Letters from our readers

On “US elections conceal preparations for war with Iran



I absolutely agree with this analysis and remind people constantly of the intent of both parties of US capital to attack Iran for the purpose of regime change―not the nuclear bogeyman. The US misleaders of both parties know for certain that Iran has no intention of producing nuclear weapons and that the program for nuclear civilian power plants in Iran was actually started by US president Richard Nixon in 1971. Nixon gave the Shah at that time two Bechtel-designed BWR reactors for their domestic power generation plans. Nixon wanted Iran to become more dependent on nuclear power generation domestically so that the Iranian government would lower their export costs/duties on their light crude oil exports to the West.


Jim B
28 September 2012


On “COSATU federation leader expresses fear of social explosion in South Africa


But is Zwelinzima Vavi not a paragon? The man towers head and shoulders above the rest of the South African pseudo-left! He acts the part so well that even in the Tripartite Alliance, his comments draw fire from the right, specifically from the person of Gwede Mantashe.


In a political landscape that denies the working class all political expression except in the right-wing babble of Julius Malema, Vavi is further discredited by his position as COSATU general secretary. How long can he maintain the high-wire balance between the workers and the bosses?


Historically, the reformist he most resembles is Cipriano Reyes, who for a while similarly played a role in corralling the working class into Argentina’s Peronist camp. After one contradiction too many, Reyes lost his balance, falling foul of the great leader, who then had him imprisoned and tortured.


2 October 2012


On “The euro crisis and the lessons of the Weimar Republic


Your article suggests that the ruling elites have learned nothing from the experience of Weimar Germany when that country imposed an austerity program on its people. I suggest that the ruling elites do understand and moreover want something similar to happen. If war were to result, it would be a way of getting rid of people at home and overseas who might demand equal rights to and shares of shrinking global resources. Cynical, I know, but we should never overestimate the size of the moral compass of these elites.


Jennifer H
3 October 2012

On “Meeting in defense of Leon Trotsky at German Historians Conference


I've read this report with interest and noted the question by Professor Kessler, “Why has intellectual culture sunk so low?” The same question could be asked about academia and why such a supposedly prestigious university press as Harvard chose to publish Service's work. Political pressure aside, another reason must be the rise in tuition fees and the abolition of student grants begun in the Reagan-Thatcher-Blair and Coalition-era resulting in both the lack of time to study conflicting interpretations and the necessity of appealing to the corporate powers that now run universities. It is not accidental that two books I've read make the same type of recognition.

In his A Study in Greene, retired professor Bernard Bergonzi notes that many young academics are not as well read as those of his generation. Ginette Vincendeau comments in her introduction to Jean-Pierre Melville that going back into the archives revealed the presence of a more intelligent type of film criticism than exists today.

These remarks show not only the necessity for free higher education for those who can benefit from it but also a return to the valid concept of leisure hours that can involve self-education. The culture of long working hours in the West and students attempting three part-time jobs to get through college (I can verify this) leads to this decline of intellectual inquiry, one welcomed by those in control today.


Tony W
29 September 2012

On “Catalonia plans referendum on independence from Spain


I would like to commend Alejandro López for his excellent ongoing coverage of Spain, and particularly for not leaving out Catalonian affairs.


Charles H
Texas, USA
29 September 2012