(September 12, 2005)
[Ed. As a reminder to Letter writers: If you want your letters to be published, you must include your first and last names and your city and state of residence. Thank you.]
Swans' work on Yugoslavia and the BalkansTo all at Swans:
A long overdue word of thanks for your excellent work. You are one of the few sources to get it right on Yugoslavia and I have learned a good deal from you. I too remain very surprised that so many people continue to parrot the Official Truth about Yugoslavia (although the number of people who are waking up to the real story is always increasing). I suppose there are a number of reasons why so many people have failed to get the story right, chief among them that the endless attack on Yugoslavia was/is led by the Democrats, various third way politicians, the "independent" (Soros & NATO bloc funded) media and supposed "left" groups aided by the "human rights" community. Opposition to the official truth on Yugoslavia has often come from more conservative or rightwing people who are distrusted by many on the Left. But a lot of it just boils down to a deep-seated chauvinism, naivety and a failure to analyze and think independently.
Perhaps your readers would be interested in the work of the Srebrenica Research Group, a self-financed group of journalists and academic researchers led by Edward Herman which has closely examined the events of Srebrenica:
Also of interest: the Dutch Srebrenica Report concludes in its summary that there were no indications of Belgrade's involvement in whatever did happen at Srebrenica and that even Karadzic's involvement was not confirmed:
"(10) There are a number of indications that it was a central command from the General Staff of the VRS. There are none pointing to political or military liaison with Belgrado. The involvement of the then president Karadzic (Republik Srpska) is unclear."
Thanks again and keep up the good fight.
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA - August 31, 2005
Where have they gone? Greens in the USATo the Editor:
How come such a dearth of Green commentary?
San Antonio, Texas, USA - September 8, 2005
[ed. Good question... Where are the Greens these days, still hard at work on a Safe States Strategy?]
Wrong facts-Right facts? Michael Doliner's "Terrorism" And "Security"To the Editor:
Although you have used a sprinkling of facts to support your preconceived conclusion, the truth comes through loud and clear. We, the U.S. and its people are the ones responsible for the world's terrorism. I wonder how many of the dead from 9/11 would agree with you? As someone that works in the security field, I can tell you that some conclusions about detection are at best sophomoric. Next time, collect all the facts and then reach a conclusion, not the other way around.
Los Angeles, California, USA - August 31, 2005
To the Editor:
Congratulations to Michael Doliner for his very interesting article on Security and Terror. I've wanted to make the same point for a long time, but didn't have the facts or the language to express it. Of course, the first place to look for an explanation of terror is our own foreign policy. But beyond that, the disbalance of wealth in the world, of which we are a significant but not the only part, will create resistance even after all of our foreign military bases are dismantled. There is something fundamental and existential about terror -- the price that we pay for success in the world -- that seems futile to try to avoid. The neocons get that part of it, but they don't get the right solution.
Sausalito, California, USA - August 31, 2005
Americans, warmongers? Gilles d'Aymery's The Noble Cause: OilDear Editor,
Having just read your wonderful article dated 29th August in the cupboard under the stairs in my little English house, I would, if you don't mind, like to add to your woes with an observation made over the last year or so in my country.
I work at two jobs which keep me among average Brits for 12 hours every day and it breaks my heart to hear that the general view among us is that -- and I must mention that I do most certainly not agree -- "The Americans are warmongers and hell bent on destroying the planet!"
It seems to come from the re-election of your current President for whom no Brit has any respect. It is shameful that you are all being tarred with the same brush, and I apologise for Tony Blair's exclusion from blame here, it seems that we think that he only agreed to go to war in Iraq with Mr. Bush in order to ensure that there was some restraint in the assaults -- this is probably vastly incorrect but there we go protecting our own -- I did not vote for Blair, neither did over half of us!!!
We had huge anti-war demonstrations in Britain, as you yourselves had in the U.S., but, like you, we were ignored.
The more educated or indeed interested, are of course trying to make the point that Mr. Bush only just won the last election and that most modern Americans are fighting for peace and wanting their troops home, but I am afraid that while these two ASSHOLES are in control of our countries we will all be considered evil by the vast majority of the world -- even each other it would appear.
Very best regards,
England, U.K. - August 30, 2005
Friendly Salutations: George Beres's Local Face Of Intimidation By Government Mind ControlTo the Editor:
George Beres is so full of shit that his breath precedes him by at least a thousand yards.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA - August 29, 2005
[ed. George Beres takes particular pride in adding to Mr. Evans's quality of life...]
Curious and suspicious...be warned! Gilles d'Aymery's Tidbits Flying Across the Martian DeskTo the Editor:
Gilles d'Aymery's article is very interesting. He really should know, however, that the feds watch e-mails...and they charged me with a felony for saying something bad about the president -- FOR REAL.
I was just kidding the day after the 2004 election and I sent an e-mail to a personal friend saying I wished something would happen to him (you can infer the dialogue)...and a few days later two Secret Service guys came to my house with a felony charge. They used scare tactics and I would have been a whole lot better off had I refused to speak until I had legal counsel.
But my wife and I didn't think (being working, 2 kid family -- no criminal record other than speeding, etc., etc.) we had anything to hide, So we cooperated and talked to them all night.
BIG MISTAKE!!! (Be warned -- never talk to the Feds without counsel.) They took everything against me. I mean I've never even been within the same state with (GWB) and I have no ties to any type of organization. I was simply pissed off at the election and said some stupid stuff to my friend.
Actually someone on my friend's e-mail list got the e-mail by mistake... She was a big time (obsessive), flag waving conservative -- and she turned me into the police
Well, that's my story. It's public record now.
Warren G. Canipe III
Taylorsville, North Carolina, USA - September 1, 2005
Am I a writer? Alma Hromic's NaNoWriMo: Now you too can be a writer! (October 2002)Dear Editor:
I see that you have already gotten lots and lots of letters in response to Alma Hromic's acerbic commentary on the self-titled "rockin' literary marathon," National Novel Writing Month.
I would definitely like to add my comments to the pile of "what's wrong with her? NaNoWriMo is great!" letters you've been getting. I understand you won't publish any more of these, but I'd just like to put my vote in.
I read Ms. Hromic's response, posted at the bottom of a page below several letters. After having had the opportunity to justify and contextualize her opinion, she's still wrong... or so I think. If you film your kids and pop the home video in the VCR, and push the Play button and the picture shows up on the screen... why, you're a TV producer, and who is she to say differently? There's the picture right on the television, and if you made it, that makes you the producer. Similarly, if you've got a novel in your hands, and you're the one who wrote it, that makes you a novelist. Whether it's perfectly done, or whether somebody paid you for it, is not the issue.
I think maybe the term "novel" is what we're getting hung up on. But in truth, isn't all art somewhat subjective? In her original piece, Ms. Hromic states that a "wannabe sculptor" making a piece of "palpable rubbish" in bronze is not making art, and the fact that it's bronze doesn't make it a real sculpture. I say, if the person who made it thinks it's art... then it IS art. And the person who sculpted it is a sculptor. Should you place that bronze object in a gallery, I can guarantee sooner or later somebody is going to come along and want it. Because it will have meaning to that somebody. Even if your medium is "recycled" objects, also known as trash... it can still be art. The medium doesn't matter. What matters is the perspective of the creator and the viewer. If it's meaningful to the artist, then it's art... and if it's meaningful to the audience, then it is most definitely art. But the artist's opinion is the first concern, and even if everyone else in the world hates it, that doesn't make it real garbage.
If I think my 50,000-word manuscript is a novel, then it's a novel. If my readers think it's a novel, so much the better. (Although books like Finnegan's Wake can stretch the point a little.) If somebody comes along and says "this is crap," that doesn't mean it's not a novel... it just means that person doesn't BELIEVE it is. Things don't go away just because you don't believe in them.
If that were the case, there wouldn't be one single published writer, dancer, musician, or actor... because everybody had to start somewhere, and most of those people were not believed in at first. They made themselves real artists, by believing in themselves.
I'm a novelist in my own mind now, and with luck someday I will be one in the eyes of the rest of the world. But if I am, it will have started in here. *points to heart* I put words on paper. That's what you call "writing." The critics can think what they please, but if they tell me I'm not a writer, they're just plain wrong.
Seattle, Washington, USA - September 5, 2005
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