Letters from our readers

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

On “Bush sinks in opinion polls, but Democrats offer no alternative”

We hear all the time that politicians will do anything to win, that they follow the polls. So let us look at some polls. A June 23-26 ABC/Washington Post poll found 52 percent of Americans believe the Bush administration “deliberately misled the public before the war,” and 57 percent say the Bush administration “intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.” A Zogby poll found that 53 percent of Americans believed that Bush should be impeached if he lied about the reasons for the invasion of Iraq.

So a majority believe Bush should be impeached if he lied, and a bigger majority believe that he did indeed lie. Do the math. The Democrats in Congress aren’t talking about impeachment at all; they’re not acting like a party who will “do anything to win.” And they can’t. They’ll have to answer too many questions. Were they brainwashed in 2002? Was Kerry possessed when he said that he would still have supported the war even if he knew about the WMDs? Was the media hypnotized? The potential repercussions of the Democratic Party mounting even a mild opposition are far too scary for the ruling class to face.


7 November 2005

On “The CIA’s global gulag”

Welcome to Hell! Brought to you by the folks at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security! Win a free subscription to the Washington Post or a lifelike stuffed Scott McClellan!

As horrible as this latest revelation is, it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the bloody rampage of the neoconservative cabal in Washington. What will it take for people to understand that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, Chertoff, Negroponte, Hayden and all the rest of them are criminals and must be stopped? What hypnotic spell is preventing the citizens of the United States from seeing what is directly in front of their faces?

For those of us who have known the truth about what the neocons and their Straussian buddies have wrought in their time, the passing by of each revelation of criminality without any consequences to its perpetrators (unless you believe that busting a few hapless cannon fodder grunts washes the slate clean) has been sickening.

As Mr. Walsh asks, “What’s Next?” The most favored answer has been “Don’t ask!” or “You don’t want to know.” However, the attitude of the Bush regime has consistently been, “We don’t care what you know or what you think about what you know.” That is what is frightening—and should be much more frightening to the people of this country than worrying about terrorists attacking from outside. Terror headquarters is Washington, DC.


San Francisco

4 November 2005

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You write: “The secret international prison system, where torture and abuse are everyday occurrences, is a creation worthy of the Hitler regime.”

Not to split hairs, but it seems to me that the more fitting analogy is that the secret international prison system in question here is a creation worthy of the Stalin regime. I mention this only because it was the Soviet Union’s elaborate network of prisons and forced labor camps that gave rise to the term “gulag,” as in gulag archipelago. Of course, you’re aware of this. Nevertheless, I thought I’d share with you the thought that it does your political philosophy no harm to compare this contemporary imperial leader, Bush, with Stalin, whose gross excesses forever stained the socialist cause.

Otherwise, I greatly enjoyed your article and I believe it is more than merely “troubling” how feckless are the Democrats in response to such atrocious news.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

4 November 2005

On “A Little History is a dangerous thing”

Thank you for this most informative and interesting review. I had read bits and parts of Gomrich’s art history, as well as Hauser’s Social History of Art. How good to know that an eminent author took the time to write a historical account of humanity for children. I hope that it becomes widely used. I certainly will let my teacher friends know about it.


Bradenton, Florida

6 November 2005

On “US Senate’s closed session: The short, noisy reign of Harry Reid”

Thank you for pointing out and documenting the hypocrisy of the Democrats’ closed session, ostensibly to call the Republicans to account for using false information to enter into this increasingly futile war in Iraq. Said information was called false by many in the know, including CIA officials (not generally doves), before the vote by Republicans and Democrats such as Reid giving Bush war powers.

Not only does this stunt by Reid and his cohorts not bring answers to light—as anyone who reveals what goes on in a closed session is subject to expulsion from the Senate—but it also begs the question of why Reid has not had the fortitude to ask the questions publicly which would bring forth answers about the false information which led us into war. Indeed, it is because the Democratic Party stands culpable as well. Certainly, the White House Republicans were the architects of this war, but the Democrats were the willfully ignorant bricklayers paving our way into this hell.

Clearly, neither party stands for the working, and now fighting and dying, class. It is time for a party which does.


Portland, Oregon

3 November 2005

On “Britain: Blunkett forced to resign from cabinet”

Several decades ago, the British cultural critic and socialist writer Raymond Williams dismissed any claim the Labour Party then had to providing an alternative to the vicious ideology of capitalism. Earlier in its history, the Old Labour figures of Ramsey MacDonald, Philip Snowden and others had kow-towed to the establishment. In 1926, the Labour Party and trade union establishment figures deliberately undermined the British General Strike—facts documented in part four of Loach and Garnett’s 1974 BBC TV production Days of Hope, a series that will never be distributed on DVD by BBC Video.

The Blunkett saga is another sad chapter in the moral bankruptcy of a political party as rotten to the core as the Democratic establishment in the US. Blunkett started in a promising manner for those of us who remember the “socialist republic of Sheffield.” But once in power, he proved himself as vicious as Philip Snowden and opportunistic as wartime minister Ernest Bevin in supporting the establishment. As minister for pensions he eagerly envied the American model and aimed at forcing sick people back to work.

As the New Statesman has said, he is another in the long line of Labour class traitors in a party which has now lost all credibility—despite the valiant efforts of Tony Benn to rally others to a lost cause. Both he and Blair have proved Mrs. Thatcher right in one respect. “There is no alternative” unless it is from a party committed to working class struggle against this morally bankrupt and intellectually shabby party.


3 November 2005

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Thank you for providing the “real analysis” about this situation and for showing, through it, how deep and useful analysis is done. You provided the facts in context, referred to commentaries by some others and why they are off the mark, and then explained clearly what the incident really reflects about the larger social/political/economic issues. Sometimes, it’s hard to understand what’s actually going on—at least until the WSWS article comes out on the subject. But it is especially gratifying (and downright fun) when I can say, “Yes, I thought that was the real story, too!”


Orlando, Florida

3 November 2005

On “The twenty lies of George W. Bush”

Mr. Martin, while Googling “George Bush-lies” I came across your site and was so impressed by your column of March 20, 2003 in which you accurately predicted many of the lies and deceptions of George Bush in going to war with Iraq. It’s so sad and frustrating to see that most Americans and a timid press bought into the greatest falsehoods ever disseminated by an American president for the purpose of conducting warfare. What a tragic waste of human lives, resources and world opinion as a result of this odious man.



Champaign, Illinois

4 November 2005