Web Letters

Web Letters

Readers write back on the New York Times, the Delphi bankruptcy and mounting Iraqi opposition to the US-led occupation.



Brooklyn, NY

This is just a comment to Robert Scheer about “A Misguided Crusade” [Oct. 18]. I tend to think that journalistic standards are low at the New York Times across the board. There are constant more or less severe distortions of the truth going on. Things are made to seem more sensational or less sensational (as is the case with news on the environment) than they ought to be. Sources are misquoted or misrepresented in a really disconcerting fashion. The results of research are stretched to fit the premises of articles.

Perhaps the publisher protected Judith Miller, but there is clearly a climate at this paper that fosters lies and deceptions.



Santa Monica, Ca.

Regarding “A Constitutional Disaster” [Oct. 21]: It is time to stop being so gentle with the Democratic Party.

The Nation is an enabler just as the New York Times enabled the Iraq War with “journalists” such as Judith Miller. The reality is that the Democrats must fully share the blame with the Republicans for the state of this country.

It is no use saying, as The Nation has said, that perhaps the party could be stronger. It is not even enough to say they are weak in the knees. That doesn’t do it. At every stage– the confirmation of John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court, the pro-NRA bill, the Patriot Act reauthorization bill, the war…on everything, enough Dems have voted with the Republicans that it makes a mockery of this latest nonsense: Maybe the Dems can gain control of one or both houses in 2006. To what end?

The article mentions how horrid it will be that the “new” Patriot Act will erode legislative power and shift more power to the executive branch. Gee, that would be a switch, wouldn’t it? Yet who the hell has conspired every step of the way in the shift? Get real. You continue to take the knee-jerk Nation line on every issue (regular readers and editors will know what I mean), and it has become as predictable, trite and boring as a George Will column. Take the damn gloves off.



Stafford, Ill.

Goodbye, Mr. Goodwrench” [Oct. 14] hit me particularly hard because I am an autoworker. You said that our managers have been out-thought and out- maneuvered. Never mind the fact that they all went to school here.

Forget the fact that one foreign company just got dragged into a legal mess for hiding their safety concerns for thirty-plus years. Leave out the fact that the Japanese are, relatively speaking, infants or teenagers at best in the auto industry. The very real facts are that through strong UAW contracts the American autoworker has enjoyed the highest standard of living in the world for blue collar workers. Our families have health care. Our children have new roofs over their heads and they generally all wind up in college or become some productive part of society. The costs for these fantastic accomplishments are factored into the costs of all American-made vehicles.

The Japanese came into this thing with no pension liability. Their society is far more socialist than ours and their government supported the Japanese auto industry through protectionist trade policies for ages, while the free traders and the Republican party over here does everything they can to destroy the American labor movement and what it stands for: quality of life for working people and a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. The other part of their agenda is to give foreign competition, the most favorable trade policies to the disadvantage of the American worker possible. This frees up billions in cash for foreign competition to invest.

I disagree with you folks. Our managers weren’t out-thought, They simply played a role in giving a lot of nobodies a chance to be somebody managing the best they could while while the free traders, lobbyists and foreign governments looked for ways to exploit the poor and prostitute our system of government.

The foreign auto manufacturers have contributed very little by comparison to the American Autoworkers quality of life, yet Wall Street and right-wingers reward them constantly. As far as the foreign auto makers over here in the US go, why are they so reluctant to join the ranks of the UAW? Why do they always look for a Greenfield site in some poverty-stricken country to open shop?

Could it be that they really don’t care how the workers pay the doctor bills, just as long as they’ve maximized profits and rewarded the shareholders? Maybe its because they know damn well that the UAW has been here long before the have and will be here long after they’ve gone fighting for the same thing: Quality of life for the American workforce. They are players in an industry that can afford this. With all the costs they are still making billions.

What have the foreign competitors contributed to sustain our way of life? And how does Wall Street and Congress justify the assault on labor going on today? The American auto industry is getting the shaft through narrow-minded social and economic policy, bad press and old-fashioned greed.


Scottsdale, AZ

Perhaps you just “forgot” to include the United Auto Workers executives in the “dunderhead” category [“Goodbye, Mr. Goodwrench,” Oct. 14].

Maybe the UAW should have been conserving the enormous amount of their member’s money that they were putting in to political arena. (It hasn’t done anything to gain them the White House or Congress.) Then, maybe they would be in a position to assist their members since the corporate automotive dunderheads certainly are going to do nothing but cut and run. Maybe I was too harsh. The corporate dunderheads may come to the workers assistance in suggesting that the bankruptcy courts, spelled “US taxpayers,” should cover the auto companies’ inadequacies.



South Pasadena, CA

I enjoyed the questions for Ms. Miers [Oct. 11]–but one more that is troubling: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales advised Bush during his tenure as Bush’s “personal attorney” (this office really does not exist–it’s another made up by the Bush Administration) that Bush need not concern himself with the “legality of torture” since the Geneva Convention was obsolete–or words to that effect. Does she agree?



Hilliard, OH

Great thanks for “What Iraqis Really Think About the Occupation” [Oct. 11], by Tom Hayden.

For two years, we have had to wait to get some sense of what is supposed to be the most important factor in deciding the fate of Iraq: the will of the people. This is something I’ve waiting to come across for months. Thanks again to The Nation.


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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

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