Letter box

Saturday January 26, 2013

Don’t be fooled Editor of the Reformer:

The AP article published in the Jan. 19-20 issue ("UN fails in attempt to restart Iran nuke probe") uncritically pounded the drum for war against Iran.

First, the article states there are "suspicions that Iran worked on atomic arms," while omitting that there is no basis for suspicion now. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, a synthesized compilation of data evaluated by America’s 17 intelligence agencies, stated that "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." The 2011 NIE stated that there are no material revisions to be made to the 2007 assessment.

Also omitted was the important fact Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, while Israel, the main driver toward war, is not, and further Israel possesses at least 200 nuclear warheads. The NIE findings echo reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the agency that monitors NPT compliance, which has also concluded that Iran is not building nuclear weapons.

Distortion of IAEA reports frequently serves as the basis for misinformation on Iran, such as the report issued on Aug. 30, 2012. American media accounts highlighted the increase in Iran’s nuclear infrastructure (underground centrifuge production, etc.), while failing to mention that their stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium -- the only material capable of being further enriched to 85-percent weapons grade -- had actually diminished due to conversion to fuel plates used for medical isotopes. Thus nuclear development is highlighted in American media, under the false premise that that equals progress toward a weapon, while exculpatory evidence is discarded: this is how news propaganda functions.

In addition, the AP article omitted any mention that a civilian nuclear program is not easily converted into a weapons program. Before a country can begin the latter, it must break the IAEA monitoring seals on its uranium stockpile, which is under constant camera detection. It must also kick out international inspectors, who currently have unfettered access to all of Iran’s nuclear sites.

Completing those very public steps, which Iran has not taken, would be the first true warning indicators that Iran was building nuclear weapons.

As a signatory to the NPT, Iran is entitled to enrich uranium to low levels for domestic power consumption and medical treatment, such as radiation therapy for cancer.

Lastly, Americans should take very seriously that 120 nations attended the Non-aligned Movement Summit in Tehran, implying support for Iran, last fall. In poll after poll of Arab public opinion, it has been shown conclusively that Arab resistance to American aggression is tied to drone strikes, our invasions of their countries, and our uncritical support of Israel’s slow genocide against the Palestinian Arabs. The U.S. should beware that aggression against Iran would antagonize Iran’s many trade partners, including Russia, China and India, and perhaps cross an invisible red line in the mind of the entire world that U.S. aggression need be brought to an end. I think it is a war we might well lose outright.

Wat Stearns,

Brattleboro, Jan. 24

Not me, my dad!

Editor of the Reformer:

Seventy-five years ago I was age 8 and did not open the new Latchis Theatre, as was reported in the Reformer ("75 years of The Latchis," Jan. 24). You have a photo of a crowd near the Wizard of Oz display at the Theatre front, from 1938 or 1939.

My father, Spero D. Latchis is standing in the crowd with a little kid, me, at his side. My grandfather, whose name was spelled Demetrios Latchis, died in 1932. My uncle, Peter Latchis played a large part in the construction of the building, dividing his time between Brattleboro and his office in Keene, N.H.

As a side note, my favorite movie house in my young years was the Auditorium Theatre that my father rented in the town hall. It showed B movies and westerns. Every time a train passed underneath, the building shook, augmenting the thundering hoofs of the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver.

Demetrius "Jim" S. Latchis,

Brattleboro, Jan. 24

Support the BUHS girl’s hockey team

Editor of the Reformer:

Be sure to talk to members of the Brattleboro Colonels Girl’s Hockey team on Saturday, Feb. 2nd and 9, at Burrows Sports, the Brattleboro Food Co-op, and perhaps the Putney Food Co-op.

From 9 a.m. to noon, the girls will be collecting donations to help support their team; please make a donation and fill their skates.

Hockey has many expenses and, although the school district funds a large portion of the costs, The Friends of Girl’s Hockey must raise the balance (as does the boys’ hockey team). This year we still need to raise $5,000, so we are asking for your support. Your generous donation will help pay for ice time, travel to away games, uniforms, and other expenses.

There are 23 girls on the team this year, and many of them are new to hockey. They have held their own against some of the strongest teams in the state, including winning 2-to-1 against North Country on Jan. 21. Coaches Burke and Strong set high expectations, are great role models, and stress overall fitness, good nutrition and healthy habits.

In addition to keeping physically fit, the girls are learning many valuable life-lessons: Responsibility, self-advocacy, commitment, time-management, and how to be an effective team member.

Keeping girl’s hockey alive and well helps the team this year and lays a foundation for next year’s team. What we raise this year helps to seed next year’s team/season as well as to make this season possible. Please give your spare change when you see the girls on Feb. 2nd and 9. You are always welcome to come cheer for them; games continue through the end of February.

If you would like to mail a donation, make check payable to "Friends of Girls Hockey," care of Larry Doucette, 56 Jelly Mill Hill, Dummerston, VT 05301-9651.

If you have any questions or need more information you may contact Larry at 802 254 2815.

Norma Willingham,

Brattleboro, Jan. 25


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