Letters from our readers

29 July 2008

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

On “White Paper on defense: the French bourgeoisie prepares for war”

I found the article very informative, especially on France’s role regarding geopolitics and how its ruling class views the developing global storms, with the chilling quotes, “In an uncertain and unstable international environment, French involvement in an inter-State war cannot be ruled out...” and “future tensions involving energy, food, and water, as well as strategic raw materials, can lead directly to major crises in one or several parts of the world...”

Also contained in the article were references to the domestic military targets outlined in the White Paper. Included were “the ability to deploy 10,000 troops inside France at all times, as well as expanding espionage, surveillance and cyber warfare programs.” The actual quote from the White Paper reads, in part, “5,000 soldiers on permanent operational alert and the capability to mobilize 10,000 soldiers on the national territory to support civilian authorities in case of a major crisis.” I thought it was interesting that the authors of the policy paper forgot to name it as a “major ‘terrorist’ crisis.”

As the Ira and Lantier article points out, “the threat of terrorism is used to disguise the more fundamental motivations...” I thought a weakness of this article was in not delineating the fundamental domestic (in addition to the quite well explored international) motivations (fears) of the French ruling class. The French working class (and students, etc.) have a well known history of militancy and fondness for socialist ideas, though their struggles have to date been throttled by their bureaucratic Stalinist and social democratic leadership, with a strong assist by the opportunistic so-called “extreme left.” With the Sarkozy-led drive to greatly decrease state intervention in the economy and to slash social gains of the working class (mentioned in the article), the “leadership” will likely be increasingly incapable of holding back struggles. In that case, which the French and global capitalists can easily discern, it makes a lot of sense to begin to attack civil liberties, keep a sharp lookout for and sabotage any viable opposition/leadership, and to build up the machinery for military repression.

KR

Ohio, USA

24 July 2008

On “Bush on the financial crisis: ‘Wall Street got drunk’”

The “drunk” metaphor—while limited—couldn’t be more apt in this case, coming from a (former, so they say) drunk and cokehead, a complete wastrel most of his privileged worthless life—whether he is off the stuff as claimed, I sometimes wonder. In any event, he displays the pug ignorance and belligerence of the barroom brawler in every thing he does, except he truly is a little rich boy, with no intellectual grasp at all, who would start crying the instant he got into a real fight.

It’s time Americans fought back and at the same time called these people to account for their many and multifarious crimes.

RM

25 July 2008

On “Louisiana, US: Death of man tased nine times by police ruled homicide”

That’s crazy that police are justified to use tasers on a person more than one time, let alone after they have subdued them with handcuffs. Sounds like police are given the authority to sentence people to death before they are tried; a sort of electrocution execution.

NS

25 July 2008

On “The Dark Knight: Striving to be impressive, but essentially empty”

I really hope you’re satisfied with yourself, trying to be one of those critics who goes against an overwhelming grain just to make a name for yourself. I read your whole review (which was, ironically enough, totally “overlong”) and the only thing I got out of that was how desperate you are to be that one blemish on a shining piece of armor.

You go through the entire plot from start to finish with nary an ounce of courtesy for the reader who may not have seen the film yet (don’t worry, I’ve seen it multiple times now), and you spend half the review commenting on other reviews. Something you should never do before writing a review is look at other people’s opinions. But obviously you saw how much people loved it and decided you could make your mark by being one of those who decides to call it rubbish.

You call the plot silly, but think about it: this is a movie where a man dresses up like a bat, “beating criminals with his bare hands.” Where the main villain is a psychotic guy who paints his face up and tries to make a joke out of even the most sadistic things. Given those two characters alone, it’s shocking that the plot is as serious as it is.

Ultimately, I could go on dissecting every point you made in your review, but I’d rather be on the receiving end of that disappearing pencil because it really is an awful review; one of those reviews you read and are able to put your own bias aside and look at it objectively and go, “...this guy’s obviously just trying to go against the grain.”

TE

25 July 2008