I offer below,
random musings, reflections, correspondence, scraps of
work-in-progress, and other such miscellany, perchance worth sharing
but not ready for the prime time of formal publication.
Much of this
material has been adapted from personal e-mail
correspondence. While I am perfectly free to use, revise and expand
on my side of these exchanges, use of the "incoming" correspondence
is problematic. I have neither the right nor the inclination to
include the words of my correspondents if they can be identified
either by name or description.
If I am confident that the correspondents can not be identified and
if their part of the exchange is essential to the exchange, then I
might quote them directly. Otherwise, their ideas will be briefly
paraphrased, only to supply context to my part of these
conversations. In no case will I identify the correspondents by
On the other hand, signed letters to The Crisis Papers and The
Online Gadfly are fair game as are other comments published in the
internet. They were submitted with the clear understanding that
they, and their signatories, might be made public.
Incoming correspondence will be identified by italics. My
contributions will be in plain text.
March 13, 2003
An unanswered letter to Paul Begalla:
I have much appreciated and enjoyed your defense of "the
left" on Crossfire. You and James Carville are conspicuous among the very
few liberal voices remaining of the broadcast media today.
Thus I must tell you, with greatest regret, that you almost knocked me out
of my seat on Tuesday when you said (to the best of my recollection) that
once the shooting starts, you will cease all criticism of "your" President's
conduct of his Iraq war (most assuredly, not my President and not my war).
With that remark, you put yourself in the unseemly company of Bill O'Reilly,
Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh.
Please explain to me, Mr. Begalla, why a war that is justly criticized as
unwarranted and immoral before it begins, all of a sudden is placed beyond
criticism after it is launched?
Why do we "support our troops" by sending them into the jaws of death, and
we "betray our troops" when we insist that they be brought home at once,
safe and sound?
Such thinking extended the Viet Nam by several years, at the cost of
thousands of American and millions of Vietnamese lives -- until, that is,
the American public finally wised up and put a stop to that disaster.
You pronouncement (and that of the aforementioned O'Reilly, Falwell and
Limbaugh) raises some intriguing questions: Would you would have denounced
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Klaus von Stauffenberg and Hans and Sophie Scholler
("The White Rose") for failing to support their "leader" in a time of war?
And what, today, is your opinion of Daniel Ellsberg?
This is exactly the sort of "follow the leader" attitude among such
"respectable" Democrats as yourself that "lost" the 2002 election -- that
and the rigged computer voting in Georgia, Colorado and elsewhere, about
which said "establishment" Democrats have said not a word to date.
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor