Backtalk, September 3, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Confused, Ignorant, or Deceitful?

In his listing of “successful terrorism,” Mr. Bandow obviously forgot to mention the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which, more than anything else, drove the British out of the mandate.

~ Dieter Heymann

Home Front ‘Surge’

I was not aware of Ed Snider’s connections to the war party. That ultimately explains the corruption of the entire Objectivist movement, at least to a certain degree. He helped fund the Ayn Rand Institute when it was founded. Of course, because they have Rand’s estate, they don’t necessarily need him.

He has also bankrolled the Objectivist Center. That’s a group that has sadly been even worse than ARI on the war. David Kelley ran things up until 2004. Ed Hudgins then took over and moved the organization to Washington, D.C. Hudgins worked for Dick Armey in the mid-1990s.

~ Chris Baker, Austin, Texas

Onward – Into Waziristan!

I was especially touched by the photo of the soldier and his wife making a group hug with their baby daughter, which appeared over a USA Today article about post-traumatic stress disorder in National Guard troops, as posted on The young man is in his twenties. He might serve in the U.S. in hurricane relief or shoveling out a huge blizzard that has stalled a city. Why call it the National Guard then, when it seems like it is being baited and switched into an imperial army? The cathedrals of Ireland are full of monuments to men who died running errands for the British Empire. It didn’t stop the British from allowing the Irish to starve to death in the famine, and such imperial ways do not stop our federal government from letting Americans die horribly in places like New Orleans, while the troops themselves are maimed and sent home the way Mrs. McGrath regretted in the Irish song, or sent home in secret coffin ships of big windowless airplanes.

I have no doubt that there is some religious animus behind this war – or perhaps it is growing after the fact, into a crusade.

But after centuries of being treated like dirt, you would hope that Americans who came here to escape such exploitation would understand that they are another link in the chain of fools. I hope we can break the chains which our “betters” have re-forged. …

~ Dianne C. Foster

Padilla Jury Opens Pandora’s Box

Thank you, Dr. Roberts.

Whoriskey observed that the jury “did seem to be an oddly cohesive group.”

In his essay “Trial by Jury,” Lysander Spooner warned us some time ago that the government must be told to keep its hands off the jury-selection process, that jury members must be selected strictly “by lot.”

If that had been the jury selection process, it seems improbable that all members would have gone along with the juvenile red, white, and blue stunt.

But then, judging from some of the criticism you have received for other columns, it seems likely that the problem in America is Americans. Or at least, some of them. The Padilla jury was, hopefully, just as you say, incompetent. That is at best. For if they were not incompetent, then they were shills.

Thank you for an accurate summary of a sad situation.

~ Jack Dennon

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

I think the jurors were shills for the prosecutor in convicting the defendants despite the lack of evidence of guilt. However, as bad as the wrongful conviction is, the incompetence comes in the jury’s lack of comprehension of the real issue. The greatest issue of the trial was not the fate of the defendants, but the fate of the human achievement in the Anglo-American world that made law a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of government. The jury was incompetent, because it gave up 800 years of human achievement in one verdict.


Is it not time to correct your map in Letter From Israel to reflect Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon (01) and from the Gaza Strip (06)? Maybe also a good idea to state your opposition to the very existence of the state of Israel in a way that is less subtle than designating the pre-’67 boundaries as land OCCUPIED by Israel since ’48? Might help your readers get better perspective on your viewpoint.

Support of violence against the people you hate and the objection to their right to live and protect themselves is really the opposite of antiwar, guys. At some point you will stop believing your own lies.

~ Zohar

Ran HaCohen replies:

Indeed, the map is a historical Palestinian one. It shows all the lands ever occupied by Israel from each and every one of its neighbors, not the present borders. Informed readers know that Israel withdrew from Sinai in the early 1980s, from south Lebanon in 2000 (not 2001), and that since 2005 (not 2006) it has been occupying Gaza without the evicted settlements. On the other hand, the map does not depict the Israeli settlements, the Apartheid Wall, or the 500+ checkpoints fragmenting the occupied West Bank into tiny bantustans. I wonder why no “truth-loving” and “objective” Israeli ever complains about that.

Previous Backtalk