Letters from our readers

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

On “Record inequality in the US: Billions for Wall Street bosses as workers’ share of income shrinks

I noticed a paragraph in your inequality article which described the change in the income of “households”; while the paragraph made it clear that high-income households saw huge increases, it did create the appearance that people in other income brackets were seeing some increase in income. But talk of households can be misleading. My understanding is that a typical household includes more workers working more hours than used to be the case. So in reality, while a “household” may have seen a slight increase in income, individuals may well have actually seen an erosion in pay, or at least an erosion in the pay they would have received without working more hours, running harder to stay in the same place. The genuine picture is even worse than your article describes.

All this doesn’t even get into the question of whether more expenses are being imposed on typical workers, expenses not well reflected by “core inflation” figures.



22 December 2007

On “FBI’s Hoover proposed internment of 12,000 ‘disloyal’ Americans in 1950

Certainly, it is interesting that the public is now becoming interested in Hoover’s proposed plans to intern American citizens during the cold war but still doesn’t discuss when European Americans were actually interned during WWII. The mechanics of Hoover’s proposed plan during the cold war was almost identical to the actual plan that was carried out on European Americans, labor leaders, and communists just a decade earlier during WWII. About 15,000 European Americans (11,000 German Americans, and 4,000 Italian Americans) were selectively interned, denied habeas corpus, given kangaroo hearings, and deported in exchange for Americans caught behind enemy lines, etc.

For 60 years we have been trying to get the government to publicly acknowledge and apologize to the victims of WWII internment for their behavior. Unfortunately, because our numbers are small, and we are not concentrated in political districts like Japanese Americans, we cannot significantly influence legislators to act on our behalf. Additionally, the media will absolutely not expose the story of selective internment other than an incidental article on the fringes now and then. May I ask why did you not include this information in your article?


Oregon, USA

24 December 2007

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As David Walsh aptly comments, this memo represents very “chilling reading” as well as being an apt history lesson the implications of which are often ignored by the media and politicians in general. He correctly refers to the background of the Palmer Red Raids in which young Hoover played a significant role before becoming Director of the FBI. Also, a posting in the Orson Welles Website has speculated whether knowledge of this might have led to the director deciding to remain in exile in Europe during this Cold War period. Blacklisted actress and screenwriter Jean Rouverol published a memoir in 2000 titled Refugees From Hollywood dealing with her family’s decision to go into exile in Mexico after an unwelcome visit from the FBI at this period. Radical activist Victor Grossman’s decision to swim across the river to East Germany when he was a GI and faced a military board of enquiry now makes perfect sense in the light of his recently published memoir Crossing the River. Also did not Hubert Humphrey extol the virtues of “concentration camps” for accused Americans during this time?

Unfortunately, this is not ancient history since certain Cold War legislation still remains on the statute books, as Peter Watkins’s Punishment Park (a dystopian 1960s-era “realist/fantasy”) recognized. These laws can be used against any “resident alien” in this post-9/11 climate who incurs the displeasure of academic and political administrators. It can happen here, especially today. Hoover’s 1950 proposal may find a willing response not only in the last days of the current occupant of the White House, but also a possible Democratic successor who may not turn a deaf ear to such a scheme that Harry Truman (for whatever reasons) did in his own era. This is very timely article whose implications are still “chilling” today.


24 December 2007

On “A criminal conspiracy: White House, CIA hid torture tapes from 9/11 Commission

The crimes committed by America’s ruling elite on September 11, 2001, could well bring about their downfall. According to one poll, 84 percent of the American people do not believe the government’s official story about what happened on 9/11. This, of course, is a significant percentage. Exposing America’s ruling elite as the real criminals behind 9/11 could only have a revolutionary impact. I suspect that the ruling elite is well aware of this fact.

Firstly, exposing 9/11 as a crime committed by a faction of America’s ruling elite, and subsequently covered up by the entire ruling elite, would necessarily beg the question, Why? Why did the neoconservatives conspire to attack us with a false-flag event? What did they hope to gain? Why has the entire political body, whether Democrat or Republican, been complicit in the cover-up?

9/11 being revealed as a false-flag event perpetrated by our own ruling elite would serve to reveal that the entire “War on Terror” is a fraud. The war in the Middle East immediately becomes exposed as one that is obviously a criminal, imperialist war of aggression Additionally, exposing 9/11 as a conspiracy instigated by our own government would serve as a catalyst to reopen investigations of past conspiracies from the Kennedy assassination to Iran-Contra.

The needs and desires of the super-rich are diametrically opposite to those of the general public to the point that the super-rich are willing to kill us, lie to us and use our children as pawns in an imperialist war in their insatiable pursuit of ever-growing wealth.

The only way these criminals will ever be bought to justice is through an organization of working class public. We are never going to be able to plead and beg the Democrats or Republicans to reopen an investigation that will bring down America’s criminal ruling elite. Bringing down the real criminals of 9/11 would reveal the contradictions inherent in the organization of a society where a small group of super-rich, politically-dominant individuals, whose needs and desires run diametrically opposite to the needs and desires of the general public, are so easily able to time and time again conspire against our fellow countrymen. Bringing down the real criminals of 9/11 would expose capitalism as a corrupt social order.


24 December 2007

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Your statement early on in the article referring to “a host of anomalies that point to the possible complicity of sections of the state apparatus in the 9/11 attacks themselves” is of devastating importance regarding this entire, misguided “war on terror.” I’m quite afraid that the trail is now getting too cold to go back and uncover these grave and astonishing truths. However, this is of utmost importance, as 9/11 still is and will continue to be rolled out as justification for continuing international crimes committed by this and future US governments.


Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA

26 December 2007

On “Israel says strikes on Gaza will be ongoing

There is an uncanny resemblance between how Hitler’s Germany saw itself in 1942 and how Israel’s leaders see matters today. The strugglers of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Polish underground, the heroic partisans across Europe, the Red Army with its many Jewish officers, the largely Jewish spy network of the Red Orchestra, all taught Adolf Hitler a thing or two. The Jewish people will teach the Zionists a lesson in the coming times, don’t you worry.


24 December 2007