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Board Not Accountable

Accountability in leadership means accountability with accounts and sound decision-making when spending tax dollars ("The Money Trail," Feb. 19). I just have one question: Where does the buck stop on spending? This IDA board is a bureaucratic social-climbing nightmare. Wake up Richmond!

Evette L. Wilson

Iraq is Self-Defense War

Michael Graham's contention that war is another form of self-defense is ludicrous on its face ("Listen at Your Own Risk," Cover Story, Feb. 19). The United States has not fought a war of self-defense since Korea in 1950-1953, and possibly not since World War II. Our actions in Iraq continue this streak.

Iraq has not attacked American soil or any Americans that were not attacking it. Our country has supported Iraq in attacking others such as Iran in 1980. There is no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein played any role in the 9-11 attacks, nor even that he has had any positive dealings with al-Qaeda, which in the past has called Iraq a sworn enemy. Osama bin Laden even offered to raise an army of 100,000 men to evict Iraq from Kuwait in 1990.

The United States has intentionally destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq's economy over the last 10 years through sanctions and bombings. Our present leadership has undermined the present inspections regime since before it was put in place and has ensured that too few inspectors have no American intelligence to assist them. The last round of inspections, running from 1991-1998, destroyed all of Iraq's nuclear capability and the vast majority of its chemical and biological weapons.

Our government uses human rights only as a marketing tool. If the Bush administration cared about human rights in the Middle East, it would propose putting a human-rights inspector alongside each weapons inspector to prevent and redress any human-rights abuses of the Hussein regime. They would also not be courting Turkey as an ally, a country which three times in the last century has carried out gigantic slaughters of Christians, and which still today tortures Kurds and Christians and has oppressive laws against both.

These are not the actions of a country defending itself, but of one bent on economic domination and political hegemony over the entire world.

John Richmond

Clear Channel Isn't Free

Thank you Elaine Wood for writing that thoughtful and accurate letter about the Michael Graham show (Letters, March 5/Cover Story, Feb. 19). In totalitarian regimes such as Iraq or North Korea they broadcast the party line over loudspeakers (as well as state-run radio and TV).

Here in America, where the FCC is eager to allow the centralization of our media, our newly emerging form of American-style fascism broadcasts the party line over stations owned by Clear Channel Radio and the very few other media giants that control the message. They call that free market commercial enterprise; I don't. Some commentators have said that the blanketing of America with the right-wing message is tantamount to the dissemination of a totalitarian party line. Like you, Ms. Wood, I keep my ear turned to NPR where they try to give me a more complete picture.

Larry McMillan


The Spring Arts Calendar (March 6) incorrectly listed the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts tour "From Cuffs to Collars." The March 16 event starts at 3 p.m. The Museum's "Uncommon Legacies" exhibit closes July 20 and the "As Long As the Waters Flow" exhibit is free.

Tickets for Richmond Ballet's Studio 3 (March 13-23) and Studio 4 (March 27-April 6) are $15-$20. Style regrets the errors.

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