Letters from our readers

On “Japanese PM prepares for war

A war between China and Japan would be the USA’s paradise. Japanese and Chinese industries would be destroyed and the existing world markets supplied greatly by US companies. The arms industries of the USA would have a boost and the country would certainly survive unscathed. Two great competitors would be eliminated at once. They don’t care about Japan suffering, and China is already considered an enemy.

Renato B
9 March 2013

On “UK government passes legislation for secret courts

Excellent and concise article on the destruction of democratic rights and the Magna Carta. The implications for the working class are serious. Only mass rank-and-file committees based on the political programme of the ICFI can overturn. Keep up the good work.

9 March 2013

On “Thousands of native children died in Canada’s residential schools

In 1999 The Canadian Holocaust reports there were 50,000 children who died as a result of being forced into residential schools, and the deaths continue as a result of social conditions that exist among the Natives.

What about the United States? There were 154 deaths at the Indian Boarding School in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, on the Chippewa Reservation in the early 1900s where I grew up. We are talking one small town. Not a lot of information is readily available on the topic. Start adding the numbers. It would probably far exceed 3,000.

Marsha S
Michigan, USA
8 March 2013

On “Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker detained at Los Angeles airport

That Michael “say-my-name-a-couple-of-times” Moore pulls some weight with administrators at the US Immigration Service and Homeland Security is surely comforting to the thousands of travelers who are abused and humiliated at international borders every day. Mr. Moore has demonstrated conclusively that possessing the phone numbers of powerful people who engage expensive attorneys can solve even the most awkward and embarrassing difficulties. One has only to appeal to the proper authorities.

Academy Award nominee Emad Burnat successfully garnered assistance from Moore because the latter has recently emerged as a booster for filmmakers who collaborate with US intelligence agencies, namely, Bigelow and Company of Zero Dark Thirty infamy. Perhaps Burnat handled his “unpleasant experience” as best he could. To have spit in the eye of the Immigration Service and declined to enter the United States—canceling his appearance at the Oscars—would have been, under the circumstances, remarkable and rare, involving some personal risk to himself and his family.

But to have rebelled would have been more than an empty gesture because it would have exposed a sinister and ugly truth: the Academy Awards, organized and attended by the socially insulated superrich, is conducted within the borders of an emerging police state.

Isolated acts of defiance are often futile, but public acts performed in the name of human equality can prepare society for rebellion and revolution. Private First Class Bradley Manning exemplifies this kind of courageous action.

Recently, Manning explained to his captors that he wanted to “spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general” and reveal “the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare”. The military and State Department documents he released included the horrifying Collateral Murder video.

The beauty of Private Manning’s disobedience is that it demonstrates he had faith that most people would react with disgust and outrage when confronted with the realities of US overseas occupations. Like abolitionist John Brown, Manning expects that humanity shares his morality and shall, when fully informed, struggle for justice and equality. This young man deserves the delightful epithet “splendid fellow”, and if he dies in custody at the hands of his torturers, he will make his solitary cell “glorious like the cross”.

By one act of disobedience an individual has staggered the Masters of War, compelling them to mobilize an inquisition to punish a single perpetrator as an example to those who would emulate him. The only thing that can compensate Manning for acting on his convictions is for striking workers to form rank-and-file committees and include the freeing of Manning as part of their demands.

By doing so, these workers will present the US government a choice: “release Bradley Manning,” or charge us with “aiding the enemy” and “acts of terrorism” under the Espionage Act. In doing so, workers will become the champions of Bradley Manning.

This, in fact, is exactly what the Obama administration and his Homeland Security is preparing to deal with through police state tactics.

To put it flatly, the “splendid” Manning neither desires nor requires a phone call from the likes of Michael Moore.

Randy R
Arizona, USA
9 March 2013

On human and animal rights

I read your web site all the time. I sent this email to a number of corporate news outlets (futile, I know) concerning an article I read in the San Francisco Chronicle and thought I would pass on a copy to you, too:

From the article:

“The certification requires livestock producers to submit to annual audits by third-party inspectors—in this case Validus—and follow specific handling requirements. The rules are science-based to meet the Humane Association’s five tenets for raising food animals: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom to express normal behavior; and freedom from fear and distress.

“... ‘It’s the right thing to do for our birds, and we know that it is important to our consumers,’ said Ron Foster, CEO of Foster Farms, in a written statement…”

Freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom to express normal behavior; and freedom from fear and distress.

Hey, that sounds pretty good!

Any chance we could expand that to cover human beings, too? I mean if it’s good enough for chickens it must be good enough for us, too, right?

It sounds like a good idea to me and I’m sure many average working Americans would thinks so, too, but I bet our business and political class as well as the nation’s editorial boards would have a BIG problem with it.

But come on you guys. Everyone can’t be a CEO, an investment banker, or a well-paid “reporter” in the corporate media.

And like Ron Foster says: It’s the right thing to do.

Bob R
9 March 2013