A soldier’s story

Great article [“Soldier’s mom reveals Iraq nightmare,” PWW, 4/24-30]. Too bad we do not read about this in our local papers. I am forwarding this article to others. Please tell this mother my heart goes out to her and the family.

President Bush talks about serving our country, but I do not see any of his daughters or Jeb Bush’s sons joining the reserves or fighting in Iraq. Nor did the sons of the first President Bush serve in war. Disgusting how our boys are being taken care of and lied to.

A ReaderSarasota FL

Real news

It is so refreshing to get some real news via People’s Weekly World. The mainstream media are so ensnared into the oligopoly of corporate America that most dailies, TV, radio, cinema, AP press releases, etc., tell us little of what is going on in this world of ours. For example: your story on the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s creation of this administration’s planned new nuclear weapons program (PWW 4/17-23), which I failed to find in the “mainstream” media.

I recommend a new book by Robert McChesney entitled “The Problem of the Media.” It very pointedly shows the imprisonment of our major news sources under the guise of our constitutional “right” to freedom of the press, a press that is largely owned and controlled by corporate America.

It becomes increasingly apparent that we have not only lost our political, economic and cultural freedoms, but with this administration’s “USA Patriot Act” and the squelching of our freedom of speech and of assembly, we have lost most of our basic human rights as well. Keep up the good work.

Karl G. SorgEugene OR

Impeachment alert

The Saudi Royal family promised to reduce oil prices to elect Bush, according to “60 Minutes.” Bob Woodward told “60 Minutes” that Saudi Prince Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election—to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on Election Day.

Remember how viciously the GOP and the media (including Tim Russert on 4/18) bashed John Kerry for saying “foreign leaders” supported him? Bush actually conspired with Saudi Arabia to manipulate the election! This is a huge illegal foreign campaign contribution – and one MORE impeachable offense! Bush is a corrupt thief!

Jim Heloniski Alpine NJ

What is to be done?

At the peace march in Augusta, Maine, I was given the March 20-26 edition of People’s Weekly World. I read it and found [Communist Party USA chair] Sam Webb’s “War, capitalism, and George W. Bush” interesting.

It calls for “constructing a socialist society, in which the drive to accumulate capital and maximize profits … is completely absent.”

For some time, I have been asking my friends who – like you – detest Bush and want peace. What is to be done? (I’ve always liked Lenin’s title.) Or, as Marx has on his tombstone, “Philosophers have only interpreted the world differently. It comes down to changing it.” So what’s the plan? I checked the CPUSA website. The main article states only that socialism will emerge when a majority of U.S. citizens want it. But how do you plan to get there?

How do you overcome the legacy of state socialism? I lived for some time in the German Democratic Republic, which had a lot going for it in terms of common humanity, but where the majority voted to become capitalist right away.

The first steps are a plan to do away with crony capitalism. These steps consist of diminishing the power of corporations, taking away their right to citizenship, and placing back under the control of the people, whose laws created them. That’ll take more than my lifetime, or yours, and let the active people of the next generation decide the next step.

Chop HardenberghYarmouth ME
Hardenbergh is editor of the weekly newsletter Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports.

Author’s reply: Your last paragraph captures succinctly our view regarding the transition to socialism. We don’t believe that there is a direct and straightforward path to a socialist society. Rather it goes through different phases and stages.

In our view the immediate task is to defeat Bush and his gang at the ballot box in November. They represent the most reactionary section of transnational corporate capital.

In so doing, the stage will be set for a broader struggle against corporate domination of economic and political life of our country, thereby bringing us closer to, but not necessarily to the doorstep of socialism. In the best of circumstances the struggle for socialism is a very protracted and complex process, a fact that we have not always appreciated.

Don’t forget NDI

I welcomed the March 13 piece by Arizona peace activist James Jordan exposing the subversive, antidemocratic role of the National Republican Institute for International Affairs (NRI) in Haiti. NRI is a creature of its parent, The National Endowment for Democracy (NED). My only complaint is that we ought to read more in these pages about NRI’s even more evil twin, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). NDI is politically far more destructive than NRI, for NDI subverts and turns inside out the politics of many trade unions and people’s movements, whereas NRI merely makes “Third World” rightists better funded.

Thomas KennyNew York NY