Letters from our readers

On Iraqi military bombs Fallujah ahead of ground assault

“The fighting recalls the devastating sieges of Fallujah by US occupation forces in 2004 that levelled much of the city and transformed it into a deserted ruins.”

Indeed! Recall that Fallujah was the first centre of Iraqi resistance to the “shock and awe” of Anglo-American war of aggression, when the victorious Marines killed 17 parents of students, protesting the seizure of their school by the military. Two days later in a repeat protest, only 13 were killed. This set the tone for the whole neo-colonial occupation of the country. The awe was gone, but the shock remains to this day.

In a cruel twist of fate, the hated Maliki regime has taken over the role of the US occupation forces in all the respects, and trade with American armaments firms goes on unimpeded. Plus ça change …



5 February 2014

On “An exchange of letters on “NY Times calls JPMorgan CEO’s pay raise ‘laudable’

Just to see for myself, I looked up James B. Stewart’s New York Times article. He did indeed write:

“But in the world of executive compensation, especially when viewed from the rarefied perspective of other chief executives, and more broadly on Wall Street, Mr. Dimon’s pay — and how it was determined — is not only defensible, but laudable. ...”

That’s as much as was quoted in the WSWS, but there was a bit more to come in the paragraph. Finding Warren Buffet the only authority on executive compensation worth quoting, Stewart continued:

“...Warren Buffett said he thought Mr. Dimon’s pay was not high enough.”

This last sentence of Stewart’s perfectly illustrates the dishonesty of the Times, and only adds to Barry Grey’s position that the only perspective on offer in that bourgeois mouthpiece is the perspective of the very, very rich.

Phrases like “in the world of executive compensation,” “when viewed from the rarified perspective of other chief executives,” and “broadly on Wall Street” should not fool anyone. Unfortunately, many comfortable upper layers of the professional and professorial elites only read such news reports from sources like the Times, and only read them with “happy eyes.”

If Stewart were, or even wanted to be, an honest journalist, he would have stayed late at the Times that night and asked the cleaning crew for their perspective on Jamie Dimon’s “raise.” “In the world of worker compensation,” especially “when viewed from the common perspective” of the charladies, Mr. Stewart would surely have gotten an earful of invective and a faceful of mopwater.



6 February 2014

On The unknown women of Joan Fontaine (1917-2013)

Well done, Hiram. This is an obituary reflecting the best values of wsws.org. Obviously, you could not cover everything, but it should also be noted that Fontaine appeared in Ida Lupino's low-budget film The Bigamist produced by Lupino's ex, Collier Young, so there was no petty animosity there. She was also Harry Belafonte's lover in Island in the Sun, a risky role for that period. Outside film, she gained a pilot's license, and David Hedison told me that she was fun to work with in a TV episode they did together. No pretensions, very down to earth. She will be missed for the reasons you outline.

Tony W

3 February 2014

On Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46

Nice obit, good call on his work in Pirate Radio. Overlooked, however, was his performance as Oakland manager Art Howe in Moneyball. Maybe his best performance. Have never seen anyone wear a uniform so well. A very neat trick.


4 February 2014