Letters to the Editor for Mar 27, 2003
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Ed Leeper | Monterey
All Protesters Are Not Commies
In a March 6 letter, Brian Burleson described one of the many sponsors of recent massive anti-war demonstrations as a communist group. Actually, I am very familiar with the make-up of the A.N.S.W.E.R., International Action Committee, and Worker''s World Party Leadership.
Top leaders such as Richard Becker, Sarah Flounders, and Gloria La Riva are hard-liners of the Stalinist school. Ramsey Clark is difficult to fathom. At times he appears to be senile, but at other times very sound. His support of Milosevic is inexcusable, but he has been very helpful in exposing U.S. brutality in Iraqi sanctions.
Actually, hard-line communist groups were also against the Vietnam invasion but most demonstrators against the war had no Marxist leanings. The same is true of the demonstrators and protestors today.
Burleson makes no unwarranted jump from the Marxist make-up of leaders of just one of the sponsoring groups to the conclusion that "Some, perhaps many of the protestors are merely simple-minded, peace-preaching fools. However, the vast majority of them are either hard core Socialists or hard-line Marxists."
Most of the demonstrators have been non-Marxists who oppose a war to enrich ourselves from Persian Gulf oil and extended U.$. world domination.
John Kimber | Seaside
Depleted Uraniun is Unhealthy for Children and US Soldiers
My heart cries out for the innocent civilians of Iraq who stand to suffer immeasurably by the pending war. And they have already suffered from our weapons of mass destruction. Take just one: depleted uranium. The doctors say in Southern Iraq, where we used depleted uranium to demolish tanks in 1991, the cancer rate in children is eleven times higher. Terrible birth defects are being seen.
The U.S. is now poised to use this weapon again. And it is not just innocent civilians now and in the future in Iraq that will suffer. A large percent of our troops and those of our allies have uranium in their bodies. Uranium is certainly one of the causes of the Gulf War syndrome. It will cause cancers now and far into the future.
Our government has done a huge cover-up, wants us to think Gulf War syndrome is caused by stress, and refuses medical coverage to the veterans. Use of depleted uranium, with its ability to poison land and people for billions of years, and use of any nuclear weapons, must become unacceptable if the children of the earth are to have a future worth living.
Peggy Olsen | Co-Chair, Women''s International League for Peace and Freedom, Monterey County Branch
Our President is the Wrong Man for the Job
Isn''t it becoming increasingly obvious that our president is in way over his head? George W. Bush is a simple man of ordinary intelligence in a job that demands so much more. Since he has taken office, nearly everything has gone downhill. Our economy, stock market, environmental safeguards, civil liberties and international relations have been steadily eroding. Only our national debt and unemployment are rising. Now we are involved in a pre-emptive war against a defenseless country that poses no verifiable threat to us, the consequences of which are potentially catastrophic. We can only hope there is time to correct our and his mistakes.
Arlen Grossman | Del Rey Oaks
Support the Troops; Oppose the War
I recently read Jessica Lyons'' article in the Coast Weekly on her brother''s military activation and wanted to extend my gratitude for her fresh voice and fresh writing style. Her family''s closeness in difficult times gives me hope that the strength of American families will once again guide us through a war.
The article illuminates the harsh reality that is taking place all across the country: sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, grandsons and granddaughters shipping off to fight a war. I can''t help but agree with Jessica when she writes: "I''m proud of my brother, and I admire his courage and his conviction. But I don''t understand it. And I think it is naïve. I know he-and the other 300,000 troops in the Gulf-are doing a job and I support and appreciate him."
It is important to support our troops during wartime because we all want our families to be complete again, but it is also important for Americans to question the reasons for war. This is where I believe your article to be most powerful. You support your brother, but you oppose the war. That juxtaposition might pit family members against each other, tearing at familial seams, but your family has seen through that disagreement to understand that its top priority is the safe return of Nathan.
I enjoyed Ms. Lyons'' article tremendously because of its personality and detail, and it makes me think of millions of details other Americans are remembering about their loved ones going to war. Those are the details that knit the American family together; those are the details that must remain strong in this time of war. Thanks again for sharing these thoughts and family with me.
Sam Farr | Member of Congress
Rules of Engagement Should be Observed in Debate
Regardless of the your position, we all can agree that the level of debate here in Monterey has been awesome. At least for the time being it seems as if people are taking control of their political lives; again we are becoming a community of active citizens in a democratic society.
It is unfortunate that it takes a terrorist attack and a war for this to occur. However, we should not get ahead of ourselves. Just because the level or quantity of debate has increased does not mean the quality of the debate has reached a decent level.
Yesterday, Rep. Sam Farr held a Town Hall meeting for his constituents here at the Monterey Institute. After Mr. Farr and two Monterey Institute professors, Stephen Garrett and Glynn Wood, spoke, Rep. Farr opened the floor to questions and comments from the audience. The reaction to several of the those commenting on the war and Rep. Farr''s abilities was appalling. People were cat-calling and booing those with whom they did not agree. Rep. Farr had to remind the audience several times to respect the disparate opinions being presented.
Both the liberals and the conservatives in the audience were responsible for this debauchery. It was embarrassing.
I was at an anti-war demonstration here in Monterey on Sunday near Del Monte Beach where similar things occurred. While standing with my fellow demonstrators, people as they drove by in their cars yelled obscenities, gave vulgar gestures and questioned our loyalty to our country.
There is no doubt that this war is a divisive issue but we need to enter into this debate with respect for other''s opinions and for own cause. Once we turn to anger our causes lose their integrity.
We have to be cognizant of the fact the disagreeing with an individual does not translate into disrespect for the individual. Furthermore, we must continue to foster an environment that protects, values, and encourages freedom of thought and opinion, critical thinking, and constructive criticism.
Monterey prides itself on being a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community, which inherently must be home to different and sometimes diametrically opposing viewpoints. The moment one member of our community questions her or his right to express themselves freely and openly, without fear from personal attack, we all loose part of this right.
It is through quality, in tandem with respect, that true and meaningful change occurs
Mike Shaikh | Monterey
Corey Deserves our Love
On your Web site is written, "The mission of Coast Weekly is to inspire independent thinking and conscious action, etc." I am trying to comprehend how the opinion item "Gem of an Excuse," might inspire conscious action [Squid, March 6-11]. It seems more like an adolescent personal attack and a questioning of the effectiveness of the Big Sur Land Trust than an attempt to inspire conscious action.
Allow me to offer an alternative view. The Year 2000 ballot had on it a proposition to appropriate state funds to acquire land for preservation as park. That proposition, which became law, was authored by Mr. Corey Brown. Corey has a unique talent to work the system in Sacramento-for the better.
The Palo Corona Ranch occupies a unique position along the Carmel-to-Big Sur coastline. It connects virtually all parklands from Carmel Valley Road to the Los Padres National Forest. Among its other beauties, it holds the largest area of natural grasslands in California if not the West Coast. For the Big Sur Land Trust to acquire the Palo Corona Ranch would be to hold the Holy Grail of the Central Coast in their hands. They attempted to do so some time back but could not muster the funding. What they needed was a "hired gun" for this mission.
Enter Corey Brown.
Well, the hired gun secured the state funding that was critical to the successful purchase of the Palo Corona Ranch. Was there any doubt? The hired gun wrote the bill and had the contacts. And, with this episode of Have Gun Will Travel happily completed, it is time for this Paladin to ride into the sunset.
Corey should be thanked for his immeasurable gift to the Central Coast. And, the Big Sur Land Trust should be lauded for pulling off the biggest coup in Central Coast natural conservation. Lastly, The Nature Conservancy should be thanked for their extraordinary partnership in this venture, as well.
Todd C. Ganos | Carmel Valley
Corey Loves Us
Thanks for the ink two weeks ago [Squid, March 6-12]. I have enjoyed working with The Big Sur Land Trust to protect our magnificent coast, incredible redwood forests, and irreplaceable squid habitat. Now it''s time to spend more time hugging my favorite tree!
Corey Brown | Monterey