Letters from our readers

3 January 2009

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

On "Washington bears guilt for Gaza war crimes"

Thank you for this article. All through the "holiday" season, I have been appalled and saddened by the brutal attacks by Israel against Gaza. It was bad enough that they blockaded Gaza and virtually starved its citizens to death, plus making it impossible for them to work or to reach hospitals in emergencies. Now they are destroying everything and slaughtering innocent civilians. 

This is just like Lebanon a few years ago. Nowhere in the mainstream media is there any discernible remorse. On the contrary, Nancy Pelosi is practically cheerleading this attack.

It's the same as the Georgian attack on South Ossetia, which Congress and the corporate media insisted was a Russian attack on Georgia! One should not be surprised at this point that the media in the US repeatedly suppresses the truth of world events. But the sickening glee of the war criminals in Washington is still repugnant in the extreme.

Well, I suppose war criminals all must stick together.

Carolyn

29 December 2008

On "Harold Pinter and Eartha Kitt, artists and opponents of imperialist war"

This is another discerning and fine obituary, for which WSWS is known for standing head and shoulders above traditional media reports. 

I remember Eartha Kitt's appearance in a probably now-lost 1950s BBC TV drama in which she played the wife of an Englishman (Bernard Archard) whose brother (Richard Todd) resented the liason. Although there was little explicit mention of the multi-racial aspect of the marriage, it was definitely a key element in the play. Kitt played her role with an accomplished sense of dignity, appearing in a BBC production that revealed another side of her immense talents. This play appeared at a time when many American talents such as Rod Steiger chose to appear in BBC TV dramas such as A Town Has Turned to Dust, something that became increasingly difficult in Cold War American television.

Also, at the time Catherine Itzin wrote her study of radical British theatre, Pinter was absent from the various dramatists and alternative companies she concentrated on. He was regarded as an apolitical establishment figure. However, a decade later, when many of these talents had been marginalized (Trevor Griffiths) or lost their Arts Council grants, Pinter became an outspoken advocate of progressive causes. Unlike Elia Kazan, he did not hide behind his cultural capital, but used it to speak out against injustice.

Both Kitt and Pinter are now sadly missed. But in their different ways, they provide an inspiration for others to continue struggling. Their distinctive non-reductive artistic talents also represent those qualitative aspects of Art and Revolution that neither capitalist nor Stalinist-influenced critics can ever understand.

Tony W

27 December 2008

***

David Walsh has written a fitting memorial to Mr. Pinter and Ms. Kitt. It serves to change how I'll think of Ms. Kitt. When I hear one of her recordings or another artist doing the song, I'll think of a brave comrade in the fight against injustice who died as a brave woman.

Larry L

27 December 2008

***

I have always admired David Walsh's articles. Oscar Wilde once said, "Anyone can create history; but it requires a genius to write history." Similarly, anyone can distinguish himself/herself in Arts. But David Walsh's genius summarises the entire life and work of the artist in a grand manner. All the best.

KRP

Chennai, India

29 December 2008

On "US: Christmas marked by declining sales as unemployment climbs"

Here in California, there have been big sales ever since Halloween, which is unusual despite the early promotion of the holidays. My e-mail has been full of announcements of discounts for weeks now. Obviously, the online companies are hurting just like the rest.

A close friend of mine works for the State of California and is experiencing the 9 percent cut in wages through unpaid furlough. She is desperate and doesn't know how she is going to manage, since she pays high rent and has a car to maintain as well.

Also, at my own firm, there were layoffs the week before Christmas. They let go one secretary, one first-year associate, the assistant IT manager and a receptionist. (I work at a law firm.) Several major law firms here in the Bay Area have closed their doors, and there is now a surfeit of unemployed legal personnel all competing for nonexistent jobs in the legal field. Also at my firm, salaries have been frozen, as have those of others in law firms all over the area.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

Carolyn

California, USA

27 December 2008

"Rendition: An open attack on the Bush administration's system of torture"

I just watched this movie last night.  I thought it was a really good film.  I was baffled when I found out that most critics did not give it a good review.  I think that a lot of people actually think that torture is OK now and are suffering from cognitive dissonance.

Josh

31 December 2008

On the New Year

I want to congratulate all the staff of the WSWS for this very beautiful and sophisticated new design. I wish that more people get their information from the WSWS and make it their site of choice for news and cultural and political information. And I sincerely hope that a new Arabic version of the WSWS be born in 2009. It is well overdue! Happy New Year to everybody!

Mohamed

Virginia, USA 31 December 2008

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