Letters from our readers

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

On “Australian Labor government endorses further punitive measures against David Hicks”

Congratulations on your excellent story about David Hicks. What a pity it wasn’t published in one of the metro dailies, although with most of them owned by the Bush-loving Rupert Murdoch, that will never be the case. I think your story hit the nail on the head, and I think you are the first journalist to “discover” that the war on terror is, as you call it, “bogus.” The threat of an outside attack is not a new ploy and was the fulcrum of the Nazi’s rise to power. At the Nuremberg Trials, Hermann Goering explained how easy it is to make the people follow bad leaders: “You simply have to tell them they are in danger of being attacked and denounce anyone who disagrees as unpatriotic,” he said. Sound familiar?

Keep up the good work, from one journalist to another.


Queensland, Australia

27 December 2007

On “US mayors’ report: Hunger and homelessness intensify in US cities”

I have known war, homelessness through devastating floods, unemployment, poverty, and extremely distressing mental ill health, but I have never imagined that such could exist in the USA. Unforgettable and unforgivable that this should be. What right has this nation to preach to others? This story has indeed brought me grief.


Harwich, UK

29 December 2007

On “US agency OKs slashing of health benefits for over-65 retirees”

Could it be that we really aren’t civilized? Obviously, since we as a country are moving in the wrong directions here!


Greenland, New Hampshire, USA

30 December 2007

On “Britain: Arts Council to cut funds to 194 organisations”

I’d like to draw your attention to another organisation affected by the arts council cuts: the excellent and unique London local radio station, ResonanceFM. I listen to this station mainly for its political slots—e.g., weekly broadcasts of Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!—but it is an important outlet for new music that wouldn’t be touched by anyone else. I admit that I myself would not touch most of the music, but it does have a couple of programmes I would sorely miss. These include the Traditional Music Hour, which is in a different league from the BBC’s “folk offerings,” presented by hugely knowledgeable people, and producing programs, especially Reg Hall’s, which could be a source as valuable as Alan Lomax’s work. But that’s just my niche, and I realise that there is not a huge market for it—and that’s the point! All the musical niches covered by this station will lose their sole outlet if ResonanceFM goes under, and that’s not touching on the other experimental work, like the unique drama and documentary stuff.

I seriously recommend that the WSWS make its readers aware of this station, although it is only available in a limited part of central London.

As to the cuts generally—it seems to me to be more than just economic philistinism, but part of a general assault by this miserable, puritanical, totalitarian government on any sources of joy or relief for the poor. No busking, no live music in pubs without a licence (so if any local Labour Party rats don’t like you, they can threaten the pub), no binge drinking, no begging, no prostitution, no nothing but work for the minimum wage and watch multimillionaires kick a ball about on giant screens in soulless identikit pubs, no conversation about anything but mortgages, no getting above your place.

I had to get that off my chest.

Best comradely wishes,


London, UK

31 December 2007

On “Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

I think you like to read your own written words a little too much. It took you an awfully long time to simply say you don’t like the film.


31 December 2007

* * *

I appreciated the review. Thoughtful and insightful. The extension of the depravity of one individual into world politics was unnecessary. I believe we only have to look into our own hearts and minds to acknowledge the possibility of “there but for the grace of God.” I realize this is a socialist site, and the views represent this position. Only five years ago, I experienced a radical change of heart and realized I had been living my life in vengeful anger—certainly not with such acts of violence as committed by Sweeney Todd, but with enough to play my own role in the destruction of the souls of others. We all do this to some capacity or another. Sweeney takes this natural human characteristic to the extreme, perhaps so we may see the truth of our own soul’s motivations and the results of our actions.


31 December 2007

On “US presidential candidates pledge support to Pakistani dictator”

I thought it would have been appropriate to mention that Ron Paul, on the national news, emphatically declared that he thought the US should immediately end its involvement in Pakistan. Also, I would be interested to read an editorial from WSWS’s perspective on Ron Paul. Happy New Year. Your web site is one of my favorites. I read it every day.


31 December 2007

On the New Year

Dear WSWS,

Thank you again for your excellent and permanent work, a concrete manifestation of internationalist solidarity and critical analysis. I wish you good health and power to continue. Happy New Year 2008!


Bucharest, Romania

27 December 2007