At what point does an organization stop being a terrorist group? That is a difficult question to answer. Armed PKK guerillas still hold out in the mountains of eastern Turkey and in northern Iraq. They appear to be an ebbing force, though, and as far as I can tell, recent skirmishes with the Turkish armed forces have been just that—strictly military affairs, without the indiscriminate attacks on noncombatants that were more common in the past.


Re Ian Urbina's "The Empire Strikes Back!" [January 29-February 4]:

Urbina has misled the public and misrepresented the events and issues surrounding the 2002 Carabao Wallow. His misrepresentations begin when he states that the Wallow is a "secretive tribal rite." I wonder how a gathering of "more than a thousand" at a hotel in downtown Washington can be secretive? It is not advertised because it is not commercial. The press is not welcomed with open arms (only a guess here) because some have the same willingness as Urbina to toss ethical considerations to the wind for a juicy storyline.

Urbina continues with his description of the Carabao Wallow as being an event "which celebrates the bloody conquest of the nascent Philippine Republic a century ago." In truth, the Wallow is an evening of camaraderie throughout which the military members of the order poke fun at one another and satirize current events. There is no explicit celebration of anything other than the common bonds that grow among people who routinely put their lives on the line for the very freedoms that allow Urbina to print untruths such as this.

It is unfortunate that, when so many issues of real substance are facing our country, you would choose to print such a misinformed article. In an effort to steer his readers into seeing the current situation with Iraq as just another act of American "imperialism," Urbina seeks to use the annual Carabao Wallow as an excuse to paint the military in broad brush strokes as hawkish, imperialistic, and closed-minded. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Karl J. Jackson
Washington, D.C.


The photograph on last week's Voice Choices cover should have been credited to Kevin Irby.

In Joy Press's story "Bards Not Bombs in NYC" [February 19-25], poet Sara Nelson was misidentified as Sara Wallace.

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