By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Send letters to the editor to:L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.
HIS HOLINESS, MARC I
Re: “Killer Bob” [“City Limits,” May 18–24]. How convenient it must be for Marc B. Haefele to sit in his office and castigate a guy who lost a leg in combat and sprinkle holy water on those who ran from it. Like Kerrey and 100,000 other veterans, I too have slaughtered unarmed people, and though sad and full of shame, have kept my medals and silence for a lot longer than Kerrey. But now that our dirty little secret is out, I come to Mr. Haefele, hat in hand and on bended knee, ready to kiss his ring finger and ask that he pass judgment on my case.
It all happened in March 1945, when elements of the 8th Air Force were sent to bomb the Munich rail yards. I was a B-17 pilot in the “Bloody Hundredth” bomb group, and by the time we arrived over the target the Germans had had time to obscure it with a smoke screen. Rather than chance hitting the nearby Dachau prison camp, we randomly elected to bomb the city center. I assume that my 12 500-pound bombs killed or maimed a hell of a lot more than 13 women and children.
I wish it were possible to convey to you how heavily my cold-blooded decision has weighed on my mind for these many years, but I assure you that time hasn’t dimmed it one iota. Yet, I remain confused and look to you for relief. Does the fact that I was 31,000 feet away from my victims absolve me of wrongdoing? On the other hand, suppose we had aimed at the yards but hit the prisoners? Would that pass Mr. Haefele’s litmus test? Or perhaps he would feel better if I had refused to drop the bombs and run. I await his decision. Shall I keep the medals or throw them in the trash?
Slander us if you will, Mr. Haefele, but bear in mind what Marshal Ney once said: “War is murder to the sound of bugles.” Every soldier knows this, but if you can’t live with it, then don’t send us. Or at the very least, tell us your tidy rules of engagement before we go, not 40 or 50 years later.
Marina del Rey
Marc B. Haefele’s article needs to be honored for its truth, honesty, bite and courage.
I read Bill Bradley’s “Darkness at Noon” [May 25–31] on the Internet. There seems to be a message in there somewhere. I’m sitting here in beautiful Houston, Texas, where the air is clear and the lights are on. We have Republican oil men running our state and influencing our policies, while you have environmentalist, fruitcake Democrats. You may not see the cause-and-effect relationship in all of this now, but I’m betting that you will before this long, hot summer is over.
I lived in California for 14 years, from 1978 to 1992, and it would appear that not much has changed. You are still letting the liberal, socialist Dems buy your votes with their something-for-nothing rhetoric and victim-mentality crap. Remember what Pogo Possum said: “We have met the enemy, and it is us.” Don’t blame George W. Bush and the Texas power-generating companies for your problems. You screwed up, and now you must pay for your failure to plan for the future. No new power plants in the last 12 years — give me a break!
Just remember, sweating is the body’s way of keeping you cool. And enjoy the summer!
WHAT A (RACE) CARD!
When is the L.A. Weekly going to realize that giving Lalo Alcaraz space every week to spew racial hatred is the very opposite of “progressive”? His recent trashing of Jim Hahn in La Cucaracha [May 18–24] was despicable and beneath your paper’s standards. Hahn is now some sort of bigot? Even Robert Scheer, an ardent Villaraigosa supporter, celebrated how refreshingly devoid of race baiting and attempts to divide people by color the mayoral race was, and applauded the fact that the two candidates were neck and neck in an extremely diverse city. Could it be that our fair citizens are looking at ideas and not skin color? The only one I’ve seen get racist so far has been Lalo. In the spirit of equity, the Weekly should at least give equal space to skinhead and Nation of Islam cartoonists.
WE REMEMBER (SIGH), WE REMEMBER
I was glad to read F.X. Feeney’s recommendation of the Lon Chaney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Film Special Events, May 25–31]. Any interest in and celebration of silent films is appreciated by those of us who have found this all-but-vanished art form a vibrant and viable way to tell a tale on film. Unfortunately, Feeney states, “Like Keaton, he [Chaney] was an athlete committed to doing his own stunts. That’s really him scuttling so crazily up that bell tower.”
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