very vague: for nationalism it's important you call your country the way you like to: I myself come from a country the inhabitants refer to as "Nederland"; the French call it "les Pays Bas", Germans call it "die Niederlande" and Americans call it "Holand": frankly, I don't care how they call it; they can call it "Nederland" too, if that suits better. I think that a solution like"North Macedonia" and "South Macedonia" is correct, if you look to the history of that region (like"North America"?).

By the way: Erasmus was no German, he was Dutch (Rotterdam)!

~ F. van den Boogaard

Christopher Deliso replies:

Thanks for the correction. As for your comment, it is precisely what I was arguing -- that different languages have the right to use their own words for the same object. What I was implying, when it comes to names like "Northern Macedonia," is that all names will inevitably reveal more about those making them up than about the place. "Northern" Macedonia reflects a geographical fact, just as "Republika Makedonija" reflects an ethnical and linguistic one. However, as I said, the reason people feel slighted by such names is that nationalism is not a product of fact -- it is entirely within the context of myth, tradition, and an emotional view of history.

North Macedonia

[Regarding Christopher Deliso's guest column of January 4, "On Names and Power,":]

I like your article on Macedonia. However, you could suggest at the end several possible solutions, like North Macedonia, or Slavic Macedonia. There is an example with Korea -- South and North. Also, we had until recently East Germany and West Germany. If you think my ideas are OK, please write to the ICG.

Dr. Rajko I., Illinois

'Slavic Macedonians'

I have been reading some of your articles occasionally and I find them very correct, truthful, intelligent and resourceful. I also appreciate and thank you (as a Macedonian) for your work to bring "the other opinion" in this mess to the net. However, I (and for sure every Macedonian) have been insulted by the text "On Names and Power," written by Christopher Deliso, from January 4, 2002. Although my favourite writer on Antiwar, Deliso in the mentioned text makes constant fundamental mistakes naming the Macedonians as "Slavic Macedonians"!? There is no such a thing in the whole ... world called "Slavic Macedonians". That terminology is purely a surrogate invented by the propaganda machine -- "international community" -- in recent years, something which Mr. Deliso is writing against. Macedonians belong to the group of old Mediterranean peoples with, of course, influx from different people (including the Slavs) -- just like every other nation in Europe (and elsewhere for that matter).

Keep the excellent work and thank you for everything you have done so far.

~ Sasha M.

Christopher Deliso replies:

Thanks for your comment and support. I ask you to reconsider your criticism, however. In my article, I was arguing that "Macedonia" is a loaded term -- for all sides. You must agree that in trying to explain the whole issue, we must be able to differentiate between the different groups. Note that I did not oppose "Slavic Macedonians" to "Macedonians," but to "Greek Macedonians." As far as the ancient history of a Macedonian race, that is too big of a subject to even try to deal with in such a short article.


I am delighted each time I read ... [Justin Raimondo's column], and am amazed in particular at your knowledge about India, its politics, culture and history. Your ... article about Fernandes is particularly informative. The only thing you didn't mention was that he was forced to resign last year when his aides were caught accepting cash payments on camera on his behalf, but obviously he serves the BJP so well that they decided to bring him back in to the government. You are right about India and Israel having an understanding in their overall long-term objectives.

For some reason ... the US has always tried to please India even when it was openly pro-Soviet and now they are being wooed again to help keep China in check. It seems they are aware of this and want to get a great bargain -- they have Israel to help them get the best they can.

...In these times when everybody is jumping on to the war bandwagon, it is reassuring to see Antiwar.com present a balanced view of affairs. I often speak about your articles and the website and email links to your articles to my friends. Please keep up the good work.

~ Rustum D.

Constitutional Republic

[Regarding Bernard Weiner's guest column of January 3, "Talkin' About the F-Word":]

We are a constitutional republic.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Where do you get this "representative democracy" from? Not the Constitution. Majority rule is a democratic principle, but this country is a republic where the rights of the individuals are honored. Establishing and using due process of democracy is tantamount to being controlled by a mob.

~ Dominic C., citizen of the constitutional republic called the United States of America

Bernard Weiner replies:

This is a semantical argument. Constitutionally, we are indeed are a republic. In practice, we are a representative democracy, where we elect surrogates to vote in our best interests, and we have the chance to replace them regularly at the polls. If it makes you feel better to refer to yourself as a citizen of a constitutional republic, fine. But nothing is black-and-white in this world; we are not a pure democracy, it is true, but we are indeed a representative democracy.

New Phase

A new phase in the Afghan War has now begun with the first American war casualty. Just as the Soviet Union overran Afghanistan in the early '80s so the United States with its Western allies has overrun Afghanistan today. Just as the Soviets set up their puppet, Babrak Karmal, in Kabul so the United States has set up its puppet, Karzai, in Kabul. And just as the Soviets had to endure a decade of guerilla warfare with musical chair puppets in Kabul, so the United States and its allies will be facing years of guerilla warfare with their own musical chair puppets in Kabul. As the body bags return home in increasing numbers Mr. Bush's high popularity will be as short-lived as was Gorbachav's as the Soviet-Afghan war dragged on.

Praise God for the information that one receives through Antiwar.com. Reading the reports of Robert Fisk and other front-line reporters, and reading the columns of true patriots such as Justin Raimondo, Harry Browne, Lew Rockwell, et al, are a soothing antidote to the official propaganda printed in the local newspaper. Keep up the good work. At times it must be very difficult work and your organization is to be commended for persevering in what must be an oftentimes hostile climate. Thank you.

~ DW

'Kicked Out'

I read your site everyday and find it to be most informative about issues which need far more attention from analysts. I was however a little confused by Bernard Weiner's assertion in the column titled "Talkin' About the F-Word", (January 3, 2002). Mr. Weiner, whilst discussing Saddam and Iraq in the section titled "Foreign Policy", asserts the following: "Since he kicked out the U.N. inspectors, we don't know what mischief he's been up to". I stand to be corrected here but didn't the US/UK withdraw their "monitors" before bombing Iraq? Another issue which confuses me time and again is the continual reference to freedom in America. What freedoms can Americans possibly have that I don't?

~ Mike N., South Africa

Bernard Weiner replies:

You may be correct legally, but Iraq did everything possible to make the work of the inspectors difficult to impossible, closing off areas to inspection, hiding and transferring weapons and documents when word of an inspection was known in advance, hiding weapons programs in "presidential palaces," temporarily imprisoning the inspectors in their buses, etc. In short, they could not get their work done. It was not an atmosphere conducive to their mission. In effect, then, Saddam Hussein kicked out the inspectors. To say otherwise is to quibble over semantics.

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