Letters from our readers

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

On “‘Appeasement’ clash gives foretaste of McCain-Obama contest”

Thanks for the historical refresher course and concise points that expose the miserable state of political discourse in this so-called “election.” I find that daily reading of WSWS is really essential for me to survive the flood of mass-media disinformation and babble.

We really need a daily WSWS news commentary program online and on public and listener supported radio! A big step, but such programming could reach millions.


19 May 2008

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The use of the term “appeasement,” as it applies to pre-war Europe, is grossly misleading. Collusion is a term that better describes the relationship between the Western powers and Hitler at that time. When the American leadership abandoned the Spanish republic during the civil war, and when American corporations, like the automotive and oil industries, aided the fascist side, it was a clear message to Hitler that for the Western powers, their real enemy wasn’t fascism (the July 1934 issue of Fortune magazine featured a lengthy exposition on the merits of fascism, and praised Mussolini as a leader who could “unwop the wops”) but communism and socialism.

Moreover, the US and Britain consistently refused the entreaties of the Soviet Union to enter into some sort of mutual defense pact. The Russians knew that Hitler would eventually invade them, a matter of no concern to the Western powers, who were nudging Hitler eastward at Munich. Hitler was in power for nine years before the US went to war with him—hardly, as William Blum notes, a principled stand against fascism.


Fraser, Colorado, USA

19 May 2008

On “Death toll hits 78,000 in Burma as pressure mounts for international intervention”

While irresponsible, Western warmongers have suggested “war” as a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Burma (e.g., warmongering suggestions by the French government), the urgent solutions to the Myanmar military junta’s intransigence involve (a) offers of irresistibly massive assistance to be urgently delivered by ASEAN neighbors, and (b) collective international promise of International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutions and targeted sanctions for all those involved substantially in any major, active or passive human rights abuses.

Thus World Health Organization data indicate that “annual total per capita medical expenditure” and “under-5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births” are $38 and 104, respectively, in Myanmar (Burma). This is compared to $19 and 257, respectively, in Afghanistan, occupied by US, Australian, and NATO forces. It compares to $3,123 and 6 (Occupier Australia), $3,040 and 5 (Occupier France), $2,560 and 6 (Occupier UK), and $6,096 and 8 (Occupier USA). This is evidence of gross violations of the Geneva Convention by the US, UK, NATO and Australia.

In Myanmar 1 million are homeless, 0.75 million face starvation, 80,000 are dead and 60,000 are missing. According to UNICEF data, in Occupied Afghanistan 327,000 infants die each year, corresponding roughly to 327,000/0.7 = 467,000 total avoidable Occupied Afghan deaths from deprivation annually (for impoverished Third World countries, infant deaths/total excess deaths = 0.7; see, “Layperson’s guide to counting Iraq deaths”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/5872/26/).

The “annual avoidable death rate” for Indigenous (Aboriginal) Australians is 1.8 percent as compared to 1.6 percent for Australia-occupied Afghanistan.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Gideon Polya

Melbourne, Australia

18 May 2008

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Thank you so much for writing about this topic in such a clear and w/holistic way. The perspective and views that you present are not heard in the corporate media or some of the independent ones either. I am particularly interested in how you quoted the French ministers who tried to force the UN to intervene based on some law of protecting the victims. I am a 2nd generation transnational Haitian, and I can tell you firsthand about French oppression, cruelty and inhumanity. As a matter of fact, in this very issue of the WSWS there is an article about how the French government is passing laws that will undermine the youth and the working poor. This is in addition to its mistreatment and downright violence toward African and other immigrants in its own nation state.

Moreover, the UN is not such a benign institution. Consider for instance, the atrocities that their workers have carried out against children and others in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and more recently in Haiti. They are notorious for raping the underage black girls and boys and for carrying out murderous acts on behalf of the regime in charge, which tends to be the same privileged people that they seek to unseat.

I am very concerned about such propaganda and how it may continue to legitimize the UN, which acts as a shield for imperialist powers around the globe. In fact, where is the UN now with regards to the millions of people like myself and my children who are about to be thrown to the streets because we are victims of the imperialism of the US? And where is the UN and their right to intervene with regards to the undocumented immigrants who are illegally harassed, violated and deported?

Thank you for writing this and please keep the poor and downtrodden who are affected aversely so by these imperialists in your thoughts and minds always.


Eugene, Oregon, USA 19 May 2008

On “Systematic discrimination faces Palestinian refugees in Lebanon”

Rarely do we have such a witness to the discrimination against Palestinians other than in the historic Palestine. But then you would expect that from the Zionists. It is likely that similar patterns of discrimination and plain racism are repeated wherever there are Palestinian refugees, such as in Syria, Egypt and Iraq. However, there is no one who would bring their plight into the open, one stemming directly from Al Nakba. Never has the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” been more in evidence, and never has the perpetrator absolved himself of any responsibility, but, on the contrary, blamed the victim and had the whole “international community” to support those evident crimes against humanity. What’s more, the Palestinians are being all but ignored by their own compatriots in Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem, although it’s understandable, that they too are under immense pressure.

Somehow we must show our solidarity with them and a solidarity amongst all Palestinians. You have suffered enough!


Queanbeyan, Australia

16 May 2008

On “Italy: Berlusconi’s new government promotes xenophobia”

When things get tough, suckers and lazy cowards always identify with the nearest liars, bullies, and crooks.


Laramie, Wyoming, USA

16 May 2008