Letters from our readers

On “Obama’s surge: killing spree on both sides of AfPak border” 



You mention that “operatives have intensified the pace of what the military often calls ‘kill-capture mission’—hunting down just one or two insurgents at a time.”

Just before Christmas, there was a widely reported story to the effect that some paramilitary US operatives had descended on a village in Nuristan, rounded up some eight people, some as young as junior high school age, and shot them execution style. It is interesting that the US military concentrated its denials on claims that the murdered people were students—as if shooting prisoners were legitimate, regardless of age and occupation.

Furthermore, the operatives were said to be paramilitary. Blackwater, again? An investigation was announced, but nothing has been heard since.

The office of the UN representative in Afghanistan appeared to confirm Afghan accounts that the murdered men were in fact juveniles. All this would seem to deserve some attention.

Carlo C
3 February 2010

On “US group charged with child trafficking in Haiti” 

Thanks for your informative piece. What concerns us most is that prior to this incident, various television networks showed images of (so-called?) Haitian orphans being whisked into what mainly looked like European countries. I know, for example, that the Netherlands featured as one such destination for these young victims. The point is: it has been recorded over and over that Haiti’s infrastructure, its official national documentation, etc., currently lies in tatters. Was the (international) relocation of these ‘orphans’ officially sanctioned? Second, of those ‘orphans’ who, so hurriedly, were relocated, was it an established fact that they no longer had any living relatives? And even if they did, did these relatives give permission for them to be relocated to far-off lands? I find it very strange that thus far no major international voice has questioned the process involved in the recent relocation of Haitian minors to Europe, given the dismal conditions of Haitian archival, communicative and structural networks.

3 February 2010

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It came out on the radio today that the leader of this group of alleged abductees was a “business woman” whose home was in foreclosure, has eight civil suits against her and has many parking tickets. Is this a case of “Christian Business Ethics,” or something else?

4 February 2010

On “Pontiac, Michigan: Half of district’s 20 schools to be closed” 

Michigan is going downhill and fast. With all these districts closing these schools there are no jobs out there for college graduates. I just graduated last year, and I have been subbing, and the way the economy is going I am going to be subbing for years to come. Something needs to be done and fast.

Jane S
3 February 2010

On “US frame-up of Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel” 


I just came across the NY Times (blog) report on the trial of a Pakistani-born MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui. If you wish to see a sample of American censored news, read this and compare to the coverage by the World Socialist Web Site here.

The NY Times editors might explain their publication as an “editorial” opinion. I personally am outraged at how much we are being lied to.

Felix K
3 February 2010

On “Major symphony orchestras in US face funding crisis” 


The death by starvation of symphony orchestras in the United States, Canada and elsewhere is part of a general attack on the arts and humanities. Anything that is judged to be too “highbrow” or frivolous, like music instruction in public schools, is fair game. And so the population is increasingly dumbed-down, deprived of historical and aesthetic memory, pacified and made more malleable.

4 February 2010

On “German government prepares to implement two-tier health care system” 

More bought and paid for politicians? Conservative is another name for Corporate Lap Dog. The real conservatives are now Progressives, Liberals, or Greens. Another democracy going for fire sale prices?

Dallas E
4 February 2010

On “French government backs US occupation of earthquake-stricken Haiti

This comes as no surprise, as like the British, the French have always resented the loss of empire and will use any means to again be a major player.

David G
4 February 2010

On “A dangerous rise in US-China tensions” 

The Chinese regime now uses nationalism to mask its class character. In the current distribution of economic and military power, this opens a window of opportunity for its enemies. Any military confrontation between China and the USA could be expected to result in the annihilation of the Chinese military. The indebtedness of the American government cuts both ways. For the last three years, China has run a trade surplus of more the $200 billion a year with the USA. Who would lose more in a resulting trade war is an open question. But it could well be China (after European governments took similar action to the American government against China). This is a point of maximum vulnerability for the Chinese elites. They see their hegemony on the horizon. Acting as if it was already a fact they could well bring about their downfall. And I expect that this point will become obvious to the Chinese regime in the following months. They are not in a position to successfully translate push into shove.

5 February 2010

On “US to launch Fallujah-style attack in Afghanistan” 

This is unspeakable. The comments by the military commanders surpass any callousness or indifference to human life that has been heard before.

California, USA
6 February 2010