Letters to the Editor

(September 11, 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. Also, please, enter in the subject line of your e-mail "letter to the editor," and specify the article or the subject on which you are commenting. Thank you.]

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A Third Gondola, Half Resident, Gets in the Way of Alex Cockburn's and Peter Byrne's Embarcations: See Cockburn's letter after Reading Peter Byrne's July 31 letter and article, "Venice, Nobody's Town"

To the Editor:

Regarding Peter Byrne's articles and the letter by Alexander Cockburn, Venice is not dying and comments by both writers are typical of people who don't live here and only know this city superficially. Venice is changing but the changes are not all bad. I have lived here for 20 years and houses aren't any more expensive to buy than in any major European city -- rents that Alex quotes are normal also for Paris and are below London's. Eating out is still cheaper than in either of those cities. The Venetians are moving out and have been for years (I do miss the local butcher and vegetable man, but I just jump in my boat and go to the Realto, which is the most amazing market -- there is nothing like it in Paris or London).

"Normal Venetians" move not only because it is cheaper on the main land but they also like to have a garden, a car, and easy access to shopping malls. Those working-class Venetians never participate in Venice's activities anyway, except the religious ones. Peter's Carlo is typical...a shame as Venice is incredibly active with endless cultural activities.

Because one walks, one meets the most amazing and interesting people from all countries. And the most remarkable people live here from all over the world -- even if they are not residents. My best friend (an American) created an artistic foundation here with 10 short stay residences (only for over forties and already well established writers and artists). I introduce the visitors to Venetians and foreigners who are involved in the arts, and I can tell you there are an incredible mix of people living here who fall into that category.

Peter Byrne would not have met them as he likes books better than people. Alex might meet them if he lived in Venice or met someone like me who would help him discover fascinating Venice under the layer of tourists. It's a great place to live and to write. I am quite happy with the idea that it will be filled with more and more people like me who love it here. I'm sure they will, like me, help it to remain a creative city.

Karen Moller
Venice, Italy - August 28, 2006

PS. Swans' publisher might think of applying for a stay of one to three months. I'm sure he would love it.

[ed. Swans' publisher would love any opportunity to take a break from this dreadful country...


"Unholy Asses" and Jacob Amir's Incomprehension

Hey Monsieur d'Aymery,

To refute or respond to the good doctor's usual blather would be like spending the day shooting the breeze and generating hot and smellishly foul air, better known in the words of the old Tip Top Lady of Bruceoleum times, when your local rag was worthy of a few sansonnets, as bas canard, or duck fart. Do they have ducks in the Holy Land, Mr. d'Aymery? You've been there; you should know. Do kosher ducks fart? That is the question.

Jacob, le petit chou, must never have taken the vow of the Nazarite for it looks like he was rather imbibed when he wrote his latest blur. To be fair, I've not taken the vow either though I, for one, have not vowed to destroy the entire world in order to save my beautiful legs.

By now we all have figured out that le petit chou is no Art Buchwald, but one must take a stand at some point -- as the old lady used to say, "a girl's got to draw the line somewhere." I am no pacifist, French or otherwise. I'd just want to have a long life, find a loving husband, preferably wealthy (a girl can have her Cinderella dreams), give birth to 2.5 children, and own a two-car garage in Gambais, next to a nice bourgeois house. That's not Amir's vision. He'd rather abort my little dreams so that his farts can keep puffing and puffing. In short, I choose life and he's enamored with death. Toujours gai, mon petit chou, toujours gai, would have said the old bum.

Ah oui, what's the definition of an "unholy ass" that the doctor misses? It could be that in the Holy Land or in the Holy City in which he resides, an idiot that has become a synonym with mortuary can only be an "unholy ass," but I had something different in mind: An "unholy ass" is an arse that has become the primary residence of the brain and turned into a death-farting enterprise. (De gustibus non disputandum est.)

So, you kick the arse, whack the face, and hope that physiology gets back in track. Fat chances. I suppose I am not the only reader getting fatigued by the morbid repetitive venom of this petit chou. It's time, sadly, that you bowdlerize this "good doctor."

Allez, bon vent. Give 'em hell.

Alouette Arouet
Paris, France - September 2, 2006

Gilles d'Aymery responds: I'm quite not ready yet to "bowdlerize" Jacob Amir's discourse. He simply was unable to grasp your humor. He's also unable to open his mind, wherever its physiological location, to the intensely careful words of Michael DeLang. The exercise here, is, in my mind, more about us, discarded souls, than about convincing anyone of the well-founded take of what things ought to be. You cannot convince. They keep at it, blinded. We, on the other hand, must keep humanness alive, in whatever fashion we gather. Keep at it.


Another Sound and Humane Letter to Jacob Amir in Response to last issue's Letter to the Editor by the Good Doctor.

To Jacob Amir, via the Editor:

I see by your comments regarding my last letter that I was unsuccessful in communicating my point of view. It's important enough to me to warrant one further attempt. My sole purpose in writing it was to urge you to examine and question both the morality and the efficacy of murder as a function of government. Any reference I may have made to your practiced litany of historical grievances was intended not to attempt any judgment on their accuracy or intrinsic legitimacy, but to dismiss them as altogether irrelevant to the specific issue that I sought to address. My position, as simply as I can possibly word it, is that when violence is the problem, it cannot also be the solution.

Yes, I am familiar with extremist statements made by some members representing Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. There's no question about the intensity of their belligerence. These are, indeed, people who desire a perpetual state of war. They remind me of the gibbering fools spewing a similar vein of rhetoric on websites devoted to the mission of white supremacy. But I contend that there are many voices in the Middle East that wish to be heard. What I cannot accept is that the majority of the people living there would prefer to exist under the continuing degradations of war when peaceful coexistence is a viable option. Anyone, from any quarter, denying that peaceful coexistence can ever be a viable option in the Middle East, I would group with the extremists and gibbering fools. I will also suggest that a significant portion of any authority or influence held by the extremist factions with the general population in the region is derived from the Israeli government's decision to primarily focus on and respond to the belligerence in extremist rhetoric at the expense of other voices calling for moderation and reconciliation.

In reference to the question raised by your hypothetical scenario of an attack on Buffalo; how would I feel? What would I do? First let's get rid of the assumption that I should feel any special quality of empathy for victims in Buffalo, over those, for instance, in Beirut, East Timor, Darfur, or Tel Aviv. Our concern over the blight of unnecessary human suffering should be neither diminished nor enhanced by considerations of geography. How, then, would a government sympathetic to my point of view (as ours is not) respond to this hypothetical affront from across the border? First, it would not murder the family of a wheat farmer in Saskatchewan in some absurd symbolic gesture of retaliation. The hypothetical, as presented, offers very little in the way of context. What motivates our attackers to want to destroy the U.S.? Do they hate us for our freedom, as some have declared, or could it be for the murders that have been committed falsely in the name of that freedom? Do they have a list of specific grievances that can be addressed? What avenues of communications can be opened in order to learn more about the answers to these questions? What effect would our unilateral and unconditional pledge of non-violent response, honored indefinitely and unconstrained by the threat of deadlines, have in tempering their hatred?

You may be tempted to dismiss this approach and these questions as idealistic and naïve, heedlessly unresponsive to the political realities of the world in which we must exist. I would answer that we, as the collective authors of this world, carry within us the power, if we can muster the will to exercise it, to act to alter those political realities. There is one path darkened by fear and hatred. Obsessed with the idea of borders and walls and fences, drawing on cultural difference for its baseline, it raises shouts of provocation and encroachment, cultivating intolerance and distrust. This path's chosen means is violence to return violence, returning violence and more violence. This path has a means, but no end. There is another path, lit (though dimly) by a hope for future peace. Blind to the concept of borders, it concerns itself with the commonality and sanctity of the aspirations of human lives. The tools of transition it seeks to put into play are compassion, communication, and compromise. If you say that this second path offers no guarantees for the future, I would have to agree that it does not. But those who tread it are able to find ample and just cause in the possibility that it offers.

Each of us who cares about what happens in this troubled region must choose a path to follow. I am appealing to you, Dr. Amir, to look within yourself and find the desire to leave fear behind and join us on a path of hope. Help us to work for an end to the wars.

Michael DeLang
Rockford, Illinois, USA - September 2, 2006


A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

To the Editor:

I just read through most of your article featuring your and others' interchange with Jacob Amir. I will finish it later, as well as going through many of the articles on your site.

I just want to say that I believe the two-state paradigm is passé. If it could have worked, it would have. After a certain amount of study of the issue as a private world citizen, I have come to the conclusion which will probably not change unless the Israeli government proves me wrong by action not rhetoric, that they really do not wish to negotiate a binding agreement and are instead bent on a gradual, persistent, expansionary program -- perhaps thinking in terms of decades and centuries.

How can a simple people like the Palestinians, in a region part of the Arab-Muslim diaspora more agricultural than urban, contend with such an internationally-supported, ideologically driven agenda? They cannot. A two-state solution will eventually lead to their destruction as a people in that area. There are only two solutions as I see it:

1. A one-state solution which means that Israel-Palestine is no longer a Jewish-only state and that the right of Jews from all over the world to settle there and occupy more Palestinian land is no longer in effect. Phase One of establishing a Jewish homeland is complete. Fine. Now what? The Jewish-only state paradigm has got to go.

2. Since (as I believe) the Jews in such a one-state paradigm would strive -- and succeed -- in taking it over and creating a Jewish-only state again which would want to further expand or dominate its neighbours, the other alternative is for the Arab League (or new Muslim League) to organise itself sufficiently into a post-colonial, regional alliance and insist, either through international legal or military means, that Israel no longer exist as such, and that the current territory of Is-Pal be a province within a greater Pan-Arab-Muslim Community of States (à la Europe) with no ability, as a state-style operation, to push a Jewish-only agenda. Jewish communities existed quite well -- with occasional bad times -- in Baghdad, for example, since around 700 BC (or whatever). That is the paradigm that will work for the future. And it means dismantling, or "wiping off the political map" the Jewish-only state now known as Israel.

Either way, the Jewish-only state has got to go.

This upsets some people, of course, but peace and prosperity could result, and Jewish people in Palestine would still have a Jewish culture, including hard-core spiritual fundamentalists who maintain the essence, and secular, atheistic Jews who manifest the spirit.

The third way is a Jewish-only state following the Hitler model (which was not all bad). In this scenario, the current Palestinian territories must go. Perhaps this would work. The UN/world admits that the original territory was a mistake, that the Palestinian population must be moved out, and Israel possesses Jerusalem in toto, Gaza, etc., and become a full state with no mini-states within its territories, which is obviously unworkable, just as a two-state solution with part of Jerusalem linked to Gaza in the middle of Israel is clearly unworkable. Any 7-year-old looking at a map can tell this is a strange-weird-unrealistic structure. The original map of 1947 was absurd and had no chance of success.

It is time for a complete re-think. Unfortunately, there is no forum/context for this to occur and therefore continuous conflict and violence will probably ensue. If there is a war in the region this year, I expect Gaza to be over-run at the very least, at which point all further talk of a two-state, or even one-state, solution will be over. For the rest of "Arabia" to accept this, they will have to be conquered and then occupied for several centuries. I doubt this is workable.

So for now, the best solution is One-State, which will not involve war/many deaths. Is Israel willing, even to discuss this? I say not. In which case, we are headed for world war over this, hence my interest in the subject.


Ashley Howes
Cape Breton, Canada - September 3, 2006

[ed. Some people, US military strategists, do think in terms of redrawing borders and transfer of population. Check out "Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look," by Major Ralph Peters (ret.) in the Armed Forces Journal. Writes Peters, "Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works." Jacob Amir would undoubtedly concur.]


Israel-Palestine: The UN Created the Mess; The UN Should Fix it; but, first get rid of AIPAC.

To the Editor:

Following up on my previous e-mail (don't worry, no more for a while!) and now reading your "Collective Suicide" piece, I would like to share with you my preferred solution, which goes beyond the 1-or-2 state solution, or even the more far-reaching (and unlikely) M.E. Union solution, namely:

The UN created this mess, legally speaking. The UN has to fix it. Even though politically this is unlikely/unrealistic, nevertheless, the following idea would work if implemented:

Send in 250,000 international troops to maintain the peace. Move Israel back to the 1948 borders. Establish new borders for a two-state solution, with Palestinians mainly being next to Syria-Lebanon probably. Or dismantle the Jewish-only state and create a One-State of Palestine with rights for the existing Jewish population to remain, but no more until the situation is established.

Bottom line: UN military force, multinational, ENFORCES a cessation of hostilities and then MANDATES a political solution, meaning that the sovereignty of Israel as such is suspended. They tried it. It didn't work. So a new solution must be found and enforced.

AIPAC in the U.S. must be dissolved. In fact, nothing good can happen no matter what the solution until this occurs.

Therefore, the schlusselpunkt in world affairs right now, esp. viz. Israel, is not what is happening there, but AIPAC in Washington DC, which is essentially castrating the world community's ability to participate in all this. And since the world community created this mess though the agency of the U.N., it is only through that same reformed agency that a solution can be provided. This cannot and will not happen until AIPAC is dismantled. It is simply unreasonable that a population of 5,000,000 (?) Jews in a tiny country in the M.E. can hold the whole world to ransom by being able to dominate the most powerful country in the world through exploiting the internal political weaknesses of the system. By getting rid of AIPAC, US domestic politics might be rescued since the issues might return to their own natural concerns.

I humbly suggest you start to explore this type of strategic thinking, which has a pinpointed tactical target. Finding such targets is the way for the intellectual discourse level to effect actual political results.

Or else, as you say in the piece, a far wider, more destructive conflagration is likely.


Ashley Howes
Cape Breton, Canada - September 3, 2006

[ed. AIPAC poured all its support and mucho greens on Joe Lieberman's campaign in the Connecticut Democratic primary. Ned Lamont won. See the power of the Jewish lobby? Actual political results? Where, on the moon? Israel controlling the U.S.? Come again?]


9/11 Conspiracies Galore

To the Editor:

I've just read some of your stuff on 9/11 after being linked to it from a BBC website here in the U.K.

Having worked on high rise bomb damaged and explosive demolition I would like you to pose me a scenario as to how these buildings could be demolished as you and others are claiming without their being much evidence in support.

I am of the opinion that the buildings all had bad design characteristics which were highlighted by the special circumstances.

If indeed they were actually blown up, where for instance did all the command wires and detonator caps go? Thousands of them? I only need to see one and your theories start to look promising.


Alan Clark
Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England - August 28, 2006

[Ed. Excellent point. The co-editors do not espouse these conspiracy theories and logical fallacies. The argument that since no big building ever fell after being hit by a plane proves that the WTC could not possibly have fallen after being hit by the two planes must be the most laughable logical fallacy (talk about a poorly constructed syllogism). Keep in mind, however, that over one third of the American population believes that it was an inside job and 16% believes it was done through explosives hidden in the WTC buildings (see, "2 U.S. Reports Seek to Counter Conspiracy Theories About 9/11," by Jim Dwyer, The New York Times, September 2, 2006). Keep also in mind that to this day almost half of America (43%) keeps believing that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Being from England you may not fully construe the irrationality embedded in the American culture. Our friendly in-house conspiracist reflects that rather large portion of the American people. This said, these theories, like other contentious issues like the so-called influence of the Jewish lobby or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (see letter supra), always elicit tons of partisan letters to the Editor, often strongly worded (see infra). They are fun to read and fill the space. For Gilles d'Aymery's opinion on these conspiracy theories readers may wish to read his July 29, 2002 Editorial, "Primum Non Nocere." For a more complete deconstruction of conspiracy theories please visit The Public Eye, the Website of Political Research Associates.]


9/11 Baloney

To the Editor:

People like you make me sick. They should send you to any Muslim country, see how long you last. The families of the victims (Flight 93) must have been in on it. By the way, is that your real name I seriously doubt it -- don't see why you would use your real name, everything else you spout is B.S.

Kirt Cooper
Kansas City, Missouri, USA - September 4, 2006

[ed. It is his real name. Deck Deckert is our Libertarian in residence. He will take pleasure for having added to your quality of life.]


9/11 Conspiracy Embrace of Deck Deckert

To the Editor:

I was delighted to read Conspiracy Nuts and 9/11 and other articles I found on the site like 10 Years to Peace. You are a man after my own heart.

Could I have permission to pass along these articles and other to my friends via email?

I am working on an article for editors of progressive publications and peace groups designed to encourage them to look into 9/11 Truth Movement. I believe 9/11 is the Master Key that has been used by the power elite to lock doors against a host of basic needs, services and freedoms for most of the human family. It has opened the doors to unlimited war and profits.

Do you have suggestions for how we can get progressives to break their silence about this Key Issue?

Lincoln B. Justice
Seymour, Missouri, USA - August 31, 2006

[Ed. Mr. Justice included an article that we are appending below. Sorry, no live links to the many Websites to which he refers.]

The Grand 9/11 Deception

By Lincoln B. Justice

On September 11, 2001, my wife and I watched the airplane crashing into the World Trade Center tower and then saw the buildings collapse like a controlled demolition. It was like watching a horror movie, but this tragedy was in real time with real people falling to their death before a worldwide audience. When the Pentagon was hit it became clear that our national defense system was not in operation. Our faith in our government was being shaken like we had been betrayed by a trusted friend or parent. We thought that government's primary responsibility was to protect its own citizens, but on this day some unknown persons were breaking through all of our defenses as if they did not exist. We couldn't believe our own eyes.

In the days that followed we watched as the government used 9/11 as an excuse for invading Afghanistan and for rushing the Patriot Act through Congress. There was no immediate public investigation, nobody was held responsible for the failure of our defense system, no one was voicing the questions we were asking and a shroud of secrecy was put over the whole affair.

The official conspiracy theory put out by the government and the media was unbelievable.

So we began a desperate search for answers and assembled thousands of pages of evidence in notebooks that we gleaned from the Internet, domestic and international media, books, e-mail from friends and personal contacts.

Gradually, the horrible truth began to dawn on us as more pieces of the puzzle came together.

In the months and years that followed thousands of other investigative reporters, scientists, scholars, political leaders, and citizens have created a powerful 9/11 Truth Movement. They are pulling back the curtain of secrecy on the "Empire Wizards in Oz-land" and exposing how and why this deception was carried out. It appears that people associated with our corporately controlled government have been pulling the strings like puppet masters to get public support for the expansion of the Global Empire they have been planning for years. The dramatic event of 911 was the KEY to executing their plan. http://justicefor911.org/

What evidence is there for such a criminal charge and for concluding that the government's conspiracy theory is a lie?

Here are six bits of information to consider.

1) Up until 9-11 our air force has always followed standing orders and sent up fighter jets to investigate any airliner that went off course as much as two miles and did not respond to radio contact. Yet on 9-11 there were 4 planes that were off course and were known to have been hijacked, but the Air Force jets were kept on the ground until after the Pentagon was hit. Then F-16s were released from Andrews Air Force Base to "fly protective cover over Washington DC."

2) There has never been any steel building that has ever collapsed because of fire anywhere on Earth! The theory proposed by government agents that fire brought down the Twin Towers and WTC 7 is clearly false. Professor Steven Jones found traces of thermite and sulfur on the steel girders and molten pools of red hot steel and iron were discovered at the foundation of all three buildings for many days afterward. These features are consistent with the theory of thermite arson (controlled demolition). This refutes the government's cover story and suggests it was an inside job.

3) On September 11th when Andy Card told Mr. Bush at 9:05 AM that a second plane had hit the WTC, he did not act surprised, but continued to listen to a story about a pet goat for another 20 minutes or so before leaving the classroom and the school. The fact that the Secret Service (who is responsible for protecting the president) did not whisk Mr. Bush away when the second plane hit indicates that they knew there was no danger that another "terrorist" might crash a plane into the school in order to kill the president.

4) "Who benefited?" is the first question when a crime is committed. Clearly Osama Ben Laden or Saddam Hussein or those who hate America for its imperialism were not benefited. But it certainly helped restore George W. Bush's power and control and provided the perfect excuse for waging war in the Middle East and terrorized the American people into giving up our constitutional rights as citizens for the "illusion of security." War is a racket that enriches the rich. Financing this war created the deepest debt in American history and benefited the bankers and the military/industrial/government machine.

5) Where's the Evidence? Afghan leaders offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden to the authorities once they were given evidence that he was actually responsible for the 9/11 attacks. But George W. Bush refused to give any evidence to the Afghan leaders or the American public. To this day there has not been a single piece of evidence presented to the public that corroborates the official government conspiracy theory. The FBI admits, "There is no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11."

6) Going to war to capture criminals is criminally insane. How would we react if our government leaders ordered bombs to be dropped on Illinois in order to catch the leaders of an organized crime group? Yet after 9/11 our government leaders used this tragedy as an excuse for sending soldiers with bombs and guns into Afghanistan to capture Osama Ben Laden (who is still at large), and then they invaded Iraq to capture Saddam Hussein. This is insanity!

In The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community David Korten says that we are at a Great Turning Point in our human history. If the Empire builders are allowed to go ahead with plans for worldwide domination we could experience a massive destruction of human life and the Earth. But if We the People take this opportunity to create a partnership with one another we could be living in a peaceful global community. The choice is between a KINGdom and a KINdom. Exposing the criminals responsible for 9/11 holds an important key to the way our society turns.

Progressives and peace makers will not be able to win the battle for social justice and world peace until they understand who was actually behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

There is no excuse for not looking at the facts and becoming empowered to use the 9/11 KEY. There is a mountain of verifiable evidence that is available to the public.

Start with these web sites:


Citizen Counter-Coup: http://3c.911truth.org/

C-SPAN 1 American Scholars 911 Video


Here are a few of the best books by outstanding journalists and investigative reporters:

The War on Truth, by N. M. Ahmed -- A thoroughly documented study for anyone seeking to understand the attack on the World Trade Center.

The New Pearl Harbor, by Dr David Ray Griffin, Foreword by Richard Falk -- it presents verifiable facts that you can check out.

Escaping the Matrix, by Richard Moore (published in November 2005), exposes the nature of the illusion that is inhibiting us from seeing what is going on. But Richard also gives us a way of escape -- how we the People can regain our power and create a truly democratic peaceful society.

WAR AND DEATH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM by Robert Thomas Raming is giving away 56 copies of the book for $38, (the price of UPS shipping).

I have given away thousands of DECEPTION DOLLARS. This collector item is a much appreciated gift and is a delightful discussion starter. http://www.deceptiondollar.com.

If we fail to act now and expose the real terrorist responsible for 9/11, then they will probably launch another terrorist attack as an excuse for bombing Iran with nuclear weapons and starting World War III.

[Ed. Oui, bon, non mais c'est bien sür. If faut de tout pour faire un monde.]


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Published September 11, 2006
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