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Letter to the Editor of The Journeyman newspaper
March, 2003

From: skeptica@pacbell.net
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 17:24:36 -0800

Description:  The Journeyman newspaper is the official publication of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County AFL-CIO, CA. There are typically six trades that are allowed column space. There are several articles included in each issue that effect trade unions and working people in general. On the back of each issue are monthly meeting notices to 26 different trades, from Asbestos Workers to Teamsters. I don't know the circulation numbers.

The editor dropped just one paragraph, which was a quote, that wasn't vitally important. Also not appearing in the published version are the end note numbers and end notes. The letter filled a half page below an article with this title:  "Unionist join 10 million worldwide to oppose war in Iraq."

The Editor gave my letter this heading:
Reader "proud" of Journeyman's coverage...adds his own points

Dear Editor:

I just received the February issue and I want to let you know that I'm pleased and proud that the editorial board and others in the union movement have been able to see through the Bush oiligarchy's propaganda campaign. I tip my hat especially to the Roofer and Waterproofers rep. Tim McCarthy. His is one of the best, most concise, and most accurate explanation of what this war is really about. Thanks Tim.

Last month's front page feature "Remembering Martin Luther King," was wonderful. Previously, I hadn't read more than a single quote at a time of King's writings.

By the way, I'd like to make some points that need emphasizing. Isn't it a fact that the Bush regime is terrorizing the Iraqi nation? Doesn't this fact make the Bush people terrorists? If not, why not? Iraq has never bombed the U.S., while our government has bombed them almost continuously for twelve years. The U.N. didn't impose the no fly zones, they were imposed by the U.S., Britain and France in violation of Iraq's sovereignty. France has since condemned them. They are in violation of international law. Article 51 of the UN charter says: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations,... ."

The weapons of mass destruction that Iraq has, or had, were sold to them by the U.S.  One American political comedian (I don't recall who) quipped "We know they have weapons of mass destruction--we have the receipts."

At the time these awful weapons were sold to them they were known by our State Department to be intended to be used against the Iranians. Supposedly, that was okay, and nothing to shout about, because the Iranians were our enemies at that time. If we want to use the argument that we should attack Saddam because "he gassed his own people," we should first read Stephen C. Pelletiere's "A War Crime or an Act of War?" (New York Times, Jan. 31, 2003). Pelletiere, a former CIA senior analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war was privy to what was known among intelligence circles and he doubts that Iraq is guilty of this charge.

One of the arguments that the U.S. has used for creating a stockpile of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, is that they are a deterrent of others from attacking us and our interests. If this argument is good for us, than why not those who are not our allies? Have they no right to obtain whatever means available to deter greedy people/corporations from attempting to replace their political leadership (nominal democracy or outright dictatorship) with a leadership that serves foreign interests?

The talk of replacing Saddam Hussein's dictatorship with a democracy is just that--talk. Here is what San Mateo's Representative Tom Lantos was found to say about such matters in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

"My dear Colette, don't worry," said Tom Lantos, the California congressman, as he tried to calm MK Colette Avital of the Labor Party, who was visiting Capitol Hill last week as part of a delegation of the Peace Coalition. "You won't have any problem with Saddam," the Jewish congressman continued. "We'll be rid of the bastard soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you." ...

From the first week after 9/11 there were those in the Bush cabinet intent on claiming that there is evidence that Saddam Hussein is connected with Osama bin Laden's group. These claims have never stood up to scrutiny. Take a look at the following commentary:

US/UK peddle Iraq, Al-Qaeda Links

The BBC reports that British Prime Minister Tony Blair said:

"We do know of links between al-Qaeda and Iraq. We cannot be certain of the nature of these links," Mr. Blair said, marking the first time the UK has said it believes there is such a connection.

Yes, links of undetermined nature between a religiously fanatical organisation led by a man trained by the US and a secular despot once supported by the US. What could be the connection? Not surely, the US?

I guess at this point of the proceedings, any lie will do.

Seyed Razavi | January 29, 2003

That both Saddam and Al-Qaeda used to work for America as terrorists is no lie. Just a deceptive way of putting it, but no less honest than usual. Frankly people ought to simply assume this is the level of honesty of the government.

The bottom line is, it is in labor's interest to oppose this war for oil profits for Bush's buddies, and not be foolishly led into a mess that already has much of the world hating Americans for our arrogance, hypocrisy and bullying.

See you all at the anti-war protests.

Vincent Sauvé

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