Jackson Thoreau 



Political and social commentary with a liberal bias
For more columns and other liberal views, see Jackson's Liberty and Justice For All Site at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/.

Email Jackson at jacksonthor@justice.com


Wednesday, February 26, 2003

My No War Letter Sent to Texas Senators Today

Feb. 26, 2003

Dear Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn,

I am writing to urge you not to support our planned invasion of Iraq. We are the biggest military superpower by far, and we should not be abusing that power to bully much smaller countries, even those with regimes we do not like.
The Iraq problem can be solved peacefully through the United Nations, if we let that process work. If we can unilaterally attack another country because it MIGHT attack us, what's to stop another country from attacking us in the future because we MIGHT attack it? Such scenarios can only escalate into disaster for all of us.
There has been no credible evidence presented so far that bin Laden was aided by Hussein. Hussein is a secular Arab and does not share the same goals as bin Laden [why don't we focus more on finding bin Laden, by the way, rather than attacking another country?].
As for chemical and biological weapons, are we going to go into every country in that region, including Israel, and demand that they destroy all such weapons? Countries like Iraq have such weapons to try to balance the nuclear weapons that Israel has. Are we going to disarm our own weapons of mass destruction? Fat chance. So why are we hypocritically calling on other countries to do something we would never do?
Humans have long lived with terrorism. Black people were terrorized in our countries for centuries through slavery and the KKK. The Irish have terrorized the British over a land and occupation issue for decades. Terrorism is just something we have to live with, along with militarism, corporate elitism, and other trends. It does no good to fear - as Thoreau, FDR, and others said, fear is the main thing we should fear.
I supported military police actions to go after al Qaida, but I cannot in good conscience support us invading another country that is little threat to us. In fact, if we invade Iraq, we will cause that country and many more people around the world to become threats to us.
Such an invasion makes no sense. It's immoral - more than a million Iraqi kids have died due to sanctions and other measures since the Persian Gulf war and many more will die faster with such an invasion. This war goes against Christ's call to love our enemies and does not meet the criteria of a just war, as the Pope and others have said.
Sure, you can continue to support justifying such a war. You can continue to tell your lies that it's to stop terrorism and prevent future attacks. I don't buy such lies, and millions of other people around the world don't buy them, either. I'm afraid the Bush administration and people like you who support it are hell-bent on world domination and other selfish goals.
Like all empires, we will fall unless we truly embrace global cooperation and sincerely work with other nations on our immense problems.
Ultimately, you and others who support invading Iraq will have to answer to a higher power.

In peace,
Jackson Thoreau

U.S. hypocritically refuses to allow inspections of its weapons of mass destruction

The Washington Post reported that an international group of legislators, scientists and others recently tried to inspect an Army facility near Baltimore, Md., that trains and manufactures chemical weapons. The delegation of 13 legislators, scientists and academics, from countries including Britain, Italy, Canada and Denmark, insisted that their mission was neither stunt nor show. They said they had accomplished their goal: to protest a possible U.S. war with Iraq by highlighting what they consider the hypocrisy of U.S.-led efforts to force Iraq to relinquish weapons of mass destruction.

Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas

Check this photo out of one of the largest effigies of Bush that I’ve seen, which was carried in a Prague protest. Bush was his usual articulate self, saying, “Size of protest, it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group.” This is coming from someone who has to consult Karl Rove and others about when he can go to the bathroom.

US bribing, blackmailing other countries for UN votes

This is not coming from me - it's from the Associated Press. Senior U.S. officials have been quietly dispatched in recent days to the capitals of key UN Security Council countries where they are warning leaders to vote with the United States on Iraq or risk "paying a heavy price." Countries such as Angola, Guinea and Cameroon — poor African countries whose concerns drew little attention before they landed seats on the council — are among those being pressured. Among the threats are cutting off foreign aid if they vote no, and giving more foreign aid if they vote yes, i.e. bribery and blackmail. This is the American way, right?

Who said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?"

A lot of people will say FDR in the 1930s. But FDR borrowed that from Thoreau, who said it almost 100 years before FDR, who was known to carry a volume of Thoreau’s works. And Thoreau probably borrowed it from others who said something similar before him.
For instance, in 1623, English philosopher Francis Bacon said, “Nothing is terrible except fear itself.”
And in 1580, Michel de Montaigne, a French Renaissance writer, said, “The thing I fear most is fear.” Montaigne’s quote is the earliest one I can locate. So there’s another contribution given to us by the French.

Pray for the world, not just the US

OK, I don’t have a problem with people praying for US troops, especially if you know someone over there. My problem comes when we refuse to pray for the other side. Christ said to pray for and love your enemies. Yet, something called the presidential prayer team at http://www.worldprayerteam.org/ shows only prayers for Bush and the US. That’s another example of the selfishness of such people: They think that God is only on their side. Someday I suspect we all will find out otherwise. If you want to contact this team, I found some email addresses at: Media@PresidentialPrayerTeam.org, lisa@theenvoygroup.com, lisa@worldprayerteam.org, and memberservices@worldprayerteam.org.

The Esteemed Howard Zinn writes

Among all the really great emails I have received lately was one from one of my favorite authors, Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Boston University, author of A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present and many other books, civil rights activist, and playwright. A People’s History was a big inspiration to me to co-author a similar book on Dallas in 1991 that a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist called “a good start at providing a history of Dallas for everyone” in a Dallas Morning News review. It was great to hear from Prof. Zinn, as he praised some of my writings.
I have included the comments of Prof. Zinn, fellow progressive journalist Lydia Howell, and others as promotional blurbs for the 120,000-word e-book I co-authored called We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House. Read them at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/ebook.html – and feel free to support the cause.

Woman hoopster makes unpopular stand

Here is an interesting story on a women's college basketball player in New York making a silent protest against US injustice and the horrible treatment she has received from some fans who have harassed her and yelled at her, opponents who have called her a jerk, and others. It's at http://www.nyjournalnews.com/newsroom/022103/a0121protest.html or http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0221-07.htm.
As a former high school and college bball player myself, I know what kind of peer and outside pressure Toni Smith of Manhattanville College is under to conform and salute the flag before games. It takes a lot of courage to make such a stand. If you want to support her right to make such a statement, email lincolnc@mville.edu [her coach's email] president@mville.edu, brooksb@mville.edu, or athletics@mville.edu.

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