Letters from our readers
13 March 2006
The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
No doubt the “Salvador Option” is at play in Iraq. What happened in Central America, Columbia, and Mexico is being repeated in Iraq. I’m worried that since John Negroponte is now high in America’s national security apparatus, history will repeat itself within the United States.
6 March 2006* * *
This current murder of intellectuals in Iraq bears many similarities to the massacre of Bengali intellectuals in the last days of the 1971 Independence War in Bangladesh. It was a heavy blow to the new nation of Bangladesh, whose educational institutions still suffer from that unaccounted-for injustice even today. What is going on in Iraq must be stopped. The authorities must step forward to protect these intellectuals and academic culture in general to prepare Iraq for its future.
7 March 2006* * *
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asked, before the war, why Iraqis would be studying and teaching chemistry, physics or microbiology—prerequisites to any medical college—implying that these subjects would be eliminated in the New Iraq. President Bush said in a speech before troops in April 2003 that the “New Iraq” would be modeled on the newly “liberated” Afghanistan. There is no place in the “New Iraq” for the technically qualified or for the committed nationalist intellectual. Those secular intellectuals and professionals who thought they would be “safe” as middle class “respectables” under the Americans and its rapacious clients now understand that they are scheduled for elimination, as have been all physical and legislative components of a modern, unified, secular republic.
Binghamton, New York
7 March 2006
This article can stand alone as an introduction to socialism for us in the USA. Mr Grey doesn’t mince words or pussy-foot. This isn’t a rehash of 1940’s agit-prop that the AARP, AFL-CIO, Move-on.org, et al still use. The aims of the WSWS are clearly stated in brief. It shows the WSWS and the ICFI have no complicated hidden agenda; what you see is what you get. At the least, it merits consideration in a rhetoric casebook. For the radical socialist, it gives hope in trusting workers to become radicalized through concise accounts of the facts of the present mess in the USA. The remedy Mr Grey proposes is not for weak-kneed limousine-liberal jerks. It is for the masses to enact and for the benefit of all.
6 March 2006
I did appreciate your article, especially the Google News search data on social inequality. Part of the problem is, I think, that if and when observations on inequality are made in the media, they are invariably couched in Hollywood speak. For instance, there is the frequently used level or un-level “playing field”—whatever the case may be—that serves to reduce the concept of inequality to drivel by the use of game-speak. Such euphemisms so dominate American language today that it makes interpretation painful and next to impossible. One can only imagine how Hollywood-speak, political-speak, and game-speak might appear in translation. Perhaps the obfuscation is deliberate. However, language being what it is, sometimes the truth creeps in. One hopeful sign might be the ever-increasing use of words like “fascists” and “fascism” on the internet when describing what America is, or has become, or where the country might be headed.
Malden Bridge, New York 7 March 2006
Excellent article. In South Africa more or less the same thing is going on, in spite of our so-called “Best Constitution in the World”—a term used without any explanation in the press and by nationalists of all sorts in this country. I have three children in High School, and the blatant lies propagated in the South African history school books on recent South African political history are something to cry about. According to this history, only the Stalinist ANC and South African Communist Party made meaningful contributions to the struggle that they in fact betrayed. Of course, there are no short supply of instant professors and political experts these days in the mass media praising our new elite.
Vereeniging, South Africa
8 March 2006* * *
Thank you for letting the world know about this perverse travesty of free speech. What the frothing apologists and thugs are basically saying is that a teacher can no longer inform his/her students about the world around them—the world in which they must grow and struggle and survive. What will be next? Censorship of American history, denial of the mass genocide of the Indians and slavery, the rewriting of the ideals upon which the Constitution is founded? Democracy is dead in today’s America. What will it take for a unified and substantial reaction? One thing is certain: the road ahead will be very tough. I hope the WSWS will be there to see us through this mess.
8 March 2006* * *
In the last month, two teachers made headlines in Colorado. One of them, Jay Bennish (whose case was explained in this article) made it to national headlines, as he was put under administrative leave for the comments he made regarding US foreign policy and president Bush. Bennish has since been reinstated. The other teacher “in question” was a woman from Bennet, Colorado, who showed the opera Faust to her classroom, to teach them music appreciation. Conservative Christian parents were outraged by the opera’s references to the devil. The teacher was also put on leave, and I believe she has not been reinstated yet. The movement to the right and religious fundamentalism in this country are growing stronger, and freedom of speech is getting more and more restricted by those who don’t want to hear anything they do not agree with. We need to make sure that we do not just stand by and let this happen, because at the moment it might not seem significant enough. But I am from Germany, and I have seen in our own history how the slow erosion of freedom can have deadly consequences. Sometimes these changes are so subtle that we do not pay attention until it is too late. Let’s try to speak up...
11 March 2006
It’s a terrific article. Of course, since I have the WSWS and other good sources for news, e.g. Pacifica radio, the content of the article is not new to me, but I was definitely surprised to find out that such a piece aired on CBS’ “60 minutes.” Also I was unaware of the level of detail provided in the article. I was aware that individuals were tortured to death in US jails in Afghanistan, but the details provided a clearer picture of the level of the brutality that went on in our names.
7 March 2006
Thank you very much for this wonderful article. I was practicing pathology when we first became aware of Helicobacter pylori. I wish I, and everyone, had known this when I was in general practice from 1954 to 1965.
6 March 2006
This article ripped my heart into pieces. Every urban city in our country has a legal system designed to incarcerate minority men and other groups of indigent citizens. I don’t know what the answer is. I have a relative who is on trial tomorrow; he is currently at Men’s Central in LA County, for violating his parole. Someone randomly reported him for committing a crime that he did not commit. He was stabbed twice during the race riots and is suffering from a broken hand. I’m only writing to share. I am 3,000 miles away, but my prayers are with the brothers and sisters (regardless of race) who are victims of our corrupt legal system. I pray that my cousin will be set free tomorrow. There is no evidence against him.
8 March 2006
On the WSWS
I wanted to take the time out to commend you on this brilliant website. Not a day goes by that I do not read the articles on this site, and I appreciate the amount of hard work your staff puts into these articles. They do not contain any biases and are very neutral to world issues. It is great to know that news sites exist out there that still publish factual news compared to the propaganda and biased articles that are found in other newspapers and websites. Keep up the good work!
1 March 2006