Letters from our readers

17 May 2005

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Bush denounces the Yalta Treaty of 1945”

The role of the US after 1945 in the Mediterranean has been conveniently forgotten in the mass media. The people of Portugal, Spain, Greece and Turkey endured utter poverty under US-backed military juntas until the 1970s. French mandates were re-imposed on Algeria, Tunisia, Syria and Lebanon. Libya and Egypt were controlled by Anglo-US backed despots and the Palestinians had their entire country stolen.

MY
Izmir, Turkey

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A superlative explanation of the realities facing Roosevelt at Yalta. Thanks.

RLB
Bradenton, Florida
12 May 2005

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Just read your article about Bush’s ill-chosen comments at the 60th anniversary commemorations. A friend informed me about something that may be of interest to you. I’m not sure about the veracity of it—perhaps you would be better placed to discover if it’s true—basically it is that the US military were planning continuing the war into the territories liberated by the Red Army. To this end, they had even (allegedly) formed or planned to form military units from German POWs. Apparently, these units were already being equipped to fight the Red Peril by VE Day. Once again, I’m not sure how true this is, but hope you find it interesting/useful. Keep up the good work—it’s nice to be able to read news that doesn’t flow straight from the Murdoch mouthpieces!

SP
12 May 2005

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Excellent article. Typically there was no rebuff to Bush’s speech in the UK media that I saw. Bush represents the moron’s view of history.

PA
12 May 2005

On “US: the panicked evacuation of Capitol Hill”

Your “cri de coeur” about the ludicrous Cessna attack panic and the manhandling of Congress was both delightful to read and terrifying to ponder. But you might have added a more cheerful note: on 4 January 1642, Charles I and a posse of armed gentlemen broke into the House of Commons looking for a handful of troublesome legislators. He failed, military personnel have ever since been banned from Parliament, and of course he soon lost his head. I trust the people of the US will find their Pyms and Cromwells as the executive becomes more obnoxious.

AH
Montreal, Canada
14 May 2005

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Your excellent article correctly pointed out the cowardice and moral bankruptcy of our federal legislators. As pointed out in the article, there is a more frightening and deeper meaning to the event. Armed security agents stormed into the national legislative body and literally absconded them out of doors. Barking orders and holding weapons, it was the security agents who were in charge, not the legislators. In a democratic republic this is a frightening episode.

In 1800, Napoleon turned out the members of the French Directory (The executive branch) and the National Assembly by force of arms, ending the democratic experiment born of the French Revolution. Once this was done the road was paved for Napoleon to annihilate republican government and become emperor. Is this the future for the United States? Have we sunk so low? I think yesterday is a strong example that we have. Next time maybe the Congress will be locked out and the legislative branch dissolved. Is that what is in store for us? Let’s hope not.

GG
Manteca, California
13 May 2005

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George Bush’s approval ratings are down; things aren’t going well in Iraq. Perhaps it is time to remind Americans of all George has done for them. Isn’t it convenient and timely that, in the past four days, there have been two incidents of potential “acts of terrorism” against Bush? On Monday there was the hand grenade that did not detonate in Georgia and yesterday the evacuation of the White House. Neither incident turned out to be anything. Nobody was hurt and no one was arrested but they made a big splash in the media and sent a reminder to all Americans of just why they need Bush. Perhaps someone ought to check the bank accounts of a couple of pilots.

RS
12 May 2005

On “Outrage over Guantánamo abuse: Anti-US protests sweep Muslim world”

The feigned shock by the Bush administration at the charge that any interrogator at Guantánamo would have, with official permission, desecrated the Koran is laughable. From the very start of the “war on terror” the Bushies signaled that they considered no tactic off-limits. Your readers might be interested in some excerpts from the following article from the Boston Globe: “Misreading the ‘Arab Mind’”

LG
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
14 May 2005

On “Uzbekistan: US-backed dictator drowns uprising in blood”

Thank you very much and to the WSWS organization. I wish more journalists would illuminate about the horror in Uzbekistan and I wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,

MS
Toronto, Canada
14 May 2005

On “Iraq: US Congress approves $82 billion as colonial war grinds on”

Thank you for the article about the emergency funding bill. As someone who has done research on the bill, I was wondering if you had managed to notice a rider on the bill instituting a national ID system called REAL ID which the administration couldn’t get passed any other way due to the massive unpopularity of the program. By attaching it to a “must pass” bill (or face the stigma of being against the troops) they essentially passed the bill in an undemocratic fashion. I wonder to what extent that motivated the emergency funding.

NL
12 May 2005

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The US Defense Budget for 2005 was $417.7 billion, an enormous amount. Why was the $82 billion necessary? So-called “defense spending” is the mechanism by which the ruling oligarchy in the US robs the workers. I am disappointed you did not recognize this in your otherwise good article on the war situation

AH
Aurora, Illinois
12 May 2005

On “Japanese train crash linked to employee stress”

Thank you for the recent article on the Japanese train disaster and the link with employee stress. Having worked in public transport for 15 years and been through privatization, I can understand and have empathy with the train driver Ryujiro Takami. Workers are not machines. We are affected by our work environment, by changing our working hours, cutting our running times, cuts in jobs and the erosion of conditions. This is combined with working shifts and a union and management agreement to accept and enforce the changes. Stress is a man-made illness. Are they going to blame us for having human emotions? Feelings of humiliation, threats and abuse are common when working in the public. You become distracted when you are forced to drive for long periods of time without a rest. Accidents are the outcome of processes that can be avoided and the drive for profit puts the staff and the public in a vulnerable position where people can be injured and killed.

AS
11 May 2005

On “Soaring birth deformities and child cancer rates in Iraq”

I just want to thank you for trying to expose the use of depleted uranium weapons and the terrible results of their use. I am just a citizen of the world and wish I could change this, but all that I am able to do is try to help expose the atrocities committed. I put some of your article on my blog with a link to the rest, thank you.

MC
Arkansas
11 May 2005