If We Only Had 100 Elizabeth Warrens…
E.J. Graff’s “Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?” [April 23] was well researched and informative. I have been watching that race for clues about how the hack-versus-reformer split will play out. All the evidence supports Warren as a reform candidate. She fits in with Jimmy Carter, Paul Wellstone, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, etc.
I expect to see every hack, Republican or Democrat, working to keep her out of power. Scott Brown gives evidence of being a gifted, disciplined, hard-working hack, self-interested and a team player. Brown poses no threat to power. If my twelve years of Democratic Party activism have any predictive value, we should see most of the Democratic establishment giving lukewarm endorsements, withholding support, infiltrating the campaign, making sure the candidate is double booked and that campaign materials are not printed on time. If Warren was going to receive establishment support, it would have shown up to make her head of the Consumer Protection Bureau. If she wins, can they redistrict her out of office?
New York City
Massachusetts voters are fortunate to have the chance to vote for Elizabeth Warren, whose outspokenness, independence and fierce determination make her one of the great women of our time, and whose record in Washington has earned her the admiration of Americans around the country. The GOP is so afraid of her, it prevented her from being named head of the Consumer Protection Bureau, which she created.
…and 100 Jonathan Schells
In more than five decades of reading The Nation, I have never felt compelled to write a letter to the editor. Jonathan Schell’s passionate yet deliberative, incisive and indispensable “Thinking the Unthinkable” [April 23] changed that. Nothing is more important to those now alive and to posterity than the eradication of the nuclear option, and time is running very short. When President Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, even those of us holding him in high and hopeful esteem viewed it as premature, a pronouncement on his promise rather than a reward for achievement. If, before he leaves office, Obama can craft the basis—as Schell specifies, “not a vision but a plan”—for eliminating the nuclear threat, he will have indisputably earned the prize, for all of us.
Jonathan Schell makes a strong, excellent case for not bombing Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. I would add that Iran bought 116 kilograms (kg) of 20 percent enriched uranium from Argentina and has been enriching to 20 percent internally. It takes only 50 kg of 20 percent uranium to go “prompt critical,” a condition for a weapon, and the design of a “gun type” nuclear weapon is in the open literature (see The New Yorker, December 15, 2008). Therefore, bombing the centrifuges is no deterrent and not worth starting a war.
Iranian foreign minister Ali Sakehi has stated that nuclear weapons are “illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin.” An unnecessary war would be a greater sin.