How long, oh, Lord?
The Iraq War has been five years of tears for both Americans and Iraqis ("Blood & Greenbacks," Metro Times, March 19). I believe that the true cost of the war is the lives of the innocent. Thanks for informing and opening my eyes to the truth. As it states, 4,000 American soldiers have died and 30,000 have been wounded. Not to mention the 600,000 lives of Iraqi innocent civilians; can you imagine how devastating that is?
As Curt Guyette mentioned, about "60 percent of the country supported an invasion of Iraq." We were told in the beginning the invasion would only cost $50 billion dollars; I don't know how we ended up spending $600 billion! We were also told the majority of the troops would be back home within a matter of months; again, I don't know why after five long, bloody years our troops are still there. When will this nonsense stop? Our economy is declining and I want my tax money to go to more crucial causes. I'm afraid, as a Michigan resident, to lose my home and job.
I'm sending this message to Bush and his administration: You failed to find weapons of mass destruction, you abused and humiliated your ex-prisoners, and killed thousands of innocent people. You have done enough damage to the Americans and Iraqis, and don't forget the Afghans. It's time for you to step down or try fixing the damage you created. —Jehan Haidarah, Detroit
Kwame Kilpatrick's lifelong hubris has sown the seeds of his character to the wind. Unfortunately, the taxpayers of the city are the ones who will reap a bitter harvest for his antics instead of the mayor himself. But the mayor's mea culpa "spreach" (speech and preaching) is not directed at the taxpayers who are righteously angry. No. The mayor's spreach is aimed squarely at those who will support him unconditionally, under any circumstances, the poor, the disenfranchised and the seniors who live vicariously through the mayor. He gives them perceived power, despite horrendous crime, poor city services, declining neighborhoods, burned-out houses on every block, garbage strewn everywhere and streetlights that can be out as long as six months. For some strange reason, they could care less about the wasted $9 million or how it could have been used positively.
I struggle to understand supporting a man who acts with willful abandon and like a petulant 6-year-old who got caught. The segment of the electorate that idolizes this man because he "stands strong" and doesn't "bow down to the suburbs" should also know that every time he throws out the race card to pull himself out of a jam, he throws away another small piece of our soul and our self-respect. But playing the race card infinitely hurts us more than suburbanites. It paints us as a people who will ignore an ugly truth staring us right in the face.
To all the folks who are drinking the mayor's Kool-Aid, know this: Every time Kwame Kilpatrick alleges racism to distract the electorate from his foibles, every clearly coded false accusation of racism, only twists the knife of ancestral pain deeper into the memory of everyone who has an ancestor who was enslaved or suffered from the true pain of racism or who has hope for the future that someday these wounds will heal. For the mayor to use that history as a political smokescreen for egregious lapses in character detrimental to the taxpayers is beyond despicable. And it thoroughly dishonors the mayor, who so cavalierly alleges that he always hears the cries of our ancestors in everything he does.
The mayor should resign. But I don't expect him to. That would require integrity. —Doug Merriman, Detroit
Unlike former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned when caught in a scandal, Detroit's disgraced Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick insists on staying in office despite facing a multi-count felony indictment and nearly daily revelations of his misconduct in office.
By remaining as mayor, Kilpatrick continues to embarrass the city and cannot function effectively. Since the trial of Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty is months away, we can expect further damage to Detroit as the legal process drags on.
But there is a method of removing Kilpatrick from office that does not have to wait for a felony conviction, and that is recalling Kilpatrick as mayor. To that end, I ask this question: Is there anyone in Detroit who is willing to launch a campaign to recall Kilpatrick? —Dave Hornstein, Southfield
Kudos on the fine article by Norene Cashen about art collector and patron John Korachis ("Patron perfect," Metro Times, March 19). The beauty of the art and architecture described in this feature is only exceeded by the beauty of the language in which it is written. Cashen's prose truly waxes poetic. —Jason M. Horton, Huntington Woods
Credit where due
Thank you for the great article ("Left was right," Metro Times, March 19). I appreciate that there are members of the media who are not only willing to cover the ongoing war in Iraq, but willing to discuss the important lessons we should learn about having started the mess in the first place. I also appreciate your coverage of metro Detroit grassroots organizations and individuals working for peace.
For the record's sake, I would like to mention that the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI) organized the march featured in the photograph accompanying your article, yet received no mention. While I'm sure this was not intentional and understand that there are several groups to discuss, I feel it is important to acknowledge the work that MECAWI has persistently done to organize against this war and other armed conflicts initiated by the United States. Thanks again. —Paul Jeden, member, Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice, Ferndale
I saw your review of Warpaint ("Hot water music," Metro Times, March 26) posted in one of the Black Crowes fan forums. I just wanted to pass along a quick word of sincere thanks on behalf of the many fans you represented with your insightful and well-crafted piece, specifically those of us who don't think the Crowes became truly great until after almost everyone stopped listening.
In the nearly 15 years since Amorica was released, I've rarely seen press on the band that acknowledged their growth as songwriters, and I certainly can't recall the last time a music critic heaped praise on the overlooked masterpiece known as Three Snakes and One Charm. Undeniably, the Stones and Faces comparisons got tired around 1992, and it's nice to see someone in the media recognize the host of other ingredients in their stew. I can't tell you the last time I saw Nick Drake or Lowell George's names mentioned in a review of the Crowes' work, despite their profound and obvious influence on the Robinson brothers.
I thought David Fricke was the only music journalist who gave genuine consideration to anything they did after The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, but you proved me wrong. —Matthew Sterling, New York, N.Y.
Errata: Due to an editing error Rebecca Mazzei's profile of Alexis Peskine ("From Warhol to war," Metro Times, March 26) misidentified the post of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Also, The New York Times' profile of the artist appeared in June 2007.
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