Letters from our readers

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

On “New Ford CEO Received 39.1 million in 2006”

I have a close relative who works for Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. He received an $800 bonus this year. His boss received a $15,000 bonus, and the next higher up received a $35,000 bonus. My relative was told to not say anything about the bonuses. Higher up the pecking order, who knows how much the bonuses were? Is Ford nearly bankrupt?


Ithaca, New York, USA

11 April 2007

On “David North to refute falsifications of Trotsky’s life at lectures in Scotland and Wales”

It is interesting to see so much time devoted to writing about a man whose ideas “don’t matter” or are “outdated,” as so many of these pseudo-scholars insist is the case with Trotsky. Their efforts would be laughable except for the misguiding influence the new books can have on people (young and old) who stumble across them. First impressions do tend to stick, alas. Thank you for your valuable debunking of these publications.


Portland, Oregon, USA

10 April 2007

On “Freed British sailors allege torture by Iran: Why do the media ask no questions?”

The segments you quoted from the Guardian would seem to confirm a suspicion of mine. Iran has clearly emerged with a diplomatic victory from the episode. Iran’s diplomatic calculations were quite precise. It is instructive to notice how Iran detained the sailors just long enough to demonstrate the ineffectualness of Britain’s position in world affairs, but not long enough to invite stern diplomatic rebuke from Russia and China.

One must therefore see the initial decision by the Ministry of Defence to allow the sailors to sell their stories to the media as an attempt by the government to fashion public outrage against Iran. The Blair government’s credibility is so low that statements made by the sailors at a government-sponsored press conference would have elicited no more than a collective yawn from the nation. From the government’s point of view, it would be better to allow “market forces” to achieve its goals. It seems plausible that the government had calculated that in order to make their stories more appealing to the media, the sailors would tell lurid tales of torture and victimization—all of which could later be used to justify an invasion of Iran.

No one in his right mind would claim that the Iranian regime is good in any way. But at the same time, one cannot deny that the sailors in Iranian captivity were spared the fate of those held by the coalition forces in various parts of the world.



10 April 2007

On “Britain heightens confrontation with Iran over detained sailors”

The arrogance and hypocrisy of the imperialist nations that form the European Union have once more been revealed in a statement issued condemning the Iranian seizure of 15 British military personnel in Iranian/Iraqi waters. The 27 EU member states unanimously declared on March 30, “All the evidence clearly indicates that at the moment of their arrest, the British Navy personnel were carrying out a mission of routine control in Iraqi waters. Their capture by Iranian forces therefore constitutes a clear violation of international law.”

“At the moment of their arrest,” does not refute the charge that they had violated Iranian territory during their mission. However, the charge of violating international law is breathtaking and an affront to ordinary people’s intelligence. Blair and Bush have become very familiar with the art of violating international law and sovereignty of countries. The illegal war and occupation of Iraq did just that.

This resolution supporting Blair underlines the fraud that France and Germany opposed or oppose the US/UK occupation of Iraq. Nobody in the media or political circles in France has taken up this blatant operation of double standards, which means that those who do not speak out are complicit in the warmongering of Blair and Bush. Such issues are being deliberately avoided in the French election debates. The candidates obviously believe that French imperialism still has ‘a positive role’ to play in the world.


Amiens, France

3 April 2007

On “Bush skips baseball’s opening day”

I was one of thousands of fans in attendance at the opening day at baseball in the Bronx. There was not a politician in sight. Instead there was a prolonged tribute to those who have been loved and now missed due to death and the feeling that we still support the troops but not those who send our men and women into harm’s way.

What a difference from the past. Even in the Labor Day Eastern Parkway Brooklyn West Indian day parade, politicians come out to be seen and sometimes heard.

Indeed, who needs the people when voting machines can be tampered with.


Brooklyn, New York, USA

5 April 2007