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Letters to the editor

February 4, 2005 | Page 4

Victim of a backdoor draft

Dear Socialist Worker,
I was glad to see your coverage this week on the backdoor draft being used by the military through stop-loss orders ("Feeling a draft?" January 21). Case in point: Emiliano Santiago, who just finished serving eight years with the Oregon National Guard. Outrageously, the military then extended his termination date to 2031.

I was in Portland in December when Santiago went to court for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed him to stay in the U.S. long enough to appeal the order. However, the judge denied the injunction, and he will now be sent to Afghanistan on February 2.

An article in the Oregonian made it clear that there was no real legal basis for the judge's decision. "[U.S. District Judge] Panner said he thought the military would endure more harm than Santiago if he ruled in the soldier's favor, essentially agreeing with the government's argument that thousands of military members who are subject to stop-loss orders might file similar legal challenges," the paper reported.

This case clearly exposes whose side the legal system in this country is on, as well as the disgusting length the military is willing to go to fight their unjust wars. However, it also exposes their fear of the growing number of soldiers who are speaking out and refusing to serve.

While there were several activists and sympathizers present at the court hearing, a larger and better-organized movement might have pressured the judge into a different decision. It is up to us to organize and give confidence to the soldiers who are resisting and demand that we bring the troops home now.
Leela Yellesetty, New Haven, Conn.

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Radio Chomsky goes online

Dear Socialist Worker,
For a few years now, I have been operating a nonprofit 24-hour radio station broadcasting diverse world-affairs commentary, sourced from all over the planet. Radio Chomsky (www.radiochomsky.com) is now in a position to stream live audio via the Internet to listeners around the world.

Almost every interview, conversation, speech, discussion and rant we broadcast was downloaded from the Internet, mostly from www.radio4all.net. As a non-profit station, we are permitted to rebroadcast these programs.

It is my personal belief that information like this should be much more accessible to those people who are interested. I am also continuously interested in additional sources of audio material and information like this for broadcast. Any help that you are able to provide will be greatly appreciated.
Aaron Skudder, Auckland, New Zealand

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