Letters (3/21-3/28)

Did we do enough to stop Iraq War?

Well here we are at the 10th anniversary of the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq. Hopefully most reading this know that it was all based on outrageous lies told by the Bush administration and implanted in the brains of our countrymen by the corporate media. Lies about weapons of mass destruction that did not exist, lies about connections between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda which did not exist. Viewers of Fox News might still believe these lies, not that other media have been much better.

Millions marched around the world against the war, but to no avail. Iraq has not been liberated by the U.S., it has been devastated. Citing the numbers of killed and wounded and driven into exile would take up too much space for a letter. Responsible citizens should know these figures, anyway, as to what our government has done to others in our name.

But my question is: what more could we have done to stop the horrible slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of their advanced society? I am of course talking about those of us who knew at the time what a lie it all was and tried to stop it. We marched, we held vigils on street corners, including in Saugerties. It turned out even much worse than any of us war opponents could have imagined. Joseph Stiglitz estimates the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will come to three trillion dollars. Iraq now has a Shiite government aligned with Iran! What a hoot. Bush actually cut taxes during the war and just put the war bill on our national debt. Now are leaders want to gut Social Security and “sequester” all social programs because somehow we are in debt? Gee, I wonder why.


The only winners were the defense contractors, the bloated U.S. military-security complex, and Israel.

What more could we have done? Non-violent civil disobedience is the next step up from passive marches and vigils. I was arrested in the lobby of the Federal Building in Albany with seven others a few days before the war began in an act of civil disobedience opposing the upcoming invasion. Thousands should have been there. Had there been thousands in every federal building in the country it could have started to make a difference. I could have done more too. I considered pleading “not guilty” and having a trial and risking six months in jail. I emailed friends and asked if they would financially support me if I went to jail. Did not get much response. I chose the easy way and accepted a plea bargain, along with the others. I apologize to the Iraqi people .

Jim Veeder


Urge state to keep library aid

The Saugerties Public Library was well-represented on Tuesday, March 5, as four library trustees, Sally Colclough, Irene Hurst, Rebecca Mignano-Campbell, Myrna Sameth and Director, Sukrit Goswami, joined representatives from throughout the state in travelling to Albany to join the advocacy for restoration of state aid to libraries. Since 2008, the amount contributed by the state to the maintenance of our most accessible and valuable asset, free, public libraries has continuously decreased until 2012. Given the growing needs for technology resources, up-to-date collections, and quality programs for the community, the Saugerties delegation visited our State Assemblyman, Peter Lopez, and the office of our new State Senator Ceclia Tkaczyk.

Assemblyman Lopez spoke of his presence on the state education committee. Our group discussed with him the need for strong libraries to support students in study, research, and healthy extra-curricular activities. Senator Tkaczyk’s administrative assistant met with us as we discussed legislation currently proposed that will cost the taxpayer nothing, but will increase free access to publicly funded research for high school and college students, medical researchers, and interested citizens. We received a positive response regarding the legislation and hope to regain at least a small amount of the dollars lost to libraries over the last six years.

The daylong trip included visits to legislators in neighboring districts as well to speak on behalf of the value of every library’s collection of print, media and technological resources freely available to all citizens. Please call, write or email your representative to emphasize our message on behalf of Saugertiesians of all ages.

Sukrit Goswami
Saugerties Public Library


One-of-a-kind dialogue

It is hard to believe that approximately 90 years ago women had barely any rights at all. They had no right to their own children, their own money, no control over their own body and certainly did not have the right to vote. It is hard to believe that a woman’s husband could take a woman’s child away and give it to the woman down the street.

Our brave fore mothers gave their lives to the cause of winning the right for women to vote. They fought long and hard at much personal sacrifice to themselves.

Now we take voting as commonplace. We are too tired, busy or just turned off to the vitriolic atmosphere of today’s political environment so we just don’t want anything to do with it. Yet people around the world are still dying for the right to vote.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage dedicated their lives to the Suffragist movement. However, even within this noble cause is drama.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, whom Gloria Steinem calls “the woman ahead of the women ahead of their time” was written out of history by Susan and Elizabeth.

Why and how did that happen?

Please join us on Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre for a one-of-a-kind dialogue with the president/CEO of the Susan B. Anthony House and the executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. Both Sally and Deborah are leaders in the Suffragist field and are traveling down from the Rochester area to join us for the evening. Sally and Deborah will be reading the actual letters Anthony and Gage wrote to each other as they fought for the soul of the Suffragist movement.

This is a fundraiser for both of those organizations, as well as Votes For Women 2020, a not for profit dedicated to celebrate, educate, inspire and promote the history of the women’s right to vote. You can order your tickets at https://votesforwomen.brownpapertickets.com.

Tickets are $20.20 in honor of the 100th anniversary in 2020. Look forward to seeing you there.

Susan Zimet
New Paltz