Debating Impeachment: Your Letters
What Muslims Want
Re: The Caliphate Myth by Tom Porteous
I liked Tom Porteous's piece on the Islamic caliphate and how the idea of it just really isn't true. The piece was sound and sensible. I would have liked a statement in there about how the vast majority of Muslims around the world do not want such a thing as an Islamic caliphate, which was a thing of past empires — most Muslims want democracy. Whenever I read a piece separating most of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims from the comparatively few Muslim fundamentalists, I'm always appreciative. I wish Americans made that distinction more often.
As a Muslim, I can state categorically that any kind of expansive caliphate is the figment of those with megalomaniacal imaginations and fascist-like agendas. This includes Al Qaeda and Bush/Cheney & Co. The original caliphate system was falling apart within about 60 years after the 4th Caliph, and they had the benefit of temporal proximity to the Prophet Mohammad. There is too much theological and agenda diversity among the 1.2 billion-plus Muslims for such a notion to become extant. The massive "silent majority" of Muslims is very peaceful and lives in a spirit compatible with other loving, God-fearing members of the Abrahamic faiths. I suspect that a root problem here is that certain people in power are choosing the hot button of the moment to justify their own power-hungry ambitions ... as has been done countless times in world history. It would all be laughable if it were not so infamously destructive to peace and community.
Jeffrey Garrison, M.D.
I have to disagree with the author on this issue. This may be one of the few ideas of the Bush admin that may have some merit. Islam has a long history of invasion of non-Muslim areas and consolidation once they are there in strength. It is simply citing history to note the many incursions of Islam, first through the Near East, across the Indian subcontinent and deep into Africa, then through Southeast Asia and the Indonesian archipelago, initially through trade, into China and Europe, and, in current decades, into the western hemisphere.
My understanding is that the "peace of Islam" is, in principle, only strictly applicable to Islam and that, if conversion fails, apparently the idea of applying any practical means necessary to eliminate the unbeliever has been an acceptable policy in the Islamic world over much of its history. Only secular Muslim areas, such as the
E. F. Milone
The Oil Monster
Re: The Permanent Energy Crisis by Michael Klare
Thank you for this article. Chilling. I think — I'm sad to say — that Mr. Klare is being optimistic, when you consider all Mr. Klare has stated in his article with something that never seems to be factored in—our ongoing population explosion. I feel, even under the most urgent action taken right now — even to describe it as absolute triage — we are headed toward catastrophe. I've read that by some projections we are due to have over a billion people in the North American continent by 2050. Even with the best scenario, all our gains will be lost just by the demands all these people will place on the earth's environment. I think if we are going to safely weather whatever is waiting for us, the time has passed us by decades. Will our species survive? Oh sure, no doubt. But by the next century we will live on a completely different planet.
It seems that this president is lying through his teeth again. He is only giving tax breaks to the oil monsters, not putting anything to actually developing viable alternative fuels, unless the oil monsters are involved. He fails this country badly and needs to leave it now. He is not a real American.
To Impeach Or Not To Impeach?
Re: Impeach: Yes, But... by Jamin Raskin
On TomPaine.com, constitutional law professor (and Maryland State Senate candidate) Jamie Raskin devotes 1,440 words to impeachment. After laying out a few of the most important reasons for impeachment, Raskin confronts the reality that Republicans control Congress — and the resulting cowardice of House Democrats who don't want to pick a fight they believe they will lose.
Raskin tries to find a middle ground by dividing impeachment into three "steps" — "moral" impeachment, "electoral" impeachment, and "congressional" impeachment. Raskin's hair-splitting analysis brings to mind Shakespeare's character in Henry VI, Part II, who famously said: "First thing we do is kill all the lawyers."
As Raskin notes, 66 percent of Democrats support impeachment for illegal wiretapping. What Raskin does not say is that 59 percent of independents, and even 23 percent of Republicans support impeachment for wiretapping as well. Taken together, that is 52 percent of all Americans — a solid majority.
Even so, Do-nothing Democrats are offering a million excuses for not getting the ball rolling by introducing Articles of Impeachment. Let's take our cue from Nike: JUST DO IT!
Bob Fertik, President
The impeachment route is one I would not want to go down for a few reasons, namely Cheney and Rumsfeld, who would be in line, if I'm not mistaken.
This is an excellent piece by Raskin. In marshalling the arguments supporting a bill of impeachment, we must not overlook the fact that in fulfilling his constitutional obligation as defined in Article ii, section 3, to give to the Congress "Information of the State of the Union," the president did in fact and by his own later admission commit fraud and misrepresentation and that to very great detriment.
Thank you so very much for this article on impeachment. It is healing just to read it and know the way is clear. I think we should require candidates in 2006 to declare whether they will seek impeachment before Election Day. Dems need to promise impeachment if they get the numbers, but judging from the failure of the Alito filibuster, I'm not counting on many of the current elected Dems to stand on principle. Our motto for 2006 should be "Color 'im Peach."
Kathleen Grasso Andersen
Sometimes being right is more important than winning. If there ever was a time, this is it.
In China And At Home...
Re: The Great Firewall Of China by Rebecca MacKinnon
It's not a matter of principle before profit. Their only principle IS profit. Sorry, but that is the core of capitalism.
First Things First
Re: Blocking Progress In New Orleans by Robert Reich
Not only is there no free market— there are not even working traffic signals in the portion of the city that was dry and where everyone now lives.
Aside from the danger of no traffic signals, the largest impediment to rebuilding even for those with insurance and money is the levees. Who in their right mind is going to spend $100,000 or more to rebuild without a commitment to adequate flood protection?
Anna Nagrath (New Orleans, La.)
In response to the article on rebuilding New Orleans:
What is not addressed in this plan are the environmental and infrastructure problems that make rebuilding a chancy deal. Why rebuild when more hurricanes are sure to hit, and the levees aren't strong enough to prevent breaking? Can that even be done?