Fan Letter of the Week: “Thy Name is Cowardice”

Email Subject line:  James Bovard, thy name is Cowardice

“Five to seven million Iraqis disappeared, the majority of them Shiites.” – National Geographicmagazine, June 2004, page 28More to the point, WHO is doing the majority of the killing of Iraqi civilians?(HINT: It is NOT Americans. Can you say “Suicide Bombers”? Or how about “Islamofascist Hit Squads”?)Here is a link with a photograph showing six men whose right hands were amputated by the murderous dictator who, if you had your way, would still be in power, cutting off hands, putting people into Iron Maidens, and filling mass graves. I know six isn’t a lot, but then again, this was only two days of amputations.http ://“Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other.” –George Orwell

“Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel accepting the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize

“Peace in our time.” – Neville Chamberlain

You have my profound contempt.


Bovard comment:

I noticed from the email address that this person did not appear to be sending his message from Baghdad or elsewhere in the Iraqi combat zone.  

The name the person used in his email address is  “drintellectual.”   Merely seeing that name struck me down with an overwhelming sense of inferiority.   The “drintellectual” tag reminds me of the early Three Stooges short films- when there would be “experts” coming in from Vienna who would continually bow and address each other as “Doktor Doktor Professor” and “Herr Professor Doktor Doktor.”

Even Orwell made mistakes.   Perhaps his invocation of “objectively pro-fascist” came on the morning after a too many German bombs fell on his London neighborhood.

But it should be remembered that this notion of “objectively pro-” or “objectively anti-”  receives its biggest showcase at the Soviet purge trials of the late 1930s.  The Soviet prosecutors did not have to prove wrongdoing by the accused; instead, the existence of certain attitudes proved that the person was “objectively pro-fascist” or “objectively pro-capitalist.”

“Good enough for Stalin” is not the standard of evidence America should rely on.

Regarding the photo of the Iraqi amputees –  I discussed this in the torture chapter of Attention Deficit Democracy:

On May 25, the Bush administration responded to the growing PR debacle [caused by the leak of the Abu Ghraib torture photos] by bringing seven Iraqis whose hands had been chopped off at Abu Ghraib during the Saddam era to the White House for a meeting and photo session with President Bush. The White House subsequently touted the get-together as the “President’s Meeting With Tortured Iraqis.”

“Good enough for Saddam” should not be our standard of justice.





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8 Responses to Fan Letter of the Week: “Thy Name is Cowardice”

  1. charlie ehlen March 31, 2006 at 12:37 am #

    Mr. Bovard, the biggest “cheerleaders” for wars are never any where near the front lines. They might get shot at!
    Take it from a war vet, the fighting is NOT where any sane person would want to be near.
    OK, I was young and (maybe) insane. Joined the Marines and went to Viet Nam.

  2. Steve March 31, 2006 at 3:16 am #

    Quoting Orwell to defend Bush. Nice

  3. Jim March 31, 2006 at 10:13 am #

    Mr. Ehlen – volunteering for the Marines during the Vietnam War took a heap of courage. Some of these current laptop bombardiers may struggle with a cold sweat when they have to take the subway.

  4. Jim March 31, 2006 at 10:25 am #

    Steve – Orwell is generally dead-on and magnificent, but there are a few passages that the pro-war types like to endlessly cite. Penguin came out with a wonderful four volume collection of his essays in the UK in the late 1990s (it might be available in the US now). Many of his comments in 1944, 1945, and 1946 on the end of World War II and the aftermath are so penetrating and fair-minded. He never effused the piety or bloodlust that permeated those times.

  5. Al Newberry March 31, 2006 at 12:38 pm #

    I like how the guy who calls Bovard a coward only uses the words of others to criticize him.

    e-mailer, thy name is Cowardice

  6. Jim March 31, 2006 at 1:49 pm #

    Actually, “drintellectual” might consider that having used the word “thy” in his subject line was sufficient original thought to vindicate his case.

    I noticed that archaic usage and wondered if the guy might be a wayward ex-Mennonite.

  7. Dave March 31, 2006 at 11:50 pm #

    Entertaining blog, giving the aimless hawks a home to hang their hats in places beyond their dusty noggins. Gee, did we learn nothing in
    Vietnam, the Falklands, and all the other errant GI Joe Missions? The same clowns would probably like to go after the Gazza Strip next
    week, in search of WMD’s that have been stashed there by Saddam….according to the rumor I heard…..on the golf course.
    Keyboard hawks in search of a purpose beyond nationalistic shallow patriotic piety should be given a gun and sent to the Mecca in the
    sands to Do Justice.

  8. Michael April 2, 2006 at 7:01 pm #

    The letter writer wrote: “Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.