Letters from our readers

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

On “The assassination of Rafiq Hariri: who benefited?”

I enjoyed your article about the likely murderers of Hariri, matching my own initial thoughts. Keep up the excellent work! This is a great resource for us isolated socialists. Your arguments and analysis are generally excellent and your site is the first one I visit in the day. Thanks for your efforts.

17 February 2005

On “US engineers provocation following assassination in Lebanon”

Thank you for your courage and lucidity. We don’t see any interest for Syria to kill Hariri, especially in this hard period. No doubt, the engineering mind should be looked for elsewhere.

16 February 2005

On “New York civil rights attorney convicted on frame-up terror charges”

This case reverberated with me. In fact, I have felt quite devastated since the verdict was handed down. One wonders what sort of pressure was applied to the jurors to make a unanimous decision on such a warped, propagandized trial. The WSWS author was right to make the comparison to the McCarthy period, and specifically to the Rosenberg case. It seems to mirror the old saying—“Don’t think of an elephant”—with regards to the prosecution constantly invoking 9/11 and bin Laden while the judge would say, “Well, that has nothing to do with this case.” It’s a legal lynching, as the old American Communist Party might have said of the legal lynching of black defendants during the early part of the 20th century.

Today, rather than blacks, the government has declared a legal war upon Muslims and those who would defend them. As a whole, it has declared a war upon democratic ideals and the constitution of the US. What are we to do now? Well, keep fighting, of course. The battle will be long and difficult, and the move to the right in this country is obvious—and is supported by tens of millions of so-called Americans. I am just disgusted, by this and all things coming out of the empire capitalist crowd these days. Thank you, on a side note, for your in-depth analysis of events.

Jacksonville, Alabama
14 February 2005

* * *

This is only the beginning as the one-party system in our country boldly takes control and destroys our constitution. There will be blood on the streets, and it will be the blood of the citizenry.

15 February 2005

On “Is this a novel of genuine anguish?”

What an excellent summation of what I’ve always been left unsettled by in Margaret Atwood’s work: her attitude problem. I read Handmaid’s Tale and was horrified, not merely by the plot but by the odor of ego gratification which seeped out in her depictions of misogyny and violence. It is telling to me who has a complete Atwood collection (I know two former Kucinich supporters and a “Deaniac”) and prefers Durkheim, Democrat “progressive” hand-wringing to Marx and active—and artistic—struggle against the way things are. No wonder the author, and so many other popular writers these days like her, has trouble with depth of character. As always, thanks to WSWS for genuine critique.

17 February 2005

On “The further hemorrhaging of Detroit—city to shut down 34 public schools”

It is sad to read your article on the predicament of Detroit schools and of the city itself. This happens when the leadership of a nation neglected interior governance and stressed external affairs. Such is the case of the USA. Bush does not care for the nation’s citizenry, particularly the disadvantaged and the poor. And because of his reckless spending and the wars, our future generations will have to pay for the mounting national debt. Thanks for your insightful article.

12 February 2005

On “Britain: Matthew Parris and the tsunami disaster”

Thank you for your perspective on world affairs. Although left-leaning (that’s a good thing), your worldview (as well as WSWS’s) is always to the point. I would like to comment on your analysis above: maybe, it’s just me, but I have never ever gotten a “thrill” from hearing about people suffering from the effects of natural (or man-made) disasters (or from anyone’s suffering for any reason). Methinks Mr. Parris is projecting his own sick state-of-mind and is trying to justify his lack of compassion. Mr. Parris would no doubt like to call up his own “Plan R” a la SAC Gen. Jack D. Ripper just so he could watch the Earth disintegrate; or maybe Mr. Parris would be like Maj. T.J. “King” Kong, whooping it up while straddling the “Doomsday Machine.” Although Mr. Parris may be a “liberal Tory,” his attitude is more representative of the misanthropes in past—and most definitely current—US administrations.

12 February 2005

On “Thailand’s right-wing populist wins national elections”

First it was military dictators “running” the country. Then after lots of people lost their lives finally it was elected government. Now it is not military but in actuality police because Thaksin likes to be addressed as “Police Lt. Colonel Thaksin.” You are correct about the media being controlled, mostly by the media itself, making it look like a free media. How free? When Chavalit was PM there were cartoons about him and his government on a frequent basis. No cartoons now. The media has stopped them by themselves so as not to get in trouble. The other day I was told to try to open a web site which, before Thaksin, opened. You do it now you get the following:

“Sorry, the web site you are accessing has been closed by Royal Thai Police due to inappropriateness such as pornography, gambling or contain any information which is deemed to violate national security.”

Under Chavalit there were cartoons in the media about him having a battery of police offers on TV watch. Under Thaksin there never has been a peep about the above in the media.

12 February 2005

On “US judge rejects claim that Guantanamo detainees have no rights”

Isn’t it interesting that a judge, legally empowered, in the United States sees that the Bush administration is in violation of the Geneva Convention yet nothing is done, but if Bush, a illegal tyrant, decides that some poor kid in Iraq is a terrorist, then he goes to prison for ever?

12 February
Upper Marlboro, Maryland

On the war in Iraq:

My name is Carl Webb and I’m a soldier protesting illegal orders (Stop Loss Program) to serve in Iraq beyond the length of my contract which ended in August 2004. I refused to report for training with the Texas National Guard at Fort Hood and left Austin, Texas, back in August with the intent of eventually turning myself over to the military authorities. Right now I’m creating a web site at http://carlwebb.net where people can find more information.

Carl Webb
12 February 2005

* * *

Like most of the people in the area, I’ve been watching the television with a tear in my eye and a big lump in my throat. For those who still do not know it yet, the local National Guard as well as regular troops from Fort Benning have been called to duty in Iraq. For the past couple of weeks I have looked into the grim faces of our young men and wondered how they really feel deep inside. Whenever I see them on the screen I am carried back in time some 35 years ago when I received orders for Vietnam. It is a new generation now. It is our own flesh and blood that is sent into harm’s way. It is now very, very personal.

In reflecting back on those bloody days I recall an interview that took place between an Israeli infantry sergeant and a news reporter during the Six Day War. It was a different conflict, a different country and a different time but the similarities between that sergeant’s perception of war and what is going on today is strikingly similar. The news reporter, microphone in hand, pushed the device into the face of the old sergeant. “How’s the war going?” the reporter quipped. The Israeli returned the question to the reporter. “How’s the war going?” There was a long pause. The old soldier dropped his head then slowly raised it again looking straight into the eyes of the reporter. His demeanor had changed and with it an unexpected response that was as thoughtful and contemplative as any ever uttered on a battlefield. Israel was winning the war but the old veteran spoke these words. “The war is going badly. It always goes badly when children are crying for their fathers, wives are crying for their husbands and mothers are crying for their sons. How’s the war going? It’s going like all wars go, badly, very badly.” Needless to say the reporter was at a complete loss for words. What was there to be said?

I then thought of all the children, wives and mothers of the Valley area. I thought of this new generation of young men and women sent halfway around the world to fight and perhaps die. I thought of the coming grief, of the plans for life that will be shattered. I thought of those youthful flames snuffed out before their time. I thought of the prayers that will be whispered in the still of Southern nights, the friendships and families broken and the innocence stolen from another generation of young Americans. Only the soldier understands the truth about war. Only the soldier bears the physical scars of its unspeakable horror. Unspeakable horror.

Lanett, Alabama
8 February 2005

On “US air traffic authority had multiple Bin Laden hijack warnings before 9/11”

Your article on the lack of prevention by the Bush administration to avert the 9/11 attack was well written. Why would they take steps to prevent the attacks when that apparently took so much trouble to organize it with their Saudi allies? The skeptics may ask why. Well it seems obvious to me that it has to do with what’s going on right now: So Bush would have an excuse to wage war on the whole wide world for control of its energy resources.

Glace Bay, Canada
11 February 2005