Letters on the war against Iraq

10 April 2003

Below we post a selection of letters to the World Socialist Web Site on the war against Iraq.

I just started a few days ago to read your articles. Congratulation for your good work.

I have stopped watching the news on TV many months ago. Our best Canadian media are too often the parrots of the White House and the Pentagon. Fortunately a few hosts on CBC radio seem to have some perspective. The same few have started to question the official discourse of the murderers. This is not a war. This is massacre. And the carnage is far from being over.

I have put your web site on my list of favorites.

Good luck!

MC

New Brunswick, Canada

9 April 2003

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Dear Editor,

I must tell you that I have been following your web site for quite a few years and now consider it my sole source of knowledge, inspiration and analysis. These days have been incredibly traumatic and the only place I can receive some positive therapy and orientation is this great site.

Keep the articles coming

PM

Sydney

7 April 2003

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Comrades,

Congratulations for your web site! I have been following you for almost three years! I wish I could collaborate with you. Unfortunately, I am not a journalist, I am Brazilian, and my English is not perfect.... But I share your views.

I sent a message [on the upcoming worldwide antiwar demonstrations April 12] to friends that speak Portuguese that included James Conachy’s article, “Iraqi troops massacred from the air as US advances to Baghdad.”

Best regards,

M

7 April 2003

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THE HORROR OF IT ALL. Words to express my reaction fail me, but I do thank you for the courage to report what we might not otherwise learn.

PM

7 April 2003

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Regarding your statement wherein you write: “ New York Times correspondent David Sanger reports that ‘Some hawks in the administration are convinced that Iraq will serve as a cautionary example of what can happen to other states’ that provoke Washington’s ire. That is, what is happening in Baghdad today can also, at some point in the future, happen to Tehran, Damascus, Beijing and even Paris or Berlin.”

I was imagining yesterday what it would be like if those tanks were at San Francisco airport, motoring up Highway 101 into San Francisco, lobbing shells along the way. I tried to imagine my dinner hour being interrupted by armed troops demanding that I leave my house and sit on the ground outside with guns pointed at me while they searched my home. This was shown on national television news. Trembling women and children. Can you say “raus!”? I was trembling, myself.

CZ

7 April 2003

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Subject: Churchill on the digitalization of slaughter, 100 years ago

Finally, from Winston Churchill, at the time an embedded war reporter, covering the battle of Omdurman in the Sudan a little over a century ago:

“...while we watched, amazed by the wonder of the sight, the whole face of the slope became black with swarming savages. Four miles from end to end, and as it seemed in five great divisions, the mighty army advanced swiftly... [British gunboats on the Nile begin to fire.] The range was short; the effect tremendous. The terrible machine, floating gracefully on the waters—beautiful white devil—wreathed itself in smoke. The river slopes of the Kerrerri Hills, crowded with the advancing thousands, sprang up into clouds of dust and splinters of rock.... [The British soldiers] fired steadily and stolidly, without hurry or excitement, for the enemy were far away and the officers careful.... The tiny figures seen over the slide of the back-sight seemed a little larger, but also fewer at each successive volley. The rifles grew hot—so hot that they had to be changed for those of the reserve companies.... Their empty cartridge-cases, tinkling to the ground, formed small but growing heaps beside each man. And all the time out on the plain on the other side bullets were shearing through flesh, smashing and splintering bone; blood spouted from terrible wounds; valiant men were struggling on through a hell of whistling metal, exploding shells, and spurting dust—suffering, despairing, dying.”

A

7 April 2003

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Tonight my heart is sick and heavy for the brave men of Iraq who died fighting for their country. There is nothing more to say except that this whole criminal action will some day soon backfire on George Bush and the criminals around him. Bringing death and mass destruction to a country that did nothing to the US nor had the means to cannot go unpunished.

SC

California

7 April 2003

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On “Pittsburgh police lock up antiwar protesters for 30 hours

My daughter’s experiences in Chicago on March 20 mirror those in Pittsburgh. She walked two blocks from her law school dorm room to watch the demonstrators on Lake Shore Drive. Standing on the sidewalk and squeezed from all sides by police and other bystanders, she turned to a policeman behind her and asked how she could get back to her dorm. He grabbed her arms, forced them behind her back, handcuffed her, and pushed her into a police bus. Along with 282 other women. Two women she met in her cell—visitors from Iowa—had been window shopping and asked a policeman what all the “commotion” was. The police handcuffed them and forced them into the bus.

A man who was not a guard came to the cells to tell them “the mayor is very unhappy with you girls—no water, no phone calls.” They were not given Miranda or allowed to use the phone or given water. The toilet troubles echoed those in Pittsburgh. The mayor of Chicago ordered that the girls be mistreated and they were. They were forced into a cell too small for their numbers and could not sit or lie down for eight hours. One girl, a 16-year-old, cried for her mother all night. My daughter reports seeing the police beat people—demonstrators and bystanders—with batons. A policeman grabbed one woman by her neck scarf, dragged her to the ground and then banged her head into the wheel of his motorcycle. The handcuffs on another woman were so tight her wrists were cut and she almost bled to death before being taken to the hospital.

A cell phone, snuck into the cell, was the only link to the outside. Had the guards found it they would have taken it. That was how I learned my daughter’s situation—and the situation of so many other women—and men. The next morning, I called the law school and a lawyer was sent over to free her. She was charged with “reckless conduct” and “blocking a fire hydrant.”

This is a police state and I would like to see the actions of every policeman and every mayor exposed to the light. I hope the Iraqis invade the US and free us from oppression.

I am feeling very hopeless in the light of these horrible events....

SB

8 April 2003