Letters to the Editor
Some nice news: after some delay, bilingual press (Arizona State University) has just published Fantasmas: supernatural stories by Mexican American writers, edited by Rob Johnson with an introduction by Kathleen Alcala. my story, The Plumed Serpent of Los Angeles, which you first published, is included along with 18 others. The first article about it came out in the San Antonio Express-News and can be found at the paper's web page:
Francois Lusseyran (half brother of Jacques Lusseyran, but much younger) wished to obtain my e-book from Southern Cross. Apparently he was informed by the web site that he had to pay; like many other people he did not want to give credit card information. In principle the e-books are now free; there is something on the web site apparently which causes trouble.
The articles on the 11th September, as seen from the American side in the last issue, are very moving. American who participated in the rescue action may have had a kind of spiritual experience and become better people. However we must also think about what really has happened since 1979. In an interview given to the French weekly "Le Nouvel Observateur" and published in the issue of January 15-21 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski stated that the Carter administration had deliberately trapped the Soviet Union into intervening in Afghanistan. He was asked whether he regretted anything. He replied "Regret what? That secret option was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? ... a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet Empire'.
In addition it appears that Bin Laden collaborated with the CIA in the war against the Soviet Union and that America was at least not against the seizure of power by the Taliban.
The karma involving the west (and particularly the USA)and Islamic extremism is extremely loaded. It is not clear that all this will be resolved by what appears today as the sudden collapse of the Taliban.
The end may not yet be in sight.
Michael Friedjung, France
Thank you for including the story of the young musician in New York. Quite a touching story - I also appreciated your post - 9/11 editorial. I concur with your two options about their response, but I will add the following:
Media and government working together to focus attention on the internal threats here in the US. The emphasis on anthrax/bioterrorism and possible FBI warnings of future targets (bridges for example) keep the Americans' mind on matters here at home. Then we don't pay so much attention to the fact that in this war we are continuing to bomb even through the Islam holy days and that we don't have the kind of military successes to write headlines about (and which impatient Americans might expect by now). And winter will be shortly arrive in the Middle East.
With the anxiety levels going up and down constantly, people are looking more to their government to protect them and - bingo, anyone who warns us about losing some of our first amendment rights by passing Bush's emergency legislation gets branded as "unpatriotic".
In America right now there is much talk (and lots of bumperstickers) with the phrase, "United We Stand". I saw one column a few weeks ago titled "Divided We Stand" - the theme being that our freedom is based on being able to dissent and to criticize openly our government and its policies. But then again, he's a courageous columnist.
Pam Fenner, USA
Thanks for the latest Nr. of Southern Cross Review. You and Jo Ann are doing a fine job of publishing interesting articles. Now that the Anthroposophical theme is more obvious I have put a link at the top of The Jaerna Bridge first page. http://antroposofi.org.
I liked to read more about you too. You missed the shooting, which was lucky. I missed it too but would have been drafted into the Korean War if I hadn’t had a bad ear. Went back to my old military school, Manlius, outside of Syracuse 15 years ago and found a plaque with names of my classmates who died in that war. There was a couple who I wasn’t so sorry about but it makes one think anyway. You do know the War Prayer of Mark Twain. (see War Prayer. Thanks, Art - Ed.)
The present war is sort of unthinkable. I cried the rest of the day on the 11 Sept. What is happening to our world? No real problem for me as I shall not be here so long but our children and theirs need a good world to live in. Thought the retaliation might go OK as it took a month to start the war, but Bush blew it about the 15 Oct. with carpet-bombing from high altitude. The lessons of Vietnam were short lived. Reminds me of the "good" people who say that the Holocaust was necessary for the good to come forth. Yea yea.
Art Ross, Sweden