Letters from our readers
17 November 2004
The following is a selection of recent letters received by the World Socialist Web Site.
The one thing that I find perhaps more demoralizing than Bush’s reelection is the response from much of the left. Many commentators are lashing out at Bush voters.
These writers miss the whole point, which is that up to 75 percent of Bush voters still think that Iraq had WMD or was behind 9/11. They voted for Bush because the government and the corporate-controlled press lied to them about these things.
Commentators on the left have to realize that the task at hand is not to berate Bush voters as ignorant inhabitants of former slave states who are going to get what they deserve from four more years of a Bush White House. The task at hand is to educate them.
If I were to criticize anyone’s ignorance, it would be that of the leftists who placed faith in Kerry, who proved incapable of defeating an opponent with a record as bad as Bush’s. Anyone who doesn’t understand why Kerry was not able to bring himself to expose Bush’s massive fraud can begin by looking up where Kerry’s funding came from.
15 November 2004
As all of the media talking heads and op-ed pundits yap-yap-yap about “values” and expound upon “morality” with great sanctimony, their listeners and readers are left in the dark about which values and are encouraged to understand that “morality” applies to sexual behavior alone.
People value different things, and morality applies to deeds of all kinds. It is instructive to anyone paying attention that the most egregiously immoral acts are those that are being dressed up as virtues and necessities by the right wing in general and the Bush administration in particular.
So now the slaughter of innocents, an act once considered to be immoral (thou shalt not kill), is “democratization.” The theft of an entire nation and its natural resources, once considered to be a crime (thou shalt not steal), is now construed as the saving of that nation for the benefit of its people. These lies, and the hundred others told in justification for them (thou shalt not bear false witness), instead of being seen as signs of great moral turpitude, are not even acknowledged.
Of course, it is no surprise that the Democrats accept the right wing’s definition of “morality” and “values.” But in the present crisis they are not only being required to accept it, they must be seen to be crawling and begging forgiveness for not accepting it with greater thoroughness! This is an utterly degrading spectacle, but one that may have a clarifying effect in the future.
It is to be hoped that the Democratic Party’s abject capitulation to the agenda of the far right will finally so repulse the voters who have supported it in its slide into the mire that they will at last break with this deflated condom of a party and turn their energies to creating/supporting a movement that speaks to their real needs. The SEP has demonstrated that it is the only party speaking on behalf of the working class. Jobs, affordable housing, free health care and education, preservation of the environment, world peace—now these are values worth fighting for.
13 November 2004
To Chris Marsden and Barry Grey:
Thank you for a most enlightening article on Yasser Arafat. My sympathies go to the Palestinian people for their loss of a great leader, just as my sympathies go to the brave people who are called insurgents in Iraq. They fought a good fight against overwhelming odds.
13 November 2004
I think it is a disgrace that our men are fighting a war that was not connected with 9/11. Now I watch the news and pray no more are killed. What is wrong with our government and why can’t the people see what is happening here? Why the hell did they put Bush back in the president seat I will never know. God help us all, and I pray and am very grateful for our troops. I send them all love and big hugs with lots of prayers to them and their families.
11 November 2004
Thank you for gathering together some of the letters against this atrocity, and reprinting them. I am surprised that the corporate newspapers even printed them.
It shows, once again, the truth of a popular saying, “If the people lead, the leaders will follow.” We know much, much more than they do. How long will it take them to catch on?
Thank you again,
13 November 2004
Please let Jimmy know that I appreciate his standing up for truth. I can’t imagine how hard it is to go against the Marine Corps and the government, I am not that brave. I salute him. The country needs his heroism on the battlefield overseas and the battlefield here at home. America now stands for bully, for rogue state, for pariah for what we are doing in Iraq. These are the headlines I am seeing in British and Australian newspapers. Unimaginable. We need our country back. Jimmy, you are serving your country by your protest, by standing up for the truth.
11 November 2004* * *
Thanks for the article that I can show my 17-year-old brother and sister. Tells the whole story better than I can. Something they can read and understand. I gave my sister homework: define “conscientious objector.”
11 November 2004* * *
Thank God for this ex-Marine, for him speaking the truth, and exposing the lies in Iraq. We know what he says is true because Iraqis who are hunkered down in buildings are communicating this via the Internet to the peoples of the world—a play-by-play as it happens account of the atrocities committed by US soldiers, the dire and helpless situation of the Iraqi people, and what you are not being told—that US soldiers (your innocent family members who have been indoctrinated by the US military) are being captured and treated as they are being forced to treat their victims.
This war must be stopped, George Bush must be stopped, and the military-industrial complex that profits from war and deceit must be stopped. We must all be prepared to resist and to stand for the truth, and what we cannot accomplish by ourselves, we must pray that the higher powers that rule us help us in bringing this about. Innocent blood cries out for justice, and those of us who allow this travesty will be viewed and treated as those who actually perpetuate these crimes—and they are crimes—against humanity and against God—and God will exact his vengeance on us as well, if we have sided with the guilty in this matter.
We need more protesters everywhere in this country, more resisters, more military to leave service and speak out. Protesters at recruitment offices, to the Congress and White House, protesters in the service, protesters at the bases, protesters in Iraq and on the streets in America. Let the news stand for something. Let them record and photograph the protesters, let them side with the people, with what is right, and against the murderous warmongers who have no regard for any life—not that of the Iraqis and not our own. Do you all actually believe that a government that could do this to others could not and would not do this to you and your families as well?
We are entering the third year of this war, but this is only the beginning of war. Our government plans to have us in war for 20 more years—Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea—until all our soldiers are dead and they have spent every last cent you can possibly come up with—your salaries, your taxes, your Social Security money, your Medicare money, indebting our country—indeed, auctioning it off to any country that will pay our bills so a handful can heap wealth for themselves. They will keep going until your families are gone, until your jobs are gone, until your homes are gone, until you cannot get fuel or food, until you cannot get medicine or see a doctor, until your water supply has vanished and your air become so poisonous that you cannot breathe it in without falling ill. If you will not see what is happening now, you will see what will happen to you then.
Wake up! Face the truth, and face your fear! You have fear now only because you wouldn’t face the truth before! Now you are afraid that if you speak, they will come to you in the night and harm you. I tell you that they will do this anyway, that this is already their plan and their course of action for dealing with you—whether you speak out or not! And do not think, people of the military, that you will be protected—indeed, you are the first they destroy with no emotion for you or your families left behind...
11 November 2004* * *
Will the Howard government take more decisive action regarding the illegal imprisonment of Australians at Guantanamo Bay? Australians are aware that three long years have passed, and the Americans’ prisoners have not yet even been charged with a crime.
Surely it is time for John Howard to stand up to the Americans and to insist that our nationals are either charged and given a fair trial or released.
The issue of Guantanamo Bay continues to enrage Australians. We are asking what right does the United States have to indefinitely and illegally detain hundreds of Muslim men whose only “crime” is that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And it would appear that even the American legal system is questioning the legality of these prisoners’ continued detention and the proposed process of military tribunals.
Australians are also asking just how independent is the Howard government? Why is John Howard so reluctant to take more decisive action against the stand-over tactics of an American administration that clearly believes it has the right to intervene in other countries’ affairs and to imprison our people illegally?
Liberal MPs need to understand that the Australian people will not allow this issue to be buried. You have been reelected to govern Australia for Australians, not for misguided and greedy Americans.
Please note that this letter is also being copied to selected national and international media.
15 November 2004
Joseph Kay is to be commended for an excellent expose of the Vioxx scandal. The article convincingly exposes not only the nexus between FDA and drug companies but also its tragic and criminal outcome.
Under capitalism it is common knowledge that all pharmaceutical research is directed towards generating profits at the expense of everything else. However, there is also another insidious structural reason for the persistence of what is termed as side effects that has played such a large role in the Vioxx tragedy. This is the reductionist approach to science that, to a large degree, still dominates its practice under capitalism.
Under this approach, diseases are to be isolated and a war is to be waged to conquer it (note how the terminology of war seeps into nonmilitary domains), or if the human body is discovered to produce certain biochemical fluid as a defense mechanism, then reductionist reasoning would logically lead us to conclude that a higher proportion of such fluid would be beneficial. The so-called side effects are a direct result of such research methodology. .
Dialectical materialism on the other hand insists on the necessity of exploring and understanding the relationship and interaction between the component parts of an organism or system that ultimately determines its character and behavior. Such an approach to research where relationships and interactions are explored both horizontally and vertically will fundamentally alter our understanding of both diseases and their remedies. The famous Harvard population geneticist Richard Lewontin has written several books arguing for freeing biology from the clutches of reductionism, and readers of WSWS are urged to explore his writings.
Thus, humanity needs to put an end not only to capitalism but also to the dead-end of confining science to a reductionist approach.
14 November 2004
Dear Mr. Kay:
Thank you for an excellent summary and analysis of the Vioxx recall. It highlights the compromise of where the desire for significant profits challenges the basic principles of health care. This article is one that should be read by everyone, particularly those that work in commercial and independent medical research, as it highlights one of many examples of where research, if not performed under the strictest ethical guidelines by all that are involved, can lead to a significant community disservice, the opposite situation our efforts are aiming to achieve.
The possibility that Vioxx use was responsible for an estimated 7,500 deaths between 1999 and 2004 could be regarded in modern language, when keeping in mind the methods with which this tragedy was carried out, as kind of “corporate terrorism.” This is more than twice the number of people that were murdered in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A further example of when it comes to “terrorism,” it is the working class that takes the full force of tragic consequences.
11 November 2004