10 October 2006

Unpublished Letter to the Editor

[edit: Sunday October 15, 2006: This letter was published in today's Olympian. Thanks to the Editors at the Olympian for proving me wrong. And on a Sunday to boot! Yeah! Here's a link.]

Here's a letter to the editor I submitted to The Olympian almost two weeks ago. They only rarely let letters they receive go unpublished - so says their editorial policy. But this one, thus far, has gone unpublished. No letter that I have sent to the editor has taken this long to be published. However, if they do eventually publish it, I'll be sure to update this blog entry.
When a thief enters a bank and hands the teller a note demanding cash at gunpoint, there is no question as to the illegality of that act. It is bank robbery, and it is a criminal act.

When a nation’s military might is used to perpetrate a war of aggression, a similar logic holds true. The war of aggression is an illegal act, and its masterminds and executors are criminals.

The war in Iraq was based on fraudulent premises. A variety of sources and examples support and confirm this conclusion. For example, a Downing Street memo stated, “the facts were being fixed around the policy.”

Its fraudulence laid bare, it becomes clear that the war was not designed as a police action, but as a power grab. It was designed not to secure WMD, or to eliminate terrorism, but instead, it was designed to pave the way to Iraq’s oil resources.

First Lieutenant Ehren Watada has done the right thing. His principled refusal to serve in an illegal war sets a good example for those in the military, and for American citizens in general.

It is time to inject a dose of accountability into the federal government, as well as into the USA's mainstream media.

The people deserve an ongoing and thorough examination of the foundations, and of the current conditions, of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The only major thing that I would change comes in the second paragraph, when I stated that the "masterminds and executors are criminals." I would change this part because they must be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Guilty of committing a criminal act, yes. But "criminal" as such, not quite.

Why do you think it goes unpublished? The editorial policy says they won't publish letters that they consider slanderous. Do you think this letter fits the definition of slander? I do not think that it does.


  1. This is a forceful letter. Your letter is stark in its accusations and I agree with you.

    I also agree that guilt is not the presumed condition. I wish the innocence was more evident.

  2. This letter was published (with textual differences )Sunday, the 15th of October, 2006.

    Unfortunately, the differences in the text detracted from the overall effect of the letter. In my estimation, (humble as it may not be) the letter was dumbed down.

    The only changes between the letter I sent to them and the letter they published came in the first, second and sixth paragraphs. You can follow the link to make a comparison.

    Interestingly, the changes in the version of the letter that went to press in the paper, were similar to a draft of the letter I had previously written. I wonder if the mail program that I use malfunctioned and sent an earlier version - or if the versions were somehow jumbled in transit.

    I originally drafted the letter in WORD. But I transferred it to email, and made some changes after I did that. Thte mail program had already saved a draft of the letter before I made the changes, so I suppose it's possible that it confused things.

    Very strange. Too bad. But I am probably over-analysing this anyway.