Larry Kerschner's Letters from Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation

Members Speak Out!

2001 - 2004

"President" Bush Wreaks Havoc. Letter to the Editor, by Larry Kerschner, Fire Mountain Chapter FOR, submitted April 26, 2004

Editor, The Chronicle

After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, President Kennedy said that while victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan he was, in the final analysis, the responsible officer of the U.S. government. During his recent press conference, President Bush could not think of a single mistake for which he was responsible. How about bombing the Afghanistan people into oblivion and then abandoning them to the opium dealers and the warlords? How about his concerted push to geat rid of the U.N. weapons inspectors so that they couldn't say there were no WMDs before 20,000 people including over 800 Americans were killed in Iraq? How about his alienating over 90% of the people of the world by his arrogance and hubris? How about his cutting the budgets for veterans and education while giving billions to the already super-rich? How about his swaggering and smirking "bring it on"? Why after a year of occupation are the hospitals, waste and water treatment plants and electricity plants in Iraq not any better than they were while Saddam was in charge? The Iraqi children are still dying.

Several years ago, in a letter to the Chronicle, I predicted that this George Bush will go down in history as the worst President America has ever had. I have seen nothing in the interim to change my mind. This man lives in a fantasy world. The recent fuss at the 9-11 Commission about a President's Daily Briefing that was presented about six weeks before the terrorist attack raised questions about the preparedness of the President.

The PDB is a collation of information which has usually been reduced to 1-2 pages. Instead of reading these brief documents the President has the Director of the CIA read them and then tell him what they contained. This President may not be stupid but he is intellectually lazy. He allows those around him to do his thinking for him. His reluctance to release the PDBs from the Clinton administration is probably because Clinton read them and made notes on all of them of questions he had and actions he wanted done. In other words, doing the job of the President.

America and the world must not be afflicted by four more years with this man as President.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA


Jesus Never Taught Killing. Letter to the Editor, by Larry Kerschner, Fire Mountain Chapter FOR, submitted April 6, 2004

Editor, The Chronicle

As of today 727 allied troops (including 624 Americans) have died in Iraq. 3466 troops have been wounded. Over 11,000 troops have been medically evacuated from Iraq. Over 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed. Over 8,000 Iraqi troops died in this second Gulf War. According to the U.N., over 500,000 children under the age of five died in Iraq as a result of the sanctions imposed on Iraq between the two Gulf Wars. Over 4000 civilians died in Afghanistan as a result of U.S. bombing. Our country has been involved in a lot of death recently. A lot of death including the 3000 who died in the brutal attack on the Trade Center.

It is said that one in ten Americans have seen the Mel Gibson's depiction of the Passion of Christ. This film focuses on the brutal death of Christ. This Easter week marks the Death of Christ also but more importantly marks the Resurrection of Christ. In the Resurrection of Christ is the defeat of all death. Jesus teaches his followers to love one another as He loved us and to love our enemies. He didn't say that we should defeat our enemies in retribution and then love them.

George Bush claims Jesus Christ as his favorite philosopher. First, I would say, thatChrist was not a philosopher. The rationality of philosophy will not lead you to a love of your enemies. Second, I would suggest that the President should go back to the Bible and actually look at what Jesus taught. An enemy of any nation is not the enemy of God. All members, all members of all nations are children of God. If we look at what Jesus actually taught it will be self-evident that the love which is incarnated in Him and which Christians are called to participate and imitate is a non-violent love towards all - even those we call our enemies.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA


Where's the Compassion in Bush Economic Priorities? Letter to the Editor, the Chronicle, by Larry Kerschner of Fire Mountain FOR, submitted February 3, 2004

Editor The Chronicle,

The 2005 Bush administration budget includes a record staggering deficit of $521 billion. President Bush explains the deficit in terms of the Iraq war, the attack on 9-11 and the recession and wasteful government spending but he doesn't mention the biggest cause of the projected deficit. The Congressional Budget Office shows that at 36% of the deficit the biggest cause is from his tax cuts for his rich corporate sponsors.

Bush blames goverment spending for the deficit but while starving veterans health care, low-income housing, and health care programs of funding, he is pushing more than one trillion dollars in new tax cuts, primarily for the wealthy. The tax cuts will cost $4.6 trillion including increased interest costs if extended over the next ten years.

The usual Republican cant is that government spending for social programs is the cause of fiscal problems but non-security related discretionary spending has only risen from 3.3% of the Gross National Product in 2001 to 3.4% in 2004. However to maintain the out of control spending for the arms merchants and other dogs of war Bush is making severe cuts in programs that effect real peoples lives. Defense contractors including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics all stand to benefit handsomely from the $401 billion military budget.

He claims to be an education President but Bush is underfunding the No Child Left Behind education program by $9.4 billion which is 27% less than authorized by Congress. Bush claims a committment to the U.S. military but he is cutting veterans funding by $13.5 billion over the next five years. He recently announced opposition to a proposal to give National Guard and Reserve troops access to the Pentagon's health insurance system while 20% of Guard members have no health insurance. He proposes cutting $1.5 billion from funding for military housing.

Bush proposes to take away childcare benefits for 350,000 low-and moderate income families by 2009. He eliminates funding for 38 existing education programs including after-school care. This law-and-order President is slashing funding for the Community Oriented Policing program by 94%. He is cutting federal assistance to state and local law enforcement by $1 billion. Bush is proposing to cut funding for programs to reduce violent crime, drug activity, and gang activity in high crime neighborhoods by 30%.

He is cutting the Federal Aviation Administration budget at a time of increased air traffic and heightened concern about terrorism. He is proposing $41 billion for Health Savings Accounts that primarily benefit the healthy and wealthy while cutting funds for the 40 million children and poor adults who rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid. Bush also fails to add an estimated $40-50 billion that the military will need to continue occupying two other countries next year. He plans to come back after the election to ask Congress for that money.

Four different recent studies all came to the same conclusion that if Bush's economic policies prevail over the 10 year period of 2004-2013 slightly more than $5 trillion dollars will be added to the national debt that we and our children and grandchildren will have to pay. So much for the compassionate fiscal conservative.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA


Compassion and The Spirit of Martin Luther King. Letter to the Editor, by Larry Kerschner, Fire Mountain Chapter FOR, submitted Jan 13, 2004

Editor The Chronicle,

Dr. Gabel and others question the patriotism of those of us who have progressive points of view. America would be a pretty sorry place if we were all locked goose stepping to the selfish self-centered tunes that come out of the government these days. We need more heroes these days to help give us a vision of what America could and should be.

Dr. Martin Luther King was an ordinary man who had the extraordinary belief that we are in fact our brother's keepers. He called America to a higher destiny, to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humaneness. His words are maybe even more important today than when he first spoke them. In 1968 shortly before his murder he recognized that the movement for social change had entered a time of temptation to despair as it became clear how deep and systematic the evils that confronted them.

We might recognize this same mood today. Instead of despair he called for programs to bring the social change movement from the early and inadequate protest phase to a stage of massive, active, non-violent resistance to the evils of the modern system. He called for our economy to become more people centered rather than property and profit centered. If he were alive today he would be saying the same things about the current state of American society.

Since he is not alive today those of us who can see the evil being perpetrated must speak up. Dr. King said that our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA


Bush has hurt working people. Letter to the Editor, by Larry Kerschner, Fire Mountain Chapter FOR, submitted December 10, 2003

Editor The Chronicle,

I see that the Chronicle has gotten in lockstep with the Bush claim that the economy has gotten better due to the tax cuts he forced through Congress. After all, the third quarter GDP grew by 8.2%, manufacturing orders are increasing, the stock market is up along with profits and the value of stock options.

Ask yourself though, do you see an improvement in your personal economy? Most people in this country get their income from the labor market, not the stock market. The Dow Jones is up 15% for the year but unemployment is essentially unchanged. More than 3 million private-sector jobs have been lost since Bush took the office. The recent blip in employment was a result of the tax cut and more importantly the huge amount of mortgage refinancing which pumped more than $200 billion into the economy over the previous year. either one of these stimuli will be repeated.

The White House projected that the tax cuts would produce 306,000 new jobs each month. The recent "strong economic growth" has in fact produced 125,000 new jobs for the past 2 months after nine months of job losses.With the continuing 3.4% gain in population there are 150,000 new workers seeking jobs each month.

The first two years following the recession that cost Bush's father his job produced a net gain of 1.4 million jobs. The two previous modern economic recoveries (1982 and 1975) produced 7.2 million and 4.7 million jobs respectively, in their first two years. The first two years of Bush policies has a net loss of 768,000 jobs.

This president claims to be a fiscal conservative but overall spending is up 16% since he took office. The government now spends $20,000 a year for each household in our country. Despite all this spending nine million people are out of work, wages and salaries are down and healthcare costs are increasing at double digit rates.

More than 12 million American children live in poverty. The United States has the highest child-poverty rate of all industrialized countries. Last year 34.6 million people in this country were trying to live below the poverty level. Hunger is increasing. It is estimated that about 33 million people in this country don't know where their next meal is coming from. Pe Ell has a population of around 700 and each month over 70 households come to the food bank for assistance.

Instead of being photographed serving a plastic turkey in Iraq the President should look intently at the real state of this union. His policies promote short term growth and long term damage the results of which fall most harshly on the working middle and low income people like those living in Lewis County. The only recovery going on in this country is in the bank accounts of the President's corporate contibutors. Remember thiswhen you begin hearing the expensive propaganda which will lead up to the next elections.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA

Bush Is a Dismal Failure. Letter to the Editor, by Larry Kerschner, Fire Mountain Chapter FOR, submitted July 8, 2003

Editor, The Chronicle

As of the writing of this letter 75 troops including 6 Brits have died in Iraq since President Bush declared victory. Morale of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq is reported to be at rock bottom. They are surely aware that our Commander-in-Chief's macho comment to the Iraqi dissidents to "bring it on" only makes them more of a target while he sits safe in the White House.

The rest of us are seeing the credibility that the White House once enjoyed erode. According to a recent poll by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes a majority of the public now believe that the administration claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and alleged Al Queda links were not true. Only 32% of the public believe that the administration was "being fully truthful" about weapons of mass destruction.

Three out of four respondents consider the negative image the U.S. has gained internationally under the Bush presidency an issue that needs attention. The public sees the real problem of international terrorism as needing a multilateral approach instead of the unilateral cowboy approach of Bush. Bush's overall job rating has decreased 10% in the past six weeks. People are beginning to see through the lies that come from the White House.

Before pushing his tax cut through the Congress, President Bush claimed that a report by leading economists concluded that the economy would grow by 3.3% in 2003 if his proposals were adopted. There was no such report. When he tried to explain why he turned a $100 billion surplus into a $400 billion deficit he claimed that during the campaign he said he would allow the budget to go deficit in times of war, recession or a national emergency but never imagined that he would hit the "trifecta" of all three.The problem is that it was Al Gore not George Bush who made this statement during the campaign.

The President said to a father of twins, "I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war." The truth is that he was in the Air National Guard and never left the country in pursuit of his duties. These statements from a man who pledged to "restore integrity to the White House."

Meanwhile Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and all their confidantes all remain conspicuously at large. Post-war Iraq is in chaos with no legitimate government in sight. We have refused to let them have elections. The Bush regime change in Afghanistan controls Kabul all the way to the city limits while a resurging Taliban is moving back into the war-lord governed countryside. Although to give the free market it's due the opium crop in Afghanistan is the largest in many years.

Wake up America. We have a coward and a liar in the White House and it's time to be looking at alternatives. Support the troops. Elect a different President.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA


LARRY KERSCHNER of Pe Ell, letter to the "Chronicle," July 16, 2002, on the abridgement of civil rights by the new TERRORISM INFORMATION AND PREVENTION SYSTEM

Loyal Americans, wake up! Where are the liberals who claim to be interested in the welfare of little guy? Where are the conservatives who claim to be interested in protecting individual rights and personal liberties? I heard neither of these voices when J. Edgar Ashcroft and his cronies passed the so-called U.S. Patriot Act through Congress. Next month the Bush administration in the guise of the war on terror is taking another step down the road that George Orwell predicted in his book 1984. The government is seeking to develop a program of American volunteers who are willing to spy on their neighbors under the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. By next month the administration wants to have one million recruits in ten American cities under a pilot program of organized government informants. Assuming the ten largest cities are chosen this would mean that the neighborhood spy program will include about 4% of the population. This is approximately the same percent of the population of East Germany who were "domestic informants" for the Stasi, the now-disbanded East German secret police. This program is aimed at people like letter carriers or utility workers who would have a normal reason to enter your home. Will the government use these volunteers to enter homes to monitor residents and make searches without a warrant thus by-passing the Constitution? Under this program informant reports will be entered into Justice department databases and thus be available to many police agencies without the targeted individual being aware of either the report or its content. If you think this sounds unlikely remember that under the Patriot Act a person's home can be searched and surveillance devices planted without that person ever being informed. The TIPS program will be co-ordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency which was given among other sweeping powers the power of internment. Just think what a wonderfully safe America we will have with every twentieth person acting as the eyes of those in power.


LARRY KERSCHNER, of Pe Ell, WA< letter published in the Colorado Springs Independent in their June 27-July 3 issue, on EFFECTS OF IRAQ SANCTIONS

Jane McBee's June 20th story about her trip to Iraq shows the true story. Iraq is not Saddam Hussein. Iraq is 23 million people, thousands of whom have died each month for the past 11 years of the sanctions. One need not be an apologist for Saddam Hussein to point out the responsibility the United States bears in this situation.

We purposely destroyed the water an waste treatment plants as part of our plan to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq. Defense department documents clearly show we intended to cause the epidemics of disease that have occurred.

Until the sanctions are removed and the deadly water is cleaned the deaths will continue. Sometimes it is not so clear where the axis of evil is.


LARRY KERSCHNER, of Pe Ell, May 6, 2002, letter to the Chronicle, on the Sanctity of All Life including PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

A recent column in the Chronicle by Adele Ferguson saddened but did not surprise me. She called for the murder of Palestinian children in order to force their parents to do the political will of Israel and The United States. I am not surprised at the sentiment because it has been the policy of the United States for some time. This is exactly what the then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was saying to the world when she said that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was "a price we are willing to pay" in order to force the change of the government of Iraq. The 4,000 innocent people, mostly children, who died as a result of our bombing Afghanistan in order to change their government also fall into this category. It might be good to reiterate the definition in U.S. law of terrorism in U.S. Code Title 18-2331. Terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion. This all makes me think of a recent gathering of educators and social workers who met to look at the problems we have in our affluent society. Why do we have children killing children? Why is domestic violence of all kinds rampant? They concluded that the thing most lacking in our society is compassion. Compassion is the ability to have affection and sympathy for another just because they are a human being just like ourselves. It is very difficult to effect the policy and direction of those in power in Washington. It is much more doable to change the policy and direction of our own heart. I would challenge all who read this letter to look into your own heart and seek to decrease hatred, anger and greed and to increase love and compassion for others. This is not an easy practice and cannot be done once for all. It must be a daily practice. If we can increase the total amount of compassion in Lewis County by changing ourselves we can change the direction of the state, the country and the world. This sounds na´ve but it is the core message of all the major religions of the world. Peace be unto you


Dan Smith made the front page of The Daily News of Longview, Saturday April 13, 2002, in Cowlitz County Fellowship of Reconciliation's weekly Peace Demonstration. The Headline read "Patriots for Peace" and the picture by Roger Werth was accompanied by an article by Don Jenkins.

Dan is quoted saying, "This is our flag too. I don't want to give it up. We'll be out here whether there are two people or 20 people. What we're trying to get across is that we consider ourselves patriotic, and patriots can be against the war." Way to go, Cowlitz!!!!

LARRY KERSCHNER of Pe Ell, letter to The Chronicle, April 1, 2002 on IRAQ IS NOT SADDAM HUSSEIN

Adolph Hitler in Mein Kampf said, "The great mass of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one." We hear about the axis of evil. We hear from the media how much of a threat Saddam Hussein is to the rest of the world. We hear that he is just waiting for his chance to kill us all with his Weapons of Mass Destruction. The drums of war are being beaten daily to prepare us for an attack on the people of Iraq. But stop and consider how much of a threat this Madman of the Middle East is. Saddam Hussein and his army had their greatest strength during the 1980s when he was our ally. He was supplied with money and weapons by the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and others. The nerve gas used on the Kurds came from the U.S. At this time the leadership of the army of Iran had been decimated by the coup of the Ayatollah Khomeini. With all his powerful support while fighting an army with poor military leadership the best that Saddam could do in a ten year war with Iran was a draw. His army was able to invade Kuwait which had no defense but it took the allies all of two days to defeat his army. What is his real strength? During the Gulf War we dropped as much ordnance on Iraq as all of the bombs dropped during World War II. This on a country half the size of California. We have been bombing them 2-3 times a week for the last 12 years. Scott Ritter, chief weapons inspector for UNSCOM, has stated that Iraq was free of WMD by 1998. Iraq has no manufacturing infrastructure to build any significant weapons systems. During his recent trip to whip up the dogs of war Vice President Cheney got exactly zero support from the countries in the area who would be the first victims if Saddam did attack. They view him as no significant threat. With all this in mind ask yourself where the real threat is. Which country recently stated that it is seriously planning the use of "small" nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries? We have picked Nizar al-Khazraji to replace Saddam when we "take him out". Al-Khazraji was the commander of the Iraqi army who is being investigated for the war crime of ordering the poison gas attacks that killed 5,000 Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988. We are moving our central command from Saudi Arabia to Qatar because the Saudis oppose our planned action against Iraq. We have sent the Army 3d Division to Kuwait. President Bush has clearly made up his mind to attack Iraq no matter what any one else thinks. When you listen to the propaganda whipping up war fever remember that Iraq is 22 million people just like you and me. Iraq is not Saddam Hussein.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell



Editor, The Chronicle:

As we are enjoying our Valentine's chocolates it might be good to take a look at how that chocolate comes to us. 43% of the world's cocoa beans, the raw material for chocolate, comes from scattered farms in the poor West African country of Ivory Coast. And on some of the farms, the work of clearing the fields and harvesting is done by boys as young as nine who have been sold or tricked into slavery. The lucky ones live on corn paste and bananas. The unlucky ones are whipped, beaten and broken like horses to harvest the beans which are made into chocolate treats for Europe and America. Americans spend $13 billion a year on chocolate. In the first three months of this year 47,000 tons of the beans from Ivory Coast were shipped through Philadelphia and Brooklyn. From these ports the beans go to cocoa processors such as ADM Cocoa and Nestle USA. By the time the beans reach to processors the beans picked by the slaves are mixed with the beans harvested by free field hands so there is no way to know which chocolate coming from the large manufacturers taste of slavery and which are free. The Chocolate Manufacturers Association, a trade group for American chocolate makers, acknowledges that slaves are harvesting cocoa on some Ivory Coast farms. The U.S State Department's 2000 human rights report concluded that some 15,000 children between the ages of 9 and 12 have been sold into forced slavery on cotton, coffee and cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast in recent years. It is possible to buy slave-labor free and fair trade certified cocoa and chocolate. If you are interested in learning more look at <> . Enjoy your candies.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell, WA



Editor, The Chronicle:

To help understand why September 11 happened we need to know how the rest of the world sees America. Are we seen as the good guys with pure intentions or as something else? In a recent poll influential leaders in business, government, media and culture in 24 countries around the world, 58% felt that U.S. policies and actions were a "major cause" of the September 11 attack. These are American allies not Vietnamese villagers or Arab anarchists. Asked if America over-reacted to the terrorist attack 42% agreed.

What does the rest of the world see when they look at us if our friends see us this way? Some of what they have seen recently is that in December 2001 the U.S unilaterally withdrew from the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty. They now see the Bush administration making preparations to resume nuclear testing. They saw the U.S. walk out of the July 2001 conference in London designed to strengthen the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

They saw the U.S. as the only nation opposing the UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Small Arms. They saw the U.S. opposing the International Criminal Court Treaty to be set up to try political leaders and military personnel charged with War Crimes. They saw the U.S. in December 1997 refuse to sign the International Land Mine Treaty. They saw the Bush Administration repudiate the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 for controlling global warning. They saw our Secretary of State on national TV state that the death of 500,000 children in Iraq was an appropriate price to pay.

In May 2001. They saw the U.S. refuse to meet with European Union nations to discuss economic espionage and electronic surveillance of phone calls, e-mails and faxes such as the FBI now uses on American citizens. They saw the U.S. refuse to join123 other nations pledged to ban the use and production of antipersonnel bombs and mines. In September 2001, they saw the U.S. withdraw from the International Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. In July 2001 the U.S. was the only G-8 nation to oppose the International plan for Cleaner Energy.

They see that 90% of the world's executions last year were carried out by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, China and Iran. They see the United States giving only 0.1% of its GNP in aid to less fortunate countries. They see half of the world's inhabitants in poverty surviving on less than $2.00 a day and millions without jobs, adequate food or clean water. They see the U.S. using its great power to make the world safe for the oil companies. What must they think when Bush appoints a Unocal oil company adviser as our envoy to Afghanistan?

We can and must stop giving this type of aid and comfort to our enemies. We can change our political policies to show the world the big heart and compassion that is the true face of America. It is in our own best interests to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA

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Editor, The Chronicle

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated 33 years ago for his stands on militarism, poverty, racism and justice. As a nation we should look again at his proposals concerning the choice between chaos and community. September 11 makes clear that our choices so far have lead to chaos rather than community. Some of his suggestions are listed in the last chapter of Dr. King's last book "The World House". Among his proposals are: 1) end domestic poverty with a living wage and a guaranteed minimal annual income for all American families; 2) begin to eradicate global poverty with a Marshall Plan in which wealthy nations contribute 2% of their GNP; 3) examine the use of non-violent direct action at the international level as an alternative to war; 4) strengthen the United Nations; 5) stand on the side of racial and economic justice in foreign and domestic policies; 6) acknowledge the unjust transnational corporate practices concerning labor and the environment; 7) reduce our weapons of mass destruction; 8) bridge the gap between our scientific and technological progress and our moral progress; 9) reject excessive materialism and the moral and spiritual bankruptcy which results; 10) move from nation-state thinking to loyalty to humankind as a whole. In a speech Dr. King gave on April 4, 1967 he said," I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution in values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. We still have a choice today; non-violent coexistence or violent co-annihilation". If Martin Luther King, Jr. was still alive today he would likely be leading the opposition to the war in Afghanistan and he would probably be charged as a terrorist under the new Patriot Act of 2001.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell, WA



Dec 19, 2001

To The Editor, The Chronicle

The situation for the Palestinian people is verging on a humanitarian crisis. The entire Palestinian population of 3.2 million is currently under the worst siege in their entire history. People are unable to move between villages and towns and goods cannot be transported. Large portions of many cities and towns are under 24 hour, or dusk-to-dawn curfews with tanks and armored personnel carriers sit in the streets outside of Palestinian homes. A shortage of supplies including gas and food is reported in many areas. Sewage and garbage remains uncollected precipitating a public health crisis. Immunizations for common childhood diseases are becoming unavailable as the primary health system is paralyzed making epidemics likely. Patients in need of kidney dialysis and cancer treatment cannot receive it. At least 30 Palestinians have died after being denied access to medical care. Numerous women have given birth at Israeli military blockades. Most schools and universities are not functioning. More than 50% of the population is unemployed and many who would be employed are not allowed to get to their places of work. Heavily armed Israeli soldiers arbitrarily occupy Palestinian homes. Israeli soldiers commonly make armed raids into areas under Palestinian Authority shooting people in their homes. Palestinians are being punished through a combination of military occupation, aggression and siege. During the past 14 months the Israeli army has killed 924 Palestinians and 25,000 others have been injured with 2,000 being permanently disabled. If you want more information call Dr. Mustafa Bargouth at 97250254218. This Israeli oppression is supported by $3-8 billion of your taxes every year. Write or call your representatives in Congress asking that they bring pressure on the Israeli government to return to the peace table before this humanitarian crisis truly becomes epidemic. Violence only begets more violence.

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA


Monday, December 10, 2001

Editor, The Chronicle

According to CNN between 3500-4000 innocent Americans died in the September 11 attacks. According to Marc Herold, Professor of Economics, International Relations, and Women's Studies at the University of New Hampshire, between 3500-4000 innocent civilians have been killed in Afghanistan by U.S. bombs. Data from his study will be available at Can we not call it even and stop the killing of innocents in the spirit of this Christmas season?

Larry Kerschner, Pe Ell WA 98572