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August 5, 2005 | Page 12

Message of Iraq unionists
They're lying and spying

SW distorted CP's record

I TAKE issue with some things in Paul D'Amato's article "The CP adapts to the right...again" (July 22).

The author spends the majority of the article stringing together quotes from historical leaders of the Communist Party USA to paint a picture of a party that has moved "rightward" for the past 70 years. The article nowhere states that the CP long ago repudiated Browder, Stalin and the internment of Japanese Americans.

D'Amato summarizes the recent National Convention of the CPUSA as "reaffirming its support for the Democratic Party." In fact, the CPUSA recommitted itself to a militant fightback against the corporate assault on jobs, rights and unions. It rededicated itself to the struggle against the occupation of Iraq and to the building of an all-people's alliance against the ultra-right forces that dominate American political life.

Most importantly, the convention adopted a new party program rooted in the Lenin's concept that "the more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skillful and obligatory use of even the smallest rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional."

Finally, the article claims Political Affairs, the CP's magazine asserts that gay marriage is "too much, too early." In fact, the party supports gay marriage. D'Amato is referring to a guest opinion article by a non-party member--part of a dialogue on strategies for gay rights, which posed the strategic question "Gay Marriage: Too Much, Too Soon?"

You can disagree with the CPUSA, but please don't stretch the truth to make your point. We welcome your readers to examine or Convention materials at to see what the CPUSA really believes.
Libero Della Piana, Communications Director, CPUSA

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Message of Iraq unionists

IN RESPONSE to "Iraqi Trade Unionists Tour the U.S." (June 24), I believe that the antiwar and labor movements should have put more resources into the tour of the Basra General Union of Oil Employees.

Many unions in Los Angles, with the notable exception of the United Steelworkers, did not invite the Iraqis to speak to their memberships. For different reasons, the biggest antiwar group in Southern California, International ANSWER, decided not to participate in the tour and invite its supporters.

This was a real shame, since the driving message behind Hassan Juma'a Awad and Faleh Abbood Umarra's presentation was that the U.S. occupying force is the problem. "In Iraq, we are brothers," said Juma'a Awad. "Brothers can go to war, but then brothers make peace. Give us a chance to make our own country." Hearing this unapologetic anti-occupation message from Iraqis shifted many unionists.

The GUOE leaders made their presentation especially effective by making the connection to privatization as a global problem that affects us all. They also told inspiring stories of their "Unscrew the Screws" work slowdown action against Halliburton subsidiary Kellog, Brown & Root (KBR), their three-day strike in 2004, and their successful campaign to stop KBR from privatizing the oil industry and contracting out work.

In response to a question (not as part of their presentation), I heard the GUOE leaders criticize the particular tactics of the Zarqawi wing of the Iraqi resistance. I support their right to do so. They also made a vague statement about the targeting of Iraqis with car bombs. But it seemed to me that everything that they said was in the spirit of figuring out how best to end the U.S. occupation.

Americans have a lot to learn from the GUOE, both in terms of how to fight privatization and in terms of why the occupation should end now. I wish more organizing would have been done so that many more of us could hear their stories.
Sarah Knopp, Los Angeles

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They're lying and spying

RECENTLY, THE media have reported on two stories that show why Americans should always question the motives and honesty of the politicians who control our country.

First, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been collecting personal information on some airline passengers. So what's the problem? Well, Congress said they couldn't do it, and TSA officials said they wouldn't do it.

The other story is that the Justice Department has denied that it is interested in the reading habits of library patrons. So what's the problem? Surveys have revealed that since 2001, law enforcement agents have requested checkout records from libraries more than 200 times. So have government employees decided that it is okay to go against government policy, or has the government decided that it is good policy to routinely lie to the American people?
Chuck Mann, Greensboro, N.C.

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