Letters from our readers

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

On “Cheney’s hunting accident: a bizarre and sinister episode”

Thank you for the best analysis I’ve seen of Dick’s behavior in shooting a man and then trying to cover it up. Everyone must take his behavior very seriously; this is a man with the power to trigger a nuclear holocaust. September 11 was a false flag event that was used as an excuse for attacking two countries important to the oil transnationals. Will Dick and Bush devise another false flag event as a precursor to bombing Iran? We know that they and their associates are erratic and untrustworthy. Stay tuned.


18 February 2006

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I thought the killing (sorry, hunting) of birds and animals by kings and the aristocracy for pleasure was a sport of the bygone era.

We, in India, also have people in high places beating the law and flourishing. L.K. Advani was charged for various acts leading to communal riots and deaths and displacement of huge numbers of ordinary people. However, later when he became the home minister, the case was diluted and finally struck down on some technical grounds and delays by the prosecution. When Lalu Prasad Yadav was the chief minister of the state of Bihar, he was accused of a multibillion-rupees corruption scandal in a purchase deal involving the state government, and was forced to resign. That did not deter him from installing his wife in his place as the chief minister and himself becoming the minister for railways in the central government a few years later. Similar things can be said about Jaya Lalithaa, the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, and several others in high places. They also include the suppression of criminal cases involving or affecting nonpolitical, but rich and influential figures—acts such as the multiple assassinations at godman Satya Sai Baba’s centre and the alleged assassination attempt on film actor Bala Krishna.



19 February 2006

On “Cheney ‘takes responsibility’—without accountability or consequences”

I find it interesting that all those newspaper headlines assert that Cheney “Took Responsibility.” But Cheney didn’t. In the transcript of his interview with Brit Hume of Fox News, he says no such thing. Here is an excerpt from the transcript:

Hume: “Now, you’re a seasoned hunter—”

Cheney: “I am, well, for the last 12, 15 years.”

Hume: “Right, and so you know all the procedures and how to maintain the proper line and distance between you and other hunters, and all that. So how, in your judgment, did this happen? Who—what caused this? What was the responsibility here?

Cheney: “Well, ultimately, I’m the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry. And you can talk about all of the other conditions that existed at the time, but that’s the bottom line. And there’s no—it was not Harry’s fault. You can’t blame anybody else. I’m the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend. And I say that is something I’ll never forget.”

If one wishes, one can interpret the “I’m the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend” as taking responsibility. But in reality Cheney is saying only that Whittington should not be blamed. Hume uses the word “responsibility,” but Cheney only dances around it.


Brooklyn, New York

19 February 2006

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You write, “If Whittington did indeed wander in front of Cheney’s rifle, why were members of the Secret Service, elite bodyguards charged with defending the vice president’s life, unaware that a man with a loaded shotgun was facing the vice president, and was less than 100 feet away from him? If they were aware, why did they do nothing to stop the shooting?”

There are a lot of legitimate questions to be asked about the VP’s (and others’) actions during the now infamous hunting incident, but this isn’t one of them. As a matter of fact, this is probably the dumbest thing I’ve read on the subject. They were hunting, for crying out loud. Loaded shotguns are a necessary element of bird hunting. Hunters are constantly changing the way they are facing. Your contention that a fellow hunter who happens to be facing the VP should have been perceived by the Secret Service as some kind of threat—and therefore stopped—is ludicrous. From time to time during a bird-hunting trip, the hunters will be facing one another. I’m sure the Secret Service was satisfied long before the hunt began that none of the hunters posed a threat to the VP.


19 February 2006

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I am absolutely fed up with this! Ever since the Vice President had a hunting accident, the issue has received relentless attention. Every aspect of every part of this incident has been turned inside out and criticized over and over again. So my question is this: Does the WSWS (and the many other news organizations who stand guilty of this critical analysis) have nothing better to do? Do you honestly think that you are focused upon that which is an issue of great importance to us all, or are you simply living up to that proud label that shows us that you are the ones who can be counted on to blankly attack this administration? Well, congratulations! You have once again hit the broad side of the barn!


Athens, Georgia

18 February 2006

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Brilliant article. Sad but true. Consider this: If this is the frustration of a well-to-do-person in a well-to-do country, imagine what the poor, oppressed citizens of places like Afghanistan and Iraq are feeling about the occupying forces. In their cases, it is not just about truth and accountability, but of blatant abuses and total lack of regard for lives. Texas oil men (like Bush) and greedy contractors like Cheney’s ex-company have initiated and propagated these conflicts in their unbridled greed for Middle East oil. Not that I have any love for the fanatic Middle Eastern leaders and rulers, but still, a wrong is a wrong. Anyway, keep up the good work and I shall watch your future progress with considerable interest.



19 February 2006

On “Hurricane Katrina and the ‘war on terrorism’”

Nice article! As you pointed out, these so-called “hearings” are only there to serve as propaganda that states that “The System is fine, no need to worry.” If “responsibility” is indeed the main issue, then why does Chertoff (one of the men ultimately responsible for this tragedy) still have a job? More to the point, if our “Commander-in-Chief” is so committed to “protecting the American people,” why does he still have a job after one of the biggest failures of government response in American history? It’s worth remembering that the (still unknown) number of deaths in Hurricane Katrina are half that of the combined deaths on September 11, 2001 (and it may be more than that, once all is said and done). As you stated, Hurricane Katrina is intimately connected to the tragedy of Iraq, which is the tragedy of 9/11, which is the tragedy of a murderous US foreign policy, which is the tragedy of unfettered Western oligarchs, which is the tragedy of the poor and working class in this country, which is finally the tragedy of such a morally and ethically bankrupt system, i.e., capitalism.

The bright side to this (and I believe there is a bright side) is that more Americans (and people around the world) are very alert and attentive to the fact that this system we have just isn’t working, nor is it sustainable. The winds of change are increasingly noticeable, and those in power are nervous, as they should rightly be.


20 February 2006

On “Washington reluctantly concedes Préval is Haiti’s president-elect”

I read your article regarding the above on the World Socialist Web Site and am not surprised with the contents. I am a well-educated self-employed English woman with a Haitian son and have lived in Haiti, some of the time in the wealthy elitist (French) part of Port-au-Prince and also amongst the ordinary Haitian community, so I know what it is like. Consecutive American presidents have decided that they and only they should tell other countries how to manage their countries either by manipulation or force. In particular, with Haiti they have systematically ravaged this country so much that it is now completely dependant on America’s castoffs. They are not alone, as Canada and France are just as bad. I just wish that the BBC and ITV channels here in England would send reporters over there to report truthfully what is going on.


London, England

22 February 2006

On “Sri Lankan housemaid tells of systematic abuse in Saudi Arabia”

I am a native of Sri Lanka who now resides in the USA, working with the American Anti-Slavery Group to prevent and end this hideous crime of modern-day slavery. About two decades ago, I was trafficked from Sri Lanka to Lebanon and became a slave to a wealthy woman. I survived only by jumping off the fourth floor balcony, and was paralyzed never to walk again. I have survived slavery and paralysis but migrated to America to escape the stigma of slavery. After years of silence, I have finally found the courage to bear witness to this crime. I have self-published my story, a memoir, In Contempt of Fate, and make public appearance in many organizations, to build awareness. Last year I testified to the US Congress in support of an anti-trafficking legislation that passed by the Senate this year.

My goal is to build awareness in Sri Lanka and to provide a voice for all those victims who hide in shame, whose cries are unheard. I am in the initial stage of launching a campaign to support children of the victims of slavery in Sri Lanka. You can visit my web site, www.bearopublishing.com, and the AASG web site www.iabolish.org.

Beatrice Fernando

Associate of American Anti-Slavery Group

22 February 2006