(February 27, 2006)
[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.]
Announcement: Walkin' To New Orleans 14-19 March, 2006To the Editor:
Xin Chao Cac Ban,
My usual prefatory comment as to an apology for the unsolicited, unprovoked, etc. nature of this E-Mail. And a further Xin Loi for its communality as well.
All on this lengthy list are involved in the dissemination of the truth. Once I might have written "information" but that common word has now been inextricably intertwined with "entertainment."
Whether by the written word, the spoken word, film, photos, or, as educators. Many of you wear several hats. I could have written these few words earlier and thus have relayed a scoop of sorts but the time for that has surely passed. Much of this may be redundant to some of you.
On 5 August 2005, Cindy Sheehan spoke at the Veterans For Peace Convention in Dallas and indicated she intended to take a trip to the "faux ranchette" of our leader Bush. She asked for a contingent of vets to accompany her. This was done the following day and the sit-down began. And it might be said "the rest is history." The simple question, "What was the noble cause my son died for?" (If she ever gets an answer to that, I have a similar question as to Viet Nam.) And we sat in the ditch until the summer vacation was over and Bush made his rather high fly-over of the area that was devastated by Katrina. It certainly was not the moment for a risky "Mission Accomplished" landing.
These same forces, veterans of our nation's wars and the families of our present day military, will be joined by the survivors of the hurricanes in the South-East USA. We plan to begin a march in Mobile, Alabama on 14 March and culminate in New Orleans on 19 March. The 3rd Anniversary of the present day obscenity in Iraq.
Our intent is simple and focused. We hope to show by our march and our visits with the communities still devastated that there is a startling disconnect somewhere in our government, in our citizenry, that allows money to be found at the drop of a hat for the never-ending war and nothing is available for our own citizens living in conditions akin to a war zone. I know, "We have to Support the Troops." Such bullshit!
So that's the scoop. What I would request from each of you is your support. We look upon you as our intellectual source of strength. That support can range from well-wishing to actual participation. I realize some on this list are of a "certain age," thus there will be no need to actually hump 25 miles or so each day. But all can follow and report on our 5 day trek in any way that might be deemed suitable to your interest and your expertise.
I am a combat veteran of the American War in Viet Nam. I also travelled to Iraq one year into this foreordained debacle. Iraq is worse. For the GIs and the Iraqis. Hard to believe but I feel it is true. Many of you have also experienced Viet Nam and what it did, still does (?), to our national psyche. The aftermath of Iraq will be worse. As hard as we have worked, it still continues, thus we all have failed. But now is the time to dig a little deeper within. If we do not take charge of our democracy, soon, it will be gone. We are acting like a nation of cowering sheep. Being led by a "leadership" of REMFs.
Whatever you can do to help us will be greatly appreciated. Your the 'brains' in this outfit and the 'old' and 'not-so-old' vets will do the grunt work.
If there are any questions, they can be addressed to me and I will hook you up with the designated press person in our group. At present I am in Viet Nam so E-mail works [<bilikelly AT hotmail.com>]. And I will be back "home" 3 March. All data below.
Pushing my luck a little, I quickly will add the fact that I have read, heard, watched or peered at the work of each and every one of you. And, I am forever in your debt. And I? I will keep fighting!!!
Contacts: Stan Goff -- <sherrynstan AT igc.org> or Paul Robinson -- <ziontrevor AT yahoo.com>
Essential web sites. Check out and add to mailing list. You will not be disappointed. Money back guarantee!!
tomdispatch.com & dahrjamailiraq.com & veteransforpeace.org & stangoff.com
I am a combat Veteran For Peace.
I am not, and shall not be, an OXYMORON!!!!
<bilikelly AT hotmail.com>
Quan Phu Nhuan, Vietnam (and Stockholm, New Jersey, USA) - February 23, 2006
NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.
Ghoulish metaphors: Charles Marowitz's David Lodge's Author, AuthorTo the Editor:
Out of respect for Henry James, Charles Marowitz gives David Lodge credit for more than he deserves as a novelist. Lodge's fictionalization of James's life, around the event of the failure of his play, Guy Domville, is undoubtedly full of convincing and titillating details. Lodge is good at that. What it lacks, I'm sure, is soul. Lodge is a glib craftsman, an academic whose non-fiction works include The Art of Fiction. This work is suitable for any Introduction to Literature course, but it's far less memorable than any one of James's quirky, passionate introductions to his novels.
Lodge's two popular novels, Changing Places and Small World, are fictionalizations of a real-life University of California literary hotshot, pursuing career advantage and younger women at the same time. They were instant successes in the small world of literary academics, but are not much read anymore. For a novel about the corrosive affects of literary ambition, Martin Amis's The Information is a hundred times more interesting.
There's something ghoulish about a writer who finds his subject matter in other writers' lives, particularly their literary failures and sexual shortcomings.
Sausalito, California, USA - February 14, 2006
Counter Historical Narrative: Philip Greenspan's Continuing Israeli-Palestinian Historical TrendsTo the Editor,
Philip Greenspan tells us that Israel not only wants to keep the West Bank but, in fact it wants to extend the borders of Israel all the way to the Nile and the Euphrates...("Continuing Israeli-Palestinian Historical Trends," February 13). The withdrawal of Israel from the Sinai and from Gaza were just "tactics" in an ongoing struggle, but the aim is "to build an ever expanding state and to expel the indigenous non-Jewish inhabitants." And, he got a confirmation of that assertion from none other than one of the leaders of Hamas, who recently said that Israel has to change its flag because the two blue lines on it depict the two rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates. It appears that animosity to Zionism and Israel can do miracles -- bringing together a left-wing progressive and a regressive fundamentalist Jihadist. Strange bedfellows indeed.
As to the substance of this more than bizarre idea, Ben Gurion never said what Greenspan claims he did. Even the leaders of the right-wing branch of the Zionist movement, like Zabotinski, Begin, Shamir or Nethanyahu, never mentioned the Nile and the Euphrates. They wanted to have a Jewish state on ALL of Mandatory Palestine, including the Kingdom of Jordan. Ben Gurion was one of their fiercest opponents, because he understood early on that a territorial compromise between the two peoples is a must. That is why he accepted the UN partition plan while Begin opposed it. Had the Arabs accepted it too, instead of starting the war of 1947-48, their independent state would have been 57 years old today and there would not have been a single Arab refugee. But, they wanted ALL of Palestine. They refused to accept a Jewish state, regardless of its size. And as they were sure that they could easily overcome the Jewish forces, they started the war of terror against the Palestinian Jewish population which culminated with the invasion of the regular armies of five neighboring Arab states. To Greenspan's great disappointment they lost the war and only brought disaster to their people, causing the refugee problem. Israel paid a very heavy price for the victory -- 6,000 dead -- a whole one percent of the total Jewish population in Palestine at that time. This is like the US lost 2.5 million soldiers in Vietnam.
The fact that the Jewish leadership in Palestine accepted the UN partition plan indicates that the Jews did not want to "ethnically cleanse" anybody. On the other hand, the refusal of the Arabs to accept the partition and their military attack on the Jewish population indicate that they wanted to ethnically cleanse the Jews from Palestine. And in fact, while 130,000 Arabs remained in Israel after the war of 1947-48, not a single Jew remained in the areas of Palestine, which fell to the Arab armies. They were all expelled or killed. Now, that was ethnic cleansing par excellence. Today there are 1.3 million Arabs who are Israeli citizens.
The Israeli-Palestinian historical trends clearly point out to the only solution to the 100 year-old conflict -- the two states solution. If Hamas decides to change its covenant, recognize Israel and start negotiations, I am sure Israel will come to the table. If not, Israel can continue to withdraw unilaterally, dismantle more West Bank settlements, finish the separation fence, and wait, until the Palestinians change their mind. I am also sure Israel will do the best it can to protect the lives of its citizens, whether Greenspan likes it or not.
Jerusalem, Israel - February 15, 2006
Integrity, did you say integrity? Please, support our work
Supporting SwansDear Mr. d'Aymery,
I checked your Website today, and wanted to chip in to your good efforts. However, since I am in London there is a bit of a problem in sending you a cheque -- you'd end up paying high transaction costs etc. If you enable a PayPal option I will beam you $100.
Keep up the good work
Paul de Rooij
London, England - January 30, 2006
Gilles d'Aymery responds:
Marc Cooperism: Gilles d'Aymery on Marc Cooper's "Progressive" RhetoricGilles,
Your take on Marc Cooper warmed my heart. Argument by way of "guilt by association" has been thrown at dissidents for decades. Glad to see it taken on.
North Bangor, New York, USA - February 13, 2006
Truthdig "Liberalism": Gilles d'Aymery on Marc Cooper's "Progressive" RhetoricGilles,
Thanks for your article on Truthdig. I've been a fan of Robert Sheer for a long time, and I mistakenly, apparently, thought the site was his and gave it credit for reflecting his political point of view.
A couple of weeks ago Truthdig published Sam Harris's "Atheist Manifesto," a distillation of his recent book The End of Faith. Harris's Manifesto similarly generated a lot of comment, over 500 the last time I looked. And Harris, like Cooper, re-entered the fray, often petulantly, to defend himself against his critics.
Harris's book seems to be currently popular among leftists, probably because of recent awareness of the dangers of religious thinking in our politics. But Harris's arrogance toward anything but "rational" thought has a tinge of elitism to it, and could easily imply the same political positions as the Leo Strauss school. His position on Islamic fundamentalism, in fact, is exactly the same as the administration's: they hate us because they are evil.
I think it's definitely worth watching Truthdig for further signs of progressive rhetoric cloaking authoritarian politics.
Sausalito, California, USA - February 13, 2006
Short and to the point: John Steppling's The Debacle At The Hague (Aug. 2004)To the Editor:
Mr. Steppling should stick to being a playwright. Entirely too much drama in his account. Say what you mean and get it over with.
Houston, Texas, USA - February 23, 2006
They/We Survive! Just in from Martin Murie, the author of Trumpeters, a story of life at its best.Gilles,
Just received a census of trumpeter swans in the Jackson Hole, Green river, Salt River area (north-west Wyoming), from a friend, Bert Raynes (bird expert and former chemical engineer) who writes a weekly column there.
Field notes: Summarizing Susan Patla's trumpeter swan midwinter survey, completed last week. Susan is the nongame biologist for Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Jackson District. She found 471 trumpeters, 55 of which were cygnets, in the Jackson area (from Alpine to the South Entrance of Yellowstone National Park). On the Salt River, 161 swans, of which 55 were cygnets. On the Green River, most in Seskadee Wildlife Refuge, were 83 swans, seven of which were cygnets. Overall, not any significant changes in populations, total birds a tad up, cygnets a tad down on numbers. In this region of the Rocky Mountains, these magnificent birds appear composed and relaxed, impeccably groomed and handsome, but are in reality battling for survival.I'm pleased. Much has happened since that time Olaus and Almer and an eager kid released three adult trumpeters on Flat Creek, Jackson Hole. Of course, I do realize that they are "in reality battling for survival."
North Bangor, New York, USA - February 20, 2006
Circling Around the Great Game [ed. Richard (and readers), see the appended note.]Dear Editor,
If I might reply to the letter of 13th Feb., in your last issue.
This is where we came in the 1960s when the radicals said "there is no difference between the two parties, since the difference within them is greater, because of the Dixiecrats."
I must also warn it is the reason for the totally negative image of America arising, particularly in English-speaking countries, of basically the only nation to go fascist democratically. But Germany voted Hitler in.
It is also to repeat the mistakes made with Carter and Clinton. In 1975, Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Trilateral Commission went out to find a presidential candidate. They decided they needed as Southern governor who had some interest in foreign policy. When they found Carter, Brzezinski remarked "he's our man!"
Beginning in 1976, and formally adopted as policy in 1979 was the plan which exists of world domination through the domination of Eurasia, and that the degree of that dominance and its length depend on the degree of dominance of Eurasia.
Clinton, another trilateral Commission candidate, carried out the policy determined in NSDD 133 of the attack on and the destruction of Yugoslavia from 1993-99 in order to take control of a strategic corridor from Yugoslavia to Sinkiang. Read Brzezinski's book, "We must take control of a strategic corridor from Yugoslavia to Sinkiang and have ten years to do it."
Then there was Harry Truman, basing his foreign policy on the four reports drawn up by the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department Policy Unit to take control of Eastern Europe and dominate Eurasia etc., which is where Zbigniew Brzezinski got it from.
Then there was Kennedy who was pushed into starting a pre-emptive war against the Warsaw Pact but received saner advice. Jackie Kennedy -- "I want my children to grow up," Mountbatten -- "these people are insane." Shortly after refusing to do it he was assassinated.
This was the same identical policy of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and arose from the same source. Hitler got it from Haushofer, the German geographer, who got it from the British geopolitical theorist Mackinder. The Council on Foreign Relations got it direct from MacKinder.
Do we have to go around the same circuit next time?
Richard A. Roper
Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK - February 14, 2006
[Rich, you need to specify what you are commenting on, and tell me (repeat) your location -- city, state, country. I can't remember where everybody lives, and there is no reason, but for a reader's laziness or inattention, to make me have to go fishing, hunting for, finding out, what he is writing about... Spare my time, will you? This goes for all correspondents, by the way. Thank you. Sincerely, Gilles d'Aymery]
How to get published? Fairness and balance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Dear Sir or Madam,
I am attempting to find a publisher or an agent willing to take a look at my uncle's new book, Das Ende des Judentums - Der Verfall der Israelischen Gesellschaft to see if they might like to take on the project of translating it into English and publishing it here in the United States. The subject is of such interest and relevance. As a rounded-up Jew in Germany, my uncle Hajo barely survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. However, he is now one of the leading spokesmen in Holland for the cause of Palestinian rights. His basic premise is that he can relate, i.e., he knows first-hand what it feels like to be treated as a sub-human by another group of people.
I have herewith included the amazon.com link to his book. I have also attached a few other articles he has written, which may interest you further.
A final note of interest: about 70% of the cost of translation from the Dutch text into English could be subsidized by an organisation which is interested in promoting translated versions of Dutch texts abroad. They were also involved in the translation of the Dutch text into German.
Thank you very much for your consideration. If you definitively are not interested in undertaking this project, perhaps you might suggest a publisher or a publishing agent to me who you think might be, as I wish to pursue any lead I can.
Malden, MA, USA - February 13, 2006
[ed. We are not in a situation in which we could entertain such a project. I unfortunately have no suggestion, but if a reader can help, Vera Meyer can be contacted at <vmeyer AT meditech.com> (replace AT with the symbol @).]
Remember, support Swans. It only will hurt your wallet, not your freedom to be heard.
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