December Must Reads

Dear Prof. Zinn,

I am an Iraqi citizen who sought refuge here in the U.K. because of the brutality of Saddam’s regime, who, within two years, killed my innocent old father and my youngest brother, who left a wife and three children.

While surfing the net during the past few days of bombarding Iraq, I came across an e-mail message that you sent to someone. (I can’t remember exactly to whom you have sent it.)

I am very happy to see and read such a courageous view of an American citizen, for which please accept my sincere congratulations for pinpointing the truth, which unfortunately cannot be seen by the blind politicians who have been trained to tell lies.

I am writing to you to let you know that during the second day of bombarding Iraq, a cruise missile hit my parents’ house in the suburb of Baghdad, where my mother, my sister-in-law (wife of my deceased brother), and her three children were all killed instantly.

Such a tragedy shocked me to such an extent I lost my tears. I am crying without tears. I wish I could show my eyes and express my severe and painful suffering to every American and British. I wish I could tell my story to those sitting in the American administration, the U.N, and at Number 10 Downing Street. For the sake of Monika and Clinton, my family has to pay this expensive and invaluable cost. I am wondering who will compensate me for my loss. I wish I could go to Iraq to drop some tears on my mother’s grave, who always wanted to see me before her death.

They were talking about achieving their mission from this strike. Yes, they did. They terminated my family: an innocent, 70-year-old woman, a young woman, and three children, all of shom were under 11 years of age. The tragedy they were killed by forces other than those of Saddam, who killed my father and my youngest brother, the husband and father of those who were killed by the American attack. Whom to blame? I wish I have an answer to a lot of questions.

Please convey my story to all those whom you think can still see the truth in their eyes and can hear this tragic story with their ears.

Once again, many congratulations for your courage in telling the truth. With my deepest regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Mohammed Al-Obaidi


Dear Editors:

Can you explain how America’s bombing of Iraq should be viewed as an unwarranted attack and the U.N. sanctions viewed as sadism, when it was Iraq that invaded Kuwait and brutally decimated its own Kurds and Shiites?

I don’t know the numbers, but I don’t think that the bombs dropped on Iraq are in the same category as the weapons they were intended to eliminate. It seems to me that the nuclear and biological weapons putatively being developed by Iraq would be tremendously more destructive than the conventional (I know that word sounds euphemistic) weapons used in the latest attack. Moreover, Saddam Hussein’s history of launching attacks against purely civilian targets (Israel, Iran, Kurds) seems more sinister than an American attack against military targets intentionally located near civilian sites or populated by “human shields.”

I can’t answer whether the American attacks were successful strategically. But I don’t think that they were completely unfounded. Clinton gave Hussein several chances to comply. Instead, Hussein played cat-and-mouse games, hoping that America would feel that any efforts against Iraq would be futile. Shouldn’t some blame for the plight of Iraqis be directed toward Hussein? I don’t see the U.S. attacking other Arab nations without provocation.

What does bother me about the U.S. policy is why airdrops of food and supplies have not been used. It could directly help the Iraqi people, maybe to an extent that would permit the cessation of oil sales. If so, this would cripple Hussein’s resources for funding weapons development.

Despite the tone of this letter, I enjoy reading your alternative news. It is very refreshing to learn the other side of the story. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely yours,

Brian Cilia
Atlanta, GA


Dear MoJo editors:

Thank you for offering a voice of reason during these times of betrayal and surreal twists of events. When I found your site today, it was as though I had finally come up for air. MoJo — and the alternative sites you listed — will help keep me sane and grounded during the next days/weeks/months/years of what I suspect will be ever-spiralling-downward media/press coverage of national and international events. Propaganda is rampant and truth hard to find.

Keep up the good work. Especially during times such as these, you are more important than you can know to like-minded folks such as myself.


Patricia Lay-Dorsey


Impeaching the Commander-in-Chief

This article put into very articulate words what I have been feeling. I just wanted to tell you that this IS not right. We would be outraged if someone even thought to come into our country and bomb our citizens or regulate our country and government affairs. We HAVE been outraged when civilians have been bombed. Oh, how shortly we forget what it feels like to have this disaster done to us when our egos are wounded (or impeached).

Jenn Miller


The President’s Ironic Defense

Congratulations. As a hard-core Libertarian, I’ve been wondering where the hell the left has been on the issues raised in your article “The President’s Ironic Defense.” The milquetoasts in the Democrat party seem to buy the pabulum and crap shoveled out by the Clinton administration while the very freedom, liberty, and justice they used to advocate is under assault. The left’s fear of the big, bad, right-wing bogeyman is so intense that it doesn’t notice the self-inflicted wound it’s suffering from. The sooner this lying scoundrel and his shrew are sent packing, the better.

David H. Godfrey
Walkertown, NC


Good for you, Suzie Larsen.

That was an excellent article. And I was just sitting here trying to put in words what I was going to say to my senator in regards to the impeachment trial. It’s much clearer now. Thanks.


Albert Guidry


The next time you want to write about restriction of rights by administrations, don’t be so quick to forget the appalling record of the immediate predecessors of the Clinton administration. Remember, for instance, a certain past attorney general who stated that Miranda warnings were unnecessary because if the police arrested somebody, that person was certainly guilty.

Do you seriously imagine that Clinton would be able to hang onto support from a Republican Congress if he refused any overtures to the right wing — especially in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing? Or perhaps you’d like to see a Republican returned to the White House to commence serious dismantling of civil rights (and environmental standards, and help for the poor, and the many other areas where Clinton has put the brakes on his predecessors’ damage)?

But because he compromises, you call it ironic that he should seek appropriate defense of his own rights. There is nothing ironic about it: It is not only appropriate, it is minimal, especially after the staggering degree of exposure Starr has had for his charges. And you play into the hands of Republicans who really want revenge on him for taking what, as far as they’re concerned, is their White House.

A. Milne

John Muir Sierrans Respond

Mutiny at the Sierra Club

Dear Editor:

As John Muir Sierrans (JMS) and as members of the Board of Directors for Sierra Club, we take exception to the characterization of us as renegades and power mongers who hope to “take control” of the Board (“Mutiny at the Sierra Club,” November 3, 1998). We are compelled to point out that the strength of the Sierra Club is that it allows for diversity of perspectives and strategies. This diversity is mirrored in the Board, and more broadly is representative of John Muir Sierrans.

While there is conflict at all levels of the Club, there is also cooperation. As a Board we have accomplished a great deal in recent months: ncreasing funding for the Club’s grassroots entities and focusing the Club’s conservation campaigns on four coequal goals. The fact that the Board unanimously voted to support campaigns to end commercial logging on Forest Service land, reduce sprawl, improve water quality and protect watersheds, and conserve wildlands gives us reason for optimism.

There is no inherent conflict between being a John Muir Sierran and being a Club member. Regardless of tactics, John Muir Sierrans are committed to developing cogent and compelling conservation strategies that protect the natural environment and promote social and environmental justice.


Michael Dorsey, Sierra Club BOD and John Muir Sierran
Veronica Eady, Sierra Club BOD and John Muir Sierran
Jennifer Ferenstein, Sierra Club BOD and John Muir Sierran
Betsy Gaines, Sierra Club BOD and John Muir Sierran
Chad Hanson, Sierra Club BOD and John Muir Sierran


MoJo Poll Results: Yanks Love Guns

Snap Poll (week of December 1, 1998)

Regarding your recent poll:

Instant background checks for gun buyers began nationwide yesterday. Meanwhile, the FBI plans to build a national database of gun buyers. Do you think this database would be a violation of privacy, or an effective tool in national gun control (or both)?

The results:

88% A violation of privacy
6% An effective tool
6% Both

Bluntly, you Americans better get your heads out of your asses before it becomes commonplace for every family to have lost at least one loved one to a shooting.

Can somebody down there stop for just one minute, put their gonads on hold, and think about the profound and bitter irony that “the land of the free” has more people behind bars (and on death row) and more handguns per capita than anywhere else on this planet?

While I admire much about the American vision of life (at least in theory), your unbridled neurotic enthusiasm for deadly weaponry ain’t anything to be proud of.

I fear for you all. Good luck.

Brian James