Letters to the WSWS

The following is a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.

It is extraordinary. Your site is telling what I have been looking for for years and years. I came from Romania, which had a long running Stalinist regime until 1989. I saw both communism (its degeneration at the end of Ceausescu's regime) and the rise of capitalism. It was, and still is, horrible. I still believe that the world can be better and I really do think we (all of us) deserve more.



13 June 2000

Oh yes, oh yes. Kudos to Bruce Springsteen for attempting to keep the realities of the Diallo case out in the public eye. As for Giuliani and his bonapartist contingent buddies in the BPOE, I knew it was just a matter of time before their real colors began to show. They just have to get foul as a matter of principle. Those who doubt the ugliness of the climate here in New York need to note that not only did the BPOE attack Springsteen, their spokesperson was at great pains to do so with a bit of homophobic diatribe. These are sick, dangerous people--but nowhere near as ill as the people who hire them to be the goon squads they are.


15 June 2000

To the Editor,

This is the best of three reviews of “Copenhagen” I found on the Web. Saw the play last night in New York. In my opinion, none of the reviews do justice to the emotions, the drama of the personal lives of the two scientists and Bohr's wife.

Nor do they describe the intricate and clever devices used by the playwright to explore what happens to humans as they repeatedly experience remembrance of things past.



19 June 2000

Dear WSWS Editors;

You've probably heard that “Saddam Hussein has used gas to kill many of his own people,” but do you know that the US helped him do this? Private American businesses sent him inputs he needed, some of which were later discovered by UN inspectors. These same inspectors have also uncovered the names of more companies but are not allowed to reveal them. So far the US has not asked that this policy be changed. Being consistent on this, the US also did not condemn these gas attacks when it learned about them.

In late 1990 the US government discovered a public opinion poll showing that Americans feared nuclear war and used this information to scare American into supporting military action against Iraq. The US has chastised Iraq for not allowing inspectors into certain buildings, even though the US Senate attached a provision to the Chemical Weapons Treaty in 1997 that gives the President the same authority.

We have ignored UN Resolution 687, paragraph 14, the section of the peace agreement that calls for a nuclear free zone and regional disarmament and by implication putting Israel's 200 nuclear weapons on the discussion table. And Uncle Sam has, by supplying weapons and technical support to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, continued to lay the foundation for future violence that could escalate into the use of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Even hawks who want to coerce Saddam Hussein regardless of the human costs should support the end of economic sanctions, since Iraq does not now threaten its neighbors with weapons of mass destruction. Scott Ritter, who resigned from the UN inspection team in 1999, has said that Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction. Spokespersons for the US have said on numerous occasions that these sanctions will be kept in place forever, a very effective way to discourage cooperation by Iraq and a strange way to get rid of those weapons.

As the only nation to have ever detonated nuclear weapons as an act of war, we have maintained a huge arsenal of nukes to intimidate other countries, and this has motivated them to continue this arms race by developing them in self-defense.

We used weapons against Iraq in 1991, which have more in common with weapons of mass destruction than with conventional arms. They were fuel air explosives that engulf an area over 1,000 feet, napalm bombs, depleted uranium shells—a new type of nuclear weapon, and cluster bombs which explode in mid-air, scattering thousands of high-velocity shards of jagged steel shrapnel over the size of a football field.

Human Rights Watch reports that 24 to 30 million such bomblets were dropped in the Gulf War. Those that did not explode became land mines. The US has refused to sign the international land mine treaty. Finally, the economic sanctions, which have killed over 1 million Iraqis, are a weapon of mass destruction.

Thus the fear of weapons of total obliteration does not seem to be the reason for US support of economic sanctions against Iraq.

James A. Lucas

Committee to Save the Iraqi People

18 June 2000

Dear WSWS,

I'm glad to see there are others out there who are actually trying to change things for the good of the poor working people and the socialist cause. Keep up the outstanding work.


18 June 2000

Right now a mission is coming to Peru from the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate the elections. It is interesting to analyze that in the Latin American context even the appearance of democracy is in retreat, in all probability, with the secret blessing of the United States State Department. Since the Carter era, the State Department project was to force democracy in South America. But the only thing it has accomplished in practical terms is the tremendous impoverishment of the entire region.

It is remarkable that currently an aging dictator, H. Banzer, is President of Bolivia and a former military coup leader is President of Venezuela, Chavez. Within Peru and Ecuador, seemingly civilian Presidents Fujimori and Nabot are being controlled more or less openly by the military high command. Colombians have a civilian president, Pastrana, but live in permanent civil war. Given the global panorama, it is possible that in order to avoid popular discontent, which is so natural in these regions, we see the hardening of open military force, as in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia ... while human rights organizations are being funded.

The classic and timeless divide and conquer politics ... has worked since Rome. What is not acceptable are popular uprisings, rooted in the extreme poverty that affects these regions, which allow elites, 10 percent of the population, to continue ruling over pre-modern racist and hierarchical societies.

It is interesting to analyze the case of the OAS, given that it gave its blessing to the 1992 Fujimori coup d'etat and considering the fear that the region, the CIA and the State Department felt towards the Shining Path guerrillas. Now the OAS returns, supposedly to democratize Peru. In truth it is a cosmetic exercise to train the Fujimori government how to be more diplomatic while wielding power. In other words, it is a matter of making sure that democratic appearances don't collapse and reveal cruel reality. Let us not forget the South American military officials and intelligence services are trained by Washington military and political hawks. These have powerful connections with the military industrial complex.

In addition, one must analyze the OAS personnel. In the past, Mr. Luigi Einaudi has been secretary of OAS. He has participated in many secret negotiations for the State Department in South America. One of his latest has been the peace treaty between Ecuador and Peru. This treaty permits a northern Peruvian oil pipeline to transport Ecuadoran oil to the benefit of US oil companies. The OAS analysis would also have to include that Colombia and Peru are of great importance for US security interests. They are major coca producers, that supply the US black market, with some 300 tons of drug base produced each year. Supposedly those two nations must be watched to combat the drug trade.

It would be interesting to know why the Pentagon cannot locate 300 tons of coke base, valued at 100,000 billion (100 trillion in US dollars), given its technology. These dollars circulate without much difficulty. The answer is that the Pentagon knows. While on the one hand it combats the drug trade, on the other hand it uses drugs to stupefy Hispanics and blacks in the US ghettos.



I know only too well how General Motors treats their employees! I and a lot of my friends worked at Hughes Aircraft in Newport Beach, California. When GM took over it was unimaginable. They laid off people who had 20 plus years and sent our work to Mexico. They also subcontracted all of our janitorial jobs to another company. I had worked 16 years and got kicked out on my butt and never have recovered from it. I had planned on retiring. I'm 58 and worked in maintenance. Now no one wants to hire me or pay me decent wages. I'm working harder and for a lot less money. Oh well, I have a lot of company because cause they just keep on doing it. I think the American workers should boycott all of their cars and trucks ... that would really tick them off.

Thanks for listening.


21 June 2000