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Castro Valley Democratic Club Castro Valley
Democratic Club
Volume 10 no. 3
April 2002
Castro Valley Democratic Club Newsletter
2002 Officers
Sonya Howes

Bob Swanson

Jean Gaylord

Newsletter Editor
Karla Goodbody

At large members
Evelyn Brownell
Robin Torello

With the primary election behind us and the general just around the corner, now is that time in an election year when clubs shift into high gear. Already, many groups have begun to lay the groundwork for the months ahead. 

The annual St. Patrick's dinner at the carpenter's hall in Hayward was a huge success. CA's First lady Sharon Davis delivered a well received speech, capitalizing on the Governor's accomplishments; higher test scores throughout the state's schools, increasing worker's compensation payments & a new Department of Managed Care were some of the cornerstones Sharon Davis spoke of and with more charisma & energy than, well, you know. 

Also reminding us why were democrats & why it is so important to come together and get behind the victors of the March primary were Ellen Corbett, Liz Figueroa, Johann Klehs, and many other local electeds. Congratulations on a job well done!

Our program for next week's meeting will include a presentation from Sheila Jordan, Alameda County School Superintendent who was recently re-elected to another term. Many are unaware of the responsibilities of the county board of education, so Ms. Jordan will provide us with an overview of her office. We also will be putting before the club, a resolution from the Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club calling for a moratorium on executions in California. Please review the materials before the meeting. 

It is with sadness that we report James Boynton's passing on March 21. James & his wife June were past club members and lived in Castro Valley for 40 years until they moved to South Carolina in 1999. Jim served in New Guinea during WWII and in the Korean War. He was a teacher until 1987, when he retired from teaching and the Air Force. A service was held April 5. We wish the Boynton family well. 

Starting with this issue, we will feature a guest columnist in every newsletter in hopes of getting an informal exchange of ideas & thoughts circulating throughout the membership. Some of the brightest minds are members of this club & it is the editor's intention to feature a variety of topics & viewpoints. There are important issues that are often ignored, & it is my hope to bring those issues front and center and include room for dissent. After all, we are a small club under a large tent. 

Karla Goodbody

Terrorism & Terroists
By Esther Goldberg

Although more Americans are more outspoken against the open-endedness of the war on terrorism, Mr. Bush's standing in the polls remains high. Indeed, some Democrats appear to be more for retaliation than George Bush. 

History gives us some clues; although it does not repeat itself, it can warn and recommend. The relevant history here is that of the Cold War when we felt communism and the Soviet Union both challenged us; we viewed them as separate and distinct threats and responded to them differently. 

We responded to the ideological challenges of communism with (among other policies) the Marshall Plan, Point Four, the Truman Doctrine, the Voice of America, the creation of the Atlantic Community and a Western Hemisphere Alliance of common ideas We aimed at the creation of an intellectual consensus against class warfare, market central planning, and the substitution of collective property for private property. 

To the Soviet Union, we responded militarily with Containment, establishment of CIA, the NATO military alliance, Strategic Air Command, Mutual Assured Destruction, and a constant upgrading of our military hardware. These are controversial as they cost a lot of dollars and seemed to threaten our lives; they made us seem as though we were on a hair-trigger looking for trouble. Whether the threats and the nature of our responses were real and appropriate will be left to history to judge, but for purposes of this discussion, it is important to distinguish between the two types of challenges and the differences between our responses: the first, primarily intellectual and ideological, the second, military. 

We should parse carefully the challenge we face and the means we choose to deal with it. Rather than a broad brush which forces us to respond against every idea and barroom bull session, let us focus on Terrorists, people who have the knowledge, the intent and the capability to damage American interests or those of our allies. Terrorism" is vague and abstract; sending American troops to stamp out terrorism everywhere will not succeed. We will have our fingers in hundreds of holes in thousands of dikes, trying to stamp out a state of mind. We will multiply the number of enemies of the United States and increase a domestic lack of consensus. That we do not want to do.

At this time we face a similar duality: terrorists do things, but terrorism is a set of ideas. Terrorists who have attacked American interests are criminals who may be found and brought to justice. But to declare war on terrorism is fruitless. Shooting at abstractions is about as productive as shooting your mouth off; centuries of killing in the name of religion should be instructive. 

Because most people did not reflect on the differences between communism and the Soviet Union, McCarthyism was able to slash and burn people who asked questions or were progressive, reformers, liberal, and socialists or communists, obscuring debate on military confrontation. Moreover, the blurring of our focus and our inability to distinguish our goals led us cluelessly into the jungles of Vietnam and the forests of Central America as we fought against a "communism" which was never a threat to the United States or to American interests. The country nearly came apart over Vietnam because its "threat" seemed unrealistic to so many Americans. Moreover, as the public became more sophisticated, by huge majorities it opposed support for the Contras against the Sandinistas. The public expects to see a clear connection between the lives and fortune they are asked to expend, the threat to our country and the degree of probable success of any program. The public is unwilling to support open-ended programs that have no clear objectives. 

If the war on "terrorism" becomes too vague, too diffuse, too dispersed, support for it will decline, despite the horrors of September 11. If "terrorism" or the "axis of evil" of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, (or the IRA, or the Colombian rebels, or the Chechen rebels) pose no credible threat to American interests, military responses will grow increasingly unpopular both with the American people and our friends abroad, no matter how relentlessly the administration flogs the twin towers. Many who supported Mr. Bush will tire of being asked to sacrifice endlessly for vague objectives in unsuccessful cat and mouse games. We will multiply our enemies and the number of "terrorists." Note widespread disbelief that we were really attacked in much of the Middle East and Central Asia. We cannot buy support with chocolate bars; we need clear objectives with agreed-upon foundations. 

Terrorism and terrorists are distinct problems for the United States. Because Mr. Bush has declared war on international "terrorism", he has no option but to endlessly expand the targets for American military action. But it is to our advantage to minimize the number of enemies we face. We need to avoid war because war has too many unintended consequences; it is the failure of foreign policy. American foreign policy is supposed to serve American national interests; instability, expansion of conflict, breakdown of domestic consensus, a budget increasingly unbalanced by military spending and increasing numbers of hate- America campaigns will not serve our interests. 

Next meeting

Monday, April 15
7:30 PM 

Castro Valley Women's Club 
18330 Redwood Rd.



Sat. May 11  Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade
   Meet @ 9:30 am on Nunez (off CV Blvd. By Jack in the Box)

Sat. May 11  Campaign training workshop-San Leandro
   Sponsored by Nat'l Women's Political Caucus Call Robin Torello for more info 635-3121

Friday, May 17 Reception for Barbara Lee
   Co-sponsored by Hayward Demos & CVDC Home of Monika & Harry Scott
   1661 E St. (at East Ave.)
   Hayward 538-0209
   $10-20 donation requested

Thursday, May 16 Special meeting with Assemblyman John Dutra

Saturday, June 8 Alameda County Democratic Party -Day at the A's game
   Includes tailgate, plaza level seats & a contribution toward general election efforts. 
   $27/adults $14/children 12 & under
   Info: James Farley 925-294-8037

Monday, June 17 CVDC regular meeting

Saturday, July 13 CVDC Annual BBQ @ Rowell Ranch

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Castro Valley Democratic Club

Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland 
San Lorenzo and San Leandro

FPPC #930572

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