Danger to Iran

I was glad to see the article “U.S. readying military attack on Iran” by Mark Almberg (PWW 3/11-17) underscoring the danger of a U.S. attack or perhaps U.S./Israeli attack on Iran. Having just returned from a week in Italy, I can report that the European media and public are taking the saber rattling of Bush and his henchmen far more seriously than public opinion here. It seems to me our peace movement could make a big mistake if it underestimated the danger of American aggression against Iran.

In truth, the war against Iran has already begun. The Financial Times of London on Feb. 24 reported that U.S. Marine commandos are probing the border regions of Iran to see whether hostility to the central government among minority nationalities and religions can be exploited in the event of invasion. I have not seen this story in the U.S. media. With Bush’s approval ratings sinking, armed actions might be just the thing Karl Rove needs to pump up jingoism and keep his majorities in the Senate and House. Rove “ran on the war” in 2002, too, and it worked.

There are countless eerie similarities between the build-up to war in Iraq and the build-up to war in Iran. The corporate media, even those that profess indignation at being bamboozled by Bush in 2002-2003, are falling hook, line and sinker for the same deceptions now with respect to Iran. So are all too many congressional Democrats, brainless and spineless as usual. Only the peace movement and other independent forces can change the debate. Our slogan must be not only “Out now” from Iraq, but “Hands off Iran!” I am grateful to the PWW for giving the peace movement a lead on this.

Thomas Kenny

New York NY

Budget needs to keep pace with inflation

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s proposed budget to care for abused and neglected children and youth refuses to keep pace with inflation for a sixth year in a row, and is putting quality programs on a starvation diet.

Illinois nonprofit child welfare agencies and our foster parents have helped reduce the number of abused and neglected children in state care from 53,000 to 17,000, but that progress is at risk because the state is backsliding on its commitment to maintaining quality care for abused and neglected children.

Where can foster parents purchase gas at $1.42 a gallon to drive a foster child to school, the doctor, or court? That’s the 2001 price at which the state currently reimburses them.

Fortunately, Illinois House lawmakers overwhelmingly support a cost-of-doing-business increase for child welfare and youth service agencies and foster parents. A bipartisan group of 80 lawmakers from around the state is sponsoring House Bill 4543 — legislation that authorizes a 3 percent budget increase for the care of abused and neglected children this year.

Illinois residents must be equally as steadfast in their support for abused and neglected children and communicate to the governor’s office that they oppose financially starving care for these kids and that they, too, support House Bill 4543.

Jimmie Smith

Executive Director,Kids Hope United

Lake Villa IL

Rejoice!

I received my first copy of my PWW subscription March 9! It was the February 25 – March 3 issue. I liked reading the centerfold feature: “Embracing the African presence in Mexico” and the culture page item “Einstein in the hood.”

The photo of pitchers and catchers for the Texas Rangers on that page reminded me of the 1985 Youth and Students Festival in Moscow where a group of Pakistani youth were shouting in the streets marching with all the delegates : “Up! Socialism ! Down ! Capitalism!” It was a great moment in my life.

André Cloudier

Montréal, Canada

Labor creates all wealth, and pays all taxes too!

Karl Marx said that all wealth is created by labor. I’d like to add something to that. All taxation is paid by working people. If a person has so little income he doesn’t have to pay any tax to the government he still pays tax. Suppose he goes to see a doctor and is charged $100 for the visit. The doctor pays $30 or $40 in income tax out of that $100. So who is really paying that tax?

The only other thing I know about economics is this: Money goes from the poor to the rich. That’s why the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

John Nolan

Via e-mail

Disagrees on ‘Munich’

I’m a Brazilian communist and I live in Rio de Janeiro. I like very much the People’s Weekly World.

I read Susan Webb’s article about the movie “Munich” (PWW 2/18-24). I didn’t like the movie and I don’t agree that “it is an unflinching call for a fundamental change in U.S. and Israeli policies, to make possible a real peace that gives both peoples a homeland,” as Webb wrote. In my opinion, the movie is pro-Israel and a superficial Hollywood production.

I recently saw a movie that really helps enlighten us about the situation in Palestine and Israel, “Paradise Now.” This film, made in 2003, is now in Brazil. If “Paradise Now” is playing in the United States, I would like to see an article about it in the PWW.

António Augusto

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hideous fashion

Please note the article in The New York Times, “Style or Statement,” on new fashions of covering women’s faces. Then go celebrate International Women’s Day.

Paris is pushing a negative aspect for women, hidden and silent. Another backward step. We will not go backwards, give up our rights, or our bodies and hide our beauty and who we are! And we will help and encourage our sisters who live in countries where they are forced to cover themselves at penalty of death to continue to fight for women’s rights, freedom and human rights.

We will not accept fashions that take us back to the times when women were chattel, had no rights and were owned by their husbands. How shameful that fashion houses see something beautiful, not horrifying, in the sad state of women by imitating burkas and even symbols of the covered face of the tortured. Is this the message we want to encourage?

Viviana Weinstein

San Antonio TX

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