Thursday, July 23, 2009


Two days ago my IL 6th District Congressman Peter Roskam sent me an email asking for my opinion on the debate over the Obama administration's health care. Reading further, it was not MY opinion Cong. Roskam was soliciting, but my support for HIS opinion that the House should not be required to vote on the Obama administration's health care legislation, "America's Affordale Health Choices Act (AAHCA)" before Congress adjurns in August for their long summer vacation. Roskam's reason for not voting before the summer recess? It seems our busy Congressman has not had time to read it.

Mr. Roskam, as a Congressman, enjoys one of the best health care plans our disappearing tax dollars can buy. He never has and never will have to suffer the indignity experienced by the 50 million uninsured Americans who must choose between purchasing needed health care and purchasing food, clothing and shelter. He will not be one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who lose their health care every month with their lost job. He will forever be unaffected by the 30% of health care dollars that go to fund an immoral insurance industry which enriches itself by denying health serivices or even coverage itself to average Americans struggling to remain heathy in an unhealthy maze of bureaucratic obstacles. If passed, however, the Congressman may stand to lose the financial support of that same health care industry which has brilliantly delayed health care reform by spreading around some of the largess the current corrupt system has shoveled their way.

Cong. Roskam, like most Republicans and some Democrats who oppose any meaningful reform, has been AWOL from the debate from the getgo and is simply using the "haven't had time to read it" strategy to delay the up or down vote long enough to derail reform entirely.

As a brilliant and successful lawyer, Cong. Roskam certainly never came to court unprepared and told the judge "I haven't had time to read the case your honor". He should show the same respect and courtesy to the 50 million and growing mass of Americans who have infinately more need than the aforementioned judge to have the Congressman do his homework.

Also published in Daily Herald, July 26, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The obit for legendary newsman and nightly news anchor Walter Cronkite portrays him as "the most trusted man in America".

One of the key reasons is his famous "coming out" against the Vietnam war on February 27, 1968, just 33 days before President Johnson announced his decision to give up the Presidency due to recognition the war was a failure. Johnson is famously reported to have said that Cronkite's speech showed him that he had lost Middle America when he lost Cronkite. If so, Cronkite earns a justly deserved historical footnote in helping end the war even though it took seven more years to witness our sad helicopter liftoffs from the US Saigon embassy with stragglers being pushed off the landing gear.

Unfortunately, Cronkite's reputation is partly what is wrong with America. We don't need a newsreader, no matter how magical their on screen personality, to inform us how to think about clearly unwinnable and horribly unjust wars. Starting college in 1963 it only took me a few hours of study to determine what it took Cronkite four and a half more years to conclude. The only difference besides the time was the additional 22,000 more US soldiers and a million or so Vietnamese who were killed.

Sadly, I ended my sixth decade watching Cronkite's illegitimate heirs fawning over the approach and initial glory of our made up, criminal war in Iraq. Except for a few courageous skeptics like Keith Olbermann, they still don't get it.

We can best honor Cronkite by understanding that when it comes to war, newsreaders are programmed to parrot the party line of whatever administration is in power, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Originally published in USA Today, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


July 8, 2009

Congressman Peter Roskam
150 S. Bloomingdale Road, Suite 200
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Dear Congressman Roskam,

You were not in Congress when the Bush administration war cabinet lied America and scared America and intimidated American and bamboozled America into the criminal Iraq war which has brought death, injury or refugee status to millions of Iraqis, not to ignore the hundred thousand American dead and wounded. .

Although you are on record (2006 Congressional campaign) that you weren’t involved in those shenanigans, you sure have learned the lessons of war mongering well. I refer, Sir, to your June 3 comment featured in “Statement of the Day” from the magazine The Weekly Standard, in which you attack President Obama on his Iran policies and reiterate all the neoconservative hype which all but calls for war with Iran over their nuclear programs.

Your comment conveniently ignores the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons, is years away from getting even one nuclear weapon and just happens to be in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency. You also ignore that the real nuclear arms race in the Middle East was launched by Israel in the 1950’s, which is generally considered by the world community to possess between one and two hundred nuclear weapons. I say “considered to possess” because Israel does not cooperate with any organization on the extent of its nuclear weapons programs. That is shameful.

Why do you avoid recognition of President Obama’s May 18 comment about a possible Iranian nuclear weapon?

“Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and the US,
but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole”

You, however, liken Obama’s measured approach to Iran which would allow for peaceful development of nuclear power in compliance with international safeguards (something Israel does not follow) to “a bow to our worst enemies,….showing a striking ability to imitate former President Jimmy Carter”. Congressman, let’s pray that President Obama does imitate Jimmy Carter as a man who made the first important breakthrough in Israeli Arab relations and didn’t need to launch pre-emptive criminal wars that you continue to support at the cost of $400 millions per day.

Rather than calling Iran one of “our worst enemies”, why don’t you call America to account for launching and perpetrating its wars for empire on Iran’s doorstep in the Middle East? If you want to make a positive statement on US relations with Iran why don’t you offer a resolution in the House requesting the US apologize to Iran for overthrowing their democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeg in 1953 because he wanted to end British domination of Iranian oil wealth? The CIA, working with British spy agencies, arranged the ouster of the popular Mosaddeg and replaced him with an all powerful monarch, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who ruled for 26 years, and whose secret police, trained by our CIA, killed thousands of Iranian dissidents. Those thousands of death were not in vain as our villainy gave us a 40% share of Iranian oil wealth snatched from the Mosaddeg policies.

When you label Iran “one of our worst enemies”, you display a profound ignorance of US – Iranian relations during the last 56 years which more accurately portrays the US as one of Iran’s worst enemies. While you have “history teacher” on your resume, you accurately don’t include history student. If you did, you would be guilty of extreme resume padding.

And while you are boning up on history and the need for a measured and honest approach to emerging powers such as Iran, you would be wise to avoid publications like “The Weekly Standard. This magazine, through it co-editors Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, and a host of pro war ideologues, was arguably the leading media cheerleader for launching pre-emptive criminal war against Iraq and it has never wavered in its justification for this war. The Weekly Standard only wavered in its support for President Bush who it claims could have had a successful criminal war if only he would have fought it properly. The Weekly Standard’s war-loving writers remind me of apologists for Hitler’s pre-emptive wars who said Germany would have succeeded if only Hitler had listened to his generals.

A better media outlet to write for would be Antiwar. Com, “your best source for antiwar news, viewpoints and activities”. Your antiwar House Republican colleague Ron Paul of Texas writes for it and he can be proud of his contributions. Whipping up anti Iran hysteria in the Weekly Standard only further diminishes your legacy in the most critical moral issue of our time.


Walt Zlotow
IL Sixth Congressional District Resident