Letters from our readers

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

On “The Pope and Islam—Ratzinger’s Crusade”

I read your article with delight. I am a history professor at a small Catholic College in Madison, Wisconsin, Edgewood College, and we are supposed to be very progressive. Needless to say, some among us actually supported Ratzinger’s lecture, which I emailed to all faculty in order to stimulate a dialogue. I grew up in Iran and the Middle East, thus have a vastly different understanding of Islam than most of my confreres, to say the least. With respect to your content, I agree to the very last point, and I was happy to see you also picked up on Protestants. The lecture was as smooth a piece of papal babble as I have ever read, but unfortunately most of those with whom I work simply did not “get it,” so to speak. Keep in mind that Ratzinger is known as a person who would rather lose church membership than have them reject his overly scholastic theological, Aquinian, 13th century positions.


22 September 2006


This article is the work of and intelligent and history-conscious person. Keep up the good work.


25 September 2006

On “Illinois election board certifies SEP candidate for November ballot”

I wish to congratulate the candidate on finally overcoming the hurdles placed in his way by an Illinois Democratic Party machine that now resembles 19th-century Tammany Hall. This candidate now offers voters a real alternative, especially against a governor who is plundering the state retirement system and who has cut back veterans’ benefits, which will result in the cost of education being placed upon student tuition. Also, this person has continually weaseled out of a debate in southern Illinois with the Republican and Green Party gubernatorial candidates. The two-party system is bankrupt, as WSWS readers well know. Let us hope this good news will stimulate people to think.


22 September 2006

On “Bush administration denies responsibility for torture of Canadian”

This case is so outrageous. How can we find out about others treated equally as horribly as Mr. Arar? Either the Canadian government or the US deserves to be sued for millions of dollars. At the very least, this story must be kept alive so that it is driven to as many front pages as possible. Someone should pay dearly for this criminal act.


22 September 2006

On “Torture and civilian deaths reach record levels in Iraq”

I greatly enjoyed reading your article. Indeed, if we accept the premise that the US military invaded Iraq to secure its resources and a deep post in the Middle East, then it is more than interesting that the chaos in Iraq in some ways justifies the military occupation of Iraq. And so long as the people of Iraq are battling the question of everyday survival against this hell, as long as they deal with the question of how to get food and water everyday, and how not to get shot, they won’t be organizing much in the way of a political or social struggle against anything. One must ask, who does it benefit? And the chaos benefits the occupation.


23 September 2006

On “Democrats defend ‘our president’ against international criticism”

The so-called Democrats that blasted Chavez may be ignorant of how metaphors are used by educated people in the rest of the world to make a point. I read the speech in its entirety. Despite Bolton’s comments, it was far from a “cartoon” diatribe. Perhaps he was looking in the mirror when the word “cartoon” dribbled out of his mouth onto his mustache!

The speech is quite the opposite; it’s well-written satire. But in a culture where “Everybody Loves Raymond” is considered cutting-edge comedy, then satire is entirely too confusing. Or, since there’s really no difference between the parties, perhaps they did “get it,” and they really were defending “their” president. Or both. It’s not really surprising though, is it?


25 September 2006


Thank you so much for this article. I have always appreciated your clear-sightedness and astute comments in your well-written articles. This one is one of your best in my view. I appreciate the fact that you wrote about the Black and white woman Democrats who voiced their support for their president against Hugo Chavez. It goes to show you that these folks are opportunists and against the poor. They are the same ones who refuse to stand up against the destruction of the welfare system and the annihilation of jobs throughout the US. They do not address the widening and detrimental gap between the rich and the poor.

I am most disappointed in Chaka Fata. I believed him to be a progressive politician, but I guess he has shown his true face now. These are the same folks who preach hate against foreigners who live in their cities and attend schools with their children. They showed me hate as a Haitian American.

Mr. Rangle, in particular, should be ashamed of himself for supporting an anti-foreigner interpretation of the abuses of the US government. It goes to show you that imperialism has no color and neither does the rhetoric and the brawn that support it.

I am appalled at the ignorance that these Democrats show (including Bill Clinton, who claimed that Chavez had hurt himself by making these comments, perhaps in an attempt to win votes for his wife) when they ignore the global impact of the Bush administration. Not only have they set a course to declare war everywhere, but they have also forced nation states to go along and fight their wars with them.

On top of all of that, the destruction of jobs in the US is directly affecting remittances around the world. And it is also affecting immigration. Who doesn’t have a right to comment about these conditions around the world? The US is the major superpower and its government has its hands in everyone’s life around the world, and as such these folks have a right and a duty to opine about them.

I thank you again for the good work and for writing against tyranny.


26 September 2006

On “US gasoline prices: the ‘free market’ and the November election”

When I was young, gasoline stations had gas wars where the price would drop by pennies every hour. It’s not unreasonable to assume that after a few quarters of obscene profits, the global warming deniers, who are Exxon-Mobil, have chosen a couple of months to simply skip the profits and dump a small ocean of oil at cost into the marketplace. After the Republican victory in November, the price will once again reach $3.00 a gallon because the invisible hand of the marketplace “works.”


27 September 2006


If the Republicans retain control of Congress in the November elections, on November 8, the day after the election, the price of gas will be $4.00 a gallon and will continue to rise after that. Vote against all incumbents. Socialist candidates are great.


27 September 2006

On “British Columbia: RCMP cleared in death of detained youth”

This is a total and beyond belief travesty of justice. There were at least four officers working at the time of the killing. Koester is an ex-Saskatchewan conservation officer who has an extreme bullyboy reputation. He was trying to intimidate Ian and make up for his embarrassment over the false name incident—as he had been made to look a fool. Any evidence of injury on him I believe to be a completely concocted and contrived scenario The RCMP under this commissioner has lost focus and is no longer interested or capable of maintaining proper policing of provincial jurisdictions. This is a complete cover-up to maintain their image.


25 September 2006