Letters from our readers

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

On “The Iraq Study Group: a bipartisan conspiracy against the American and Iraqi people”

Excellent article. Thank you. If I understand you, the US is still holding out the possibility that we can stay in this oil-rich region by now tinkering politically. Given the destruction we’ve wrought, and the distrust and hate we’ve now engendered, is this possible?


Lubbock, Texas

19 October 2006

On “Brother of Pat Tillman denounces Iraq War and Bush administration”

Just in case you didn’t know, both Pat and Kevin Tillman did a lot of serious thinking about many important things even before they enlisted in the Army. Though his enlistment was exploited for propaganda purposes, Pat (as well as his brother) never went on a publicity junket for his decision and in fact publicly avoided talking about it or encouraging anyone else to enlist. Those who knew Pat Tillman describe him as an unusual thinker and a reader of Chomsky, Emerson and Thoreau, as well as a critic of George W. Bush. My point is (and not that anything you wrote counters this) that Pat Tillman was a class act through and through, and even someone like myself who doubts the basic premises of the official 9/11 story has only the deepest respect for the guy.


Los Angeles, California, US

23 October 2006

On “US military and Iraqi deaths soar amidst preparations for major offensive”

Recalling the events of November of 2004, it seemed to me that the US military establishment and its henchmen in the civilian leadership sought to send a message to the elected arm of the government: that the occupation was not to be challenged by elected officials. Why else launch such a huge operation at that time in Fallujah? It was to show John Kerry and everyone else that it mattered not who won—operations would go forward. I predict the same message this time. The elected arm is to be reminded again that it is only the PR arm of the ruling military establishment.


19 October 2006

On “Anti-Islam campaign in France: the background to the Redeker affair”

You write, “There is no ruling elite with a greater interest in whipping up anti-Muslim sentiment than that of France. The political response in France to Redeker’s speech must be seen in relation to fresh efforts by government in Paris to increase its political influence in Middle east following the loss of US influence in the region.”

I think it has to be shown how encouraging an anti-Muslim campaign will increase France’s influence in the Middle East—by opposing Hezbollah in Lebanon?


19 October 2006

On “Military conflict escalates in Sri Lanka after two major LTTE attacks”

This is a well-reasoned piece of work presented in a lucid un-emotive way. I do not know anybody else can present facts rationally as Mr. Sarath Kumar has done. This is an article that should be forwarded to the UN secretary general, Mr. Kofi Annan, who like the ostrich buries his head in the sand when he cannot face reality.


Leyton, London, UK

19 October 2006

On “The US Supreme Court minority in Hamdan: executive rule in the ‘state of exception’”

I just wanted to thank you for your inspirational legal-historical analysis since the onset of the war. From “The Texan that would be king” to this precise and timely warning of the Supreme Court’s movement toward becoming a mere rubber stamp of the executive. I recently graduated from law school and none of my professors were able to ignite in me an interest in, and respect for, legal history as you have. I think most students are deprived of an understanding of the deeply rooted democratic traditions of our legal system, making the work of Scalia, Thomas, Gonzales and Yoo all the easier.

Keep up the good work.


19 October 2006

On “WSWS interviews: Sri Lankan soldiers oppose return to war”

It is humane articles like this that portray the horrors of war and the emptiness of vile politics that keeps the human spirit alive. Given all the horrors meted out to daring journalists for exposing the truth, one must hope that your people are safe from attacks by warmongers.

I have just two points. Isn’t it the case that the figure of “65,000 people killed” is an old figure repeated for more than a decade whereas it is more than 80,000 according to certain quotes? Hopefully, one day in the future Sri Lankans will wake up to the real number when this war is over based on actual statistical ground surveys.

The other point concerns the figure of 40,000 military deserters. According to official figures released by an ex-army commander, Gen. Balagalle, it was 80,000, of whom only 15,000 had surrendered their guns. It can only be presumed that 65,000 guns were unaccounted for, and hence presumed in circulation somewhere.

Your interviews are excellent material to portray the futility of war. A point often raised from time to time concerns the number of offspring and close relatives of politicians who had joined the military for making war. A few years the stark figure was 0. What is it like now? I bet it is still 0. It is appalling that this is a politician’s war at the poor man’s expense. Does anyone really know what it is about? Or will it be like the war in Iraq where open admissions are being made that it was thought that it was about WMDs, then about Al Qaeda, then about introducing democracy, about keeping Iraq a unitary state, and now it is about checking the civil war while there is a debate whether Iraq should be divided after all! What a state of affairs led by politicians!

SL seems headed on the same course. As the famous Napoleon said, war is too dangerous a matter to be left to generals, the present-day politicians have taken the place of generals during Napoleon’s days.


20 October 2006

On “The case of Curt Weldon: Republican congressman targeted after criticizing 9/11 cover-up”

You make a good argument that Rep. Weldon is being targeted now for the problems he created for the 9/11 cover-up when he released the Able Danger documents. The name escapes me now, but there was a Democratic congressman who was convicted of bribery and sent to jail after he tried to investigate what happened at Oklahoma City.

My comment about the FBI going outside their usual practice of avoiding investigations that would affect an ongoing election campaign is that their first job must be to maintain overall government corruption.


St. Louis, Missouri

23 October 2006

On “Toronto International Film Festival 2006”

I must admit to being a bit disappointed with your Toronto Film Festival coverage this year. While the Iraq documentaries certainly have merit, one gets a little lost and loses interest in the constant stream of them. I’d like to at the same time get your take on films other critics are lavishing praise on this year, and was especially interested in your opinion on acclaimed films like Summer Palace and Colossal Youth. I was hoping for a little more on the new Gianni Amelio, a filmmaker whose work I always try to follow (even though his last two films haven’t done much for me). Your review of his latest, which hasn’t otherwise received much press, was a little too succinct. I’m enjoying the Vancouver coverage more.


23 October 2006