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Letters to the editor

December 14, 2001 | Page 4

We can disarm the supporters of war
Defend the right to die with dignity

Bush's snare of patriotic prejudice

Dear Socialist Worker,

During wartime, the government of the United States has always tried to generate pro-war propaganda, using patriotism to justify the mass murder of innocent civilians of much smaller and poorer nations all over the world.

Once, the U.S. government castigated Muhammad Ali when he refused to fight in the Vietnam War. Ironically, he became a hero to millions for his bold decision to set his face against the government.

Before 1954, the U.S. government maintained the law of segregation. It doesn't mean that segregation was justified.

The U.S. government also jailed Martin Luther King for his actions. Was that justified? The answer is no.

We should be careful about falling into President Bush's snare of patriotic prejudices, which is based on lies and misinformation. We should ask ourselves before we comply with our politicians and become more patriotic: Is it for the right cause?

A student, City College of New York

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We can disarm the supporters of war

Dear Socialist Worker,

Selling Socialist Worker at Hunter College, we've found enormous enthusiasm for the paper and a deep distrust of the U.S. government among a sizable minority of people. At the same time, we've also run into some pretty rabid supporters of the war.

Emphasizing the human cost of this war is crucial. When talking to people about the war, we've been putting a lot of emphasis on the millions of Afghans being threatened with starvation by the war. We've also used posters at every sale with pictures of Afghan children killed by the bombs. These really help attract people who are most disgusted by the war.

Pictures like these also help disarm supporters of the war. People who see this war as a fight for justice are less likely to attack you for opposing the war in the face of pictures of children slaughtered by U.S. bombs.

For copies of pictures, people can e-mail me at [email protected]

David Thurston, New York City

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Defend the right to die with dignity

Dear Socialist Worker,

Attorney General John Ashcroft recently undermined Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. The act allows physician-assisted suicide for patients with terminal illnesses.

Under a new Drug Enforcement Agency policy, physicians would face losing their licenses if they prescribe a lethal dose of drugs for terminally ill patients.

Oregon voters have twice voted in favor of the act, but it has always been under threat from the right wing and religious zealots. More than 70 people have so far taken advantage of the law.

Bush is all too happy to see innocent people murdered by bombs coming from a B-52 bomber. We must defend death with dignity, and we must also fight for a different society where we can live free from wars, racism and unnecessary suffering.

Paul Dean, Portland, Oregon

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