Letters from our readers

30 May 2005

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

On “US military atrocities and the moral choice facing the American people”

Your article has so much truth in it that it is difficult to read. I thank you for sharing your truth. I have come to the conclusion that there is no more “liberal” or “free” press in this country. To hear viewpoints such as yours, one must search in places that the majority of Americans do not access nor want to access even though it is essential to our process as a developing country (if you will) for all citizens to be acquainted with a viewpoint such as yours. I am grateful that I can access these places because otherwise I would feel like I was losing my sanity.

MAS
Marysville, Washington
24 May 2005

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This is excellent work. Your web site is everything a socialist medium ought to be.

CH
24 May 2005

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Another really well-observed piece. I find myself, however, becoming frustrated with all the various factions of the left going in circles—condemning the current state of affairs but offering nothing specific in the way of strategy for moving us forward. Yes, the working class needs to seize power, but how?

More and more I am coming to believe that we need to focus on how structures and institutions are keeping folks like us on the margins and go about removing some of these barriers. It seems to me that anyone on the margins of the political system should be mobilizing for such essential and certainly achievable structural modifications as Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation. If states such as New York, Pennsylvania and California achieved these reforms, genuine leftists could wedge their way into the process.

I think we’re getting diminishing returns from endless media critique and complaints about the financial oligarchy. We have to walk before we can run. And that means trusting that America’s instincts and traditions point toward democratic socialism and that, therefore, the more robust our democracy the closer we get.

Loose talk of revolution without a brass tacks assessment of structure and its influence is just that, loose talk. And there’s really no time for it. The oligarchies kill and lie. We get it and got it a thousand times. Now what are we going to do about it?

MO
25 May 2005

On “Vote ‘no’ in French referendum on European constitution”

I smelled a rat when I heard CNN repeatedly blabbing on about how important it is for the French to support the EU constitution—and you proved it. Bankers seldom put democracy first!

CS
Taipei, Taiwan
25 May 2005

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Again, thank you for a very relevant and pertinent article. A colleague in France has kept me in touch with the feelings behind a “no” vote, naturally marginalized by our “free” media in America and Britain. A British news report of celebrities such as Johnny Hallyday, Francoise Hardy and Gerard Depardieu attempting to whip up a frenzy for a “yes” vote highly amused me.

As you know, these are very bad times, and you are one of the few valuable news agencies which report the real issues. At the moment, I have just finished writing three letters to Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Representative Mike Madigan, and another politician against a proposed change in the state retirement budget which will leave employees 29 percent worse off if it goes through. Our worthy Democratic Governor has a billion dollar deficit, but instead of raising taxes on the wealthy he now intends to attack the less well-off as well as support riverboat gambling with its mob associations and devastation of the life of local communities as a means to raise revenue.

Why am I raising these Illinois issues? It is because two of my colleagues in France are planning to retire before their state pensions become cannibalized in the same way. They have also become very concerned by the rise of the Blair ideology in France as well as the increasing racism developing under this new version of neo-conservative liberalism. A “yes” vote will mean further attacks on gradually eroding benefits as in the USA with France returning to the era of Napoleon III while we go “back to the future” of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

Keep up the good work of Enlightenment, an 18th century tradition now under attack in an America swiftly returning to the Dark Ages of capitalist oppression and puritan repressiveness.

TW
25 May 2005

On “Republicans launch power grab in US Senate”

The Republicans will win. As you pointed out a few days back, Priscilla Owens has been radically anti-worker. Yet, the Democrats have never raised this issue. They are a “sell-out” party that is shameful to say the least. There is no democracy in the United States

AH
Aurora, Illinois
23 May 2005

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I am gratified to note the new trend of Google News picking up your articles. Perhaps it occurs late at night and for short duration, but this is progress. You speak the truth as no other web writers and that fact is finally being admitted and recognized. Now, I want to see Amy Goodman get a segment on Fox News! DGH

23 May 2005

On “British MP Galloway blasts US Senate on Iraqi oil probe”

Dear sir, please pass on my most sincere and heart-felt thanks to the Respect Party MP George Galloway, for saying for me, and I’m sure many countless millions of others, just what the Americans have needed to hear for such a long time. In a world that’s been emasculated by a subservient and groveling American-dominated media, Galloway is clearly no eunuch.

ME
Auckland, New Zealand
25 May 2005

On “Pope John Paul II: a political obituary”

I came across this article by accident. I am delighted to have found it. I’m a Christian myself but also a socialist. Every time I heard people say how wonderful Pope John Paul II was and how much he had done for the world’s under-privileged I cringed.

People were/are not looking at the true picture of Pope John Paul II. I have been trying to point out to people that Pope John Paul II was in fact a reactionary who far from bringing democracy and helping to end poverty in the world had in fact been holding the world back from bringing about the real change that is necessary to end injustice.

The Pope had also portrayed himself as a man who wanted to open communication and reconciliation with the other branches of the Christian faith. As your article has so correctly pointed out, this is a sham. It’s merely an attempt to use the Christian faith as a restraining influence on society. Not the restraint to stop society descending into a cycle of violence but an attempt to keep the old order of class division.

Because I have spoken out against the last and current pope I have been accused of sectarianism. This could not be further from the truth. I am an elder with the Church of Scotland and I work very closely with my area’s Roman Catholic Church in knocking down the walls that have divided us for centuries. I will work tirelessly to end the artificial barriers. At the same time, however, I will not remain silent when the leader of another church is promoting policies which are detrimental to development in the Third World. Nor will I remain silent when a church leader uses his faith as cover for his own prejudices, such as the Pope’s prejudice against gays. His pronouncements on the subject of sex are causing millions of deaths in Africa and other parts of the world through AIDS. They are also helping to perpetuate poverty in Africa where people have large unsustainable families.

So, thank you for publishing this article. I will use much of it when I’m in discussions.

PL
Cowdenbeath, Scotland
23 May 2005

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I am writing in regard to this statement in the political obituary of John Paul II: “In 2000, the pope visited the Holocaust memorial in Israel and asked pardon for the sins committed by Christians in the course of Church history—without repudiating Pope Pius XII’s silence on the Holocaust.”

You forgot to mention also that John Paul II didn’t mention anything about the fact that the Holocaust memorial and the state of Israel itself are built on stolen Palestinian property going back to 1948, when 780,000 Palestinians were forced to flee from their homes or face bloody massacres such as those that occurred in villages like Deir Yassin by Jewish supremacist terrorists, to clear the land for a Jewish only state. That is as serious an offense as any other ethnic cleansing in history and that is still going on today and is paid for by the US, but you did not mention anything about it. So, I just thought you might want to know that in your list of endorsements of human rights abuses by John Paul II, you forgot one of the biggest.

KS
22 May 2005