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Letters to the editor

October 29, 2004 | Page 4

Wrong way to label the Iraqi resistance
Why the lesser gets more evil

The self-defeating logic of ABB

Dear Socialist Worker,
Some 250 people turned out to a Phoenix forum, "Out of Iraq: Voices of Dissent in the U.S," organized on the eve of the third presidential debate.

Fernando Suarez del Solar, father of a Marine killed in Iraq and a leading activist in Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), brought the audience to tears talking about the effects of his son's death on his family.

He also told the story of Anabel, a mother of two Iraq war soldiers and an activist in MFSO. She braved the trek to Tikrit, but when she reached the base gates, she was told that no civilians were allowed inside. She insisted, and they finally let her in. Her daughter walked into the tent--with an M16 in hand. Anabel turned to her MFSO colleagues and said, "If I were rich, she'd have a book in her hands. But I'm not, so she has a gun."

Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Code Pink, gave a powerful speech that got the crowd to its feet several times. At one point, Benjamin recounted a fantasy. She recalled the press conference John Kerry held at the rim of the Grand Canyon in August, when he was asked if, knowing what he knows now, would he still have voted for war? Kerry said yes. "I know I am part of a non-violent peace movement, but hearing that, I just wanted to push him right over the edge of the canyon!" Benjamin said, to wild applause.

But Benjamin ended her speech with the self-defeating logic of "Anybody But Bush." Maintaining that she's "no fool," she declared that nothing would be better than kicking the Bush team out of the White House.

While she got loud applause for wishing Bush out and Kerry in, the crowd stood up and cheered as Benjamin listed the issues that activists would have to pressure Kerry on in order to win, such as withdrawal from Iraq, nationalized health care, and repealing the PATRIOT Act. These, of course, are issues that John Kerry will never give breath to, much less deliver on.

The crime is that the only option even many leading activists are talking about is looking to the Democrats to making them come true.
Jeff Bale, Phoenix

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Wrong way to label the Iraqi resistance

Dear Socialist Worker,
Ever since the occupation of Iraq began, those in support of it have been trying to justify it in many ways, including painting the resistance as a fringe movement of mostly "Baathist remnants," "foreign terrorists" and "Islamic extremists." One way the corporate media and war-mongering politicians have accomplished this is by referring to the resistance fighters as "insurgents," which they never use when referring to resistance movements such as in France during the Nazi occupation or even in the U.S. during the American Revolution.

Socialist Worker has always been clear that the primary reason Iraqis are resisting the U.S. occupation is because it has ravaged the country and its people. Much of the left has taken a dive for presidential candidate John Kerry because they have given ground to the claims that Kerry's "kinder, gentler" imperialism will be better and that the Iraqi resistance cannot be supported unconditionally. These burning questions in the antiwar movement have razed the possibility for it to coherently demand "U.S. troops out now" and "self-determination for the Iraqis" and consequently has allowed the election to push many into supporting Kerry.

We must answer these questions by building an anti-imperialist current against this lurching to the right. Since Socialist Worker does not think the war is humanitarian in any way, does think the Iraqis deserve self-determination now, and supports the Iraqi resistance against empire unconditionally, it should not use the term "insurgents"--language meant to undermine these positions.
Brian Cruz, San Francisco

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Why the lesser gets more evil

Dear Socialist Worker,
It is hardly shocking that Republicans would engage in sneaky, dirty election tricks. Nor is it surprising that Democrats would openly use dirty tricks to keep independent Ralph Nader off the ballot.

As usual both corrupt parties control access to the political pageants mockingly referred to as "debates." Predictably, record amounts of corporate cash are being spent on presidential marketing campaigns.

Has anyone else noticed that the lesser evil keeps getting worse every four years? And that things keep getting worse no matter which party we choose? Both are fresh out of ideas for working (or unemployed) people.

Maybe it's time to vote your conscience and fight for change, instead of voting your fears and hope for change.
Nick Hart, Seattle

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