‘Stop loss’ is another draft

Hi. I was checking out the website and I was very impressed. I had a story that I thought might be of interest to you. I am in the army and I am against any attack on Iraq. I was wondering if the general American public was aware that the military is currently imposing a “stop loss” on soldiers. This means that when you reach the end of your original contract, you can’t get out of the military and get on with your life. You’re stuck in, held against your will. This policy was approved by Congress and affects thousands of Americans around the world either directly or indirectly. A “stop loss” is not much better than a draft. The army’s current policy is to hold soldiers with special skills and training up to one year past their “ETS” date, which is the date you were supposed to get out. It applies to active duty and reserves.

Help us win back our freedom by ending the war on terrorism. Thanks for your time.

A readervia e-mail

Editor’s note: We will definitely look into this story. If any other reader has information on this please send to pww@pww.org

Kerrey the war hawk

Robert Kerrey, former conservative Democratic Senator and now President of the New School for Social Research, joined a group of establishment personalities calling itself the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. When students at the New School protested, Kerrey responded in Catch-22 terms that he did not want to “set a precedent, so that this university begins to be led, like so many other universities in America, by presidents who are so concerned with fund-raising that they have no opinion on anything that matters.” Wow! Supporting military interventionism makes it hard to raise money from corporations and the rich?

Norman MarkowitzNew Brunswick NJ

Chinese Communist Party report

Congratulations on running Al Sargis’ article on the Chinese Communist Party Congress in your November 23 issue.

It is the most balanced approach to highly sensitive ideological questions in shifting domestic and international affairs. Whatever differences there may be among the left, one thing we should all agree: China remains independent of imperialism and an example to developing countries. Though maintaining independence is a constant challenge, China has steered a course that we hope will lead to a prosperous, independent socialist country.

Sidney J. GluckNew York NY

Gates in India discussion

I read with interest the article by MKN Moorthy in the PWW (11/30/2002) about Bill Gates in India. I too was quite put off by Gates’ behavior.

However, Moorthy’s piece raises a number of questions that are unanswered and I hope this can generate some discussion.

Moorthy’s report casts aspersion on Microsoft’s plan to invest in India. India and China together have as many software engineers and developers as the United States, and it is absurd to throw cold water on plans to employ them.

Perhaps Moorthy meant only to underscore that Indian developers are paid on a scale that is only a fraction of what their counterparts are paid in the U.S. However, the answer to that is not to blast Microsoft for investing in Indian software development, but instead to aid in the process of building bridges between IT workers in India and other countries, especially the U.S.

It also seems somewhat strange that Moorthy would focus on minimizing the number of people with AIDS in India, rather than welcoming Gates’ contribution of $100 million and pointing out that this legacy of colonialism and imperialism requires a much larger contribution by the big capitalist nations if it is to be defeated.

Ted PearsonChicago IL

Author’s note:

MKN Moorthy wrote: Thank you for your comments. If a corporation like Microsoft can’t be blasted then what can? Gates’ statistics about the number of AIDS victims in India is a fabricated one. The National AIDS Control Bureau of India published the latest statistics and it is authoritative. I have no intention to minimize the number of AIDS victims, because they need more international attention and aid. But fabricated statistics do not help.