Letters from our readers

12 January 2012

On “Police attack peaceful anti-racist protesters in Germany

“The police objected to a poster with the slogan ‘Oury Jalloh—it was murder’ and sought to confiscate banners and [the] poster for alleged ‘defamation’.”

There is no reason anyone should accept protestations of innocence and good will on the part of the armed military/police power under any circumstances whatever, anywhere on the planet, especially when that power holds a civilian in custody and the civilian dies under extremely peculiar circumstances.

This holds true even before the armed power begins to systematically attack, beat, and imprison those, like poor Mouctar Bah, who dare to question police claims of innocence over a petty little matter like Oury Jalloh’s burning to death in a Dessau police cell.

I wonder who in the city of Dessau still doubts the worth of this advice?

And I wonder who in the Dessau police department, other than possibly Hans-Ulrich M. and Udo S., believes their claims of innocence in the Jalloh matter are being taken seriously by anyone other than the usual roster of compliant cowards—the elected city officials?

Charles H
Texas
11 January 2012

On “US renews military threat against Iran

The true rogue state today, the nation with weapons of mass destruction that has repeatedly used them, the nation that attacks and invades other countries with impunity, the nation that increasingly relies on a military answer to any conflict, the rogue state that acts like a loose cannon on the deck threatening other countries all over the world is...

the United States of America.

Ariel K
Saudi Arabia
11 January 2012

On “The Pentagon’s strategy review: A blueprint for world war

After the Cuban missile crisis the USSR engaged in a massive build up of ICBM’s. As did the USA. After the USA launched its proxy war, via Georgia, on Russian troops in South Ossetia, the Russian government accelerated a massive program of rearmament. This Pentagon paper tells the Chinese that, to quote the BBC web site “China in US sights”. The result is certain; China will accelerate the construction of new nuclear systems.

From the Pentagon wish list for US weapons: an “effective arsenal” of nuclear weapons “that can under any circumstances confront an adversary with the prospect of unacceptable damage.” And the Chinese military list will now contain the same requests to its government. At the end of this process our species will be closer to annihilation than it is now. Peculiarly, the symmetry of the armaments process will reduce American hegemony militarily and otherwise, given that the enormous US defence expenditures coincide with US plans to impoverish the American working class.

Chris
Ireland
10 January 2012

On “The Iron Lady: What were they thinking?

I agree “The Iron Lady” is a badly made film and I will go so far as to add that it is a dishonest film. The use of Thatcher’s dementia as a framing device humanises the woman but also dehumanises the victims of her policies and renders them invisible. That’s almost as bad as denying genocide when it occurs.

The film is feted in the media as presenting a woman who was a feminist role model in her time. Thatcher was no such creature. From what I have read about her, she relished being sole queen bee and rarely if ever promoted women to her Cabinet. I have no problem with women who happen to have a masculine way of thinking and behaving and who might not encourage others of their own gender (I’m more of a thinker than a feeling person myself so I know how Thatcher “feels”!) but then to uphold such women as feminist icons shows a lack of understanding of feminism and the values it’s supposed to support.

The film does not show how Dennis Thatcher’s wealth supported his wife’s ambitions and helped lay the foundation for her political career. In that sense Margaret Thatcher is not that much of a role model for women, if her aspirations ultimately depended on her husband’s wealth. Also whitewashed out of the movie is the son Mark Thatcher’s dubious car rally career in the 1980s and shady financial dealings in the 1990s.

Most deceitful of all is the moment when Margaret Thatcher declares during the Falklands War episode that she does not do deals with “fascist thugs”! Excuse me, but didn’t Chile under the Pinochet government supply the British with information on Argentine military movements during the war? And Thatcher became friendly enough with Pinochet such that when Pinochet visited the UK for medical treatment in the late 1990s and Spain requested his extradition, Thatcher publicly opposed any moves by the British government to arrest and hand over the retired general.

Even without these glaring defects, the rest of the film is problematic: we don’t know what spurs the young Margaret Roberts to want a career in politics or what prompts the older Margaret to challenge for the Tory Party leadership and change her image. Where and how did she adopt the economic philosophy of less regulation and more privatisation of the economy? For the amount of money I hand over for a movie ticket, this is the one thing I really want to know!

Thanks for an objective review of the film otherwise.

Jennifer H
10 January 2012