Letters from our readers

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

On “New revelation regarding CIA destruction of torture tapes: Former CIA agent acknowledges use of water-boarding in interrogations”

My first thought when I saw Kiriakou on ABC News was: PR, damage control, just as you mentioned. Young, movie star looks, soft voice, speaks Arabic, caught bad guy, reasonable.... Yes, this is another mission for Kiriakou. He is taking one for the team. Still, his admissions seem to have object of defusing the situation. Only 30 seconds on the water-board? That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

I went through some military training years ago where they used all these “enhanced interrogation techniques.” By themselves, closely monitored, they cause no permanent damage. It’s really no big deal to be hit in the face, you get used to it. Yet the water-board is terrifying. Just watching someone else on the board is enough to make you talk, because you know no one can resist. Still, no one in my group caved after just 30 seconds ... pathetic.

While Kiriakou does indict people all the way up the chain, to the top, it is his face we see: a friendly one—not the smirk of Cheney or the aphasic guffaws and ramblings of the head lumpkin, Bush. Oh, yeah, surprise—those guys have “no recollection.”


11 December 2007

On “Following intelligence report exposing administration’s lies: Bush continues threats against Iran”

Your commentary demonstrates analytic ability, honesty, political insight and command of the facts that we will never see the likes of in the mainstream US press. I congratulate and thank you.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

6 December 2007

On “US intelligence report heightens danger of Israeli strike on Iran”

Of what does Israel accuse Iran? Hiding a nuclear weapons program. What does Israel do? Hide a nuclear weapons program. It may be that at the moment Israel is more trustworthy with nukes than is Iran. But the future holds no guarantees. Why is there no call for international sanctions to bring Israel into nuclear transparency? Israel’s nuclear program should be brought into the international inspection system. If it resists, Congress should overcome its fear of the militarist Israel lobby and block funds.


6 December 2007

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The whole Israeli approach to the matter of Iranian nuclear power is predicated on their demand that they be the only nuclear power in the Middle East. They want no competitors in this area. None! A much better approach would be for them to dismantle their own nuclear weaponry and nip in the bud the problem of competition. Iran, if it is looking for nuclear power, is doing it because Israel has it. Israel unfortunately as in many things started the whole problem to begin with.


7 December 2007

On “Interview with a striking writer: a candid conversation about US television”

Your interview with Mark Brown was another excellent piece of reporting. Everything the WSWS has done regarding the strike has been intelligent and informative. One thing I didn’t get was a good sense of how ideology and profit-motive get combined and confused to result in this demand not to say anything bad about Bush. Your article came out on the same day the New York Times published a profile of an Australian weatherman who is the “Western face” of the Chinese government. He’s a mouthpiece for a regime. But the sort of self-censorship Brown describes and the weird complicity of even an obviously thoughtful and interesting guy like Brown himself—he’s very proud of his work, of course, needs a job, etc.—well, it’s not much better. The shows are presented and consumed as reflections of the zeitgeist, but they may be more reflections of advertisers’ wishes and political compromises of the corporations who own the shows and, in effect, the writing staff.


Stockholm, Sweden

5 December 2007

On “Anti-immigrant demagogue Lou Dobbs speaks in Detroit”

Great article. You hit the nail on the head. Dobbs is a red baiting, immigrant-bashing demagogue. His campaign is relentless. I haven’t been tracking the Minutemen or other anti-immigrant organizations, but it would seem to me that their ranks are swelling. If this is true, it must be owing to the considerable influence Dobbs is having with his anti-immigrant demagoguery on his CNN show.

Interesting footnote. Yesterday, during the Democracy Now! program with Amy Goodman, Dobbs grew very defensive at some of the things he has done. This would tend to reflect a bad conscience. He was also quite prepared with his answers. He must have had some idea what Goodman and Gonzales were going to ask. He must know, in the back of his mind, that, like Abraham Lincoln said, he can fool some of the people all of the time, all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.


6 December 2007

On “The artist Henry Moore: Power and humanity”

Whew! Thank you for your terrific review and analysis of the Moore exhibition. I hope that I can get to London before it is over. One can only find such an article in WSWS. Thanks to them as well.


Bradenton, Florida, USA

7 December 2007

On “Australia: Labor government moves to ratify Kyoto Protocol ahead of Bali climate change conference”

So, the corporations will invest in new trees and alternative energies, taking along rights to pollute more through special payments, as per the Kyoto treaty. To pay for all this from future corporate profits, is it not the case that these corporations will turn to the obvious and only source who can make up the consequent profit gap—to their workers—to whom they will turn, racheting up exploitation, and extracting even further surplus value from their hides?


8 December 2007

On “US: Nine dead in Omaha, Nebraska mall shooting”

Very well written paper. Informative and very well spoken. There are a lot of Americans who are not always on the “right” side of the track that don’t have the right upbringing, the right opportunities, the job, and let’s face it, the “right” amount of money, and sometimes they just can’t handle the pressure. Sometimes they are swept under the rug. Their story is ugly and no one wants to see. When they do something bad, everyone says, “Oh my, Why?” But they really don’t want to hear them when they scream out for help! Thank you for boldly saying the world is not beautiful for all people. Some people just live in it.


North Carolina, USA

10 December 2007