Doubting, or Taking Delight in, Douglas Davis; Still Missing Kalb; Heywood Jablome and Mike Hunt; Cockburn and Kerrey; MUGGER and Maureen and Conason, Too; More

Written by None - Do not Delete on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts.


Re: Douglas Davis’
"Soho: The Afterlife" (5/9). Oh, please! Am I supposed to imagine
a world divided between artists and capitalists? Does Mr. Davis think he could
have paid the rent without those capitalists who bought his art? Does he somehow
imagine that in our postindustrial, hypercapitalist age, there is such
a thing as "pure art" made for art’s sake? For that matter, has
there ever been any such thing?

Laleh Khalili,


Did You Plotz, Dan?

It’s okay for MUGGER
to act like a blatant hypocrite, because a) it’s his damn paper, and b)
I’m pretty sure he’s mostly trying to get a rise out of lefties like
myself. But as for the rest of you–how do you justify attacking Brill’s
, Hendrik Hertzberg, Rolling Stone, any given Voice
writer, et al., for being consistently behind the times, and then run a feature
story like Douglas Davis’ "Soho: The Afterlife"?

"These were years when
lots of taxi drivers and museum curators simply didn’t want to know how
to get to Soho." Sure–maybe in 1936. The new data notwithstanding,
this story would have been dated 10 years ago. Was any reader truly surprised
to learn that Soho has been bought and sold, much like the rest of Manhattan?
Oy, the chutzpah!

Dan Grunfeld,


Local Knowledge

Douglas Davis: I was very
happy to read your article about Soho. I am 29 years old and grew up in Soho
and Montauk, so I know exactly what you are talking about. My parents have lived
in Soho for more than 40 years. They are artists. I, too, am an artist living
in a now very alien Soho. I feel like a foreigner in my own neighborhood.

I have my own small studio
apartment in a landmark building. As an artist I have had to be adaptable. Before
my father passed away he was a photographer and had some great lofts in the
Flatiron district back in the 80s before that area got hit, too. My mom still
lives in her loft-style apartment.

It was so sad to see Food
go. That was the best place! Spring Street Books’ closing was really heartbreaking.
I loved the creaky wood floors. I remember often seeing Willem Dafoe there.
Whole Foods’ closing was a shock, and then Rizzoli… I spoke with the
guys at Ben’s Pizza and it turns out they are staying. I could hardly believe
when I saw the 420 Gallery Building closed. I don’t understand how that
building was not considered an historical landmark. Now I am clinging to my
neighbors, who cling to one another. My friend Zoe, whom I went to Music &
Art High School with, started this party once a month at Recess, on Spring St.
off Greenwich, for NYC people only. Every month this party happens, she sends
out e-mails, with a password, and only NYC people can go, from all the various
high schools and junior highs. She says college doesn’t count–"We
have to take NYC back"!

Rachel Shana
Vine, Manhattan


Nurse Dusty Kuntz

Douglas Davis’ self-serving
exercise in nostalgia misses the mark. For the first time in some 20 years,
Soho has again become a working-class ’hood. The mostly young, mostly good-looking
young people who toil in its bars/boutiques/restaurants/cosmetic counters are,
for the most part, from the boroughs. The previous "play at art, play at
poverty" crowd were children of the middle class and rich, Yoko Ono being
only the most egregious example. The highfalutin mediocrity that was Fluxus
is just a well-deserved squiggle on the rising real estate graph.

Dr. Harry
Nudel, Manhattan


One Up, One Down

Will no one ever reprint
Raymond Roussel’s wonderful books ("Books," 5/9)? I found a copy
of Locus Solus on the Internet last year, but it was priced at $3000–well
beyond my reach.

I was also sorry and a little
disturbed to see that my favorite master researcher William Bryk took aim at
"annealed" ("Old Smoke," 5/9) and missed by 180 degrees.

Stuart Sobczynski,


Who Said She Doesn’t?

Lita Ford of the Runaways
"helped pave the way for a lot of female rock bands" ("Music,"
5/9)? Jennifer Maerz ought to know about Suzi Quatro’s 60s all-girl band
the Pleasure Seekers.

Roy Bivv,


Gentleman George

MUGGER: Russ Smith can trash
Clinton all he wants (5/9), but that does not change the fact that during the
Clinton presidency we had the best economy in our lifetime; record-high employment,
low unemployment and low inflation; surpluses instead of deficits; rising incomes
and falling poverty; welfare rolls that were cut in half; falling crime rates
for eight straight years and the smallest federal government since the Kennedy

Only a Bush sycophant like
Russ Smith could call that lowlife, worthless ne’er-do-well squatter in
the White House a "gentleman." John McCain does not regard Bush as
a gentleman after the dirty campaign that Bush waged against him. And yes, Mr.
Smith, Bush is boring. Americans are not interested in him–that’s
why his speech to Congress drew half the audience that Clinton’s first
speech to Congress did in 1993.

The fact is that Bush does
not have a clue about how to address the problems facing this country. His only
answer, whether it be the energy crisis or the economy, is tax cuts. That is
why in 2004 the country will be in such terrible shape that any Democrat, as
long as he does not dribble, will be elected by a landslide. Then we will say
good riddance to the scumbag Bush family for good.

Reba Shimansky,


He’d’ve Said,
I’m Outta Here

I found the recent article
on the Kennedys ("The Kennedy Clones," 5/2) in your paper offensive.
Just because they’re Kennedy offspring does not mean they’re barred
from public service or that they don’t have the right to pursue what they
wish. This is funny, since your paper is so ardently pro-Bush. We now have a
sitting president whose main claim to fame (in my view) is that he was the son
of a former president. So why do you denounce the Kennedys for nepotism?

Many of the Kennedys are
not extremely wealthy. Many of them are just middle-class and upper-middle-class
people who have jobs.

I remember where I was the
day JFK died–they announced it at the Catholic elementary school I attended
in the Bronx (St. Nicholas of Tolentine). I wonder if someone had told him,
"President Kennedy, you’ll achieve your heart’s desire and your
father’s aim–you’ll become the first Catholic/ethnic president
but you’ll lose your life and years later your only son will be lost at
sea," what he would have said?

Name Withheld,
via Internet


Can You Get Producers

I read Jonathan Kalb’s
last column ("Theater," 5/2), as well as the article on
regarding his reasons for leaving. I understand that decisions must be made
about what to include and what to remove from a paper in order to keep it competitive
and vital, but the decision to remove Kalb’s column was a poor one. The
theater and film columns are often the only parts of your paper I bother to

In response to your claim
that "theater is boring," I would suggest that you take a trip to
44th St. any night of the week and see the excitement in the streets outside
of The Producers, Chicago and Fosse. Have any of you people
actually been to the theater? Before this decision your paper was little more
than a brief diversion while visiting my local laundry. Now I may do the patrons
of that laundry a favor and toss those unread stacks into the nearest rubbish
bin where they belong.

Cooper, Manhattan


Bite Both Bastard Buttocks,

This is just what the craft
of art criticism did not need: voiding Cheshire then Kalb. Your bastard
buttocks should be booted back to boring Baltimore.

Denise Katzman,


Middle Name Harry?

Guys, I am so glad we were,
by jettisoning the "boring" Jonathan Kalb, able to free up coveted
space in the magazine for stories documenting the appearance of Heywood Jablome
in the news ("Hill of Beans," 5/9).

Claude Baulz,


Does It? All Night?

RE: Christopher Caldwell’s
column on Heywood Jablome ("Hill of Beans," 5/9). Although I agree
that Heywood’s appearing in the Post was a "howler," let’s
not be so hard on (pun intended) the poor reporter. I’ll bet the prankster
pronounced his name "Yablom" and spelled it as it appeared. Almost
any newspaper could unknowingly fall prey to a similar stupid trick.

Stacy Recht,


Friend of Hal Jalaikakic

Thanks to
Mr. Caldwell for his informative article on Mr. Jablome, who certainly seems
to get around. He has even penetrated the artistic elite, as I found in an article
from the Aug. 1, 2000, issue of Art in America. In this instance, probably
to elude detection, he changed the spelling of his first name to "Haywood."
You may verify this by doing a Lexis-Nexis search for "Haywood Jablome".

Wallace Showman,
via Internet



Thank God
you got rid of theater reviews! Now you’ll have more space for reviews
of important cultural landmarks like The Mummy Returns ("Film,"
5/9) or articles on masturbation, or the smart-ass, unprofessional editors’
notes you attach to the end of letters, showing your pigheaded disdain for the
few remaining readers you have. Well, here’s one less reader. By the way,
there’s a newspaper called the Village Voice. You should read it
sometime if you want to see real journalistic daring.

K. Javie,


Oh, You’ll Love

I find the
removal of a regular theater section from your publication painful. Maybe you
should remove the "New York" from the title. Disappointed as I am,
I will continue to read and, I hope, continue to enjoy what’s left of this
well-written and refreshing publication.

David R.
Cole, Boston


Free and Proud

It seems
as if New York Press has been in some sort of a transition for a while.
Letters in "The Mail" every week gripe about the latest loss of a
writer, most of whom I never read so I can’t comment on how big a loss
any of them were. But, much as I hate to admit it, could you do something about
moving MUGGER back to the front? Reading his meanderings and scanning his colorful
pictures first thing somehow puts you in the right frame of mind for the rest
of the paper. Also, whatever you do, please don’t lose either Alexander
Cockburn or Christopher Caldwell. They are both consistently outstanding. And
I will never understand those who consider the term "free" to be an
insult. Keep up the good work.

Todd Kenyon,


Don’t Worry, He’ll
Get to Them

You forgot a few liberal sock puppets who regularly appear: Lanny Davis, Susan
Estrogen, Mara Liasson, Ruth Conniff, Greta van Cistern.

Mike Baron,


Blame It On Bob

Cockburn seems to think Robert McNamara is not to blame for Kerrey killing innocents
in Thanh Phong, apparently because he wasn’t secretary of defense when
the killings happened ("Wild Justice," 5/9). Isn’t that a little
like saying Franklin Roosevelt is not responsible for any effect the New Deal
had on the country after 1945?

McNamara currently weeps
and tells us he’s sorry; that he knew the war was wrong and could not be
won. Unfortunately for all concerned, he just didn’t have the balls to
tell that to LBJ. Kerrey is nothing more than another damaged Vietnam vet. Look
at his eyes. Those could be the eyes of a homeless, shell-shocked vet who did
much worse than Kerrey. And you just gave him a quarter. But, wait, that guy’s
a war criminal too. Let’s round them all up and have trials. It might take
years. It might take decades. Or, why not just let that moldy old failure, McNamara,
rot in his own personal hell for taking normal young men and turning them into

William Wickham,

Cockburn replies: You misunderstood me, Bill. McNamara should swing for his
war crimes, for sure. I was only making the point that his dreadful watch was
over when Kerrey was doing his bit for the Phoenix program.


Dixie Nam

As a conservative
(or right-winger, if you prefer), I applaud that old leftist (or commie, if
you prefer) Alexander Cockburn’s treatment of Sen. Bob Kerrey ("Wild
Justice," 5/2). I’m sick of the hypocrisy and also sick of hearing
conservatives rush to Kerrey’s defense with no apparent interest in researching
the story.

To put the matter in perspective,
Lee surrendered to Grant’s army when he did because he wanted to disarm
the South before they could engage in a "partisan war" (what today
we call a guerrilla war). He argued it would lead to indiscriminate killing
and was uncivilized. That’s the sort of thing that happens when you get
involved in a guerrilla war. The South, of course, would have won handily if
it had engaged in partisan war from the outset, which means that today we would
not have an empire engaged in all kinds of military mischief the world over,
something that the left seems to like.

Owen Jones,
via Internet


Vocal Antihero

The savagery
of Bob Kerrey is with us now. Kerrey is a professional killer. He volunteered
to learn and practice the brutal techniques of killing. He knows how to cut
a throat without making a sound, he can blow your brains out at 100 yards, he
can burn your village without looking back. He does what he has to do. He follows
orders. He kills, he executes, he destroys. He’s a war hero.

He says he has a bad conscience
because of a "mistake." There were a thousand "mistakes"
in Vietnam. They say that some of us who never fought in a war cannot judge
him. Some of us refused to go to that war. We were young, too, but we knew the
truth of the savagery, of the barbarity, of that hopeless war. We knew we wouldn’t
kill or die for Nixon, McNamara and Kissinger. We knew we would do whatever
was necessary not to participate in that horrible war.

The Vietnam War was supposedly
fought to stop communism, but communism died on its own, decades later. There
was no domino effect–it was death and destruction for nothing. The napalm,
the million tons of bombs, the millions dead, the burnt villages, the ravaged
minds and countryside were brought to us by our government, our Congress, our
military, and efficient, obedient, ruthless killers like Bob Kerrey and John
McCain. McCain tells us that he can’t be sure all the bombs he dropped
on the cities and towns of Vietnam hit military targets–there’s no
reason to believe that any of his bombs hit a military target. And what
about the well-trained killers who did their dirty work in Yugoslavia, killing
hundreds of civilians in refugee convoys, in apartment buildings, on bridges.
These were not more "mistakes."

The military mind knows
that actually fighting an armed enemy can be dangerous and difficult–it
is much easier and effective to kill noncombatants. This is what is happening
right now in Colombia. Civilians don’t shoot back. Gen. McCaffrey knows
it is easier to destroy a retreating enemy. We who opposed the war and refused
to go–we’ve been insulted, threatened, prosecuted and abused. We’re
considered cowards, unpatriotic and unmanly. I say: so be it. We wear our "disgrace"
as a badge of honor. George Bush will continue the gory tradition. Open the
wounds of Vietnam; I’ll bring the salt.

Lee Roskin,
Santa Cruz



I normally
avoid MUGGER’s mean-spirited rants like the plague, but my jaw dropped
when I read his column about the closing of Riverrun (4/25). The eulogy was
brief but much appreciated! Since the early 1990s, my friends and I enjoyed
the beer, food and companionship offered in this great hideaway, and I commuted
all the way there from the hinterlands of New Jersey just for the meatloaf.
I’m sure we could share some quality Riverrun stories, but remember, the
closing of this beloved establishment is just the "guiding hand" of
the free market working its magic. Unregulated capitalism has no time for sentimentality.

Jeff Jotz,
Rahway, NJ


Mo, Joe

Thanks so much for telling it like it really is (5/9)! Joe Conason and Maureen
Dowd are bad, ugly-acting American fascists!

Shari Snavely,
Harrogate, TN


Money Shot

Your suggestion about Maureen Dowd and the pistol is priceless.

Jesse Cole,
Butte, MT


You’ll Be Needing a

Thank God we have Joe Conason and Gene Lyons. The Washington press corps only
listens to Rove operatives and Freepers. If I read one more puff piece on your
Bush team, I will throw up.

Name Withheld,


Tiger’s Phat

Lionel Tiger’s column
about the Science article on dietary fat ("Human Follies,"
5/2) is the only mention I’ve found of this blockbuster analysis. Considering
the enormous importance of this information to both consumers and the low-fat
food industry, I’m amazed at the lack of coverage afforded this most informative
article. Good work, Lionel.

Dave Fain,
via Internet


Sweet Revenge

Re: Lionel Tiger’s
article on fat. I’ve tried the Atkins diet, and can tell you it’s
much better balanced than the diets people routinely eat. Contrary to Mr. Tiger’s
statement, it is not a diet of meat, eggs and cheese. I ate meat, cheese, vegetables–a
huge variety of foods–and felt better for it. It’s also not a "no-carb"
diet. One simply reduces the number of carbs. Please do more research before
you publish.

Check out
the Mayo Clinic diet; you’ll see that the chief difference between it and
the Atkins diet is that on the former, you drink a glass of grapefruit juice
each day. On the Atkins diet, my triglycerides dropped from 293 to 96 in a few
weeks. Sugar, my friend, is the culprit, and many high-carbohydrate foods are
converted directly to sugar, while fat is burned for energy.

But in my
zeal to defend Atkins, I don’t want to neglect to say that overall your
piece is very good. Government zealots have gone too far, causing hysteria regarding
anything that tastes good–except for sugar. What they fail to say is that
when fat is removed, so is the flavor, and what do they add to compensate? You
guessed it: sugar.

Bobbie Harwell,
via Internet


No, That’d Make Him
a Wobbly

Thanks, MUGGER, for the
"Lost in the Funhouse" column (5/9). I never knew so many scoundrels
could be listed in one column–it’s a sight previously unseen! Also,
George Szamuely’s anti-American musings ("Taki’s Top Drawer,"
5/9) remind me of the solitary, lonely drunk who walks late-night streets with
one foot in the gutter and the other on the sidewalk, resulting, of course,
in a ridiculous left-leaning posture.

Ron Crockett,
Wollaston, MA


College Boreds

Re: "Daily Billboard,"
5/2. Direct hit, MUGGER! Please let us know you’ve forwarded this to the
Harvard school newspaper. We want to know if they’ll print it. Or, if not,
then why. Too funny. And sadly, all too true.

Mark Sannino,


Stop, Thief

MUGGER: The Times
is not after Torricelli because he likes the President’s tax cut (5/2).
Torricelli is flirting with Bush to help prevent indictment. He has no principles
whatsoever. He’s just the kind of old-fashioned congressional crook we
tend not to see much of these days–a gonif and openly on the take. I can’t
wait to see him take the perp walk.

Marcus Kohn,


Define "Ouch"

RE: Bob Riedel’s arrogant
request that you let us readers know that Tim McVeigh will not be executed,
his sentence will be ("The Mail, 5/9). Well, Mr. Riedel, I have some news
for you. Webster’s defines the term "execute" as "to put
to death in accordance [my emphasis] with a legally imposed sentence."
So the next time you’re prepared to wow the rest of us with your impressive
knowledge of terms and their definitions, please be certain that you’re

Drew Behr,
Cliffside Park, NJ


Hyte Report

Thanks to Armond White for
his comments about the "media putsch" for Crouching Tiger, Hidden
("Film," 5/9). I was amazed at the frenzy over this silly
little fusion fad. Hiphop Nation meets the Pacific Century! Way cool, dude–where’s
my Oscar?

Most repulsive
was the not-so-subtle baiting of Oscar voters by journalists who insinuated
that anyone who hesitated to vote for Crouching Tiger was too stupid
to read subtitles or, worse, a closet racist. Anybody who dared criticize anything
about the film was an idiot or a bigot. Talk about political correctness gone
mad. The fact that Americans were watching a subtitled film (which most of them
were watching for the "cool fight scenes" anyway) was hailed as an
intellectual milestone. Meanwhile, the fact that native speakers laughed at
the dialogue was ignored by critics who obsess about dialogue in U.S. films.
Suddenly dialogue was irrelevant: it was enough that the film was visually attractive
and pushed some emotional buttons. Any U.S. film meeting that description would
almost certainly be condemned en masse by critics as a manipulative, contrived,
purely visual experience.

Also, watching
male critics salivate over the female warriors of Crouching Tiger…yuck!
This wasn’t a new appreciation of strong women on screen: this was ersatz
teenage boys getting off on a catfight between two "exotic" women.
Forgive me, too, if I yawn at the supposed novelty of this all: women warriors
are nothing new if you are at all familiar with comics, science fiction, gaming,
and popular tv. They go back to the days of Superwoman; they’re in science
fiction and fantasy novels and comics; they’re in the Alien(s) movies;
on tv in Charlie’s Angels, Xena: Warrior Princess and Dark
. There are strong women in the various Star Trek series and
films who fight when they have to. And if it’s Asian entertainment you’re
after, women warriors are, literally, ancient news.

But these
comics, shows, etc., all lack the cachet of a Cannes film; they’re geek
worlds where the critics don’t go. Even in a supposedly weak year Crouching
should never even have been nominated for Best Picture. Within a few
years, people will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

Lee Hyte,


Classical Education

Carol Iannone is right about
W.J. Bryan ("Taki’s Top Drawer," 5/2). He was a great man, and
a long ways from the ignorant person he is usually portrayed as. When he was
nine his father gave him a Latin lexicon. He mastered it. Then when he turned
11, his father gave him a Greek lexicon, and he mastered that. There are many
other things I could tell you about Bryan, but thanks for standing up for him.

Jack L. Holt,
Lindale, TX


Parental Guidance

Re: "Wm. Jennings Bryan
Was Right." Some think that logic can lead to moral behavior without the
superstition of a Supreme Being watching over us. Our culture’s problems
aren’t because of Darwin, but because parents aren’t teaching their
children much of anything, including moral behavior.

D. Pinholster,


Topnotch "Top Drawer"

My thanks to Carol Iannone
for her recognition of William Jennings Bryan. Let me add in passing that Scott
McConnell, Charles Glass and Taki himself were all mostly excellent this week.

At last,
someone knows enough about American history to understand that Bryan was a populist
Christian rebel with an abiding concern for the working and lower classes. Bryan
wasn’t perfect, but he had an admirably low level of the usual politicians’
diseases. He opposed imperialism and triumphalism, unlike the warmongering,
Philippines-colonizing Theodore Roosevelt (the darling of liberal historians
because of his "environmentalism"). And Bryan was a major player in
a popular movement whose pressure was likely the only reason that Roosevelt
had to take on corrupt big businessmen with antitrust provisions.

As secretary
of state under Woodrow Wilson, Bryan successfully negotiated treaties at a fever
pitch. He also strenuously opposed our involvement in foreign wars and resigned
on principle (can anyone imagine an Albright or a Powell doing such a thing?)
because of the U.S. establishment’s globalist WWI-era aggression toward

But Bryan
made one big "mistake" in the eyes of liberal and neoliberal historians
(which is to say, most of them). He believed the truth that everyone must turn
to God through the Lord Jesus Christ in order for their souls to be saved. For
this, he–like every serious Christian then and now–was made an outcast
by so-called "respectable society" and the usual hordes of unrepentant
sinners that make up every nation.

Most historians
go right along with this unfair characterization. They believe the slander of
Bryan in Inherit The Wind, without examining the historical evidence.
They ignore the now-abundant evidence against the evolution theory and the fact
that Bryan WON at the Scopes trial, during which the "brilliant" Clarence
Darrow held up the alleged tooth of the "missing link man." This tooth
later turned out to have belonged to a pig.

Jack Seney,


De Nada

Loved C.J. Sullivan’s
article on La Lupe ("Bronx Stroll," 4/25). I am a huge fan of hers.
Thanks for writing the column.

Jaime Montalvo,
Jackson Heights


We Prefer the Print Edition

MUGGER: I was surfing on
the DNC-financed and noticed that they awarded you their
Golden Binky award. Congrats! To be so honored by a bunch of Clinton shills
must have made your day. Great piece on Conason (5/2), by the way, and you’re
right. He is a total moron, not to mention a liar who has done his best to slime
honest people like Juanita Broaddrick, whose only crime was that she told the
truth about Bill Clinton. Keep up the good work, I love reading your weekly

J. Verner,


MUGGER and His Binky

Howard Kurtz is not a real journalist but a whore, the worst kind. Congratulations
on your Media Whore award.

Helen Weber,
Oklahoma City


Only Plausible Explanation

I love you man, but, you are dead wrong (5/9). Castro continues to kill his
people and throw them into prison for the slightest political opposition. My
wife’s family was thrown out after being put up against the execution "wall"
and a mock firing squad. Do you think those goons have souls? The folks down
there have had communist indoctrination for generations–most, certainly
not all, will oppose a change toward a capitalistic system. Other than good
cigars, rum and lots of sugar, their natural resources are mostly flesh-based.

Freedom is a funny thing–you
rarely miss it until it’s taken away. But hey, you are dead right on so
much it always zings when you see an aberrant item–clearly you had a momentary
blood clot form and melt in your cortex.

Jim Kenealy,
Hobe Sound, FL


The Unbiased Side

It is ludicrous
for Alan Cabal to suggest that he could find legitimate answers about the Holocaust
from the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) and the Swiss organization Verite
et Justice, which were scheduled to host a Holocaust deniers’ conference
in Beirut ("Holiday in Beirut," 4/25). Although IHR operates under
a fraudulent guise of scholarship and impartiality, it remains committed to
an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, which accuses Jews of having fabricated their
own genocide to manipulate the non-Jewish world.

In recent years, Holocaust
deniers have found welcoming audiences in the Arab world, where anti-Semitic
stereotypes are an everyday occurrence in the state-run media. Holocaust denial
has been especially attractive to anti-Israel groups who believe they can undermine
the legitimacy of the Jewish state by claiming the Holocaust is an historical
fabrication created to win sympathy for Jews and Israel.

If Cabal’s real agenda
is to learn about the Holocaust, he would find more answers at New York City’s
own "A Living Memorial to the Holocaust" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
in Battery Park City, than from Holocaust deniers.

Leah Granof,
assistant director, New York regional office, Anti-Defamation League


Red Wood

George Szamuely’s
opening "stipulation" really makes no sense ("Taki’s Top
Drawer," 5/9). If there had been no Soviet Union 30 (or 50) years ago,
there would have been no Vietnam War. The United States got into all these places
because of fears that they would become satellites of the Soviet Union. Why
would U.S. politicians have cared about some tiny communist nation if it was
not connected in some way to a larger communist threat?

Not that containing communism
was ever a legitimate reason to send American boys off to die in the first place–especially
when the U.S. (Roosevelt, actually) was Stalin’s chief enabler in the waning
days of WWII.

Richard G.
Wood, Clifton, NJ


Who Will Answer?

George Szamuely
should take a look back at history before U.S. bashing. He obviously has anti-American
issues. Why doesn’t he talk about the people of Kuwait under the Iraqis?
The gassing of Kurds? Muslims under the Serbs? The massacre of more than two
million Cambodians and Vietnamese after the U.S. left Southeast Asia? How about
the students in China or the Falun Gong?

My father was in the Korean
War and never talked much about the things he had seen. Before he died he told
me the stories of the U.S. finding massacre after massacre of men, women and
children by the North Koreans and Chinese. It’s easy to bash Americans,
but who stands up for the soldiers who died to liberate China, defeat the Nazis,
free Kuwait and more?

Rich Tucholka,
Pontiac, MI