Saturday, June 16, 2007

Same stuff different day

This is a letter to the editor I wrote which was printed in ‘The Sun Herald’, of Biloxi, Mississippi on Sept 16, 1987.

Our country has no right to militarily overthrow the government of any other country simply because we do not agree with their political system.

The conservatives claim that communism, if allowed to exist in Nicaragua, is a threat to the United States. I strongly disagree. The real threat is the existence of conditions which allow communism to grow within third world countries, such as poverty, ignorance, lack of adequate health care and human rights.

Those are the conditions which exist under the rule of right wing dictators. The seeds of Marxism are sown in this environment and gradually grow to maturity. The mistake we make is that once communism rears its ugly head in a country, we support the rightist dictatorship even more, thereby losing the trust and respect of the average citizens in that country.Someone in the United States might say, “How can anyone choose communism over democracy?” But if America supports your leader and you’re living on a dirt floor while your baby is dying and your brother is rotting in prison because he spoke his mind, you might think, “How could communism be any worse than the way I have it now?”

If we wish to stop the rising tide of communism we must stop supporting or tolerating right wing dictators and let the people of the country know this. At the same time we must encourage and help growth in the economy, education and human rights of these countries.

Tyranny and suppression of human rights exists on both extremes of the political spectrum. War is a poor answer to a human problem. Don’t let the militaristic leaders of the conservative party lead you to believe the only road to peace is by the gun. They are wrong. The only road to peace is through human understanding, kindness, and a belief in what a true democracy can accomplish.

Marxism has diminished as the greatest right wing threat, although I do believe it will be resurrected when their attention is drawn to South America. The new greatest threat ever is radical fundamentalist Islam which is morphing into a paranoid dread of all Islam.Now we have neoconservatives, who had their roots among the conservative Republicans way back then in the Reagan administration. They still choose war as the best choice to a human problem.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

Mahatma Gandhi

Maryknoll Sisters

Father Roy Bourgeois founder of the School of the Americas Watch

School of the Americas Watch

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