A Higher Bar
In “The Governing Gap” [March 20/27], Chris Lehmann considers why public opinion hasn’t caught up with Joe Biden’s economic achievements. Any president who would veto Medicare for All, stopped a proposal to give paid sick leave to rail workers, and doesn’t push for a negotiated settlement in Ukraine needs more negative—not positive—PR. We know Biden is better than Donald Trump and the Republicans, but that’s not good enough.
Impeding Our War Machine
“Why Protest Matters,” by David Cortright [February 20/27], started out with an anti-war message, but then it turned out not to be really anti-war at all, at least when it comes to Ukraine. What is needed now is an immediate cease-fire, not protracted negotiations that may lead nowhere as the death toll and destruction continue to mount. While Putin certainly bears responsibility for starting the war, the US provoked Russia over many years. Both sides are at fault in this conflict, which much more closely resembles a pointless World War I stalemate than World War II. Without a permanent cease-fire in place, followed by negotiations that do not assign blame, this war could easily go nuclear.
“Why Protest Matters” raised the question for me of whether a peace movement can arise that is capable of impeding our mighty war machine. According to Cortright, the George W. Bush regime won public support for the Iraq War by falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But when it emerged that WMDs were a deception, Cortright reminds us, public support for the invasion “began to erode.” The lesson we need to learn from this experience is that it’s hard for a peace movement to win adherents until the public begins to realize it’s been deceived. However we interpret the painful picture in Ukraine, a peace movement can only hope to recruit people when it rips away the curtain of deceit that typically covers up our country’s countless armed interventions and that now hides our country’s role in fueling the war in Ukraine.
delray beach, fla.
“The Empire Returns,” by Walden Bello [March 20/27], included a photo caption that misidentified Navy Shore Patrol personnel as officers.
“Heavy Is the Head,” by Gary Younge [February 6/13], included references to George V; these should have been to George VI. It also incorrectly referred to the fifth season of The Crown as its final one.
“The Experiment,” by David A. Bell [November 28/December 5, 2022], inaccurately referred to members of the POUM during the Spanish Civil War as anarchists. The Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista was a revolutionary Marxist party, not an anarchist group. The major anarchist organization was the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo.