Editor, Daily Nexus:

In response to Jeff Farrah’s ignorant though well-meaning column “U.S. Won Cold War to Free World, Not to Fear Terrorists” (Oct. 17), I would like to propose the following clarifications.

Farrah has “many critics of America’s Cold War Policies” saying, “The citizens of the world have had enough of America meddling in their business. We had it coming.” This supposedly widespread view is not credited to anyone in particular, for an obvious reason: No one seems to hold such a view, at least in its entirety. If however, you take the sentences Farrah quotes (or, actually, fabricates), label the first sentence Thesis 1, and “We had it coming” Thesis 2, no doubt many would agree that Thesis 1 is, even if not completely true, an easily-defendable view that is not even morally problematic. Thesis 2, in contrast, has not been forwarded by anyone outside of the al-Qaeda organization or similar fringe elements to my knowledge, and neither has any serious commentator suggested that the truth of Thesis 1 implies that “We had it coming.” This tactical move is understandable on Farrah’s part: The Right Wing prefers to attack only caricatures of its opponent’s views.

By putting words into the mouths of his opponents, Farrah hopes to discredit inquires into the nature and sources of Cold War conflict – sources which are not so clear as he assumes – and replace them with a quasi-Biblical story in which Ronald Reagan is somehow a hero and evil is always defeated. Criticism of U.S. policy does not imply support or indifference to murder anywhere. This is elementary logic.

Another interesting feature of the column is Farrah’s treatment of the victims in New York and Washington as “martyrs.” On Sept.11, they were seen simply as victims of a heinous act, at least to the majority of the public. They have since had their humanity taken away even further by people who have come to see them as martyrs. Martyrs don’t mind dying. Martyrs are inhuman. Victims are real people, not propaganda; give them at least that much respect.