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Letters to the editor

July 9, 2004 | Page 4

OTHER LETTERS BELOW:
Supporting the right to resist
Corporate cash for Kerry
Backing Cobb was the right move
The U.S. needs to get out of Iraq

Cheerleaders for empire

Dear Socialist Worker,
Foreign Policy magazine is at it again. Months after publishing Samuel P. Huntington's anti-immigrant screed "The Hispanic Challenge," the latest issue features Niall Ferguson's argument that U.S. Empire is the only thing standing between us and a new Dark Ages.

Ferguson--whose nostalgia for British imperialism led him to write his book Empire--claims that the U.S.'s most likely challengers, China and the European Union, are too weak economically to take up the role of superpower. With no major force dominating the world, he claims that the world will be wracked by terrorism, and that poorer countries will fall under the sway of various kinds of religious fundamentalism.

This is nothing but a lot of scare-mongering. The struggle in the world's poorest places are driven by opposition to neoliberalism and free trade--which is what really keeps ruling-class lapdogs like Ferguson awake at night. And the terrorists in the government who murdered tens of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan get by without a breath of condemnation from empire's apologists.

There's one thing I hope Ferguson is right about--that the U.S. empire is teetering on the brink. Let's do what we can to push it over the edge.
Andrew Jagunich, New York City

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Supporting the right to resist

Dear Socialist Worker,
I think Eric Ruder left out a crucial point in his answer to the question "Should we support Iraqis when they resist the occupation using armed force?" ("The right to resist," SW, July 2). Ruder makes excellent points about the nature of the resistance, where it has come from and the role that armed resistance has played in history.

But I think it's also crucial to point out that you need not support the resistance--meaning, support the tactics it uses or the ideologies it employs--in order to support the right of the Iraqi people (or any people under occupation) to resist.

Many in the anti-occupation movement, including people with loved ones in the U.S. military, those who believe in pacifism and similar ideologies and those who have other concerns with the nature of the resistance (for example, its affects on Iraqi civilians, etc.), are uncomfortable "supporting the resistance."

Yet all of us in the antiwar and anti-occupation movement can and should recognize and support the fundamental right of an occupied people to resist their occupiers, without having to make a statement either way on the tactics of the resistance.

Furthermore, we can refuse to equate the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressor, and we can refuse to allow differences of opinion about the tactics of the resistance to interfere with our fundamental demand for an end to the occupation of Iraq and real self-determination for the Iraqi people.
Emily Goldstein, New York City

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Corporate cash for Kerry

Dear Socialist Worker,
Sen. John Kerry has received several million dollars for his presidential campaign. The largest donor has been a Boston-based legal group called Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, donating $232,736.

There are two companies that this legal group has gotten its fingers in--the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) and Citistreet. The CTIA is the "voice" of the wireless industry. They represent a number of companies before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress. Citistreet is a branch of the company Citigroup.

Mintz has represented the CTIA in a number of cases before the FCC. And since the CTIA is the "voice" of the wireless industry and their purpose is representing the large number of telecommunications and Internet services to the FCC and Congress, the Mintz legal group is a large part of that voice.

It's no coincidence that John Kerry has sponsored two bills and cosponsored six others in the Senate that are in favor of the CTIA. Also, it's no coincidence that Cameron Kerry (John's brother) is a member of the Mintz legal group. One of Cameron Kerry's duties is as a litigator representing telecommunication industries before the FCC.

Another major company that is dangling Kerry by the strings is Citigroup. Citistreet is a client of the Mintz legal group. It's no coincidence that Citigroup, the parent company of Citistreet, is the ninth largest donor to Kerry, contributing $116,656.

FleetBoston Financial Corporation, a major bank in Boston, is the second largest contributor to Kerry's campaign donating $182,937. Another interesting fact is that FleetBoston is a client of the advertising agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc. This advertising agency is number seven on the donation list for Kerry, contributing $122,300.

Time Warner is one of the leading names in entertainment and is also the third largest contributor to Kerry's campaign, donating $145,435. Richard Parsons is the chairman of the board and CEO of Time Warner. He is on a number of other boards, including--you guessed it--Citibank.

Think of this web as you like, but I like to think that these connections are all part of the corporate control that has befallen Washington. Politics are run by special interests, because once they contribute they want something back. I won't be surprised to see Citigroup and CTIA grow significantly if Kerry wins the election.
Frank Steves, From the Internet

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Backing Cobb was the right move

Dear Socialist Worker,
I usually find your articles thought provoking, but a recent article by Alan Maass on the Green convention ("The Green Party's step backward," SW, July 2) seemed so off the mark. I would say that, rather than a step backward, it is a step forward after two steps backward (1996, 2000). How can a cult of personality (Nader) form a lasting challenge to the duopoly?

This year, I am supporting the Greens specifically because they did not take the Nader route. Nader is a reformist in the true sense of the word. He believes, drawing on the 1930s and before, that the role of third parties and independent movements is to push the two parties leftward.

He clearly sees his historical role in moving the Democrats from its current DLC position to more of a "Roosevelt" party. The Greens, on the other hand, are one of the most viable democratic socialist-leaning third parties in our times. If we are truly concerned about developing a left-leaning opposition to the current duopoly, it has to be with a viable third party, not the cult of personality.
Nate Schmolze, From the Internet

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The U.S. needs to get out of Iraq

Dear Socialist Worker,
I never wanted anyone to invade Iraq. Once there, I never wanted the "coalition of the willing" to stay. I wanted an international peacekeeping force with NATO and United Nations assistance.

Now I just want the U.S. and every other foreign nation out of Iraq. Let the Iraqis sort out their own future. If it doesn't include democracy, too damn bad. If it doesn't include cheap oil for the U.S., too damn bad.

If another country was doing to America what we are doing to Iraq, I suppose I would be one of the--what are they called now?--"terrorists" fighting against the will of the United States. Get out! Get out now!

I was alive when America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and have not accepted that fact yet, so you can imagine I'm having trouble with Iraq and the whole Middle East thing. Change is good. Change is natural. Change is blowing in the wind. Peace.
Jeff Morgan, Rochester, Minn.

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