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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I don't know whether these wars are justified or not, whether our nation is really being threatened. But I can assure you of one thing: stop the wars and the campaign money from the defense industry will dry up.

Am I cynical enough to believe that our politicians are willing to keep a war going just so defense funds keep coming in? Absolutely. They are willing to keep a defective healthcare system that kills people in the US, why would they be more timid with soldiers and citizens in other countries?

Jack Lohman

Colgate, WI

Mar 10 2010 - 2:04pm

Web Letter

UFPJ's demise is much exaggerated in Tom Hayden's article. Certainly UFPJ does not play the role it did at the height of the Iraq War, but it continues to exist and to mobilize its member groups against the Afghanistan War. We are joining with PDA to build the monthly series of brown-bag lunch vigils; we worked with AFSC on the 1000th Death observances last month; and we continue to notify our members to intervene in Congressional developments. UFPJ is also a key player in building the nuclear abolition events in New York City on April 30-May 2, and we are exploring opportunities to expand our work against the military budget. UFPJ's demise is much exaggerated in Tom Hayden's article. Certainly UFPJ does not play the role it did at the height of the Iraq War, but it continues to exist and to mobilize its member groups against the Afghanistan War. We are joining with PDA to build the monthly series of brown-bag lunch vigils; we worked with AFSC on the 1000th Death observances last month; and we continue to notify our members to intervene in Congressional developments. UFPJ is also a key player in building the nuclear abolition events in NYC on April 30-May 2, and we are exploring opportunities to expand our work against the military budget.

After a discussion period, UFPJ evaluated whether to dissolve but voted last month to continue. We face reduced donations and participation, but we still have about 300 active local groups, and with better management, we expect to pay off our debts and rebuild our ability to energize the peace movement. But that does not mean the movement will be able to mount significant national peace demonstrations in the upcoming period.

There are political reasons why energy has moved from peace issues. Compared to just trashing everything Bush did, it requires more political sophistication to support Obama against the right while struggling against his centrist policies from the left, and our base is still figuring out how this is going to work. Also, survival issues of jobs, foreclosure, healthcare and economic crisis have understandably taken center stage in many people's minds and reduced attention on war and peace issues, especially as the withdrawal from Iraq is proceeding. So UFPJ will continue to join Hayden and The Nation in challenging Obama's war policies as assertively as we can, but we are in a new period.

Cole Harrison

Roslindale, MA

Mar 9 2010 - 9:53am

Web Letter

The proper way to withdraw from Afghanistan is the measured, steady way in which we are doing so with Bush's Iraq strategy. Considering that the same war contains the other front in nuclear-armed Pakistan with 183 million people, the future danger we would face from "unfinished business" is immenee. Premature withdrawal is likely to be the most costly possible option in both money and blood. Also, it appears that some people really do not care that the Taliban is still attacking little schoolgirls with battery acid in the eyes!

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Mar 8 2010 - 7:04pm