Letters to
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 Unless otherwise requested, authors may be identified and e-mail addresses will not be published.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 15, 2003

Regarding "Death of a Manager" by Nebojsa Malic:

Djindjic's death was "a terrorist act"? How does shooting a traitor qualify as a terrorist act?

~ Chris Soda

Nebojsa Malic replies:

I've called Djindjic's actions treason before, true, and I don't back off from that characterization. But I also think that charging him in a honest Serbian court would have been a civilized thing to do, not to mention that it would have eschewed the violent and coercive means of doing business that seem to be accepted as the norm nowadays. Call me an idealist, but honor is in the means, not just the ends.

Mr. Malic takes justified exception to the Empire's pious proclamations on the tragic assassination of Prime Minister Djindjic. While a broad spectrum of news agencies and political leaders have, no doubt, expressed shock and condolences at the untimely demise of Mr. Djindjic, his death has been overshadowed in the U.S.A. by the heartwarming recovery of a teenager kidnapped in Utah. Today, both Connie Chung and Larry King had hour long segments on the rescue of Elizabeth Smart but not a peep about the assassinated head of state – this the man who single-handedly restored Democracy to Yugoslavia and turned over Slobodan Milosevic, the "Butcher of Beograd," to the Hague tribunal.

Is it any wonder that we in the U.S. are viewed as having no long term interest in the nations that we bomb? Our media elite should not be allowed to have it both ways – if they want to be regarded as serious journalists they should not stoop to covering sensational stories of distinctly local interest. After all, a kidnapped teen in Utah should only be of interest in Utah. Did any news program have in depth coverage of Mr. Djindjic's assassination. When Mr. G.W. Bush talks about creating democracy in Iraq, I am suspicious that the American public's interest in a democratic Iraq will only extend so far as the next sensational celebrity murder case or local kidnap story. Only a fool would take up the job of head of state of Iraq based on US guarantees. Mr. Milosevic should feel vindicated tonight in his detention cell in Scheveningen.

~ Vijay Venkataraman, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Nebojsa Malic replies:

Thank you for pointing this out. I hope this serves as a lesson for potential quislings around the world that being a servant of the Empire is a dangerous, ungrateful, and ultimately fatal venture.

Thank you Mr. Malic for your insightful and truthful article on PM Djindjic.

Hopefully his counterpart in Montenegro will be vanquished also; a bloodless coup would be nice.

~ A. Radojevic

Nebojsa Malic replies:

I have always wondered myself as to why Milosevic was considered to be a beast, while Djukanovic – who was a pale carbon copy of him – got a free ride. Those Imperial subsidies must have had something to do with it.

In reply to Nebojsa Malic's cynical article about the assassination of Serbian prime minister Djindjic: it just proves that those who can, do, and those who can't, write. I've never cared much for Malic's high moral ground; it's easy to give recipes how things should be done in some messed-up country half way around the globe when you live a comfortable US life. If Malic thinks that being involved in politics in Serbia (the closest thing to herding cats on a shoestring budget, with an occasional drive-by shooting or a car bomb to spice things up) is that easy, he should go there and start or join a political party and run for office. But since I doubt he would make such a decision, he should give some slack and respect to those who are doing the very unthankful job of Serbian politics, especially the ones who died in the line of duty.

Back to Djindjic – he was perhaps the most-misunderstood figure in modern Serbian politics. I've come to realize that Djindjic was, despite all his shortcomings, or perhaps precisely because of them, a true heir to the legacy of Milos Obrenovic. I'll spare you a Google search: Milos Obrenovic was the most important Serbian statesman of the 19th century. This former pig trader who couldn't read or write did more to rid Serbia of centuries-long Turkish occupation and make it a member of the community of modern European nations than any of his contemporaries. He was shrewd and ruthless when needed, but through a bit of war and a lot more diplomacy and back-room power games he managed to free Serbia, establish civic institutions, and transform his country into a modern state in less than two generations. Milos Obrenovic's absolutist rule didn't make him very popular during his lifetime, but anyone who would fail to recognize his achievements doesn't know an iota about Serbian history or politics.

And that's who Djindjic was – a guy who recognized that politics was dirty business, who was willing to make unpopular decisions and stand for them, master political gambler who wasn't trying to appease the public too much or give false promises, exactly the kind of leader Serbia needs after a decade of Milosevic and half a century of communism. I don't care that Malic himself doesn't recognize that, but I am concerned that, in front of the American and world public that doesn't know better, Malic is smearing someone far more worthy than he is.

~ Dragan Popovich, Seattle, Washington

Nebojsa Malic replies:

It would certainly be constructive if my critics made arguments based on my actual statements, and not on wild, erroneous assumptions about my character, desires or background. But I really wish people would stop with the tired 'you live in the US and thus have no right to say anything' argument – especially when they live in the US, too.

Now, you may believe what you will about the late Mr. Djindjic, but facts disprove your analogy. Milos the Great actually built institutions of state and society, even as he was not exactly a model statesman, or even a model human being. A clear testament to Mr. Djindjic's alleged institution-building is the current chaos in Serbia, stemming from the fact that he spent his term destroying institutions for the sake of accumulating power.

I really don't know how somebody who ran away from this area and lives so far away has the right to write about the situation in Serbia and Belgrade. You couldn't hide your happiness about the death of Zoran Djindjic. What kind of a man you are? Who gives your right to say that his death is good for us? You should lived here for 10 years under Milosevic, to find out what Djindjic was for us. Way out from ghetto.

It is easy to talk about Serbia from another continent. We wish simple life you try to "change the system", it was your advice in Backtalk with Mladen Saric!

(Sorry for grammatical errors, I am too angry, and too sad.)

~ Mona S.

Nebojsa Malic replies:

Read my bio, and you will see that I did not live under Milosevic, but under Izetbegovic. There is no way to turn back time, but if there was, how'd you like to switch places?

I understand you are angry – and I am, too: angry at what the Powers That Be in Washington, but also in Belgrade, have been doing to Serbia and people like you for years. One of the things I've been trying to explain, very patiently, is that no one can live a 'normal' or 'simple' life by giving up their personal, political and economic freedom, even to those who people are told 'know best'. Or especially to them, as it is. Djindjic, or any other 'fearless leader,' isn't your way out of misery. You are. A better future is made, not given. Remember, Milosevic was seen as a savior, too – and look what happened! Don't listen to me, either – think for yourself.

I am not glad Djindjic is dead. But I am glad he is no longer Prime Minister. There's a distinction.

There is a reference in this useful article to "Dr" Djindjic and his "dissertation" that made him "a professional Marxist". You may be interested in an old rumor among Belgrade philosophers that Zoran's "dissertation" was actually written by one of his girlfriends. There was simply no talent for philosophy in him.

~ A Belgrade Philosopher

Nebojsa Malic replies:

I was not privy to this information. Thank you for supplying it.

"Serbia is better off without him", writes the eloquent Nebojsa Malic, while the Serbian PM's body is still warm. For a long time now I've been quite annoyed with most of Malic's articles at the otherwise excellent Antiwar.com web site. This time he has gone too far, his obvious hatred for the slayed Serbia's democratic leader taking over his better judgment. He has even resorted to lies and slander, implying that the late Djindjic was a Marxist, while he was actually imprisoned by the communists in former Yugoslavia for independent thinking. His PhD was in philosophy, not Marxism. Since 1989 and his return from Germany, he was one of the forebearers of the democratic movement in Serbia. Not everything he has done was perfect and ideal, but so was not the country we lived in, so were not the people he had to work with. He couldn't have "invented" better associates just from thin air.

Most of the people working in Serbian politics nowadays come either from the old communist echelons, or from the war-profiteering hard-line nationalists. Both of these groups have very strong connections with organised crime. If you wish to work in politics in Serbia today, you just cannot avoid messing with them. All of these facts are either known to Nebojsa Malic, in which case he is a malicious and wicked person for not taking them into account, or our Nebojsa is blessed in his ignorance of what life in Serbia really is like, which is such a common place for many of the second generation Serbian-Americans.

~ Deyan Teshich, Australia

Nebojsa Malic replies:

There seems to be some confusion about my characterizations of Mr. Djindjic and my own identity. I am not a Serbian-American, first, second or any generation (though I know many who are, and are good people, too). As for Mr. Djindjic, he may have disagreed with the Titoist regime, but he studied under cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School, such as Juergen Habermas, and that's a matter of public record. I even supplied a link backing it up.

Of course, anyone is welcome to dispute my evidence, and I will gladly retract my characterizations should they be proven misinformed. I did not 'hate' Mr. Djindjic, though I have strongly disliked most of his actions and policies. And as I said, no one deserves to be murdered. But I cannot praise him for things he was not, nor shall I revise my opinions of his acts simply because he is no more amongst the living.

Wake up Bush

I am a retired US Army, NCO. I do not believe in sidestepping issues. I do not believe the Bush Administration is acting on behalf of the American people. I do believe that the in the year and half since the terrorist bombing of the Trade Centers the esteem and respect America once held has fallen to mere contempt throughout the world. I want to tell the Bush Administration I do not appreciate the stupidity it is displaying through its headstrong, unwavering, plans for war. I want to speak clearly and refuse to pay federal taxes this year. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people refused to pay the Government for its inept handling of our affairs, and refuse to pay for an unjust, immoral, illegal war it won't get started. If the Government understands that Americans refuse to pay for this action, it will wake up. I urge others, especially those that are against the planned actions in Iraq to refuse to pay their federal tax. Wake up Bush!

~ Vernon Shoemaker, SFC, USA retired SIGINT analyst


I'm puzzled. President Bush claims the "enforcement of a UN Resolution" as justification to attack Iraq even though he still doesn't have enough votes from the UN members. Now he says that if the UN refuses to give him the votes, the UN becomes "irrelevant," in which case, he is determined to "go it alone." But, if the UN becomes "irrelevant," why would he want to enforce the Resolutions of an irrelevant organization? Sounds to me like he just talked himself out of a reason for war.

Bush trapped himself in his own philosophical web. More nuttiness from a nutty administration.

~ Don Hull, Costa Mesa, California

Riddle Me This, Managing Editor

How many resolutions should we pass to disarm Saddam?

~ MA

Eric Garris replies:

None. We should withdraw from the UN, bring the troops home, and take care of defending America. We spend hundreds of billions a year on defense, yet we are only making our own country more vulnerable.

Why were you complacent with regime change in Kosovo and so against it in Iraq? Is Saddam your friend?

~ TB

Eric Garris replies:

You obviously didn't read much of our site. We started Antiwar.com in the '90s to protest Clinton's illegal war on Serbia. Saddam is not our friend. Neither are the scores of other brutal leaders around the world. But we are a republic, not an empire. It is not the job of the US military to take care of changing regimes we are not happy with. We support the foreign policy of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, and support defending America.

Susan Garcia: If you think war is wrong and Saddam does not need to be removed then why don't you take yourself and your family and go live over there for a while? Go try to speak against Saddam from inside Iraq, live with the people who want to change the way the live and are suppressed over there. If you truly want to make a difference go over there and help the people change their government from the inside. Guess what you won't go because well you know why and also it would be impossible because Saddam has all the power and will use whatever means necessary (including biological weapons) to suppress his own people from having a life. One last thing, what if we hadn't turned our back when the world was fighting Hitler. How many people's lives would we have saved? Yes some of our own soldiers would have died but for millions to live. This can never happen again. No I am not Jewish.

Eric Garris: I am Jewish, and I am a conservative Republican. I support the republic, not an empire. If we are going to start removing unjust and brutal rulers, we will be at eternal war with half the world. Are you saying that you think the cannibalistic regimes of Africa are better than Iraq?

SG: Are you saying that we should turn our backs on the world and let anything and everything go on except what is inside our borders? Maybe if we take a stand against Saddam others will see that we are serious about the treatment of the world's people. You must take a stand somewhere sometime. If your neighbor was being brutalized by her spouse would you turn your back because you cannot fix all the homes where women are being brutalized.

EG: Are you saying we should go into every country where there are brutal dictators? Are you saying we should continue doing what we are doing even if it means we make things worse at home and abroad, just because "we have to do something"?

Yesterday you had a link to an article about a plan to remove Saddam from power that was originated in 1998 by private group that included Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. I did not have time to read the full article and e-mailed it to myself. Unfortunately, that e-mail was never delivered.

I would appreciate it greatly if you can send me the link or the web site address of that article.

Thank you much in advance.

~ Miriana D.

Eric Garris replies:

You can access the last 7 days of our front pages by using the links on the left, under "last 7 days."

I think the article you are talking about is, "The Plan," the summary of the phenomenal piece on Nightline a few days ago.

Regarding "Defending Taiwan's 'Democracy'" by Bevin Chu:

I have been reading your articles on the Internet.I ran across this one about your views on Taiwanese government's censorship and a movement that you call "green terror". I have to read up a bit more on the happenings of the accusation of national security leak in Taiwan, since it happened a while ago. And the censorship of a Chinese news station. But before I do that, I have a question. I would like to know your view on Chinese government's censorship. If reunification does take place, Taiwanese people will be under the Chinese government rule.

You have protested the actions of Taiwanese government regarding censorship. How will you tolerate Chinese government's censorship policy? Many major news websites (CNN and BBC, to name a few) or sites of other nature are blocked on the Internet. permanently. Many Taiwanese news channels are also blocked. ...

Please do not take this question as a rebuttal for actions of the Taiwanese government. I am just curious. Lastly, I am not a professional writer; therefore, my choice of words might not be perfect or precise. Please do not be offended or think too much into some of my choice of words.

~ Duh

Bevin Chu replies:

No offense taken. The following is not directed at you, but at Taiwan independence zealots or fellow travelers who fly off the handle at any suggestion that reunification is the most sensible course of action for the Taiwan region. I will take you at your word that you are not one of them.

I would be remiss as a commentator on the reunification issue however if I did not point out how mind-bogglingly uninformed many who oppose reunification are. A couple of highly public yet little known facts are in order.

One: Strictly speaking, "reunification" is not even necessary, for the simple reason that the Taiwan region has never been legally independent. Highly knowledgeable experts such as Linda Chao of the Hoover Institution (a right wing thinktank which can hardly be accused of being an "apologist for Beijing") even prefer the formulation "The Divided China Problem" to the more common formulation "The Problem of Chinese Reunification". For a superb article by a genuine China expert, see: http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publications/epp/101/101a.html

Two: It never ceases to amaze me how many who oppose reunification have zero understanding about what reunification would entail. Even Beijing, even Mao Zedong himself, never demanded immediate reunification. Neither Beijing nor pro reunification forces on Taiwan have ever demanded IMMEDIATE reunification. They have merely demanded that Taiwan independence zealots forsake their pipe dream of an EVENTUAL independent "Republic of Taiwan". Reunification would not take place immediately, but 50 years after an agreement was reached. The extremely sensible "Jiang Eight Points" formula for example, calls for both sides to have equal legal status during the interim, and eventual reunification only when conditions are agreeable to both sides. The Taiwan region would enjoy de facto independence in the interim. It would retain its own military, police, legal system, economic system, currency, etc. Does anybody truly believe mainland China will still be authoritarian a half century from now?

Three: The Chinese mainland is liberalizing at an astonishing pace that astonishes even China-bashing Blue Team hawks. Paradoxically the real reason they fear China is that they see her becoming a freewheeling market economy, and as an inevitable byproduct becoming wealthy. In other words, they know damned well China is liberalizing, and that's why they fear her. They don't give a damn about whether Chinese enjoy "human rights", they just don't cotton to rivals. Don't believe me? Look at their apoplectic response to the slightest show of European independence in foreign policy. In the case of China, their paranoia is even more intense. They aren't willing to come right out and say it, but their bottom line is they're white supremacists who are afraid of yellow people becoming as wealthy as white people. A wealthy China which can defend itself militarily would stand in the way of the neocon "Project for a New American Century", i.e., a global American Empire – a benevolent one, of course. Ironically, the way domestic political trends are shaping up under such luminaries as John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge, it is not inconceivable that America will be a religious fundamentalist dictatorship and mainland China will be a relatively liberal European style republic in 50 years.

Reason for War

Why aren't the protesters bringing out the news of the Vice President's company he retired from, and he still has ties to, is competing to rebuild Iraq after the war? This story on AOL the other day backs up the one about four months ago, that stated, the same company Kellogg Root and Brown also won a ten year contract to supply the army. Is this not a conflict of interest on the part of the Vice President? You know he still has friends there and is just padding their pocketbooks while the American public is either oblivious to it or doesn't care. AND WE ARE PUTTING OUR SOLDIERS AND THE THREAT OF RETALIATION AT HOME AT RISK TO MAKE THEM BILLIONAIRES.

~ Burrado

Arm Bands

I would like to propose that on the day the bombs start falling on Iraq, we – everyone who opposes this war – begin wearing black arm bands. Critics of the war will be told they have a duty to shut up once the firing starts; arm bands will act as a silent but very visible witness to our mourning. Mourning for our soldiers who will die or return wounded. Mourning for the innocent Iraqi men, women and children who will be blown apart. Mourning for the freedom that will be lost here. Mourning for America.

Rallies and marches don't happen every day, and can be avoided by the people who most need to see and hear them. Imagine the impact if just 1 percent – or 10 or 25 percent! – of the population wore black arm bands to work and to school and to the malls every day. And if the war or its messy aftermath drags on for a long time, the number of "arm banders" will swell. Without sign waving, without shouting, we thus will serve as a constant and enlarging reproach to the warmongers and their destruction.

I have marched against this war, and will do so again. But many, perhaps, will deem it imprudent to be too vocal against the war once it starts. I urge them to join me and others in our arm band movement, a simple and quiet yet eloquent, statement of opposition to the warmongers and an expression of our grief for what they are doing to us and to the world.

~ Steve Smith, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A Grandmother's View

I get a glimmer of hope everyday when I come to this website and read mostly well-written, rational arguments against war with Iraq. Even some of the pro-war comments are more thoughtful than a lot of what you hear and read in the media. Time for another contribution to Antiwar.com.

I don't happen to believe George Bush is a warmongering idiot. I think he's surrounded by pathological advisors that are trying to sell America as the last, great hope for mankind. In Bob Woodward's book Bush at War he quotes the President as saying shortly after 9/11 "Let's get the big picture. A faceless enemy has declared war on the United States of America. This is an enemy that runs and hides, that thinks its havens are safe and no kind of enemy we are used to." How did we get from there to a preemptive, unilateral attack against Iraq?

One explanation might be found in the doctrine of the "New American Century" which another person recommended in Backtalk today. I suggested in a previous post that people read Paul Reynolds' BBC article entitled "Analysis: Power Americana." The editorial staff and a lot of regular contributors to Backtalk are probably aware of both but for those who aren't, I still think it should be recommended reading, regardless of which side you're on.

If you believe the United States should begin the process of world domination with a powerful few determining the means, justifying the ends and ultimately forcing our superior way of life on all nations the "New American Century" will sound attractive to you. The United States would become the imperial benefactor to the world and be forced to sacrifice from time to time those poor souls under rogue dictators who don't comply. Those of us 'mediocre' minds that don't buy into the vision will eventually come around and ways will be found to deal with serious dissent. Everyone will have enough, but not too much and we can always count on benign leaders looking out for our common good. Sound like utopia to you? It gives me the creeps. There's an old Spanish saying: "God said, take what you want and pay for it." I think if we continue down this path the price is going to higher than most Americans can imagine.

~ Merlene Wright, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Regarding "'Antiwar Protesters' Trash 9/11 Memorial" by Jeremy Sapienza:

The reason people do things like that is because of people like you! You guys are all fine screaming anti war but wait until they come here and attack us AGAIN! and when it hits your family like it hit mine, maybe you'll understand why we must take this beast out of power!

~ Breeze

Jeremy Sapienza replies:

This person – http://www.antiwar.com/orig/hoffman1.html – was there. Why isn't she screaming for someone, anyone's blood to be spilt?

My mother was there on business. She saw the planes hit and has ashes in her hair. She's against the war.

And by the way: AL-QAEDA DID 9/11, NOT IRAQ! And even the CIA says there's no connection.

Regarding Chris Penoyer's letter (March 11 Backtalk):

On August 11, 1880, about 15 years after the Civil War, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman told an Ohio audience, “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell. You can bear this warning voice to generations to come.” Indeed, Sherman’s augury did, but it became simply, “War is hell.” The point remains the same; the quote does not.

I was in the military during the Vietnam war. Where were Bush and Co. then?

For the record:

President George Bush – a cushy slot near home engineered by Dad in the Texas Air National Guard; apparently was missing for an entire year; service records never revealed.

Vice President Dick Cheney – no military service.

Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld – no military service.

Chief Pentagon hawks Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz – no military service.

Attorney General John Ashcroft – no military service.

Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott, no military service.

Media neo-conservatives baying for war against Iraq: Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Bill Reilly, George Will, Ken Adelman, and Rush Limbaugh – no known military service during Vietnam.

As for running for president, I would be glad to if I had a couple of hundred million to blow on the campaign and I was connected to the power brokers in D.C and in the pop media. But, If I were ever to be elected and I was obligated to all of these duplicitous sharks for getting me into office, I wouldn't be much of a president, would I?

~ Ken Wooley

Regarding the "Sweet Land of Liberty" letters posted March 10:

I thought the letters to back talk were edited for brevity and coherence, many of the letters in March 10th's Backtalk had neither. I know you feel that these "people" deserve their say, but I wish you would limit the pro-war letters to those who actually have ideas to contribute, and leave the morons to FREE REPUBLIC.

~ Kyle McBride

What a brilliant move ... to post a hand full of pro-war messages, the pro-war bunch is such a cerebral lot! Well, here's a suggestion for all the pro-war, pro-Bush goose-steppers, get your metal 'working tools out and head for Staten Island, BABY! Get on lady liberty, cut her up and send her right back to those disgusting French surrender monkeys that were so rude to give her to us in the first place! Hey, this way you can kill 2 birds with one stone, send the frogs a "message," and get on with destroying liberty here in the good old U.S.A.!

It boggles my mind that these good people (and I mean that) actually believe we'll be eating tabuleh and kneeling on prayer mats if the military fails to invade and conquer Iraq (notice I didn't say "we," I won't be there! Will they?). Thanks Fox news!

Please folks, keep coming back to Antiwar.com and other "peacenik" web sites, we would welcome any converts, like the old saying goes, "Twenty million Frenchmen can't be wrong"! Believe me friends, Jesus would work for a peaceful solution, not the bombardment on a city of 5 million citizens. Satan would like that though, Gracie, not Jesus, not the antiwar bunch, but that stinkin' Satan dude would (or so I've been told). The stock market is crashing, people are loosing sleep and retirement funds, our country is divided by those that want to murder and those that don't. Lets come together and give this administration the "pink slip" next year! Antiwar.com is awesome!

~ Rick O.

Enjoyed March 10th Backtalk.

It's so common in the media to have intelligent, thoughtful, neo-conservatives argue their case for war, while media selected people, whom are most likely inbred argue their case against war. You have turned the tables. I almost fell out of my chair reading the last half of Backtalk, thanks for the laughs!

I just can't resist responding to some of the posters, which is no doubt merely an intellectual exercise since they are unlikely every to read this.

Peter M. Grajczak: You argue that we are living in times similar to '39. How? Iraq couldn't defeat Iran in 8 years of war despite US intelligence, British, French, Chinese and Russian weapons. Turkey routinely violates her borders at whim, we (US and British) fly over their territory whenever it so amuses us. What is the threat?

Jennifer Cox: TYPING IN CAPS DOES NOT MAKE YOUR POINT STRONGER. It just annoys readers, whether they agree with you or not.

Michael Wittwer: I do support our troops, why do you want them to die for the Likud Party? Why do you want them to die so that Marxists like Rumsfeld, Perle, et al can 'export' democracy?

Carson Harris: Carson writes, "There may be no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda but how many Americans are you willing to sacrifice just in case you're wrong? ... If there is even the most remote chance that another 9/11 can happen. I would rather kill every raghead in the middle east than lose one more innocent American."

Ahh, right. What if the people of Cameroon are involved maybe we should whack them as well. ...

Grace Overcash: Grace writes, "The only reason that you traitors and communists and uninformed, ungrateful people get away with such hate talk and anti-peaceful actions is because America has freedom of speech. My father fought in WW II so that pathetic throw backs from the Vietnam Era can make a mockery of justice and democracy. "

YES! I totally agree! Those 'Vietnam Era throwbacks' like Perle, Rumie, Wolfowitz, Bush Jr. are making a mockery of justice, democracy, and I might add, what our forefathers stood for. Why they could be considered traitors couldn't they Grace?

~ Jim V., Oregon

Since I am a dedicated believer in the principles of The First Amendment I support your publishing diverse views other than the antiwar agenda which is the reason for your existence. Now if only our mainstream news media had such respect for our Constitution perhaps we would not now be facing what may be the most cataclysmic war ever fought on this planet. The views of this opposition is indicative of the failings of our educational system in which many colleges no longer require history as a mandatory subject.

As I am a veteran of World War II it both amuses and amazes me to read their exuberant jingoism reinforced by the war service of distant ancestors. When identifying the small cabal that surrounds President Bush who are in the vanguard in his war against Iraq – which will eventually extend to any Islamic nation perceived to be a threat to Israel – I can only ponder how their war lust has not encouraged them to enlist in his crusade which they consider so necessary and noble. I suggest you log onto NHGazette.com and click on their Chickenhawk list. Most are abundantly there though the list needs some serious updating because we could all nominate many more. However, despite my own war service I no longer resent draft dodgers knowing that life is a survival of the fittest and the most truly fit will not volunteer to leave their bodies or its parts in the distant sands. That is where Fox News and the Wall Street Journal and the other mainstream news outlets come in by stimulating the nation's war juices until the gurgling becomes a death rattle.

America has changed quite a bit since I returned from the Pacific after World War II. The most profound change: dodging the draft is no longer resented but many of this group are now our leaders. Who would have thought a hero like Max Cleland, who lost an arm and two legs in Vietnam, would be defeated by a man who avoided serving and now sits in the Senate calling for support for this war which he will certainly not fight nor will his family members? Our forces are not subject to Affirmative Action since the Rich and Famous are not members. I realize it is difficult for many of them to enlist since cities of affluence lack recruiting offices. But in the meantime condemn the Chickenhawks for their success in starting another jolly war and leave instructions for your progeny to do the same because they will be fighting this same war a millennium from now.

~ SB

Regarding Peter M. Grajczak's letter posted March 10:

On September 1, 1939 Adolf Hitler invaded a small virtually defenseless nation. The pretext for the invasion was given by the Chancellor of the Reich in a proclamation, "The Polish State has refused the peaceful settlement of relations which I desired, and has appealed to arms. Germans in Poland are persecuted with bloody terror and driven from their houses....If our people fulfills its highest duty in this sense, that God will help us who has always bestowed His mercy on him who was determined to help himself."

Now in 2003, George W. Bush is on the verge of invading another small virtually defenseless nation. The pretext for the invasion was given by the President of the US in a proclamation,"We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons.... We did not ask for this present challenge, but we accept it."


~ SD, Canada

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