Letters from our readers

5 January 2012

On “2012 opens with mounting war threat in Persian Gulf

Thank you for the analysis. So much of what is taking place is drowned by the virtual chorus of American political candidates, the kept press and lies that they’ve built... the gallows yet again.

A consort of American militarism, Israel, finance capital, big oil and the arms industry, carefully built upon lies, greed and religious-cultural propaganda to unite the west in yet more plundering of the Middle East. They’ve all but surrounded, and figuratively manacled Iran, strengthened its enemies, sewn discord and set trip wires to justify war. Imagine a combined NATO/England, the USA, and Israeli assault on Iran. A ghastly destruction. Or perhaps, the United States will magnanimously and heroically conduct a new war, while Israel says nothing, does nothing and reaps the benefits of silencing perhaps the last vocal Middle East critic of what it has done to Palestine.

If this happens, and I so hope it doesn’t, I can't help but cynically think the mea culpa will be, “The prisoners died under torture because he struggled. What were they thinking?”

Michael S
4 January 2012

On “The new year begins

I appreciate the work that you folks do. The articles on corporate scoundrels like Blue Cross and DTE are the definitive works on the assault on working people by the wealthy elite. Please keep it coming! Your journalism during the DSO strike was right on the money.

Thanks,
Don J
3 January 2012

On “Obama signs police state legislation

At the same time that Obama signed this repulsive legislation into law—after the House of Representatives debated and passed it in June and the Senate debated and passed it in December last year—Julian Assange has dropped his extradition appeal in the UK. He now fully expects to be extradited to Sweden and is preparing to fight the courts there against extradition to the United States. I almost wonder whether the new law had to be rushed into being signed so that people like Bradley Manning, Assange and others have no way out when their time in a US court comes.

Jennifer H
Sydney, Australia
3 January 2012

***

I am, of course, glad that the WSWS took up this topic. I believe, however, that the point about Occupy could have been made more strongly. The fact that the NDAA has come about now as opposed to earlier or later is the function of many complex factors. Still, the point seems clear: the present or future administration is claiming the right to pursue American citizens. Coupled with the move by far right forces in the Republican Party to redefine citizenship, this is a sharp, though not terribly sudden, move for the American ruling class. The ascendancy of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as the main alternatives to “moderate” corporatist Mitt Romney also seems relevant. It’s not difficult to imagine some manner of right-wing crackdown engineered by Christian Reconstructionists in the military-intelligence apparatus or some other brutally “clarifying” action in the short to medium term.

Nicholas
3 January 2012

On “Obama signs police state legislation

I don’t suppose that I am hardly alone in having learned in high school History of Western Civilization how Adolf Hitler methodically utilized legal institutions to help solidify his monstrous fascist grip on Germany.

My dearest high school teacher who taught me 36 years ago was the wife of the US general whose troops liberated Aachen, the first unconditional surrender of a German city in WWII.

She had herself been a Radcliffe Summa Cum Laude [graduate]. I understood her father was one who took his own life after the 1929 Crash on Wall Street and that she had two sons die serving in the military, one in Vietnam.

I have seldom in my life met anyone as excellent, humane, and wise in all matters as my teacher—or humble, in light of the events and tragedies that touched her life. She required her classes to study such books as All Quiet on the Western Front and Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August.

It would be too presumptive of me to ask what someone like her would today make of this detestable National Defense Authorization Act which our representatives and president have made law.

But I ask myself, in the light of the knowledge and values my teacher tried to teach, how Americans have allowed our country to come to this sorry state or how any decent person can be a friend to it.

Robert L
California, USA
3 January 2012

On “Israeli government mounts major attack on democratic rights

Coming from Israel, none of these appalling measures should surprise us that much. But there is a strange assertion in the third paragraph: “This is being proposed by a government entirely dependent upon foreign aid.” Israel has a thriving economy; it is a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income above that of many European countries such as Spain or Ireland. The foreign “aid” in the form of billions of US tax dollars enables Israel to pursue its brutal occupation of Palestinian lands. Were the US to halt such “aid”, I doubt that it would have much effect on the Israeli economy. But without it, the occupation would no doubt fast come to an end.

Artemis
Paris, France
3 January 2012

On “For-profit company hosts sham ‘job fair’ in Detroit area

Thank you so much for publishing this article. I had no idea about this company! It disgusts me that any company would be capitalizing off of the unemployed! I have actually posted some of their job fairs on my web site's calendar.

Maria H
31 December 2011

On “France prepares ban on denying a Turkish genocide of Armenians

Sarkozy’s rush for Armenian votes is so obvious in this affair.

Whatever the pains of the Armenian community that fled to France after the 1915 tragedy, their leaders have completely integrated into the French bourgeois system and support imperialist policies blindly.

One glaring example of this is the famous singer Charles Aznavour, a supporter of the PCF and progressive ideas in general for a very long time (as in the well-crafted song Comme ils disent in 1972 where he impersonated an homosexual), and still expressing respect for “communist ideals” in interviews and songs, this 87-year-old man is now an official ambassador of Armenia, and a vocal supporter of Sarkozy.

I remember being a bit surprised in 2007, listening to a radio interview where he said things like “I won’t attack Sarkozy now, at least he’s trying to be different, let's see the result later...”, now he openly thanks Sarkozy for this provocative law.

Lauer
France
2 January 2012

On “Best films of 2011

I hugely appreciate the culture articles on wsws.org. I always struggle to find films that don’t bombard people with western imperial propaganda. Continual publishing of recommended films throughout the year would be immensely appreciated.

Thanks for the continual publication on wsws.org.

Alex
30 December 2011

On “Pop and rock music in 2011

Was “Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down” by Ry Cooder too late to make the list?

If you’re looking for an artist speaking to these times and current issues, Cooder’s latest should fit the bill.

Leftover
4 January 2012