I would first like to congratulate all those who contribute to the World Socialist Web Site on this fifteenth anniversary. It is truly a social and cultural milestone.
I was a freshman in High School when the 9-11 terror attacks happened. I was horrified by the events taking place of course, but I was left confused by my teachers and the corporate media as to why they took place. It didn’t make sense to me how a person like George W. Bush, who stole the election and was to me, an illegitimate president, could become a world-class statesman overnight. Nevertheless, I, along with many, was swept up by the jingoism promoted by the government and the media to bomb Afghanistan, the poorest country on the planet.
The Taliban fell, “democracy” had arrived to that part of the world we were told, and one didn’t hear about Afghanistan for a while. Then came the drums for another war, this time against Iraq. I remember when the Democrats caved in to Bush and voted to authorize the war what a huge disillusionment that was for me. I was raised in a family of Democrats and we were all against the war but I was perplexed as to why this “party of the people” had collaborated with Bush.
When war came, my whole bourgeois upbringing was shattered. My government, which from an early age I always loved and respected, was now something on par with the Third Reich. Far from being the underdog, I realized the US government was the biggest threat to world peace, not tiny, Iraq. Something was seriously wrong with the world.
I searched for the truth and read everything I could, but the events of 2003 demonstrated to me that CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, et. al., were nothing more than media arms of the State Department, dutifully reporting (and not reporting) what they are told. In the midst of all this, I read many “counter-cultural”, “liberal-left” websites and magazines and this greatly increased my understanding of politics and what was really going on.
But there was one publication I kept coming back to again and again. The World Socialist Web Site was not only international but highly readable. The articles struck me as serious and humane. I could tell their writers were speaking to the highest qualities of their readers; they respected their audience and their intelligence.
By the time I was in college, I was no longer a Democrat and by 2006 I no longer supported Ralph Nader or the Greens. I realized if I voted for anybody it would be for the Socialist Equality Party. The decisive political moment for me came in early 2007, when the WSWS published a statement entitled “ For an International Mobilization of Workers and Youth against the War in Iraq .”
The WSWS was the only website that called for a break with the two parties of big business, for an independent movement of the working class fighting for international socialism, something that I was waiting to hear all my life.
The last statement in particular, “We make a special appeal to the youth—those who will, in the first instance, bear the terrible cost of war—to fight for this perspective,” felt like it was written especially for me.
Upon reading this I came to the conclusion that it was not enough to simply just read the website and agree with the analysis. If I truly agreed with that analysis, I would help and join the WSWS to make socialism a reality.