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People’s Weekly World
Letter to Editor
3339 S. Halsted St.
Chicago IL 60608

Letters should be limited to 200 words. We reserve the right to edit stories and letters. Only signed letters with the return address of the sender will be considered for publication, but the name of the sender will be withheld on request.

On ‘24’

You have got to be kidding! (Re: “Fox’s ‘24’ fans far-right propaganda” by John Wojcik, PWW 2/3-9 ) Or you’re kidding yourself! With the overwhelmingly liberal entertainment industry, almost all shows of any type slant to the left or even swing way to the left. I’ve noticed this for years. When a show even hints at balance or slants to the right, media establishments go bonkers! What happened to freedom of speech and artistic expression? Oh yeah, that only applies when one has a movie about the assassination of our sitting president, or makes raunchy sex, extreme violence and heavy drug use seem like normal behavior, or bashes Christians and country folk. Give me a break!

Billy Berg
Via e-mail

John Wojcik responds:
I appreciate your letter. I indicated in the review, however, that Communists don’t support acts of terror, including the assassination of sitting presidents, because such violence and terror cannot substitute for mass action and will be used by the ultra-right as a pretext to limit everyone’s constitutional rights. I also wonder about your assessment that the entertainment industry has always been run by “liberals” or the left. I don’t recall anywhere in the history of the U.S. entertainment industry when the names of right-wing actors and artists were put on blacklists, or that right-wing entertainers were ever hauled before Congress to explain their political affiliation or that right-wingers in Hollywood were ever jailed for their political affiliations.

Yugoslavia’s arms industry

Norman Markowitz’s article on Yugoslavia was excellent (PWW 2/10-16 ). I’m grateful to PWW for being one of the few left papers to take these issues so seriously.

I disagree with Markowitz on one point. Socialist Yugoslavia erred by choosing to develop its arms industry and arms exports at the expense of other industries and forms of development. This was financed by taking on debts which eventually fell on the six constituent republics making up Yugoslavia, but which fell disproportionately on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia. Serbs had indeed taken the brunt of casualties during the anti-fascist struggle — and this justified to some extent Serbian military leadership after the war — but this should not have been confused by Yugoslav Communists with questions of development, debt and trade.

Socialist Yugoslavia also suffered from overestimating its level of development and how firmly socialism had been established there. These mistakes contributed to the premature dissolution of the Communist parties in the republics and autonomous regions and across Yugoslavia itself.

Taken together, all of these errors proved fatal for the country. When the debts came due, the republics and regions turned on one another, and there was no communist party firmly in place to manage the crisis and lead. Supposed long-standing ethnic animosities were then used to explain and justify what were essentially problems of economics, development and leadership.
Markowitz got everything else right. The role of imperialism in destroying Yugoslavia has not been adequately studied and Markowitz has made a strong contribution to that effort. I visit the Balkans often and mourn the passing of socialism there.

Bob Rossi
Salem OR

Storm clouds ahead on Iran

Thanks, Teresa Albano, for the cogent news analysis on Iran (PWW 2/10-16 ). Congress had better start acting now if we want to avoid war with Iran. The Navy doesn’t like to leave its ships on station for extended periods.
Likewise the time appears ripe for the peace movement to regain its own momentum by creating a strategy that acts as a countervailing force to the strategy of the war movement in this country. But as I said, we better do it now. Once an attack against Iran is launched, the whole dynamic will change.

Danny Morales
San Diego CA

GM: guilty!

Tim Pelzer’s review of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” (PWW 2/17-23 ) is the best I’ve seen. I’ve read and criticized dozens since the film opened last July. Six months ago I organized the display of two electric cars at the central Florida opening of the film. The director’s name, by the way, is Chris Paine, not “Pain.”

GM unveiled its Chevrolet Volt electric-drive plug-in hybrid a month ago, claiming that it can’t find lithium batteries to power the car. Within a week, GM’s chief vehicle engineer, Nick Zelensky, was quoted in MIT’s Tech Review saying that the required lithium batteries are ready today. Not only that, but Phoenix Motors is installing ten million dollars’ worth of NanoSafe lithium batteries in its electric vehicles this year.

You’ve written what should have been public knowledge six months ago, so I’m giving you a lead to catch up with this year’s GM scandal.

Breathe free,

Hugh E. Webber
Winter Park FL
Hugh E. Webber heads the Florida Electric Auto Association.

Kudos from Ecuador …
I am an American living in Ecuador and wanted to let you know that I appreciate very much the article on Ecuador, which was dead on target (“Ecuador: dignity, sovereignty on the rise” by W.T. Whitney, PWW 2/17-23 ).

Phillip Batsleer
Quito, Ecuador

… and Tasmania
Hi, I just wanted to assist if possible. Also I’m looking for ideas on promoting the Communist Party of Australia’s newspaper — The Guardian. I live in Tasmania, Australia. I love PWW and its web site.

Jirri Smith
Tasmania, Australia