Letters from our readers

26 November 2007

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

On “More in regret than anger: Bhutto calls for Pakistan’s US-backed military strongman to resign”

Thanks for the excellent article. I would just like to mention that John Negroponte is the US’s death squad specialist—in Iraq, for example, and more famously in South America. Perhaps he’s got a different hat on in Pakistan.

LT

15 November 2007

On “US envoy lauds Pakistani dictator’s ‘democratic vision’”

You write, “Ever since Musharraf imposed martial law, Bush administration officials have been claiming that there are serious limits to their leverage over Islamabad and that all they can do is plead with the Pakistani military to move toward democracy.”

Bush’s claim that he has “limited influence” with Musharraf, despite Bush’s holding the $10 billion checkbook, has a similar ring to Pelosi and the Democrats’ claim that “because of the 60 vote constraints they have limited influence” over Bush’s war policy, despite the fact that they hold the $200 billion checkbook for so-called “emergency” funding for his war—which is, of course, actually their imperialist war also.

AM

Sanford, Maine, USA

19 November 2007

On “France: Rank-and-file workers force continuation of rail strike” and “German train drivers intensify their strike”

Given your excellent coverage of the French and German rail and train strikes, is anyone calling for unification of these struggles? The European ruling classes seem united in their agenda and choice of targets. Why not the French and German working classes for starters? Continue the good work.

LM

Quebec, Canada

17 November 2007

On “France: Sarkozy seeks confrontation with the working class”

The people of France have two clear choices in this strike. They can either pay the workers a decent w age and go back to clean and efficient public transportation, or they can cut wages for all workers and have the richest 1 percent among them experience unimaginable gains in the stock market, as we have in this country.

PK

USA

14 November 2007

On the New York Times and Goldman Sachs

Thanks for all your recent articles, including the ones enlightening us WSWS readers on the latest “sub-prime” convulsions of the global credit markets, courtesy of the “geniuses” of world finance—but especially for your recent very informative items offering valuable, but otherwise censored information, which encourage unflagging support for transport striking workers in Germany and France and Hollywood writers here in the US.

Today’s New York Times contains one of its hallmark exercises in toadying to the rich and powerful. I refer to “Goldman Sachs Rakes in Profit in Credit Crisis.” This newspaper’s business and financial items, which profess to deal in the “printable facts,” must always be examined for hidden exculpation of obscenely predatory and exploitative wealth and the power that wealth buys. They must be examined also for the really important details, always hidden, like an Easter egg in a children’s hunt, deep down in the text. In relation to the arcane debt instruments whose sale in the hundreds of billions have brought on the so-called “sub-prime” crisis, the Times article relates, about 10 paragraphs in:

“Even Goldman, which saw the problems coming, continued to package risky mortgages to sell to investors. Some of those investors took losses on those securities, while Goldman’s hedges were profitable.”

Also, while I often say that the motto on the New York Times masthead should be “All The News You Already Know,” it is true that what the Times deems “fit to print” is also highly relevant to understanding its warped journalistic approach.

By that I mean that whatever is published in this paper, but especially its opinion and analytical items, ought be examined by the reader as much for what has been left out as for what has been included. For example: Its columnist Paul Krugman, an economics professor whose public career began in the Reagan administration, and whose most recent confessional tome is entitled The Conscience of a Liberal, can be counted on column-by-column to bash Bush and company, but he never, ever criticizes Wall Street’s “Masters of the Universe” directly—even though he may point an occasional accusing finger at the US Federal Reserve.

And in November 19’s sycophantic treatment of the “great accomplishments” of Goldman Sachs, it is not mentioned that Henry Paulson, a former Goldman chief executive, and the treasury secretary George W. Bush appointed “just in time” in 2006, with a foresight that could never be attributed to a politician of his intelligence, has been co-perpetrator-in-chief, along with the Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke, of Wall Street’s institutionally certified, but obscenely self-dealing, sub-prime bailout.

I hope that all the truly excellent people at the World Socialist Web Site will continue their indispensable work of world-changing significance.

LM

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

19 November 2007

On “US, British and Australian forces build oil-protection base in Iraq”

I noticed deep in Patrick Martin’s report this quote, the facts of which were attributed to Iraq’s former oil minister: “...Iraq planned to nearly triple oil production over the next eight years, from the present 2.2 million barrels a day to six million barrels per day.”

If Iraq were to actually achieve this, it could have a noted affect on the oil market, chiefly by potentially driving the price of oil down. That is, if Iraq exceeds by a wide margin OPEC production quotas, then it seems theoretically true that the oil producers in the country can attract more buyers and begin to undercut the price of oil, and thus defy the OPEC coope ration of underproduction. The consequences for American Big Oil would then seem favorable, since they are making sure to be first in line in the Iraqi oil grab. While causing a lower price of oil (which would simultaneously appease US consumers and the US economy itself, freeing up consumer spending), the Exxons in Iraq would be making what seems set up to be record profits.

I am not at all thoroughly informed on this topic. Indeed, Martin may have previously covered this very subject in a previous article. I believe, however, that if the WSWS is to remain what I feel to be a very revealing and truthful source of information, it should more often explore independently the consequences of capitalism and US imperialism. Perhaps this is one of those consequences. If so, it merits research and, if valid, reporting from the WSWS, which in my perception is a respected news source amongst socialists.

HL

13 November 2007

On “US: New developments in the case of the ‘Jena Six’”

I guess I grew up pretty sheltered from racism in Utah. You don’t hear or see much of it on the local TV stations. I was looking for something on the Internet when I stumbled across an article on the Jena Six. I had no idea that nooses were being hung all over the East along with the specific incident in Jena. It sickened me a nd brought me to tears. I am ashamed of my own country, and a government that does nothing to stop the war between its own people, yet will send its citizens to Iraq for six years to fight someone else’s battle. Who are we and what do we stand for? How do we end years of hatred for the color of someone’s skin? The government needs to punish those who commit hate crimes and remove the public representatives that encourage them. Protect the people of all races from these types of crimes.

HB

Huntsville, Utah, USA

13 November 2007

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