I could not agree more with Joshuah Bearman’s article “George, Meet George” [October 19–25] as regards our country’s past and present need for a new Marshall Plan to be implemented within Afghanistan in the wake of our present military engagement. It is often overlooked that it was Afghanistan that fought the former Soviet Union for 10 years in what was to be the last great war in the interests of stemming the encroaching communist tide. The Afghanis were left in ruins while, ironically enough, we gave the old Marshall Plan handshake to help out the collapsing former Soviet Union.

—Todd Work
Santa Monica



In the hope that Martín Hernández (“New World Disorder: You’ve Got Hate Mail,” October 26–November 1) understands that it is impossible to reason with the kinds of minds that would plan and execute the atrocities committed on September 11, I’d like to congratulate him on being free and able to speak out at all. He is protected by a system, albeit imperfect, that provides him with certain guarantees that simply don’t function in other countries. We shouldn’t forget how much our freedom cost us at Gettysburg, Iwo Jima and throughout the bloody history of our struggle for civil rights.

I’m hoping that Mr. Hernández understands that despite the fact that as a nation our hands are not clean, we have a right and a duty to defend ourselves. Sixty years after 1941, our world is again threatened by fascism. In the past, the war on fascism united the left, the right and those who just wanted to survive. Again, our very survival is at stake, and it is now the first item on any reasonable agenda. That is why so many undocumented Latinos (“tired, hungry and poor”) are willing to don the uniform of our military. They really don’t admire Fidel Castro, or care much for what the old caudillo has to say.

—Max Rodriguez
Allen Park, Michigan



In his interview with David Lynch [“Getting Lost Is Beautiful,” October 19–25], John Powers refers to a quote attributed to the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. When K.S. was asked his observations on the September 11 attacks, he referred to them as a work of the devil. In his recent works, in which the devil is known as Lucifer, Stockhausen has received critical acclaim for sending a string quartet up in four separate helicopters and having the group jam with the helicopter sounds. On this scale of things, he saw, compositionally, the terrorist attacks as the devil’s artwork. The German newspaper reporter who deleted the reference to the devil, and was subsequently quoted by press the world over, has lacerated the reputation of a very positive human being. Since the misprint wreaked its havoc on Stockhausen’s credibility, the German government has publicly exonerated him and expressed support for the true meaning of his statement. I wrote K.S. at his Web site and suggested that he sue for damages. Unfortunately, he’s too much of a fucking pacifist to even consider such a reprisal.

It’s too bad that the voices of the press don’t do their homework enough to recognize the difference between fact and journalistic terrorism.

—Bruce Friedman
El Camino Village



I just heard John Powers, on the radio program Fresh Air, claim that Mulholland Drive makes sense at the end, that all the pieces fit together. I saw it last week in Chicago and would love to know how the pieces fit together. None of the other critical pieces that I have read made the claim about it making sense.

I did love the movie, and agree with him about Naomi Watts’ amazing acting.

—Ron Sherman
Chicago, Illinois

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ron Sherman is not the only reader who’s written to dispute John Powers’ (and Manohla Dargis’) contention that Mulholland Drive makes sense. The Weekly hereby invites any and all self-styled film hermeneuticians to submit their interpretations of the new David Lynch movie to letters@laweekly.com. We’ll publish excerpts in an upcoming issue. And just imagine the satisfaction you’ll take in helping put Mr. Sherman’s — and Mr. Samuels’ and Mr. Castlefort’s — doubts to rest.



Re: Steven Mikulan’s “New World Disorder: Conspiracies R Us” [October 19–25]. Ali A. Mohamed was, by Egyptian standards at least, a shrink. Transcripts of his Egyptian courses in the various aspects of psychology were inserted into his U.S. Army personnel records. He was also a major in the Egyptian army. If you ever need them — to settle a bar bet or something — I have copies of much of his Army personnel file.

—Don McLean
Longmont, Colorado

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