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 Unless otherwise indicated, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published.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 10, 2002

Palestinian State

In response to Scott McConnell's latest "Ground Zero" article ["War and the Intellectuals: Facts and Fantasies," January 8] and in particular to the comment "I'm not particularly in favor of transporting a good part of Israel's population to the United States." I think everyone is missing a logical alternative here. Lets transport a good part of Palestine's population to the U.S. instead.

Let's take all the billions of dollars we were going to give Israel for the next few years to kill Palestinians, and build them some decent cities in some relatively open state (here in Michigan there's plenty of room in the north). Give the Palestinians who decide to emigrate American citizenship automatically (and send an aircraft carrier or two to ferry them over here). I'll bet most of them would want to come (considering the alternative is to spend the next century fighting to keep what little territory they have). Can't you see it? The Palestinian voting block would undoubtedly compete with the Israeli voting block. At this point there'd be no real need for politicians to support Israel as a matter of course. This move could solve a large part of the anti-American sentiment in the world today.

~ Jason Ditz

Limp-Wristed Revolutionaries

[Regarding Joseph Stromberg's column of January 5, "Conserving Nothing":]

Bravo Mr. Stromberg! I too have been bitterly disenchanted by the blatherings of most "conservatives." They seem to be incensed only about money spent on priorities other than their own, not by the expenditure of taxpayer funds, per se.

Also, most so-called "conservatives" seem to equate their murderous desire to wreck death and destruction upon "the other" with patriotism. By these conservatives' lights, George Washington would have been a "limp-wristed liberal," for it was Washington himself who counseled that America should remain a republic and eschew the lure of empire if America and Americans were to retain the freedoms so dearly won by Washington and his band of "limp-wristed liberal revolutionaries."

~ Putnik C.

Beliefs of Hindus

[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 4, "Israel's 'Amen Corner'":]

First I wish to say I am a big fan of Justin. However, as a practicing Buddhist and an avid student of religion and culture, I must say his position on a number of issues relating to the beliefs of Hindus and the events pertaining to wrongs against Christians is naive, superficial and comes across quite trashy.

The reference to the temple priest sacrificing the boy was an act of murder, not a religious practice in tune with modern times, so let's keep it in context. Smirking at beliefs such as reincarnation (which all Eastern philosophies and most African religions believe in) merely turns off those of us who know this to be true. Attacks on Christians are mere blips on the horizon of the real spirit of the people of India, of all faiths. It is unfortunate that often Christians are actively out trying to convert those who are starving, as they have around the world – and the reason for that is largely due to the effects of past wrongs of "Christian" colonialist nations that subjugated these cultures in the past, not allowing them to flourish.

~ Ras Dorje

Clear Political Goals

[Regarding Alan Bock's column of January 3, "Making Artificial Distinctions":]

In response to your column, one has to wonder what the Bush administration's political goals were in the first place. Were they really to destroy terrorism, defend the US and capture bin Laden? I think Rumsfeld gave some insight into this when he slipped in a conversation with USA Today editors early in the conflict. He said casually that the US might not get bin Laden at all. He quickly retracted this, but it was too late. Many people have suggested that the US has wanted a friendly government in Afghanistan for a long time to stabilize the Central Asia region and make it U.S.-friendly for oil interests. In this aspect, the political goals have already been met. The new Afghan government is obviously a US pawn. In fact, the US objected to the U.N.'s first choice for a leader and successfully pushed for a man with strong ties to America.

Regarding terrorism – you wouldn't know it from the recent press coverage, but it existed long before bin Laden rose from the ruins of the Persian Gulf war and it will persist long after he's dead. In fact, violent US meddling in Afghanistan and perhaps soon in Venezuela will only fan anti-U.S. feelings and birth more potentially murderous terrorists. I believe the administration has very clear political goals: to rule the world and make it economically safe for American profiteers.

~ Stephen Cornell, Hatboro, Pennsylvania

A New Grand Strategy

I am very happy to see "A New Grand Strategy" [by Benjamin Schwarz and Christopher Layne, The Atlantic Monthly, January 2002] in Today's Spotlight. Many around us, who privately wish America was not involved in so many places in the world believe the claims of the proponents of intervention that suggest a failure of America to lead by intervention will produce international chaos. This article is extremely useful to show that the plausibility and wisdom of the traditional American policy of being reluctant to intervene in matters distant from our shores. The foreign policy goals of the interventionists seeking American global hegemony will prove to be increasingly expensive to maintain, while actually increasing the likelihood of violence being done on our soil. This is the sort of realistic article that will be of great use to show the average American citizen the dangers of our accepted foreign policy. I would encourage others to see to it that as many people as possible will read this article who do not yet understand or appreciate the concerns of those of us who believe our present American foreign policy is contrary to the interests of our great nation and republic. The interventionists have most of the press on their side, but articles such as this one can help turn the tide, and we need to make good use of such articles.

~ Dan McDonald


To Antiwar.com and Mr. Justin Raimondo,

Thinking of you on this Orthodox Christmas, and thanks for everything you are doing for the "old cause" everywhere. I appreciate it here in Serbia. There were tens of thousands of candles lit around the Saint Sava Cathedral last night in Belgrade, as all its 49 bells tolled for the first time ever. There were so many that some turned into bonfires. May yours burn just as brightly, and brighter still.

~ Aleksandar P.

What Bush Knows

On New Year's Eve I was watching TV and there was a short interview of President Bush. He said,

"Some people say Osama bin Laden is hiding in a cave, some people say he is dead and some people say he escaped to another country. Well, what I know is that he is running."

Then I thought, "That's funny. If he is dead he can't run."

~ Marina O.

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