Reader Mail

Booking Title

Closing out our Hillary Memoir jamboree and book fair. PLUS: CNN's suicide, pronouncing French, pronouncing on the French, growing hot, cooling off, San Francisco Bay blues, and much else.

4.14.03

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HILLARY: IT'S OVER
Re: To Hillary With Love and To Hillary With Love, Part Deux:

I would like to add to the growing list: "Parasite! My Life"
-- Carol Hamilton
Alexandria, VA

Mr. Watson's "The Vagina Ideologues" has my vote.
-- Michael Lesutis

Whatever the title -- I feel certain that there will be a dust jacket comment from Mohammed al Sahhaf praising the book's reliance on Mohammed al Sahhaf.
-- Kevin Soch
Nevada City CA

I missed the title deadline, but so what. If it's good enough for Hillary, it's good enough for you. So here it is: "I Did It MY Way (And So Will You)"
-- Glenn M. Strong
Media, PA

This is way late for your "contest," but I am compelled
to suggest: "Liar, Cheat & Thief: The Hillary Ilyich
Clinton Story"
-- Ron Ackert

"The Meaning of Is"
-- Dave Roberts

If there is a third: "Traitor: An Autobiography, with introduction by Ann Coulter."
-- Dick Lambert
Eagle Rock, VA

And just as a question, when will we have the Bill Book Title Contest?
Really enjoyed the Hillary one this week :-)
-- Bryan Mullinax
Monument, CO

CNN'S SUICIDE BOMB
Re: Enemy Central's Instant Revisionists

In his recent N.Y. Times article ("The News We Kept To Ourselves"), Eason Jordan of CNN sounds positively ecstatic that, now that Saddam has been toppled (gee, how did that happen?), "these stories can be told freely." Not a single clue that he, with his temporizing and acquiescence toward a monster, was part of the machine that kept those stories from being told in the first place. Just the fact that Jordan thought it a "moral obligation" to warn King Hussein about a threat on his life, yet remained silent about the brothers-in-law of Uday (who faced certain death if lured back to Iraq), tells us all we need to know about the moral compass of an Eason Jordan. But what is truly galling and, frankly, puzzling is how casually Jordan discusses colleagues (other reporters, for example) who were subjected, first hand, to the brutality of Saddam Hussein. Where is the solidarity for a fellow worker? It seems the worst kind of corporate hypocrisy to stare a monster in the face and smile when he has power, and then tell us after the fact how you "really feel." Jordan should save his glee and moral cleansing; his stains are permanent.
-- Mark W. Tinder

Baghdad and Basra, the scenes of what some call looting, but which is in reality but a vigorous redistribution of wealth. I can't wait to point this out to the first whining Dem who bemoans this phenomenon as a sure sign of failure in the Iraq campaign.
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, FL

THE FICKLE RIGHT
Re: George Neumayr's New Low Country France :

Chirac went from being the Respectable Right's savior from that dangerous Le Pen, to now being our Public Enemy No. 1, just by consistently playing the corrupt, unprincipled poltroon he's always been.
-- Fred Dempsey

Tell your "French" (ouch, said it again) contact who called Bush an a--hole that Chirac is a disgusting insect that most of us would love to step on. And de Villepin resembles Vichy France in its worst way. I will keep on all my elected representatives to assure that France, Germany (they always make trouble, don't they?) that other little meaningless country whose name escapes me), and Canada will not enjoy one franc from the efforts of the Coalition and the suffering of the Iraqi people.
-- George T. Bedway
Winchester, VA

THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
Re: Michael Craig's The Lawful Truth:

In re Michael Craig's comments about William Bulger, only a lawyer could make the statement, "As much as I respect the rule of law, I think you have to stick up for your family and friends before helping that faceless mass of 'society,'", or equate the kind of lack of cooperation in attempting to track down a known gangster and murderer with "loyalty." My Father was a policeman for 37 years, and Mr. Craig simply confirms the opinion that he had, and I have, regarding most lawyers. Read Shakespeare!
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

PELOSI BUFFA
Re: The Washington Prowler's Democrats Head for the Hills:

As Mrs. Pelosi praised the troops, she also said their success was owed "in large measure" to former President Bill Clinton. "This best-trained, best-equipped, best-led force for peace in the history of the world was not invented in the last two years. This had a strong influence and strong support during the Clinton years," she said.

Is this an appropriate example of the "comic opera" metaphor, or what?
-- Stephen "Doc" Watson

KERRY CHANGE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Regime Change's Little Dictator:

Do you suppose, as John Kerry has enthusiastically borrowed a slogan from the anti-war left, he will also use the slogans "Impeach Bush" or perhaps "Support The Troops Who Shoot Their Officers" (from Pelosi's district)?
-- John Harvey
Bellevue, WA

COOLING TREND
Re: Patrick J. Michaels' Bush, Blair, and Kyoto:

I appreciate and applaud the courage our President has shown in his steadfast determination to liberate Iraq. I voted for him in 2000 and plan to vote for him in 2004. However, I am not a blind follower of the President. He disappointed me on the Education Bill (Kennedy's) and on Campaign Finance Reform (a political sham designed for the dual purpose of perpetuating incumbents and to silence dissent in the weeks leading up to national elections).

I intend to vote against anyone in Virginia who votes to implement the economy-destroying, pseudo-scientific nonsense that is the Kyoto Treaty. I don't care for what Blair wants. He is the socialist Prime Minister of a socialist country, and I don't cotton to socialists. If our President decides to implement Kyoto by default, refusing to veto any bill that contains Kyoto-like verbiage, I will vote against him in 2004. And so will a heck of a lot of other conservatives. And President Bush will need every conservative vote he can get in 2004.

I recommend that President Bush seek to emulate President Reagan and not his father's presidency. Reagan did what he said he was going to do and won reelection. His father waffled on taxes and other issues and lost his bid to be reelected two years after liberating Kuwait.
-- Mike Slater

LATE FLIGHT TO LISBON
Re: Bill Croke's The Red Green Mountain State:

Vermont ain't that much different from N.H. anymore. In case you haven't noticed lately, N.H. is ram packed full of Flatlanders from Mass. and Conn., and like Vermont, they have stayed. Now they are doing their best to make N. H. just like the sewer they left behind. Doing a pretty good job of it.
-- Martin N. Tirrell,
Lisbon, NH

DEAD WRONG
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Time Machine:

If you think that Time got the war wrong you should read the Newsweek dated March 24, 2003.
-- Joe Dreyer

Just read the latest. I have a suggestion. Please replace "decimated" with "annihilated." It's a better word.
-- Jim Klein

GUILTY AS CHARGED
Re: James Bowman's Guilt by Defense:

Excellent article by Mr. Bowman. I nearly wreck my car in rage when I hear NPR "journalists" lump Iraqi military and civilian casualties together, implying that the poor Iraqi soldier was fighting out of fear for his family and was just a victim, too. Hogwash. If he was interested in protecting his family, he should have turned around and shot his officers. He was armed, after all. A curse on their mustaches!
-- Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.
San Antonio, TX

COURSE CORRECTIONS
Re: Jordan Carswell's letter in Reader Mail's Green States:

Not to rub salt in such recent wounds -- as I rather doubt that Jordan Carswell ("From Left Field," April 10) is rejoicing in the news of Baghdad's liberation -- but I think his bringing up Secretary Rumsfeld's decades-ago meeting with Saddam Hussein overlooks a salient fact.

Mr. Rumsfeld, like all conservatives living in the 21st century, has learned from his mistakes.

Mr. Carswell and his ilk might like to try it some time.
-- Kevin McGehee
Coweta County, GA

THE NEW DAUMIER
Re: G. Mitchell's letter in Reader Mail's Green States:

As Bill O'Reilly might bellow, Mr. Mitchell, you're spinning! When I described France as old and batty, and the United States as insolent and precocious, I was not, in any way, shape, or form, attempting to assess the durability of each nation's democratic experiment, nor, in doing so, was I suggesting that France's republic is superior to ours simply because she is so venerable. (On a side-note, my mannered Vitalian comments about France, Russia and the like were not designed to postulate a stance but to articulate a means of expression. It was about the form not the discussion.) Since I am not the most astute student of Franco-American relations (a point that should have been made clear in my initial letter) and, furthermore, decline from speculating on the enduring quality of political traditions that have not yet run their course (I think a star taking unilateral explosive action against earth should be the quietest of your apocalyptic concerns.), I was only speaking in cultural terms about how the perceived divisions between American leaders and French leaders are best represented by the coarsest of convenient cultural signifiers neatly diced, slathered in creamy b.s., and tenderly funneled through the flimsy strainer of witty neo-con bluster.

This tendency can yield truly stupid fruit, but, more often than not, it simply makes for a good light-weight read and allows post-structural super-stars like myself to have a field day ruminating on the benefits bestowed by such circumstances. We've always loved making fun of the French and now we can do so, not just over over-priced Burgundy at a snobby restaurant but in the pages of such bastions of legitimately brainy conservative media as the Weekly Standard and The American Spectator. It's an exciting development. I remember visiting France as a much younger man. I was in the company of my parents and my kid brother. Naturally, our parents were dragging us around to varied sites of value against our will. I may have appreciated art more than the average twelve-year old but somewhere between the Louvre (aka the bloated Death Star of museums), the Musee D'Orsay and a host of smaller ones, I lost my patience. With my brother as dependable side-kick, I took to playing a delightful new game that quickly set the tenor for the remainder of our family vacation: The Spot A Particularly Haughty And/Or Prim And/Or Silly-Looking French Person And Start Laughing Uncontrollably While Pulling Out A Notebook And Attempting To Draw A Fetching Cartoon Of Said French Person To The Amusement Of Siblings And The Chagrin Of Parents Game. Needless to say, while I've never had a more pleasant travel experience, it seems a bit peculiar that renowned conservative pundits are currently coveting the conceptual ground I broke nearly eleven years ago with a ball-point pen and a steno pad. I have never published my cartoons, but I still have them and would love to submit them for your viewing pleasure.
-- A. Simmons/
San Francisco, CA

THE GAUL OF SOME PEOPLE
Re: A. Simmons' letter in Reader Mail's Fighting Logic:

A. Simmons' warning that we better not mess with the manly French shows a creative grasp of history. The Normans were descended from the Scandinavian Vikings, not the French. Charles Martel and his Islam-bashing cohorts were Franks, not French -- there was no France yet and would not be for centuries. Claiming them as proof of France's macho chops is akin to an American's laying claim to the martial exploits of Richard the Lionheart and Brian Boru.

France's sole brush with modern martial glory came at the behest of a Corsican thug to whom they freely handed their country twice, once at gunpoint and once at a simple display of charismatic bravado.

As Dennis Prager wrote, "From the Jacobins and the guillotine, to the Dreyfus trial, to the Vichy regime, to de Gaulle's withdrawal from anti-Communist NATO, France, with rare exceptions, has done little that is moral and nothing that is courageous. So the disdain that many Americans have long felt for France has merely been reinforced." Harking back to sword-swinging robber barons squabbling over the ruins of the Roman Empire is unlikely to change that, anymore than Saddam's arrogating the legacy of Saladin intimidated the 3rd Infantry.
-- Richard McEnroe

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