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The Wars of Sudan

It is time for action; all the awareness-raising in the world is not saving lives. It is time for action that results in protection of the innocent from brutal raids by the Janjaweed militias.

The so-called "Peace Treaty" signed last year did not make any change in the situation on the ground. All it did was give an excuse to Bush and other world leaders to continue to let the genocide continue.

Ole Marindahl

Washington, , DC

Mar 9 2007 - 6:58pm

Who's Afraid of Gardasil?

Can you imagine a vaccine to prevent prostate cancer? That would be a welcome scientific breakthrough. But what if it were determined that prostate cancer was caused by a sexually transmitted virus? Would we be engaging in a national debate about the promiscuity of men and whether or not they "deserve" prostate cancer? Would Bob Dole or Rudy Guiliani become the "poster children" for men who deserve what they got because of their past behavior?

For critics of Gardasil who cite "lifestyle choice" as a reason to oppose the cervical cancer vaccine (which immunizes the recipient against four strains of the sexually-transmitted Human Papilloma Virus that can cause cervical cancer), I would suggest there is a long list of illnesses that we treat at taxpayer expense related to lifestyle choice.

In fact, the list is virtually endless. Heart disease and high cholesterol can be caused by poor diet. A choice. Skin cancer can be caused by overexposure to the sun and failure to wear sunscreen. A choice. Lung cancer, emphysema, complications from obesity or diabetes...linked to personal choices.

Men carry the Human Papilloma Virus at the same rate as women. Most men will never know they carry it and will never develop a single symptom. Women however can develop cervical cancer from the virus and a number of other complications which can be painful, life-altering or fatal. Women, therefore, need to speak out to protect their health and their lives. This is about health, not sex.

The same cultural conservatives who oppose abortion claim they are only trying to "save lives" not "control women." Here is their opportunity to save lives. Support Gardasil. Unless, of course, it's all really about controlling women.

Kim Stanley

South Riding, Virginia

Mar 9 2007 - 5:01pm

Cheney on Trial

What angers me is that Fitzgerald can say that Vice President is under a "cloud" but then announce that his investigation of the entire matter is complete.

I heard a pundit recently say that Cheney shouldn't be impeached because none of the lies he said in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq was spoken under oath. All that means is that Congress needs to sub poena him and question him under oath. He will either admit that he was lying (yeah, right!), or he will continue lying, either by reaffirming the content of known untruths (about the bogus connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, for example) or by denying that he made those statements. It seems to me that either way, he will have committed an impeachable offense.

Joseph C. Welling

St. Louis, Missouri

Mar 9 2007 - 2:46pm

Liberalism's Lost Libretto

Bakunin as a neocon? Thats a bit much, isn't it? Bakunin's polemical style may leaves something to be desired, but his consistent opposition to power and domination make him quite distinct from the Bush crowd. He certainly wouldn't have invaded a country in order to establish military bases there.

Bruce Barnhart

Greensboro, NC

Mar 9 2007 - 1:23pm

Walter Reed Scandal: How Mainstream Media Let Us Down

Before everyone pats themselves on the back for their own sensitivity to these issues, or blames "the mainstream media" for its own lack of compassion, try asking some of the 2,500,000+ Viet Nam veterans--and their families--about all this. These problems go back 40+ years, but we weren't a popular cause. Never were, never have been, never will be. Best pretend we never happened. So no reporters of ANY sort had any interest.

This nation--including most of your readers and yourselves--has a great deal to answer for. Exposing it a now is a good thing and our current crop of wounded warriors certainly deserves to be treated with utomost honor and respect. We have had more Viet Nam veterans "suicide out" than we have listed on The Wall--primarily due to lack of support, concern etc. upon "coming home" (which few of us have ever actually done).

I am not whining--much too old to think anyone would give a rat's patoot at this late stage--and I don't think we were or are much different from our grandfathers returning from WWI. However, the country shows no sign of ever realizing that responsibility for all of those they send does not end with the signing of some "peace" or "armistice" document. Nor does "support our troops" entail simply waving a flag sporadically or buying decals for the back of a minivan or SUV.

J Douglas Britton

Madison, WS

Mar 9 2007 - 1:14pm

The Care Crisis

This article validated all the feelings I've had about my own life. I am a lower-middle-class white woman. I have an art degree and have worked since I was 14. At age 33, I still do not feel financially secure enough to start a family because my overall financial situation (employment, health, mortgage, retirement) seems too precarious. Ruth Rosen's assertion that this is not a personal problem, but a national policy problem really resonated. I knew some European countries offered national healthcare to their citizens and mandatory vacation days, but I had no idea just how low the U.S. rated in maternity leave. It's appalling!

My question is: How do we get these Care Crisis issues on the 2008 candidates' platforms? I'm in the process of writing letters to various offices, but don't feel like it's going to accomplish much. The irony of the situatio is that the very people who could benefit from this are too busy to organize!

Knowing my country had policies in place to catch me if I (or a family member) fall would take away some of the risks of starting a family. Otherwise, I don't want to start something I might not be able to uphold.

Jill Hocking

Phoenixville, PA

Mar 9 2007 - 1:03pm

Walter Reed Scandal: How Mainstream Media Let Us Down

Yes, as the last paragraph states,"it would have been far better if the Walter Reed story had exploded two or three years ago." But you have to take into consideration that two or three years ago the Oval Office, Congress and Senate were Republican-controlled and we all know that Republicans are stupid and do not read.

Rodney Wallace

Denver, CO

Mar 9 2007 - 12:56pm

Who's Afraid of Gardasil?

I am puzzled by the author's obvious support for this untested (except by the Merck Corporation) vaccine.

While The Nation has traditionally taken what coporate America has to say with an enormous grain of salt, somehow vaccines are treated as a sacred cow when it comes to ignoring the plethora of reliable opposing research which has been available for decades that puts the lie to the vaccine manufacturer's claims about their products.

By the government's own accounting, most of the diseases which past vaccines were supposedly designed to fight were statistically dead in the United States before the corresponding vaccine was created to "cure" it. While it is obvious that this virus does not fall into this category, everyone, especially writers for your publication, should be very wary of any claims these manufacturers make, especially in light of the fact that there is no public or private agency which does any testing or verification of these grand claims.

In the past Merck has been guilty of excluding unfavorable data and hand-picking favorable results from their studies on vaccines. This from former members of the FDA as well as former employees involved with the development of them--not crazed libertarian-style or fundamentalist Christian critics.

William Berkemeyer

Richmond, VA

Mar 9 2007 - 11:49am

Senator Inevitable

These thoughts are on target but I think we are still only in the early stages of realizing how strong a candidate Obama is. It may more his strengths than her weaknesses.

On the Democratic side, it is Obama driving the dynamics of the race: Bayh, Warner and Vilsack out; early HRC announcement; Edwards marginalized; significant and growing grass roots excitement 10 months out; forcing HRC to use her best cards early- Bill and the specific appeal to women voters; inevitability strategy already lost.

He is also hard to attack with any resonance. He or his campaign could screw up but there is no evidence that this might happen. The trajectory of this campaign from not running in mid 2006 to now only about 10 points behind the formidable Clintons is amazing.

Michael Boehm

San Francisco, CA

Mar 9 2007 - 5:51am

Cheney on Trial

The NIE was not declassified in full, because the Senate Intelligence Committee dissent of David Rockefeller was being restricted, to the point he wrote internal letters over the matter.

Bush and Cheney thus lied to Congress about the nature of intelligence documents classification. The intelligence they pushed was itself false. Also, by the law's letter they are forbidden to selectively present the information to Congress while telling journalists about it without full disclosure and transparency.

It is an impeachable offense to present false evidence to Congress. You cannot retroactively declassify/classify. You cannot claim both apply to the same material, the method of disclosure employed is in effect a line item veto, which is also unconstitutional.

Cheney's extraconstitutional use of power through a vague negative construct of the Vice President's power restraints, which are fully worded toward the President, is yet another doctrine of tyranny. Unless his powers are expressly worded in grant he cannot assume them in any manner even with the approval of the Chief Executive if one applied the same argument literally.

The Ninth Amendment does not make the Vice President the final arbiter of law, the body of public opinion does that through elected delegates of the Congress, "or to the People."

It's quite clear that tacit grant of express law applies towards government authority, and the broad swath of individual rights are retained by vague, expanding applications of Liberty.

Chris Murphy

Blytheville, AR

Mar 9 2007 - 2:53am