The article titled “Human toll in Afghanistan” (2/16) was excellent. I especially liked the quote from McDaniels about redefining what is meant by security. I am going to use this redefinition when I’m talking to people and attempt to change their perception.

This gets back to a lot of meanings that we need to redefine, such as the phrase family values. Health care, education and jobs, as stated eloquently in the People’s Weekly World many times, should be perceived as family values, not war, revenge and the almighty profit (all related, of course).

I will expand on this as I talk to groups in this area, as my current job responsibilities require. It really gives me opportunities to discuss health care issues, poverty, class, etc. That’s one main reason I have attempted to keep my position as HIV prevention coordinator for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The grant appears a little fragile as we compete for money from other entities just as needed. The drain of resources from primary health services to the military is already being felt here.

Larry KleinKincheloe MI

Working hard for peace
The Dallas Coalition for a Just Peace is setting a hot pace of activities. On March 8 they participated in a “Rally in Solidarity with the Palestinians under Israeli Occupation,” at the Kennedy Memorial downtown. The next day they were at the Women’s Museum in Fair Park for “Women Change the World: Afghanistan is Everywhere,” in conjunction with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

On March 11, the 6-month anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy, coalition coordinator Julie Ryan gave a press statement that reviewed the world situation and asked, “Are we safer, now?” Duane Ediger, editor of the Peace Times newspaper, gave a talk about his recent trip to Colombia at a lunch meeting on March 12 at the Peace Center.

On March 28, Dallas activists picketed internationally famous war criminal Henry Kissinger while he was speaking on “Ethics” at Southern Methodist University. Coalition activists joined Pax Christi for the annual Good Friday “Walk for Justice” in downtown Dallas on March 29. Sixty activists gathered for religious services at a long list of corporate and government buildings.

The twice-monthly coalition meetings continue planning more events. On the night of the expected beginning of United States bombing of another foreign nation, they will protest in the plaza outside Dallas City Hall. A “War Debate” is planned as soon as they can find a single area pro-war organization willing to expose their views in an open forum.

On April 6 the coalition will help with a day-long picnic and educational event in Waco, Texas. At noon that day, they will form a car caravan to protest near Crawford, Texas, where they expect President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to be planning an invasion of Iraq.

On Tax Day, April 15, the coalition intends to sponsor leafleting actions at the main post office. Their leaflets will show the large share of American taxpayers’ money that goes to support war efforts.

On Earth Day, April 20, some of the activists will cooperate with environmentalists at an all-day event on Flagpole Hill at White Rock Lake. Others have already bought airline tickets to attend the April 20 March on Washington. Ground transportation is also being organized in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. The coalition continues to raise money and recruit people to go to Washington.

Jim LaneDallas TX

Where we’re headed
“If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed,” says a Chinese proverb, and that is annihilation of humankind and all civilization.

Since wars begin in the minds of men, alternative thinking is needed desperately now.

No longer are conflicts and wars confined to the battlefield between adversary combatants. Now with super-advanced technology, civilians are targeted and killed by thousands, mostly women and children, who are the repositories of future generations. The threat to use nuclear weapons, if carried out, could mean the destruction of all life on earth.

Men no longer have that prerogative or the right to use these weapons of mass destruction. Mankind was endowed with reasoning power, which is the highest form of thought. That faculty of intelligence must be exercised now and into the future, if life is going to exist furthermore.

Minerva Massenvia e-mail