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DIALOGUE THE UNTOLD STORY As a Texas refugee I fully expect every issue of the Observer to keep me in-the-know about the wonder-workings of Texas politics, and you have not disappointed. In the January 22 issue I find my beloved Bad Bills Girl, more excellent reporting by Debbie Nathan, the biting good humor of Molly and Jim, and the new funnybone “Left Field” section. All of that reporting, however, pales in the light of Alan Pogue’s superb photographs and interview \(“The Salt on the Wound,” January 22; see also the DownHome Page at As this country distracts itself with an insipid sex fight, our fighters fly over Iraq and let the bombs go. The Observer should be proud to report on a story that is wildly distorted and unreported by the corporate press. I am at once grateful and sad about the Observer’s exposure of the Iraq war the U.S. is waging grateful to read a real story, sad that a predominantly state-wide bi-weekly had to do it. Todd Basch Boston, Massachusetts LESSER EVIL? I agree in principle with the guest editorial in the January 22 issue of the Observer regarding the plight of the innocents in Iraq \(“A War on the team of writers keeps up the good work. However, based on the stories I have read regarding Saddam Hussein, I wonder if these folks have left a little out of the story. I have a vivid recall of pictures on Kurdish children, women and men lying in the streets of a village after being gassed by Hussein’s military. I would hope that we aren’t making a choice between the Iraqi children and the children of Saddam Hussein’s enemies. While I am sure we are struggling with Hussein for the sake of the oil companies, maybe there is a side issue of some value. Maybe, by accident, we are saving many children from other Arabic tribes and neighbors of Iraq. Before we launch a full scale indictment of U.S. policies in Iraq, I personally would like this issue clarified in terms of the lesser of two evils. Robert W. Touchet Austin The Editors respond: In the corporate media, we have all been regularly reminded of Hussein’s war on the Kurds. Carefully omitted from these reports is any mention of the fact that the U.S. supported Hussein at the time of these gas attacks \(in the early regime’s arms, including so-called “weapons of mass destruction.” The U.S. sanctions and bombing have not only killed more than a million innocent Iraqis, they have strengthened Hussein’s regime \(which is why the Iraqi opposition groups also oppose the bombing and sancsible on both moral and military grounds. ~Mr T R ii r, BURN BABY BURN Surfing the web and caught your paper.. Just read “Running Down the Ballot” \(by Louis Duknowledgeable, to the point, insightful, savvy. I used to edit a small weekly and I would have killed to write as good an article. But it’s not an editorial. The style is somewhat closer to news magazine writing Time or Newsweek but not an editorial. I admit I did a quick read, but I don’t recall an opinion expressed that wasn’t either documented in the article or facts commonly available to the public. With a savvy wit like that, if you unleashed pure opinion, I could imagine it burning a hole in the print edition. Go for it. Bob Bamberg Via internet NO VICTORY YET I just received the January 22 issue and as a Berkeley Ph.D. student and U.T. alum, I was happy to see mention of the graduate student strike held throughout the U.C. system in Deeventually won union recognition, despite Berdahl’s warnings. Unfortunately we did not win recognition: at the urging of the state representatives \(State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton and Assembly Speaker Antonio day “cooling-down” period, during which union representatives were to meet with Berdahl and the U.C. administration. As nothing has come of this, except the fact that the university not only got us to go back to work and grade final exams, but also docked our pay for the four days we did strike, we will shortly be resuming our strike. Michelle Hamilton Berkeley, California See “Dialogue,” page 22 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER FEBRUARY 19, 1999