HISTORICAL TRUTH VS. THE RATINGS WAR
Staten Island, NY
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw hits the nail on the head with her comments that the media, mostly white, want race as an issue to be buried in American politics. The historical truths that Al Sharpton eloquently discussed in his convention speech got under the skin of US journalists who are frightened to question the new orthodoxy that racism has passed from the American scene. I would also add to Crenshaw's trenchant critique the idea that CNN is now Republican-Lite, a position undoubtedly taken by their network brass in an attempt to catch up with Fox in the ratings competition. In that race, historical truth has no place.
RICHARD A. CURRIE
WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ?
After reading "An Error of Supreme Dimensions," I am curious why William Greider, like so many others, is intent on spreading the fallacy that the United States went to war in Iraq solely because of the tragedy on 9/11. In fact, the President made it very clear prior to the war that the United States was going to war because Saddam was violating United Nations mandates for inspections of his WMD. For many months Saddam had dared the world to force his hand. He was given ample opportunities to let inspectors in and avoid confrontation but he refused. Had he acquiesced to these demands by the world body he would have avoided all that has taken place. Thus the United States and its allies took the only course of action remaining. Instead of extending deadlines once more and allowing a dictator, condemned by all civilized nations, to continue on his own professed path of US destruction and world defiance, the President took action. This action was taken after a final ultimatum by the President to allow inspectors back into the country was rebuked. Whatever your opinion of the war at this stage, please do not let it encroach on the facts as to why we are fighting in Iraq in the first place.
LET THE STATES DECIDE
I would accept Robert Scheer's argument that marriage is a matter properly left to the states if it was applied consistently. I guess, if he's being consistent, that Scheer thinks the Supreme Court was wrong to hold that state anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional? Or for that matter, since that decision was based upon the equal protection clause, that the passage of the 14th Amendment is an undue federal restriction on the powers of the states to define marriage? I hope that when (not if, WHEN) a federal court somewhere invalidates a state's marriage laws as discriminatory against gays you will join me in loudly decrying this untoward interference with the right of that state to define marriage. When that day comes I doubt you'll be anything but praiseful of such a "courageous judge," the forward-thinking philosopher king foisting his or her advanced notions of justice on the unthinking, retrograde masses.
A federal constitutional amendment would only operate to prohibit judges, state and federal, from making a decision properly left to the people. If the legislature of any state decides to enact same-sex marriage into law, the amendment would not bar this. This is a proper use of the Constitution--more proper than is the judicial imposition of gay marriage on an unwilling public under the guise of constitutional interpretation. A marriage amendment would not "write discrimination into the Constitution" by simply defining what marriage is and has been for centuries. And again, the amendment would only operate as a limitation on raw judicial power and not as a check on legislative action.
DEBATING THE WALL
The issue of the Israeli wall always needs to be discussed in the context of its construction as a defense from terrorist bombings conducted against Israel. Another important point is that Ann Petter received due process from the Israeli security and legal system, which is more than she would have received anywhere else in the region if she ran afoul of the authorities. To focus on Israel as the cause for injustice in the Middle East is absurd. Peace will come when the Palestinians seek a peaceful resolution.
A PROGRESSIVE AGENDA--FOR EVERYONE
Mark Green touches on the disproportionate number of blacks, Latinos and Asian-Americans in Congress. But what about the obvious lack of women in all branches of government? After all, we are over 50 percent of the population. Not to mention that if women were more represented in government, much more of the progressive agenda would be likely to be implemented.
Mark Green offers us four criteria to judge programs or policy initiatives:
"Real patriots should now not only wave flags but also, after three-plus years of George W. Bush's presidency, ask whether a policy or program advances the middle-class, collective security, a stronger democracy and One America."
The thing that is missing from this is any concern for the have-nots. If we judge all policies on whether or not they are good for the advancement of the middle class, and forget those who are left out of the system altogether--i.e., the poor and disenfranchised--then we will continue in failure.
Mark Green's talk of "progressive patriotism" and "liberal hawks" is just what we need. We should project strength, courage and conviction as we stand up for programs that will improve life for all Americans, not just the wealthy few, and make our country a true model for the rest of the world. I'm going to order the Cass Sunstein book today.
WHAT HAPPENED TO "THE DAILY OUTRAGE"?
This is a request for The Nation to get someone to fill in for Matt Bivens and his "Daily Outrage" column. There are so many outrageous things happening on a rapid basis that need to be covered. I started reading The Nation Online a couple of years ago after becoming fed up with the mainstream media, and I really enjoyed reading Matt Bivens's work. Thanks for your consideration.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We agree, and we'll have "The Daily Outrage" back up and running in the next few weeks..