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Please send your letters to Backtalk editor Sam Koritz. Letters become the property of Antiwar.com and may be edited before posting. Unless otherwise requested, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Antiwar.com.

Posted March 3, 2003


Maybe all the French-bashers could start a petition to dismantle and send back the Statue of Liberty. Thinking the French owe us some debt and must side with the US is rather arrogant. Anyone knowing US history knows that without France the United States would still be a British outpost.

~ BK

Regarding "Conscription is Slavery" by Rep. Ron Paul:

Who is Dr. Paul protecting? I spent my time in Vietnam. Now it's time for the ruling-elite to take a turn.

~ Nick Hrones

Regarding "Notes from the Margin" by Justin Raimondo:

Me thinks there may be a lesson in the history of Islamic Empire.

During the dark ages of Europe the Islamic world was in a number of ways a more advanced civilization than the west. Better mathematics, better engineering, the creation of a banking system that introduced the check-writing, the creation the modern University model, etc. Its libraries preserved much of what was known of the ancient world.

So how is it that such a wonder missed the Enlightenment? Unfortunately for Islam the cost of empire brought it down and it was in eclipse as the glimmerings of the Enlightenment. Although varying in duration empires ancient and modern fall under their own weight.

What is to be the life span of this toddling American Empire? How long before our nation struggles in the shadows of past greatness while the light of culture illuminates other corners of the world?

~ Lori Dion

Profound thanks for the Antiwar.com site and your trenchant and acerbic commentary. What I have read on Antiwar.com has caused me to reevaluate many beliefs – a process that continues to this day. Perhaps there are some truths which are too hard for men to bear. "Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free". If only it were so. Knowledge confers a terrible burden of responsibility.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Beautiful, but Yeats had it backwards. The centre is driving us toward the blood-dimmed tide of war, while the anarchists oppose it. And the best lack all conviction? Your columns demonstrate otherwise. Keep up your fine work.

~ Tim Shore

Justin Raimondo attacks the neo-cons' claim of waging war against Iraq in order to spread democracy in the Middle East as an workable proposition as if these Neo-cons mean what they say and are men who stand by their words, honest and credible people who never resort to lying in order to sell their agenda.

Instead of debating whether democracy can take roots in the Middle East or not, we should be asking these questions:

Is it really democracy that the neo-cons want to spread in the region, or is totally something else? What kind of democracy? Israeli style democracy, or is it the way Karzai got selected to be president of liberated Afghanistan? Would the people be free to elect whomever they want? Would the neo-cons respect the choice of the people? or ignore it when that choice does not suit them? Would this new democracy be independent from the US interventions? The neo-cons' claim for democracy in Iraq and beyond is just that is only a claim. It is nothing more than a nice wrappings and packaging for their hard to sell commodity. This reminds one of the "white man's burden," a feel good thing that is done for the benefits of all. The destroy the village to save it, and kill them all to save their souls mentality.

These armchair warriors would be the first to call for the overthrow of any independent and popularly chosen government in the Middle East that does not follow their instructions. True and independent democracy is the thing they do not want in the Middle East most, more than weapons of mass destruction, extremism, or dictatorship.

~ Salem S.


After watching the "O'Reilly Factor" last night I now have no doubts that Fox news has become the propaganda arm of the government. He was interviewing two people and the general gist of the conversation was that people who are protesting the "war" are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. They went on to recount little niceties like how the people who had supported the British during the Revolutionary War had all of their possessions confiscated and were deported to Canada.

It was not hard to figure out what they were suggesting. This supports everything that the people who have been warning us about the dangers of the "Patriot Act" have been saying. "You're either with us or the terrorists", get on board, shape up or ship out, or my way or the highway. Choose your flavor. It appears that as support is waning for their war, the government is ratcheting up the rhetoric and trying to scare the fence sitters into obeisance.

In this mad rush to war America is truly becoming a scary and bizarre place.

~ Ken Wooley

Fight with Water

You don’t fight fire with fire, you fight it with water. It’s time the planet tackled aggression, not with aggression, but with a considered, mature and united approach. The USA should take the lead. This is a unique time in history when one country has the power by its example to steer the world away from the concept of war as a solution. The USA is trying to persuade the world to unite to fight, a policy that will only cause more problems. If you fight fire with fire, the fire only continues. Let us cool the smoldering embers in Iraq with water. Let us be imaginative, creative, compassionate. Let us not take the ‘easy’ way out. The challenge is to find a solution that results in no deaths and causes no hatred. It’s worth working for, and it’s worth waiting for.

~ Peter Griffen, Australia

Regarding "Buying War Allies and 'Friends' with Foreign Aid" by Rep. Ron Paul:

The article by Mr. Ron Paul makes more sense to me than any of the news, messages or rhetoric that I have heard since this whole thing began. I just wonder why the voice of wisdom is usually ignored as men pursue their own selfish desires?

~ Vivian Dishmon

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your past 3 articles. I feel that you are on the right track with a lot of the things you say. I am a senior going to high school in Washington state. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this column more than I have enjoyed reading any other opinion column. I think that a war in Iraq is a lose, lose situation either way you look at it and I feel the same way you do about the United Nations taking away from our sovereignty, although I feel that the United Nations is in all effects a good institution, although somewhat cumbersome at times. The concept of giving out so much foreign aid so many different countries I feel is also ridiculous. Some foreign aid I feel is necessary in respects to countries like Afghanistan, which we liberated, and Israel, which is beset upon all sides by people who do not want them.

I am fairly worried about this country in respects to the economic situation also. Something needs to be done and unlike wars in the far past, i.e. World War II taking us out of the Great Depression, I believe that the War on Iraq will only further push us into recession. The concept of becoming an isolationist nation like we were before World War II almost seems to make sense except that our economy would not survive nor would the world economy survive without foreign imports and exports. I do not believe that whatever choice the government takes on the upcoming decisions at hand will be an easy choice nor do I believe that any choice is better than the other one, and only time will be the true judge. The times that we are currently living in are exciting times and I read the news everyday with great anticipation to see what happens next. I appreciate your time and effort in writing these articles and I will be taking "Buying War Allies and 'Friends' with Foreign Aid" into my A.P. Economics class tomorrow and sharing with them what you had to say. I look forward to your next article and I will check this site regularly for any further updates.

~ Justen Pettigrew

Limitations of a Libertarian Critique

As an anti-authoritarian leftist, I appreciate your principled stand against war and imperialism, and your anti-statist critique. You complain about the ever more obvious bias in American media, but give little indication of why this occurs. In this respect, I feel that the radical left analysis (as laid out, for example, in Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky) is more comprehensive, as it explains how the structure of corporate media – particularly as capitalist institutions – leads to its distortions.

~ Martin Baker

I Joined to Defend, Not to Attack

I joined the Army in early 2001; I knew that during my three years of duty that there was a chance I would be called to defend my country. When we where attacked on 9/11 the first thing I did when I got to my company, was volunteered to go help NYC. I was told if the government needed us that we would be called and we just don’t volunteer. Later on when Enduring Freedom was launched they where taking volunteers, except not in my MOS as an 88M “Motor Transportation.” Now Bush wants to invade Iraq, we all talk and most of the soldiers don’t believe in going over there. We think it is for oil and not for weapons of mass-destruction or just to have a camp in the region. I point out to every soldier who I talk to about this war that the world has many bad men with nasty weapons but you don’t see us invading them. I am not proud to be a soldier today and if I didn’t have prison hanging over my head if I protested yesterday I would have joined the millions. ...

~ PFC Unknown

101 Ways to Stop the War

This is a useful gathering of activist links. No matter how much or little time you have, there is something you can do here: http://www.earthfuture.com/stopthewar.

~ Susan Bright, Plain View Press, Texas

A Possible Solution

Since the U.S. is accusing Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction and Iraq is saying they don't have any and that they're giving full cooperation to the weapons inspectors (but the US is saying Iraq still has more weapons they have not disclosed), why not form a UN special troops with experts from different countries ... – about 20,000 – and send them to Iraq peacefully to station throughout the country so as to prevent the movement of weapons by Iraq as claimed by US? This way everyone will know once and for all that Iraq has weapons as claimed or not.

~ Derek Chawla, Bangkok, Thailand

President's Speech

The other day I read Thucydides account of the Peloponnesian War then watching the president's speech last night I was struck by how close it sounded to my ear like the Athenian dialog with the Melians. ...

For years I heard conservatives complain of the UN, global government and the threat to US sovereignty. When Bush the Elder called for a New World Order back during Gulf War I the ranks were riled and worried. But now Bush the Younger implements his father's vision without the menacing title, instead speaking of threatened security, visions of peace and safety while championing democracy, liberation and freedom and the conservative ranks embrace and rejoice in this cause with its resulting global government and the end of sovereignty (other nations' sovereignty anyway).

Back to the Greeks – well the Melians did not submit to Athens and they were destroyed but eventually with time so too was the great power that was Athens as they were proud and over extended. Thucydides said that there were various publicly alleged reasons for the Peloponnesan War on both sides but the real cause was Lacedaemonian fears over the growth of Athenian power, ambition and aggression. History seems to be in the process of repeating itself. ...

~ PD

Regarding "Is War Inevitable?" by Justin Raimondo:

Good article from Justin, but there is one glaring problem, which is the following passage:

"In the neoconservative demonology, the Saudis are identified as the epicenter of evil, the world capital of 'Islamo-fascism,' and the cradle of Al Qaeda. Bin Laden's implacable hostility to the House of Saud, and his stated aim of overthrowing it, are irrelevant to the advocates of this theory, whose analysis of the forces at work in the Middle East never rises much above the level of a comic book."

This is an egregious and completely unnecessary smear on the comic-book medium and all of us who toil to create graphic entertainment. Comic-books are at least three to five orders of magnitude more sophisticated than neoconservative analysis of just about anything.

I won't demand an apology, but I do request one, on behalf of comic-book creators and fans everywhere.

~ Scott Bieser, proprietor, Liberty Artworx

Demand Talks

The so called ‘Operation Electronic Storm’ has been good enough to provide a list of email addresses for me to voice my adamant opposition to Resident bush and his collection of oil hungry warmongers. ...

As a concerned citizen I join with many others in demanding that President Bush have open, televised talks with Saddam Hussein. ...

In our modern world of communication capabilities, there can be absolutely no valid reason for the United States to avoid this forum for open discussions. Any true leader would jump at the chance, and I have sent a similar message to the White House urging immediate action on this matter. All rational people of the world surely agree this presents a historic opportunity to prevent the inevitable bloodshed of US troops and Iraqi citizens.

Regardless of the actuality of such talks taking place, I strongly urge everyone opposed to this insanity to use all methods available to continue speaking out. Prevent a United States led invasion of Iraq or any other nation. It is beneath the standards, the character and the dignity of the United States to even contemplate such actions.

~ D. Mark Detrixhe, Fredericksburg, Texas


I am a 57-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three. I actively protested the Vietnam War and now find myself placing peace signs everywhere and wearing bell bottoms again! And I am thrilled to see that Americans do care and are actively protesting the war against Iraq. War never solved anything – never has, never will.

My biggest question is why Iraq? Why not continue our search to destroy those who attacked us, Bin Laden and his band of boys? That I support – they attacked us. One thing is for certain, George 2, just like George 1, will only be a one-term president. I am just concerned with the amount of damage that can occur in his remaining months in office. Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with US

~ Jenny Hastings, Forsyth, Missouri

Count Me In

I have been looking for a place to voice my pro-peace sentiments. I am 54 years old, and marched in the pro-peace demonstrations of the Vietnam era. I was always voting "pro-peace" not anti-troops. Our troops are incredibly wonderful. (At this age, I am no longer able to "march.") I do not want to see the US go to war with Iraq. Innocent lives will be taken, and there will be a tremendous backlash on the USA.

Please email me with any antiwar lists I should sign up for.

~ Julie Shrier

Regarding Jim Vinsel's letter posted February 26:

Jim Vinsel worries that "if you don't blindly support confiscating US taxpayer dollars for Israel you are automatically anti-Semitic." Well, I don't support confiscating US taxpayer dollars for Israel. Nor do I support tax support of Egypt, Jordan, Yasir Arafat's little fiefdom, or anybody else, for that matter. And if Antiwar.com ever expressed a concern about those other tax dollars, or about the eight-decade-long campaign by the Arab nations to ensure that the Middle East be Judenrein, then maybe no one would think Antiwar.com to be anti-Semitic. ...

~ Glenn Farber

Regarding "The New Leninism" by Chad Nagle:

It is a good article, but too looooong. with a flood of things to read these days, people simply don't have time for these laborious articles, thus diminishing their effects. I wish you could publish a 1-2 page version of this since the symmetry is striking. Good Luck.

~ B. Khozai

Go Live in France

Why is all your information anti-President Bush? Where were you people when President Clinton was launching missiles into Iraq? You aren't antiwar your anti-Bush. No one likes the idea of going to war. War is a last resort. Why aren't you protesting for Iraq to disarm? Why aren't you protesting for his people to be set free from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein? This man has thumbed his nose at the world and still you say nothing. America hasn't softened on war with Iraq. Where do you get your information? Where were you people when we went to war in Kosovo? You didn't say anything. What do you say to all the people who lost loved ones on 9-11? It is disheartening to hear you people talk bad bad about the greatest country in the world. If you don't like it pack your bags and leave. What is stopping you? Go live in France, you would be in good company. Saddam needs to be stopped. How many more lives must be taken before you will see this? I could have more respect for you and your organization if you were just about war but you're not. You are about bringing this country down.

~ Eric Justice

Managing Editor Eric Garris replies:

If you would bother to read the background on our site, you would know that we started Antiwar.com to protest Clinton's war on Bosnia, his bombing of Iraq, and later his war on Serbia.

The site was not started by Democrats. I have been a Republican for 20 years. I am a capitalist who supports small government, not an empire.

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