Letters from our readers

On “Howard Zinn, 1922-2010


I just wanted to commend you on a fantastic obituary to Howard Zinn, rightly characterizing him first and foremost as a historian who has had a great radicalizing influence on Americans, especially youth. Although you treated him more favorably than I might have—his support for Kucinich and Obama deeply disappointed me—your presentation of what is magnificent and what is lacking in A People’s History was very good. In the end, it is anything but perfect, but still highly commendable and invaluable for the influence its had on people just like me; it was my first introduction to socialist politics. Thank you again for giving Zinn the kind of obituary fitting him.


Julian Q
California, USA
16 February 2010


I for one am glad that this obituary/evaluation came out after the flurry of uncritical eulogies from the left, the simplistic fulminations on the right (“anti-American Marxist!” said one) and the dismissive “balance” of the corporate media. Like many others of my generation, I read the People’s History (as well as Chomsky and others) and though I learned much valuable information and was impressed by his sympathies, I could see that something was missing, which I was only to discover many years later: a clear Marxist perspective and program which starts with the working class as the only force that can bring about the end of the system that commits and permits the atrocities Howard Zinn eloquently denounced.


So thanks again for honoring his contributions while pointing out the insufficiency of his method and perspective.


Lary M
16 February 2010


Thank you, Mr. Eley, for your stunning and nuanced review of Zinn’s book.


Richard LB
16 February 2010

On “The US puts ‘regime change’ in Iran on agenda

It was interesting to hear Hilary Clinton say that Iran is beginning to emerge as a military dictatorship, just at the time when the military top-brass are starting to call the political shots in America. US politicians now calibrate their statements to suit the military, not the other way around.


Rebutting Sara Palin’s recent suggestion that Obama might win political support were he to “toughen-up” and declare war on Iran, Dick Cheney made this revealing statement in an interview with The Australian newspaper last weekend: “When you begin to talk about war, talk about crossing international borders, you talk about committing American men and women to combat, that takes place on a plane clear above any political consideration.”


17 February 2010

On “More civilian deaths as US launches offensive in southern Afghanistan

When I did a Google search for the 12 Afghans killed by an errant missile, I looked for a website that put faces on these people…women, children? I could not find a one. At least this site gave more details than anywhere else. I am glad I came across this site. I will coming back here for sure. America is getting ready for a third party. It would seem the collapse of capitalism is close; as an underpaid American slave laborer, I hope so.


Very good article, “America, the land of inequality”.

Terry S
Oregon, USA
15 February 2010

On “California teachers’ pension fund faces $43 billion shortfall


When you think about California’s politics, remember the words of our late State Treasurer, Jesse Unruh, a Democrat: “Money is the mother’s milk of politics”…“If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and still vote against them, you have no business being up here.”

In 1994, Democratic candidate for governor Kathleen Brown received campaign contributions from investment bankers in New York. In 2003, the pay-to-play politics of Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, became so offensive that the voters of California recalled him from office. Unfortunately, the educational unions endorsed such candidates. That tells you something about the intelligence and ethical levels of many professors and teachers in California.


I did not vote for these Democrats. However, all of us will suffer because many others in our unions endorsed them.


Paul F
California, USA
17 February 2010

On “The unnecessary death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili


This is not rocket science. You miss the most obvious point. The man hit an un-padded steel post at 90 MPH. It is doubtful that padding would have made any difference, but a deflection system may have saved his life, returning him injured to the track. There was no attempt to deal with a failure to negotiate the track. The officials or the designer should be charged with negligent homicide.

Fred S
Oregon, USA
17 February 2010

On “Mounting evidence Mossad behind Dubai assassination of Hamas leader


The assassination of the Hamas leader will further fuel beliefs that 9/11 events were also masterminded by Mossad. Of the 19 supposed “terrorists” who hijacked the four airliners and piloted two of them into the WTC towers, several have since come forward to clear their names and one person sued the FBI for libel. Is there not a possibility that an agency stole the identities of these people and used them to commit serious terrorist acts leading the United States into failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?


Jennifer H
18 February 2010