Letter to George

“To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible,” Bush said. Dear George, here is a response from a certified “war skeptic”:
Go to Iraq, get out of the Green Zone, and see what life is like for people in Iraq and for the soldiers you’ve sent there. Stay a few days — no quick photo-op and back home. Be sure you drink the water.
Then go to Walter Reed Army Hospital and visit the ortho ward. Not just a quick little photo-op, but stay there for a week. You can do it. You stay in Crawford for a week or more and the government keeps going. So go to Walter Reed — or better yet, go to a burn unit at a military hospital.
Don’t do the glad-handing politician bull. Go around and empty urine bags. Learn how to check IVs. See if their pain meds are enough.
Hear the moans. See the disgusting sights. Smell the smell.
Then when you’re done, go to a VA hospital and ask to visit a “back ward.” No photo-op, here either, prez. Spend another week. See the guys from Nam and Gulf War I, and who knows where else their government sent them. No photos. No talking. Just listen. And tend to them. Turn them in their beds to keep them from getting bed sores. Check their feeding tubes. Empty their colostomy bags.
Then come back and say this war is worth one more person’s life or health or family.
Come back and tell us that if you can. If you can’t, get the hell out of here.

Mike Ferner
Via e-mail
Mike Ferner was a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman from 1969-73.

Keep it up

As unaccustomed as I am to writing to reporters, I wanted to pen this email to Roberta Wood in an effort to express my gratitude for her article “Unions sue the Bush Department of Labor over worker deaths” (PWW 1/13-19 ).
It is so important that we are reminded of how this administration has stalled and stopped even minimal progress on Occupational Safety and Health regulations. OSHA under this administration has been further eroded into a paper tiger with no teeth.
I hope you stay on this story and keep reporting on the irresponsible and outrageous working conditions in the U.S.

Joseph Ventura
Cleveland OH

Thank you, Cindy

Americans are subjected to having their e-mail, telephone conversations and even postal mail monitored by a government that claims it wants to bring democracy to the world. Americans can now be arrested and held without charges indefinitely.
People all over the country are being arrested and harassed for protesting this government’s actions.
On Dec. 28, 2006, Cindy Sheehan and four others were held in Waco, Texas, for seven hours before McLennan County Law Enforcement would book them, to make sure they had to spend the night in jail. These five men and women, most of them in their 50s and 60s, were subjected to delousing and anal exams.
They were moved around from cell to cell, and the air conditioning was turned full blast on them, although it was freezing outside. When they asked for blankets they were refused. Finally they were all given one thin blanket to lie down on a cold cement floor on, but nothing to cover with. Keep in mind that two of the three women were mothers of deceased Iraq war troops.
Some will say they deserved it. I say it is an attempt to frighten those protesting the war, and set an example for a public that may decide to join them.
When we went to the jail to pay the fines of the five, the booking clerk told us they were not there. When we asked an officer where they were, he said he did not know. What an eerie feeling it was, realizing that if they chose not to tell us where the prisoners were, we had no recourse legally. My little group of three agreed that we weren’t leaving until we could get them out.
Cindy and other activists are getting arrested for all of us. Thank you, Cindy.

Mikal Hutto
Houston TX

Bring the troops home now

U.S. military officials had barely finished giving the 3,000th knock on the door to yet another soldier’s family when President Bush announced his plans to deploy an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq. New Jersey activists from many different organizations have come together to oppose escalation of U.S.-led war in Iraq. On Jan. 11, the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War and MoveOn.org protested Bush’s plan to deploy more troops. The event was attended by approximately 80 activists from New Brunswick, Highland Park and neighboring areas. We must become even more vocal. See you in Washington on Jan. 27!

Zoé Galletta
New Brunswick NJ

Great economics column

Wadi’h Halabi’s economics column on apologetics for imperialism, “Too late Milton Friedman,” is brilliant ( PWW 12/23-29 ). I’m hoping it sees much wider dissemination as basic education for everybody who is trying to understand the modern world. I intend to try to get it around in Texas. We have a book club here in Dallas that has tried several times to update our basic understanding as presented in Lenin’s master work “Imperialism.” I always felt that modern economists who have tried to explain the situation since World War I were inadequate, even though they can contribute parts of the picture. Halabi’s is far better! Please keep it coming.

Jim Lane
Dallas TX