Letters from our readers

The following is a selection of recent letters received by the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Cheney at Auschwitz: an insult to the memory of Nazism’s victims”

Of course, once again it’s only the WSWS that gasps in horror that Cheney was even permitted to speak at Auschwitz. I see no difference between him and Hitler. He is a war criminal and should be tried for his crimes. Thank you for commenting on Cheney’s inappropriate presence at this event.

28 January 2005

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History has its way of repeating itself. As a child of the 1950s we had to come to grips with the cold realities of fascism and the Nazi death camps. I had nightmares for years, and to this very day I feel it is society’s responsibility to take care that genocide on this level and fascism are never again allowed to bear their ugly heads. I for one consider Bush & Co., including Tony Blair, war criminals for their pre-emptive strike on Iraq. History will judge those of us who hold this view to be correct.

28 January 2005
Winnipeg, Canada

On “Congressional Democrats line up behind Bush request for $80 billion in war spending”

Many thanks to Kate Randall for her 29 January article puncturing the Democratic Party’s lie that the destruction of Iraq is “Bush’s War.” It isn’t any more his war than the Indochina War—which murdered millions of defenseless men, women and children, often but certainly not always by cowardly attacks from the air by brave U.S. “flyboys”—was Nixon’s. This monumental crime of the 20th century could not have been perpetrated without regular appropriations from a Democratic Party-controlled Congress.

On January 14, the Boston Globe published an article (“War’s ‘hidden cost’ called heavy,”) which noted almost in passing that John Kerry, leading 21 Democratic Senators, had petitioned our “divine right” presidential monarch, George W. Bush, to send another 40,000 additional ground troops to Iraq...and to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps.

The article reports, “Led by Senator John F. Kerry, who called for adding 40,000 ground troops to the ranks during his failed presidential bid last year, 21 Democratic senators sent a letter to President Bush yesterday [January 13, 2005] urging him to set aside money in the fiscal 2006 defense budget—also headed to Congress for review in February—to increase the Army and Marine Corps.”

More war, and more mostly working-class soldiers as cannon fodder for more war. Yet the Democratic Party is the “party of the people.”

Whom do these people think they are fooling?

29 January 2005
Jersey City, New Jersey

On “The Iraq election: a travesty of democracy”

What is ahead for Iraq? After the elections, after all the rhetoric, what is ahead for Iraq? The future is known and has been known, since the Interim government made agreements which were ratified by the UN as a legal government act. Iraq will be faced with the same future as Mexico, the obedient whipping boy for the World Bank. Mexico’s plight is dire, but according to the World Bank, it is Mexico’s fault. Even though the government enacted every austerity measure required, every benefit for global corporations, its people are reeling from greater poverty.

The World Bank is now the controller of the Iraqi economy. The significant unemployment now in evidence will not disappear. Capital flight will occur. Its citizens will no longer have any ability to alter the economy.

As the US military trains a new force to control the country, the soldiers now being enlisted by the US have little knowledge that they will be the few with incomes in the new Iraq. The millions “loaned” to Iraq will still be in place as a debt decades from now just as in Indonesia, where the World Bank forced Indonesia to repay $15 million that justifiably had been found to be a cost recoverable from the infamous Enron energy company.

One of Mexico’s ministers famously was quoted as saying: “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.” Such an epitaph might well be applied to Iraq and its people who were promised democracy and will have instead slavery.

29 January 2005
Duluth, Minnesota

On “The Fort Bragg murders: a grim warning on the use of the military”

On September 24, 2004, the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute (NCCAI) revealed a 16-year study on Child Fatalities and reported that Fort Bragg has the highest rate of children being killed during child abuse. Col. Aycock, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, responded with the fact he didn’t have the figures but he disagreed with NCCAI figures. I thought to myself, “Fort Bragg doesn’t keep track of the children killed by Fort Bragg parents/caregivers!” I am, however, not surprised. I’ve been trying to report child abuse for two years, and in return Fort Bragg has used all their “special” tactics to thwart my attempts. Intimidation, Harassment, Threats, Denial of Police Protection are some thing I’ve endured for having the audacity to ask Fort Bragg to insure the safety and security of my grandchildren. How dare I? Children are not their Mission or Priority. What an awful place for children.

The more I research, the more I am convinced that Fort Bragg is now and always has been a place where soldiers can learn how to be violent and abusive. Army of One! My definition is that they are an Army of One because they are allowed to treat their families any way they want to, they are encouraged to be “totally in control” as long as they are willing to “do the mission.” But mess up and you are dumped, discharged and forgotten. Fort Bragg is never ever responsible for anything.

Thank you,

28 January 2005
Spring Lake, North Carolina

On “Britain: government proposes house arrest of terror suspects”

Growing up in South Africa in the ’50s and ’60s, how very well I remember the worldwide, and, most especially, British condemnation of the then-South African government’s policy of house-arrests, political “bannings” and 90-day detentions—without trial. It simply seems that some pigs are more equal than others, eh, especially that obscene little porcine toady and shitehawk to the American elite, Tony Blair?

28 January 2005
Zurich, Switzerland

On “Eleven dead in southern California train derailment”

Thank you for covering the tragic train wreck that occurred the other day. I was hoping the WSWS would report on this tragedy and was, in fact, about to e-mail you yesterday asking you to look into not only the accident itself, but the social conditions that drove 25-year-old Juan Alvarez to his role in this unfortunate outcome.

Watching the news reports and press conferences on the day of the accident, it was obvious that the media and public officials wanted blood from Alvarez. Nothing was mentioned of the devastating economic and social conditions that characterize Compton and other areas of southern Los Angeles where Alvarez is from.

In addition to the lack of jobs and social services, your article highlighted another problem prevalent in Los Angeles and other urban areas today: the lack of adequate funding of public transit systems. For decades, state and local governments in California have allocated transportation funds to roads and freeways, seriously neglecting buses and railways. The result has been not only Los Angeles’ notorious traffic and smog, but a severe paucity in efficient and fast public transit. As is often the case, this hurts the poor and working class the most.

28 January 2005
Sherman Oaks, California