By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Bravo to Michael Kamber and The Village Voicefor framing the Daniel Pearl story in its obvious context ["The Chosen One," March 5]. Call it a reflexive reaction drummed into me by my Holocaust-surviving parents, but when I heard that a reporter with a name like Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by an Islamic fundamentalist group in Pakistan, I immediately started reciting the kaddish. It seems that lack of religious observance didn't save Daniel from Jaish-e-Mohammed, just as Hitler and his henchmen didn't take pains to ask their victims if they had made the morning minyan.
Bottom line: Whether you like it or not, being an American might get you kidnapped in that part of the world, but being a Jew will get you slaughtered. The whitewash by government and the mainstream media is nothing more than a Wolf Blitzer masquerading in sheep's clothing.
I'd like to express my appreciation to Michael Kamber for his take on the murder of Daniel Pearl. It's baffling and disturbing to me that the mainstream media are basically ignoring the blatant anti-Semitism involved in Pearl's kidnapping and killing. I hope that Kamber's article reaches as wide a readership as possible.
"The Chosen One" by Michael Kamber was one of the most brutally straight articles I've seen from the Voice in quite a while. I appreciate its honesty and Kamber's ability to pinpoint the unquestionably anti-Semitic angle of the murder of Daniel Pearl and the pervasiveness of that sentiment in that area of the world: one that, as Kamber notes, has been downplayed throughout this entire ordeal. Thank you.
I was horrified to read Cynthia Cotts's Press Clips column in which she allowed that "maybe in a twisted way" Jerry Falwell "was right" when he suggested that terrorists attacked the United States because "we're" gay ["Ten Questions the Media Can't Answer," February 26]. Cotts then cited a Times of London article, which argued that one result of defeating the Taliban had been the restoration of "gay rights" in Kandahar.
Ms. Cotts would have done well to distinguish pedophilia from homosexuality. Most homosexuals do not want to have sex with underage boys. Those who do are pedophiles, just as men who have sex with underage girls are pedophiles. Equating homosexuality with pedophilia is a hateful, bigoted message. Get it?
THE ENVELOPE PLEASE
I liked Cynthia Cotts's list of "Ten Questions the Media Can't Answer," but she missed one: Where did the anthrax come from? For some time we were hearing that it didn't come from Iraq, and may have come from laboratories within the United States. Now there is speculation in the press that in fact the source was a U.S. government lab. It's imperative that the authorities pursue this just as vigorously as they pursue the sources of foreign terrorism.
In Cynthia Cotts's February 26 Press Clips column, she asks the question "How Many Civilians Have We Killed in Afghanistan?" Cotts then states that "no one is officially keeping track." I defy Ms. Cotts to find anyone who will give her a definitive answer. In my opinion, even hinting that there is such a thing as an "official" tally of civilian deaths in Afghanistan is grossly misleading. No such thing exists.
When it comes to accounting for civilian deaths in a country impoverished by decades of war, disease, and poverty, where the burial of innocents frequently happens within hours of their tragic passing, and where reporters from around the world continue to be threatened not only by the reigning lawlessness beyond Kabul, but by the U.S. military as well, in such a country there will never be an "official" tally of civilian deaths. To wish for one is understandable. To wait for one is naive. At best, we can only hope to rely on the painstaking reporting of incidents by eyewitnesses, foreign press who are investigating these incidents, and the foreign aid community, who are witnesses to the destruction of this country.
Laura J. Beatty
San Francisco, California
BELLS AREN'T RINGING
I find it disappointing that Michael Feingold has written not so much a review as a cheap and unnecessary attack against the Roundabout Theatre ["What Price Spirituality?" February 26]. First, while it's true that the Roundabout does feature many productions with well-known film actors, most of these actors started their careers in the theater. Also, An Almost Holy Picture was a last-minute replacement for Assassinsafter the 9-11 attacks. As a Broadway theater producer, I know that it is extremely difficult to mount a major replacement production in such a short time. And Mr. Feingold's comparisons of $65 ticket purchasers to the victims of Enron were pitiful and in poor taste.
Perhaps next time Mr. Feingold might like to put up several hundred thousand dollars and help bail out a production like this one, but he is probably too busy dealing with his accountant on his 1099 forms from Enron. Hope he made out OK.
James L. Simon
I found Michael Feingold's article "What Price Spirituality?" to be right on in many ways. I'm an employee of the Roundabout Theatre and I'm so glad that they are finally being exposed. They are only out for the money; all interest in producing good or even mediocre theater is lost. I've often wondered, as have many of their employees, how the Roundabout gets away with as much as they do!