My first letter.
Thanks for your site, which I have been compulsively reading for months now.
It gathers the cream of commentary like no other.
Two things: Since
With the Reality-Based Community," Scott McConnell's review of Ethical
Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World by Anatol Lieven
and John Hulsman, I have stopped looking for a more succinct statement of our
moment in time. It has decided me to give The American Conservative as
a gift subscription to local high school teachers this year, replacing The
American Prospect, which I have given for four years now. The writing is
better and more profound.
in the sign business, it is my business to reduce all messages to a bumper sticker.
The art is to have it contain the essential elements of the full message. Let
me submit my humble offering to you and Antiwar.com now: IRAQ: Done wrong,
or wrong to do? This is the question, and fault line, upon which American
society will break. The Democrats are already clearly lined up to "do it better."
We and our country will either disavow our imperial pretensions, acknowledge
that empire is wrong to do, and live our lives accordingly – or wink out as
a society, bewildered, like latter-day Romans on steroids.
Now comes the
time for me to part company and give up my addiction to your site. I am familiar
enough with the ways of Mordor. I now strike out on the path of sustainable
business, long-term industrial permaculture, and relocalization. We'll find
our way by the stars, by Spirit, and by the best of our inheritance, or not
~ Richard Abbot
I share Justin Raimondo's negative opinion of Avigdor Lieberman, I thought it
was needlessly provocative to compare him to Hitler. What with all the leaders
being compared with Hitler these days, one would think that The Boys from
Brazil was a true story. Lieberman is evil enough to find his own special
niche in the pantheon of villains without having to drag up der Fuhrer
yet once again. Surely the inventor of that delicious term "Bizarro World"
can do better than this.
~ Steve Goodman,
Fault Lies in Ourselves
Roberts claims that the USA was founded on the idea of limiting government in
order to protect people from the excesses of government. Perhaps he should remember
that slavery was initially part of American society and that it eventually triumphed
over the original concept of limited government. Any time conservatives decide
that "protecting" economic interests (slavery then, big oil today) comes first,
then freedom withers.
predated the U.S. Constitution. It was an accepted private property right at
"I agree with
Hornberger that the way to deal with terrorism is to change the policies that
provoke it. What the Bush administration has done is to institutionalize elements
of a police state as protections against terrorists so that it doesn't have
to change its policy in the Middle East."
read. One of the issues that I agree is paramount in understanding this unique
situation that we face today is beginning a debate about U.S. foreign policy.
As you note in your article, foreign policy arrogance by the Bush administration
is so rigid and so status quo that many have bought into the notion that it
is our liberties that must be sacrificed, rather than the wrongheaded policies
I also see the
distance between America today and the America of the Founding Fathers as a
problem. Most of us today have grown accustomed to bringing up the ghosts of
the Founding Fathers in discussions and debates as points of argument, while
the Founding Fathers themselves who discussed and debated were at the same time
actually seeing and living in a world where they felt passionately about the
value of liberties over the government's role.
There are, in
my humble opinion, a host of issues that have contributed to our pop culture
interest in Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' newborn and our collective yawn about
the "rollback" of our liberties, but in my estimation the one clear reason is
that we have not had to fight for these liberties against government for many
generations, and we today have too many Americans who equate those who speak
out against government to America-haters, rather than defenders of the Bill
of Rights or the Constitution.
And when the president
and the vice president of the U.S. openly create an us-versus-them distinction
among its own people, some Americans buy in to this nonsense rather than become
enraged that these government leaders are openly opposing one of the most basic
rights of an American citizen: to address grievances against its government
and to question its representatives. However, in today's divided political arena,
too many have drawn sides about matters in which this very nation was founded.
are today about unlimited power and greed, and very little about at least agreeing
to the principles of the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. And perhaps, unlike
any other period of time in U.S. history, we find leaders are less about following
the rules established by those above documents and more about unbridled control,
authority, and power. The path set by this present administration can be a wake-up
call to the dangers that we face when fear, misinformation, and ideology rule
over common sense, compromise, and reality. Our next leaders can seize the moment
to pursue a path that drives us toward reconciliation, by using members of both
parties in its administration (which up until Bush II was fairly commonplace),
or it can choose to go after its political enemies, further driving a ideological
wedge throughout this nation.
I certainly believe
that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should be held accountable for their misdeeds;
however, this should not be the number-one goal should Democrats be returned
to power. The larger picture should be a structured strategy to inform and educate
the people to become actively engaged in its government and to understand that
it should not have to give up its liberty established in these documents to
enjoy security. In other words, our next set of leaders should be willing to
examine and change policies rather than erode or restrict liberties to keep
these policies in place.
This means that
the next administration should examine and demonstrate that it can work with
the other party and that it can embrace others' ideas for the good of the people.
Moreover, we need an administration that does not rule by punitive measures
of sanctions and war while saying that this is the only solution when it is
in fact our policies that fail to move in the direction of compromise and cooperation.
Because if we
cannot elect the type of leaders who can end this unfortunate partisan trend
toward divisive politics, America won't have to worry about terrorism and security,
because she will have ultimately destroyed herself internally as so many other
great empires of the past have done.
~ V. Samuels
Frame-Up of Vladimir Putin
sorry for being late, but in light of the two previous comments I wanted to
express my sincere and heartfelt support to Mr. Raimondo for his honest look
into the affairs of today's Russia and bouts of well-orchestrated Russophobia
in the U.S. and Europe accompanying its emergence from the abyss of 1990s. As
someone who left Russia 17 years later than Dimitry Zarkh and lived there for
31 years longer than the lady/gentleman from Amsterdam, I dare to claim more
expertise in all questions Russian than both of them combined.
All I really wanted
to say is that Justin Raimondo seems to have developed a remarkable instinct
for the truth, as well as an equally remarkable instinct for constantly disseminated
anti-Russian propaganda in the mainstream Western press (presumably the source
of "knowledge" of the anti-Putin crowd, including Dimitry
Zarkh and Karel
is not perfect, but he's the best thing that's happened to Russia in the last
90-some years. Popular opinion reflects that – pathetic try by Karel Beckman
to discount it and deny it notwithstanding. The situation with freedom of press
– as the article shows – is indeed not even close to being dire. The
political debate is magnitudes livelier than in the U.S. The economy is growing
by leaps and bounds. Prosperity is starting to spill into the provinces. Thievery
and corruption – while still off the charts – are a pale shadow of
what they were before Putin took over.
Please, Mr. Raimondo,
don't get discouraged from shedding light into dark corners, even if the things
being discovered are far from pleasant. Thanks for your courage.
~ Oleg Beliakovich