Friday, February 25, 2005

A new crucible

I have recently been reading Arthur Miller's autobiography, "Timebends." He describes his experiences going before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, and standing up to them.

There are certain parallels between the early 1950's and our time. In the 1950's, there were efforts in this country to root out and suppress individuals who may have at one time held Communist sympathies. In our own time there are efforts to suppress individuals who hold views contrary to the party in power.

The biggest difference I can express at the moment is that, while there were certainly people who may have joined the Communist party in the 1930's or at some time held leftist views (none of which was illegal), at the present time individuals who oppose the party in power are being falsely linked to terrorism.

Both types of suppression weaken the country. China experts were purged in the 1950's, leading to a fundamental lack of understanding of how to deal with emerging Communist China. In our time, the New York Republican chairman tried to link Democrats to terrorism (the lawyer recently convicted of aiding terrorists). Unfortunately, the photo he presented as proof was of someone else.

In addition, Arabic experts (e.g. gay translators in the military) and the "loose nuke" expert Valerie Plame have been purged for political reasons, contributing to the quagmire in Iraq and damaging efforts to contain nuclear materials around the world.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear PN:

Just a short note to let you know I've seen your site, and to ask if you would come see ours:

Then please send us any feedback you would like, and add us to your rolls if possible.


March 16, 2005  

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