U.S. wants Sudan’s oil

By printing the article by Fathi M. El Fadl (“Sudan and Darfur: Crisis and solutions,” PWW 6/10-16), why do you get on the bandwagon of damning the Sudan government when you know that this is just what the U.S. government wants you to do?

Poor Sudan has had to contend with big bully U.S. ever since its independence from Britain in 1956. Now you publish indifferently the fact that the U.S. will build a pipeline through Sudan to send oil to the U.S. The U.S. has been itching to do this for years and you can be sure that, now that UN forces are in southern Sudan, U.S. forces will be there in full force to secure “their” pipeline. There is an invasion like in Iraq except that the U.S. is there without having to lift a military finger.

The U.S. armed and trained the rebels in southern Sudan for 22 years, which resulted in the deaths of 2 million people and made 4 million people refugees. Why doesn’t the PWW insist that the U.S. should be tried in the International Criminal Court for causing this genocide? Both the people in the north and the people in the south suffered. That was the real genocide. (Divide and conquer, you know.)

As soon as the peace treaty was signed in southern Sudan, the U.S. government indicated that this would give the U.S. access to Sudan’s oil, what it wanted all along.

Betty Kallo
San Francisco CA

One view for all Puerto Ricans?

There appears to be no “devil’s advocate” on your web site. Without any opposing views, an intelligent opinion cannot be fully realized. Further, it is well understood that all decisions on my country’s political future are for only our registered voters to consider — and to deflect or discount undue pressures from outside forces.

Rafael Quinones Lopez
Via e-mail

Correction on wage figure

Tim Wheeler’s review of my book, “Orchards of Eden: White Bluffs on the Columbia 1907-1943” (PWW 6/24-30) turned out quite fine. Thank you.

Maybe it is a typo but I don’t see how Bapa (grandfather F.M. Wheeler) could have made $11 an hour (as a union bricklayer). I think it is more like $1 an hour. … The other thing is, the land … was actually quite expensive at $250 per acre and they had an awful time paying cousin Walter Niven back on the refinancing they did for them. The whole thing was just so tragic that he (Don Wheeler) couldn’t write about it, said it was too hard to deal with. I guess he was glad I tackled it … the best experience of my “literary” life.

Nancy Mendenhall
Nome AK

Tim Wheeler replies: Thanks, Nancy, for spotting that error. I racked my brain trying to remember where that $11 reference came from. Almost certainly it was $11 per day. We have made a correction in our online version of the review.

It’s the 4th of July

It’s the 4th of July
And I’m not free
I’m sitting here in limbo
In the bowels of this Penitentiary
This is a man minus his glory
Modern day slavery

Schools are not profitable enough
The prison industry is bigger business
The hotel for the miseducated ones of society
Warehousing human beings like commodities
It’s good for the economy
Illiteracy is a tool to make more money
Give the poor lobotomies
And lead them like zombies
Directly to the penitentiary cells
Where cheap labor sells for 20 cents an hour
This attracts corporations like corpses attract vultures
Overseers stand on guard in gun towers
With rifles to stifle all rebellions
And keep the slaves slaving on the plantations
They seek justification for this holocaust
In lost cause of fraud and pass flawed laws
That have clause like hawks
While the sharks racially profile
And round up men, women and child
In a single file line to be confined
Justice in denial
They turn brothers into rivals
To testify against each other at trials
One gets life behind bars
While the other walks the green mile

It’s the 4th of July
And I’m still not free
I’m sitting here in limbo
In the bowels of this penitentiary
This is man minus his glory
Modern day slavery

A prisoner’s life often depends
On the ink in the pen
That is in the hands of crooked men
Who have their own interest to protect
to remain on the bench
indigent convicts often fall victims
to this conflict of interest
to society he is the scum of the earth
who should have been aborted before birth
the whole world debate over his fate
no right to pro-create
an object of intense hatred
his life is no longer considered sacred
strip searches
vultures feasting off the carcass of the ignorant
convicts remain under constant surveillance
getting rushed around like migrants
it’s man minus his glory
a victim of gestapo like policies
freedom justice and equality
is only a fallacy in this democracy

It’s the 4th of July
And I’m not free
I’m sitting here in limbo
In the bowels of this penitentiary
This is man minus his glory
Modern day slavery

I’ve seen many become complacent
In this synthetic environment
Some try to rationalize this experiment
So they surrender their minds to become
Institutionalized and remain confined
Behind enemy lines and partake in the stereotypical
Behaviors of their neighbors
Some get religious and wait for a savior
Others become jail house informers
In exchange for favors from the slave master
Others become jail house predators
And extort the weak
They expose the secrets that lay hidden
Beneath and tighten the grip on their
victims pockets
to them every man is a potential maggot
human nature is complex
no two men do time like the next
some play sports every day
bouncing their time away
a brief escape from the harsh reality
of time that’s steering them dead in their faces
others catch murder cases because of jail
house celebrities that put their lives
in jeopardy by being in grown men’s faces
as for me
I study the flaws in the law and formulate
Arguments that’s able to destroy the content
of the injustice that’s holding me captive
I’m fighting a war to dismantle these bars
And even when my wounds heal
It will leave me with scars
So no matter how far I get I’ll never forget
That it’s the 4th of July and I’m not free

Written July 4, 2002

Edgar Pitts
Florence CO