The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.
Dana Perrino is quoted as saying that Bush’s reference to World War III was only a harmless expression used as emphasis. Some emphasis. I have known since I first saw his “deer in the headlights” expression when faced with the media that Bush didn’t have the slightest clue as to the importance of the office he now held. The duty of the American people is clear, he must be impeached.
Carlsbad, California, USA
23 October 2007* * *
This is truly a turning point in history, and the American people appear to be utterly impotent. We need to discuss how we got here and where we’re going. The Reagan administration brought us the “divide and conquer” strategy, splitting the people into factions, rich against poor, management against workers, etc. We had the “Republican Revolution,” and they won. We’ve politely written our complaints and signed petitions for the past quarter century, and bandit government is more powerful than ever. We sat back as the few in power raided (and continue to raid) public funds; we have financed a prison system (which exploits super-cheap prison labor) that makes the old Soviet gulag look puny. Living conditions for Americans have deteriorated dramatically over the past quarter century. We no longer even flinch as government disregards internationally established human rights. We are on the brink of dictatorship. Yet all we can seem to do is politely sign petitions.
We need a real leader, but out of the millions of people in the US, there doesn’t seem to be a single leader among us.
21 October 2007* * *
I understand your concerns over Bush’s latest statements. The President of The United States is quite insane along with his cohorts. And I am quite sure Bush and his friends would love nothing more than to start a nuclear conflict with Iran, but I doubt this is going to happen.
First of all, the current Secretary of Defense, Gates, is increasingly becoming an ardent opponent to Cheney and his crew along with their catastrophic ambitions. Many in the US military are also ardently opposed to this administration. So, even if these lunatics were to actually issue the orders, it is not likely that they would be followed. Second, with Putin in Iran along with the pact of the Caspian States, Bush would in fact be initiating World War III with such an attack, and the US military knows it.
Despite the rhetoric coming from the crazies in the Pentagon, there hasn’t been much rank-and-file support for them, so in effect they are as isolated as Bush and his crew. The United States is slowly awakening to the massive harm these people have done and everyone is quite exhausted of their war-fever. Bush has been rattling on about an attack on Iran for quite a while and nothing happens. He is quite a bully, as you stated in your article, but let’s remember that all bullies are cowards with a very long yellow-streak.
Mineola, New York, USA
19 October 2007* * *
Just a thought on a possible reason the USA wants to attack Iran. Both Iraq (before the second invasion) and Iran have been testing the waters about trading oil in other currencies than the US dollar. I am no expert on the subject, but there are many interesting Internet articles on the Iran bourse. The bourse is a sort of exchange market for oil. Most oil is bought with the US dollar. The Internet has many interesting articles about what might happen if the world no longer traded oil mainly with the US dollar. The thought that the USA might go to war to safeguard its currency is a reasonable thought in my mind.
19 October 2007
You write, “The analyst said Syrian officials had vigorously denied the intelligence and said the Israelis hit a storage depot for strategic missiles.” Tucked into a recent article in Arutz Sheva covering the raid was a brief reference to an IDF report that the Syrians were preparing a missile strike against Israel and that the Israeli attack was to destroy the missile facilities.
In the lead-up to the Iraq war, the US used every pretext it could to target Iraqi radar and missile defense systems. Perhaps that was the case here. In recent months, Israel seems to have done its best to “provoke” Syria, possibly including moving troops to the Golan. Such a provocation could be claimed as a cause for war with Syria and Iran.
One might consider that the failure of the Syrians to immediately retaliate to the Israeli raid has led to the leaks and that the leaks themselves are to put pressure on the Syrians to retaliate. The Syrians and the other Arab nations seem intent on downplaying this event to avoid a conflict and to avoid the destabilizing effects should there be widespread demonstrations demanding retaliation.
Of course, the spin put on the silence of the Arab nations is that they approve of the attack on Syria, and that Syria’s downplaying of the raid is proof that the raid was justified. Martha Raddatz of ABC took just that line in a recent report. I’m inclined to think that the Israelis and the Cheney cabal are doing their best to provoke an incident that would justify the bombing of Syria and Iran.
This matter should be before the Security Council as a threat to world peace and as an act of war on a peaceful nation. But it won’t be.
Orange Park, Florida, USA
17 October 2007
Why not accept Chris McCandless’s statement about reason—his disillusionment with it—as a critique of instrumental reason, which dominates our class-ridden society, rather than of reason in a larger, fuller, more truly human sense? And why not see that the park ranger you quote is a representative of that very instrumental reason? As for the character’s age of 24, it is young, of course, but Keats was 25 when he died—not every person is “normal” or “average.” Further, obsession can be quite interesting and valuable to study through art when the work is not devoted to some cause, as I think the films of Herzog show, among others.
I have not yet seen Penn’s film and may be plenty critical of it once I do, or not. But I have read the book, and discussed it with several younger readers (I am 68), as well as with some who have seen the film. It strikes a chord with a significant part of a whole generation. Why is this? I would search deeper than a series of critical clichés from the left to answer this question, which clichés, taken at face value, narrow life’s possibilities intolerably, as the film suggests instrumental reason must. Must criticism from the left be so, as well? Too bad for us on the left if such is the case.
17 October 2007
I would like to congratulate your reviewer on highlighting another example of an artist in decline within the contemporary Hollywood cinema, though I doubt whether Cronenberg deserves this title since his earlier work was also criticized as reactionary by Robin Wood. So “killing is hard work”? Did not Hitchcock earlier reveal this in Torn Curtain, displaying the ugliness of violence that directors such as Tarantino, Eli Roth, Rob Zombie, and other Hollywood hacks indulge in today? Again, the WSWS is to be commended for its intuitive cultural and political insights into such worthless films and for its occasional articles revealing what was worthwhile in the past. Clearly, Cronenberg has become another Hollywood hack like Martin Scorsese who caters to decadent audiences in today’s version of the blood and circus arena of gladiator contests typical of a declining Roman Empire.
16 October 2007
Your book on capital’s globalization is a powerful polemic and critique of the current capitalist trends and their forms of domination over the workers, as well as reformist and opportunist “left” outfits trying to mislead those workers trying to fight back. As many serious workers involved in the struggles against the ongoing capitalist offensives as possible should study and discuss this book with others.
Also the lessons on basic Marxism were clear and pretty easy to comprehend.
Los Angeles, California, USA
18 October 2007