NAFTA and US farm subsidies are unfair to Mexican farmers

Regarding the Aug. 9 story, "Politics of corn loom for divided Mexico": I was amazed, not by the conclusions drawn by the article, but by an extremely important conclusion that was absent. The conclusion that should be drawn from the bouquet of facts the article presented is that NAFTA is a vehicle for forcing individual Mexican farmers to compete – without Mexican tariff protection – with subsidized, giant agricultural corporations.

In effect, the article provided all the information necessary to illustrate how NAFTA and similar agreements operate as tools for the advancement of global corporate imperialism.

All the facts to support that conclusion were present: Traditional Mexican corn farmers cannot compete with cheap American imported corn, Mexican tariffs on corn imports raise the cost of American corn, NAFTA will require the elimination of those tariffs by 2008, and the production of American corn is massively subsidized by US taxpayers.
Paul Jordan
Shelby, Mich.

Lieberman race inspires many reactions

Regarding the Aug. 10 article, "Shockwave from Lieberman race": I was a supporter of Senator Lieberman during the primary. While I was sad to see him lose, I find it incredibly offensive that Vice President Cheney said that the outcome may inspire "Al Qaeda types."

While I know it must be very difficult to run on the record that the Republicans have amassed in Washington from Iraq to Katrina to ethics scandals, I find it disgusting that Mr. Cheney would play the terror card again. Is there nothing that is above politics to him and some in his party? I am confident that the voters won't be fooled by such rhetoric this November.
Steven Clayton
Ocean, N.J.

Ned Lamont was labeled an "antiwar businessman" in the Aug. 10 article on Lieberman. I hadn't heard that Mr. Lamont was opposed to the war in Afghanistan or the Gulf War, or that he believed involvement in World War II was a mistake. Lamont is against the Iraq war, not war in general. Our leaders must make the critical decisions of what wars make sense to fight, and what wars would be a huge mistake. Opposing the latter does not make one opposed to the former.

By tagging anyone who opposes any particular war as "antiwar" and labeling them "doves," the media blur the distinctions in this critical debate and punish anyone who makes a negative judgment on a war. We need leaders who are wise enough to keep us out of foolish wars but who defend the nation vigorously when it is seriously threatened or under attack.
Robert Steuteville
Ithaca, N.Y.

Don't force-feed animals

Regarding the Aug. 10 article, "Pesticides in sodas rekindle Indian ire": I think an article blasting Indian protesters for force-feeding soda to donkeys and camels is in order. Last time I took note, animals could not read or understand enough human language to know not to drink contaminated soft drinks. Protesting is one thing, but to cause harm to another living being is wrong.

If Indians do not want to drink the soda, then they should not buy the soda; it is that simple.

Once you know that something is harmful, then you stop using it. Nobody forced the protesters to drink the soda in the first place. Who gave them the right to force it on the animals?
Rebecca Melson
Bridgeville, Del.

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