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Letters in brief

May 14, 2004 | Page 4

OTHER LETTERS BELOW:
The real purveyors of violence
Kucinich isn't a hopeless cause
Thanks to the ISO for speaking out
Voting Democrat won't bring change

April 25 was an inspiring step

Dear Socialist Worker,
I was pleased with your analysis of the April 25 March for Women's Lives ("A march for women's lives or Democrats' votes?" SW, April 30). I certainly shared in the disgust when, watching coverage from San Diego, I saw war hawk Madeleine Albright take the stage.

I'm concerned, however, that we could be too pessimistic about a march undoubtedly dominated by "Anybody But Bush" politics and ultimately miss the overriding message of the day: Women are not going to accept attacks on our rights--and we will mobilize in historic numbers to prove it.

Everyone I spoke to about the march here spoke with enthusiasm, from activists who went to D.C. to those who were here at the local march in San Diego. Overwhelmingly, I believe people will be more inspired to fight for their rights after that historic event.

The march of 1 million should have been on the front cover of SW, highlighting a promising first step for a new fighting abortion rights movement and offering a socialist analysis of the way this spirit of resistance can be carried forward.
Rebecca Anshell, San Diego

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The real purveyors of violence

Dear Socialist Worker,
In his article, "The greater terror of U.S. power," (SW, April 9) Paul D'Amato pins down the two key truths that expose the so-called "War on Terror" for the lie that it is. Firstly, as D'Amato points out, the whole concept of a "war on terror" is logically absurd.

Terrorism is a tactic, not a political movement or ideology in its own right. It is used by a variety of groups for a variety of reasons, and does not constitute some kind of monolithic "force of evil" at loose in the world. Secondly, the greatest purveyors of terrorism in the world today are not paramilitary organization like Hamas or Hezbollah, but nation states.

The fact that al-Qaeda is recognized as a terrorist organization while the U.S. military is not results from the fact that the U.S., as a nation state, can claim a monopoly of violence, and therefore pass off its use of terror as legitimate.

I also appreciated the irony of that fact that while Islamic fundamentalists who set off bombs on airplanes are considered "terrorists," Christian fundamentalists who blow up women's health clinics are not. D'Amato's humane, clear-headed article provides a good example of why alternative media like Socialist Worker are so desperately needed today.
Dennis Fritz, Austin, Texas

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Kucinich isn't a hopeless cause

Dear Socialist Worker,
I agree wholeheartedly with Lance Selfa ("Why is Kucinich still in the race?" SW, April 23) that the Democratic Party is "a bosses' party that occasionally (and less frequently) uses populist rhetoric to get enough workers, women and racial minorities to vote for it to help it win elections." Personally, I think that the Democratic Party is a hopeless cause.

However, at this moment in American history, I see no "real political alternative" to the powerful Republocrat duopoly. Trying to fight money and entrenched political power structure from "outside the Democratic Party" is like trying to fight tanks and gunships with stones.

In my opinion, Dennis Kucinich's continued candidacy can make a (slight) difference and is therefore worth the effort. As long as the Democratic Party gets away with taking progressives for granted, life for the Average Joe and Jane will only get worse and worse.

Without continual pressure, the Democratic Party power brokers can rightly claim that there is no progressive wing of the party, at least none worth worrying about, and that the party's shift to the right is in tune with the overwhelming majority of its members.

Unfortunately, too many progressive voters have succumbed to "anybody but Bush" fever this year, and they prematurely jumped on the (Bush-lite) Kerry bandwagon. At least those who stand with Kucinich are showing some backbone by voting their principles--and ultimately their own best interest--in the primaries and caucuses. I applaud them for realizing that there will be plenty of time to settle for the "lesser evil"--or to jump ship--after the Democratic convention.
Mary Johnson, From the Internet

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Thanks to the ISO for speaking out

Dear Socialist Worker,
It was a pleasure and a relief to hear a speaker from the International Socialist Organization at the March 20 antiwar demo in Los Angeles. An unapologetic blasting of both Bush and Kerry is what was needed, and that's what we got. Good job.
Michael McGroarty, North Hollywood, Calif.

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Voting Democrat won't bring change

Dear Socialist Worker,
In what might be a surprise to many left-wing activists, Noam Chomsky, renown and revered critic of U.S. politics, recently came out with support for Democratic candidate John Kerry. As reported in the British Guardian, Chomsky said that Bush and Kerry are "two factions of the business party," but that the Bush administration is so "cruel and savage" that it is "important to replace it."

Chomsky is not the only prominent and respected left-wing figure to suffer from the "Anybody But Bush" syndrome. Norman Solomon and Michael Moore have argued in favor of voting Democrat.

This fear of Bush's reelection is something that is shared among average activists as well. As this unfounded and irrational support of Kerry and the Democrat Party grows, we need to argue strongly against feeding this irrational disease.

Socialists need to remind people that Democrats are not the party of the working class. We need to bring up Clinton's failed promises on gay rights, the environment, welfare reform and other issues that leftists put their faith in as a hope to get rid of Bush Sr. in 1992.

Also, we need to tell others suffering from this Democratic delusion about Kerry's equally flawed record on the issues. Kerry voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, he voted for the war in Iraq and supports a continued occupation, promising to send 40,000 more troops. He supports the continued "war on terror" as well as our occupation of Afghanistan. He supports more tax breaks for the rich and opposes gay marriage.

Voting for a Democrat on Election Day is not going to bring about real social and political change. Only through strong organization and protest against the system will we win the day, despite whichever of the two business parties are in the White House.
Jeremy Hobbs, Riverside, Calif.

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