Letters to MotherJones.com

The Legacy of War
Re: “A Toxic Burden”
06/24/02

It is unfortunate that the by-products of war extend far past the actual wars, with survivors bearing the brunt of the after effects. Unexploded munitions such as land-mines only receive lip service, and Vietnam will not be fully rid of Agent Orange for centuries to come. As Dr. Dwernychuk points out, the bureaucratic process will result in long-term delays before active steps are taken to help the innocent who are affected.

Gord Stromberg

 

Cleaning Our Mess
Re: “A Toxic Burden”
06/24/02

Were the Vietnamese people the intended target of Agent Orange? If they were not, the U.S. government needs to take action in order to minimize future harm. Think of WWI, in which the victors humiliated the losers, as opposed to WWII, where the Marshall Plan was used to rebuild nations that the U.S. had assisted in destroying. Think of Afghanistan, where the U.S. deserted a country ravaged by a war. Would a terrorist organization have been able to take root in a country thankful to the United States for providing a few billion dollars so that it might build schools, roads, and other needed infrastructure?

There is no way to predict the actual course of future events, but it is better to treat others as friends and neighbors rather than as enemies if one wishes to live in peace in an ever closer-knit world. The Vietnamese government must spend money to make the land safe for people to live on. The U.S. government should provide some of that money not only because it is responsible for poisoning the land but also as a way of sending a message to the people of Vietnam and the world as a whole: We all share this planet and we must all be involved in the process of maintaining it into the future. No government may rightfully absolve itself of that responsibility.

James Kulig

 

Gay Shame Protest in Action
Re: “A Question of Pride”
06/28/02

I took part in a Gay Shame protest yesterday. We showed up on the parade route with signs and banners protesting the sell out of our gay identities. We also set up a Bud Light “Vomitorium,” where we encouraged folks to vomit up the cosumerism of gay pride.

I am shocked and saddened that one of the most important human rights movements of our time has turned into a stage for consumerism. I for one, am not willing to turn over my pride to the likes of Bud Light. Where were Bud Light and the other corporate sponsors 30 years ago? Companies that would otherwise have nothing to do with the gay community are hopping on the bandwagon now because they see us as valuable consumers. In the name of money, a movement has become a market.

Ashamed,

Michelle Walsh