To the Editor: Twain

Re: Ramzy Baroud’s Mark Twain and the Sins of Empire

Dear Mr. Baroud, back in 2003 when Bush’s ilk were making the final plans to illegally invade Iraq, I began thinking of Mark Twain and his famous story about "the War Prayer" and also about the story you mention, "The Mysterious Stranger".

Twain felt such a deep pessimism in his old age towards the damned human race, especially when he protested against King Leopold’s horrible genocide in the Congo around 1900. King Leopold and George W. Bush are two of a kind. Neither seems to have ever been deeply troubled over their genocidal policies of state.

Leopold’s atrocities in the Congo were carried out purely for personal profit (first the ivory trade and later the quest for rubber plants and the rubber trade), but Bush is not simply after profits, though Cheney isn’t so shy, Bush hopes to make Republicanism the true faith of modern America. Demonize all those who oppose his rule. Fortunately most Americans can see through his little charade but seem powerless to stop his onslaught in Iraq and elsewhere.

The invasion of Iraq simply confirmed what Twain wrote over ninety years ago, that "Stranger" is still walking among us. He will do so eternally I fear.
-Robert McKinney
Tokyo, Japan

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