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Editor's Message

A Time for Talk and...Action

The Muslim world erupts in reaction to the juvenile provocations of a reactionary Danish newspaper. The Vice President fills a hunting partner full of buckshot and then makes Harry take the fall. The Democrats take a hard line on the United Arab Emirates but have no position on the war in Iraq. It is indeed a cartoonish moment in world affairs.

But the problem is that these cartoons ain’t funny. A full-blown civil war is erupting in Iraq but, other than John Murtha, nobody has any idea how to end the bloodbath. What’s even more pathetic is that neither our political leaders nor our opinion-makers even appear to be searching for a solution. All they manage to say is that “we can’t lose Iraq,” which is a flawed position from the get-go, since it was never “our” nation to begin with.

All supporters of the war—from the eager imperialists to the humanitarian interventionists—have some serious explaining to do. And all of us who opposed the war from the outset have some serious work to keep on doing. A serious debate leading to a clear exit strategy is the very least we can do for both the rest of the world, and especially ourselves. After all, the blood of countless Iraqi civilians, and of American soldiers, is on all of our hands.

We have more masthead changes to report, this time in our Art section. Our longtime Art Editor, Daniel Baird, whose sparkling insights and tireless commitment helped put the Rail on the map in the art world, has moved on to become the Arts and Literature editor of The Walrus, an excellent Canadian magazine of ideas based in Toronto. And Megan Heuer, our extremely astute and equally dedicated Managing Art Editor, has decided to devote more time to her graduate work in art history. We’re indebted to both for their outstanding input.

The good news is that John Yau, a distinguished man of letters and frequent contributor to the Rail, is our new Art Editor. We’re also pleased that the talented Thomas Micchelli and Ben La Rocco are now managing our Art section.


Theodore Hamm


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2006

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