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Blair's speech, hate speech and the reasons for war: more spiked readers give their views.

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After the attack on America: more spiked readers give their views.

What do you think? Email spiked letters. Please keep your letters succinct.

Michael Fitzpatrick’s otherwise incisive deconstruction of Tony Blair’s moral bankruptcy, vacuous vision, immoral militarism and all-round relativism makes one continued mistake – it ascribes these characteristics as a problem of capitalism (Blair’s gospel of despair, 5 October). Rather, they are all a problem for capitalism, a product of the socialistic welfare state now being superseded by the even more anti-individualist, socialistic therapeutic state, as spiked so astutely and consistently reports. Keep up the good work. John Collison, Canada

Michael Fitzpatrick’s otherwise excellent article is not clear on the question of Islamic fundamentalism (Blair’s gospel of despair, 5 October). Islamic fundamentalism, Fitzpatrick writes, ‘appears to be strongest in countries that are on the verge of disintegration, or in countries where it is enforced by a despotic regime’. And in the next paragraph, ‘It appears that the influence of Islamic fundamentalism is greater within Western society… than it is in the Middle East’. While Fitzpatrick says that Saudi Arabia finances fundamentalism in the West, the relationship between the East and West manifestations of fundamentalism is not fully clarified. Despite this problem, however, Fitzpatrick’s examination of religiosity and relativism reveals all too well the ideological exhaustion embodied by Blair’s ‘gospel’. Jim HJ Williams, UK

The bombing of Afghanistan by the USA and Britain reminds me of the ‘civilising’ imperialism of the former British Empire (Now it is war – but for what?, 8 October 2001). It is as though we are telling the citizens of Afghanistan that the bombing is for their own good, and that it is necessary to rid them of a barbaric regime and implement a democratic government. What this campaign is really about is capitalist expansion: just as the Adriatic ports were necessary for the transnational oil lines – hence the bombing and destabilisation of Yugoslavia – now it is vital for the Western axis to divide and rule Afghanistan to gain access to oil-rich resources in that area. Anthony Dawson, UK

Mick Hume says Now it is war – but for what? (8 October). Hitchhiking and smuggling. The war is used to get otherwise unpopular laws passed and give the government more control over us – hitchhiking. It is also used to distract the media from commenting on failures, such as not building an athletics stadium and the end of privatised Railtrack – smuggling. Roger William Clague, UK

I take issue with the following in Michael Fitzpatrick’s article: ‘The consumption of drugs reduces individual freedom by circumscribing people’s range of interests and impairing their capacity to pursue more important human aims. Far from expanding consciousness, most drugs limit it and encourage tedious self-absorption.’ (The lessons of the drugs war, 9 October) How do drugs do this? Is it a chemical reaction in the brain that reduces the capability for free thought? Does alcohol have a similar affect? Other habits could also circumscribe people’s range of interests; watching Countdown and knitting might prevent the pursuit of more important human aims. Why blame the use of drugs for tedious self-absorption, instead of the self-absorbed? Rod Sanchez-Ruiz, UK

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