Letters from our readers

16 August 2008

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

On “In the guise of humanitarian aid, Bush dispatches US military forces to Georgia

Just as I read this headline, it reminded me of a photo I saw in our local newspaper after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The first sign of federal relief came in the form of soldiers, riding into New Orleans in a military humvee and armed with assault rifles.

NV

South Dakota, USA

14 August 2008

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I am not sure whether the WSWS has addressed the possibility of the timing of the Georgian/US attacks to detract world attention from China’s showcase to the world, i.e., the Olympics. It obviously would not be the reason for the attacks, but could be part of the reason for the timing.

BE

14 August 2008

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I can’t really see the Russians retreating and calling it a day. There is just too much at stake. It’s a clever card played by Bush advisers: if Moscow blocks the US military from arriving in Georgia, the US and the “world community” will denounce Russia for being an occupying power threatening “world peace”; if, on the other hand, the Russians let in the US “humanitarian” contingent, aka American occupation, then all the fruits of the last few years of Russian “resurgence” will be lost. Clearly, this is an incendiary moment for a major world conflagration. The other one, and this Georgia conflict might be a major diversion, or a feint, is the Persian Gulf, where there is an unprecedented massing of US and “allies’” navies, as well as military “assets” on the Iranian border. Overall, this is perhaps the closest situation to a third World War since the Cuban Crisis, a catastrophe for humanity of unimaginable proportions.

MS

Queanbeyan, Australia

14 August 2008

On “Mars Phoenix Lander provides conclusive proof of ice water on Mars

If they find bacteria in the water, which is a strong possibility, it will be added to their arsenal of biological warfare. Such a Martian bacteria would be extremely dangerous to humans if an outbreak were to occur, due to our lack of previous exposure and treatment methods.

A

11 August 2008

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Excellent generalized article on the significance of the discoveries of the Mars Phoenix Lander. Unlike your reader from Bentonville, AR (see “Letters from our readers”), I believe such raw science as obtained by such robotic spacecraft (as opposed to the wasteful “science” of manned spacecraft) is about the last worthwhile thing the US government does, or does well, for that matter.

I was surprised to initially learn (in the headline of the article) that “ice water” was discovered on Mars. Such would be a sensational discovery, indeed! In the first paragraph of the article, however, one learns that what was actually discovered, or rather, confirmed just under the surface, was “water ice.” This is opposed to that “other ice” that occurs in the polar regions of Mars in each hemisphere’s respective winter, dry ice, or, more scientifically, carbon dioxide ice.

Water ice is the significant discovery, not ice water. Earth, as far as is known, is the only body in the solar system that is able to support the substance ice water.

DK

Kansas City, Kansas, USA 12 August 2008

On “Britain: National Health Service denies kidney cancer drugs to patients

This is very disturbing but so typical of New Labour’s indirect attempts to dismantle the NHS. While Prime Minister Brown still offers a tax-free haven to foreign investors and refuses to tax the rich to pay for this very important service, the poor are denied treatment and face eventual death. This is another example of the statement “Capitalism Kills,” and New Labour is the executioner!

TW

14 August 2008

On “Chicago 2008: The Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festivals

I enjoy reading WSWS above all other online and print publications. It is a treasured resource for me, a person who in the last 7 years has adopted a Marxian outlook. However, I must take issue with the reporting on the Pitchfork Music Festival. As wonderful as that event may have been, I was disappointed that WSWS would not offer any mention or analysis of the social layer that Pitchfork springs from and caters to. “Indie Rock” is the music of the upper middle class. Many of its current “stars” and critics are graduates of Yale, Harvard, Oberlin, Brown University, etc. Upon graduation, instead of traveling or living abroad as was once common, many Ivy League graduates choose to become “Indie Rock musicians.”

In some sense, rock music, like literature or the fine arts, has become “professionalized” with many of its practitioners holding advanced degrees in music and other disciplines. Whereas rock and roll (in all of its genres and subsets) was once the province of social misfits and outcasts, it is now increasingly the destination of well bred, well adjusted people, not unlike, say, the advertising world. Working class desperation is no longer the primary fuel of rock and roll in America.

BW

USA

12 August 2008