cj#620> re: America & NWO thread

1996-12-08

Richard Moore

12/07/96, Nicholas Treanor wrote:
>We seem to be missing something in the thread.  Barkdull quotes a
>paragraph from Gregory which does not appear in the copy of Gregory you
>sent us.  Did something go wrong here, causing us to get an incomplete
>version of Gregory's rebuttal?

        So sorry -- I omitted a second posting by Gregory, prior to
Barkdull.  It was preceded by a response be me to Gregory.  Both are below.


-rkm

________________________________________________________________
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996
From: Joe Shea <•••@••.•••>
Subject: The American Reporter, No. 431
To: •••@••.•••
...
                        *       *       *
                      _____________________
                      LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
...
                                ~~~~
+
        My article ("A Radical Critique Of The American Experience," AR
No. 430), presented an alternative perspective on more than two centuries
of history, crammed into less than 10 pages.  Obviously it couldn't
include source documentation of every statement, otherwise it would be a
book rather than an article.
        But contrary to Mr. Gregory's "rebuttal," my piece is not based on
an ignorance of history.  Anyone who wants to see a detailed scholarly
treatment of similar perspectives is invited to read Howard Zinn's "A
People's History of the United States," William Greider's "Who Will Tell
the People?," Michael Parenti's "Sword and the Dollar" or "Land of Idols,"
or Noam Chomsky's many well-researched books, such as "Manufacturing
Consent" or "World Orders Old and New."
        My aim was not to duplicate such works, but to summarize the Big
Picture to audiences who haven't read such radical analyses, and in a way
that would challenge people to re-think the "consensus" perspective that
bombards us on a daily basis in the corporate mainstream media.  I'm
prepared to back up the views I expressed, privately or publicly.
        As for Mr. Gregory's piece, I found it to be a hatchet job, not
really a rebuttal at all.  To pick just one example, it is obvious that
the Lusitania incident had nothing to do with starting World War I, and I
certainly never made any such absurd claim.  The point I was illustrating
was that America's entrance into wars has typically been accomplished by
contrived incidents, and sending out the Lusitania, after the Germans had
publicly announced they would torpedo any such ship, was clearly such a
manipulative and irresponsible -- but effective -- incident.

Richard K. Moore
Wexford, Ireland
via Internet

                        *       *       *

________________________________________________________________
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 16:26:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Joe Shea <•••@••.•••>
Subject: The American Reporter, No. 433

                        *       *       *
                      _____________________
                      LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
+
        I read Mr. Moore's letter (AR, No. 432) with no less bemusement than
his original piece of historical revision.  After seeing his sources,
however, I'm a bit more generous in my criticism.  With sources as these,
it's no wonder that he has a confused sense of history and process.
        Noam Chomsky is a brilliant philosopher of language, but his
abilities as a historian or social critic are limited: his theories simply
don't fit the facts.  Similarly, William Greider is a great journalist,
but a historian, he's not.  Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the
United States" has the depth of a stone skipping across the water; if the
title weren't a hint to the bias of the author, then the fact that every
aspect of history is skewed in the telling might have provided a clue.
Michael Parenti is unknown to me, but I will check out one of his books.
        Mr. Moore states, "There has been a significant war approximately
every thirty years, usually initiated (overtly or covertly) by America and
always achieving a new stage in the growth of American power and the
expansion of American-based elite interests."  I accept that Mr. Moore did
not mean exactly what he said, but was speaking only of American
involvement in war.
        Attempting to give the "big picture" of a complicated issue or
event, as Mr. Moore does, is risky business.  One must selectively -- and
wisely -- choose what to include, what to exclude.  By providing a tour of
the horizon of revisionist history, Mr. Moore does provide readers a
service, though perhaps not the one he intends.  He shows us the pitfalls
of pick-and-choose history by stumbling into every pit he approaches.  He
shows how meanness of spirit is not a useful companion to analytical
thinking or writing, because it imputes motives that are foreign to the
time and people being considered.  He shows us that bad history -- while
it can make blood pressures rise -- is, in the end, only bad history.

Charles Gregory
London
via Internet

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    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib
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