The following is as selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.
I am a Muslim of African-American descent. I have been a frequent reader of yours for several years. Though I do not agree with all of your positions on issues, this is one that I wholeheartedly agree with!
Though I have my opinion on the issues surrounding former president Hussein and his undeniably ruthless rule of Iraq, the fact remains that justice has not and is not being served by this mockery called a trial, presented by our government through the puppet-controlled current Iraqi government.
The death of Hussein, which is inevitable given current circumstances, will not make Iraq whole and will not bring peace to the country. It will, however, let the US off the hook for crimes it has committed in both its complicity in the Hussein years and its current illegal occupation and destruction of Iraq. We are directly responsible for the current situation in Iraq and the deaths that are taking place daily—no matter what the spinmeisters may try to say! To that end we will be held accountable as a nation.
Columbus, Ohio, US
13 November 2006
I was wondering why you mention Saddam in negative way like: regime, dictator, Baath killers and thugs, while you keep using a Western positive terminology like President Bush, US administration, American government and so on, despite the fact that the Americans and their “allies” are the most inhumane barbaric fascist terrorist animals the world has seen. If we compare the crimes of Saddam with Bush (or any US head of regime), I’m sure that they deserve to be called war criminal terrorists more than anyone else.
6 November 2006* * *
The fate of Saddam Hussein was decided on December 14, 2003, when US officials announced his capture; written on January 8, 2004, when the Bush administration earmarked $75 million to pay for trial; legalized on October 19, 2005, when the Dujail trial began; made known to the world when the defense lawyers representing Saddam Hussein were murdered and the chief judge was changed twice in the course of the trial; and an official seal was affixed on November 5, 2006 when sentence was pronounced.
The Dujail trial verdict to hang Saddam for the killing of 148 Shiites in 1982 is not an issue of Muslims’ or Iraqis’ problems but an issue concerning American domestic politics. The timing of the verdict was cleverly planned to precede the American midterm election. Bush has already started using this verdict to tell the Americans that they are now safe and free of terrorism.
Not surprisingly, Bush and his key allies have welcomed this verdict. But Amnesty International has questioned the fairness of the trial. More than the fairness and impartiality of tribunal, this verdict will not only further divide Iraqis alone but the Muslims and Christians as well. It also raises more curious questions about the US policy in the Middle East.
What it seems at present is that this verdict is a ploy to divert the Americans and the world community away from the basic economic problems. As such, in all likelihood the death sentence against Saddam Hussein will probably not be carried out in the name of trials in other cases and the issue would be kept alive till the domestic problems of the US are reduced. After all, for Bush it is a question of a victory in the midterm elections and retribution that modern Iraq is to take against Saddam’s regime.
WSWS is quite right in terming the Dujail trial verdict as “concocted for political purposes.” The verdict is a rigged one, and it is nothing but a judicial assassination. This verdict is one of its kind which deserves condemnation from all right-minded people.
6 November 2006* * *
By “our” own criteria (Bush establishment), this entire system should follow—or precede—our former Baghdad friend to the gallows. As is our custom, we consistently speak accusations into our mirrors.
8 November 2006
So Mr. Maliki is discovering just how fickle his American friends can be! Indeed. He could have learned from the example of Mr. Ho Chi Minh, who carried around in his pocket a revolver given to him by one “Wild Bill” Donovan of the American Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, when he was helping train Vietnamese insurgents fighting the Japanese in the closing years of the Second World War. Mr. Minh carried the revolver as a reminder of just how much American friendship is worth. You see, the Americans backed the French when they returned to Vietnam to reclaim “their” colony after it had been liberated from the Japanese by the Vietnamese themselves.
In Iraq, the Americans signaled their intentions with their choice of which targets to guard when generalized looting erupted after the fall of Baghdad. As reported on the WSWS (See “How and why the US encouraged looting in Iraq”) the US army guarded the oilfields (no surprise there), but also the Ministry of the Interior. Now why would “liberators” guard the nerve centre of the repressive apparatus of a regime that they had sworn to topple? When the Berlin Wall fell, the headquarters of the secret police was one of the first places looted by its victims, because they wanted to expose the crimes of the former regime. Why would a “liberator” guard such secrets?
This is not the first time the US has preserved and guarded the apparatchiks of a regime that they had destroyed. At the end of the Second World War, they brought thousands of Nazi operatives over to the US under the pretext of using German science to develop nuclear technology. Many, however, were German fascist operatives with an expertise in anti-Soviet activity.
Fascism, as Leon Trotsky pointed out on many occasions, is a last-ditch effort by capitalism to save itself in extreme crisis. The most reactionary members of world capitalist class understand that extreme measures may be needed from time to time to save the capitalist system. Only a fool or a naïf would imagine that the American ruling class has any profound interest in defending democracy anywhere.
The intentions of the American ruling class were plain: they preserved the Ministry of the Interior because they knew they would eventually need a repressive puppet regime of their own making in Iraq; and, they allowed the looting of the police munitions dumps because they knew they would need a credibly armed opposition to justify the long-term occupation which they had planned.
The invasion was not just about oil, as the peace movement so glibly claims. After all, the Alberta tar sands are currently America’s second largest supplier of oil, and the US itself is rich in alternative sources of oil. Now that oil has gone past $50, it is economically feasible to process oil from such unconventional sources as the tar sands, the frozen hydrocarbons of the Arctic, and the oil trapped in shale deposits throughout the US itself.
It is about geopolitics. The US needs permanent military bases in the area to protect American economic interests in the resource-rich area but, more importantly, to menace its economic rivals—not just China, but also Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union—who had been trading with Iraq under the food for oil programme prior to the invasion. Now that the Cold War is over, the rivalry between Europe and America will become more obvious, and the threat from the Chinese economy is becoming more intolerable every year.
The US ruling class is not going to let a little thing like the political ambitions of a Maliki interrupt its plans for world military supremacy.
3 November 2006
Within less than 24 hours after the co-host of “The Glass House” said that it will be finished soon, I saw over 8,300 guests and still growing complaining in the “The Glass House” guest book that the “Glass House” had been badly mistreated by the Howard government. This is a very sad day for Australia when a program such as “The Glass House” is to be gagged by the government.
The ABC, even though it is fully funded by the federal government, is seen as an independent body. If this is the case, then surely the Howard government is breaching Australia’s constitution by dictating what an independent TV program can show.
4 November 2006
Last weekend, I watched the film, Deliver Us from Evil, twice. The first time I sobbed, the second time I was enraged. As a survivor myself—though not of priestly abuse, but sexual abuse by a religious sister—I can understand what the survivors in the movie felt. It is so difficult to continue having a relationship with the Catholic Church when their hierarchy is the one that has re-victimized us. It is beyond my comprehension how Mahony has escaped the law up to this point. He is an evil man who cares little for the flock he shepherds, but much for his reputation and his coffers. If more ordinary Catholics in the pew watched this movie, perhaps they would stop contributing, and then the cardinal would have to do something to make all this stop. Until then, only those of us who know how this destroys a life, and people like you who write about it, are the ones who have to keep fighting. Thank you for printing your article and for making this known to the public.
Cardiff by the Sea, California, US
4 November 2006
I have to disagree with your review of Walk the Line. First off, I do believe that the director dealt somewhat justly with some of both Johnny and June’s demons. Sure, the cinematography and pace of the film were beautiful and some of that may have taken away from those demons, but he certainly dealt with the demons. I walked away from this film, as did much of my family whose ancestors were huge Cash fans, with not only a deeper understanding of the man, but a sense of the struggle he underwent. I did not walk away with any type of “happily ever after” effect.
5 November 2006
I am a third-generation urban Maori who firstly would like to congratulate you on your analysis of the hysteria around the Kahui family, and what the state’s purpose is, and for clearly showing that the once “radical” but now Maori establishment have walked away from their most vulnerable and those Maori at the bottom of the heap. Shame on them.
7 November 2006