Regarding War on Iraq
To the Editor:
At least the armchair revolutionaries are still active!
What happened is an incredible shame.
Michael Moore's (if you bother to know and recognize any other dissident) 'Columbine' is not released anymore into the DVD/Video outlets. Republicans ask for dismissal of an assistant professor for his speech on a peace rally -- and Americans do not know right from wrong. The missing ethical value system comes to carry. Their feeling of right or wrong is educated by some mediocre Hollywood screen writer. They mix up democracy with American nationalism. It is incredibly discouraging to see. Museums in Baghdad are looted with cultural goods that are older than the USA will ever become. Congratulation to France to stand up for European values.
I wrote this summary about US-liberation habits:
European countries have good reasons to question the effectiveness of the United States liberations efforts for other countries. First: going to war in order to liberate countries is in Europe a boilerplate statement of any country that starts a war. It is old and the truthfulness is hard to prove or to disprove. Second: The history of American liberations leaves a lot of questions for historians: Russia was never liberated from Stalin and successors despite 80 Million people that this regime killed and the suppressive and dangerous regime it created. How bad would the world be off today, if the U.S. would not have liberated Vietnam for 8 years? What happened to the liberation of Korea? Are we going to put Korea on a 50 year re-liberation schedule? What happened to the liberation of some of the south American states? Cuba could use some liberation beyond the liberation from the US backed Batista regime. The liberation of Iran by the US-supported Shah got somehow stuck. Where was the liberation for 70 Million East Germans, including me and my Father who had to go though political prison camps and lost their homeland when they had to emigrate? (East Germany had lots of chemical weapons, As students we had to work on them) Where was the liberation of Hungary when the Russians crushed their efforts to gain freedom? Where was the liberation of Poland, when the polish people tried to shake off their suppressor? Where was the liberation of Czechoslovakia? Is Iraq now on a 12 year liberation schedule? Is Korea now on a 50 year liberation schedule? What is the liberation schedule for dissenting France and Germany? Americans cheered when Afghanistan was liberated from the Russian occupation (I don't know how much this is an accomplishment of the US). But Afghanistan definitely needed a liberation adjustment. There are some small tribes that always get liberated, the Kurds. Every liberation run costs them more lives than the time of suppression between -- he, freedom is not free. The Kurds are in the same boat as the American Indians were a few hundred years ago: The Indians got liberated by the French, then by the British then by the Americans (whoever this was a long time ago. It does not count). The whole liberation actions did not leave much of a proud nation of American Indians. The liberation of the American Indians is probably as good as it ever gets. The same with American blacks. They are liberated. It won't get better for them, and no further liberation adjustments are planned for them. How about the liberation of American women? In general, is this left to each country to liberate their own women? The U.S. is the only country that is nice enough to liberate other countries' women too.
The Iraq war may have its justification but it definitely does not fit into the picture European nations have about US-liberation habits.
Gert Eberlein, Ph.D.
Redwood City, California, USA - April 14, 2003
Regarding Gilles d'Aymery's Simplicity: "The Absence of Complexity" with a cartoon by Amedeo Henry
To the Editor:
Thank you for this essay.
Assistant Professor of Social Change and Development and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - April 14, 2003
[Ed. Prof. Austin recently wrote a worthy essay analyzing the Bush Administration links to Christian fundamentalism, Faith Matters: George Bush and Providence. Other selected publications by Austin can be accessed on his Web site.]
Regarding our work on Swans and Gilles d'Aymery's writing
To the Editor:
Thank you for another interesting newsletter and articles. I do appreciate the way you write and it is so good to know that there are people who are "free" in their minds, still able to react. And who are realizing the necessity to stand up and tell the different story.
I understand from what you have written in other articles that you grew up in Algeria -- correct? I do understand what that means -- to actually be part of the "other side" and know what it is all about. That it is as bad as it is said or often even worse. Once you have that experience all illusions are gone. In that sense it is a useful experience.
About Sweden -- yes, in a way we have a different culture. But unfortunately we have become more and more American in our way of looking at the world. They have managed to make us the "innocent imitators" and unfortunately silence has really become part of our culture. It is a very big difference from what it used to be during the Olof Palme era. We have really been accepting all "structural adjustment programmes" imposed on us and our reaction seems to be depression or confusion rather than anger and understanding. You once wrote "And I wish the human ostriches would get their heads out of the sand!" True! And I am sorry to say that your wish is very relevant for Swedes too. If I come across something useful about Sweden I will send it to you. The language is a problem -- even myself I feel it is an obstacle when I am writing in English. But as long as you understand, it is alright.
Klövedal, Sweden - April 16, 2003
Gilles d'Aymery: Thank you for your kind words. English being my third language I fully understand the obstacle you may confront when expressing your views in a foreign language. It takes for ever to express myself in English (a gorgeous language, by the way). No, I was not born in Algeria -- you are referring to my piece on Zimbabwe, The Anti-Mugabe Brigade, I presume. My maternal grandparents lived there, in Oran and its vicinity. I was born in France but in many ways it could as well have been Mars, so far as I am concerned. The Algerian war of independence was quite traumatic for the general French psyche. My grandfather belonged to the side of La France éternelle, which considered Algeria to be an integral part of FRANCE, the "mythical" country. It was a time, the early sixties, when France was finally and painfully relinquishing, or forced to relinquish, her "god-given right" to rule the world -- or parts of the world she would fight tooth and nail to make hers out of the same "god-given right" the Brits and Germans, and, and, and, felt entitled to. At last, long at last (out of sheer exhaustion), France was burying her idea of "manifest destiny," her mission civilisatrice (as did Germany and to a lesser extent the U.K.). Nowadays, the USA has taken the mantle over, for better or worse. In light of the recent past, say since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the US manifest destiny and personal brand of mission civilisatrice appear not to bode well for the future. Ostriches are a prevalent specie in the new god-laden -- or should I say golden-laden? -- imperium. It's a sad observation.
Regarding Milo Clark's Preface: Bingo! Simplicity Itself; Oligarchy
To the Editor:
Just discovered these wonderful essays! Stumbled upon a pretty significant typo, though. Next to the last sentence: "serfs" is spelled "surfs." The toes of Western Civ profs will curl in their shoes if they see this one -- they'll be asking if next you intend to say "pheasants" when you mean "peasants"!
Great stuff -- intend to explore these essays very fully.
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - April 24, 2003
[Ed. Argh! Typos and erroneous facts...the curse of all editors! Many thanks for pointing this one to us -- it is corrected -- and for the kind words.]
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