Letters from our readers

22 October 2007

On “An anti-democratic tirade: Former US commander blames ‘partisan’ politics and ‘agenda-driven’ media for Iraq debacle”

Great article. The World Socialist Web Site is one of the few places to find the political truth. Mr. Sanchez is a Straussian—a follower of the University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss. Straussians believe in Natural Law and pursue the Natural Right—the right of the superior to rule over the inferior. Straussians are continually strident to exercise their right to rule—the elite few over the vulgar many. The Straussians, the philosopher kings, extinguish rabble fire and fight the unending war to protect the homeland. He makes a joke out of the Constitution and is the antithesis of the constitution.RG

15 October 2007

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I don’t doubt that a number of US military leaders would support a military overthrow of the US government to enhance their own war-making prowess. I also understand the nature of professional based militaries to support such moves at times. However, there are some factors that would make such an endeavor a difficult one to pull off.

First of all, the idea that the US is in any position to impose martial law at home while it is expending massive resources on two fronts in the Mideast would be a logistical nightmare. In addition, the opposition in the US to such rule would hardly be a silent one. Americans are beginning to wake up to the creeping threats against their liberties.

Secondly, the US military in and of itself is in a state of complete deterioration and has shown itself completely incapable of defeating urban-based insurgencies. The troops are psychologically worn out and physically exhausted. It is doubtful they would want to return home to simply implement martial law.

Thirdly, there are also many members of the United States military who are not “crackpots” who would also favor an overthrow of the US government simply to stop the debacle in Iraq. And this feeling is shared across military members from all ranks and levels. So the attempt at the imposition of martial law at home would probably be faced with terrible internecine infighting within the military itself.

Finally, the reliance on “mercenaries” to provide such rule in place of the standing military has its own share of problems, especially where unit cohesion is concerned. In battle, “mercs” tend to be the weakest complement with some exceptions since they usually don’t integrate well with normal command-and-control infrastructures.

I believe your article here does explain a serious threat to the United States all the more helped along by the current policies and administration. However, even your piece shows it to be completely one-sided in that the only reason to overthrow the US would be to promote the war even further. Have these leaders given any thought as to how they plan to run an entire country and its economy while they are off defeating their enemies? I don’t believe so.

Such military leaders have long been a part of the US armed forces. However, they have rarely, if ever, been able to accomplish much, and even with the administration’s continued support for this war I am not sure they will get very far.

The biggest question I have for General Sanchez, though, is what is he complaining about as it concerns the press. The US press has been very supportive of this war—so much so that the heads of the top media corporations have been included as potential defendants in international war crimes trials.

SN

Mineola, New York, USA

15 October 2007

On “Bush condemns House vote on Armenian genocide”

Your article states, “What took place in eastern Turkey between 1915 and 1923 constituted the first case of genocide in the twentieth century.” This is not strictly true.The crushing of the Herero rising in South West Africa (now Namibia) in 1904 by the German colonial authorities is generally acknowledged as the first case of genocide in the 20th century. The German commanding officer, General Lothar von Trota, ordered all Hereros to leave Namibia or be killed. Herero were massacred with machine guns, their wells poisoned and then driven into the desert to die. Four out of every five Herero perished as a result of these actions. Nevertheless, your article on the Armenian genocide is much appreciated.Kind regards,

EG

South Africa

12 October 2007

On “Nobel Prize for Al Gore: ‘Old Europe’ fires back at the Bush administration”

A well-written, excellent analysis of Gore’s concept of climate change. I appreciate your insights very much, as I’m sure many of your readers do. Please keep up the good work. I also think many readers would appreciate a more thorough analysis of the arguments you put forward, those having to do with global warming and climate change. Don’t you think that your article would also serve a good beginning for a larger, more detailed analysis—perhaps a book?

BD

Finland

13 October 2007

On “Britain: Demands for government intervention aimed at strangling post dispute”

It is so refreshing to read a response [on] the dispute between the Royal Mail and the postal workers that supports the position of the latter. Apart from the Socialist Worker newspaper, most other media comment is negative, being focused on the needs of the Royal Mail to commence with their “modernization” of the system and, of course, the misery caused to people.Sadly, much of the general public’s feedback has been hostile to the postal workers’ position, in distinct contrast to the attitude displayed to the striking fireman. Unsurprisingly? This web site has emphasised the intransigence of the management and government. I believe that the outcome of the dispute will not be in favour of the postal workers.I will read this site again in the future. Ironically there was a link from the BBC web site.

KR

Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

12 October 2007

On “Solomon Islands’ foreign minister condemns Australian occupation at UN General Assembly”

Many thanks for your lucid coverage over the years of Australian occupation of the Solomon Islands. You have provided your readership a consistent analysis of the situation there that puts the establishment press to shame.I feel you’ve neglected one very important aspect to the problem, though. What’s going on in the forests, where an estimated 85 percent of the population live? Is the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) penetrating the remote areas in order to suppress any eventual resistance that may be emerging to the deforestation process occurring there? If the people are indeed resisting, what’s happening to them? What’s Solomon Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare doing about the problem? Is anyone at all asking himself or herself what will happen once this vital resource, upon which about 500,000 people depend for their very lives, has disappeared?I hope I’m not asking too much. Do keep up the good work.

JH

Hamburg, Germany

12 October 2007

On “Anatomy of a political diversion: The Australian Labor Party, the Bali bombings, and the death penalty”

Thank you for this important exposé of the role of the mainstream media in manufacturing political issues in the lead-up to this year’s federal election. This is not particularly surprising for the Murdoch media empire, which now employs such practices in other parts of the world. Such tactics also draw the election debate away from issues important to the working class and students while at the same time attempting to create political confusion. No doubt such dishonest tactics will now shift into a higher gear now the election date has been called. It is extremely encouraging to see such a strong campaign from the Socialist Equality Party in Australia for this election. Your participation and coverage of this election will also be watched closely by many outside Australia.

JB

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

14 October 2007

On “Propaganda in the guise of a novel: Pretty Birds by Scott Simon”

I have finally caught up with your review of my novel Pretty Birds, which is very thoughtful and well written. Clearly we disagree. I will make no attempt to argue what your reviewer correctly identifies as my deep-seated opinion that the Bosnian Serb leadership led a racist campaign to extinguish Muslim and mixed-race peoples from their territory. I cannot blame each and everything that happens in this world on capitalism. I would only ask the chance to tell your readers that I believe the novel’s artistic qualities, especially the descriptions of everyday life during the siege of Sarajevo, are at least somewhat better than your reviewer suggests.

With thanks,

Scott Simon

October 2007