Letters from our readers
26 May 2011
This and related articles last week are as important as they are ominous. The talk of alliances, ultimatums, assassinations and the like are an eerie replay of events leading up to the First World War.
The discussion of alliances between the US and India, along with the strengthened ties between Pakistan and China evoke Lenin’s comments regarding alliances as being “inevitably nothing more than a ‘truce’ in periods between wars. Peaceful alliances prepare the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars.”
The war danger is further heightened by China’s unequivocal warning to the US “that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China”, coupled with the US’s lawless and reckless military presence in the region.
I thank the WSWS writers for their diligence in reporting on these important events, and effectively documenting how capitalism is inching humanity towards the abyss of another world war—only this time with nuclear weapons!
I hope, this time, that we’ve learned enough to avert this disaster and to defeat this menace once and for all!
23 May 2011
Very well written article! Congratulations! I thought it was descriptive and especially liked he interviews.
Keep it up!
20 May 2011
A practice based on vengeance, this is hard to even read. Many thanks for doing the research and publishing this. Death row inmates are kept watch over to make sure they do not commit suicide—so clearly the aim of the state is to not eliminate a person from the future possibility of criminality.
The aim is vengeance and to strike the fear of premeditated torture in the hearts and minds of all poor people who struggle for basic life and dignity under the most cruel conditions of modern life.
Have you tried to interview executioners, hear their story and how this work affects them? One movie I recall is “Monster’s Ball” and I thought it was well-made.
20 May 2011
I’m a woman and a feminist and I’ve enjoyed some of Katha Pollitt’s articles in the past about the needed equal rights of women, but I had the same reaction as David Walsh when I read this account by her—and I didn’t read it here in the WSWS. I was, actually, shocked with her insistence upon the accused’s guilt when there is nothing that I have read that can make that supposition one way or the other. In fact, we know nothing about the affair other than that this man was arrested in a very spectacular manner because of some hotel maid’s complaint. That is all. I, for one, am remaining with innocent until proven guilty, and I may even have some reservations about that, depending upon what I hear next. Something about this is worrying.
24 May 2011
I’m afraid the notion of innocence is becoming passé. In England, the restriction to a single trial has been abolished for “serious” cases. A person may now be tried twice for the same offense. While there is a logical argument for a single trial and another for more than one trial, there is no logical argument for only two attempts at a conviction. If it serious enough to try twice, it’s serious enough to try thrice (and by mathematical induction, endlessly). As a result of these changes, the effective social categories are “Guilty” and “Not Yet Convicted”. Maintaining the category “Innocent” requires that a trial for any offense is always a singular affair.
P.S. It is an interesting indicator of the decay of Western bourgeois regimes that it is a Marxist publication that calls for consideration of the facts and for the preservation of the category innocent (as in “Not Guilty”).
23 May 2011
Excellent article that really goes to the root of what the real issues are—i.e., diverting the public’s attention from the really important social issues to highly emotional personal identity issues.
For some reason this whole matter brings to mind the Dreyfus Case in France over a hundred years ago, where over-the-top hysteria sent an innocent man to Devil’s Island. In spite of the great personal injustice done to him, Alfred Dreyfus was able to maintain his humanity and personal dignity while at Devil’s Island through his love of mathematics.
I personally feel that the feminism of a past generation—i.e., my mother’s generation that fought for equal rights and equal pay—has morphed into some really quite dangerous and ugly.
The US ruling class today needs an overarching ideology that it can exploit to justify not only actions overseas but here in the homeland as well. Pollitt and others no doubt understand which way the wind is blowing right now.
I credit both you and the WSWS with the courage and decency to really represent the fact and be a true beacon of hope for all of us here in the US in need of someone and something that truly stands with working people at this very critical point in world history.
As George Orwell stated so correctly: “In a time of universal deceit, just telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
23 May 2011
Thanks so much for writing this, guys. This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw so many jump to the conclusion of Strauss-Kahn’s guilt. I don’t like him or what he stands for either (imagine, he calls himself a socialist!), but when I heard the news of his arrest, I immediately speculated that it was an operation by enemies. Of course, I don’t know this for sure. But I am with the WSWS—that fundamental democratic principles in this case are getting trashed. And on that, nobody seems to notice. Or care. Except for the WSWS that is!
20 May 2011
Thank you for your article on the “serious questions raised by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair”. You are an oasis of reason and sobriety.
Best regards from Paris
23 May 2011
David Walsh’s description of the writing of Katha Pollitt in the Nation—and I duly apply Walsh’s words to Maureen Dowd of the New York Times—that “she operates, in short, in the manner of a Murdoch-style tabloid journalist” is a precise bulls-eye!!! David, you got it! These writers are the faux-Left equivalents of Ann Coulter.
The devious speciousness in the stories and spins projected by the media about the Strauss-Kahn saga—as well as in recent stories about Egypt, Syria, Libya, bin Laden, AfPak, etc.—is so thick, so coordinated, so illogical and so transparent (to a few), one wonders if humanity lost all powers of independent reasoning and common sense, or, if the system itself has become so thoroughly totalitarian (by means of technology), it is preempting and neutralizing all forms of emerging dissent and open debate in a goal toward intellectual conformity. Not only can one get mad (angry) but, lacking inner confidence, can go mad from it. Lacking any concrete proof to supply you, my “intuitive” side warns there is a general “lock down” going on (if that is meaningful).
Thank you, David and WSWS, for keeping the lights on, and for validating people who might otherwise feel outside and alone in a Fahrenheit 451 nation.
(Note: Bradbury’s “book people” across the river did survive the madness. Have faith.)
24 May 2011
Well, the chickens are coming home to roost, but the horse has long bolted! The conclusion is correct: that this multimillion-pound Chilcot inquiry will turn out to be what the powers-that-be intended, a whitewash, because the “lessons to be learned” are: to be more careful the next time.
It is noticeable, how each time WSWS invokes the Nüremberg trial, it is to treat its judgements with almost religious reverence: in reality, it was a show trial, and a whitewash of the Stalinist war crimes, whilst elevating equal crimes of the Allies to the level of heroism.
These days, Imperialism has progressed to where a war does not have to be declared, the population does not have to give its assent, targeted assassination is legal, eavesdropping and spying by the state is legal as well as breaches of sovereignty of other countries. Whistleblowing is just another crime, as well as some forms of dissent. It took just three days to discredit and destroy DSK, and even if he is eventually declared innocent, it won’t matter, the job has been done. Isn’t it far more efficient?
23 May 2011