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Letters to the editor

June 28, 2002 | Page 4

OTHER LETTERS
Myth of a two-state solution
King's "militant nonviolence"
We have to oppose corporate unionism

Don't have illusions in Cuba

Dear Socialist Worker,

Avery Wear's letter "We shouldn't echo the right on Cuba" (SW, June 7) misses what should be key to socialists' attitude toward Cuba.

Former President Jimmy Carter's calls for democracy may be liberal cover, but they aren't a cover for the exact same agenda as Bush's. As Socialist Worker argued, Carter represents a part of Corporate America that wants to do business in Cuba--while Bush wants to continue the Cold War policy of isolating the regime.

As revolutionary socialists in the U.S., we oppose all attempts by "our" government and "our" bosses to tell Cuban workers (or anyone else for that matter) what sort of government they should have.

But it isn't because Cuba "won national liberation" or because its government is progressive. The Cuban Revolution--like other national liberation movements of the past 50 years--didn't end class society.

For example, socialists rightly supported the victory of ZANU-PF against the white colonial regime of Rhodesia (in the African country now called Zimbabwe). But after winning national liberation, ZANU-PF President Robert Mugabe eventually opened up the country to the International Monetary Fund. Unfortunately, national liberation is not a permanent state of affairs as long as the U.S. bullies the world with bombs and loans.

We oppose the embargo and right-wing attacks on Cuba because we side with Cuban workers, who have no independent unions and are exploited by their government. Our main enemy is at home, but any illusions in state-run capitalism in Cuba are a trap.

Adam Turl, Chicago

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Myth of a two-state solution

Dear Socialist Worker,

Thanks for the great article by Eric Ruder about why the "two state" solution is unworkable in Palestine (SW, June 7).

The "two state" solution is a myth. Neither the Israelis nor their friends in Washington have the slightest intention of actually applying it. Thus, just a few days ago, they both rejected even the watered-down notion of a "temporary state"--a nonsense idea that Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and other U.S. vassals in the Middle East came up with as a theoretical state-on-paper solution which they hoped would mollify the masses.

The original Zionist plan, born in Switzerland in the heyday of 19th-century European colonialism, claimed a "land with no people for a people with no land." So in the Zionist mindset, Palestinians do not exist and never existed. The most the Palestinians will get will be similar to the "homelands" for Black Africans set up by the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

Small wonder that the Israeli state and the apartheid government were such close allies, even developing and testing nuclear weapons together, with the tacit approval of the U.S. government.

What hypocrisy!

Tareq I. Ali, London

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King's "militant nonviolence"

Dear Socialist Worker,

In reading Paul D'Amato's article "Why pacifism is a dead-end strategy" (SW, May 31), I was reminded of some common misconceptions about Martin Luther King's stance regarding nonviolence versus pacifism.

In 1963, King stated, "I am no doctrinaire pacifist." Indeed, he effectively agreed with Floyd McKissick's statement: "Self-defense and nonviolence are not incompatible."

Instead, King "always tried to be what I call militantly nonviolent." In this way, he conceded that "pure nonviolence…cannot easily attract large masses."

However, "the principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi," who King revered. He advocated pure nonviolence (or pacifism) only in demonstrations, saying, "The question [is] not whether one should use his gun when his home [or person] was attacked, but whether it [is] tactically wise to use a gun while participating in an organized demonstration."

Thus, I submit a slight modification to your motto: "Militant nonviolence if we may, armed self-defense if we must."

David Bliven, Oceanside, N.Y.

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We have to oppose corporate unionism

Dear Socialist Worker,

A struggle against corporate unionism is brewing within American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299--a local that covers virtually the entire state of California.

The executive board was elected after a vote that was very poorly publicized--allowing a handpicked slate of go-along puppets to win. Additionally, $11 million is being sucked out of our local and into the coffers of the union International, with no accounting to the membership. And outrageously, the new constitution that is being offered to us for a vote has no allowance for setting up a shop steward system.

Those of us who object to this will be picketing and hopefully holding a press conference at the AFSCME International Convention in Las Vegas during the week of June 23, 2002. Our struggle right now is to educate and mobilize our own rank and file.

Janice Rothstein, San Francisco

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