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Weaponizing refugees

EDITOR: Only Donald Trump could weaponize poor and desperate refugees fleeing gang violence and abject poverty in Central America. This is especially egregious since we are partly responsible for those conditions.

The United States has intervened repeatedly in Central America, overthrowing democratic governments and supporting dictators who protected U.S. interests.

In 1954, the CIA overthrew the president of Guatemala, who had threatened United Fruit with land reform. Ronald Reagan militarized Honduras to support the Contras. Instead of condemning a military coup in Honduras, President Barack Obama recognized the new president.

The Central American Free Trade Agreement expanded NAFTA and is based on neoliberal policies that favor multinational corporations, attracted by poverty wages and no unions.

Although Central America exports food, farmers have been forced off their land by cheap agricultural imports, migrating to cities or other countries.

Thanks to American drug consumption, local gangs terrorize whole cities, making Honduras and El Salvador the murder capitals of the world. No one is prosecuted, and corrupt officials use funds from the war on drugs to attack human rights activists and labor leaders, without reducing the flow of drugs.

How can the victims of these conditions pose a threat?

TONY WHITE

Santa Rosa

Women who served

EDITOR: On Sunday, we honor veterans as we do every year. The general public isn’t aware that women veterans are your great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sisters, and so are the many active-duty women serving their country.

More than 200,000 women are currently on active duty, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs predicts that by 2020, women veterans will comprise nearly 11 percent of the veteran population.

This year commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, which honors our fallen sisters and is located on the National Mall just south of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.

I invite all women veterans and active-duty members to join us at noon Sunday in Walnut Park in Petaluma to participate with Redwood Empire Unit 77, Military Women Across the Nation in the Veterans Day parade, which begins at 1 p.m. We represent the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines.

ROSE K. NOWAK

Petaluma

Troubling editorial

EDITOR: The last paragraph of your Thursday editorial saying that Jack Buckhorn, who I have never met, should apologize for opposing Measure N really troubles me (“Measure N defeat a missed opportunity for SR”). By extension, aren’t you saying that any of the thousands who voted against Measure N, for whatever reason, should make a similar apology?

Should we similarly apologize to Dianne Feinstein for voting for her opponent rather than her? Or should we just stop voting and let The Press Democrat decide what happens in the future?

JOHN MARTIN

Windsor

The capitalist parties

EDITOR: A writer suggested that people not vote Democratic because it will bring socialism, which has always failed (“US isn’t a democracy,” Letters, Oct. 30). First, let me say I am not afraid of failure. Some of the best products of humanity come from continued trial and error, continued failure. So, no, failure doesn’t bother me.

Second, Democrats aren’t socialists. This is a way for Republicans to scare voters in order to win elections. Remember how Hillary Clinton was attacked for her huge speaking fees and for being in the pocket of Wall Street, not something you want on your socialist resume?

No, politics in the U.S., particularly on the national level is a one-party system, the capitalist party. Republicans and Democrats are capitalist party No. 1 and capitalist party No. 2.

Finally, I want to point out a simple word derivation. Socialism comes from social interaction, from society, communism from community. Capitalism is about money. It is a competitive carrot-and-stick philosophy that never brings out the best in people but provides endless “jobs” for people to be in places they don’t want to be, doing work they don’t want to do.

One of the prime motivators of the 1960s revolution was rebellion against the soul-killing consumerism of the ’50s. We may age, but that spirit never does.

RICHARD SALZMAN

Sebastopol

Trump’s shadow

EDITOR: The media say Washington was shocked by Donald Trump’s immediate dismissal of Jeff Sessions the day after the election. Really? Shocked, surprised? Does no one in the media get the man is after theater? He doesn’t want the attention to go to the accomplishments of women and Democrats across the nation. He only wants the nation’s attention on him. The man is a reality TV character, for goodness sakes.

I say congratulations to all the women who have achieved milestones for diversity in our great nation.

MARSHA TAYLOR

Santa Rosa

You can send a letter to the editor at letters@pressdemocrat.com

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