COLUMN SEVENTY-SIX, OCTOBER 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 Al Aronowitz)
LETTER TO OUR UNELECTED PRESIDENT
[Allan D. Winans is a graduate of San Francisco State College (now University). He is the former editor and publisher of Second Coming Magazine/Press, and is a member of PEN and the Academy of American Poets. An alternative press activist, Winans worked for five years as an editor and writer for the San Francisco Arts Commission under the federally-funded Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA).
In 1995,. Winans took an early retirement from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, where he was employed as an Equal Opportunity Specialist, investigating claims of discrimination against minorities, women, and the disabled.
Winans was born in and currently resides in San Francisco. He shares poet Jack Spicer's philosophy that poetry is "a foreign agent, a parasite that invades the poet's language and expresses what it wants to say.”]
San Francisco, Ca 94131
I am writing to
urge you to call off your planned invasion of Iraq, and to respect our
Constitution, which our forefathers fought so hard for.
agree that Iraq's longtime dictator, Saddam Hussein, is a bully and a murderer,
but that does not distinguish him from many other dictators, many of whom this
country supported when it was in our best interests to do so.
I write this
with great hesitation because Attorney General Ashcroft will no doubt put me on
an "enemy of the State" list. He
has already been quoted as being in favor of setting up camps for those he sees
as a threat to this country. I
served in the military and worked for the Government for many years, beginning
with Naval Intelligence and ending with the U.S. Department of Education, Office
for Civil Rights. I would fight for
this country, were it to become necessary, but I cannot support our attacking
another country because we "think" it might pose a threat to us.
I urge you to
listen to the "wise" voices who served in the cabinet (or consultants)
of your father. They have said over
and over again, as have a good number of Republicans in both the House and
Senate, that invading Iraq would not be in the best interests of this country.
country needs most at the present time is to put the economy back on track, and
not to start another war; a war that will almost certainly result in thousands
of U.S. casualties; a war that will cost us billions of dollars and alienate our
allies in Europe and the Middle East. Would
not such an ill-advised adventure also further dim the prospects of peace
between Israel and the Palestinians? And
if Hussein had his back against the wall, and actually has weapons of mass
destruction, he would have no reason not to use them on both Israel and our
ground troops sent to fight him.
which has to my knowledge not been discussed is the additional costs associated
with those who are wounded fighting another war.
The VA is already proposing plans to shut down many VA hospitals across
the country, and there are a large number of veterans who cannot receive
services, or who have long waits to be served by the VA, even though many of
them fought in wars to keep this country free.
retirees with varying degrees of disability cannot even draw their military
pensions and VA disability at the same time, without waiving their rights to one
or the other. It has been reported
that your advisors do not want you to sign the concurrent receipt bill.
And yet we see our country preparing to go to war and add additional
veterans to the already over crowded facilities.
invading Iraq will not lessen the threat of terrorism against the United States,
and may actually increase it. No compelling evidence has been produced that
links Iraq to the September 11 attacks, and a U.S. war against Iraq could incite
stronger support for Al Qaeda across the Arab and Muslim worlds.
I ask you to
seriously reconsider your position on this matter and to heed the warning of
many high-ranking members of your own party, as well as those outside your
I am an
Independent voter, but I have Republican friends, and one of them wrote me last
week saying he was going to vote Democratic the next election because of the
course this administration has taken.
We should not
invade Iraq, if for no other reason than it is not the morally right thing to
do. It never ceases to amaze me
that the war hawks (often referred to as Chicken Hawks) calling for war, are
almost entirely made up of men who have never been to war, and many of whom who
used their position or influence to evade service in the military altogether.
urge you to reconsider your position on this matter
Allan Winans ##
CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMN SEVENTY-SIX
CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMNS
Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address:
THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ