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Red and Yellow, Black and Blue

All God's griping children. Misoverestimating McCain. Gore or Goldberg. Plus more.

3.24.08

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NOT BRAIN SURGERY
Re: Tom Bethell's Obama and His Minister:

Tom Bethell asks about the current Obama position on racial preferences. He opposed the Michigan referendum which outlawed same. His statement is the usual rap which of course never deals with the subject of what sucker gets the affirmative action neurosurgeon.
-- James Jackson
Santa Cruz, California

I appreciate the fact that we live in a country where you can write and distribute your comments on the Wright/Obama matter and be paid for doing it. It makes me happy to be an American.

And, of course, I am free to tell you that your column is mainly baloney of the first order. You cannot know the black experience or understand the historic fact that we were founded as a free/slave nation and still compose such nonsense. Multiply your unhappiness with racial preferences by several fold and you begin to approach the level of generations-long anguish which people of Wright's generation have known. To deny this is to live in a fairy land of comfortable facts and ordinary grievances.

I know it's your job to attack liberals, and I expect that you'll continue to do so as long as others read what you write. Fine. Do it. But recognize that there are millions of citizens who know that your experience of racism is still at the kindergarten level. In essence, you're a fake.
-- Charles Cureton

There was nothing inadequate about Mr. Obama's race speech. It got your full attention and acknowledged your discomfort with affirmative action. It held up a mirror to our discomfort with race in America, and challenged us to work together to solve the actual problems which threaten our lives, our children's lives, and the continued progress of the human race, which brings me to question the good news you speak about, how word travels so fast on the internet.

Yes, Reverend Wright's malicious words, taken out of context and apparently not reflective of the man himself, will travel cyberspace until the election is over, or until Obama is out of it. And many swing voters may be impacted by it, just as voters in Virginia were impacted by Mr. Macaca.

However, I have a prediction for you. Every hateful word spoken against racial equality, or even implied, by every conservative, by every friend of McCain, will also find its way to You Tube. Mr. McCain has visited Bob Jones University. His political friends have also visited. Who knows what has been said. Many many hateful things, of this we can be certain. For every Reverend Wright, there are a dozen George Allens, and "Macaca" will continue to resonate.

Be careful what you wish for. It will probably bite you in the [rear].
-- Michael Strauss

I'm sure you understand that in this current PC atmosphere you will labeled a racist. That of course is the natural answer to the truth about race in America.

Your article is excellent, yet incomplete, the larger problem for Sen. Obama is the nature of the church and congregation of Wright (Reverend and Mr. are terms of honor). In Michael Medved's "Three Big Problems with Barack's Speech," the key requirements of church membership and the admonishment that the church was/is Afrocentric and grievance driven and Africa not America was to be venerated, in this light Wright's preachings' were/are in keeping with that church's stated doctrine. As congregant, of long standing, Sen. Obama was honor bound not only to hear Wright's message but take it to heart or get out.

Wright has been exposed and his rants should continue to be on display, unless and until he recants, repents and reforms (that would be in public). The church/congregation that cheered racist anti-American rants must do the same also in public. Sen. Obama must publicly recant, repent, and reform to keep true Americans; Black and White, Brown and Yellow, Red and all mixtures thereof, from rejecting him. Of course, if he did that his candidacy would be over.

This issue has legs and will follow Sen. Obama forever. The particular vision from his speech that will haunt him is that of him throwing his grandmother under the bus (figuratively) to protect a racist anti-American.

The only fault I could have with your piece is it didn't go the distance. But, then, I understand time and space.

See the truth, speak the truth.
-- Robert Schuman
Jenkins, Missouri

Your use of the phrase anti-white discrimination in a recent article is just more proof how truly deluded the conservative view of America is. You'd think that a line of thinking so adverse to progressing forward would at least have a sense of history. We are not autonomous beings, we each are born with a history, a set of circumstances far beyond our control. The circumstances of injustice and oppression on African Americans over our nation's history (and to a lesser extent to this day) have placed African Americans into situations that are disadvantaged. They have lower incomes, less access to education and in general less opportunities due in many ways to the racism that held down their parents and grandparents. And now, after oppressing them for centuries you want to say "My bad, let's start over, clean slate!" and you expect them to compete on the same level? I know that the quota system is deeply flawed, but there must be a system the guarantees any disadvantaged minorities (whether race, gender, socioeconomic class) a helping hand, because bigots like yourself wouldn't take these factors into account. Whites aren't oppressed, they're the dominant power in this country. Stop whining and leave Obama alone. For full disclosure, I'm a white moderate who supports John McCain, but I have a deep respect for Senator Obama, and if conservative hate mongers keep this sort of vitriol flying, I'm liable to change my vote. Thank you for your time.
-- James Robinson

The real issue is not whether there should be a national dialogue about race. It is whether Senator Obama has any credibility on the issue. Though he presents himself as an open minded, healing uniter, he is steeped in the politics of racial division and hate. He has spent 20 years studying at the side of one of the most bigoted race hustlers this country has seen in a long time. I don't think it is unreasonable to fear that some of these ideas might have rubbed off on him.

A person chooses a church to worship in that one feels comfortable in, that nourishes them spiritually, that teaches them, helps them grow as human beings and validates beliefs they already hold. Most people also need to feel comfortable with the style of the minister. It is troubling to think that Rev. Wright's bigoted rantings might have validated some already held beliefs by Obama or that the Senator would want to subject himself and his family to the ministers hate filled monologues on a weekly basis.

A national debate should also be commenced concerning Obama's intelligence and judgment. It is scary that a person this close to the Presidency would pick as his guru, mentor and spiritual advisor, a man who believes that the U.S. government created the AIDS virus to kill black Americans (and apparently accomplished this by first introducing the virus into the gay/white community). Why would Obama want a crackpot like this advising him on anything?

I think we have more than enough reason to be concerned.
-- K. Wilson
Highland, Indiana

I stopped being hopeful regarding the issue of "Race" in America quite some time ago. As to a dialogue, we have been listening to a one-way dialogue on race from people of color for the last 50 years. I was a High School senior when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed by congress, so I am not unfamiliar with the struggle. But "dialogue" suggests point and counterpoint; give and take; mutual learning; etc. Us "Typical White People" (heretofore referred to as TWP's) have finally learned to shut up when it comes to the subject of race. Any open disagreement with a person of color automatically nets you the label of "racist." I am a second generation American of Russian-German extraction (my ancestors immigrated to Russia from Germany during the reign of Peter and Katherine the Great).

My family were a hardy farming people imported by the Tsar to farm the Steppes along the Volga River. Their issue subsequently immigrated (legally) to the United States of America after the Bolsheviks murdered more than a million ethnic Germans and imprisoned many more between 1917 and 1930. To my considerable knowledge (my father did an extensive investigation of our ethnic history) none of my ancestors was involved in any way with the slave trade between Africa and the Americas; none of my ancestors ever owned or sold slaves (although they were certainly familiar with slave labor in Russian Siberia); none of my ancestors assisted in enacting or enforcing Jim Crow laws; I was often lectured by my father to avoid using any pejorative when referring to people who did not look like or behave like we looked and behaved. He regularly cautioned that there are many legitimate reasons why people looked and acted in ways that were different from us. In short I do not feel any responsibility for racism in America, nor for the eminently disgusting behavior of racists of every stripe (black and white, and some other colors too), who continually regale us with their vitriol. But I do know a racist when I see and hear one. Mr. Obama has revealed himself to us TWP's and I will vote accordingly.
-- Ron Adolph
Sanger, California

Thank you a lot for letting me read your article on Obama's race speech. Yes, I accept Obama's invitation to talk about race. But such a dialogue can't be neither from the Afro-American point of view, nor under what Obama is trying to sell us: that is has to be HE, or nothing.

America is not Black and White anymore. America is also Brown, and Yellow. Race has issues to be discussed. But there are also, sub issues to discuss within each race. Obama should consider that it took us 400 years to reach here, and he won't have more than 4 or 8 years to fix it. We want to vote a President, not God.

What a shame. I feel Obama is just fraud.
-- Max Diaz

Tom is uncertain of Obama's position on affirmative action -- which is strange, given how far we are into the campaign. And, has Obama been asked his position on slavery reparations?

How much do we owe for causing HIV? For 9-11? How much do owe for nuking Hiroshima? (This last one is priceless: We're racists for nuking Hiroshima; non-racist Japan gets to sneak attack Pearl Harbor for free.)

I should think we're entitled to a reasonable estimate of costs to be incurred before we vote.
-- Rick Salant
Thousand Oaks, California

I am a liberal and I will gladly debate you or any other white person on race. Use facts and it's a debate you cannot win. You will never get a free pass for slavery, or the various other types of European-based racism practiced over generations in this country and around the world. The very fact that Obama had to make a race speech is proof America is an absurdly racist country. I don't remember any Bush having to "bring the nation together" when Atwater slapped us in the face with Willie Horton. I don't remember any white man having to make a speech to apologize for Jessie Helms in Washington, Strom Thurmond in the Senate, or affiliations of Bob Jones University or any of the other incredibly arrogant, insensitive and yes racist things white men in power do every day.

I'm not even a highly paid pundit, Mr. Bethell. I am a college-educated African American woman who has experienced white racism on at least ten different occasions in my lifetime because I live in America, one of the most racist countries in the world. So yes, I will happily debate you any day on race and I assure you, you will lose.
-- Ann Crute
Brooklyn, New York

Obama made clear in his Philadelphia speech that he wants to be president of an African America. For example, he acknowledged that some whites suffered from Affirmative Action, but said they should blame big corporations for it, not blacks. How bizarre a conclusion unless Obama is focused on justifying black advantage!

Obama also revealed a serious character flaw. He criticized his grandmother to a national audience. He criticized her again yesterday. And the purpose of the criticism was to bolster his view that whites are suppressing blacks.
-- Rod Hug
Santa Rosa, California

I read your article about the Obama-Wright flap, and there is an element to this story that you are missing. Indeed, much of the press is missing this point.

You minimize and trivialize the pernicious, virulent, and lasting effects of state sponsored racism in the United States. I will be the first to admit that the United States of America has made spectacular progress in becoming a more open and just society. However, many white journalists look at the world as it exists today in a vacuum, as if the past has been eradicated by the passage of landmark legislation and Supreme Court cases.

I am a 54 year old African American, Ivy League educated attorney. In my lifetime, I have personally experienced acts that you can't imagine. Moreover, I dare say, that if you took the time to speak to any African American over the age of 45 -- anybody -- and ask them to candidly tell you their experiences with racism in this country, you would understand that this is not a figment of their imaginations, that it had real and lasting impacts, and that no law can fix or undo the harm that has been done.

My grandfather, who was half-white and half-black, the product of a master-slave relationship, started and maintained a thriving dairy business in South Carolina. He was doing well. His children were being carried to school in horse drawn carriages in the early 1900s. Apparently, he was doing too well. He was driven out of town, and forced to relocate to New York City, where he was no longer an owner of a business but performed various odd jobs -- painter, building superintendent, security guard -- to support his family in Harlem. My father was the 10th out of 11 children.

Let's stop here for a moment. This is a key point. Had my grandfather been allowed to progress as any other American, then he would have owned property, and had an inheritance that would have transformed the lives of those after him.

My father was the first in his family to attend college, and he eventually graduated from Medical School. He received a scholarship to college earned a degree in Chemistry. He then attended medical school and finished in three years before becoming a professor at the Howard Medical School, and starting a Medical Practice in the Washington area.

Let me stop and tell a couple of stories here. My father never became Board Certified in Internal Medicine, even though he taught the subject in school. He repeatedly passed the written examination with flying colors, but then flunked the oral examination. In one of his oral examinations, his white examiners gave him a Hispanic patient to diagnose -- who spoke no English -- and flunked him when he could not make the proper diagnosis. When my father wanted to buy a house, there was only one bank in Washington that was giving loans to blacks. He was one of the first doctors to integrate the staff at various hospitals in the Washington, DC. However, one day driving home from music lessons, he was stopped and taken to jail on a "routine traffic check." When the officer discovered that it was Dr. McKnight that they had arrested, the Chief tried to get him to leave the station. My father refused to go. His response, "You arrested me. Prosecute me." My mother and the parish priest went to jail to get my father. He relented.

I remember all of this clearly. I was then sent to an all white Prep School. I was a good student and athlete. I finished in the top 20 of my class. But, along the way, many things happened to me. One day, riding the bus, a much older and bigger kid, looked me in the eye, said the word, "Nigger" and spit in my face. I was a 7th grader. He was a 9th grader. I stared him in the face, and wiped it off.

I was 6th man on the JV basketball team. We were playing in VA. As I stripped my sweats off to enter the game, the students from the opposing school pulled out little confederate flags and waved them at me, jeering and insulting me. We won the game.

Playing a football game in VA, I caught as pass and raced 40 yards to the end zone. There, a white referee said to me in a southern accent, "Sorry Boy, I'm not going to let you have this one." He then pulled a flag out of his pocket, and called a penalty that only the line judge could have seen 40 yards away.

In my first year of college, I was walking through downtown Providence, RI, and a car load of kids drove by and screamed Nigger and all kinds of stuff. I reacted and the older kids told me to hold back because I wasn't in DC anymore.

Although, truth be told, being in DC was no picnic. During my teenage years, my friends and I were stopped so many times for "routine traffic checks" that we regularly carried note pads to write down the badge numbers of the police officers. Once the police saw us recording their badge numbers, they were not as likely to misbehave. However, we were thrown against cars and they did brandish shotguns in our faces. All of us are doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and managers now.

In law school, I was walking back from the library, a police car slowed to a crawl driving next to me as I walked. The window came down and the officer extended his arms out the window, gun in hand, pointed at me. We proceeded like this for a block. He said nothing to me. I then stopped and raised my hands in the air. He pulled the trigger. Instead of a flash and a bullet, the trigger clicked. The police man said, "Bang, Bang, you're dead." He laughed and drove away.

I once read an article by a psychologist who surmised that many Black Americans probably suffer from a form a post traumatic stress disorder.

I want you to understand that I have only presented a smattering of incidents to you. I have experienced and witnessed countless others.

Do you think I am making this up? This is my life. This is what it means to have grown up black in America in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

No, I do not think that Reverend Wright was accurate when he stated that America sent the HIV virus into the black community. No, I don't think many of his statements were factually accurate.

However, let's be clear. American society, and the laws of this country, have an ugly history of mistreating black Americans. This is a fact. Changing the laws will not restore my lost inheritance. Changing the laws will not make me forget my life experiences. I had to learn to be very careful as a matter of survival. I repeat, as a matter of survival -- in my own country. You, a newcomer, were probably treated better.

How dare you suggest that this country owes us nothing after treating blacks this way for 400 years -- burning our homes, raping women, denying us jobs, and opportunities? You say affirmative action discriminates against whites. Surely, you do not think that it would be fair to pass a law, ending discrimination, and then move forward as if the past had never happened? The common argument is that today's whites do not have slaves, and so why should they pay for the sins of their ancestors. But, look up the statistics. Look at the percentage of whites who inherit property and wealth and the average inheritance as compared to African Americans. This is the legacy of 400 years. You say, I am an immigrant. I started from scratch. Yes, in essence, so did my father -- start from scratch. But, the difference is that he was not an immigrant. His family had been here for generations.

So, yes, there is anger in the black community. But, it is justified. It does not always express itself in ways that are beneficial or useful. But, the anger has a valid basis.

We lived through this!

Think for a moment. How would you have processed being treated differently on a daily basis because of your skin color? On a good day, nothing happened. On an average day, something happened. Do you think that the attitudes of Americans have changed as swiftly as the laws? The flurry of articles on this topic shows me that it has not, as the pundits rewrite history -- barely mentioning or examining the legacy of discrimination, treating it like it happened 100 years ago. Wrong! It happened in my lifetime. The victims of discrimination are still living and, guess what? The discriminators are still alive. In addition, every once and awhile, they still act in an ugly way -- it's just more clandestine now.

In the meantime, I have bills to pay, and children to raise. I marvel at their lives where race is barely an issue.
-- Vince McKnight

Tom Bethell says George Lewis told him (and Clarence Thomas confirmed) that: "the worst discrimination he ever encountered in the city (New Orleans) was from the light-skinned 'Creoles,' or mulattoes, who considered themselves superior to their darker-skinned brethren." If Bethell believes this he is ignorant. With my parents I moved to Bristol, Tennessee, in 1960 from the New York Metropolitan area. It was a shock to drive down the main street of Bristol and see the sign on the Holiday Inn: "white only." It was a shock to see virtually every public business, even the funeral parlors, with large signs: "white only." It was a shock to walk into the Sears and Roebuck and see separate water fountains and bathrooms clearly labeled -- one for whites only and one for blacks -- and God help any black person who didn't observe the labels. To this day I will never forget those images. The school system was of course completely segregated and had a horrible reputation -- remember, this was Northeastern Tennessee -- not Mississippi or Alabama. My parents eventually sent me out of the area to an integrated Catholic high school in Kentucky -- they were no crusading liberals but even they were outraged at the blatant and obvious displays of segregation. The white children my age when I moved to Bristol are now the business people, lawyers, judges, in that society. These children grew up as true believers in the system of segregation. The angry Southern opposition to the national anti-segregation laws passed continued well into the 1970s and beyond. Tom Bethell should not minimize the effects segregation had on our country -- he didn't live through them.
-- Willy Dalton

FRAIDY CAT
Re: W. James Antle III's The Safe Talk Express:

If McCain can't take on Obama over his weaknesses then he is a pretty poor candidate -- he looks like he won the nomination and now doesn't have a clue what to do with it. McCain builds his campaign around his character and his leadership (although he has to go back 40 years to do that), yet he is too weak to talk about fundamental weaknesses in his opponent. It makes him look weak and incoherent -- just what does this guy stand for, other than he was in Vietnam 40 years ago and he likes liberals? It isn't much to base a campaign on, especially if he expects conservatives to start blowing his trumpet, which looks pretty unlikely anyway. Politics is not a passive contest, it is constantly changing and candidates who don't react, who can't make a case against their opponent and in favor of themselves and who don't define themselves well end up having others do it for them. They lose. Al Gore never could say what he was on about, and John Kerry tried to pass himself off as an experienced, tested leader who could defend the country until the swiftboat veterans put an end to that nonsense. Gore and Kerry both got beaten by a candidate who wasn't very good either but who made fewer mistakes and McCain looks like he is going the same way.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

W. James Antle III's article was a classic example of style over substance thinking. The type of thinking that led to the conservative crackup that empowered Democrats and leaves one asking how many conservatives have been hoodwinked by the "magical mystery tour?"

For instance why would any conservative have sympathy for mealy mouthed liberal Barrack H. Obama or misgivings about Hillary's audacity to throw the kitchen sink at him? Potential Hillary "slayer" or not he's still a doctrinaire leftist. Shouldn't we relish the donnybrook that is this year's Democrat primary season and hope for more Democrat blood in the political waters?

How has Willie Horton haunted Republicans? The African-American vote was lost to Republicans long before Horton when blacks sold their votes to segregationist Democrats for fictitious promises of hope and Federal pork. Bush (41) borrowing from Al Gore torpedoed Dukakis' Presidential ambitions with Willie Horton. Couldn't McCain borrow from Hillary to undercut Obama if he happens to be the Democrat Presidential nominee? Don't count our pro-McCain 527's either. Despite being the godfather of "campaign finance reform" McCain is showing a willingness to ignore it as he seeks the White House.

Dole vs. Bill Clinton and a potential McCain vs. Obama match is apples and oranges. Bill Clinton had four years of Presidential experience when Dole challenged him. Obama has zero experience and thanks to Hillary is now damaged goods. Might charges of racism, corruption, and inexperience give skeptical voters a reason to stay clear of Obama if he is the Democrat Presidential candidate?

How can any self-confessed conservative describe Obama as anything like Ronald Reagan? That's as laughable as one time conservative Pat Buchanan describing Hillary as "Reaganesque." Frankly, the comparison falls short unless you're a style over substance conservative. Has Antle forgotten how Democrats constantly belittled Reagan (like they are now doing to George W. Bush) and worked incessantly to undermine his policies and vision for America? Doesn't he know that to the cult of Obamanation their "messiah" is the anti-Reagan who will reverse the last quarter century of Reagan? While Antle might feel like he fits into Obama's vision of America I only know he makes me feel like a target of his pro-terrorist and neo-Marxist wrath (white, male, traditional Christian, active duty military, middle income, conservative and patriotic).

Since Hillary is currently doing McCain's dirty work for him he needs to remain above the fray. For those like Antle who have naively counted Hillary out they need to consider present political reality -- Hillary's campaign of gutter politics is surging while Obama's kum ba yah campaign is in a tail spin thanks to the revelation that he�s the protege of a virulent racist and hate monger. McCain won't know who is rival is for a few more months. Hopefully, by that time the vitriol and rancor has gotten so bad the Democrat party will be in shambles.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

W. James Antle III replies: The vast majority of readers understood my column to be asking whether John McCain is up to the task of going on the offensive against Barack Obama. Michael Tomlinson represents a small number who reacted to a few phrases taken out of context and misunderstood my point. If I were uncharitable, I might call it a classic example of style over substance thinking, but instead I'll just clarify.

Hillary and 527s can help McCain define Obama, but they can only do so much. McCain is going to be called upon to denounce the 527s and recent experience doesn't give us much reason to be confident he won't oblige. Obviously, none of this applies if Hillary ends up being the Democratic candidate. But McCain should certainly plan on engaging Obama, who is mathematically the more likely nominee. Equally obviously, I'm not suggesting that Obama is like Reagan in any substantive way. But even Democrats have learned from the Gipper. We should learn from our past mistakes with Bill Clinton, where we allowed our personal dislikes and disagreements to blind us to an opponent's real political gifts. Finally, I've already explained the Willie Horton reference here.

FIRST, HARM NO RATS
Re: Gilbert Ross, M.D.'s Jumping Ship from the Rats:

Thank you for this most heartwarming piece of evidence that sanity in science, if not an oxymoron, is returning, to the first rule of the Hippocratic oath," First do no Harm."
-- Jasmin Seiler

Dr. Gilbert Ross' article on the use antiquated use of animals for human medicine is a welcomed sign of common sense backed up by his professional knowledge. Although I am not a physician or a scientist, I have read enough to conclude that animal testing is just bad science. There is this myth out there that if animals were not used for research, that science would come to a screeching halt. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, banning animal testing would accelerate the development of better methods and technology and thereby improving the safety of human medicine and health.
-- Aurora Cooney

FEEDING THE GOLDEN GOOSE
Re: Quin Hillyer's Corporate Killing:

Eliminate the corporate income tax? Oh, how I wish it were so. You did not include a number of other advantages, but then your commentary would have been a long and large book. For instance, companies pass on the cost of income taxes and without this cost they would immediately reduce prices of their products. Inflation would be reduced as prices decline. Those that did not reduce prices would immediately be eaten by their competitors. We see this already in global competition with countries that have lower corporate taxes than in the USA.

This nirvana will never happen. Can you see Ted Kennedy on the floor of the Senate railing against greedy corporations? A circus to behold! The socialist progressive (liberal?) political movement would rise up in monstrous fury. Few politicians could stand up to the pressures.

Also opposed would be corporations who have gained competitive advantages from tax exclusions (loopholes?) provided by their favorite congressperson.

Income taxes are never paid by corporations, they are simply acting as hidden tax collectors for a taxing authority. Gosh, with no corporate taxation, most of the agendas of our political candidates would be lying on the floor in tatters. Where would the money come from for their grandiose plans? Answer: People, rich capitalist investor owner peoples. Class warfare at its best.

Ayn Rand nailed it a long time ago in Atlas Shrugged, "The people need it. Need comes first, so we don't have to consider anything else."
-- Nelson Ward
Cowles, New Mexico

Heard this proposal before. It is a simple, effective and brilliant idea for solving our economic problems --which is why Congress, and most specifically Democrats, will never let it happen. For Congress in general, any diminution of power is anathema -- period. For Democrats in particular, any "favors" bestowed on "evil" corporations is a non-starter for the party of class warfare and socialist utopian
ambitions.

Common sense? DOA in Washington, D.C.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

WADE IN THE WATER
Re: Christopher Preble & Jeremy Lott's Bridges over Troubled Water:

There are aspects of the Preble/Lott argument I agree with. If the residents of Ketchikan and Gravina Island need a bridge "float" a bond and build it like thousands of municipalities do all the time. It isn't the responsibility of the feds. But their argument is "what price the war?" I ask: "What is the net cost of the war and what is the price tag of freedom?" $10B a month is three-tenths of a percent of our gargantuan 3 Trillion dollar budget but of the $10B how much would be spent on having these troops and their equipment on "standby"? Or do we take the Clintonian "What me worry?" approach and just send everyone home? 9/11 cost the American economy over $250 billion in hard costs alone, if you factor losses to the national and global economies the cost of this war doesn't seem to be such an exorbitant expense.
-- Tim Reed
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

"War costs money too. Round the bill for the bridges to nowhere that so incensed McCain up to $500 million. Our occupation of Iraq, which often seems to be getting nowhere, is costing north of $10 billion /a month."

Our occupation may be "getting nowhere," but this need not be the case.

Obama and Clinton are anxious to retreat. At least John McCain understands our responsibilities -- "if you break it, you bought it," or some such sentiment.

Well, if we bought it because we broke it, we possess one of the largest proven oil reserves on earth. This mess didn't start out as "blood for oil," but I'm optimistic that we are not too late. Maybe McCain is clever enough to understand our fortuitous position. Obama and Hillary clearly are not.

I'd like to see McCain campaign on one of these positions: 1. we, the United States, broke it, we bought it, and we claim it, or 2. being magnanimous in victory, we do not claim Iraqi oil, but we will take our rightful seat as a full member of OPEC.

If President McCain's "Oil Minister" can't convince our fellow OPEC members to dramatically increase production, we will unilaterally, and massively, increase /our/ production in /our/ Iraqi oil fields. With oil at $30 per barrel, and our economy humming, maybe President McCain would then have more patience with the Congressional porkers.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The reason that 42 percent of anti-war voters voted for McCain is more likely to be that they were independents and Democrats trying to pick the Republican candidate. These same voters, I would suspect, would not be deficit hawks or against earmarks.
-- Mark Nelson

GORE OR GOLDBERG?
Re: Nathan Maskiell's letter (under "Rube Goldberg") in Reader Mail's Palestinian Problems:

It's clear from his letter that Nathan Maskiell can't read. Jonah Goldberg's new book factually documents exactly why Hitler and Mussolini were 100 percent leftist. For him to call them Right-Wing proves he didn't bother to read the book. I'm sure he didn't have the time since he's probably on his one billionth
watching of Al Gore's global warming drivel.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

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