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War Criminal

Doug Ireland, in his review of Christopher Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger, hit the nail on the head when he cites Cyprus to illustrate "episodes that have received little or no attention" ("Take Him Away," August 20). Most in this country don't want to know, or want to forget, the U.S. role in the events of 1974 that led to the death of some 5,000 to 10,000 people and the violent uprooting of 200,000 on that small island.

Hitchens, however, missed stronger evidence in the House hearings on U.S. foreknowledge of the Greek junta's plans to eliminate Cypriot President Makarios. The summary provided in the declassified portion of the CIA post mortem states: "Intelligence provides explicit warning of growing confrontation. ... Ioannides threatens action against Makarios."

Committee staff gave June 20, 1974 as the date of the warning. On June 27, the head of CIA operations in Greece met with Ioannides, who described his plans, according to an August 1 report in the New York Times. What the U.S. response was to the junta's plans has never been made public.

Anne M. Rice
Great Falls, Virginia

 

British Riots

I would endorse much of David Bacon's article about the riots in Britain ("Divided Kingdom," August 20)--especially arguments that immigration controls are racist and the conclusion that we need more immigration. But there are two ways in which the article doesn't really get to grips with the issues.

First, these riots are not really "race riots"--they are overwhelmingly anti-police riots. The usual story is that small numbers of neo-Nazis, associated with either the National Front or British National Party, deliberately provoke clashes with members of Asian communities in a series of rundown towns and cities, which are marked by high levels of unemployment and poverty. The response by young members of these communities--usually born here in Britain rather than being immigrants--is militant self-defense, which comes into conflict with heavy-handed and often rather stupid policing.

It is true that the Nazis have worked hard to get electoral support from the poor white communities and received significant votes (but nowhere near the scale of the National Front vote in the '70s) in places like Oldham and Burnley. Their fallacious arguments about crime and relative levels of privilege--often helped by the role of the media--have achieved a resonance. However, to give the impression that riots are fundamentally black youths versus white youths is far from accurate.

Second, the disgusting and racist asylum laws and policies that both Labour and Conservative governments have implemented are connected to the level of racism in the country. Both parties seem to unite in denouncing "bogus" asylum seekers and outdo each other in ever more draconian and inhumane measures to deal with the issue. This is a perfect backdrop for the hardline racists and neo-Nazis to spread their poison. But this isn't just an issue about black and white. Many of the targets of this racism are white Europeans--Albanian Kosovars (so recently the victims whose treatment was used to justify the humanitarian bombing of Serbia) in particular.

Matthew Caygill
Leeds, England

 

Stop Star Wars

Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space is wrong when he tells Geov Parrish that Peace Action, the country's largest peace and disarmament organization with more than 76,000 members nationwide, has refused to take a position against Theater Missile Defense (TMD) because of our love of the Democrats ("The Pentagon's Trojan Horse," July 23).

We are opposed to Star Wars missile defense in all its incarnations. We oppose TMD for precisely the reasons stated in the article. Furthermore, as a grassroots citizens movement dedicated to building real, effective opposition to Star Wars, we certainly aren't going to take our cues from Sen. Joe Biden and the Democratic Leadership Council.

With the Bush administration on a crash course to deploy Star Wars, break the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and start a new nuclear arms race, it is crucial that these reckless initiatives be met with our unified opposition. Peace Action's National Congress, to be held in Austin, Texas from November 9 to 11, is titled "The Race to Space: The Renewed Risk of Nuclear War," and has opposition to Star Wars and weapons in space as its major themes. Contact us at (202) 862-9740 or www.peace-action.org if you would like to be part of an effective opposition to Star Wars, weapons in space and a new nuclear arms race.

Scott Lynch
Peace Action
Washington

 

 

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