Sunday, November 13, 2005

Two letters to the editor (San Jose Mercury News) forwarded to us from South Bay Mobilization.

Subject:     To the Editor
Sent:        11/12/05 9:12 AM

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputy Terrance Helm said "only a handful of people had been holding evening vigils outside the Flint Center during Powell's talks." Not so! I was there demonstrating all three nights along with 100-150 other local residents, college faculty, students, and folks from Camp Casey, who included a Gold Star Mother, war veterans, retired military members, and a mother whose soldier son is deployed in Iraq. Far more than "a handful" took turns at the microphone explaining why they are opposed to the war in Iraq and the pivotal role that then Secretary of State Colin Powell played in convincing some people that the war was justified, that Iraq was an imminent threat due to it's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. We now know that the "intelligence" was "cooked" and all of his so-called multi-media evidence presented before the United Nations was false.

On Wednesday morning Students for Justice hosted a program called Voices from Camp Casey in which eleven people who participated in Camp Casey (Crawford, TX) presented talks and videos. These speakers included two Gold Star Mothers: Cindy Sheehan and Mountain View resident Karen Meredith. About 150-200 people attended that event. On Thursday afternoon a War Crimes Tribunal featuring talks by six experts on the history of tribunals and Colin Powell's war record, going back to his coverup of the My Lai massacre. Speaking at both events was Ann Wright, a former Army officer and diplomat who handed Powell her resignation over the 2003 decision to invade Iraq.

All of the De Anza College events surrounding Powell's visit involved many people representing the majority of Americans who are opposed to the war in Iraq and want the troops home!

Deborah Jamison


I was horrified by Powell's speech last night.  While the world is left  in a violent state of tragedy due to Powell's more-than-minor missteps, he does a stand up routine on the joys of retirement of a wealthy Palo Alto Venture Capitalist to a crowd of exactly that type of folk.

They  even thought Tom Wolfe was funny as the series emcee repeated the "joke" that visiting KMart is a cure for depression because "you will be the best looking person there - and the richest".  Tom Wolfe should have "researched" his last book at De Anza instead of Stanford because there is now more than a single generation gap between him and the student body outside the doors of Flint Center.

While the (minority)  upper crust laughs at people who shop at KMart, De Anza students and  staff struggle against incessant cuts, skyrocketing costs of living,
and real fear of dying in our new Vietnam to protect Powell and his cabal's freedom to invest.

Just like that, Powell steps away from the disaster  and tells us with a straight face that foreigners love us - some visitors from Brazil told him this in his Secretary of State office -  like FEMA failure Michael Brown, another incompetent appointment intended to destroy another American institution.
Really.  Dick Henning should be ashamed of doing this on our public property and should move such insults to a private privileged venue such as Stanford.  I'm sure they don't shop at KMart.

Karen Maleski
San Jose