Letters from our readers

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Germany: Brandenburg intelligence service slanders the World Socialist Web Site

This is outrageous. As an avid WSWS reader, I can attest to the REALITY that nowhere does the site advocate violence in any form. Legal proceedings may be expensive, but WSWS deserves an apology & compensation.


20 October 2003

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Don’t let them get away with it. It was the information I received on your site about candidate John Christopher Burton that allowed me to truly vote my conscience. Sue them. Force them to tell the truth. Keep up the excellent work.

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If legal action is pursued, please post a helpful link for donations to the legal cause.

Thank you,


20 October 2003

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On “UN vote on Iraq: Paris, Berlin and Moscow bow before Bush

Chris Marsden’s article does an excellent job of highlighting the economic and geopolitical interests behind the unanimous vote of the UN Security Council on resolution 1511. Equally telling is the response of the opposition and “left” parties to the vote.

From the leadership of the Italian “Olive Tree” opposition bloc, there was an audible sigh of relief. “Everything is different now,” said Piero Fassino, Secretary of the Left Democrats (DS), the ex-Stalinist party that makes up the largest part of the “Olive Tree” alliance. The presence of Italian troops in Iraq is now “legitimate,” according to Left Democrat President Massimo D’Alema, while the head of the centrist “Margherita” party and candidate for premier in the latest national elections, Franceso Rutelli, hailed the “return of multilateralism.”

Fassino’s remarks in a recent interview confirm the “progressive” content of bourgeois politics in Italy and throughout the world. “The democratic left can support neither the unilateralism of Bush nor multilateralism without the US, which is promoted by French President Jacques Chirac.” Instead, the left’s job is to build international coalitions that involve all parties, necessarily through that purveyor of international harmony, the United Nations.

When asked by the interviewer if the Olive Tree leaders’ characterizations of the Security Council vote might attribute more “good will” to those who voted on the resolution than actually existed, Fassino shot back that the vote was nothing less than the first sign of the democratization of politics in Iraq!

Certainly, there was much crowing by the minority faction of the DS and the small parties of the Olive Tree bloc (Greens [Verdi], the Pd’CI, and Rifondazione Comunista), none of which will come to anything. As with their sister party the Greens in Germany, the Verdi, not to mention all of the ex-Stalinist groupings, would jump at the opportunity for greater influence in Italian politics, only to then champion whatever measures are in the “national interest.”

As the WSWS has consistently argued, in order for the international unity of the working class to be achieved, there must first be a sustained struggle to win the political allegiance of the working class AWAY FROM the bourgeois political system. This is a task that the leaders of all of the “left” parties in Italy are not only unfit for, but actively oppose.

Fassino’s comments were made shortly after he returned from the US, where he was part of a delegation of Second Internationalists who met with leaders from both the Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO. In the context of a discussion of the trip, the principle of “multilateralism” was employed yet again, this time to promote the illusion among the working class that bourgeois politicians can work together not only to bring world peace, but to protect workers from attacks on their living conditions brought on by global competition.

Not being witness to these comments, I can’t say whether Fassino and the interviewer had a good chuckle at the very idea of the Second International, coupled with the US Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO bureaucrats, leading a struggle to defend workers from ANYTHING.

A successful struggle can be waged to defend the rights and well-being of the working class internationally, but this can only be accomplished through the building of an organization with a clear political and historical outlook. That organization is the Socialist Equality Party.


19 October 2003

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On “White House bans news coverage of coffins returning from Iraq

Dear Bill,

Eloquently expressed. It’s a damned shame. Support the Troops, indeed! The hypocrisy and plain hard-heartedness (or heartlessness) of this administration beggars belief. The treatment of the Fort Stewart soldiers is an outrage and their story should be emblazoned across the front pages of newspapers everywhere. This place sounds only a few rungs higher than the concentration camp at Guantánamo, and it is evident that the Bush administration has nothing but contempt for the prisoners in both camps.

The families of Simeon Hunte, Analaura Esparza-Gutierrez, David Travis Friedrich, Ryan Carlock and all of the other, unnamed young people who saw in the armed forces their only opportunity to better themselves can never be recompensed for the loss of their loved ones, but surely the families of the survivors who are being mistreated and threatened on their return from duty have a cause worth pursuing in demanding an end to their mistreatment at the hands of the ungrateful and churlish pack of chicken hawks currently resident in Washington.


23 October 2003

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On “17 deaths not included in the US military pneumonia investigation

Dear Sir,

After reading on your web site of the non-combat-related deaths of soldiers in Iraq, I wanted to also let you know that on August 18, 2003, we lost our 35-year-old son who was stationed in South Korea. He had never been near Iraq. The symptoms we have been told about (to date) are almost identical to the ones mentioned in your article.

We are still waiting, after two months for the complete reports.


20 October 2003

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On “US Republican right defends religious zealot general


The day that G.W. Bush was installed as president of this country was the same day that General Boykin realized that nobody would raise an eyebrow if he were to begin his ranting and raving at all things not fundamentalist Christian. Short of murdering someone on film, these crazies have a green light to put religious symbols in government buildings, threaten minority groups, intimidate non-Christians, and spew violent and hateful language that can only further violence against Americans at home and abroad. I even wonder if this same general whose job it is to assassinate enemies of the state may have had a hand in the deaths of Wellstone, Kennedy Jr., Carnahan, and the countless other Democrats who have been mysteriously murdered in recent years. Given his strong beliefs and willingness to follow his own orders it cannot be ruled out. I think it is time for the real Americans of this country, the secular ones among us, to realize that our country has been overthrown by a fundamentalist regime and we need to do everything in our power to get it back.


22 October 2003

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Dear Editor,

I really enjoy your articles. You guys at the WSWS are really smart! I don’t know where you get all your information, but you really seem to have the skinny on a lot of the major issues facing our world today, and your knowledge of world events is awesome.

I’m almost afraid to post a letter to this site, knowing that it is probably monitored by the authorities as a “subversive” web site, but I’m probably on their list already anyway, being a “card-carrying member” of the ACLU and Amnesty International.

So I’m writing anyway, just to say thanks for the really great, super-intelligent articles, and know that they are greatly valued by this reader, and I shall be reading them as long as you keep writing them.



Dallas, Texas

23 October 2003

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On “When baseball turns ugly—Chicago Cubs fan vilified following ballpark incident

Without being hysterical, should we not ask ourselves how closely these sporting activities are ceasing to be about the simple pursuit of physical excellence and starting to resemble the gladiatorial events of ancient Rome?


22 October 2003