The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
I appreciate your report on the Harry Taylor moment and for creating at least one instance in the press where a citizen’s taking the US commander in chief to task for his invidious if not criminal policies is not treated with amazement and hostility.
8 April 2006* * *
Of the several stories I found on the subject topic, yours had the most extensive quotes from Harry Taylor. Good on you.
Aloha, Oregon, US
8 April 2006* * *
Bravo, Mr. Taylor! You have said out loud and with wit what many people, very many people, in this wide world think of the president of United States and its foreign policy. It is about time that someone in your country demonstrates some courage to face this criminal liar. For the ones who booed Mr. Taylor, there is an old saying that says, “Make sure your brain is engaged before you shift your mouth.” Instead of booing Mr. Taylor, they should have taken a lesson in courage and tried, just a bit, to heed and appreciate what was being said.
St. Colomban, Québec, Canada
9 April 2006* * *
Your piece is cogent, crystal clear, and, one would think, intelligible to the meanest flat-earth neo-con intelligence. The only thing wrong with it is its venue: It belongs on the front page of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Congratulations both to you and Harry Taylor.
8 April 2006
As an Iraqi man closely following up the situation in my country, I would like to congratulate you on your accurate grasp of the complex situation there created by the occupation, as reflected in your article of April 4. Not many westerners even among the antiwar camp grasp these intricate details.
May I just bring to your attention the following latest news from Iraq: (1) Rumors are spreading in Najaf that the Shiaa Cleric Sistani has left the country or at least left Najaf (please note the last time he did so was the prelude of the US massacre of Sadrists there in 2004); (2) Heavy concentrations of US army are encircling Najaf now. We really see the very imminent crackdown by US forces on Sadrists. Another bloody massacre is in the advanced planning stage
4 April 2006
Thank you for this important article. As you correctly point out, the US military could have done more to protect these sites. However, that was never the objective: the oil ministries and wells, you can be sure, were surrounded! As stated, many libraries, mosques and world historical sites have been decimated as a result of this invasion. Tanks have rolled across Babylon, the radioactive waste from American “smart bombs” (in the form of dust spreading depleted uranium) has contaminated many historically/culturally important areas for many years to come. This is a crime against all of humanity.
The goal was never to “restore” Iraq (just as it is never the goal for the occupying Imperial power in their colonies) to some era of “freedom” and “prosperity” (whatever Bush and Co. decides that means today, which apparently doesn’t include freedom from torture or the prosperity that comes with a thriving job market—close to 60 percent of Iraqis are unemployed now), but rather to bring Iraq under the (American) sphere of influence. If history is any guide, this means destroying the cultural heritage/past of the said country/colony (Iraq). It is a very old story: destroy their languages, their arts, their cultures, etc., and only then, once they’ve been “destroyed” or “brought-in” as a people, can they (the occupied/subjugated/oppressed/enslaved) be made to do your bidding. (The old fascist powers understood this very well.)
This is all disturbing on many levels. The cultural heritage of Iraq belongs not just to Iraqis, but to all people on this planet, as Iraq is home to one of the known places of civilization. The cultural devastation against said people has consequences the imperial power(s) don’t often foresee, nor fully understand. This is shown by the sad state of much of Africa, following the European “Scramble for Africa” and the slave trade which itself robbed the continent of many people who may have written books, painted masterpieces, or found a cure for cancer. We will never know for sure, but we know that Africa today is none the better for hundreds of years of European intervention.
Perhaps this would be in some way easier to take were it not America letting this atrocity happen, America being a land with a shocking lack of reverence for past cultural achievements of other peoples, and a land where people display a shocking level of ignorance and/or disregard of history. Anyway, keep up the good work!
7 April 2006
Thank you for your March 21, 2006, article on Daniel Dennett. I had never heard of him before. I went out and bought his Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and am at present reading it. Very engaging. I also googled Dennett’s name and found a Spiegel interview at http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,
druck-392319,00.html This included the following exchange:
Spiegel: “Do you have an explanation for why the belief in Intelligent Design is nowhere so widespread as in the United States?”
Dennett: “No, unfortunately I don’t...”
Dennett than went on to say the Christian fundamentalist Armageddon scenario was “scary.” I’ve been reading the World Socialist Web Site for several years now, and even I can provide an answer for that question: the increasing disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor and the need to divert working people from discovering the cause of this inequality, capitalism. Sure, it’s more complex than that, but Dennett must have reflected upon this issue in his research.
In Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Dennett quotes Karl Marx favorably and at length regarding his support for Darwin’s theories. I just hope he comes up with a better answer to the question above. If he is calling for a scientific study of religion, that question is going to have to be answered.
4 April 2006
Thanks for the informative and enjoyable piece on Homer. I like the way you put his work in context. It reminded me of Hauser’s The Social History of Art, which I read many years ago. The nuanced observation about what was home for the soldiers was priceless. I’ve always enjoyed The Gulfstream. Have you written anything on George Bellows? His The Lone Tenement has always been a favorite of mine.
3 April 2006
The US press will never print anything negative about that evil woman, and thank God you do! She has the blood of thousands on her filthy hands, and I hope she is tried in a world court with the other scoundrels in the White House! Thank you very much! By the way, I am pro-Communist/Socialist and pray for the day when they take over the world from the Capitalist pigs!
Norwich, New York
3 April 2006