Letters – March 1, 2008

Great victory in Cyprus

On Feb. 24, Dimitris Christofias, leader of the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus (AKEL — Cyprus’ Communist Party) won the presidential election with 53 percent of the vote. It was a runoff election between AKEL and the candidate of the rightwing DISY party, Ioannis Kassoulides.

Christofias and AKEL pledged to work for a peaceful resolution of the “Cyprus problem” — the illegal occupation of the northern third of the country by Turkey. Christofias immediately talked by telephone with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to initiate a dialogue towards that end. Christofias and Talat are scheduled to meet face to face within days.

Following the announcement of the results Cypriots poured into the streets of the capital city of Nicosia waving flags, blowing horns and chanting “AKEL, AKEL, AKEL.” It’s a terrific victory for Cyprus and for peace.

Gary Bono

New York NY

Editor’s note: More on this exciting development will be published in an upcoming issue. You can read more on the Cyprus election by Gary Bono at www.pww.org.

World Puzzler

I enjoy listening to NPR’s “Car Talk” program in which they have a segment called “This Week’s Puzzler.” So here is a puzzle for PWW readers.

There is a country much in the news in which a new government attempted the following reforms: elimination of usury; drastic reduction of inequalities in land ownership; cancellation of mortgage debt among the poorer people; promotion of universal education (with a focus on women) including textbooks in all the county’s languages; teacher training; hundreds of new schools, new hospitals and nurseries for orphans.

Clue #1: This government came into power

in 1978.

Sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Banking, health, education, land use …

Clue #2: The new progressive government in this mystery country prompted the forces of reaction into the conflicts we are in today, sometimes compared to the “Great Game.”

OK. The answer is on page 6 in a book called “The War on Truth,” by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.

Bob Baum

St Paul MN

Great stuff

Keep up the good work. You are the real America — of Thomas Paine, Eugene Debs, Paul Robeson and William Foster

George Anthony

Via e-mail

More on Washington

Pepe Lozano did a good job on “Harold Washington wore a union label” (PWW 2/23-29). That was a very good article. It would have been even better if the article included some of the people that were involved in the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates. Also, it might have been good to recognize the contributions of Luis Gutierrez and other Puerto Rican leaders that worked with Rudy Lozano to establish the Latino Coalition for Washington.

It also might have been good if you could have recognized the role that the progressives, left and Communists played in helping to build the coalition forces through our involvement with the labor coalition, all of which ultimately led to the action at the teachers union meeting, which led to an early endorsement of Washington.

Lance Cohen

Chicago IL

Satellite shootdown

The planned Pentagon shoot down of the wayward U.S. military satellite is nothing more than an opportunity to test new Star Wars anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) technology.

The Bush administration is magnifying the risk to justify the testing of new, dangerous and provocative offensive space warfare technologies. At the time when we need to be constraining space-debris-creating ASAT testing, this test will throw open the door to a new arms race in space.

The U.S. aerospace industry says that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth.

Three U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers, outfitted with missile interceptors, fired at the satellite from positions just off Hawaii. These same Aegis ships are now being home ported by the Navy throughout the Asian-Pacific region, giving the U.S. the ability to encircle China’s coast. These Aegis ships could give the U.S. the ability to intercept China’s 20 nuclear missiles that today are capable of reaching the west coast of the continental U.S. The Pentagon has been war-gaming a U.S. first-strike attack on China, set in 2016, for the past several years. In that attack the Aegis ships would negate China’s nuclear retaliatory force by intercepting their missiles in the boost phase.

Bruce Gagnon

Brunswick ME

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, www.space4peace.org

Musical diplomacy

What a great day when the New York Philharmonic performed in Pyongyang, North Korea. I was moved to tears reading about the Korean people being moved to tears listening to the orchestra play a beloved folk song. Engagement is much better for humanity than keeping a country isolated.

Angela Brooks

Omaha NE