Letters from our readers
13 April 2006
The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
At the beginning of Bush’s reign of terror, I tried to analyze this regime’s actions with the assumption that there was some rationality behind them, despicable though the goals were. I quickly realized, however, that ignorance, stupidity, incompetence, and a basic break with reality are as much explanations for the actions of the Bush administration, its right-wing allies, and the complacent “opposition” party. These people are just really stupid and foolish, and completely take for granted that their actions can cause no long-term threat to this country or themselves. I’m beginning to think the nuclear option for Iran is like the desperate flailing of a frustrated child that couldn’t get what he wanted. This government has quickly expended all its resources on goals both unrealistic and self-serving. It has no concern for the long-term consequences of this expenditure or the damage it has done here and abroad. Only 36 percent of Americans still approve of this president, and yet the Congress is standing idly by while he starts WWIII? Truly, democracy is dead here—we are not represented. When your own military leaders think you’re too aggressive, be afraid!
10 April 2006* * *
This is strange and incomprehensible logic (if it is logic). The US administration accuses Iran of planning for nuclear weapons, and itself (the US) plans to deploy nuclear weapons against the same Iran! Can anyone understand the meaning?
10 April 2006* * *
In World War II, Hitler, too, thought he could bomb a country—England—into submission. It didn’t work. It only made the Brits more determined than ever to defeat the Nazis. And this “shock and awe,” this “blitzkrieg,” failed in Iraq as well. The people are not in a state of passive submission. On the contrary, the brutality of the US military has inspired the Iraqi people to fight for their country against the invaders and occupiers.
Of course, expecting the Bush bunch to learn from history is to wait in vain. Those who are thinking seriously of using nuclear weapons are certifiably insane. They should be quietly removed from their offices by men in long, white coats and escorted into a nice, padded van and taken without delay to the nearest secure institution for the mentally disturbed. The sooner the better.
San Francisco, California, US
10 April 2006
You write, “Such sentiments are being echoed in every corporate boardroom across America, not only at other bankrupt companies such as Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines, but at highly profitable ones like IBM. The basic contention is that the American economy can no longer ‘afford’ the basic needs of working people.”
I think it’s pretty clear that the American Workers can no longer afford to support the monstrous Capitalist American Economy. It is time for a new system—one which takes into account the fact that human beings are to be served by it, not the other way around—and one which puts the workers in control of the means of production.
Portland, Oregon, US
11 April 2006
Within the UK, Con Coughlin of the Telegraph can match Mr. Pipes.
11 April 2006
I would like to be the first to shake the hand of Harry Taylor and congratulate him on his confrontation with the American dictator. There’s no question that history will proclaim this tiny man with the infantile intelligence one of the most evil dictators the world has seen. If you know this Harry personally, please let him know that most of the world agrees with what he says. It is only in the simple minds of the American religious fraternity that this man Bush is a demigod.
Logan City DC, Queensland, Australia
10 April 2006* * *
It has reached the point where I have never seen so many Americans at home and abroad that hang their heads in shame at the mention of the Bush administration as “their government.” When they read or hear what is happening in the real democracies of this planet, compared to the fast-becoming “pretend” democracy that exists in the US, they make certain the listener knows that they no longer want any part of US policies.
Little wonder that they feel this way, when they have seen their country tumble to one of the lower standards of living in the Industrial First World, continuing to spend money that is propped up by the real leading nations of the world, but is well on its way to the financial fate of the USSR. So many Americans are not only ashamed, but are dreading the future that awaits their children and grandchildren.
Please, America, wake up and build a one-person, one-vote democracy from the roots up.
A very concerned neighbor,
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
10 April 2006
On non-profit healthcare CEO salaries
Nonprofit funds are procured under the guise of altruism but become organizational charity theft when used for extravagant salaries. The explanation (rationalization, rather) is that high salaries are necessary to attract leading professionals within a competitive system. But isn’t that a most terrible commentary on America to say the economy demands we act like pigs with charity money?
Consider these “nonprofit” salaries buried in the “Money” section of USA Today: Catholic Healthcare West CEO, $1 million plus $896,000 expenses/allowances; Memorial-Sloan Kettering CEO, $2.3 million, with two surgeons making $1.6 million each; Kaiser Permanente’s Foundation Hospital outgoing president, $7.4 million; and Universal Health Services CEO, $16.2 million (“Non-profit Hospitals Top Salaries May Be Due For a Checkup,” Sept. 30, 2004).
The United States ranks No. 1 in amount of healthcare spending per person, yet 37th in healthcare performance, according to the World Health Organization. Of all industrialized countries listed, we are second-to-last in disabled persons’ earning capacity, according to the annex to Society-at-a-Glance 2002. Furthermore, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff cites the United States as 42nd in infant mortality, and finds it “unacceptable that the average baby is less likely to survive in the US than in Beijing or Havana” (Jan. 12, 2005). And according to Dr. Kenneth Liegner’s testimony before the New York State Assembly Committee on Health (Nov. 27, 2001), a seven-year-old Lyme-disease patient was kept alive on expensive medication until, due to insurance company policy, she “died within one month of cessation of intravenous antibiotic therapy.”
Tragically, although the United States is the only industrialized country with no pharmaceutical price cap, “Right-to-Life” proponents oppose universal healthcare, practicing socioeconomic Darwinism in creating more American road kill.
Anchorage, Alaska, US
9 April 2006
On the unity of the working class
It is such an inspiration to read the news each day on your (our) web site of proletarians throughout the world who have united and are struggling together to get what they deserve.
I am a foodservice worker in Georgia, USA, who, like most all workers in my area, continues to labor in a nonunion system. I know damn good and well that I am being cheated daily out of the socioeconomic equality that we all deserve. (I receive $7.50/hr. and a free meal, with no healthcare, no vacation time, no job security, and not even a place to park my old car.) I need help. We all do. Therefore, I am asking you from the depths of my Marxist heart for assistance in the form of information, direction, or even just a bit more inspiration toward achieving the organized unity that may get us all what we have coming to us.
I know that you sympathize and empathize with me. I understand that many have it much worse than I do. I understand that I live in the wealthiest (and, simultaneously, most oppressive) nation on earth. Still, the truth screams out daily as loud as thunder: we all deserve much more!
Athens, Georgia, US
11 April 2006