Re "Now What?" by Joe Klein [Feb. 1]: President Obama spent a year working within the system to bring change. Wrong choice. Special interests gutted the reform out of the health care, banking and climate-and-energy bills, showing that congressional Democrats are as susceptible to the influence of money as Republicans. The President now understands. After the Massachusetts election, he went over the heads of the system to ask for help in getting action on banking reform. Now it's us vs. Wall Street in a fight to win over our Representatives.
Ray Richardson, GREENFIELD, IND., U.S.
The more of President Obama's interviews I read, the more I respect him for his integrity and class. He has been in office just a year but is widely expected to clean up the mess it took the Bush Administration eight years to create. And he has to do it while dealing with some of the worst partisanship I can recall in recent history. Anyone who remembers Economics 101 knows unemployment is the hardest and last problem to be solved. Give the President a break.
Donna J. Moore, MOWEAQUA, ILL. U.S.
Klein does well to remind us that President Obama is a straightforward man who mistrusts sycophancy. The infuriating state of U.S. politics stems not from the President's performance thus far, but rather from the selfish, shortsighted opposition he often faces. Contrary to Mr. Klein's conclusions, however, it is stagecraft-obsessed politicians who ought to embrace President Obama's predilection for policymaking, not the other way around.
Wesley Davis, LEOBEN, AUSTRIA
From what I can recall, it was TIME, among many other media outlets, that promoted Obama as a saviour. Poor man! You set the bar so high that his attempts to live up to your expectations were doomed to fail. Now you are among his fiercest critics, highlighting his failures almost with a sense of glee. I am not a great Obama fan, but give the guy a chance he is only human and is trying, as best as he can, to call the right shots.
Jacq Krige, PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA
TIME says, "We owe it to the survivors ... to help build a Haiti that will never again be so vulnerable" [Feb. 1]. Does this mean other nations can persuade the handful of families and businesses that control the wealth of Haiti to begin paying appropriate taxes? Does this mean Haitian leaders will direct foreign aid to health care facilities, water and sewage systems, education, job training and proper building construction? Or after this acute crisis has passed, will Haiti return to baseline poverty? The ethics of those who run this little country must change or be coerced to change.
Seymour Levin, LOS ANGELES
Your report on Haiti was shocking, but for the wrong reason: the double-page image of a dead Haitian man who had been shot in the street. I wonder, was it really necessary, after all the heartache and destruction in Haiti, to add to the pain of this man's family and friends by publishing such a clearly identifiable picture?
Phil Jackson, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND
Blair and Iraq
It is understandable that Lance Price should use advocacy to defend Tony Blair, given that Price was a special adviser [Feb. 1]. However, it should not be forgotten that Blair told the House of Commons prior to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein could remain in power if he destroyed or relinquished his WMD. There were no WMD, as Hans Blix would have confirmed had he been given time. Why then does Blair now claim that regime change was a legitimate justification?
Neil Stuart, KESWICK, ENGLAND
Every once in a while evil shows up and has to be defeated for the benefit of mankind, no matter what the cost. Germany's Nazis were such evil. Maybe Iran will be some day. But neither Iraq nor Afghanistan qualify. Mr. Blair is wrong.
Joerg Boese, BERGEN, GERMANY