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Letters

9/11 . . .

DEAR EDITOR:

Congratulations on your “9/11” issue [September 14–20]. There is hope for American journalism after all. I had almost totally despaired in the face of the shills masquerading in the media as reporters and writers — forget thinkers. The prognosis is bleak, but what the hell, have fun fighting the good fight.

—Frank Eng
Stateline, Nevada

 

DEAR EDITOR:

In the most terrifying week of my 23 years, I finally found some comfort in your coverage of the disaster in New York and Washington. There is a voice of reason outside my television set, beyond my city newspapers. Marc Cooper, John Powers and Harold Meyerson were the voices I desperately needed to hear — not the buffoons and bullies on TV making threats, as George W. put it, against “those folks.”

The hatred for the United States that exists worldwide did not happen overnight. It was carefully cultivated, for years, by our government, our foreign policy and our brand of corporate democracy. The United States has had a direct hand in creating the situations that led to the hate, resentment and evil that killed so many people this week. If we can’t admit this and stop it, then the terrorist acts that occurred on Tuesday are just the beginning.

Please continue to print an alternative view of these events and what is now unfolding. Those of us who don’t believe everything television news and corporate newspapers tell us desperately need to hear something different.

—Abby Figueroa
Gardena

 

DEAR EDITOR:

By and large, your writers missed the obvious. President Bush’s “We’re a target because we’re a beacon of freedom” provides greater insight into the attackers’ real motives than the feeble theories of provocation offered up by Powers, Cooper, Rappleye, et al. Promotion of democracy, a culture of individual expression, dedication to freedom of exchange. It isn’t America’s actions so much as America’s nature — just as it isn’t Israel’s actions, but Israel’s existence — that embitters hijackers and their handlers. Only the alteration of America, and the end of Israel, will appease them.

—Billy Wisse
Los Angeles

 

DEAR EDITOR:

After seeing the picture of President Bush with the caption “In over his head,” I have decided to stop reading your paper. What a great response to the nation’s tragedy. What is wrong with you people?

—Gil Roscoe
Valley Village

 

DEAR EDITOR:

John Powers’ “Apocalypse, Tuesday” was outstanding. His presentation of the issues at hand was handled with tact and wisdom. We are tired of sugarcoated regurgitation. We want answers, not posturing. Again, I thank you for printing this article.

—Derrick Maddox
San Diego

 

DEAR EDITOR:

While complaining of the media culture’s need to make everything “feel safely formatted,” John Powers managed to do the same. Instead of actual reflection, he fell into a knee-jerk partisan whining that was entirely out of place under the circumstances. The complaints about President Bush and Newt Gingrich were so pathetically predictable that the article looked as though it had been written from a template Powers had stored in his computer to respond to any international incident. The assertion that the terrorist attacks had something to do with Bush’s alleged arrogance toward other countries indicates Powers’ extreme ignorance of global politics. It is also sadly indicative of the kind of political myopia that will hopefully dissipate in light of this horror. This attack was planned long before the current administration came into power.

Wake up, John. This is much bigger than reflexive partisan bickering, which almost everyone in America but you seemed to have grasped immediately.

—Stephen Kruiser
Los Angeles

 

DEAR EDITOR:

Re: John Powers’ claims that the president’s flights around the country were cowardly. I sincerely hope he made those misguided statements before he learned about the very real and credible threats to both Air Force One and the White House on that chaotic day. Earlier in the week, William Safire, in The New York Times, made the same misinformed presumption that Powers did; once the truth came out, however, he ate his words in the same public forum he had used to question Bush’s actions and judgments. Will Powers have the guts to do the same?

—Michael Nutt
Claremont

 

DEAR EDITOR:

John Powers’ “Apocalypse, Tuesday” was the best expression of my own feelings yet. Congratulations to Mr. Powers for his insight and honesty. I only hope that we can find a place in our hearts to understand that we are all human â and all in pain, including George Bush and Osama bin Laden. One must try not to judge how another expresses despair.

I pray for the enlightenment of all beings.

—Michele Landry Holt
Austin, Texas

 

DEAR EDITOR:

Re: “Start of History.” As a kind of left-wing Jerry Falwell, Marc Cooper clings to the old-time religion, preaching fire and brimstone over our foreign policy and our presumed culpability in the terrorist carnage. America must be held accountable as an agent in the 9/11 bloodletting, Cooper declares. America must take responsibility for the crashed jetliners, the mangled office towers and the thousands who perished Tuesday morning.

Beware the wages of spin, Cooper chides us, spouting inanities as if they were epiphanies.

—Miles Beller
Los Angeles

 

DEAR EDITOR:

Sad to see that the L.A. Weekly has now extended its equal-opportunity hiring policy to the morally handicapped. In “Brazil 911,” Dave Shulman tells how some bad people from a fundamentalist religious group in Afghanistan have attacked us because, to them, we are the bad people. Then he notes how President Bush also believes in God and, finally, that belief in God is itself a “kind of arrogance.” Finally, he asks whether anyone “recall[s] the last time anyone was terrorized by agnostic fundamentalists.” Well, as a religious Catholic, I lump the murders on Tuesday — along with the actions of all terrorists — along with the activities of all the agnostic or atheist fundamentalists who have terrorized civilization: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong (along with the current Chinese rulers), just to name a few.

Shulman’s condescending tone reflects a void in his soul. Rather than lie about, cry with his cat and watch TV in these days of heartbreak, why doesn’t he look for some strength in a church, mosque or synagogue?

—Gregory A. Knapp
Tujunga

 

DEAR EDITOR:

The Soviet purges, the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, the Killing Fields . . . Just because people don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that they aren’t arrogant enough to want to play god.

—Mike Harris
Venice

 

DEAR EDITOR:

“The twin towers of the World Trade Center,” writes Jonathan Gold, “which normally dominate this view, were reduced to only one, burning merrily as a Christmas candle.” Beg pardon? Is Charles Manson your new copyeditor?

—Benjamin Weissman
Los Angeles

 

. . . AND OTHER MATTERS

DEAR EDITOR:

I recently read the article by Rich Kane [“Springboard for Hitler,” September 7–13] about the white-power ignorance in Anaheim. I just want to clarify that although one of the members of the band Youngland used to be in a psychobilly band and carries that influence into his current band, rockabilly and psychobilly have nothing to do with white supremacy. Mr. Kane should be more cautious in the future and label a band that spews out racist ignorance for what it is, namely a white-power band, regardless of the particular sound it has.

—Steve Terranova
Los Angeles