Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Their answer to everything: 9/11. My answer to eveything: oil and gas.

Howard Kaplan

Belmont, MA

Dec 3 2009 - 1:38pm

Web Letter

You know what would help? If The Nation, Hayden, and other loyal Democrats would resist the urge to fall blindly into lock-step with whatever semi-conservative candidate the party of Clinton throws at us. Instead of excoriating Nader (The Nation was shameful in it's low-road personal attacks), the only actual progressive running for president, they could face the reality of the entrenched party duopoly. Have the naïve learned anything this time? I don't think so. I think Tom Hayden and his upper-crust liberals will be back here in a few years, apologizing again for failing to recognize the indelible stains on any candidate that can survive the party nomination process.

Paul Rayhorn

Foxboro, MA

Dec 3 2009 - 6:44am

Web Letter

I am amazed (though frankly not surprised) at the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from my side of the political spectrum over Obama's Afghanistan decision. Mr. Hayden's piece encapsulates the mindset perfectly.

I am amazed because the president has done exactly what he promised to do as a candidate: drawing down in Iraq (in progress), and fighting the "war of necessity" in Afghanistan. Whether I agree that we have a chance of success there or not is beside the point. I knew when I voted for him that he was committed to this path.

As for Mr. Hayden's other complaints, there is not much that Obama is doing or is in the process of doing that contradicts his campaign rhetoric. In fact, less than one year into his presidency, I would say that he has made a fair amount of progress. It's not magic, it's a process.

So go ahead and scrape off that bumpersticker. It's just this kind of pouting that will put the neocons back into the White House.

Carla Bond

Leonia, NJ

Dec 2 2009 - 3:22pm

Web Letter

Never trust a liberal from Harvard. The neocon club has just approved Obama's application. Larry Summers is a co-sponsor.

John McGrath

Providence, RI

Dec 2 2009 - 3:21pm

Web Letter

The journalist accepts the gift of the timetable as though it were Holy Communion that he receives. The reader remains free either to believe or not to believe that the journalist is perfectly innocent and residing in a state of grace.

The people of the US deliberated, for one whole year, the pros and cons of prosecuting a war against Iraqis. If one can deliberate the act of protecting oneself, one must not be in very much danger.

When members of Congress would like to go to war but are unable to distinguish between what is evidence in favor of war and what is only a hole in ground, Congress needs to get the opinion of that person who would be doing the fighting in the proposed war, and doing it "on the ground." Such evidence was "confidential"? Labeled "Eyes Only"? Here's the most cherished, secret and damning evidence of all: the belief, on the part of all the members of Congress, that those who are willing to die for them can't be trusted.

It was always the only choice of anyone who'd never served in his nation's military to vote no on war against Iraq. Such a vote would represent the following reasoning: I volunteered to remain ignorant of what being a soldier means. I passed up the chance to know even the first thing about soldiering, about protecting myself and to say nothing of protecting my country. I cannot make subject to my ignorance anyone, especially anyone who has volunteered to know. Better I should die. Better I should die the way I am. Best of all: to trust those who, I see now, have always known what was right.

J.E. Bernecky

Westover, PA

Dec 2 2009 - 8:19am

Web Letter

Tom Hayden's own words: "Obama's escalation in Afghanistan is the last in a string of disappointments. His flip-flopping acceptance of the military coup in Honduras has squandered the trust of Latin America. His Wall Street bailout leaves the poor, the unemployed, minorities, and college students on their own. And now comes the Afghanistan-Pakistan decision to escalate the stalemate, which risks his domestic agenda, his Democratic base, and possibly even his presidency."

And yet Tom will support Obama in the future. My question is, Why? Isn't it time to leave behind the Republican-Democrat duopoly? All we are getting now is Bush III in a prettier package. I find Tom's position incoherent and cowardly. It's time for a new party to share power: the Green Party.

It's hard to believe this is the same Tom Hayden of the '60s. All I see is a pretend-progressive in a neoliberal trance running like a scared rabbit. So that's it, Tom? We surrender to Bush Lite? I expected better, Tom... much better.

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Dec 2 2009 - 12:51am