Letters from our readers

On “Failure of BP’s ‘top kill’ means oil will continue to flow for months


The fact that the MMS was in bed with BP is bothersome, but what is even more bothersome is the fact that the FAA may in bed with the airlines and the EPA and the FHWA and the FDA and all other branches of government responsible for oversight and for keeping us safe may not be doing their jobs.

Can anyone take anything that these organizations say as fact? When they tell us that the beef isn’t filled with e-Coli and mad-cow prions do you believe them or do you ask yourself some serious questions? When they say that “studies” say childhood immunizations are fine, do you believe them? When they say corn syrup is the same as sugar, what then? Is that bridge over the river going to be ok? How about the stuff coming out of the pipe into your fishing hole? What is in the school lunches? Is that crop-duster spraying us again?

This event should trigger massive government shake-ups, jail time, re-organization and house-cleaning. It will not.

31 May 2010

On “The profit motive and utility shutoffs


Ms. Peters:

The next time some corporate apologist tries to argue that utility shut-offs or other acts of oppression against the working class is necessary in order for the company to make a profit and be able to remain in business, here’s something to throw back at them: JPATS.

JPATS is the largest prisoner/alien transport airline in the entire world. It serves domestic and international cities, ferrying prisoners between judicial districts, detainment centers, and black site prisons—at a fraction of the cost that a for-profit commercial passenger airline would charge, even though both use the exact same kind of airplanes.

JPATS is the ONLY government-owned airline in the US and it is also the most efficient regarding meeting flight schedules on an as-needed basis. JPATS is managed by the US Marshals Service. And unlike many pilots with privately-owned for-profit passenger airlines, JPATS pilots are not so low paid that they still qualify for food stamps.

So don’t let anyone try to bamboozle you with “the poor company needs to make a profit or it will go under” meme. DTE is full of you-know-what.

Jacqueline S. Homan
Erie, PA, USA
31 May 2010

On “Israeli massacre of Gaza convoy supporters provokes outrage

Israel commits murder after murder, claiming everything is wrong in Gaza (Hamas! Iranian influence!) while denying anything is wrong in Gaza (“There is no hunger in Gaza and there is no humanitarian crisis” says Ehud Barak). Then they resort to piracy on the high seas (the very crime for which the western governments have condemned and attacked the Somali pirates).

Oh, the horror!

A Turkish official called Israel’s actions piracy, and withdraws its ambassador.

The Syrian and Lebanese presidents issue a joint statement.

The head of Hamas calls on the UN to protect people after they’ve already been killed.

The Palestinian president calls it a massacre.

The secretary general of the LAS calls for a meeting.

European nations summon their Israeli ambassadors.

The Irish government expresses grave concern.

The UN Secretary-General is shocked.

The EU calls for an inquiry.

The US deeply regrets the loss of life.

Egypt backs up everything Israel does with lethal deeds.

And my friends ask why I’m a Socialist!

Charles H
Houston, TX, USA
1 June 2010

On “The socialist response to the Gulf oil crisis

An excellent perspective by Messrs Kishore and Martin.

However materialistic we wish to conceptualize and understand the world, there are laws beyond those human-made. One such law is Karma.

And God-Vishnu-Buddha-Universe saw that in her insatiable quest for oil that resulted in the murder of greater than one-million in the Middle East, Karma said to America: “You want oil? You kill for oil; you destroy entire nations and peoples for oil. You want oil for generations to come?

“I give you oil!”

Michael Bucci
Damariscotta, ME, USA
1 June 2010

On “Israeli massacre of Gaza convoy supporters provokes outrage


Dear WSWS,

Why do you end the article by reinforcing Israeli and Western propaganda?

“Since Operation Cast Lead, Hamas has implemented a de facto ceasefire and cracked down on other militant groups in Gaza. But this is not enough for Israel, which views Hamas as one of Iran’s proxies in the region that must be eradicated.”

This along with a previous statement—“The attacks followed the firing of mortars by militants from northern Gaza into Israel and a dynamite explosion on the border, delivered by donkey cart”—give the impression that Israel is responding to Hamas terror, when in fact, it’s the other way around.

Dan Whitesell
1 June 2010


You are correct in noting that this was an act of piracy according to international law. However, the IDF is not a collection of private citizens; they are the standing armed forces of a sovereign state. That makes this incident an act of war. The ship was sailing under the Turkish flag; and, was therefore considered territory of the country of Turkey in the same manner that the Turkish embassy in any foreign country is considered to be on Turkish soil. Any entry by a standing army onto foreign soil is considered an act of war. If the entry is accidental (the soldiers were perhaps lost), the incident is smoothed over with diplomatic explanations and apologies. This boarding, however, was deliberate.

We might compare this with the sinking of the Lusitania, which brought the US into WWI. Unlike the Mavi Marmara, the Lusitania actually was carrying rifle cartridges in its hold, was not flying a national flag, had originally been built as a light battle cruiser, and was sailing in what was then known as “a war zone”. Despite this, the incident was considered an unprovoked attack on American civilians and led, after some diplomatic exchanges, to war.

Compare it also with the attack of September 11 on the Twin Towers. Al-Qaeda, who is generally considered responsible for the attack, is not the standing army of any sovereign state. As private citizens, their attack was merely criminal and not an act of war. Yet, it has been used as an excuse to invade two countries and threaten dozens more.

Fortunately, the Turkish government’s reaction has been somewhat more level headed—so far.

Joan C
2 June 2010