French serve as example of active citizenship

Posted: Friday, June 06, 2003

It has been "de rigueur" among some in our country to dismiss out of hand people who disputed and questioned the sources and validity of the faulty intelligence used as overwhelming justification for a first-strike war against another sovereign nation. Some extended allegations of treason or openly called for boycotts of some nations' products.

Why no suggested boycotts of the American corporations who sold arms, chemicals and technology to Iraq? Why, even after the administration identified Iraq as an enemy of the U.S., did many of these larger political campaign donor corporations continue to trade freely and share business profits with the 'evil doers'? Why do they experience no ill will? Is trading with the enemy not treasonous?

It seems today that there is in fact some question about just what has been, and will continue to be, promoted as truth from our administration. If there is nothing to hide, why is everything a secret?

Didn't Wolfewitz just say that weapons of mass destruction were merely bureaucratically the most "palatable" excuse for war. Remember the site of the very first strike in Baghdad? No less than 40 cruise missile strikes on a secret bunker reported and purported to eliminate Saddam and his immediate family. Our military inspectors on the ground in Baghdad today now state that there are no bunkers in that neighborhood.

Those who disparaged the French, for questioning intelligence used by the Bush administration to "prove" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, may want to revise their view in a little different context.

Our Congress recently introduced and passed into law changes in the way corporations can administer worker pension plans that are especially onerous for those employees who have worked the longest and are at or near retirement age. Those workers will receive much less than previously promised, and this after working many years towards their promised pensions. We, as a people, are largely unresponsive or totally unaware.

The French government recently, merely introduced ideas for changes to pension laws that were detrimental to workers. The result is, in France, national strikes are toda, ongoing.

When might we begin to once again question and refuse to accept what is proscribed to be in our "best interests?"

Paul Zimmerman


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