Friday, October 01, 2004

 

Editor, The Chronicle

 

     During the first so-called Presidential debate Sen. Kerry was clearly better prepared and in command.  The President was defensive and clearly had little to say outside of a few impotently repeated refrains.   Limiting their debate to Iraq and North Korea they both ignored areas of importance to the U.S. 

     There was no mention of the 3,000 Haitians who have been murdered by the thugs we installed after abducting the elected President of Haiti.  There was no mention of the daily killings of Palestinians by Israelis; nor of the killing of Israelis by Palestinians. 

      They both agreed that the greatest threat to the U.S. is proliferation of nuclear weapons.  While I agree this is a grave threat, they might have mentioned the fact that on September 20 a young mother in Thailand died from a virus (H5N1) which she contracted from her dying child.  H5N1 is the so-called “avian flu”.  This was the first human-to-human transmission of this particular virus. 

      This may be a serious threat because the bird-to-human form has had a 70% lethality rate.  H1N1, which was the avian flu of the infamous 1918-19 pandemic had a lethality rate of 5%.  Between 50-100 million people died around the world from that virus.  It would seem that H5N1 might be considered a grave threat along with stray nuclear materials.  A prototype H5N1 vaccine is being developed but won’t be available for public use for some time. 

       But back to Iraq where the President continues to claim steady progress.  Progress for who?  Haliburton?  The recently released report from the Defense Science Board, a panel of advisors to the Defense Secretary, states that the “inadequate total numbers” of troops means that the U.S. can “not sustain our current and projected global stabilization commitments”.

        President Bush kept saying that Sen. Kerry accuses him of  being in “the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time”.  Sen. Kerry denied saying this but I think that it describes things perfectly.  We invaded a country 10% our size which was no threat to us but which has huge oil reserves.  We killed over 14,000 Iraqi civilians, imprisoned tens of thousands, most without cause, and permitted a pattern of torture and abuse.  We took control of their oil, wrote their ‘new’ constitution, appointed their leaders, allowed no opposing views and are in the process of building several large permanent military occupation bases.  No wonder there were no flowers and candy to greet our troops.

       The President claims a coalition of supportive nations but Costa Rica, the Philippines, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Norway, Thailand and New Zealand troops have left or plan to leave Iraq soon.  Singapore has only 33 troops left and Moldovan forces have dwindled to twelve. 

     The 1197 U.S. and coalition troops who have died thus far in Iraq may disagree with Mr. Bush’s assessment of progress.  I look forward to the next ‘debate’ when Mr. Bush will try to defend his domestic programs. 

 

Larry Kerschner  POB 397  Pe Ell WA 98572