A faith inspired vision of health care justice

It is not often that we religious leaders speak with one voice across the state, but we are compelled to do it now.

How could we not do so, when nearly fifty million American residents are without health care, when people are being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and when a major cause for bankruptcy is personal and family medical debt?

The many religious traditions we represent have long advocated for reform that makes quality health care affordable and accessible for all. But year after year, decade after decade, the American people have been denied this essential coverage and frustrated repeatedly by special interests. That must stop and it must stop now, because accessible health care is not only right but the key to economic security and opportunity.

We urge people of all faiths and people of no religious affiliation but with a deep sense of conscience and justice, to join us in telling our congressional representatives to approve legislation that gives all people the opportunity to choose an affordable private or public health insurance plan.

The time for all of us to act is now. Please do your part.

The Health Care

Justice Campaign

Champaign IL

The Health Care Justice Campaign is a project of the Campaign for Better Health Care, www. cbhconline.org.

Get out of Afghanistan

The elongated occupation of Afghanistan faces rising difficulties because its justification is so dishonest and, thus, its aims so shifty and unclear. It can never be officially acknowledged that this ugly venture is really part of a grand chess game for control of the region’s fabulous energy resources.

An initial rationale for invading Afghanistan was, of course, to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, but that goal quickly dissipated when, by most accounts, the Pentagon let the presumptive al Qaeda boss slip away into Pakistan, even though he’d been reportedly located and surrounded.

A subsequent justification cited the invasion’s supposed liberation of Afghan women, invoking a wispy U.S. “obligation” in that regard. Despite the sentimental appeal of this excuse, the status of Afghan women has changed very little, particularly outside of Kabul where the government holds virtually no sway.

Now, the U.S. mission has morphed into a full blown exercise in nation building, all the while trying to defeat a growing domestic resistance centered on the region’s dominant Pashtun tribe. To that end, troop levels have surged and casualties mounted. Defense Secretary Gates says there’s no end in sight and has obliquely hinted that circumstances might require a ground assault into Pakistan, where U.S. aerial bombings have already become routine.

The mythic Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, is said to have advised, “There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.” President Obama and his generals should dwell on Sun’s venerable wisdom, before they hypocritically shed more blood on behalf of international corporate energy interests.

Cord MacGuire

Boulder CO

Indonesia’s deadly Kopassus

Indonesia’s Special Forces (Kopassus), more than any other in the Indonesian military, stands accused by the Indonesian people of some of the most egregious human rights violations.

The history of Kopassus human rights violations, its criminality and its unaccountability before Indonesian courts extends back decades and includes human rights and other crimes in East Timor, Aceh, West Papua and elsewhere. The crimes of Kopassus are not only in the past. A recently published Human Rights Watch report details ongoing Kopassus human right violations in West Papua.

In 2008, the Bush administration proposed to restart U.S. training of Kopassus. The State Department legal counsel reportedly ruled that the ban on training of military units with a history of involvement in human rights violations, known as the Leahy law, applies to Kopassus as a whole.

See the letter signed by more than 50 U.S. organizations opposing training for Kopassus: http://www.etan.org/news/2009/07kopassus.htm. Additional background about the crime of Kopassus here:


John Miller,

Brooklyn NY

John Miller is national coordinator of the East Timor & Indonesia Action Network.

Day care for all

I just opened up my July 11-17 edition (I’m behind) and read of the ceasing publication of the print edition message. Sad.

Nevertheless, I still send this suggestion to you.

William Greider’s article in the May 25 edition of The Nation states among other things, “The extensive family-centered social systems in Europe suggest opportunities for U.S. reforms.”

Of course he’s talking about day care, maternity leave, vacations, health care, etc., etc.

With the party’s contacts through out Europe, couldn’t the paper come up with a full page (easily distributable) comparing the low-standing U.S. to the European nations and their benefits in those areas above?

Those bread and butter issues are the kinds of things that capture people’s attention and show them that the U.S. is not the #1 nation (except in war-making) as they might believe.

I know your staff is swamped. I’ve made this suggestion before and before. But it’s a winner and the process shouldn’t be that hard to at least start.

Lawrence H. Geller

Via e-mail

Special note

The People’s Weekly World does not publish the first week of August. We will be back the following week with the edition dated Aug. 15-21, a change in how we currently date the paper. However, the website, which you can access with www.pww.org OR www.peoplesworld.org, will have daily news and analysis through that week.

Lastly, when we roll out the new website on Sept. 1, our name will officially change since we aren’t a “weekly” anymore. It will be People’s World.

As of January 2010 this newspaper will have a new weekly print format, a downloadable edition of the People’s World. This edition will contain some national stories and a local story (in English and Spanish) and can be distributed locally.

I have received a few dozen requests so far from subscribers who have no Internet access to receive this new format through the mail. If you have no online access, please call me at (773) 446-9920 x201.

Everyone else, I urge you to sign up now to receive pww.org headlines delivered directly to your email. It’s easy and quick. Go to www.pww.org – or – www.peoplesworld.org. You don’t want to miss all the extensive DAILY coverage.

Teresa Albano

Chicago IL

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