Letters from our readers

15 March 2012

On “Afghanistan’s My Lai

What a brilliant article, very clear and correctly and sharply posed. I read your site daily, and appreciate your politics. I am also, more than anything else, glad you are running candidates for office to present a working class alternative to the bourgeois electoral cretinism around us.

Comradely,

Jay

14 March 2012

On “Kony 2012 promotes US ‘humanitarian’ intervention in Africa

Thank you! I know some people will be very upset to have this organization exposed, just as many were upset by the exposure of Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson. However, it is far more important to know the truth of the situation than to perpetuate ignorance. Especially when that ignorance is being used to build a case for yet more war and destruction.

Be ready for a bevy of “at least they’ve brought attention to the situation” apologetics, a patently false, but popular, defense.

I will be distributing this article as widely as possible.

Christie S

Washington, USA

14 March 2012

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When I first heard of this film "Kony 2012", I suspected there were ulterior motives behind it especially as I'd also heard that significant discoveries of oil had been made in Uganda. I agree that "Kony 2012" is astroturfing for a US-led invasion of eastern Africa.

I saw the film on Mathaba.net and found it a very slick and commercial-looking film in which Jason Russell shamelessly exploits his own young son and tugs relentlessly at young people's sympathies. Over a good half of the film makes constant appeals for help and offers pathetic solutions and ideas about how to bring Joseph Kony to justice. But for all we know, Kony may no longer be in Uganda or even be alive.

Interestingly while the mainstream media has whipped itself into a frenzy over "Kony 2012", there has been no similar concern expressed over the arrival of the mysterious and fatal neurological ailment called Nodding disease which has crossed over into northern Uganda from southern Sudan and has affected at least two hundred young children.

Jennifer H

14 March 2012

On “Sri Lankan UNP’s bogus opposition to IMF austerity program

Thank you, Mr. Saman Gunadasa, for your article that leads the reader to focus on complex and degenerated Sri Lankan polity that in turn rapidly worsens the lot of the working class and poor. The UNP, UPFA, and the pseudo-left have been pushed to troubled waters by the current crisis to enable them to fish eagerly. They do that without shame. The UNP, which was instrumental in laying the foundation for current malaise, now shed crocodile tears. Corruption, mismanagement of the economy and misappropriation of finance, in my view, needs to be understood as an aspect of afore said fishing in troubled waters. What else the bourgeoisie in this country can give to the masses. They are in a process of a shameful reproduction of themselves in an exponential manner. It is somewhat similar to the unprecedented increase of bonuses of the CEOs in the United States. To salvage masses in Sri Lanka and elsewhere capitalist polity needs to be replaced by a socialist one. The SEP, in my view, is there to give leadership to that constructive process.

IVE

Sri Lanka

14 March 2012

On “New bid for UN resolution aimed at Syrian regime-change fails

The cost to the US of the Iraq and Afghan adventures has been estimated as between one and four trillion dollars. And while the political representatives of various states (including Turkey) try to egg each other on to take the decisive military step and intervene in Syria they are held back by one inescapable fact. Whoever leads the intervention will bear its full economic and political cost whatever that turns out to be. And it could be enormous. The US Secretary of Defense Panetta encourages the Turkish government to take a “tough stand” they in turn encourage the Gulf tyrants. And so on. Its pass the parcel and at every link in the chain a gaggle of bourgeois eager to pass the responsibility for intervention onwards. And with it the cost.

Chris

Ireland

14 March 2012

On “Autistic teen fatally shot by police in suburban Chicago home

Though contrary to this article’s repeated references to Autism as a "mental illness," it is on the contrary, a Pervasive Developmental Disability. A distinction should have been made regardless of the media's initial continuous references otherwise. Though I appreciate the purpose of this article, semantics such as this (as well as what could be deemed in this case, pejoratives) perpetuate the socio-cultural stigma surrounding disabilities.

If you're going to write on a tragic case like this, please set aside neurotypical privilege and share a bit of awareness, advocacy, and education before plunging in.

Cortney D

13 March 2012