Your Letters

Fall 2009

Same Page

Is it possible that together, the commentary by Mr. McReynolds (WIN spring 2009) coupled with Leslie Winston’s interpretation of that commentary, “Missed Connection” (summer 2009 letters), are evidence of how easy it is for any of us to (initially) not quite understand one another, myself included?

As I understand it, Mr. McReynolds was not seeing and hearing (perceiving), in the watercolor art and narrative combination, a likelihood that the DVD presentation would be clearly interpreted as a strong indictment against war and violence as desirable vehicles of conflict resolution. And Ms. Winston was not reading in Mr. McReynolds’ commentary—my words—that contemporary war is a uniquely human invention so horrible that its perpetrators (other human beings) at the moment—and future perpetrators—somehow fail, repeatedly, to courageously attempt to avoid war by practicing what they preach—that is: Mr. McReynolds observes “the United States, which is the only nation to ever use a nuclear weapon,” has not so far begun leading down the path of nuclear war avoidance “by the beginning of unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United States.” Is it my short-sightedness to see both Mr. McReynolds and Ms. Winston as “being on the same page”? In this case, I hope not.

Steve Warriner
Ann Arbor, MI


Martial Law in Alaska?

I am asking your readers for opinions and sources regarding the militarization of state police.

On June 13, I noticed an unusual number of Alaska State Trooper (AST) vehicles on Fairbanks roads. Some of them were driven by men wearing Army-style camo uniforms. This troubled me. Were they, in fact, soldiers? National Guard?

After receiving a stonewall response from the local AST phone desk (regarding the nature of the “exercise”), I wrote to the commissioner of public safety. In two exchanges of letters, I could get no information other than that Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) personnel were the guys in camo and were being trained, and that Army and National Guard were not involved.

I want to know if others are concerned that:

  • SERT team information is secret;
  • the wearing of Army-style camo by SERT or SWAT team personnel blurs the already blurry line between civilian law enforcement and martial law. Is Posse Comitatus dead?

Birch Pavelsky
(GI Rights Hotline counselor)
6063 Reconstruction Rd.
Fairbanks, AK 99709