Letters from our readers
27 March 2004
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
Watching and listening to the last two days of testimony on 9/11, one can draw three conclusions: First, the excellent coverage offered by CNN is deliberate—live news without commercial interruption, unlike the Iraq war which was skewered to reflect the Bush administration in a favorable light. Second, that the reason the Bush administration dragged their feet on Homeland Security was because they knew that if and when another attack occurred it would, in all probability, be at their discretion. Third, that the testimony currently being heard is a way to prepare the American people for four more years of a Bush White House: a Bush White House that guarantees preemption and the additional use of force in the Middle East or anywhere else.
24 March 2004* * *
To whom it may concern:
I watched most of the first day of the hearings, parts of Clarke’s testimony, and some of the related coverage on CNN and FOX. While I was pleased that Wolfowitz is still shaking in his designer shoes—probably the reason Rice passed on the hearings, as she sounded similar the other day, commenting on Clarke’s book—the sycophantic back-patting of both the “investigating committee” and the witnesses was just downright disgusting. As was mentioned in the editorial, virtually all of the criticisms of the Bush administration were from the right. The fact that nobody called them to carpet on their assertion that the end response—regime change in both Afghanistan and Iraq—was somehow a victory against Al Qaeda is beyond me. Putting aside the fact that in both cases anarchy still reigns throughout the two countries, making the region even more unstable than before—from any perspective—Osama bin Laden is still running around free. What exactly does deposing two governments have to do with the supposed aim of combating terrorism, which is essentially a political and law enforcement problem?
The Bush stooges and their lackeys in the media know that they are hanging by a tenuous thread that is unraveling ever faster and faster. Their reactionary line is to cover up the past by providing us with an ever-widening downward spiral of horrific diversions.
With every passing day, the bourgeoisie demonstrates that it is not up to the task of solving even the most minute problems in any sphere of social relations, much less able to alleviate any of the economic contradictions of the capitalist system, and so their only recourse is to turn to ever more violent wars. I personally shudder whenever I stop to think that these bumbling fools have the power to launch a nuclear holocaust.
Las Vegas, Nevada
25 March 2004* * *
I purchased Clarke’s book last evening and sat motionless for four hours as I read from it. All of my fears were realized as I turned the pages, discovering page by page, hour upon hour, the incompetence of the Bush team and the war view exhibited by Donald Rumsfeld. The inappropriateness of the responses directed from Condi Rice, when she was not caught in the headlights, and some of the downright incorrect responses from the National Security team weeks after the event left me wondering...four more years of this?
My favorite line was when Clarke turned to Colin Powell and said, “This would be like in WWII after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor if the President had said, OK we are going to invade Mexico.”
23 March 2004* * *
Nobody in the Netherlands is even aware that protest marches were held all over the world! The Dutch media did not mention anything about protests before, during or after the protests were held. This shows how “independent and objective” the Dutch media is! I wonder who paid them to stay quiet.
23 March 2004* * *
Thanks for the article “India Reacts with Dismay to Recent US Legislation on Outsourcing.” I have been of the opinion for a while now that the best opposition to corporate globalization is the globalization of the peoples’ movement against it. The recent global antiwar movement against the US invasion and occupation of Iraq is a positive step toward such a peoples’ united front against the powers that be. But it needs to intensify and become much more. There are way more of “us” than there are of “them.”
I’m 44 years old now; in the workforce in the US since the late ’70s. I came into the workforce at the beginning of the outsourcing movement (I lost a job in the garment industry because of it), and I have seen through the years what it is doing to the morale and wellness, physical and mental, of the American worker. We are a weak nation because of it. If our manufacturing sector is not strong, we will not be strong as a nation, and it’s a sin that people that work with their hands are made to feel like they are “less than” people that work sedentary-type jobs. Strong working people made our nation strong, and so many of our people are lost now, nowhere to go, no jobs to rely on. Pride in the work we do is practically nonexistent.
How can we get this movement really moving? I’m not sure, since many people talk about it, but most are too tired from working multiple low-paying jobs to be able to do it (I’m sure the oligarchy realizes that and encourages it). My dad worked for 30+ years at the same job in a glass bottle and jar cap plant, and he took pride in what he did, and was able to raise a family with my mother in a modest but comfortable life. Try doing that now! I live alone in a mobile home now, and am barely making ends meet. It’s bound to come to a head at some point—when all the working people in the different countries truly realize that they’ve been had by the corporate elite. Again, thanks for your web site and continuing excellent journalism.
20 March 2004* * *
This is just one more obscenity produced by the editors of the Wall Street Journal in their slavish support for the Bush administration and Israel. When peace activists become terrorists, the world is upside down. Obviously, these writers believe that they have a supportive audience for their filth. One can only imagine the anguish of Corrie’s family and friends at this “celebration” of the anniversary of their daughter’s murder at the hands of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]. But the naked, snarling faces of the ruling elite and supporters of Sharon’s genocidal Zionism no longer feel the need to hide. They should be warned, however, that this recklessness may in the end bring them down, as the public—particularly working people—will be sickened by the beastliness of these lying sycophants.
20 March 2004* * *
In case you didn’t see it, your article was mentioned in an attack on the documentary by the right-wing columnist Imre Salinsky in today’s (18-03-04) Australian, which of course is the Murdoch pseudo-up-market flagship. It was as vicious a piece as you could get, and the argument that the documentary was beyond the pale. The attack can only increase the audience for the documentary, showing tonight East Australian time, but what was sinister about the review was that it was really a call for slashing funding to Public Broadcasting stations such as SBS because it has dared to present a point of view contrary to the Howard government and the Murdoch press. What is curious about all this is that for moderate, well-balanced commentary I turn to sites such as yours; for off-the-planet rants the Murdoch press!
18 March 2004* * *
Chris Marsden’s analysis of the Spanish election is a particularly accurate one, but it is also interesting to note the New Labour reaction to the electoral landslide. They are portraying the vote as a cowardly capitulation to terrorism that threatens Western democracies as a whole. The UK government colluded with the Aznar regime at the UN to table a resolution blaming ETA, thus trying to influence the Spanish election result. Now the New Labour government is suggesting that terrorism has triumphed because the Spanish people reacted against their deceitful government. Doubtless, the US will put political and economic pressure on the new Spanish government to maintain its military presence in Iraq. While it is right to question the motives of the PSOE, it is important to see the Spanish vote against the Popular Party as an important step that shows that people do not necessarily stand behind imperialist policies when they too suffer violent attack.
18 March 2004* * *
As a veteran, I have mixed feelings about Sgt. Mejia’s conduct. It would be easier to understand his stand as a matter of conscience if he had not first gone AWOL for five months and from a combat zone.
Be that as it may, in the original stories on Sgt. Mejia it quoted his lawyer as comparing it to Bush’s going AWOL and deserting, and receiving administrative relief rather than punishment. He suggested that Sgt. Mejia should receive the same treatment. This part of the story has largely been ignored by the press and has not resurfaced.
It appears to be part of the problem for the military in deciding what to do with Sgt. Mejia. Certainly, his attorney could not ignore a line of defense merely because it would invoke the conduct of the President. There is also the problem of some 600 others who have deserted, and those in the Reserve and National Guard who have already been prosecuted for failures to report, AWOL, and desertion. In an election year, it’s definitely a dilemma for the brass and a problem for the White House.
One thing that came out of this is that the military in discussing Sgt. Mejia’s case gave a nice clear definition of AWOL involving a National Guardsman: Don’t report for duty, you are AWOL; don’t show up for 30 days, you have deserted.
That is a definition that the Bush supporters have resisted and insisted did not apply to the Air National Guard or the conduct of Bush in disappearing for a prolonged period of time.
Orange Park, Flordia
24 March 2004* * *
This was an excellent article in summarizing the efforts of developers and designers and politicians to push forward the “memorial” buildings and monuments. The point Ms. Hurley makes is critical: that until a thorough review of the event of 9/11 is accomplished and all the circumstances possible are revealed, it is pointless to try to force a rebuilding of this area. In an article in the New York Times for March 22, another point is made that I personally agree with: namely that any replacement of the towers is begging their destruction just by the fact of recreating them.
I am glad to see relevant criticism of any kind over this problem, and this article was particularly well composed.
24 March 2004* * *
I agree with probably 90 percent of what was written in this article. I was a participant in the memorial competition, and like many in the contest, was disappointed in the process; not because my design wasn’t selected, but because the contest guidelines were almost completely ignored, and there appeared to be no hint of the attacks included with the finalists’ designs (not that mine really did either). The one aspect of the article that I totally disagree with is the concept that we need to know more about why and how the attacks occurred before a memorial is built. The memorial is to honor the dead. It doesn’t matter why or how someone is murdered. This modern concept that various crimes can be justified is a sad statement about our civilization. Murder is murder is murder; it doesn’t matter what the mindset of the criminal who committed a murder is when remembering the victim.
24 March 2004* * *
Dear Ms. Hurley,
This was an excellent article on the haggling over rebuilding on the WTC site. The sunken walkways have always reminded me of creepy catacombs.
I have always thought that part of the memorial structure should have been the corners of the original buildings that remained standing after their collapse. They had a cathedral-like shape and were a haunting reminder of everything the buildings—and their destruction—stood for. Also included, I believe, should be Eric Fischl’s bronze sculpture “Tumbling Woman” which was covered up when it was displayed at Rockefeller Center, because it was deemed “too disturbing.” As if art wasn’t meant to disturb!
It does seem that all those involved in the rebuilding of the commercial center and of the memorial have decided that true reflection on the horror of the events of September 11, and more importantly, the state of the world that led to such a ruthless act (and others like it all over the planet) is something to be avoided. Therefore, they have presented us with a bland, watery tomb with the names of the dead but no context in which these names can possibly have any meaning for the future. It is a blank, representing the continuing unresponsiveness of the Bush administration to questions about the circumstances of that day.
20 March 2004* * *
This material by Safire is amazingly in line with what I have been saying, though I had never heard about Safire’s work. It is obvious to anyone who follows the Bush administration that they do not intend to lose the election. I believe they are capable of producing a disaster, to further frighten people into seeking someone who will hold them safe against more terror. What better way than to have a timely terrorist attack? “Please daddy Bush, Save us.” Watch Bush hit hard on his lies that he has, with his little Iraq war, saved our nation from terrorism—when in fact he has likely increased our risk from terrorists by 1,000 percent.
23 March 2004