Letters from our readers
29 December 2003
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
Your articles are always very fine. I did not see the interview [by Diane Sawyer with Bush] as my mental health cannot take looking at this man. In this case, though, I was not at home. You are right that it is astonishing that this man is proud that he does not read the papers. He is ignorant and uninterested—so intellectually lazy that he doesn’t even care to learn about people he will destroy. His hypocrisy on Iraq is enormous—he has never shown any concern about all the Iraqis killed by Americans at his orders—people who never did anything to Americans. Why aren’t people questioning the fact that the “capture” of Hussein occurred three days after Iraq announced a commission to try war criminals—that is before a judicial system has been established in the country? Seems pretty suspicious.
Keep up your good work.
18 December 2003* * *
The real reason for the invasion of Iraq by the US and UK is made up of a complex set of reasons, as I see it:
1. Control of oil supply
2. Israel’s security
3. Foothold in the Middle East through a puppet government in Iraq and military presence
4. Enabling US withdrawal from Saudi Arabia, the holy land of Islam
5. Business (reconstruction, construction of oil pipelines, sale of consumer goods, etc.)
6. Free hand in combating terrorism (the latter term defined as needed)
7. Free hand for Israel to deal with the “Palestinian problem”
8. Promoting the interests of the US war industry and related industries.
24 December 2003* * *
The description of the two cases is a tour de force. Nevertheless the reference to “recurrence of the World War II internment in California of persons of Japanese ancestry...” is most puzzling to those of us, not of Japanese heritage, WHO WERE INDEED INTERNED during that same war. This included 3,500 Italians, Ezio Pinza and Joe DiMaggio’s father among them.
Additionally there were also 11,000 Germans. Your periodical is also conversant with the coercive effects of secret police even in cases where incarceration does not result, which magnifies exponentially the numbers involved. Within the very same internment camps totaling well over 20, there were also thousands brought for internment from 12 Latin American countries.
I was a 17-year-old senior in Woodward High, Cincinnati, and arrested on a warrant by Attorney General Biddle in my classroom in March 1943. I too was denied counsel of any kind. I was sent to Crystal City Texas for internment with all the ethnic peoples listed above. The Japanese interned with me received $20,000 each and released shortly after VJ Day, but I was not released until September 1947.
There was no National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers speaking up for us. Then too, none of the internees was ever guilty of blowing up buildings, tunnels or bridges, nor sent anthrax through the mail.
There is not even any official acknowledgment of our internment to this day. Instead there has been this myopic discussion of the racial internment of Japanese. This small minority can get sanctimonious mention by all the civil rights activists, as it begs the question: Can internment be imposed on just any selected group? My group too? Good luck, because it can.
Your article proves that the 1798 Alien Sedition Acts do still apply, regardless of the political spectrum. Biddle and Ashcroft are interchangeable.
24 December 2003
I have been reading the WSWS (daily at four o’clock) for the past few years and thought it well past time I commented upon an article posted here. In Australia, we are witnessing an attack on public services—notably, in New South Wales, the public health service. I forwarded Noah Page’s article on the socioeconomic crisis facing the US state of Oregon to friends and family, even those not known for socialist inclinations, as much of what was reported rings true for our community here.
I wish to thank Noah Page for a very useful piece of social analysis which is relevant to many working class families living in the so-called comfortable suburbs of Australia. The state of things in the US is often a reliable indicator of things to come. Given the adoration of the US displayed by our current conservative government, and the appointment of known right-wing thugs to the health and education portfolios, I can only hope that the warning will be heeded in time.
22 December 2003* * *
The cover-ups in hospitals throughout Australia have been going on for three years that I know of. Howard won’t release the funding—all he has done is to take. The doctors are sleep-deprived due to long hours because of lack of doctors and nurses. Many specialists are just plain incompetent. It doesn’t matter whether you have private health coverage, people are still dying.
Until the state and federal governments put adequate money towards health nothing will change. It is an absolute disgrace the condition that our hospitals have been allowed to lapse into. The medical (so-called) professionals that are known to be incompetent should be sacked. The hospitals have a list of who they are.
25 December 2003* * *
“Influenza nearing epidemic levels in the US” by Debra Watson shows us that the dozens of needless deaths and the hundreds of thousands of lost work days are not a tragedy, but merely a business opportunity missed. Next year, these three companies that manufacture the vaccines are sure to cover this year’s illnesses, because covering next year’s influenza strain would require costly speculation, research and foresight.
22 December 2003* * *
Thank you for the best overview thus far of the deep split in our country. Clearly Dean’s popularity is a reflection of the sentiment of the masses that elected Gore as our president. We wonder if the world knows how many of us there are. The press here won’t tell. I live in Seattle and I don’t know one person who supports this war, really. The difference with the next election is the people who for the first time in their lives have become involved with the political process and see it as a matter of life and death.
We are not a fringe movement, there are millions of us who know an evil regime robbed its way into power and we are doing everything we can to uproot this cancerous growth.
20 December 2003* * *
Lewis Carroll observed that in Wonderland, it takes all the running you can do just to stay in one place. Your column perceptively describes how this plays out in Washington, as we struggle to get back to a position that is now labeled “out of the mainstream.”
When Clinton espoused his doctrine of centrism, he neglected to note that the center can be anywhere: it is defined by the two positions which it is between. The brilliance of the Right was in wildly and irresponsibly staking outrageous positions. The Democrats, in order to remain in the “center,” obligingly moved to the right as well. That is how we got into our present miserable situation; and that is the terrible legacy of the Clinton years.
Bush 2 has continued this strategy on an even more audacious scale. And the irony is that we are so stunned with “shock and awe” that we now gratefully welcome a candidate who looks like a Rockefeller Republican, and we want to believe that he is a liberal Democrat.
“Bad cop” and “good cop.” It really works.
24 December 2003* * *
I hope the days of this debauched administration and its in-house thugs and international lackeys are numbered. There is a universal law that eventually catches up with truly evil empires as it has done with so many empires over the centuries.
San Antonio, Texas
17 December 2003* * *
I have read many of your stories with interest. Many of the Australian people have been waiting for the real criminals to be charged for the death of innocent people in Iraq. The only time peace will return to the country is when the invaders leave. With the help from the UN, the people will get order back and start to rebuild their country.
Bush should be jailed with his cohorts. He had no right to start a war because he wanted oil and bully a country to live his way. Just go back to the election—he no more won that than I did. He is a disgrace to the human race. To top things off, he is giving orders to the Australian air force to spy on Iran without getting approval from the Defence Minister, Mr. Hill. It seems he is of the impression that he is running Australia. Mr. Howard is going to have some fast explaining to do to the people. Mr. Howard has proven he is not fit to run our country. His decisions go against what the people want.
21 December 2003