Letters from our readers

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

On “US deficit hits new record

Maybe instead of foolishly trying to bully China with trade sanctions, Congress should stop approving $82 billion allowance advances for the war in Iraq and demand an accounting of where that money has gone. If the people we’ve given it to can’t (won’t) tell where it is, they get no more money. We know it’s not going to armor the troops in the line of fire, so where is it? Gentlemen, empty your pockets.


Portland, Oregon

21 June 2005

On “Budget conflict splits European Union

Very good article. Blair takes his stance partly due to his neo-liberal views but also to appease the right-wing press who cannot take the EU at any price.


21 June 2005

On “Northwest Airlines workers protest attack on pensions and jobs

Your coverage of the NWA picket says, “They were confined to a small area at one corner of the block-long terminal building, where passengers entering the facility were unlikely to encounter them.”

If this took place at the A terminal at DTW, it’s not a “block” long—it’s a mile long. This is the Northwest World Gateway, built in partnership with Wayne County. Only Northwest or chosen partners get to use the terminal. It renders all other airlines, banished to a separate ancient terminal, second-class or worse. It was a deal that Detroit made with the devil—a world-class terminal for Detroit, and monopoly status for NWA at one of the largest airports in the country.


Okemos, Michigan

20 June 2005

OnThe Michael Jackson verdict

Thank you David Walsh, for yet another insightful and accurate piece. Yours was the only commentary regarding this case that I found useful. For me, this case represents the insatiable need of the narcissistic, paranoid, right-wing media to broadcast live the slaughter of fallen gods. This is not revenge as Nancy Grace would like us to think. Atop her pulpit, she postures as someone fighting the good fight. Please!! This is Schadenfreude—the sick and defective pleasure of witnessing the pain and misfortune of others.


Toronto, Canada

19 June 2005

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Mr. Walsh, I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful, intelligent article about the Michael Jackson verdict. I am a Democrat but have always valued socialist principles. Keep up the great articles. Thanks.


Fort Lauderdale, Florida

12 June 2005

On “Posada Carriles case: Venezuela demands US hand over CIA terrorist for trial

The Bush administration’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. They are the most despotic of regimes while cloaking every action in religion and patriotism. And also, while touting democracy and freedom, they go after any opposition with McCarthyesque zeal. George Bush is too simple to be anything but the figurehead for the key players here, but he is every bit as guilty and should be impeached. History will vindicate justice, and he will be known as one of the most corrupt and destructive US presidents in history. It is appalling he was permitted to engineer two terms!


18 June 2005

On “Everyone’s hope is no one’s hope and A story, not the story of the Depression

I agree with the criticism of these films [Cinderella Man and Seabiscuit] for not showing much more graphically the need for macro, not micro, collaborative actions to deal with the realities of the depression. Are the directors underrating the ability of the American people to psychologically handle a biting portrayal of bad times and go beyond what the Brits would refer to as the need to “keep a stiff upper lip”? Interestingly, Cinderella Man is not doing well at the box office. Maybe the word is getting out that the film is too manipulative and unrealistic. The actor who plays Braddock’s wife overdoes a maudlin portrayal of this person. Maybe one has to live through such times to get it.


Bradenton, Florida

17 June 2005

On “New York art world’s apology for the Iraq war

What Clare Hurley says in her review of Steve Mumford’s “Baghdad Journal” is absolutely true: Mumford has degraded the entire New York art world and, to be sure, all of American culture.

The establishment art critics ignored or even abetted this attempt to blind artistic insight. When Art in America speaks only of the “obliviousness” of the “Baghdad Journal,” it announces its own obliviousness to the great artistic, social and moral choices of our age. Is there not something aesthetically and intellectually backward about Mumford’s work? Doesn’t the justification of invasion and occupation of a poor country by a wealthy one elicit disgust? Let us remember the looting of the Baghdad Museum under American auspices, the destruction of Iraqi libraries, and the desperate conditions of Iraqi artists themselves. The critics ignore all of this when considering an artist who actively supports vandalism against a whole culture.

The period in which New York led the world in art, for better or worse, has come to a close. New York painters are largely uninspired by the life and feelings of ordinary human beings; they lope along with airy trends in self-reflection. The dominance of aesthetics by investors, the political ignorance and cynicism of most painters, and the influx of trust-funded youth into the art schools indicates that significant artistic vision will come through an unsparing critique of this art world itself, and an analysis of the contemporary conditions that it refuses to face.


Brooklyn, New York

16 June 2005