Fighting for single payer

Re single payer: I think one of our biggest problems is in the way we are pushing it. We tend to approach more progressive elements, and concentrate on organizations we think will be more receptive to the idea.

About half the people on Medicare, people with no coverage or not enough coverage, are most likely Republicans, a good number of them Bush supporters. What’s being done to approach these people?

We need to hold public forums. How many people in our apartment buildings are without any good coverage? How many of us have held a forum on single payer in our apartment building? People from all walks of life are concerned about health care.

Ken BeSaw
New York NY

Georgia-Russia-South Ossetia

No one should be surprised that U.S. interference in the Caucasus has led to the Russian intervention in South Ossetia.

In Washington, Bush stepped out to the White House Rose Garden to declare that Russian assaults inside Georgia — a swift and crushing deployment of military force that the Russians called ‘Operation Clean Field’ — must cease.

What a misleading blunder! “Operation Clean Field” was the name given by the Georgians for their initial attack on South Ossetia and its capital, Tskhinvali, now in ruins, which was pounded with heavy artillery barrages by the Georgians, not the Russians.

How should a country of approximately 4 million people provoke a country the size of Russia unless such a country were encouraged and promised support by another country, in this case the USA.

Washington likes to appeal to international law and opinion, although it is interesting to note that the championship for disregard to international law belongs to the United States.

Joseph M. Cachia
Vittoriosa MALTA

After reading the last Internet issue, I’d like to explain something to Mr. Brian Koba, who supports Georgia (PWW 8/23-29). In this case, Russia is not an aggressor. I understand that Russia is a capitalist power. But President Saakashvili’s Georgia is not a democratic one!

Vladimir Sedlacek
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia

Your articles on the mess in Georgia, the 1968 Olympics, Bolivia, labor and racism are stuff that can’t be gotten anywhere else! Conn Hallinan’s piece in the Aug. 16 issue is invaluable. Sometimes I forget how valuable and courageous the PWW is. It’s good to be reminded of that with an issue like this one.

Pete Gourfain
Brooklyn NY

The left and World War I

I just read Tim Pelzer’s review of William Petz’ book (PWW 8/26 – 22), and possibly the text was “cut to fit the space” by the PWW. But I was surprised that there is no mention of the split on the Left in Europe over World War I. The “socialists” mainly decided to support their governments’ waging of war with only the left socialists (soon to be Communists) opposing the war.

This was a basic reason for the rupture, not gradual reform vs. revolution or anarchism.

Betty Smith
New York NY

State budget crises

Marilyn Bechtel’s recent front-page story on the states’ budget crises (PWW 8/16-22) came to mind as I read in the Wall Street Journal that Pennsylvania is considering leasing its turnpike to a so-called public-private partnership. If it goes through, apparently other states are considering leasing their roads, bridges and tunnels to help with their budget deficits.

Good grief!

It is bad enough that the Bush administration’s never-ending war policy is flushing our tax dollars down the military toilet. It is bad enough that the current administration has cut programs that directly help people in need and is trying at every turn to privatize what we the public own.

We desperately need big changes at the federal level, starting with the president, so our demands for changes in taxation and spending can undo the damage done by the current administration, and we can get busy putting our tax dollars to work on rebuilding our infrastructure and getting our folks employed at union wages with benefits doing this important work.

Barbara Carpenter
Chicago IL