Coverage is ‘ray of sunshine’

Your Feb. 22 issue was a ray of sunshine. Pictures and stories about compassionate people opposing Bush’s insane policy toward Iraq are wonderful.

By contrast, after I read the Bellingham Herald (a Gannett rag) I feel like I need 1000mg, of Prozac, shot of whisky – something.

I called The Herald editor about their Mar. 12 article on the MOAB, a 21,000-lb. bomb that our airforce hopes will “ … rattle nerves in Iraq.” I asked him if those “rattled nerves” will include children.

The Herald was never my idea of good paper, but the way they are pushing this war is utterly disgusting.

Joe Randell

Bellingham WA

Protest Devlin deportation

I am writing to express my appreciation for the reporting of the denial of entry to former Member of Parliament Bernadette Devlin, the Irish civil and human rights activist. (PWW March 1). This story was not reported in my local newspaper and I first heard of it from your newspaper.

All Americans, especially Irish Americans, should be outraged at this refusal of entry. Write your Congressmen and Attorney General Ashcroft in protest.

Elaine Flannigan Turk

Portland OR

Shock and Awe

“Shock and Awe,” the stated strategy of the Bush administration for war on Iraq too closely resembles the explicitly German fascist policy called “Schracklikeit,” i.e., “frightfulness,” used on Rotterdam and other cities in WWII. The general tactic was more commonly-known as, “Blitzkrieg.” Other aspects of this impending catastrophe seem to mirror pre-WWII Nazi disinformation about Polish “provocations” that preceded the invasion of that country in 1939.

Thucydides writes in his history of the Peloponnesian War of the revolt of Mitylene, a free colony of Athens. When Mitylene traded with Sparta and her allies for aid, Athens sent a naval squadron to destroy the city, massacre its men, and sell its women and children into slavery. The Athenian assembly debated this apocalyptic move. The vote was taken to intercept the squadron and counteract the order. A fast ship arrived in time to save Mitylene.

Though there are differences between those events 2,400 years ago and the impending catastrophe, there is this parallel; the entire world has debated, in the UN, and on the streets of its great cities, and has stood up in opposition to this cruel and monstrous war, in which hundreds of thousands of innocents will die and Iraq be reduced to rubble.

The peoples and their governments are saying – intercept that squadron – save the people and the cities of Iraq from destruction

A sign I saw at a demonstration in Madison, Wisconsin read: An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind

Pete Gourfain

Brooklyn NY

The war is wrong

I am writing you today concerning the war on Iraq. War on Iraq will cause even more instability in the world and cause great suffering on the Iraq people. War should be used only as a last resort and as a defense, not as an offense. The people who are for war with Iraq say we’re siding with Saddam Hussein when we object to war with Iraq. No, we are not! We are siding with peace. With vigorous weapons inspections Hussein could not possibly do any more damage than this war is doing.

Gilbert Herald

Lombs KY

On dissent

In 1918, former President Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch imperialist but the last Republican president associated with domestic progressive reform, said “to announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

Theodore Roosevelt was a man of strong words and no friend of any peace movement, but these words make great sense today, when an administration drunk with power seeks to cow any criticism with calls for wartime unity.

Theodore Roosevelt’s old enemy, former President Woodrow Wilson talked hypocritically about a “war to make the world safe for Democracy” during WWI.

Real American patriots, as against national chauvinists, have always understood that wars of aggression undermine democracy.

Norman Markowitz

New Brunswick NJ