Regarding Iraq on Swans
To the Editor:
I resent the implication that all liberals should be opposed to the impending Iraq war.
Liberalism is not necessarily pacificism. I believe that liberalism includes anti-facism.
Saddam Hussein is a fascist, a megalomaniac, a dictator, and an anti-semite, on a par with Adolf Hitler. He is at this stage on a par with Adolf Hitler in the early 1930's, when he was violating the Versailles Treaty by re-arming with the silence and complicity of the world. Hussein is presently arming, training, and financing suicide bombers who target civilians in Israel.
The 'good people' of the world permitted the Japanese to commit atrocities against the Chinese, and the Germans to commit atrocities against the people of Europe.
When World War II really began, in 1936, the Nazis fought the elected government in Spain, and with the isolationists holding sway in Britain, France, and the United States, the governments of those free states failed to come to the aid of the people of Spain. Only the international brigades, from the United States the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, took up arms to fight for freedom against the tyranny of fascism. In my view they were the true heroes of that era.
The 'great powers' signaled to Hitler that it was okay for him to violate the Versailles Treaty, and to take Austria, the Sudetanland, the rest of Czechoslovakia, and other 'expendable' acquisitions for the sake of 'peace.' When he moved against Poland, the U.S. did nothing, and Britain and France -- although nominally 'declaring war' -- likewise did nothing.
The rest of the story is well known. At a cost of 20 million lives, and only after the use of two nuclear bombs, was the axis silenced.
Had the world community stood up to evil in a timely fashion, the cost would have been less.
The world knows that in violation of the United Nations resolutions, Iraq has developed and is hiding weapons of mass destructions, and that they are controlled by a dangerous madman.
I happen to think highly of Tony Blair, and not highly at all of George W. Bush. But it would be a mistake to let a matter of such importance be determined by irrelevancies. The point is that the security of democracy requires elimination of the Saddam Hussein regime, and this cannot be effectuated by begging and pleading, by unenforced UN resolutions, or by pacifism, it requires the use of force. It must be done. It should be done quickly and with precision, but it must be done, and it should be done now, before he gets a chance to use his weapons of mass destruction.
Jamaica, New York, USA - Feb. 19, 2003
Regarding Lou Paulsen's article, The Real Movement And The Media Movement: A Touch Of Lerneritis
To the Editor:
Thank you for Lou Paulsen's essay, the first sensible analysis of the media "movement" versus the real peace movement that I have seen. Terrific.
We badly need more lucidity and pragmatism such as Mr. Paulsen's in the anti-war movement, not more rhetoric about who is left and where this or that group falls on some dogmatic spectrum. We certainly don't need to acknowledge the many opponents who are going to try their best to fracture and discredit us from now on. Once the anti-war movement succumbs to partisan grandstanding such as Rabbi Lerner's, it's doomed. Once it plays into the hands of Zionist extremists who refuse to include the state racism of Israel among the forces we are rallying to defeat, it will be poisoned by its own hypocrisy. They tried to divide us in the 60s, and they will revive the same tactics just as fast as they can unless we anticipate their next move. The rather silly and deliberate distortion of the Lerner incident is proof enough that we are enough of a threat now that any divisions are going to be exaggerated and exploited fully by our critics and those who wish we would just go away.
We need fewer people like ex-activist posturer Todd Gitlin passing judgment on the pedigree of ascendant groups and campaigns from the sterile safety of his academic job. We need more people like Mr. Paulsen, who has clearly earned his right to judge the tenor of controversies and squabbles with the shoe leather he has expended by marching, organizing, and persevering in the streets and in print. The only authorities who matter now -- and the only voices who will merit my attention in the anti-war movement -- are those who believe the movement has to keep moving, not reflecting, analyzing, and parsing each other's faults. If there was ever a time for tolerant unity and honesty about what we are fighting against -- Israeli as well as US military oppression -- this is it.
Pensacola, Florida, USA - Feb. 16, 2003
To the Editor:
Lou Paulsen should have been fact-checked on the claim that I contacted David Horowitz with regard to Michael Lerner and ANSWER. I did not, and I am willing to swear to it. Anyone who remains in doubt about this should feel free to contact Horowitz directly for corroboration. I have not been in touch with him since I participated in his FrontPage symposium -- and I did that in order to argue against his desperate attempts to smear the entire anti-war movement as anti-American, pro-Saddam, pro-North Korea. And I still believe that every attempt to defend ANSWER's politics plays right into Horowitz's hands.
Penn State University
State College, Pennsylvania, USA - Feb. 25, 2003
Regarding Gilles d'Aymery's article, Accessories to Assassination
To the Editor:
Superbly written piece on a ship of fools and assassins all are we,.... anyone for France? Do I stay and fight from here or go and fight from there? What now...how to stop a speeding locomotive???
Thank you again for writing. It was a joy and a relief to "hear" the 'truth' spoken so keenly.
West Dennis, Massachusetts, USA - Feb. 21, 2003
To the Editor:
Interesting that Kissinger some years back said that one way to subjugate the American people would be to get as many of our troops as possible involved in a foreign war, surreptiousously arm gangs, let them create chaos in the cities and when the people then screamed for law and order they would gladly accept any government controls, including occupation by U.N. Troops, that previously they had been reluctant to accept just in order to get some security. Do you think that time may be near?
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - Feb. 21, 2003
Regarding Deck Deckert's article, A Massacre By Any Other Name
To the Editor:
I agree with Deckert's piece, especially with the last paragraph, "A massacre is not a war. It is a crime against humanity and those planning it should be facing universal condemnation. If they go through with it, they should face the fate of those they tried at Nuremberg." God help us.
Blaine, Washington, USA - Feb. 17, 2003
To the Editor:
Thank you for the continuing fine quality of articles. I look forward to my bi-monthly Monday mornings when there's a new Swans available.
Bethesda, Maryland, USA - Feb. 19, 2003
[Ed. We keep going...yet friendly comments do help. We appreciate. Thank you.]
Regarding Swans and Milo Clark's article defining grokking.
To the Editor:
Interesting content on your site -- I got there doing a piece entitled "Authentic Grokking: emergence of Homo conjugens," which is posted on my site.
Maybe you could pass my appreciation on to Milo Clark. [ed. We did.]
You may like some of my more anti-war stuff.
Brussels, Belgium - Feb. 22, 2003
Regarding conspiracy galore on Swans, more specifically Jon Phalen's 'conspiracy' article, and Gilles d'Aymery's words of caution.
To the Editor:
Please take note of two old publications written by Robert Brady: 'The Spirit and Structure of German Facism,' 1937, when the author was an Associate Economics Professor at the University of Berkley; and 'Business As a System of Power,' 1943, supported by a grant by the Carnegie Foundation.
The themes of both of these publications have occurred since these books were published, culminating in events leading up to 9/11 and thereafter. Not necessarily the cause of the events as outlined by Jon Phalen -- I withhold my opinion, but the events themselves support, in part, a quotation from the second book aforementioned: "The more or less rational combination of fully articulated systems of protection and privilege combined with imperial expansion, on the one hand, and the integrative pressures of a rationally articulated industrial technology, on the other, lead logically to the concept of the next largest politically omnipotent and coherently organized imperial area, 'great space economics' (Grossraumwirtschaften)."
Cornell M. Clark
[Ed. As so often and too may times for this poor editor, Cornell Clark did not mention the city, state and country where he lives. So we did, as we unfortunately have to often do (why don't readers follow the simple rule of letting us know in the first place where they live? Why do we have to keep asking people to provide the most obvious and simple information? This truly beats our understanding!!!) Anyway, we sent the following e-mail to Mr. Clark:
"Thank you for visiting Swans and for your comments. We'd like to publish them in our next Letters to the Editor. To do so, we need to know the city/state where you live. Thank you for providing us with this information."
And we got the following back:]
Dear Mr. Giles [sic] d'Aymery
I reside in Las Vegas, Nevada, my birthplace, and am a Board Certified Family Physician; possessing a B.S. in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
We all have our theories on how the world works, even if they may be disagreeable or misunderstood by others. A theory or hypothesis is a working model of how something -- organization, family, economics, scientific phenomenon -- works. The best theories tend to have a historical context and answer more questions than they raise; they need not be absolute or not subject to change.
Cognitive dissonance occurs when our beliefs or convictions do not coincide with our experiences. We have three options in resolving the discrepancy. Two of these options, some say, are pathological: denying the experience, or, overwhelming the negative experience or cognition with positive experiences or cognition. The third option is to change or alter our beliefs or convictions, usually by obtaining some additional knowledge -- by research, by reading, or dialogue with others who may have some insight we are not familiar with.
It is in this spirit that I found your website, seeking to alter or change my beliefs and convictions, and to engage myself in the process of aligning my beliefs with my experiences.
When articles such as "Lets Step Out Of The Box For A Moment, Shall We?" appear, they are usually forcefully engaged, because they express a belief, or understanding, or awareness that is anathema to a hypothesis, or belief, or theory as to how society and the world functions. That his views are uncomfortable, do not necessarily lend themselves to irrationality. Again I withhold my opinion.
Finally, I hope that you print this response, as well as the previous, in its entirety. Surely, you would understand that in giving up some anonymity, one would not want to be misrepresented.
Cornell M. Clark, M.D.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - Feb. 25, 2003
[Ed. Lots of words to simply state a city and a state (or country), no?]
We appreciate and welcome your comments. Please, remember to sign your e-mails with your real name and add your city, state, country, address and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country. We are for real. Please be for real. Thanks. (Letters may be shortened and edited)