Letters from our readers

19 April 2006

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

On “US threats against Iran—the specter of nuclear barbarism”

Dear World Socialist Web Site,

Today I am reading one of your articles about the US Bush administration and Pentagon plans to strike Iran with nuclear warheads. In your article you make comparisons to Nazi Germany. You state that some readers do not agree with you on these comparisons. I was born and raised in the United States, and these comparisons are painful, but they are accurate. When your readers disagree with you on these comparisons to the Hitler regime, they are turning their backs on history and the facts.

How are we different from Saddam’s regime when we do not ask the questions that need to be asked of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of “war” Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales when it comes to the illegal wiretapping of citizens of the United States?

How cowardly that we ask men and women to die on foreign soil to protect our freedom and democracy and to spread freedom and democracy, yet we do not demand those in charge to go on record with the court system for obtaining the permission to spy on our own. Our Congress has failed to take seriously their commitment to defend the Constitution while the young and the poor are searched for and recruited in high schools and colleges to sacrifice their lives and limbs in Afghanistan, Iraq and possibly Iran.

The president has broken the law by authorizing secret wiretapping of American citizens making international phone calls.

Congress must not allow the president and this administration to ignore the rule of law. The censure resolution that Senator Feingold introduced in the Senate is an appropriate response to the president’s illegal actions. Congress must reassert its role in our constitutional system.

Thank you for everything you do and everything you report on. Thank you for your honesty and the facts,

LZ

Plano, Texas

13 April 2006

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Thank you to the WSWS Editorial Board for this very insightful article. The fact that shells with tips of depleted uranium have been used in Iraq suggests that the US military has already been acclimated towards the use of nuclear armaments producing an uninhabitable environment to an even greater extent.

The reference to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in this article made me wonder about the fact that today these cities have been rebuilt and have large populations. That is, with nuclear fallout present, how could this be viable? As I found out from a little research on the web, there are two reasons why residual radioactivity was relatively small following the bombings. First, in both cases the atom bomb was detonated 500 meters above the ground and secondly the half-life of the radionuclides was brief. Thus much of the radioactive fallout was contained in the mushroom cloud and spread over a large area (the atmosphere) and the intensity of radioactive fallout on the ground rapidly diminished.

However, in the case of the earth-penetrating nuclear weapon, the explosion is not safely contained below the surface of the earth, as probably will be proclaimed in a propaganda war if the Bush administration decides to give the green light to the use of such weapons. Rather, it is impossible to penetrate the earth’s surface to a sufficient depth so that the bomb does not form a crater and creates a local area of high radioactivity. Please see http://www.fas.org/faspir/2001/v54n1/weapons.htm

PL

15 April 2006

On “Spike Lee’s Inside Man: Asking for so little”

In your review of Inside Man, your description of Spike Lee’s “urban ‘edginess’—i.e., the combination of ethnic stereotyping, nasty sexual leering and general misanthropy. Jewish, Italian, for that matter, poor black, caricatures abound. Lee cannot help himself. This is how he and the privileged social layer he speaks for (and to) see the world, as a series of hostile tribes, ready to spring at each other’s throats”—seems to describe what was wrong with the movie Crash as well. If this is the overwhelming attitude of current filmmakers—as you have noted before, especially in your review of Crash—what can be expected of the other members of this class? If those in government who are making decisions about the fate of “foreign” civilians in its wars and plans for wars, and those in corporate boardrooms who make decisions that determine the fate of millions of workers while despoiling the planet in the process truly see the world around them as a clash of tribes whose natural state is to be “at each other’s throats,” what hope for humankind can we look for in their works? Whether they be at war with “the poor” who are “always with us” or with “gooks” or “ragheads” or whatever other epithet they use to distinguish themselves from “alien” tribes, this primitive outlook makes one despair and wonder if our chance at saving “civilization” has passed.

CZ

San Francisco, California

12 April 2006

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As usual, another on the “money” film review from Mr. Walsh. Spike Lee’s movies have been trite, soulfully hollow and emotionally empty since the beginning, never reaching the lofty artistry of his much more talented father, the brilliant jazz bassist/composer & playwright Bill Lee. I suppose because Spike makes all that moolah means he will forever be more famous than his quite deserving father—more national shame on our culturally and politically bereft country.

MGN

Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

12 April 2006

On “Substandard conditions for institutionalised children in Sri Lanka”

WSWS has done it again in highlighting citizens’ woes in Sri Lanka. That happens even with children. The so-called label “Year of the Child” in 2006 is symptomatic of the political gimmicks that bedevil the country. But what is starkly revealing is the world of difference between attending to the welfare of politicians and those of helpless citizens as in the present case with children.

It will be all too revealing to publish the food menus (and nutrients) provided to the MPs in parliament at subsidised rates and the daily menus (and nutrients) provided to children at least in a cross-section of the institutionalised homes. The amount of subsidy per day on an average at the respective institutions will be all too stark.

And what of the total subsidy of Rs 2 million for 15,000 children? How crazy can it get when each MP is supposed to be given Rs 2½ million as car a loan! And the state is to spend US$800 million in 2006 on the military and for arms purchases! One must wonder in amazement at the order of magnitude of the sheer folly in determining priorities.

SM

15 April 2006

On “The Fort Bragg murders: a grim warning on the use of the military”

September 24, 2004, on TV it was revealed that a 16-year study showed Fort Bragg, North Carolina has the highest rate of children age 0 to 10 killed during child abuse. Colonel Al Aycock, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, said he didn’t have the figures, but disagreed with the report. His solution: kill the news. He couldn’t have these pesky child abuse deaths botching up his awards and promotion. It worked. Fort Bragg was named 2004 Army Community of Excellence, named one of the Top 100 Best and Safest Places for Kids, and now he will get his Brigadier General Star. I have to ask if anyone out there can explain this away.

MK

Fayetteville, North Carolina, US

13 April 2006