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 Unless otherwise indicated, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published.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 30, 2002


[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 23, "The War Against the Saudis":]

Kristol has a financial interest in war with Iraq. Since he's been getting this consultancy contract with Enron, and war with Iraq would make energy prices spike (if it's a full-tilt war that is, which he wants), then he would be rewarding his corporate sponsor. He also likely would have oil and energy stocks in his portfolio rise in value. Slick bastard.

~ Jeremiah Bourque, Daily Whopper

Different Future

Thank you for your independent vision on the ongoing world affairs. You are the kind of sanity islands that keep resisting on this troubled planet and maintain my hope on a different future for all of us. There's a long way to go.

~ António R., Portugal

Pundit's Argument

[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 18, "Manufacturing Dissent"]

Raimondo, with such a huge wealth of information to go by as one Salon.com interview, makes such statements as "What Chomsky fails to say is that the attack cannot be understood except as a direct response to the ongoing US military occupation of Saudi Arabia, the sacred land of Mecca and Medina, which the feet of 'infidels' may not touch." I refer Raimondo to an interview in which he addresses this issue.

His dismissal of the "Nicaraguan solution" is ridiculous based on his own argument. The wealth and power of the United States was on the side of the Contras in that conflict, which is why, Chomsky purports, the Sandinistas lost their conflict, despite "following all the right procedures." To say ... "Al Qaeda would not adhere to the decisions of a UN tribunal," as reason not to try those channels is just silly, the power being on the other side in this case....

...Although I disagree fiercely with the pundit in question on just about every front, I find myself defending him simply because I took the time to read the pundit's argument before coming up with an assessment.

~ R.F.

American Economy

The American budget only charges each man or woman in America a little more than $1,000 per year for our military. That is, for a family of four close to $5,000 per year. A year ago, President Bush gave each American individual taxpayer a rebate of $300 per year, this year he is saying you need to give back $150 for increased military. With the exception of Western Europe, Japan, Canada, and a few industrialized nations or very small rich nations based on oil or some abundance of a much-desired natural resource, very few people have an income as much as each person in America will now be paying on average for our military defense and international intervention. As we face another recession, and as we contemplate fighting an unending unwinnable war with increasing costs to fight and decreasing likelihood of victory, it is time to realize that the war on terrorism will have as a collateral result the destruction of the American economy.

The American economy is being placed at a terrible disadvantage in global trade. Consider yourself as a businessman. Do you want to build a factory where each employee will come with a thousand dollar price tag just for national defense, or a factory where for a thousand dollars you have the full costs for his employment? A thousand dollars for defense per person, is the kind of taxation that destroyed the Byzantine Empire and countless other great powers of the past. America can defend itself much cheaper than it can rule the world or root out terrorism from those tired of seeing our military in their nations.

~ Dan McDonald

President Paul

I love Dr. Paul's clarity of thought and ability to sift through complex issues and come to the conclusion of what is best for the United States of America. Please encourage him to run for President. I will not only vote for him; I will also contribute to his election effort both money and time. Go Ron Paul!

~ Ratib K., Georgia

The Abaya

[Regarding Justin Raimondo's column of January 23, "The War Against the Saudis":]

The abaya is more of a traditional Saudi type of dress, it has less do with Islamic code of dress. It seems that the easiest way to rally support against something, an idea, or people is only to make a connection between that and Islam. For years, attempts by so many governments in the region, such as Pakistan, Iraq, and Libya to acquire nuclear weapons were lumped together under label of Islamic bomb, as if a dumb bomb has a religious choice,and only when it comes to Muslim countries. However, we did not hear about Hindu, Jewish, or Christian bombs. And my question is if Miss Martha McSally does not like to wear the abaya, why did not she seek to be transferred to somewhere else? Or is she more interested in the publicity she is now receiving? (I saw her on several TV shows.)

~ Salem S.

Iceland Policy

The Saudi problem with Americans reminds me of what happened in Iceland. The Americans installed a big airbase there during the Cold War. The Icelanders to protect their country insisted that the soldiers were not to be allowed off the base. This policy has done much to prevent bad relations with the Icelanders. This would have been a good solution for Okinawa too. Perhaps US bases should all be run this way, keep the soldiers inside the fence, perhaps a vice and entertainment mall to keep them happy.

~ RW

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