[Marxism] Protest against U.S. war in Iraq by Nobel nominee

Mike Friedman mikedf at mail.amnh.org
Mon Jul 5 16:52:05 MDT 2004

Nestor asked me to translate the following letter and forward it to Marxism 


Letter from Henry Engler*

Dear Director,

It's been a great honor for me to have been invited to lecture at the World 
Conference on Alzheimer's Disease to be held in Philadelphia in July with 
the participation of 5,000 scientists from around the world. The invitation 
to speak about our technique for making amyloid plaques visible** implies 
participating and sharing knowledge with distinguished, internationally 
prestigious scientists, whose contributions to the struggle against 
Alzheimer's disease are globally recognized. I have tremendous respect for 
these scientists.

Sadly, I feel it is my duty to inform you that I have decided not to give a 
present in this conference. The reason is the flagrant violation of human 
rights committed by U.S. forces against other human beings. The mere 
thought of setting foot on U.S. soil  at this time gives me a feeling of 
total aversion and repulsion. The atrocities committed against Iraqi and 
other prisoners brings back the memory of the humiliation suffered by many 
Uruguyans, including myself, as well as the knowledge that these are not 
"isolated incidents."

I believe I have always been able to separate the scientific from the 
political in my activities. The battle against diseases should be above 
political factions. But now, it isn't a question of political positions, 
but rather an ethical dilemma. The dilemma lies in choosing between life 
and death, civilization and barbarism. This decision to not attend the 
conference because it's being held in the U.S. is a civilized of protest 
that I have at hand. Understand that my decision is completely personal. It 
doesn't involve scientists with whom I am collaborating, nor my place of work.

I greet you attentively,
Henry Engler Uppsala

*Uruguayan researcher living in Sweden, ex-hostage of the Uruguayan 
dictatorship, political prisoner for more than 12 years, ex-leader of the 
Movimiento de Liberacion Nacional-Tupamaros, nominated today to receive the 
Nobel Prize for his research into Alzheimer's disease.

**Amyloid plaques are one of the characteristic structural abnormalities 
found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's -- 
-- Mike.

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