Letters from our readers

21 June 2008

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

On “McCain and Vietnam: Revising history to pave the way for new wars”

I cannot imagine anything more compelling than the loss of an estimated 5 million Vietnamese to undermine the view of people like McCain and others that a victory was possible. McCain still calls his victims “gooks.” It is interesting that another gung-ho warrior who dodged that war, George W. Bush, rejected the analogy that his war was similar to the war in Vietnam, “Remember, the Viet Cong never attacked our homeland as did Al Qaeda.” Our inept media failed again to ask him: Since that is true, why did we attack and kill so many of them?

SB

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

18 June 2008

* * *

During my term in the service—and I worked directly for and knew people who had been Vietnam POWs—I never heard the word “hero” used once. People who have been in the grinder—combat/war—know what an empty and false word it is, as it’s quite often associated with the contents of a body bag. But modern, dumb, un-ironic America—as epitomized by the yakking classes, chickenhawks without exception—throw this false coin about with impunity, as it serves their purposes of deception, of trying to corral an increasingly bitter and cynical public into supporting an illegal colonialist operation abroad.

RM

19 June 2008

On “Tim Russert and the decay of the American media”

You write, “The media, especially NBC, MSNBC and CNBC, has devoted hours to coverage of Russert’s death. Why?”

I’m a little surprised that WSWS failed to mention that one reason for Russert’s prolonged eulogy might be for the same reason that coverage of Ronald Reagan’s death in 2004 was so overblown. Faced with an underwhelming GOP presidential nominee, the MSM will use opportunities like Russert’s passing to boost support for John McCain. Look also for any death of a prominent conservative this summer to be treated similarly.

Remember that virtually no one at NBC—or anywhere else in the American mainstream media—had trouble giving the Reagan funeral coverage that used to only be afforded presidents who died in office. That 2004 was an election year with a knucklehead like Dubya heading the GOP ticket was—I’m sure—merely a coincidence.

BR

18 June 2008

On “Britain: Conservative MP forces by-election to challenge Labour’s anti-terror legislation”

I am an arch Conservative and normally do not read any socialist publications despite my BA in Marx and Leninist Politics. I fully support David Davis’s stand on the crucially important issue of freedom and individual liberty, and I have followed this story since it broke last week.

None of the articles in the main news media, that I have read, have so succinctly reviewed and presented the issues and background as your article.

I never imagined that I would be congratulating a journalist of a socialist publication, but yours is the best article on this subject of the “hundreds” that I have read.

Well done.

HF

17 June 2008

On “Two letters and a reply on the teachers’ dispute in Victoria, Australia”

It was a very good reply. I have been following the comments on the struggles of teachers in California, Sri Lanka and now Australia. Being a parent, I can understand some of the issues.

I am a doctor, who is working in Libya, and my children are studying in Mumbai, India, as there is no proper education infrastructure here. The casual labor market in the private health sector in India does not pay as well as in Libya.

So we go through these different aspects of life

Well written. Keep it up.

PB

17 June 2008

On “US: Officials warn of more levee breaks as Midwest flooding spreads”

Thank you for covering this, and pointing out what has been neglected in every other media venue I have seen yet—that it was known that infrastructure was crumbling prior to the catastrophe. Again.

The people displaced and facing a bleak future are offered little to no meaningful help from the federal government. Again.

I am waiting for the initial shock to wear off and to be replaced in the general media with accusations against the Iowans and others for having “chosen to live in an area prone to flooding,” thus excusing the government from providing any long-term plan or relief.

How many cities and towns will be wiped out before it is realized that the investment in infrastructure benefits everyone—going beyond the residents of the areas immediately threatened, and extending to the rest of the country and world?

CMS Portland, Oregon, USA

18 June 2008

On “Lessons from the Great Flood of 1927: Rising Tide”

Oddly enough, I am reading this right now, as I hear on the radio that the Mississippi is flooding once again in 2008. They make it sound like it’s the first time it’s ever happened. I remember clearly the scenes and devastation that the flood of 1993 created for basically the same part of the country...as did the flood of 1927. History repeats itself, and the general public acts like it’s never happened before. It is kind of like all the events that led up to 9/11. The writing was on the wall. We just choose to conveniently ignore it.

You would have thought they would have figured out by now that the levees didn’t work back then, and they don’t work now, and that New Orleans is destined to be a soup bowl for another storm somewhere down the road. Or that another or a bigger lake will form where two large rivers converge. Scott Nearing warned in his early books that taking away all of the land and putting in nonporous things like concrete will cause the rivers to flood because there will be no porous areas left to absorb the extra waters. Duh to us!

Politics still run everything, right or wrong. Who is in control of the money and the leverage, the right kind of people! God help us to learn our lessons and ask you for help to fix all the things we screw up in this lifetime!

Thank you for a piece of history I can enjoy in writing and pass along to those who care about the history of our country. Disaster, as well as good fortune, makes our country what it is. Katrina and Rita were lessons we will have to learn over again one day. Seeing 21 lanes of traffic moving west out of Houston is forever burned into my brain.

I hope that we as a nation will use books like this as guidelines to help us decide the course of our country in the future.

PH

19 June 2008

On “New York City spends $2 billion on stadiums while slashing public funds”

New York City’s ultra-expensive new stadiums for the Mets and Yankees will benefit only the uber-rich who can afford expensive prices for seats. Parks the poor could use will be destroyed to be replaced with new parks after the new stadiums are built and the old stadiums are razed. The taxpayers are stuck with backing the bonds to build the stadiums. The working poor will get less than nothing from this deal. In Mike Bloomberg’s New York, it’s circuses for the rich but nothing for the poor.

LL

19 June 2008

On the WSWS

I am very glad to see and read your update news every morning. I can say you are one of the best web sites around the world and truly report every incident, whether in Africa, Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia.

Thanks a lot.

AH

Kismayo, Somalia

19 June 2008