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January 2002

Letters To The Editor

Dictatorship In America?
   On December 14th I received a solicitation from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee stating its pride in having "acted in the finest tradition of our party" and "with courage and determination, casting aside partisanship and uniting behind our Commander-in-Chief" (incidentally, under the Constitution the President is the Commander-in-Chief of military  personnel not of civilians). With one exception all Democratic Senators, along with the Republican Senators, had just voted for the so called Patriot Act which gives unprecedented powers to the FBI and Justice Department to wiretap and to infiltrate any domestic political organizations, including, even church foreign policy study groups, they wish to. The bill established that those suspected of terrorism will be tried by a military tribunal which means the trial will be in secret, the defendants will have restricted rights in reviewing the evidence against them, the identity of the prosecution witnesses will be withheld, and there is no appeal.
   A few days later Attorney General Ashcroft stated before a Senate committee that any criticism of President Bush's war policies constitutes aid to terrorists. Can we expect that in the not so distant future the Congress of the United States, including all those "liberal" Democratic Senators, Paul Wellstone among them, will vote into legislation a bill making criticism of the government's war policies illegal in spite of the Constitutional protection of free speech as clearly stated in the First Amendment? It has happened before in our history --- John Adams's Alien and Sedition Act, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, and the Sedition Act of 1917 which made criticism of the government's war policy illegal. Then American citizens of Japanese ancestry were "racially profiled" and lost all of their Constitutional rights in World War II. If such a law is passed will those who criticize any aspect of the President's war policies in whatever degree be tried in a civil court or by a military tribunal?
   As a combat veteran of World War II (B-17 co-pilot, 8th Air Force. Serial no.0-778691) who thought he was risking his life for both the territorial integrity and the Constitution of the United States against the worst terrorists of either the 20th or 21st century, I am appalled that Americans and their government have allowed legitimate anger to evolve into panic and begin slipping into a form of American fascism. On December 17 The Publisher and Editor of the Sacramento Bee was prevented from finishing her speech on the importance of preserving our civil liberties in time of war because many of the thousands of students in attendance at a Sacramento State University event clapped their hands and stomped their feet to drown her out. Members of the Social Democratic Party had the same problem in the German Reichstag from 1932 until January 31, 1933 during which time the Nazis had a large number of delegates in the Reichstag. On January 31st, just after the Reichstag fire, President Paul Von Hindenburg granted the new German Chancellor, Adolph Hitler, the power to rule by decree and suspend the Constitution of the Weimar Republic.
   The late Hughy Long, the governor and "Kingfish" of Louisiana in the 30's, once said, "if dictatorship ever comes to American it will come in a form of Americanism." Is this where we are headed ?
Phil Arnot
Lagunitas, Ca. 94938

Interest Cuts Do Nothing
   The Federal Reserve has cut the prime interest rate 11 times in 12 months and the economy continues to sink. It's only a matter of time until the prime rate reaches ZERO at which time the Federal Reserve will effectively loose a major weapon (the lowering of the prime rate) that can be used to revive the economy. This is the same scene that happened in Japan with the prime rate reaching zero with the economy continuing to sink and Japan is now in a recession that seems to have no end, with deflation and falling real estate values. What to do.
   First it must be realized that this is not a recession America is in, it is in fact a long decline that started many years ago, but was interrupted by the rise of the computer industry that temporarily raised the economy. But with the end of the computer revolution, America has gone back to continue it's long decline. You see, the computer industry replaced many jobs that American industry sent to many third world countries to exploit cheap labor. But with the down turn of the computer industry and the loss of it's many jobs there is just not enough well paying jobs to get the economy going again (you can only go so  far flipping hamburgers). The dynamics are the same here as the effect of World War II in ending the great depression that started in 1929. This is because jobs were created to build guns cannons, bombs and other weapons. And the people making the weapons used their pay to buy goods and services and so created other jobs and so kept the economy going. In other words, the computer industry had the same effect as World War II in creating jobs and workers with money in their pockets to buy goods and services to keep the economy going, There is no sizable computer industry anymore and the war we have now is just not big enough to impact the economy by creating enough well paying jobs. The 200 billion deal to build fighter jets may offer the chance to linger some more before the final fall.
   The main problem is that our elections are over influenced by corporation money thus creating a government staffed by corporation financed politicians, it is a government that has a mind set that mostly considers corporation profits as a primary necessity and completely forgetting that a successful economy must have people on the streets with money in their pockets to buy industrial products to keep the economy going. A solution for this boom and bust cycle (or war economy) of free enterprise is to take another look at the Federalist Papers that clearly stated that all sectors of society must have equal voice in government to provide a stable society for all to live in. In other words, get big money out of government so that the voice of all the people can be equalized. The so called stimulus package being considered by the government is just not what is needed to rebuild American industry to the healthy balance between well paying jobs and efficient industry, it is in fact just another freebee for the corporations, it will do nothing. Democracy it the cure.
Jose Lugo
Producer Direct Democracy TV
New York, N.Y.

Open Letter Of Thanks From Sandy Leon
    I am writing on behalf of myself and my husband James Vest to share with you an experience we believe to be something of a 'holiday miracle.'
   The December 8 benefit at the Bolinas Community Center has left us humbled, inspired and infinitely grateful for the outpouring of community support in the face of our struggle with B-Cell Lymphoma. Literally hundreds of people have come forward to give whatever they could. In Bolinas and Stinson, every small business that was asked gave generously to either the Silent Auction or the "Friends of Sandy Leon Vest."  Friends, students, clients and colleagues from all over West Marin attended the benefit at the Bolinas Community Center.  Others gave food, time or organizing and decorating skills.  The event was further graced by the awesome music of West Marin's finest musicians - among them, Taylor Brooks, Luke Anderson, Cole Tate, James Vest, Chris Brown, Adam Berkowitz, Buddy Craig, Charlie Docherty, Bo Brown and Sara Franklyn.  More than a few people have told us that this was the most beautiful event they have ever attended at the Community Center.  It would take an entire page of newsprint to publicly credit all those involved in this monumental act of love, and we're still not sure how to manage that!  (Any suggestions?)
   The year 2001 was a disheartening one for me in many ways.  As a longtime radio activist, my failing health was compounded by a growing sense of disillusionment in people and politics.  It seemed that our 'corporate value system' had infiltrated every level of community, that even 'progressives' had lost the ability to think and act in the interest of anything but the 'bottom line.'  I was plagued with what I would describe as a 'crisis of faith.'
   At the time of my surgery (July 26, 2001) and subsequent diagnosis of what researchers at UC Stanford have labeled an 'incurable hematological malignancy,' Jim and I were heartsick and devastated. Doctors at Marin General were unable to completely remove a massive tumor from my head, as it was severely impacted and wrapped around auditory and facial nerves. Compounding that news, we discovered in our research that, although the chemotherapy of choice (Rituximab) has proven successful in many cases, the average time of remission is only 18 months to 3 years.  Suffice it to say, that with the love and support of good friends and family, I have decided to beat those odds.
   How could we have guessed that this dreaded disease would prove to be a blessing - albeit in a very strange disguise?  It has taught me by necessity, not only to remain steadfastly in the moment, but to count each day, each friend, each loved one as an incredible gift.
   Thanks again for the most beautiful benefit ever, and thanks especially to my most precious friends in Bolinas, who insisted on going ahead with their fundraising, despite my reservations.  The attendance was phenomenal - and the cards and donations from those who could not attend are still coming in!
   Finally, I want to assure every one of you that, although it may take awhile, it is my absolute intention to contact each of you personally. The task of sorting through the hundreds of cards and letters received over the past few months is a daunting one and Jim and I still receive them on a daily basis.  To those who left anonymous gifts at the benefit, we thank you from our hearts.
   Blessings upon each and every one of you for restoring our faith in human nature, and the infinite power of love.
Sandy Leon Vest and James Vest
Stinson Beach
Postscript: Update
   The results of a December 18th MRI show Sandy's tumor responding well to chemotherapy (Rituxan), and currently in remission.  Sandy and Jim believe this development testifies further to the infinite power of love.
   Although Sandy's doctors say she is not 'cured,' and have declared a 'watch & wait' mode, Sandy and Jim are committed to her full recovery. The remission of her tumor and your generosity mean she can now begin alternative therapies and a nutritional regimen to boost her immune system so she can continue to fight this cancer.
   According to recent research (July, 2001/ Stanford University) there is still no 'cure' for this hematological malignancy, and average remission time for Rituxan therapy (in B-Cell Lymphomas) is approximately 1-3 years.
Sandy Leon Vest/Managing Producer
West Marin Radio Project (WMPR)
email address: [email protected]
Phone: 415 868-1340
URL: www.WMRP.net

Camouflaged Preferential Treatment
   According to the 11/17/01 Marin Independent Journal, Floyd Andrews, the prosecutor who was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury is already in a diversion program for committing a recent act of violence upon a juvenile. Having seen a distinct pattern of favoritism by the DA's office and Marin's judges, it is a safe prediction that Mr. Andrews will receive some carefully camouflaged preferential treatment.
   The Marin DA's office and Judge Graham sent a man to prison to serve a 25 Years to Life sentence for missing a court date. Marin's citizens should watch closely now to see the stark contrast in how lenient they'll likely be with a fellow prosecutor who hurts children and allegedly sliced up a man's internal organs.
James Samuel Kor, Jr.
Soledad

Chile's California Correlation
   I enjoyed reading Jim Scanlon's Letter From Chile in the December Coastal Post. Interesting to hear about the southern extremes of the Western Hemisphere.
   What's fascinating to me about Chile is its geography. Its most populated region from 30 degrees to 40 degrees south latitude correlates directly with California. Situated on the west coast of South America at the corresponding latitude of California, central Chile also has a Mediterranean climate along with a western coastal range, a long north-south agricultural central valley, and a formidable inland eastern mountain range, the Andes, analogous to our Sierra Nevada.
   If we superimposed Chile on the west coast of North America while simultaneously flipping Chile upside down so that the southern and northern latitudes would correlate, we'd find Cape Horn just north of Ketchikan, Alaska, and Punta Arenas, where Jim Scanlon was reporting from, around Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The Chilean city of Puerto Montt would be situated around Crescent City, California, and the coastal city of Concepcion would fall near San Francisco. The capital city of Santiago and its seaport Valparaiso would be located between Los Angeles and San Diego, while 1,000 air miles to the south, the Atacania Desert would be located on the Mexican coast between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Chile's border with Peru would fall right around Manzanillo, Mexico, almost due west of Mexico City.
   All in all, we'd travel an incredible 2,650 miles of coastline stretching from the higher latitude coniferous forests and glaciated regions of southern Chile through the Mediterranean mid-latitude regions of central Chile to the lower latitude desert area of northern Chile.
   A pure geographical cornucopia all within the borders of one nation!
Keith Bramstedt
San Anselmo

Arab And Islamic World Can Take A Lesson From US
   The word hasn't sunk in yet to the millions of Muslims around the world when it comes to serving the downtrodden Islamic peoples that is America which provides help. Just as the wealthy Arab kings and potentates abandoned their co-religionists and ethnic brothers by looking the other way from Arab refugees in camps and squalor, they were visibly absent from the stage as the United States demonstrated its unflinching support for the Muslim refugees in Afghanistan. The Arabs of the Gulf and I must include Iran have one not only abandoned their Palestinian brothers but seem to have no interest in helping the starving Afghanis. Their one goal is to encourage Palestinian refugees to stay in squalor misleading them into thinking that they can go home some day. One million Arabs in Michigan and almost one million Koreans in Los Angeles and hundreds of thousands of other Islamic and non Islamic peoples settled in the United States give proof that you can find happiness and fulfillment in a friendly foreign land. Arab nations should take a lesson from the United States.
Dr. Norman E. Mann
[email protected]

Object To War Letter To Boxer Feinstein And Woolsey
   September 11, 2001 pushed our country to a place of terrible fear.  Fear often causes extraordinary and adverse reactions.  We are writing to you to protest congressional responses that have instigated a brutal and unnecessary war and have denigrated our rights as citizens.  We object to:
   The use of force to attack the Afghan nation resulting in the slaughter, maiming and starvation, of millions of innocent women, children and elderly.
The partnership of our government with the Northern Alliance, a group known to be anti-democratic and brutally opposed to the rights of women.
   The refusal to acknowledge the devastating effects of:  US policies of globalization, anti-democratic practices and subversions of political organizations, labor unions and peace organizers.
   The degeneration of our civil rights in the name of this "war on terror," which has put all of us at terrible risk as citizens and which is being used to harass many of our peace loving neighbors in our communities.
   The expansion of the military industrial complex to junta status.
   The use of government bail-outs to support corporate leaders and stockholders without assurance of the creation or salvation of any jobs.
   Wanton arms sales which have aggravated the political and civil stability of many nations.
   The use of foreign aid in support of Israeli suppression against the people of Palestine who have a right to a homeland.
   We believe terrorism on US soil is the direct result of these causes.   We believe we all have an obligation to seek to reverse the effects of this violent movement against our nation.  We also believe we must offer support and resources to our poor and jobless during this recession.  As well, we must do what we can to relieve suffering in the wider world.
   In the international arena, we call for:
   An immediate cessation of all hostilities against all nations.  This includes an end to the bombing of Afghanistan, as well as an end to the bombing of and embargo of Iraq
    An immediate end to all foreign aid to Israel and  demand that Israel cease all acts of war against the Palestinian nation
   An immediate rescinding of all legislation that has given the president overweening and unconstitutional powers especially those to make war independent of the legislature
   An immediate Judiciary Committee censuring of the Attorney General's office and its unconstitutional actions including wire-tapping without warrants, military tribunals and suspension of first amendment rights which have illicitly curtailed the rights of all Americans, particularly those involved in peaceful protest against American foreign policy
   A cessation of all US military occupation of any bases in Saudi Arabia
   A summit meeting of all nations of the Arab world and a like number of western world nations to negotiate policies and procedures for peaceful co-existence.
   The immediate establishment of a provisional government in Afghanistan that will include the women of Afghanistan in number equal to that of the men.
   At the same time , our nation has slid into recession. Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs and unemployment has reached 1986 levels.  Something must be done before millions slip into poverty and homelessness.
   In the domestic arena, we call for:
   A freeze on evictions and mortgage foreclosures. 
   A moratorium on cut-offs of household electricity, gas and phone lines
   A protection of the poor through real welfare programs
   An end to corporate bail-outs unless they manifest real jobs
   A program of economic boosts to support jobs not war
   An end to the denigration of the poor and people of color through  our reprehensible prison industrial complex
   An end to government harassment of independent media
   Congress acted preciptiously following the events of September.  And in acting in this manner, you, as members of Congress, have looked shortsightedly at our rights and your obligations.  We cannot continue to battle enemies we cannot see.  Nor can  we persist in policies that have given egregious powers to corporations and individuals not elected by us, your constituents.
   It is time to do right by those who empowered you.  The mainstream media polls are false. Significant numbers of us do not approve this war or this usurpation of our rights or this corporate dominated foreign policy.  We also know the mainstream news reports are false.  We are not saving people in Afghanistan, we are creating millions of refugees and starving children.  As we did in Iraq, so we do here.  And on a moreterrible scale.
   We ask that you take stock of your conscience and that you consider ours as well.  There are other solutions than putting the world constantly at risk to support the demands of avarice.  It is essential that you refocus your energies on peaceful, generative activities that will bring peace to our world and stability to our economy.
Mary Ann Maggiore
Fairfax
Maryam Karimabadi
Woodacre

Deep Concern
   I am extremely upset.  At the stroke of a pen George W. Bush has broken a treaty, created a missile "defense" that won't work, that wouldn't do any good if it did work, and is likely to spark a nuclear arms race in Asia. 
   The world just got closer to Armageddon just so Bush's buddies in the arms business could make a few bucks.  For a while, we believed Bush was presidential timber.  Now we see that his heart is rotten to the core.  Is this "back to normal?"
 Could somebody please tell me "why?" 
Steve Wallis, MA
Petaluma
http://www.myideahamster.com

Greetings To Smiley's From Finland
   Gongratulations!Smiley's has always been my favourite bar anywhere.I visit Marin county every two years or so and always make a point of visiting Smiley's.You've got a great place and maybe next time around I'll stay at the Hotel if possible.Keep on keeping on folks. The way I see it I'll have to wait for awhile to let the terrorshit settle before visiting "cause being a foreigner I don't want to be suspected of anything but having a good time and Smiley's is the best place for it. Have a Corona with a shot of Sauza for me. Peace. 
Timo Toiviainen
Finland
[email protected]

The Dominion of Death
   Dylan Thomas wrote a war poem entitled "And Death Shall Have No Dominion." In Israel, it does. Here death governs: the government of Israel rules over a dominion of death. So the most astonishing thing about yesterday's terrorist attack in Jerusalem and all similar attacks is that Israelis are astonished.
   Israeli propaganda and indoctrination manage to keep coverage of these attacks detached from any Israeli reality. The story in the Israeli (and American) media is one of Arab murderers and Israeli victims, whose only sin was that they asked for seven days of grace.
   But anyone who can remember back not even one year but just one week or several hours knows the story is different, that each attack is a link in a chain of horrific bloody events that extends back 34 years and has but one cause: a brutal occupation. An occupation that humiliates, starves, denies jobs, demolishes homes, destroys crops, murders children, imprisons minors without trial under appalling conditions, lets babies die at checkpoints and spreads lies.
   Last week, after the assassination of Abu Hanoud, a journalist from Yediot Ahronot asked me whether I felt "relief." Hadn't I been frightened that "a murderer like that was roaming free"? No, I did not feel relief, I told her, and I will feel no relief as long as the murderers of Palestinian children continue to roam free. The murders of those children, like the murder of a suspect without trial or the murder of a ten-year-old boy yesterday, shortly before the attack, guarantee that no Israeli child can walk to school safely. Every Israeli child will pay for the deaths of the five children in Gaza and the others in Jenin, Ramallah, Hebron.
   The Palestinians have learned from Israel that every victim must be avenged tenfold, a hundred-fold. They have said repeatedly that until there is peace in Ramallah and Jenin there will be no peace in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. So it is not up to the Palestinians to keep seven days of quiet but up to the Israeli Occupation Force.
   On Friday it was reported that politicians from both sides had reached a deal in Jerusalem to allow the reopening of the casino upon which their own livelihood depends. They did it without American intervention, without high-level committees, with just the assistance of lawyers and business people, who promised the parties what was required. What this shows is that the conflict is not between the leaders: when an issue affects them directly (unlike the deaths of children) they are quick to find a solution.
   It strengthens my belief that all of us, Israelis and Palestinians, are victims of politicians who gamble the lives of our children on games of honor and prestige.  To them, children are worth less than roulette chips.
   But these attacks serve the interests of Israeli policy - policy designed to make us forget that the war today is about protecting the settlements and the continuation of the occupation, policy that drives young Palestinians to commit suicide and take Israeli children with them, animated by Samson's invocation "let me die with the Philistines," policy contrived to make us believe that "they want Tel Aviv and Jaffa too" and "there is no one to talk to," even as they liquidate all those who might have been able to talk.
   Now that we know our leaders are capable of peace when there is an economic motive, we must demand that they make peace when lesser things, like the lives of our children, are at stake. Until all the parents of Israel and Palestine rise up against the politicians and demand they curb their lust for conquest and bloodshed, the underground realm of buried children will continue to grow. Since the beginning of time, mothers have cried out in a clear voice for life and against death. Today, we must rise up against the transformation of our children into murderers and murdered, raise our children not to support evil machinations, and force the politicians - who say, with Abner and Joab, "Let the young men arise and play before us" - to make way for those who can sit at the negotiating table and agree to a true and just peace, who are prepared to engage in dialogue not with the aim of tricking and manipulating the other side, not to humiliate the other and force him to his knees, but to reach a solution that considers the other, a solution free of racism and lies. Otherwise death shall continue to have dominion over us.
   I suggest that parents who have not yet lost their children look beneath their feet and heed the voices rising from the kingdom of death, upon which they step day by day and hour by hour, for only there does everyone understand that there is no difference between one life and another, that it matters little what is the colour of your skin or the colour of your ID, or which flag flies over which hill and which direction you face when you pray.
   In the kingdom of death Israeli children lie beside Palestinian children, soldiers of the occupying army beside suicide bombers, and no one remembers who was David and who was Goliath, for they have faced the sober truth and realized that they were cheated and lied to, that politicians without feeling or conscience gambled away their lives as they continue to gamble with the lives of us all. We have given them the power, through democratic elections, to turn our home into an arena of never-ending murder. Only if we stop them can we return to a normal life in this place, and then death will have no dominion.
Nurit Peled-Elhanan
Yediot Ahronot, Dec. 1, 2001
Translated by Edeet Ravel, Montreal.
Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is  long-time Israeli peace activist and recent winner of a peace award from the European Parliament.  Nurit was the mother of Smadar Elhanan, 13 years old when she was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in September 1997.

John Birch Society Solutions For Terrorism
   I notice the John Birch Society sources at www.jbs.org have come up with some solutions to terrorism that certainly make sense to me. Like investing some of the billions of dollars, now being thrown into an open-ended foreign war, into increasing the budget of the immigration and naturalization service to properly expand our border patrol, and have Congress bring back our traditional internal security and investigative bodies that have been abolished to our demonstrated peril.
   These agencies are: The subversive activities control board; The internal security division of the justice department; The house internal security subcommittee; The senate internal security subcommittee; The attorney generals list of subversive organizations, and the many intelligence units of state, county, and local police departments abolished over the years by left-wing pressure groups. I say that our freedoms need not be diminished as media talking heads are suggesting. Instead of straining what brains they have trying to throw away another freedom or section of our constitution for "security" reasons, our Chicken Little, lemming-like leaders should be reinstating the above organizations and letting Congress and our police departments do their jobs. Meanwhile, the terrorists should be taken out quickly by a force we have neglected for over 20 years. I refer to the professional mercenary counter-terrorist agents throughout the world who track terrorist movements like some people follow football games and have a near 100 percent success record eliminating terrorist leaders by means that even Don Corleone could learn from.
   With a declaration of war, its all legal, cost-effective, and eliminates massive military deployment and casualties. Lets contact our congressman now; demand these reforms, and bring our troops home.
Ed Nemechek
Landers, California

Register As An Alien
   The Marin IJ reported that Novato High School Student Andrew Smith's article, in his school newspaper said that he did not care whether potential illegal immigrants were starving!  The full story is that Andrew's Novato High School article said exactly this: "I don't care if you're living in a country where oppression is everywhere or if you're starving or whatever the excuse.  All these people have to do is just register as a refugee...".
   Coastal Post readers may want to decide this crucial point for themselves.  Mr. Smith has now been physically assaulted and told to "Watch his back" by Novato High School Hispanic gang members.
   In my opinion, Mr. Smith's article was direct, honest, 100% compassionate and absolutely needed to be voiced in our local free press.  Student Andrew Smith's article on immigration can be read -- in full at www.michaelsavage.com.  If you actually do offer the fair and balanced local news you appear to champion, I thank you for publishing this letter.
Scott Black
Sausalito

Expressing Concern, Criticizing Bush Diminishes Liberty?
    In Senate hearings on whether the current administration has exceeded its constitutional authority, Attorney General John Ashcroft  said those who express concern that Bush's policies could diminish our liberty, "They only aid terrorists-for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve."
    If you weren't concerned about our eroding civil liberties before, you should be now.  The chief guardian of American justice has just spoke ill of the very liberties he has sworn an oath to preserve.  He has given aid and comfort to the enemies of freedom here at home who would silence our opinions in order to impose their own.  He has place loyalty to the government above loyalty to the people it serves and the principles on which it was formed.
    The Bin Laden's of the world come and go, but the enemies of freedom are relentless.  It is they who, " encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil."  Jefferson and Adams must be twitching in their graves.
Brian Lynch
Mine Hill,  New Jersey
[email protected]

Organized Crime Masquerading As Government
   The banking industry resistance to anti-terrorist legislation to crack down on money-laundering demonstrates the temptation for business and government alike to be corrupted by association with the proceeds of criminal activities.
   The picture painted by such notorious events as the BCCI banking scandal and Iran-Contra is one of transnational criminal networks aided by "above world" institutions and abetted by influential officials. As Phil Williams, an international expert on transnational crime has said, organized crime is simply the extension of business by criminal means.
   Legitimizing criminal activities (such as stealing elections, overthrowing elected governments, and privatizing public assets), links underworld enterprise, legalized money-laundering, and political protection. Kill one of these three elements and the system of organized crime collapses.
   Congress' reluctance to resist the abridgment of freedoms by the current Bush administration is explained by this scenario. Among the power elite, the fear of reprisal by fascists in the White House is a much more demonstrable source of motivation than fear of a progressive uprising.
   How far will we go down this road?
Jay Taber
Mill Valley
[email protected]

Is President Bush Chasing the Wrong Enemy?
   As the Afghanistan campaign winds down, attention is shifting to a "second phase" of the anti-terror war. Signs emanating from the Bush administration indicate that it may be getting ready to target Iraq. This amounts to pulling wool over the eyes of US citizens and betraying the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
   It is not Iraq or North Korea where future September 11s will be plotted, but in extremist centers of Pakistan, as pointed out by a Washington Post editorial on December 2nd, 2001. A shameless betrayal was carried out in the nights of Kunduz leading up to the Taliban surrender, when US authorities surreptitiously allowed Pakistan to evacuate trapped personnel without any accountability, as reported by the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 27), and the New York Times (Nov. 22) indicated otherwise.
   An unknown number of fighters have already escaped to Pakistan, with US complicity. There is no accountability about their involvement with terrorist planning. These escapees are free to conceive and implement future attacks against the US.
   Pakistan has taken this US double dealing as a signal that it can continue its sponsorship of terrorism in India's Jammu and Kashmir state. Over two dozen civilians and two dozen security personnel were killed last week in the region at the hands of Pakistan-trained terrorists.
   As the US chases red herrings in Iraq and elsewhere, Pakistan continues with its sham participation in the anti-terror war at the same time it is continuing to shelter and sponsor international terrorists.
Subodh Atal, Lalit Koul
Columbia, MD

[email protected]

 

Much More Government On The Way
   "Under regulation the people no longer need to discuss, to compare, to plan ahead; the law does all this for them.  Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property."
Claude Frederic Bastiat
   A quote worth studying, especially given the current trend to further increase government intrusion in the name of the "war" on terrorism. If this "war" goes like our previous "wars" on poverty, teenage pregnancies, and drugs, we can reasonably predict more federal bureaucracy, more federal employees, and more people dedicated to making their livings through the earnings of the more productive segment of society, all the while claiming with great earnestness, that they need more money, more regulation, and more power to accomplish their mission. Unfortunately, like the warriors of the previous "wars", these will never accomplish their stated mission; but they will, unless actively resisted, accomplish the unstated mission of most every bureaucracy: to survive, expand, and never, ever give any reason to be dismantled.
Phil Graf
Bureau Chief
Coast Writers Syndicate

Terrorized By Military Planes
   To: President George Bush, Congress c/o Sen. Trent Lotte, D.O.D. at Pentagon,
   Over the past five years, I have been terrorized by squadrons of military planes flying over my home in the middle of the night.
   Two days ago, on November 11, 2001, a multi-engine (6-8 engines) military bomber escorted by helicopters flew over my home in San Rafael at 500 feet.
   I fully anticipated either being bombed or crashed into. I now understand from acquaintances that this action was taken to celebrate Veterans Day. But to me, this was no celebration -- I was traumatized and filled with fear.
   Is this the government's way of indoctrinating us to air war over our homes and businesses? My insurance does not cover my house for acts of war or aggression. My health insurance does not cover me for psychological trauma.
   I feel this was an act of indifference toward us by the federal government. The government has also been terrorizing up with prognostications of anticipated attacks and using the public for military air practices over our communities -- as every day helicopters are flying over our houses here in San Rafael.
   We have felt uneasy and very uncomfortable toward the government since Oliver North took over the White House to wage war from the basement in Nicaragua when President Reagan was stricken with Alzheimer's.
   We feel like victims of the military industrial complex who use us to broaden their program of global order.
   We feel very uncomfortable and lack confidence to consume or invest in such a climate and fear we are making worldwide enemies.
Olga Goldsmith
San Rafael

Day Of Reckoning
   "We will not rest until we stop all terrorists of global reach, and for every nation that harbors or supports terrorists there will be a day of reckoning," says President Bush.
   Let's hope he means it. Until we overwhelmingly smash every government responsible for all the terrorism against the United States, Israel and the West of the last twenty years -- we have not won. Until Saddam Hussein, the mullahs of Iran, the behind-the-scenes terrorists of Syria and the PLO all join the ash heap of history, we remain in mortal danger.
   The easy US/British military victories in Afghanistan have not saved us from future terrorism in the United States. If anything, they have increased the danger. Why? Not because it was wrong to attack Afghanistan -- but because it's wrong to underreact to such a grave threat as the one we now face. Stopping in Afghanistan -- or stopping with bin Laden -- would be an underreaction of epic and catastrophic proportions.
   It is now clear that World War III began with the Iran hostage crisis of the late 1970's. Subsequent terrorist acts (throughout the 1980's and 1990's) against our embassies, soldiers, and civilians culminated in the (so far) worst events to date of 9/11/01. We fool ourselves if we think this current war in Afghanistan is a new war -- or if we think it's soon to be over, even with the capture of Osama bin Laden. The third world war is, at the core, a war of secular values against the values of the Dark Ages -- that is to say, the values of the fundamentalists who inhabit and rule the Middle East, with Israel being the lone exception to the rule.
   Just as Soviet Communism was falling back in the early and mid-1980s, the actual war against the United States was escalating. The determination of these fundamentalist organizations and nations to destroy us surpasses any prior desire of Communists or Nazis to overcome us. The Communists and the Nazis merely wanted to rule us; the Islamic fundamentalists want to destroy us, and take themselves with us. This is truly the greatest danger we have ever faced.
   The war against terrorism will be over when the peoples of the terrorist nations -- and we know full well who those nations are -- become so frightened that they would never even say a word against the values of freedom, individual rights, capitalism and secularism of the West -- much less raise so much as a slingshot against us, for fear of being bombed into the pre-Dark Ages. Can this be accomplished without an escalation to nuclear warfare at some point? It's inconceivable to me that it won't. The escalation which began in the late 1970's continues to grow. Even our cautious current leaders such as President Bush openly acknowledge that the next terrorists are planning the next attacks as we speak. How can it not eventually go all the way in a war already more than twenty years old? Presently there are credible reports that Moslem terrorists are in the early stages of developing nuclear weapons. Do you think the concept of mutually assured destruction will stop people who crave destruction of self and others? If so, you are most naive.
   Has our own military action so far, however successful, been enough to save us from those whose only purpose in living is to destroy all things Western, all things secular -- all things which make life worth living? Of course not. Does President Bush recognize this? We can only hope so. Your or my very life may depend upon it. Our own days of reckoning are upon us.
Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.
Psychologist/Author/Webcast Host
Chevy Chase MD
[email protected]

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