Where’s the threat?

President Bush is way out on a limb with his tough warspeak. How can he ever crawl back, after braying so loudly and so long about “changing the regime” in Iraq? Trouble is, he has yet to convince the Pentagon, the CIA and many in Congress. Not to mention everybody else in the world, including Iraq’s closest neigbors, our European allies and the U.N.

Bush wants to topple Saddam because he seems to think that he can get away with it, in the context of long-standing U.S. policy to dominate and exploit the whole world. Saddam is a punching bag for U.S. imperialism, nothing more. After all, he was a useful ally of Reagan, Bush Sr., Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney when they needed his military services against Iran. They even downplayed Saddam’s use of poison gas against the Kurds, going so far as to veto Congressional sanctions on Iraq at the time.

I do believe that if there really were evidence that Iraq posed a legitimate threat to U.S. national security, much less world peace, the debate and the war would already be over.

Instead, while Bush fulminates and plots, we still buy Iraq’s oil and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton Corporation still cashes Iraq’s checks for the on-going reconstruction work they’re doing over there since the last Gulf war. All this, while U.S. bombers patrol two-thirds of Iraq’s airspace with impunity and sanctions continue to cripple the isolated and weakened regime.

Some threat, indeed!

Cord MacGuireBoulder CO

Boycott Coke!

Thanks for your great two-page article on the attacks by Coke and paramilitary units in Colombia, resulting in seven worker deaths so far (8/3).

Progressive Student Union at Portland State University (PSU) here in Oregon has initiated a national boycott against Coke on two issues: (1) against death squads in colombia against workers and families, and (2) for passage of a National Bottle Bill in Congress.

Coke (with Budweiser and Miller) for years has been one of the main three multinational opponents of a national bottle bill. Ralph Nader and the National Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) have proposed such legislation in D.C., only to be succesfully opposed by Coke and their corporate cohorts. Ten states, including Oregon, have bottle bills; 40 states do not have such recycling legislation.

Targeted products of the two-pronged Coke Boycott include: Coke, Tab, Sprite, Mr. Pibb, Mello Yello, Odwalla and Minute Maid juices. Ask restaurants and grocery stores, and campus food services, to cancle their Coke contracts.

Lew Church
PSU Progressive Student Union
Portland OR

Orlando’s horrible ordinance

I just heard on NPR that the Orlando City Council, Bush Country, just passed an ordinance regarding homeless persons. Homeless persons found sleeping in the doorways of Orlando businesses can be arrested, jailed for 60 days and fined $500. I suspect if they had $500, they wouldn’t be homeless.

Further, the ordinance limits the numder of days churches and other charitable groups can pass out free food to the homeless. So much for A Thousand Points of Light in Bush Country!

John PughCleveland OH

No war in Iraq

It is alarming to see the “war fever” of some senators – Trent Lott, Richard Shelby, Joseph Lieberman and others – who seem to be itching to force everyone into accepting the “inevitability” of a dangerous war with Iraq. They think they see an opportunity to grab control of Iraqi oil.

There is no morality in an attack on a country just because you think you have the military might to succeed.

The United States should recognize Third World countries as having equal rights with developed countries to a bright future, to act in their own interests and not feel subservient to U.S. interests.

The U.S. does not know the best path of development for other countries and should not go around the world deciding who should be in power in this or that country.

The chauvinism is just appalling. We must speak out against and stop this “war fever.” Tell them “No!” in a loud enough voice!

Lanetta WilliamsOakland CA