Letters from our readers
30 December 2004
The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
The latest UNICEF report (2004) reveals massive under-five infant mortality in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan totaling over 0.4 million for the year 2003. However Anglo-American-dominated global media will simply not report this horrendous mortality in US-occupied countries that indeed constitutes a continuing US war crime.
At what level of magnitude would mass mortality become “news” if only for 24 hours—before being supplanted by Hollywood, business or sporting scandals?
Thus in one extreme scenario there are 6 billion people in the world and the last American survivors might like to hear of the demise of the rest from a prestigious US news medium.
I am a dedicated biological scientist who has “wasted” a year calculating “avoidable mortality” and “under-five infant mortality” for every country in the world since 1950 using publicly available UN and UNICEF data.
Thus the total post-1950 avoidable mortality (technically, “excess mortality”) has been 1.3 billion for the world, 1.2 billion for the non-European world and 0.5 billion for the Muslim world.
News fit to print for Americans? No way!
It being Christmas, with special reverence for infants and mothers, perhaps the total post-1950 under-five infant mortality would be “newsworthy”—0.9 billion for the world, 0.8 billion for the non-European world and 0.3 billion for the Muslim world.
Unfortunately, on average 90 percent of the under-five infant mortality in the non-European world since 1950 has been avoidable and substantially linked to violent and malignant First World impositions—most notably at present from the “democratic imperialism” of the US, the UK and their “junior partner” Australia.
Thus, according to the latest UNICEF report (2004), in 2003 the under-five infant mortality was 110,000 in US-occupied Iraq (population 24 million), 292,000 in US-occupied Afghanistan (population 22 million) and 1,000 in the invading and occupying Coalition country Australia (population 20 million). [See http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gpolya/]
The Ruler is responsible for the Ruled. This is mass murder by three of the world’s most long-lived democracies, namely the US, the UK and Australia. This is not merely “democratic imperialism” but horrendously bloody “democratic Nazism.” The awful truth will never go away—and indeed demands continuing exposure, sanctions, boycotts and bans applied to the guilty countries by an indignant world.
Dr. Gideon Polya
23 December 2004
I agree with what you say regarding the collapsing situation in Iraq, but I don’t think you are taking it far enough. The causality figures are almost certainly 10 times higher than the Pentagon claims, and scattered over the web there is a lot of info confirming this. American newspapers, however, even ones like yours, routinely seem to go along with the Pentagon-nominated figures. Furthermore, the US forces have been reduced to flying everything around the country by chopper as they’ve lost control of the roads. There are petrol shortages and endless blackouts throughout the country, while according to various Islamic sites American forces are suffering daily defeats in Fallujah, and their Iraqi puppets are setting off bombs around the country trying to stir up a civil war. In light of all this I can’t understand why your comments are so conservative. I happen to think that three-four months will suffice for a total defeat. Morale is apparently already terrible among the American soldiers; desertions are up, mutilations likewise. Why are you holding back about this in your reports?
23 December 2004
I have been looking for a white paper that deals with the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, and yours is extremely informative. I was concerned as to why the US would go to such extremes to develop bases in the Middle East. I have puzzled over the situation, finally realizing that for some time the US has been prodding various Middle Eastern severities to the point of what seemed openly declaring war. First Gaddafi, then the Ayatollah Khomeini, and finally the first Bush war in Iraq. Much was made of the invasion of Kuwait, which obscured the overall direction which now seems so clear. The US was moving out of Saudi Arabia, having reached its contractual length for military bases, and was relocating itself to another Middle Eastern nation. As no invitation was forthcoming, an invitation would have to be created using the form of a gullible greedy dictator. Even the oil for food program, administered albeit by the UN but of course approved by the UN Security Council (US), can be seen as a way to disencumber a dictator from his seat of power. If only he would have used those millions of dollars to actually purchase those weapons of mass destruction the US planned for him to have. Saddam’s refusal to take the bait made the invasion dicier than the US planned.
Now it seems the way lies in making the younger generation dependent/friendly with the US occupiers. While the older generation will never submit to the Pepsi/CD future the US plans for the youngsters, the US power to stay seems to assure that its plans for five military bases in Iraq will succeed. Why, I wondered, do we need five state-of-the-art military bases in Iraq if we are only interested in leading them to the democratic future that involves running water and 24 hours electricity? Because, it seems, we have other plans. Possibly securing military permanency in the region. Why would we need military permanence?
One dreads the answer.
28 December 2004
Ah yes, the beauty of watching free expression (sometimes known as democracy) butt heads with free markets (something the airlines aren’t familiar with).
Congratulations to all workers who called in sick over the Christmas holidays. Simply put, the onus of the airlines’ problems does not rest on the backs of the rank and file, it rests on the bank accounts of Bruce Lakefield and his ilk. Isn’t it time for CEOs to have some accountability, to demand concessions from them?
And shame on the courts for even considering to terminate contracts and roll back pensions. If the courts and government play favorites in the free market, then the market isn’t so free and, as such, taxpayer dollars are directed into causes held in esteem by a privileged few. Doesn’t seem democratic—or capitalistic. Who is protecting the rights of workers here?
28 December 2004
In your article you state, “Speculation in the European press was not over whether Washington was directly involved [in calls for the resignation of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan], but what was the Bush administration’s end goal. Was it pursuing a nuclear option, as favoured by the most right-wing opponents of the UN, and seeking to destroy its credibility all together; or was its intention to place maximum pressure on the UN to fall in line with US diktat, at a time when it has launched a review of its functioning including the possible make-up of the Security Council—the body that decides on whether or not to endorse military hostilities such as Iraq.”
The answer is “either, or.” Either the UN becomes compliant and toes the US line or the US will seek to destroy the UN. You are dealing with a very vindictive group in this administration who will brook no dissent in their realm. Their realm, as they perceive it, is the whole world.
This administration is in a very tenuous position. Yes they have won another term. However, they have made a grave mistake in Iraq which has turned the rest of the world against them. Despite their elections to be conducted at the end of January, it is extremely doubtful this will improve the situation there.
Also, the dollar is approaching free-fall. This is directly due to their failed domestic economic policies and the massive budget deficits. The world is no longer willing to finance this “kleptocracy,” which is stealing money not only from the middle and bottom layers of US society, but from the world as a whole.
They are stealing from the world as a whole because they are going to solve the problem by inflating the dollar, thus reducing the real amount of the debt they owe. They did this in the ’70s with the petrodollars, but it is doubtful they can do it now, because there is an alternative world currency, the euro.
So they are between a rock and a hard place and they have no patience for dissenters.
Also, someone should bring up what has happened to the missing money from the sale of Iraqi oil since the US has been in charge. Don’t hear much about that anymore.
21 December 2004
Your article struck me as very observant and to the point. It was great to see that someone recognizes that there are powerful but not determinative connections between individuals and society. Thank you for writing it.
22 December 2004
I think you really had to strain to make any connections between the killing of the pregnant woman and socioeconomic factors. For low-income families, having a(nother) child deepens the poverty. We could discuss the fact that outside of motherhood, low-income women in general are deemed to be without value. We could more appropriately tackle the psychological factors that drive some women, in all cultures, of all economic classes, to desperate measures to be mothers. But the bottom line to this case is that the woman who killed is, at least, mentally impaired, and has committed an irrational act of violence.
22 December 2004
If this victory holds then I predict a full-market economy will be introduced which results in wholesale unemployment as the old heavy industries will be shut down. This will result in widespread unemployment and social deprivation. In turn, there will be widespread drug taking and crime. We saw all this in the UK under Thatcher and her use of right-wing Reaganomics. The people think that they’ll be living in “freedom” when all their money will go into the coffers of the multinationals. This is what you get when the dead hand of old-style Soviet-style communism meets technologically enabled Western capitalism in a dog-eat-dog fight for power.
29 December 2004