Letters from our readers

29 April 2008

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

On “Clinton extends Democratic presidential contest with victory in Pennsylvania primary”

It’s very puzzling that Clinton should have won the votes of people with incomes under $50,000. She has a very long record of advocating for defunding “common good” programs to pay for annual (massive) tax “relief” for corporations/the super-rich. She played a lead role in ending basic aid to impoverished Americans, turning them into a bottom wage/no options workforce, often used as “replacement labor.” She has strongly (since before the Bill Clinton administration) supported shredding the New Deal policies that, in fact, dramatically reduced our economic disparities, raised the standard of living for all Americans, etc. Her record clearly shows that her priorities are with the interests of corporations, against the working class/poor, supporting the measures that have enabled corporations to stamp out unions, slash wages and use taxpayer dollars to move our jobs to foreign nations. What conceivable reason could the low-to-middle income workers have for voting for Clinton?

DHF

Wisconsin, USA

24 April 2008

On “The Pennsylvania primary and the crisis of the Democratic Party”

In general, I agree with your analysis of the plight of the Democratic Party. However, one sentence, near your article’s end disturbs me. Your write, “Now, in a contest that pits a woman against an African-American...” I think you should have phrased it: “Now, in a contest that pits a white woman against an African-American man...

To omit those words conciliates the idea that whiteness and maleness are to be expected and it is only when these expectations are deviated from is it necessary to make note of the deviation.

Otherwise, I think what you wrote is an accurate analysis of the current situation. It was also a good idea to put it in the context of the evolution of the Democratic Party from the New Deal to today.

GG

Brooklyn, New York, USA

26 April 2008

On “Hillary Clinton threatens to ‘obliterate’ Iran”

What is scary in all of this apocalyptic saber-rattling is the depth of ignorance and shortsightedness of its pitiful authors. If an unwarranted attack by the Mullahs of Teheran against Israel is in itself a dangerous and foolish step, an obliteration of a much larger and more populous country like Iran would undoubtedly propel us in a new era of total madness and barbaric decay which will totally epitomize the End of History and human civilization.

MSH

24 April 2008

On “Financial speculators reap profits from global hunger”

What a damning indictment of world capitalism in its current diseased and decrepit state! Hunger and suffering—and devastating natural disasters—seen as great investment opportunities. I forwarded this article to everybody I could.

Keep up the good, necessary work.

LM

California, USA

25 April 2008

* * *

The poor are in reality the most powerful of all people! Governments all over the world are so corrupt, and have abused the poor and so-called middle class groups so badly, that the thought of a revolution just warms my heart. Power to the people. I hate to see people hungry but if that’s what it takes to trash governments, come on hunger, come on poor folks, show them just what your made of. The Roman Empire was taken down, and so can world governments of today! God bless the poor.

SH

Cottonwood, Arizona, USA 24 April 2008

On “Australia: Latest ‘terror plot’ claims unravel in court”

The principle of the “Big Lie” is to concoct a story that is a mixture of lies and falsehoods, and keep repeating it constantly and persistently, irrespective of any evidence to the contrary. Stalin and Goebbels maintained that a lie told a hundred times becomes the truth! Neo-cons discovered that the bigger the lie, the greater the chance of it actually being believed by large swathes of the population. For example, about half the Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with September 11, well after the mainstream media quietly dropped that line. Back home, the Haneef case is still active, with police still assigned to it, after it has been thoroughly debunked. No doubt it will be quietly retired, after a decent interval, but don’t expect anyone to be brought to account for this frame-up. The main concern now for the government seems to be to try to justify the application of “terror” laws in front of an increasingly skeptical public. This is evidently the case with the Melbourne 12 and the Sydney 10, where even with the “terrorism” laws slanted towards the prosecution side, the case is unraveling under the weight of evidence, whilst the accused have been incarcerated as criminals for over two years, and denounced by the government as terrorists. Apparently the presumption of innocence is just another quaint notion from a bygone age.

Interestingly, these high-powered media-assisted raids took place just after Parliament passed the law, replacing “the” with “a” in a paragraph, seemingly innocuous, yet allowing those raids and arrests to take place, and with chilling implications for the future. Notable is that that “terror” change went through unopposed, with the help of Labor and the Greens!

It should not surprise anyone that the change of government from Liberal to Labor went through “seamlessly,” as though we never had an election. In fact, Rudd and Gillard seem to be advancing and deepening the Howard legacy. Plus ça change...

MS

Queanbeyan, Australia

26 April 208

On “How the Pentagon manipulated the media to promote the Iraq war”

One note on this informative piece. I assume it wasn’t mentioned in the New York Times article, but the role of public radio (NPR, PRI) was—and is—hardly better. Especially when pitch time rolls around, public radio stations brag about their ability to probe events and get “beyond the sound bites.” Yet when one listens, one usually (with rare exceptions) hears the same clichés and unquestioning acceptance of the rationales and stated goals of the war that one finds on the corporate media. Debates and discussions are most often contained within a narrow range (e.g., in “Left, Right, and Center”). Anyone expecting independence, depth and alternative viewpoints usually comes away disappointed.

Recently, I heard an anti-war Iraq veteran (on a Pacifica station) refer to NPR alternately as “National Pentagon Radio” and “National Petroleum Radio.” Sad but true.

LM

26 April 2008

On “The Sean Bell verdict—assuring that New York City’s police can kill with impunity”

A “nation of laws” that keeps “double books” and “polices the social divide”—perfect description. Social conditions and the divide in this country are downright apocalyptic. I remember 1968 and think something like it, or something even more cataclysmic is in the offing. The greedheads know it too, in their high penthouses and gated fenestrae. They will increasingly call on violence to shore up their situations as things get worse, and their bought-and-paid-for minions will, of course, toe the line accordingly—as did this “judge.” Working people should plan on it and expect it and meet it head on. A “nation of laws”—the term is positively Orwellian at this juncture.

Keep up the good work.

RM

26 April 2008