Letters to the WSWS

9 June 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.

On “Friedman: We did it ‘because we could’—New York Times covers up for lies on Iraq war

Thank you, Mr. Vann, for so eloquently stating many of the reasons why I have been fuming at Thomas Friedman for his absolutely loony column posted worldwide today, attempting to justify the duck shoot in Iraq.

While I might have had a few sympathetic readers in the many and varied e-groups I belong to, I am sure that Mr. Vann is more widely received than I could possibly be, and I would in reality be preaching to the choir. Mr. Vann’s disgust for Mr. Friedman’s total whitewashing of Bush’s “holy war” soothes me much more than anything I might have possibly written.

MB

Sarasota, Florida

6 June 2003

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Dear Editor,

I am constantly appalled, but not surprised, at the depravity of Thomas Friedman. His column is nothing less than a conduit, a sewer line, for all the filth and excrement produced by his political masters. This man has no ideas, only class prejudices masquerading as ideas.

Yours.

EG

South Africa

6 June 2003

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Your column was right on the money. I have become a critic of Friedman sending him little notes with my thoughts on his reasoning. So it was good to see someone else take him on. I really thought his recent column asking his readers to explain to him why the world hates us was a bit much and told him so. Keep up the good work!

LS

Illinois

6 June 2003

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On “Photos indicate torture and sexual abuse by British troops in Iraq

Dear Julie,

Last night on BBC World News, I saw the report of the photographs taken by a British soldier of the maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners. Specifically, one of the photos, which prompted an employee of the shop in Tamworth, Staffordshire, where the film had been dropped off to be developed, to call police, showed a bound and gagged Iraqi hanging in a net from a fork lift truck. While the story, continued today on the BBC website, has military types declaring themselves to be “shocked” and “appalled,” I notice that the web articles do not include a comment that was reported on yesterday’s television broadcast. This was the fact that the shop’s staff was being “replaced” and people were being ordered not to talk about what had happened. Extraordinary! Remarkable! A spokesperson for Amnesty International warned against allowing this to be swept under the carpet, but it appears that total erasure was the aim. Eliminate witnesses. Just like the Mafia.

Meanwhile, Mr. Blair is tap dancing for his life in a rising wind that threatens to blow him into oblivion. And it appears more and more clearly that that wind is coming from the posterior parts of Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush. It is Blair’s performance that has been extraordinary and remarkable. But it is unlikely that he will ever receive the praise and thanks that he offered his troops from the stinking nether quarters of the occupants of the White House and the Pentagon

CZ

San Francisco

31 May 2003

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On “US government lied about Iraqi weapons to justify war

Dear Mr. Martin,

I congratulate you for your analysis and conclusions. It is obvious and it has always been, since the famous speech about the “axis of evil,” that we were going to lie in order to step up our control on the world. The world needs to be organized (manipulated?) by any means.

The surprise is to see how everybody in the world, even France and Germany, falls in agreement with us just to get a piece of the cake.

The conversation could be very long but the conclusion remains the same: we, the world, are going toward global unity and the driving force at the moment is the United States of America. To obtain this, anything will be used and will be accepted: lies, ethnic cleansing, racism, wars, etc. Humanitarianism, democracy, human rights, etc., have always been and will only be the instruments to obtain the above.

Regards and again my congratulations for your writings.

KB

31 May 2003

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Many thanks for your quality articles concerning the issues of Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. So there seems to be some difficulty in finding these WMDs. Why is anyone really surprised by this? If Saddam Hussein really had the WMDs, and the will to use them, then Bush’s War would have risked the lives of perhaps one million civilians, the lives of tens of thousands of US troops, and could have led to the chemical and biological contamination of Iraq’s resources, thus eliminating any ability to exploit those resources. So I always doubted the existence of the WMDs, and in my opinion the war itself was proof that the Bush Administration either knew the WMDs did not exist or knew Saddam would not use them. My surprise is why this obvious point seems to have escaped the scrutinizing eyes of the mainstream US media. So the lesson of the latest Gulf War is that if a nation wants to fend-off the uncontrolled power of the United States, that nation must develop WMDs and make clear the will to use them. So much for making the world a safer place. And if I’m wrong, the fact that Bush would callously risk the lives of millions for no apparent reason, except for the extreme greed of the wealthy, is even more frightening.

MZ

USA

7 June 2003

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Dear Sir,

Thank you for your article on the USA’s future plans regarding Iran. I am apparently sick of the American bullies whose main objective behind invasions is to dominate the entire world and its resources. Washington feels that it has the God-given right to go and invade and commit genocide on any nation. The largest terrorist organisation is the United States of America, and I feel I it needs a regime change. I wonder how the majority of Americans would feel if what has taken place in Afghanistan and Iraq and many other countries at the hands of the American government took place in America? I know there are Americans who have very serious concerns regarding their government’s crimes against humanity, but the majority of the American people need to be educated and made aware by organisations such as the WSWS.

Thank you once again. Keep up the good work.

Best regards,

ZB

29 May 2003

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Excellent reportage on EVERYTHING I’ve read on your site. I put it in my favourites.

I’m an anarchist: imagine how matters look to me! At present, I think there is likely less than 1% of so-called “leading politicians” of any stripe anywhere that can be trusted to act in favour of sanity.

Cheers and all best,

JF

7 June 2003

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Just a note to let you know how much appreciated your news reports are. The mainstream news in our country is totally deficient of any honest objectivity and/or credibility. They have abandoned journalistic ethics and fallen in line. I think I know how it must have been in Germany in the thirties. .

Thank you,

NO

29 May 2003

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On “Jayson Blair and Judith Miller—Journalistic ethics, hypocrisy and war at the New York Times

I can’t believe that I am reading and what’s more nodding my head in agreement of anything appearing on a “socialist” website. (I am of that generation that read “Union of Socialist Soviet Republics” and saw COMMUNISM in big red letters.) Yet that’s exactly what I did re: your comments about Jayson Blair and Judith Miller.

I do not know for a fact that Jayson Blair is guilty of what the Times reported...but I do know that Judith Miller is involved with groups that promote public policy. And I did not believe a word that she “wrote” about Iraq and the scientist. It was, literally, too good to be true.

I am not sure that I will bookmark your site...but I do promise to revise my thinking about socialism. Maybe, at last, I will be de-McCarthyited.

Thank you for the column.

LB

Philadelphia

29 May 2003

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I have just read your article on Judith Miller and Jayson Blair & agree entirely. In fact, today I sent the following letter to the New York Times—though you know they will not publish it!

To the New York Times Editor:

Please include the reporting of Judith Miller in Iraq in the latest review of the New York Times journalistic standards. The US has found no WMD, yet her stories regularly support the premise of the US invasion despite the lack of evidence. Today your footnote to the article suggests why Judith Miller and your newspaper departed from your normal journalistic standards. You state, “The reporting for this article was carried out by Judith Miller in Iraq and Kuwait and by William Broad in New York. Her agreement with the Pentagon, for an “embedded” assignment, allowed the military to review her copy to prevent breaches of troop protection and security. No changes were made in the review.”

Did the military alter her other dispatches or was her non-questioning reporting exposing her own bias? How could her reports on the search for WMD possibly breach “troop protection and security.” And, are embedded reporters forever subject to military oversight? Surely if you are to maintain your usually high standards, you should ensure you take an objective view and not kow-tow to an overbearing defense and political establishment.

NY

Virginia

7 June 2003

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Amen to every word you wrote. This one is important, because of what you said all the way through. It’s been my belief that Nazism did not die with Hitler, it crossed the ocean and became the post-WW2 Republican party. And now fascism (capitalism) is such a popular political stance this cabal will undoubtedly not have to call off the 2004 election. They’ll take it hands down and then we’ll really get it. They’ll turn on us actively. Now they’re just intimidating us, but they’re going to nail us, because We The People are now their enemy. They are making us the enemy when we don’t want to be. It’s like school administration vs the student body, the nature of American schools. The nature of the corporations. Now it’s our political world. The administration vs. the people. What’s funny, though, is we’ll win. Like all fascists, they destroy their own country and go up in its smoke. I’ve stopped calling Bush the president. I call him The Leader, which translates into German, der Fuhrer, and into Italian, Il Duce. Everything that Mussolini said of fascism is what we have.

They pick on the black people in the American version of fascism, starve them into crime and through crime into prison. Contain them. Which is how they’re handling the Iraqi people. Arrest them. Shoot them. Contain them. In Bob Dylan’s words, “It’s a hard rain gonna fall.”

Thanks again for what you wrote. All of it needs so much to be said out in the open.

TW

27 May 2003

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On “Singer Iris DeMent refuses to perform in protest against Iraq war

David Walsh WSWS:

David, just reading your very strong and well-composed 26 March 2003 article on Iris DeMent’s stand on not performing during the Iraq war. This woman is as politically powerful as John Lennon and a queen among humanity. It’s crazy, I’d not heard of Iris until two weeks ago. I heard “Elbow Room” on a socialist radio station and became hypnotised by her exquisite voice and style. 14 days later I have three CDs and regard her as brilliantly talented lyrically as Dylan, chorally as Linda Rondstadt, and as uniquely talented as any performer having ever existed. I cannot wait for Iris to visit Australia

Outstanding commentary, excellent web site, could you please advise Iris’ website?

Best regards,

GF

Melbourne

Australia

24 May 2003