First responses to polemic
hey babe,
first i should apologize for *adding* to to the overall din and media overload that some of us may be experiencing. (probably the result of not being able to harangue folks on the readio any more!) .the polemic i sent out on wednesday evening has generated a surprising amount of mail and i thought i'd share some of it

BTW: vis-a-vis the media overload
i have adopted the strategy of *not* watching telly or listening to radio *all day* (besides, i have to work). i have said that i will listen to the radio at the times that i always have (All Things Considered in the evening and some BBC World service at odd times) and watch the television newscasts i always watch (BBC or ITN). hell, i dont even have CNN, CNBC, Fox News or MSNBC programmed into my Favourites menu on the digital cable!  I have thus avoided an endless parade of establishment talking heads (there are enough of those in the NYT and NPR) and tired stand-up reporters endlessly repeating the same barely tempered speculation and rumours . (I should note that i have been on this media diet for a long time and others may not be able to take that much! as always, YMMV)

I have decided to get the facts that i can from these sources and from sources on the web and to THINK ABOUT IT FOR MYSELF. i hope that others will do the same.

below are just a few of the responses to my polemic from my treasured folks like you .i have removed the really obvious identifying details, but have left in idiosyncratic grammar and spelling (mostly because i wouldn't know how to correct them!)

On to Justice!


+++++++++++++++++++++++++ start first response (excerpt)  from an NGO employee in asia pacific +++++++++++++++

thanks yours. you said most of it, without actually using the israel word. i
think it is impossible to overestimate the fury people feel at the blind
support the u.s. gives for a fascist state that contravenes every rule of
democracy and humanity, while at the same time it travels the world
lecturing its other "partners" (hah!!!!) about how they must uphold
democracy at any cost. this is most true of arab nations, second most true
of other islamic nations, but also largely true of europe, whose weight of
guilt for israel's paranoia does not blind it to the fact that two wrongs do
not make a right.  i thought it was dumb of the palestinitans to allow a
handful of ten year-olds to be photographed jubilating, and perhaps dumber
still of the networks to give it such prominence (though i know what your
"first ammendment" response to that will be).

it may seem trivial, but let's remember that the equivalent of one 747 full
of productive adults dies of aids every three minutes.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ end first response (excerpt +++++++++++

+++++++++++++++ start second response (excerpt)  from an NYC resident who works in a school +++++++++++++++++
... - the wind has shifted, and once again I can smell the burning acrid smoke from the WTC.  I wish I could hermetically seal myself somewhere and not see/hear/think about this for a few days, but as long as the fighters fly overhead and the sirens go and all that, I have no real choice....
+++++++++++++++++ end second response (excerpt) ++++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++++ start third response (except) from a reporter based in UK +++++++++++++++++++
Good to hear from you and to know that all is well. I've just spent two days
and a night in Stanstead airport trying to leave for US on a BBC charter. We
were grounded along with everyone else but not allowed to go further than 15
mins from the airport. It was hell - like being stuck in a surreal time warp
bubble while out there we knew that chaos was unfurling. I pulled out
yesterday evening when I realised that I was too tired and too beleagured by
strep throat and head cold to do my job even if we ever got there. The plane
did finally leave - for Montreal!

God knows what happens next -fortress America or America tries for once to
win friends. Which is it going to be? What are you sensing - apart from the
lust for revenge? Are people realising at all WHY America has enemies - even
if those enemies are mad people ? Will they understand that if you want the
support of like minded nations in times of crisis it may be a good idea to
start listening to them and working with the at times of non-crisis, ie
don't piss them off with Kyoto, tearing up the chemical weapons ban etc etc

All these questions will be discussed more and more I'm sure. Tell me what
you're hearing.  I may still make it over there at some stage though not for
a while I suspect. For the first time in my life on a big story (and they
don't get much bigger) I don't really want to be there. We'll see.
+++++++++++++++++ end third response +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++ start fourth  (excerpt) response from a person employed by a college in NY state +++++++++++++++
my close friends are all ok in NYC, phew!
i agree with your questions i really do.
i would like to know more about the islamic fundamentalist movements throughout
the Middle East and what their missions are and what things they are reacting
to and the history of the conflict.
i know these things are very complicated.
it is very scarey to think about how well organized and elaborate the plans
must have been to pull this off.....whoa!
glad to hear that your friends are ok.
imagine the terror of the people just before they died....oh god its the worst
thing....what an awful awful way to die. then the family members having to live
with what has happened...
will any good come out of this? will things just get worse? we need a great
person to run this country.....and where is that person?
++++++++++++ end fourth response ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++ start fifth response (excerpt)  from a person employed in the IT industry in California ++++++
I don't think you should consider it "internationalist." You have expressed many of my own thoughts on the subject.

My first reaction was (after the sobs subsided) "Oh, Dub, Dub, you really pissed them off now!" How can we continue to just sit by (and provide the
raw materials) while the Isrealis go around committing mass murder and think that no one is going to respond to that? How can we expect to rattle our
sabres and not think we're going to provoke someone? My second reaction was: there goes most of the bill of rights.

I think the major problem here with american people is that we are mostly ignorant of what their government is up to. (Even the basics are fuzzy for
most folks-I actually had to explain to **** and girlfriend what the pentagon was.) This makes "we're going to nuke those raghead bastards" a
logical response. It is presented as though these are just random savages with absolutely no provocation. And people believe it.

From what I've seen, Dub Dub is being allowed to say only two things: "we are at war" and "they are the bad guys." (With the occasional "oh by the
way, don't beat up your muslim neighbor" thrown in for appearances.) There has been nothing about the Arab point of view, nothing about what Israel
has been up to, no back story at all! I have been watching the BBC as well, and while I did see an actual Muslim interviewed, when he began to present
the idea that beyond the heinous nature of the act, there might be something for the Americans to consider about their own policies, he was summarily
hushed up by the interviewer. Everyone seems to be lock-stepping in line with Amerika.

I have to try to get some work done today. Thanks for writing to me. I was beginning to feel like the only person in America who was actually trying
to see beyond the rhetoric of bloodlust and ignorance. Wish I had more information. What press/wire services do you recommend that might present
something more reasonable?


+++++++++++++++++++++ end fifth response ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++ start sixth response (complete) NYC educator ++++++++++++
removed by request sept 17 2001 +++++++++++++++++++++++ end sixth response++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++++ start seventh response (excerpt) NYC writer +++++++++++++++++


Thanks for the message. I just wrote a screed in answer to yours which was so
long that my e-mail service logged out! Just as well, perhaps, because it was
somewhat intemperate. Suffice it to say that I don't care right now how these
mad dogs got rabies, there'll be plenty of time for an autopsy later. Right
now we just need to make the streets of Western Civilization safe, BY, as a
famous Muslim once put it, WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY.

I consider myself to have been personally, if indirectly, attacked, and I feel
very differently about a lot of things than I did on Monday.
+++++++++++++++++++ end seventh response +++++++++++++++++++++++++++