Letters from our readers

27 November 2006

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

On “Civil rights groups file war crimes complaint in Germany against top US officials”

I appreciate your efforts to inform us of this ongoing attempt to bring about justice, and I hope that correct results are achieved! It’s difficult to accept the facts that our US government has become, what I believe to be, an illegal and corrupt organization led by evil people. Our [sic] elected officials in Congress were and may still be, President Bush’s “poodles.” They apparently were eager to do his bidding. My congressmen (Republicans) for the most part voted as Bush wants them to over 90 percent of the time. So, they too are complicit in these evil actions. It seems ironic, and yet appropriate they be tried in Germany. Maybe Nuremberg would be a good site!

GVC

18 November 2006

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In the future, give a little more description of the fascists being sued by civil rights attorneys. John Yoo is now a law professor at allegedly liberal Boalt Hall, the law school of the University of California at Berkeley. Jay Bybee was approved to sit on the allegedly liberal US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (which is for the far West including California) after being praised by Democratic Senators Reid and Schumer and approved by the Senate, 74-19, which means lots of Democrats voted for this Nazi judge. See http://www.meridianmagazine.com/people/030708jay.html for the rest of Bybee’s biography. In other words, the law schools and judiciary are being Nazified. Also, in a future article, it would be good to list the names of all the defendants in this civil rights lawsuit, as Americans especially need to know the scope of the Nazification of the USA.

AF

18 November 2006

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The idea is commendable, but the result in this fascist-controlled world will be nil.

I will only name one (there are plenty more): Kissinger. He has oodles of international arrest warrants outstanding against him for years now. On many an occasion I have seen him arrive in a foreign country and be picked up at the step of the airplane and whisked away VIP style in a blacked-out-windows, top-of-the-line sedan with police escort cars in front and back.

As always,

FBR

Thailand

18 November 2006

On Britain: New terror warnings issued to justify policies of war and repression”

I am occasionally invited to comment on the newspapers on our local BBC radio station in Coventry, and last week I was broadcasting on the day this story broke across most of Britain’s front pages. My take on it, which I presented to breakfast show listeners, was that there was nothing new at all in this story, and that very similar claims (including similar numbers of plots) had already been made by senior politicians and policemen. I went on to point out the news context: this story followed several days of stories about the humiliation of Bush at the hands of US voters, and further suggested that perhaps the public was expected to take these threats more seriously if they came from the “top spy,” that this showed the lack of trust that exists in politicians and police, and that politicians and police were aware of this. Given the lack of popular support for anything, domestic or international, that the government presents as its “agenda,” I concluded by saying that “terror” threats were the only card left to play to bolster support.

I write this not because I want to show off my ideological credentials but because of what followed, which was that the BBC presenter followed up what I said with a forcefully made point about how we have been “ruled by fear” for the past few years. My experience and expectation in these situations is that whatever I say will be “balanced” by the conformist “neutrality” of the media professional, but on this occasion it seems the mainstream is moving in our direction.

15 November 2006

On “Michigan: Mentally ill inmate dies after five days of abuse”

My uncle was a paranoid schizophrenic who was incarcerated at a prison in Maryland back in the late ’70s for armed robbery. He committed suicide there as a result of the abhorrent treatment that he was being subjected to. He was kept in solitary confinement for extended periods, and repeatedly denied his medications causing him to experience severe depressive, psychotic bouts. He attempted to slit his wrists but was caught and his wounds treated. They wrapped his wrists with gauze, and even though he was a suicide risk, he was under no special watch and kept in the same room. He used that gauze to strangle himself and was lying there on the floor of his cell for some time. My mother believes that he may have even been used as a guinea pig for the experimentation of new anti-psychotic drugs. Of course, we have no real proof of this part of the story, as medical records are destroyed after a certain number of years. The point of my story is to let you know that I appreciate your covering stories like these. Even though we may never see justice done for the suffering that was caused our family member, it is consolation enough to know that this poor boy’s family will.

MM

St. Petersburg, Florida, US

17 November 2006

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Your article on the Michigan prison abuse was enlightening but I am not sure “torture” used in the article is appropriate. I believe “torture” refers to abuse in order to obtain some information or other purpose whereas “abuse,” in this case, is a more fitting term in that the pain and suffering inflicted was done so without any secondary gain for the perpetrators.

Additionally, I work as a psychologist at a state prison in California and, although the state has only begun to treat mentally ill inmates in a more ethical, humane manner after court orders, the system here is making an attempt to provide mental health care to those inmates who need it. That is, not all state prisons in the US are ignoring the needs of those who are mentally ill.

Regards,

Dr. JGC

Sacramento, California, US

17 November 2006

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This story is yet another example of the descent of into barbarism of the corporate fascist state. This kind of treatment has become common nationally. In California, where prison inmates were dying at the rate of one a week for lack of health care, the prison health system was placed under court supervision. There are 45 million without health insurance as premiums become unaffordable. This extermination of the mentally ill is a part of the ongoing “genocide of the unprofitable.” The corporate state views human beings only as a “human resource” to generate profit. If the individual is unable to generate profit as they try to fulfill their needs for food, water, health care, education they will simply go without and die.

JW

17 November 2006

On “India: Stop the state murder of Mohammad Afzal”

The fervor and excitement created among the Indian urban elite by the mainstream media and news sites in support of Afzal’s death sentence is appalling. This has been done through carefully worded “opinion polls” and debates that prompt readers to respond in a particular way. Not only the support to the death sentence of Afzal, but also the support of death sentences in a series of other cases and against curt acquittals in a few other cases, seems to be a part of systematic campaign against right to life.

JP

Hyderabad, India

17 November 2006

On “Giuliani prepares US presidential bid—a new phase in 9/11 mythmaking”

The story by Van Auken on Giuliani is why the WSWS has no peer. Absolutely spot-on. I would just love to be able to compare the piece the New York Times will no doubt do on Giuliani to this one. It also recalls Al Sharpton’s great line at the time—“Bozo the Clown could have united the city.”

CM

Suterties, New York, US

18 November 2006

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Kudos to Bill Van Auken on an article well done. Having had the misfortune to have lived in New York City during Mayor Giuliani’s entire tenure in office, I can state unequivocally that his track record is one characterized by an ethos of fascism, bigotry and mean-spiritedness that served to divide the city along racial, ethnic and class lines. Additionally, he spent his entire eight-year term in office pandering to landlords, developers and contractors, as well as to the corporate interests mentioned in the article. As a result, New York City probably leads world cities in overpriced and substandard housing.

In addition to the misdeeds and improprieties spelled out in the article, I offer these other salient points:

(1) Like the Command and Control Center (a.k.a. bunker) built in Seven World Trade Center (WTC), Giuliani spent hundreds of millions of dollars refurbishing City Hall and City Hall Park with state-of-the-art electronic security measures—only to have a City Councilman assassinated a year following his leaving office.

(2) He also spent hundreds of millions of dollars refurbishing the Tweed Building, which he had planned to convert into a museum. However, his successor, Mayor Bloomberg, converted it into the world’s most expensive alternative high school.

(3) During his watch, the city was rocked by multimillion-dollar judgments and civil action settlements for police brutality and police misconduct, with the most notable being the Abner Louima settlement and those related to the sexual attacks on women attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

(4) Following the 9/11 disaster, he was responsible for having the WTC debris carted away before forensic examination could be done that may have established the use of explosives and the buildings being “pulled”—something that would have threatened his buddy Larry Silverstein’s multibillion-dollar insurance claims.

(5) In perpetrating that dark deed (carting away the debris of the WTC), he awarded no-bid contracts to corrupt cronies who resold much of the structural steel without authorization from or compensation to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

It is amazing that this liar, charlatan and fraudster has received an honorary knighthood and is traveling the lecture/seminar circuit, or should I say the minstrel show circuit, and raking in millions of dollars for peddling a sleazy myth. For him to think that he can parlay that sleazy myth into a successful presidential bid is to think that he can fool all of the people all of the time. The sad truth of the matter is that he is probably no more corrupt and inept than the past two presidents of the United States. However, I would not prefer to see the likes of him holding any national office—lest those who are discouraged should become hopeless.

MW

New York, New York, US

19 November 2006

On the World Socialist Web Site

Like seeds, your ideas propagate across the land, springing forth with tenacity. I am a privileged worker in the oil industry of Alberta, Canada. Your hard work has enlightened me for six years now. I would just like to send a note of gratitude. I read your web site with the anticipation of a sports fanatic searching for scores. I wish you all a wonderful day.

NN

15 November 2006