In the face of a war in Iraq, it is easy to forget the other war-like policies that are being implemented every day by the current administration. Recently, it was confirmed that the Bush administration plans to expand the reach of the global gag rule by applying it to international assistance in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Administration officials have indicated that it would bar U. S. HIV/AIDS funds to organizations in developing countries that also provide, counsel about, or advocate on behalf of legal abortion.
This is just one more step back for women and families in need of quality healthcare around the world. The administration dubbed their plan a “compromise.“ It is not. The only thing it compromises is women‘s health. The effect -- and intent -- is to cut off HIV/AIDS funds to reproductive health organizations that are known and trusted and best qualified to battle the epidemic.
In developing countries, just as often in the U.S., the same organizations that provide immunizations, maternal and child health care, and family planning services, increasingly provide HIV prevention, counseling, and treatment. Forcing organizations to create an artificial separation between family planning and HIV/AIDS services would mean thousands of missed opportunities to educate people and prevent the spread of the disease.
The impact of this move on women, men and children will be devastating. The administration is holding up money that would provide drugs, prevention education and resources simply because of their personal beliefs about a single issue. They are holding up funds that could save lives.
I urge all of you to call your representatives in Congress and let them know you are outraged that the current administration is playing politics at the cost of lives around the globe.
Kathleen S. Pistono Harbor Springs
Got the message out
Congratulations protestors! You got your message out! Youve been working at it so hard and now its time to reap the benefits.
Today, Iraqi television broadcast your demonstrations from the streets of America. They are reporting that even our own people are against the United States government. You can imagine the joy in the minds of the Iraqi soldiers. It must give them great inspiration to know that the people of America are rising up in protest. It should be a breeze for them to gun down the wicked infidels invading their peace loving country. After all, an army cannot win if they dont have the support of the home front. Yes, tonight there are big smiling faces all over Baghdad. Im sure they believe that soon things will get back to normal there.
Of course there will be the unfortunate task of purging the country of all those people in the southern Iraq who were cheering on national television when the U.S. troops came through. But they should have plenty of ammo left over to deal with them. So sleep tight, youre on your way to victory. I know, I know, you support the troops just not the war. I hate to break it to you People for Peace, but the troops support the war. So if you support the troops, you support the war. The troops are the military arm of our government and of course you dont support our government. So what government do you support? I bet they know in Baghdad.
Tim Burger Petoskey
Shock & Revulsion
The Pope recognizes more than most of us in America the long term repercussions of this division between the Christian and Moslem world, and the horrific crowning shame this attack on Iraq signifies to Moslems around the world. We let Israel burn and bulldoze and kill and ignore UN resolutions for years, but quickly unleash the most horrific devastating weapons on earth for still unproven violations in Iraq.
“Why do they hate us so much?“ Americans ask. Let no one ever, ever ask that question again. Sheltered by the major networks that maximize war-pumping, cheerleading propaganda, the sheer horror of what has been unleashed by this White House escapes most Americans (BUT NOT THE REST OF THE WORLD). This will not be forgotten, and perhaps never forgiven. Our children‘s children will live with the repercussions of this.
The world is in a state of Shock and Revulsion as the Bush Administration follows through on its promise to “Shock and Awe“ the Iraqi people by dropping thousands of bombs and missiles on their capital, a city that is home to 4.5 million human beings. This horrific unprovoked attack on a dense urban area must be understood as one of the extreme terrorist acts of modern times. The hypocrisy of the war against Iraq is extreme: the most powerful military in the world waging first strike war with the most advanced weapons against an impoverished country on the pretext that it someday may possess such weapons.
To the shock of the warmakers, their plans have ignited a world movement of opposition and solidarity. For months this movement has delayed and restrained the war plans for Iraq. Bush and Co. have lost all legitimacy and they are isolated. The people‘s movement has deprived them of the any threadbare claim to legality.
Today our hearts are filled with both anger at the war and sadness for the suffering people of Iraq who are enduring this unprovoked terrorist attack. But sadness and grief should be coupled with a profound understanding that the sudden emergence of a new global movement offers the best and only hope that the U.S. government‘s plans for militarism, war and domination -- the doctrine of endless war -- can and will be overcome.
James Norgaard Petoskey
The Devil War
The towers are falling, where? Iraq! The towers are falling; are we for this? The children cannot sleep. The children cannot eat. The children are afraid. Are we not big and bad? We had them under control with inspectors but that was not good enough. We had to show our might. Do not get me wrong, I am proud of the military, it is the government that controls them I have trouble with.
Save the oil wells. Is it for the oil companies of the USA that they are doing this? Will the people of Iraq get the money from those oil wells? Will the people from this country get the benefit? For it is all our taxes to make this war? The oil companies already have the prices too high. The minimum wages are still $5.15 or less.
Let me see, last month it cast me $600 for heat. At $5.15 per hour how many hour to make the heat for this small two bedroom house? $600 divided by $5.15 = 116.505 hours. What is the light bill? What is the food for the month? Do not forget about the taxes; with that income, they get nothing back. The very little wages to the workers, and no insurance and no retirement.
Let us pray for peace; NOT the Devil war!
Smokin Joe Simone Fife Lake
Flinging of mud
The Reverend Donaldson opens his latest diatribe by accusing me of being a flag-waving member of the great silent majority of Americans who stand shoulder to shoulder with our president in this time of national crisis. For that, I say “Thank you!“ I indeed have a dogmatic pride in being an American.
Then unfortunately his missive deteriorates into chaos. No longer secure in his initial contention that the effort to rid the world of madman Hussein is really all about oil and uncertain of his own understanding of the facts, the Reverend engages a professor from Buffalo to flesh out his anemic anti-war position. What results is a carpet bombing attack against four administrations, against 24 United States corporations, against those “gung-ho, pro-war, flag-sticker-on-the-SUV chicken hawks,“ against Dick Cheney‘s company for rebuilding the Kawaiti oil fields after Desert Storm (the Reverend thought that Saddam had burned his own oil fields) and against various and sundry companies for collaborating with the Nazis.
The only source quoted for any of this body of distorted-half truths and misconceptions is that rabid anti-Semite and former member of the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Robert C. Byrd. When the Reverend accuses our president of destroying 8,000 pages of the 11,800 page Iraqi weapons‘ document in order to save Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from being indicted for war crimes for helping Hussein massacre the Kurds, we have entered a twilight zone where free-floating anger has turned into a palpable hatred of the administration. To believe that Bush could remove 70% of a document that was distributed to countless people from many nations, including the secretary-general of the United Nations, and have no one notice, borders on lunacy.
After all of this rhetorical flinging of mud, the Reverend finally arrives at my starting point when he states that “we need to stop the disease being spread by Hussein and Osama bin Laden.“ Now you‘ve got it! Of course, like most drive-by liberals, who take their pot-shots then duck for cover, no answer as to how this is to be accomplished is provided. Not to worry, even as this is being published, brave men are performing the task.
Francis A. Breen, Jr., M.D. Lake Leelanau