That all may eat

George W. Bush and his wealthy patrons will probably feast this Thanksgiving without a thought to the millions of people made hungry by their “steal from the poor, give to the rich” policies.

In trumpeting “economic recovery,” Bush is sounding like Herbert Hoover with his “chicken-in-every-pot” malarkey. But facts are facts. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of Americans in poverty jumped by nearly 2 million last year, soaring to 34.9 million in 2002. For African Americans, the poverty rate was 24.1 percent and for Latinos, 21.8 percent. And this is based on the federal government’s absurdly low definition of poverty, $18,392 for a family of four.

These statistics translate into hunger. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in October that “food insecurity” jumped 2 million to 35 million in 2002, up from 33 million a year ago. Of these, 13 million are children. Utah, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma all had “food insecurity” rates of 14 percent or higher. At greatest risk are single-parent families, African Americans, Latinos, Native American Indians and other victims of racist discrimination.

Second Harvest, the Chicago-based anti-hunger group, warns that food banks “are seeing last year’s donors and volunteers becoming this year’s clients.” The hunger danger grows in this “jobless recovery” when workers are unemployed so long they run out of their unemployment benefits.

The Food Research and Action Center is appealing to supporters to join a “call-in” to the White House Dec. 1-5 demanding that Bush add $550 million to child nutrition programs like WIC, school lunches, and food stamps. The White House number is (202) 456-1111.

The Bush-Cheney economic royalists believe the poor have only themselves to blame. “Let them eat cake” and “Greed is good” are their mottoes. So telephone the White House. Ask that Bush wipe the gravy from his chin and help feed hungry people.

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Terrorist attacks serve war interests

The suicide bombings in Istanbul, Turkey, of two synagogues, the British Consulate and the London-based bank HSBC resulted in 57 deaths, hundreds of people wounded and a country reeling with fear and anger. These are condemnable criminal acts and crimes against humanity. Such is the goal of terrorism – killing, maiming and instilling fear in the majority of the people.

Terrorist actions, while often using as their cover legitimate demands and grievances against U.S. foreign policy and corporations, have nothing to do with ending war, oppression, racism and poverty. Terrorism furthers the interests of the ultra-right extremists who favor militarism, unilateralism and multi-sided attacks on secularism and democratic, civil, workers’ and women’s rights. That’s why, throughout the years, the forces of imperialism have supported and trained terrorists to help carry out their agenda. It was the CIA that set up and funded training camps used by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

After the horrific events of Sept. 11, the Bush administration unleashed its “war on terror.” Since then the world has seen more violence, war, terrorism, death, instability, destruction and corporate plunder. Meeting terrorism with war just continues a vicious cycle of violence giving the Bush administration the upper hand.

Turkey, in a historic vote, went against U.S. wishes and opposed the war on Iraq. A mass peace movement in Turkey prevented the U.S. from using its territory to launch air assaults into Iraq.

The Communist Party of Turkey, in a Nov. 21 statement, condemned the terrorist bombings and said they play into the hands of imperialism and those who “condemn Turkey to the arms of the U.S.” The statement points out that the attacks coincided with a debate in Turkey about sending troops to Afghanistan.

After the bombings, thousands of Turks marched against violence and anti-Semitism and for tolerance. Only through united, militant, mass struggle for peace, equality, democracy and economic justice can terrorism, war and the ultra-right be defeated.

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