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Letters to the editor

October 26, 2001 | Page 4

He could help kids by not bombing
Could a tribunal bring justice?
U.S. won't bring democracy
I agree with your antiwar coverage

Bush's double standards

Dear Socialist Worker,

I was sickened to read recent reports that the Bush administration is trying to tar the Sandinista party in Nicaragua--which may return to power in elections next month--as a "terrorist" organization.

State Department officials are accusing the Sandinistas of having links to Iraq and Libya, as well as to the FARC rebels in Colombia and the ETA separatist movement in Spain. They also claim that leading Sandinistas "have long histories of grossly violating civil and human rights and suppressing democratic activities."

What makes this lie so outrageous is that it was the U.S. government that organized terrorism against the Sandinistas when they ruled Nicaragua in the 1980s.

In 1986, the International Court of Justice (commonly known as the "World Court") condemned the United States for mining Nicaragua's harbors and funding and training the contra rebels--who tortured and butchered more than 10,000 Nicaraguan civilians. But Washington simply ignored this ruling, refusing to recognize the Court's jurisdiction.

As the U.S. government prepares to use its "war on terrorism" as an excuse to attack any country or group that it doesn't like, its hypocrisy and double standards have never been more obvious.

Phil Gasper, San Leandro, Calif.

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He could help kids by not bombing

Dear Socialist Worker,

The man illegally occupying the White House made the following announcement a few days ago: "We are asking every child in America to earn or give a dollar that will be used to provide food and medical help for the children of Afghanistan. You can send your dollar in an envelope marked 'America's Fund for Afghan Children' right here to the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C."

I suggest that we send the envelopes, but not with any money--instead with a note saying something like, "You could help the children of Afghanistan a great deal more if you'd stop bombing their country, killing them and their parents, and making it impossible for real charitable organizations to bring food, medical and other aid into the country."

It would be better if you signed your name and address, but you must realize in the expanded police state that is now looming, this could likely get you put on a list, if not worse.

William Blum, Washington, D.C.

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Could a tribunal bring justice?

Dear Socialist Worker,

Recently, some antiwar activists have been calling for an international tribunal to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for the attacks on September 11. They argue that in such a tribunal, justice would be served.

I disagree. In the various systems of the developed world, "justice" is reserved for the poor--while white-collar criminals, brutal cops and politicians remain exempt.

The same injustice is clear in international bodies such as the United Nations. The UN regularly condemns acts of terror against civilians in the developed world, while at the same time continues to impose its own terror on the civilians of Iraq through economic sanctions. Meanwhile, the UN ignores the terrorism carried out by the U.S. and Israeli governments in the Middle East.

In this way, the UN--the largest instrument of international law--is itself an instrument of war and terror.

My message for the advocates of an international tribunal is this: No international court can be established that will be free of the racism and double standards of the UN and the U.S.

If you should go ahead and try to set up your imaginary court, then you must first prosecute well-known, proven terrorists such as Henry Kissinger, Ariel Sharon, George Bush, George W. Bush, the UN officials who continue to murder 5,000 Iraqi civilians a month and the agents of terror in the CIA and Israeli Defense Forces.

The list is endless. Osama bin Laden--the unproven mastermind behind the September 11 attacks--will have to wait in line.

Suzanne Adely, New York City

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U.S. won't bring democracy

Dear Socialist Worker,

Many of us in the antiwar movement recently have been learning about the incredibly harsh conditions faced by the people of Afghanistan under the Taliban government.

We've been learning about the history of U.S. and Soviet terror in Afghanistan, which helped produce the terror of the Taliban.

We've also been learning about the humanitarian violations of the Northern Alliance, which the U.S. has decided to back.

Recently, I have heard some people argue that if the U.S. overthrows the Taliban, it will help or even liberate the people currently under its rule. This is similar to the argument that the Bush administration used during the 1991 Gulf War: that since Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, the U.S. war against him would help free the Kurds or other oppressed groups in Iraq.

This turned out to be the cruelest of lies. The U.S. cynically manipulated the legitimate claims of the Kurds to self-determination and then gave support to a brutal crackdown by Saddam's troops.

The U.S. never ousted him, but it did kill hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis with bombs and sanctions that have left the country in a pre-industrial state.

People are right to have deep concerns about the Afghan people. But we can't rely on the U.S. government to help them--or to bring a democratic regime to power.

Bringing a halt to U.S. intervention in the region will do far more to aid the liberation of the people of Afghanistan.

Meneejeh Moradian, New York City

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I agree with your antiwar coverage

Dear Socialist Worker,

I just read your September 28 issue, and I agree totally with your "No to War" coverage. I am wasting no time in giving this information to others.

I think it is also very significant that the military forces of Britain were on the move to the Middle East before September 11. There's no doubt in my mind that Bush's war drive began well before the tragedy of September 11.

In 1989, after the murder of 7,000 Panamanians, I chose not to reenlist in the Iowa Army National Guard. Today, I fear we have nearly as many victims in the disaster in New York.

I'm sending you a donation for a subscription to your paper, and if you can, I'll take 10 of your antiwar buttons.

I'm sending this even though I'm on strike here at Maytag-Amana, where I work.

Thank you and God bless.

Fred M., Marengo, Iowa

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