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 Unless otherwise indicated, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published.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 31, 2002

Identity Crisis

[Regarding I.L.'s letter of January 9:]

I am not discussing the justice or injustice of this act, yet how will you explain the number of uprisings in Macedonia after the Russian-Turkish War and prior to 1913 aiming at the liberation of Macedonia and its joining with Bulgaria? I am sure there are no or almost no people in the Bulgarian part of Macedonia that want to call themselves Macedonians (some of them my best friends), but I know of a large minority (or majority?) in Macedonia that considers itself Bulgarian (which is not applauded by the government, that I know too). It is the Macedonians who have an identity crisis, not the Bulgarians or the Greeks, so maybe it is better to try to find the problems in Macedonia, not blame it on the others. Start from your system of education and the historical ignorance that is sustained.

...And what's the language in your churches? I know some newly-born great Macedonian "scholars" are trying to conceal the fact the inscriptions are written in Old Bulgarian.... I actually have no problem with your new identity and your desire to differentiate yourselves from your neighbors. I am very happy Macedonia is free and I have no crazy idea in my mind to make Macedonians join us again and so on. Fact is fact -- history has divided us and this has to be accepted with humility if there is but a bit of wisdom left in our minds. Yet a new identity built on historical lies and falsifications can hardly thrive.

~ E.N.

Parse His Syntax

Lukas Saul and other Chomsky devotees would do well to revisit the Gnoam's position on Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. These case studies are paradigmatic because they point to Justin's thesis that he is a global interventionist of a subtle and insidious variety. In each instance he sided with the SDA or KLA. On one occasion ('93, if memory serves), he signed a petition in the Wall Street Journal calling for the bombing of Belgrade (though he denies this by maintaining someone signed his name without his permission). Right. In short, he hasn't met a Muslim fundamentalist he didn't like. So by all means let's parse his syntax on matters Balkan. And by the way, many scholars think his linguistic theories amount to Lysenkoism.

~Petar M.

Forum for Democratic Participation

As a daily viewer of Antiwar.com, (and I greatly appreciate your war press coverage) I was disappointed to see Justin Raimondo's ridiculous rant against Chomsky, calling him a "fake and a fraud."

I think Justin totally misrepresents the Left on East Timor, at no time do progressives of any moral consistency support using US military power in order to further their own agendas (this certainly does not include all of the "left"!). In the case of the Gulf War, Chomsky was totally against the war in the first place, but his point is that the Iraq sanctions regime run by the US is a fraud since if the US wanted to get rid of Saddam it had it's chance. That's not Chomsky's morality but the logic of the US.

...I happen to follow the UN a bit, and am very dissatisfied for example with CITES, the convention on endangered species. Yet it at least offers some kind of forum for democratic participation, no matter how corrupt and flawed it is. ...What do you propose instead of international law? The free market? Get outta here! This is as nutty a solution as the [solution espoused by the] Trotskyoids you denounce. Also, I do not appreciate the regular ad hominen attacks on "the Left" that Justin generates, which undermine many of his other salient points about the US culture of war and imperialism and so on.

~ Richard W., Japan

Bad Seed

I have read your columns regularly for about almost a year now, and I am most grateful to read about things that are true and I witnessed with my own eyes and ears. I am a Macedonian intellectual, and I am most proud of your site. It is one of the few that is publishing truth about Macedonia and the Balkans. And the truth is that all Balkans nations were living in peace and harmony until some external forces gave power to nationalism and xenophobia. Now, what has been done takes a long time to be forgotten. People should not blame the Serbs, Albanians, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, etc. I figure that all the ethnic cleansing has been done for "I'll destroy you while I have the chance so you won't destroy me when you get the chance." The real criminal and monster must have been infiltrated from abroad, such as the extremely powerful Albanian mafia, Croat and Serbian neo-fascist emigration expelled because of their hatred, Muslim radical parties like Al-Qaeda and every other scum that must have been coordinated by a higher instance. Before that, living in Yugoslavia was wonderful. We had a liberal constitution, low crime, high social security, moderate economy, and generally a nice life to live. Hatred is a bad seed. It roots deeply and can be destroyed with great difficulty once it get its roots. Please keep telling the truth. It keeps me and many other people that are victims of these senseless wars believe in the truth and that the truth will come to the open.

~ Nikola G.

Live Reporting

I've been reading your website for a few months now, and I find it very interesting, especially for an American news site! I've been intrigued also by the reports from Christopher Deliso in Macedonia. I hope that this "live" reporting direct from the scene is something we can look forward to seeing more of in the future!

~ Julianne M.

Christian Beliefs

Regarding Justin Raimondo's January 25th column "PC Imperialism": I find it interesting that Martha McSally blathers on about being a Christian and being forced to violate her Christian beliefs by wearing the abaya, but has no problem participating in the most un-Christian like attacks on Iraq. These attacks go against any Christian just-war theory. Also, part of the reason Martha McSally was accommodated and Michael New was court-martialed is that McSally is a female officer and Michael New was at the time only a male enlistee. No double-standard in our military, eh!

~ Rich G.

Military Rules

If it weren't for our outworn dependence on oil, and the subservience to oil-rich nations, we could get the hell out of the business of supporting vile tyrannies like Saudi Arabia, and leave them to their own folly and the horror of weekly public executions and dismemberment. Far more repugnant than the abayah is the network of laws symbolized by the abayah, relegating women to a state resembling slavery. If the people affected by these laws were not women but Jews or Blacks or Arabs in a non-Arab state, we would immediately recognize the condition of their lives for what it is. But here is another aspect of McSally's case -- was she assigned to Saudi Arabia without her consent and without knowledge of the conditions of life for women there? Because if she consented to go there, aware of the abayah and all it implies, then her rights are not being violated -- but if she was ordered to go to a country where her status is degraded, then we must consider where we send our soldiers more carefully. I wonder if we would send black soldiers to a state where they might be subject to harsh strictures because the culture of that state considered them subhuman -- and whether, indeed, we would support such a state in this enlightened age. As a libertarian with grave doubts about military rules and justice, I welcome this debate.

~ Adrien B.

Back to Antiwar.com Home Page | Contact Us