More letters on "Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive"

The following is a selection of recent letters on “Pacifist moralists rally behind the US war drive

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the succinct analysis of the rapid leap to the right by former pacifists. Their volte face suggests, in the final analysis, that their views are shaped not by principle, but by privileges and perks.



South Africa

20 October 2001

Dear Mr. Walsh,

This essay is outstanding. But very sadly it appears that most Americans fall into the Philistine category you note. If one questions why this happened to America or brings to attention the policies of domination this country and other imperialist nations have pursued one is immediately attacked as a non-patriot. I’m disgusted. Thanks for the info about the Scott Simon piece. I’ve become very disillusioned with both NPR and PBS and unfortunately there’s nothing on TV that brings an alternative perspective or intelligent analysis. Don’t workers have a TV station on satellite somewhere? But really, what would it matter? People have been turned into clones responsive only to the messages of the corporations. I think our only hope might be the younger people, of college age and younger. The New York Times is totally censored.

Thanks again,


19 October 2001

I found this piece to be interesting. I believe myself to be a liberal and a pacifist to a point. I realize the things you say about past national policies leading to the September 11 attack. And I think it is right that you point them out. But I think that if you want to lump all American liberals and pacifists who think we must respond to this attack into a disgraceful pool of reactionaries and imperialists then this will just make what you want to achieve harder. I may be liberal, but I will act in self-defense and if these thugs are going to threaten me and mine then action must be taken. As far as I am concerned Mr. bin Laden said he was at war with the US and we are giving him what he wants. I don’t remember him saying that he was only at war with reactionaries and imperialists. He has proven that any and all are targets, so we honor him with the same. I would be interested in hearing what your organization thinks a correct reply to the September 11 attack would be.


20 October 2001

The story about Simon was a great piece of writing. I appreciate you indicating that these so-called former radicals were phonies.

Mr. Walsh wrote a great story.



19 October 2001

Can I infer that the article makes a great distinction between the now not so liberal thinkers who see the attack on NY et al as coming from people of “evil” disposition, as if they arose from the netherworld with no background, no history, and no past experience, vs. the thinkers who don’t subscribe to that description of the parties involved, but see that there is a long history of cause and effect, past acts of wrongdoing against certain parties, unwitting and maybe not so unwitting support of the groups that now inflict the attacks on US soil, and a degree of a pot and a kettle pointing to the same band on the color spectrum? If such was a focus of the article, might it not also be of some significance that all parties involved are responsible for their actions taken, and having a history of past behavior on either side will not confer justice on current acts that don’t deserve such a title? Can we still look at all actions and make a decision as to which are better than others, or pick the least damaging one to support? If all were perfect, there would be no humanity on the planet, because humanity is not perfect. If one must pick the next best solution, mighten one want to pick one that does not commit acts of violence upon parties that had nothing to do with the argument? Then how do you handle parties that wish to inflict massive injury upon others if the expressed goal is to destroy a certain way of life, with no demonstrated willingness or even apparent ability to rethink that position? The answer will be very clear to each person when a gun is pointed at them and they have but 10 seconds to respond. That’s my story.


19 October 2001

Go get ’em, folks. Pacifism stinks, as my students say. When I was first exposed to the works of Lenin, I would take great offense at some of the things he said about pacifists. Twenty years and god knows how many imperialist wars allegedly fought on behalf of humanity later; twenty years of shameless concessions to the reaction from those who think of themselves as “nonviolent” people, and I can only agree with you. Many who think themselves pacifist are only peaceful when someone else is taking the blows from the ruling elite. When it comes our turn, they’re very quick to rationalize support for the opposition. The bourgeois pacifist is just down the street from the provocateur, in my book, quick with a glib explanation and always ready to lay someone else’s life down on the line. The pacifist like Martin Luther King Jr., a man willing to reexamine his thinking on the nature of US terror and move in a progressive direction, is a rare bird. The future is the dictatorship of the proletariat, or there is no future.


19 October 2001

Dear WSWS,

I greatly appreciated “Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive.” I find the hypocrisy in the American mass media surrounding the September 11 atrocities to be transparent and obscene. People who are undoubtedly fully aware of what our government did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the 1940s and to Southeast Asia in the late ’60s and early ’70s are now acting as if last month’s hijackings are the greatest crime in human history.



New Hampshire

19 October 2001