Hillary defines the middle
To the editor:
The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the so-called “moderates,” has picked Senator Clinton to create the “American Dream Initiative” to challenge the Republicans in 2006 and 2008. The DLC will work with Clinton – “once considered a champion of the party’s left” – in its appeal to “centrist” voters (“Los Angeles Times,” 7/26/05).
This “Dream” will supposedly emanate from an organization that has taken Democrats so far to the right that they are off the shoulder of the road hugging conservative Republicans, supporting and emulating the latter’s corporatist and militarist policies that have crushed small businesses and the middle and lower classes.
I wish to highlight some of Clinton’s so-called “centrist” views: (1) her vote for the “War on Terrorism” in Afghanistan; (2) her vote for the Patriot Act, opposed by only one Senate Democrat – Russell Feingold of Wisconsin; and (3) her uncritical support for the war in Iraq. She joined every Democratic senator to support the most recent $80+ billion funding bill for the slaughter; the final vote was 99-0.
Clinton and her Democratic colleagues have no moral ground upon which to stand when they condemn terrorism in New York, London or Egypt, given their support of U.S. state terrorism against Afghanis and Iraqis that has left tens of thousands dead and injured at a current cost of more than $300 billion. Despite some mild criticism about war tactics, Clinton has refused to oppose funding for the slaughter; and her support of this war follows her silence about U.S.-promoted and U.N.-approved sanctions that killed more than 500,000 Iraqi children – a greater death toll than both Gulf wars under Presidents Bush I and Bush II.
Compare Clinton’s uncritical support of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and the “War on Terrorism” with the view of Paul Craig Roberts, conservative Republican scholar, former Reagan administration official and editor of the “Wall Street Journal.” In “Blowback Hits Britain: Londoners Pay Heavy for Blair’s Deception” (7/8/05) Roberts asked, do we “feel safer now that” Bush’s and Blair’s “barbaric attacks on Iraq have brought barbaric attacks to London?” He called Tony Blair a “war criminal … [that] aided and abetted George Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq on false pretences.” He also called Bush a war criminal. In our wildest dream, can we imagine Clinton using such an apt term for our current ruthless and immoral leader?
A month before the invasion of Iraq, Clinton stated that it posed “a continuing threat to the national security of the United States … by continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, [and] actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability….” These claims were untrue – as informed citizens knew at the time, part of a monstrous fraud that was carefully orchestrated by the Bush regime. To date, however, Clinton has refused to mount any fundamental challenge to the lies and carnage.
Bush and his advisers should stand before a new world tribunal for their wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq – the ultimate Nuremberg crime. However, citizens who have struggled against these and other unjust wars must also direct their anger against pretenders of peace and justice such as Clinton. They should stop excusing her and the Democrats for their militarist positions and their support of the corporate theft of our national wealth that has only served to greatly widen the gap between the rich and everyone else.
Blaming the proto-fascist regime in power for the wars abroad and the class war at home allows one to deny the essential link between Bush’s reactionary policies and the Democrats’ complicity.
In praise of Citywide Reads
To the editor:
This letter is regarding your recent comments on Santa Monica Public Library’s yearly Citywide Reads program.
I have taken part in many of the Citywide Read book groups and special events over the last few years and have enjoyed then immensely. The effort that the Library puts into the program each year is highly evident.
I’m a big fan of Raymond Chandler; however, I don’t see him as an appropriate Citywide Reads author. Chandler was a genre writer and his style is very specific. You and I may love his writing, but I can see where others would simply not be interested. By selecting literature with a broader reach, and not genre writing, Santa Monica Public Library is attempting to include as many members of the community as possible.
In addition, your comment about the contradictory nature of letting a committee select a book for an individual to read – that’s just plain silly. A great many people pick up books because of a recommendation; should it matter whether a title was recommended by one person or ten? Apparently you think so.
You criticize each choice the library makes, yet you feel your two selections are above reproach. Have you read any of the past Citywide Reads titles? Your criticism seems to stem from the age of the books or their popularity; sounds to me like someone is stuck in the past. I’m not saying that Steinbeck or a writer like Zora Neale Hurston wouldn’t be appropriate, simply that there are many worthy contemporary writers as well.
The Mirror’s high opinion of itself is getting tiring. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m more apt to read a book suggested by a group of librarians and educators than I am one suggested by a newspaper that does little to support its own city’s library.
Ed. Note: First, to dismiss Raymond Chandler, a hugely talented and original writer, as “a genre writer” is to misunderstand both his work and his place in American literature. Second, over the years, our support of and devotion to the city libraries have been absolute. In fact, it is our belief in the need to make the libraries first-rate that has inspired our criticism of the City’s management of this vital resource. Peggy Clifford, Editor
Praise for governor
To the editor:
I can’t believe the media has been saying that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is “stale” and doing nothing. This is untrue because the Governor has been doing something! He has improved the state’s economy, cut down the huge deficit and has proposed reforms to the state’s wrecked system of government. This has all been done without raising taxes. The Governor’s Special Election on November 8th will help the state and its children’s education. It is obvious that the Governor is the most influential political figure currently on the scene.
Katie TuckerSanta Monica