Letters from our readers

6 April 2010

On “US military suicide rate at record high

I have seen how the military handles its depressed soldiers first hand. They act like they care, but in the end they ignore your problems and tell you that it’s your fault, and you are looked down upon if you seek help. One Sergeant makes it his goal to try to get people committed. Another soldier having severe depression because of many issues including financial issues receives an article 15 including loss of a half-month pay and reduction in rank. Suicide and depression and all forms of psychiatric illnesses are treated as “not our problem” and “we don’t care” until it happens. Then all of a sudden they make people watch a bunch of PowerPoint presentations. I was told my issues were not enough for me to go home from a combat zone, even though my job was not critical to the mission, and we were over strength.

Chris
3 April 2010

On “Creation: When Darwin was writing his groundbreaking work

This was a wonderful review! When I saw this film I was, on the whole, dismayed to see that a dramatic and intellectually revolutionary event—the writing of Darwin’s masterpiece—was depicted as little more than an inner psychological whirlwind. You would think that the man about to author most of modern biological science was thinking about nothing more than water baths, nightmares and voices from the dead.

Happily, your review sought out to appreciate those aspects of the film that were commendable. A renewed interest in Darwin’s work, and an effort to bring his theory to the public, does represent a positive development. Thank you for encouraging the best of the filmmakers while remaining critical.

Darwin was fully aware that his work undermined the myth of creation, and the idea of God itself; the film might have stressed this fact with greater force. Almost every chapter of “On the Origin of Species” contains numerous, explicit rejections of creationism. In his conclusion he summarizes his views:

“Nature may be said to have taken pains to reveal, by rudimentary organs and by homologous structures, her scheme of modification, which it seems that we wilfully will not understand…

“It is so easy to hide our ignorance under such expressions as the ‘plan of creation,’ ‘unity of design,’ &c., and to think that we give an explanation when we only restate a fact...

“The day will come when this will be given as a curious illustration of the blindness of preconceived opinion. These authors seem no more startled at a miraculous act of creation than at an ordinary birth. But do they really believe that at innumerable periods in the earth’s history certain elemental atoms have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues?...They ignore the whole subject of the first appearance of species in what they consider reverent silence.”

Daniel
4 April 2010

On “Former IAEA chief: Iraq war killed ‘a million innocent civilians’

Good article. What makes it so was the inclusion of the self-censorship before-and-after of the Guardian’s interview, which appeared in the WSWS article as two links.

The one million deaths, which was first put forward by the medical journal, Lancet, was debated widely during the Bush administration. The number resonates with me, as the only way an oppressive government can survive during an occupation is to arrest, torture, and disappear leaders of the struggle, and then to terrorize the population. In Iraq, the terrorism and deaths caused by the coalition are focused on the civilian population. That stinks.

Steve J
4 April 2010

On “US hedge fund managers took in $25.3 billion

Tom, luckily Mitt Romney is a good Private Equity Pirate and not a bad Hedge Fund Whore—so when he is (s)elected in 2012 to replace Obama, after the latter’s service to this ruling-elite global corporate/financial/militarist empire is no longer needed, Mitt will undoubtedly straighten out those nasty hedgies, and rebuild American democracy not only in the sphere of our political democracy, but also insure that democracy reigns in the spheres of our economic life and social sphere—by turning America into a fully equitable social (or even socialist) democracy. As Sarah Palin would say, “You betcha”.

I’m sure Obama’s efforts in the sphere of bringing economic justice and equality to America will be fondly compared to “Nixon going to China” and “Clinton reforming welfare.”

Heck of a job Demies!

Alan M
Maine, USA
2 April 2010

On “The ‘paradigm shift’ in German foreign policy

The EU has always moved within two limiting conditions. These are its existence as a free trade area and its existence as a loose political federation of states. The various contradictions contained in the organization have all been energized by the current economic crisis. Now the continued existence of the single currency has been thrown into question. Can the currency survive without the construction of a tightly federated state from its members? And if it disintegrates, will its downfall precipitate the downfall of the entire EU? No one can meaningfully answer either of these questions. What is clear is that the EU will not survive in its current form.

Chris
Ireland
4 April 2010