Letters from our readers

On “Tony Blair, war criminal, testifies before inquiry


The stage-managed inquiry served two main purposes. Blair was never to be cornered with awkward questions, but was allowed to elaborate on the so-called threat of Iran. This is convenient for western governments and media to plod along with the business as usual of addressing the state of the union (health care, unemployment) without the issue of nuclear threats getting in the way for a concerned populace. Likely, Blair will, or had been rewarded for his little “in-betweens” that serve the American and European interests to help justify their imperialist interests. I congratulate this article, and hope further inquiries into this inquiry will be carried by the WSWS.

Philip T
30 January 2010

On “The Nation praises US intervention in Haiti

Thank you, Alex, for this well thought out commentary on the Nation’s continuing efforts at spin to defend the indefensible. I suppose by now I should not be surprised at the lengths to which they go, yet I continually am. Audacity, indeed. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote:

“Such passages are altogether characteristic of the outlook of the Nation. For Nichols, whether the US has ‘done right’ by millions of earthquake victims is less important than the question: has Obama ‘projected’ an acceptable public face for the US occupation of Haiti?”

It is about image—pretense, and appearance. Even when anyone with eyes can see that this tragedy was made so much worse by the “help” of the US military, as long as Obama makes a good, sincere-sounding speech, all is well, and he has done the Right Thing.

Christie MS
Oregon, USA
25 January 2010

On “London conference on Afghanistan: Occupation will last for years to come

What is most extraordinary is the way pronouncements of a political nature, about political objectives and political inclusion in Afghanistan, are made by a general.

Carlo Cristofori
International Committee for Solidarity with the Afghan Resistance
29 January 2010 

On “Romania: Education system on the verge of collapse

You write, “In 1999, a law for the decentralisation of public institutions was introduced”. A similar situation has existed in France since the early 1980s when the newly-elected “Socialist” government laid the groundwork for everything anti-republican that has taken place since, not only in education but in the public services generally.

In France, too, regions or municipalities must fund the building of new schools or ensure the upkeep of existing ones. The sums allotted by the State are insufficient, which means that local taxes have to take the brunt. This means, in turn, that poorer regions are forced to cut vital services to the unemployed, the elderly, the poor, etc.

This all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

This neoliberal thrust led by the Parti Socialiste has, of course, been intensified when right-wing governments have been in power. As far as education is concerned, the major unions gave total and unconditional support to all regressive, anti-republican “reforms” voted in by the PS. Anyone who criticised these reforms was denounced as a reactionary opposed to change (this was the Stalinist line of the SGEN in particular, showing the “sweetheart” mentality existing among unions beyond the so-called “Common Program” of the official Left.

Now that the most right-wing, anti-republican President since the war is in power, said unions unite again, this time in a deafeningly hypocritical chorus to “defend” education and the public services.


Reynold H
25 January 2010

On “The nationalist poison of the trade unions

Thanks for explaining the role of the trade unions (in Germany, Belgium, UK and elsewhere) at the GM/Opel plants, and for explaining how their sabotage of a united offensive against GM attacks can be overcome.

In all cases, the unions have done their best to tie the workers to the interests of big business. It is truly a disgusting spectacle to see how they provide management with arguments and policies with which to close down plants in any other country than their own, and even try to get a bribe for doing so (by getting management to set up a trust to be run by themselves).

The workers do need to set up new organizations as a matter of urgency, and drawing the lessons from this experience is a crucial prerequisite for doing this. 

25 January 2010