Letters from WSWS readers
27 October 2004
I am increasingly disgusted with the hypocrisy of America’s left. They crucify their progressive candidates and demand allegiance to the Democratic Party, mainly because Bush was so bad a president he had us invade Iraq, killing tens of thousands. The liberal establishment conveniently overlooks the fact that the sanctions on Iraq killed well over a million Iraqis, half of whom were children, from 1991-2003.
The truth is that Bill Clinton is responsible for the deaths of far more people than George W. Bush. Clinton presided over eight years of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis—10 times as many as Bush.
There are conspicuous and inconspicuous ways to kill thousands in the Third World. When we do it with bullets and bombs, it makes the news (mostly). When we do it with economic pressures, the media doesn’t report it. The Democrats and Republicans are a perfect coalition in all major US policies that crush and impoverish underdeveloped nations. The Kerry campaign has already promised to continue the Cuba embargo.
14 October 2004
You say: “The trailers that US officials claimed were mobile biological weapons laboratories were actually being used to make hydrogen for weather balloons, as the Iraqis said,” with which I agree.
That isn’t the end of the matter.
It wasn’t simply “US officials” who made the claim. It was the CIA. The facts clearly prove the CIA was telling a lie. The CIA/DIA white paper of May 2003 contains two outright fabrications: one about the cooling unit; one about the compressor and gas storage system. Those fabrications didn’t arise from any science or from any evidence or from any “intelligence” supplied by “Iraqi defectors”. They’re fiction. Crude fiction.
The Bush administration used the CIA to promulgate a deliberate political lie that was, at the time, desperately needed by Bush. That’s an offense, possibly an impeachable offense.
The trailers are a small matter by comparison. Even the lie is a small matter. That the CIA was used to promulgate the lie is a huge matter. It definitely should not be ignored.
25 October 2004
I just read your “Discontent rife in US military ranks” article. An excellent piece.
There is a point you did not make, however, that I wanted to mention in case you wanted to use it. Only a few weeks back the US was approaching the symbolically significant number of 1,000 deaths. As your piece indicates, in a span of a few weeks since that number was reached, another 84 people have been killed in Iraq.
I don’t have the time at the moment to pinpoint exactly when the 1,000 deaths threshold was passed, but I think it is fair to say that: 1) the death rate appears to be increasing over time; and 2) the daily accounting of the deaths of US military personnel in the mainstream media has virtually dried up and many deaths go unreported, or at least is tucked away in the “back pages” of the print media.
I read the main US sources daily, and there is no way that the numbers I have seen approach 84. My guess would put it closer to 20-30, though I don’t keep a daily log of it. Nevertheless, I think we can argue that it is another component in the broader campaign by the US ruling elite to disguise the realities of Iraq in the run up to the election.
Keep up the great work!
16 October 2004
To the editor:
In the story on the mutiny of the US soldiers in Iraq, the accusation that the cargo to which they objected risking their lives over was aviation fuel tainted with oil and had already been rejected by the Tallil air base seems to reveal further the nature of the war as an act of rapacious profit-mongering. Not only was the 343rd unwilling to continue to risk their lives for a government that had ignored their requests for basic protection, but they may well have been acting to save the lives of others who the fuel would have endangered.
The news accounts have not explained it any further, but a likely assumption is that the military would have been willing to use the fuel in planes, helicopters or other vehicles even though it might have caused malfunctions, resulting in more American deaths. In trying to get a choke hold on the world’s oil, US business is willing to sacrifice its own soldiers and many more Iraqis.
The work of the Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site needs to be supported for many reasons, but one of them is to bring these criminals to justice.
It may be that after the horrible experience of 2000 that our Supreme Court has been cowed and will uphold anything that the legislature does in regard to voting.
Logically there is no reason to reject provisional ballots at the wrong precinct. Early voting sites are not precinct based and people from multiple precincts use them. In our county, Clay, the early voting sites are in the Tax Collectors Offices. It would seem that with that in mind, and the problems created by multiple hurricanes, the court could reasonably have held that they should be counted.
Perhaps they were afraid to do so.
20 October 2004
This is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, so it may not apply everywhere but:
Today we filled out our absentee ballots and had them notarized, etc. I almost put 37 cent stamps on them but thought they might be a little heavy, plus the envelopes looked larger than normal so I took them to my post office. Sure enough, each one required 60 cents postage. If I had not done this, it’s almost a sure bet that they would have been returned for lack of postage and probably not in time for us to get them back to the election board before 7 pm on Saturday.
There wasn’t a word in the instructions about making sure extra postage was attached. Tulsa doesn’t have a bad name as far as voter fraud, but this seems like a major oversight at the least.
If you can use this to alert other, you have my permission. Thanks.
26 October 2004
In regards to your articles on General Motors: what you say about our European brothers and sisters and about their unions and government is absolutely correct. War has been declared against them. Shots have been fired across their bow.
Their unions and governments will work against them from the very beginning. General Motors has already perfected its attack on the US workers and now it’s their turn. This is text book stuff. As an American factory worker living in Flint, Michigan, the struggle was horrific. Being a militant, ready and willing to do whatever was needed to get the union or anybody to stand with us, was futile.
As you said, the strike in 1998 was more show than anything. I was working at Buick the whole time. We never shut down. Only a handful of autoworkers were on strike at any given moment. There were workers still working in Metal Fab, producing contract work. There was no eight week strike, maybe two weeks at most. The corporation still uses the excuse that they lost money in the strike. At the same time they were pouring money into China and to this day they still are.
I am saddened to hear and read what my fellow GM workers are going to go through. All I can say is keep your eyes and ears on the US international unions and see what support they give you—LIP SERVICE.
25 October 2004