Letters from our readers

7 September 2011

On “NATO prepares bloodbath in Sirte

The NATO commander with final approval of all targeting is Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard. Any subsequent war crimes actions must obviously include him. He is barely mentioned in either domestic or international media. And should be. Canada has several senior officers, all distinguished by American experience. The new head of the Canadian Army, Peter Devlin, served in Iraq with a US unit and was educated at the American war college. Your stuff on Libya is excellent.

John S
2 September 2011

On “New York Times hails ‘humanitarian’ war in Libya

The cruise missile cowards like Roger Cohen never seem to learn from history. They are mesmerized by the seeming power of NATO bombs, seduced by the superficial allure of US imperial outreach. They cannot wait to cravenly capitulate to the imperialist powers, writing disgraceful paeans to the predatory, destructive war machine that has taken so many lives in the Middle East.

The sleazy accommodation that hacks like Cohen have made makes it all the more imperative to expose these rapacious wars for what they are: wars of conquest, bringing torture and death in their wake. But Cohen, and similar armchair mercenaries like him, never have to pay for the consequences of the wars they loudly cheer. It is the impoverished masses who pay—and Cohen better realise that these wars are bankrupting the very empire he cheers on.

Rupen S
5 September 2011

* * *

You are accurate in your characterization of these NYT columnists. A first class commentary!

David B
5 September 2011

On “WikiLeaks cable confirms reports of US massacre of Iraqi civilians

As you point out, the Pentagon attaches no importance to civilian casualties beyond preventing publicity of them. The response of the US establishment also indicates that atrocities such as this one were utterly commonplace in the course of military operations. And while this finds no reflection in the media coverage, either at the time or now with the WikiLeaks release, the epidemic of suicides, homicides, and mental illness among US military personnel who served in Iraq tells quite a different story.

EG
Michigan, USA
6 September 2011

On “Obama’s phony ‘jobs’ plan

If the current president were a Republican or even a white Democrat, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) would be unrelenting in their criticism of the current economic crisis and outrageously high unemployment rate. But because Obama is president, the CBC believes they must temper any criticism and rather show support for the first black president. This is why Obama is the best president to advance the agenda of Wall Street and the corporate elite and why I think he is almost certain to be reelected. With Obama in the White House, much of the opposition to the corporatist agenda from the so-called “progressives” is disarmed and after another four years of Obama it will be too late to attempt any change in course within the system.

MZ
Maryland, USA
2 September 2011

On “Foreign exchange students at Pennsylvania Hershey factory walk out over abuse

First it was the tomato situation in Florida ... Now this! What is this country coming to? My sons fight for this country! I’m beginning to think it’s not worth fighting for!

Nami K
1 September 2011

On “California schools: Billions more in cuts

While an accurate and important article (I am a recently credentialed teacher unable to get a job or even sub work) it ignores that it will continue to hurt the disadvantaged, while not really affecting the well off (talking about the K-12 level).

While getting my credential I was in a high-end school, where class sizes on one end were around 20 in kindergarten (with aide hours, science, music, and PE teachers), while in the other school they are at 30 with no help. Combine this with having a lot more kids with EL and other needs, and no additional assistance, the one group of kids given their school environment and many other factors have really no chance. Given that you can essentially tell how well kids will do by zip code is a telling factor.

I am not holding the schools or teachers responsible in any real way, just recognizing the important role (i.e., educational backgrounds, income) the parents play in a child’s education. Schools are supposed to assist in the process of education as partners, and it seems more and more that parents look to the schools as the sole source for education, food, and more. Parent accountability is as or more important than school accountability. However, zip code should not dictate a student’s ability to be successful, and the state should assist to even the playing field if possible.

Glen
1 September 2011