Okla. needs ‘books not bombs’

As a high school student in an Oklahoma public school system, I appreciate your coverage of the Oklahoma teacher’s rally on Feb. 12. (2/22) The nation needs to know that many states are cutting back on education because of budget shortfalls. Instead of wasting money on war, President Bush needs to offer relief for such states so that the youth of America are not neglected.

Ian Nichols
Via e-mail

Peace is patriotic

I plan to attend the peace rally on across the street from the Presbyterian and the Methodist Churches.

I am not anti-American.
I am not anti-military.
I am not pro-Iraq.
And I am not pro-Saddam.

But I believe, deeply, sincerely, that it is contrary to the long term best interests of my own country, regardless of the consequences for the rest of the world, if we now establish this new principle of “pre-emptive war.” And I believe it is contrary to U.S. interests for us to encourage lawlessness on the international front. We need to promote respect for international law and for the UN. And I believe that war is always wrong, unethical, wicked, immoral, if the country going to war has other ways to achieve its goals.

For the U.S. to go to war against Iraq right now, without any more effort at a diplomatic solution, is something which ought to be opposed by liberals and conservatives and Democrats and Republicans and people of all stripes.

Even the most right-wing kind of guy ought to agree that we should not unnecessarily or recklessly risk the lives of our men and women in the military.

Even the most rabid Republican defender of George Bush ought to see the selfish value to the U.S. in strengthening, not weakening, International Law.

I am not a pacifist.
I love my country.

And the best thing we can do for this county this week … is to make open and visible our opposition to declaring war right now on Iraq.

Andy Johnson
Jacksonville FL

The writer is host of Florida radio talk show “Down to Business Andy Johnson”

No war for oil

That “son of a Bush” in the White House will send thousands of American men and women to destruction for oil. As founder of the Social Human Peoples Party, I have tried to interest others in forming a collective front against the Big Oil, the Big Business Bandits behind an Iraq Oil War. How about a general strike to stop this war of big greed?

Edson Andre Johnson
Sunland CA

Coverage about Bolivia

Thanks for “Bolivians demand president’s resignation” (2/22). Bolivia has been a cauldron now for quite some time between water privatization (to Bechtel and others), coca erradication and the many IMF demands imposed upon it.

I would like to make a slight correction, though. Bolivia has a parliamentary system, true but it does not provide for a runoff if no candidate takes 50 percent plus one. When that happens, as it did last spring between Sánchez de Lozada and Evo Morales, it goes to the national assembly which decides between the candidates. Given the situation in Bolivia at the time (and now) I’m not at all sure a runoff would have picked Sánchez de Lozada. But it was almost a foregone conclusion that the assembly would.

Thanks again for shedding some light on a small and often overlooked country, which has a great deal to teach us about globalization and the transnational world we live in.

Julia Lutsky
Woodside NY

Worthless wars

The deaths of the two young marines in the collision of Blackhawk helicopters on Jan. 23 is infuriating because the removal of an insignificant amount of cocaine or marijuana from the streets of America can never be worth the lives of the men involved in this useless endeavor. The wastefulness of the “war on drugs” has been known for decades, but the ridiculous use of helicopters in a nightime adventure raises the absurdity of it to cruel farce.

But it won’t hold a candle to the carnage awaiting America’s, and Iraq’s, young soldiers (not to mention the innocent citizens of that beleagured nation) if George Bush and his gang have their way and force their worthless war on the world.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans turned out to march against this phony war; all of the world, except for Britain and U.S., opposes it. What else does it take? More than another pointless war, America needs a regime change of its own.

Philip Krumm
San Antonio TX