April 18 2006 12:00 AM

Iraq is not a monolithic nation that can be described in over-generalizations. Of the 18 provinces in Iraq, 12 possess some stability. There have been some positive developments, including the proliferation of media and free elections. Unfortunately, there are significant political and economic problems in Iraq, which can be largely attributed to the security situation. It is difficult to build an infrastructure or civil society when terrorists are determined to prevent development.

Bunting scolds the United States for its “extensive past in the regime change of other nations.” It should be noted that those regime changes include the fascist governments in Germany, Italy and Japan.

Bunting asserts that money spent in Iraq would be better spent on “hungry, homeless, sick and uneducated” Americans. At one point Bunting tells us that the United States only cares about its interests and now she tells us that the United States should care more about its interests. Furthermore, there are hungry, homeless, sick and uneducated Iraqis. Why is it wrong to spend money on them simply because they are not Americans? Bunting seems to be trying to turn the poor people of the world against one another. She concludes with an ad hominem attack on “unflinching nationalists.” Whether nationalist or not, one should certainly flinch when reading Bunting's unfortunate letter.

— Mark Baxter, East Lansing


Too Kind to Milliken? 

Before City Pulse canonizes former
Gov. William Milliken (“The high road less traveled,” excerpt from
“William G. Milliken: Michigan's Passionate Moderate,” by Dave Dempsey,
April 5), let me give my 2 cents' worth.

I recall a lieutenant governor who won
a very close election in 1968 due to voting machines in Detroit
malfunctioning. Later that year, “Mr. Bill” addressed a huge
anti-Vietnam War rally by saying, “Please be peaceful.” If only he had
told his party's president the same thing. While he was good for the
environment and for workers, Milliken also supported conservative
national candidates of his party, including Nixon, Agnew and Ford. He
left state government in a fiscal mess, which his successor, James
Blanchard, had to overcome.

So, for those who read City Pulse without historical perspective,
Milliken was great only in the eye of some beholders. Buy Dempsey's new
book, if you wish, but you should keep in mind that despite what
Dempsey says, Jim Blanchard won on his own platform, not as “an
extension of the Milliken legacy.” To equate Blanchard with his
successor is baloney, even in the context of revisionist history. But
perhaps revisionist history sells books.

 — Jack Finn, Grand Ledge


Send GOP packing 

To paraphrase an old Tennessee Ernie Ford song, the Republicans had 16
years and what did we get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St.
Peter don't you call me cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the
Republican store.


It's time to close the Republican
store. It's time to tell the Michigan Republican leadership that when
they decided to support Dick DeVos — a billionaire who had used his
vast wealth to smear other Republicans in the 2004 elections, who
bought the 2006 Republican gubernatorial nomination by threatening to
bury his opposition in cash and who was responsible for sending over a
thousand jobs to China — that we do not want a government that has been
bought and paid for.

Let's close that Republican store for good and send DeVos, Dave Camp,
Mike Rogers, Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff home, prison or wherever they

— Thomas Ford, Owosso



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