As a Latino who was intimately involved in much of the political unrest and demonstrations in the sixties and seventies, I am moved and heartened by the article by Javier Rodriguez at http://latinola.com/story.php?story=677. Latinos have forced this country to hear our outcries in the past and now, as the nation's largest minority, we can and should become an effective weapon against injustice and the stupidity of war. We are not easily fooled and can see through the political spin and propaganda that this administration is using to cover its failures at home. We recognize that this administration supports the political and financial elite and ignores the needs of the working class and the poor.
We see that this war will cost two hundred billion dollars or more to conduct, which will be felt not in the homes of the wealthy, but in the streets of the homeless, sick and disenfranchised. As this war looms and becomes virtually inevitable, hospital emergency rooms are closing due to lack of funds, homeless shelters are closing due to lack of funds, welfare programs are being cut due to lack of funds and educational programs are coming to an end...due to lack of funds, funds that are being used to mount a war against a foe that poses absolutely no imminent threat against our country, despite the rhetoric of George Bush and his staff.
This administration claims to have indisputable evidence against Saddam Hussein, yet has steadfastedly refused to show it to anyone, even the UN Security Council, whose help and approval they desperately want. In other words, this administration wants us and the world to support a deadly and immensly expensive war in which hundreds, perhaps thousands of American lives, as well as thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives will be lost, on the say so of George Bush II and his minions.
The latest ploy from Washington is that someone has heard that Saddam plans to set his own oil wells on fire in the event of an invasion. Based on this "report", the Army has orders to move as quickly as it can to "protect" these oil wells. Think about this for a moment. Someone is threatening to invade your house, so you burn your house down, including the only way you can make money to support your family, to keep them from getting it. Could it possibly be that this is a manufactured threat in order to create a preemptive excuse to take over those oil fields? It's at least a possibility worth considering and, in light of how little this administration has done to prove its own case, it's not hard to believe that there is such a hidden agenda.
On the more positive side, it seems that the Bush administration is bowing to pressure to allow the inspectors more time to do their work. Although the inspections will never really be able to prove that there are no weapons of mass destruction, at least this shows that the power of protest at home, as well as the lack of support from abroad, can have an affect and can slow this demon down. Perhaps we can even stop it. But the pressure must be maintained and the Latino community must take a substantial role in its maintenance.
Remember also, it's not about how bad a guy Saddam Hussein is, it's about whether getting rid on this one man is worth the death of thousands of Americans and Iraqis and the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars. Think about it.