Letters from our readers

26 January 2006

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

On “Bush administration domestic spying provokes lawsuits, calls for impeachment

Your essay got right to the point as to why we will never see impeachment proceedings against the Bush-Cheney cabal—that is, the complicity of the Democratic Party in the radical Republican agenda, which continues to enrich them and their corporate benefactors. This is a point that must be continuously stressed. The Republicans and Democrats serve the same masters, and capitalism itself must be “voted out of office,” not just certain notorious Congress critters. Only when the working class finally realizes that neither party has the slightest interest in the public welfare can we perhaps begin to talk about an ethical redistribution of resources that is impossible in a capitalist regime.

PF

Columbus, Ohio

19 January 2006

On “American freelance journalist kidnapped in Iraq

I embrace your article about the captured journalist in Iraq. You carefully outline whom this kidnapping and execution will benefit. You almost implicate or accuse the occupation forces. It’s a very interesting notion and on a diabolical level makes sense. But one’s hands are tied from actually coming out and saying that this is a staged event being used to eliminate and discourage journalists as well as further demonizing resistance to the occupation. If you were going to carry out—almost as if in a fiction—the scenario you are imagining, what would that scenario be—no holds barred—just writing after the introductory phrase: “If one were completely paranoid one could imagine that...”

WD

20 January 2006

On “Lack of decent-paying jobs drives workers into West Virginia mines

The mainstream media coverage of this has been so maudlin and self-serving it has made me angry. I really appreciate how you cut through the fluff of the stories the mainstream media put out, and gave us some true investigative and revealing journalism. It was great how you interviewed the people of the area and gave your readers an insight into the lives of these working people. I myself am from rural Nebraska, and can empathize completely with these people in West Virginia.

DW

Leigh, Nebraska

20 January 2006

On “Two missing in fire at West Virginia coal mine

I can’t for the life of me understand how this mine was left to stay open considering the violations incurred there. Worst of all is the Democrats in power in that state forgetting their base of the working men and women in this country. I’m an owner of a civil engineering company, and when we saw the layout of that mine, it looked like an accident looking for a place to happen. One way in, one way out. I can’t believe there were no considerations such as GPS units on the miners, nor stations within that mine where air would be made available when accidents happen.

SK

Rochester, Massachusetts

21 January 2006

On “Who is Stephen Harper, the Conservative poised to be Canada’s next prime minister?

Thank you for this vitally important article. I’ve forwarded it to everyone in my address book, including Canadian and American media contacts—every single Canadian of voting age should read this. I’ve always found Harper to be extremely scary, and somehow not quite human, but where I used to sneer at the idea he could ever get his hands on our country, I am now seriously frightened that this will indeed happen on Monday. Articles like this might help undo some of the huge damage done by the corporate shills we call the mainstream media.

JG

Calgary, Canada

20 January 2006

On “Bush administration uses Gulf Coast reconstruction to push for dismantling of public education

Just in case people don’t get it, Bush wants to make sure poor and lower middle class people can’t afford to get an education. How better can he do this than to make schools unaffordable to the lower end of the economic system. Education was the way out of the “ghetto” and a way to make it up in the world. Since only the rich have any power, and can keep pushing people down by not giving them the chance to better their lives, education is a threat. In Bush’s case, being rich enough to have your father buy a degree from Harvard and Yale, but not actually getting the education to really succeed is the problem. He could afford to surround himself with people who are smart and can manipulate him. He isn’t perceived as a puppet for no reason.

RH

21 January 2006

* * *

I agree wholeheartedly with Damon and his opinion on charter schools. I attend a public high school, which I know is constantly in competition with the local charter school for both funds and students. Many parents use charter schools as a way to send their children to a “safe” learning environment while not having to lighten their wallets. I am revolted by any learning environment that doesn’t give students a chance to excel simply because they don’t fit a certain standard. I like to delude myself into thinking that public high schools are the ideal chance for youth from all different backgrounds to mingle and work together, yet I know in reality this is far from the case. However, charter schools are the polar opposite of any kind of correcting of the American education system. Students who attend them will undoubtedly miss out on a vital part of their social growth, the part that allows them to witness and learn from the large rifts in our society at a young age. Although I know many of my peers will continue to dwell in their world of honors classes with the preppy masses, at least they can witness (whether they recognize it or not) the world outside of their parent’s overly watered laws.

JH

21 January 2006

On “Independent journalist who attacked Harold Pinter turns on World Socialist Web Site

Johann Hari keeps producing more nonsense in an attempt to confuse his readers about the issues that he has been writing about regarding Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter (the latest is at http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=782). In Hari’s latest rebuttal, he tries to push his point through with the aid of an analogy that makes tenuous comparisons, such as equating the members of the Clinton administration (who, among other crimes, bombed innocent people in Iraq in the pursuit of imperial interests) and the KLA (a terrorist organization that the Clinton administration backed) with Salvadore Allende (the liberal leader of an oppressed nation, who was overthrown and killed in a US-backed coup).

The analogy makes no sense, but demonstrates Hari’s desperation regarding the mess he’s gotten himself into. He states that the “real reason” that he attacked Harold Pinter in print is because the playwright “defended a fascist guilty of ethnic cleansing and racist murder.” Hari is deliberately trying to confuse readers about the difference between supporting the democratic rights of an unpopular defendant and actually supporting that defendant’s actions. His argument is in the same neighborhood as saying that supporting due process for terror suspects would be the same thing as “supporting the terrorists.”

By consistently ignoring the issues that people such as Harold Pinter and the WSWS’s Paul Bond bring up, he confirms his own alignment with imperialism, and serves as an good example for anyone attempting to understand different forms of imperialist propaganda, especially those that originate from pretenders wearing “leftist” clothing.

RG

23 January 2006

* * *

Further to ADW’s erudite letter regarding Johann Hari’s attack on Harold Pinter and the WSWS’s Paul Bond. In the quotation from the poem, Pinter’s ending the sequence of violence with the demand for a kiss on the mouth can also be interpreted to mean: “Now thank me!” “Thank me for going in and doing your dirty work. Thank me for allowing the state to turn me into a killing machine and making me like it.” This was the meaning it had for me the first time I read the quotation and it was immediately emotionally devastating. It was obvious what Pinter was writing about: that we the people are meant to be grateful for imperialist wars undertaken for the “greater good” of the empire, and that we should kiss the muck-covered mouths of the men who will be called “war heroes” by the state-controlled media. In other words, partake of the muck and soil yourself; you’re no better than I am. It implies the need of the destroyer to have his situation rationalized, to be rewarded for his atrocities and joined in the filth. And it is not his fault that he has been made into this monstrous creature of death and destruction, this annihilator of humanity. The empire created him for its own advancement and its mercenary goals. He knows it, but he can’t think about that. He must continue to believe that what he did was worthy of thanks, but also that we must be willing to be contaminated along with him. In the end, it doesn’t matter if we were against the imperialist war and slaughter that dehumanized this soldier.

CZ

San Francisco, California

20 January 2006

Contribute to the fight for socialism in 2020

2019 has been a year of mass social upheaval. We need you to help the WSWS and ICFI make 2020 the year of international socialist revival. We must expand our work and our influence in the international working class. If you agree, donate today. Thank you.