Letters to the WSWS
7 January 2002
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.
I well remember the revelation of Kerrey’s murder of old men and children in Vietnam. (Throat-slitting, wasn’t it? Quieter that way.) I also remember how quickly the story vanished from view. I was never among those who rushed to his defense. On the contrary, I condemned him and was astonished that the New School let him stay there. Where, oh, where, was Mr. Christopher Hitchens then?
Of course, Kerrey could try and claim “amnesia” and put in an application for assistance in recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder—not from his original war experiences but from all the media attention. If Calley had to pay for his crimes against humanity, why not Kerrey? Makes you feel better about Clinton. At least he didn’t go to Vietnam—all his war crimes occurred during middle age.
Finally, I don’t know why you continue to refer to the New York Times and Washington Post as “liberal” newspapers. I have always regarded them as Establishment papers, and I in no way consider the Establishment to be “liberal.” Conservatives, after all, exist to “conserve” the established order—by fair means or foul. And their efforts to “disappear” the Kerrey story stink to high heaven.
4 January 2002
Thank you for this piece. I am a government teacher at a high school here in the states and your words articulate all that I perceive and fear. History again repeats itself and the President is being carried along and sustained by this war and the power elite who support it. The President’s religious rhetoric alone is frightening. I discuss war in my class because it shows students how the government uses war to meet its objectives and solve problems.
6 January 2002
Thank you for the article on the new representative to Afghanistan. I didn’t read it anywhere else although I am sure the Wall Street Journal, which I also subscribe to, will brag about it in a few days. This is my first day reading your web site and I am happy you are available.
3 January 2002
Thank you for writing this article. I’ve been in discussions with peers regarding the death toll of the innocent in Afghanistan—which I believe to be increasing on a daily basis—to be inhumane. It is true that the people in the World Trade Center did not deserve to die, but neither do the innocent Afghans who are too busy finding shelter and food vs. finding ways to attack the United States. I often wonder how “civilized” Bush’s techniques are compared to that of bin Laden.
23 December 2001
The US most notably and seemingly also Australia seem to be completely unable to consider means to correct social problems by determining the causes and rectifying them. Instead, these Governments resort to force in the form of punishment in complete disregard of the clear evidence that this approach is ineffectual. Punishment will temporarily stop a behavior but the perpetrator still wants to do what ever it is and will as soon as they feel they can do so and avoid punishment. This is even surpassed as exemplified by suicide bombers.
Alternatively, to determine what needs the behavior is serving and to provide alternative means of satisfaction will remove the need to engage in the undesired behavior. In the case of the US and our “war” we’ll not be able to stop terrorism, just de-institutionalise it with it becoming something done by individuals or small groups rather than a network. Alternatively, we could expend our efforts to bring about cooperation and co-existence. Something I don’t think any energy is now directed toward.
5 January 2002
I wanted to commend you on your excellent review of the Altman film Gosford Park, and the moving artistic commentary. Reading the WSWS and exploring some of the ideas of socialism has really opened my brain to something fundamentally crucial, and I think you expressed this “something” very well in describing capitalist class relations as the “crucial axis” of this society. This is a great truth that cannot be underestimated. Even the most benign and routine social activities are governed foremost not by free human will but by capital. Unless you monopolize enough capital or are the rare sort of artist or philosopher who can break through the spiritual bull, you have virtually no room to explore your own humanity. This is the great crime of capitalist society!
You are tied in wires of profit motive, and you may even know it and hate it, but still must live it! The result is a hardening, a stoning of the soul into a bloodless machine. Just something to think about, we are really up against a possible paradigm of complete enslavement, should humanity not create revolution.
It is very important not to rest on our philosophical laurels and to directly explore these realities, which as you eloquently pointed out “direct one toward the most elemental truths about the human ‘soul.’”
You seem to understand socialist thinking as a great springboard into the deepest questions of human reality (this is also true vice versa!). As a poet and thinking person I am always influenced by what I have learned about capital, and this is thanks in large part to your web site. Understanding and grappling with it is in my opinion fundamental to achieving spiritual freedom.
28 December 2001
Excellent commentary on the Bin Laden videotape—from the politics of terrorism to the politics of the US administration. I have had mixed feelings concerning the “war on terrorism.” I try not to be cynical, but had it not been for the tragedy of 9-11 and Osama bin Laden and his terrorist outfit, the capitalist politicians and their media industry would have paid little attention to the human rights of the Afghan people living under Taliban-style despotism.
23 December 2001
I couldn’t help but notice that your article mentions a point that is entirely overlooked by all the other articles that I have read concerning the events unfolding in Argentina, ie., that the declaration of a state of siege is an illegal measure specifically barred while congress is in session. I’m not sure of the significance of that fact, as it isn’t elucidated in anyway, but it surely points to a bent toward anarchy and disregard for law and order, which the people of Argentina feel compelled to resist. I’m grateful for the efforts of the WSWS in keeping us all so well informed.
21 December 2001
It is not unusual for Washington to be influential in putting in corrupt puppet dictatorships into governments, as is the case in Afghanistan. The US terrorist organisation the CIA, have been responsible in empowering the corrupt and murderous Suharto in Indonesia, their drug running pal General Noriega in Panama, the war criminal Sharon in Israel, General Pinochet in Chile another genocidal mass murderer, and countless others that the WSWS could put on the list of indecent governments installed by the CIA.
22 December 2001