Bring troops home now

As I go knocking door-to-door talking about public education issues, including military recruitment in the schools, I meet a lot of parents that have sons or daughters in Afghanistan or Iraq. They are worried about their kids and angry with George Bush for sending them there with his lies. As a candidate for public office they ask me to help them. They want me to talk about their concerns. They don’t care about setting the date or negotiations. All they have is one demand: Bring them home now.

Martina M. Cruz

Lawrence MA

Martina Cruz is a candidate for the Lawrence School Committee.

Message from London

The following is an e-mail message received by the People’s Weekly World from the socialist, London-based Morning Star newspaper in response to the PWW’s message of solidarity.

Thanks for your best wishes and for enclosing the statement by our U.S. sister party [“Communist Party USA condemns London bombings”].

Fortunately, none of our staff was either directly or indirectly affected, although there were a couple of close calls — a couple of minutes before or after an attack.

As you say, it’s a gift to Bush and the ultra-right. It was sickening to see Bush and Blair lecturing the world on the sanctity of human life and the need to pursue a path of nonviolence, after their crimes in Iraq alone have killed 100,000 civilians.

The most important task before us now is maximize popular unity so that the handful of anti-Muslim attacks that have taken place do not mushroom into a pogrom. Fortunately, most people realize that al-Qaida and other extremist groups have nothing in common with most Muslims.

On Thursday, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, in concert with the trade unions and the various faith groups, has called for a London United demonstration.

At noon, millions of Londoners will observe two minutes of silence. Every bus in the city will stop, businesses will stop and many people will come out of their workplaces and homes onto the streets of London to remember those who died and to show their complete defiance of the terrorists.

At 1 p.m., books of condolences will be opened in Trafalgar Square for all Londoners and visitors to the city to sign throughout the day. Following that, at 6 p.m., there will be a vigil in Trafalgar Square to remember those who died, to show that London will not be moved from our goal of building an open, tolerant, multiracial and multicultural society.

The vigil will also pay tribute to the heroes of the transport and emergency services who responded immediately and saved many lives last Thursday.

On Saturday, the mayor’s Rise annual anti-racist music festival will have an even greater relevance than normal.

The Morning Star will, of course, be supporting these expressions of support for people’s unity, diversity, mutual respect, together with a refusal to surrender to the forces of reaction, of either obscurantism or imperialist domination.

Once again, thanks for your warm greetings of solidarity.

John Haylett

Editor, Morning Star

London England

Helpful addition to abortion debate

I appreciated reading Emile Schepers’ column “The soul of the anti-abortion stance” (PWW 7/9-15). He introduced a new idea in the abortion law debate, which I feel is quite persuasive.

Richard Winger

Via e-mail

Cuba’s organic gardening

The article titled “In the war on Cuba, truth dies first” by Martin Hooper (PWW 6/4-10) mentions the U.S. travel ban and the embargo, Cuba’s biotech and immunization research and Cuba’s excellent education system. However, Hooper omits one of the most wonderful recent Cuban revolutions, the organic gardening movement.

Since the U.S. trade embargo and collapse of the Soviet Union, petrochemical pesticides stopped arriving in Cuba. Instead of despair, the people of Cuba responded by researching organic gardening methods and now Havana and the surrounding countryside are packed full of small, organic gardens with crop diversity. Rooftops and abandoned fields become “huertos intensivos” with small dense plots of non-toxic crops being tended by the neighborhood.

This shows the resilience of the Cuban people and the possibility of an eco-friendly communist country. Since the pesticides stopped, Cuban scientists have recorded a recovery of “insectos beneficios,” the beneficial predator insects including dragonflies, ladybugs and mantises. Having these insects present in the gardens is the least expensive and non-toxic method of pest control, and currently Cuba is one of the world’s most advanced organic farmers!

Please include the success of Cuba’s organic revolution in one of your future editions. It is important for organic farmers in the U.S. to be able to witness the Cuban farms firsthand. For this and other reasons the travel ban to Cuba needs to be lifted.

Marc Mueller

Arcata CA

Miller is no heroine

I fully agree with the PWW that there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about freedom of the press and freedom of speech under the Bush regime (PWW editorial “Media chill” 7/9-15). There has been plenty of harassment of journalists who actually did their job and questioned the administration line.

I don’t think, however, that the case of New York Times reporter Judith Miller is the right one to make an example of.

Miller was an administration hack and apologist for war, who has refused to reveal the Bush administration’s source for the illegal outing of former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent (who happened to be investigating WMDs at the time). Plame was outed, destroying possible leads and literally putting her life in danger, as retaliation for Wilson’s refusal to toe the Bush line on the fake “yellow cake uranium” story.

This is no “whistleblower” that Miller is protecting; it is a Bush administration lawbreaker. The retaliatory outing of Plame as a CIA agent is a felony offense. If there is any whistleblower in the case, it is Wilson. I agree with Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) that Miller should reveal the source of this outrageous and illegal government dirty trick against Wilson and Plame.

Brad Janzen

Norman OK