Letters on the media and the war

28 June 2005

The following is a selection of letters received by the World Socialist Web Site on two articles dealing with the media and the war: “The Washington Post and the Downing Street Memo,” posted June 22, and “The New York Times’ Joseph Lelyveld: another ‘liberal’ defense of torture,” posted June 23

On “The Washington Postand the Downing Street Memo,”

Thank you for the fine piece on the Downing Street memo and Representative Conyers’ hearing. I especially appreciate the excoriation of Dana Milbank’s piece, the Washington Post and the American mainstream media (which is inarguably richly deserved by all of them).

I agree with your assertion that this is an indictment of the minority party as well. It is apparent that the American citizenry is ill served by the two-party system that has been forced upon them. It is high time that the roadblocks to meaningful participation by alternative parties be removed, which will allow a true American democracy to be established. The present corporate and special interest domination of the political process is intolerable and must be ended.

In solidarity,

AB
Austin, Texas
22 June 2005

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Excellent article, excellent analysis!

JD
22 June 2005

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I watched the entire hearing. It made my blood boil. Countless testimony by the various witnesses as to the criminal behaviors of Bush and Cheney. Milbank is owned body and soul—I wonder how much he’s getting out of this? A promise of riches, perhaps? Talk about “yellow journalism”! Milbank epitomizes it.

CMA
23 June 2005

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The Milbank article in the Washington Post was sickening. It reveals the desperation of this handmaiden of the Bush administration’s crimes to try and laugh off a serious challenge to Bush and Cheney’s dog and pony show. Of course, the anti-Semitism smear is an automatic reflex of the supporters of Ariel Sharon and his attempt at ethnic cleansing in Palestine. But for the Republicans to deny Conyers the use of a room in which to hold his inquiry is a blatant attempt to silence him. And the claim that all of this is “old news” only leads one to ask: “If you knew all of this in 2002, why did you not put it on the front page of your rotten rag?”

It would behoove the editors of the Post and the rest of their colleagues in the American media to recall what happened to the controllers of the German media in the 1930s. Those people were tried at Nuremberg for war crimes.

CZ
San Francisco
22 June 2005

On “The New York Times’ Joseph Lelyveld: another ‘liberal’ defense of torture”

One of the quotes that your article provided from Mr. Lelyveld’s article is extremely telling of his torture article’s overall quality: “Any time the authorities then felt that a compelling national interest left them no choice but to sanction the use of force in an interrogation, they’d know they were breaking the law and could conceivably by prosecuted.”

This bizarre quote conjures up the image of a heroic knight-in-shining-armor interrogator, who selflessly risks prosecution in the name of the National Interest. The imagery that Joseph Lelyveld tries to associate with the merciless torture of a helpless prisoner is completely ridiculous. Any reader who pauses to consider that sentence would surely realize just how absurd the logic must be that produced such a statement.

However, I think you did not emphasize a very important point as much as you should have. The “National Interest” cited by Lelyveld is a myth and a fabrication of bourgeois society. As you know very well, there are in reality the class interests of the workers, and of the capitalists. If you had emphasized this in your article, it would have been eminently clear that Mr. Lelyveld favors torture, not as an advancement of the “National Interest,” but as a gruesome weapon of the ruling elite to crush the resistance of the workers.

DW
23 June 2005

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I keep wondering and looking around for all this terror that the so-called “war on terror” is supposed to be protecting us from since September 2001. Other than the towers falling down on its occupants, what other “terror” has happened in the US other than what your home-grown “good ole boys” are performing? Another thing that confounds me is the name of all those departments, secretaries, forces, etc., etc. They all include the word “security” or “defense” in their name. It is pretty obvious when you look at their duties, that the word should be “offence” in all cases.

WT
Abbotsford, Canada
24 June 2005

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There has been far too much discussion and conjecture over what constitutes torture. Surely any form of coercion—physical, mental or implied—that elicits fear and/or pain is torture. They are all indefensible inhumane practices, historically utilized by barbarian aggressors to strike fear into the hearts of the populace.

DD
Melbourne, Australia
23 June 2005

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As a US citizen I found your article interesting and reflecting my general point of view, as does most of the WSWS. However, the American people, in general, oppose the use of torture in any and all forms. The problem is that Americans don’t care unless it directly affects their lives. With both political parties the same and not listening to the people, the American public has tuned out. Why should we pay attention when the politicians don’t listen to the people or serve their best interests? Until Americans feel the pain of US policies they will not lift a finger.

SM
Hamden, Connecticut
24 June 2005

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