Letter of the Week
The Undead

Evan Wright did a great job of capturing the ambivalence of marines in combat in "Dead Check in Falluja" [November 24–30]. I served seven years as an M-60 machine gunner, and his article is fair and balanced, to use a phrase.

However, I believe that he should have stated more explicitly that the marines in Falluja were especially on guard when checking dead and wounded Iraqis because of several instances of insurgents pretending to surrender, pretending to be dead, etc., and then suddenly becoming very deadly. The unit the marine rifleman belonged to had lost a marine only the day before to an Iraqi pretending to be dead.

It's a cliché that war is hell, but until someone has experienced the smoke, confusion, noise, and yes, fear of it (as Mr. Wright has), he should be careful in making snap judgments about what that marine in Falluja did.

Tom Neven
Colorado Springs, Colorado

The horror

Evan Wright's "Dead-Check in Falluja" [November 24–30] is the most powerful piece about the horror of war I have ever read. When young men and women turn 18, register with Selective Service, and become eligible voters, they should have to read and sign a copy. Those who don't truly realize the horrors will always be too quick to vote for those candidates who would lead our nation into them.

Wade Nelson
Durango, Colorado

Snuff said

Evan Wright says that the administration "has given us a war in which the airing of snuff films on national TV has become routine."

Snuff films don't just "become routine" any more than snuff articles like yours "become routine." Wright chooses to write them, and the Voice chooses to print them, in order to make money. CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN show their snuff films for the same reason.

Wars are the same as they've always been: evil. It's snuff papers like the Voice and snuff networks like CBS that are new.

Mike Patton
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In cold blood

I am stunned by Wright's inability to separate right from wrong. If you see people murdering children in cold blood, shouldn't you risk your petty life to stop them? Wright exposes a disgusting aspect of the American ethos: As long as it isn't me, I'm OK with it.

One can only wish Wright had experienced some friendly fire, or even better, fire from people defending their homeland. Wright demonstrates his cowardice with every pen stroke of his essay.

Brock Bevan
Washington, D.C.

Not OK

As an Oklahoman and thus a resident of a flyover red state, I felt unfairly targeted by Ward Sutton's post-election 'toon "Gap-Toothed, Missing Link Troglodytes Delighted by Presidential Election Outcome" [November 24–30]. I love Sutton Impact and read it every time there's a new one, but I think this is a rare lapse in judgment. I realize there must be a great deal of blue-state resentment toward those living in the red states, but I urge Sutton to be more careful about how he characterizes Middle America.

Though I didn't vote with the majority of Oklahomans, our votes are just as valid as those of New Yorkers. I'm not happy about Bush's re-election either, but stereotyping isn't the way to go if liberals want more red-staters to look at things differently.

Jeff Postelwait
Stillwater, Oklahoma

Don't bother me

What's with all the letters to the Voice from right-wing assholes crowing over Bush's victory? Nearly half the country opposed him—the intelligent half—and practically the entire world was appalled by the victory of this sanctimonious, mendacious, war-mongering disaster. But yes, this time he was elected, not selected. So, letter-writing right-wing assholes, enjoy your victory. And now leave the rest of us alone.

George De Stefano
Long Island City

Black, white—and Green

I am confused by Greg Tate's article on Eminem ["White Freedom," November 17–23]. Who is to blame: pop culture, white people, or disenfranchised black people? You write as if there are no powerful black figures in the music industry. Do they have anything to say?

My greatest confusion arises out of your comments about him being the greatest rapper of all time. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. It is not for me to decide. My question: If he really is the greatest rapper of all time, no questions asked, why is race the issue? From your writing, I sense an inability to admit the possibility that "black music" could be improved on by a white man.

Daniel Green
Walnut Creek, California

Greg Tate replies: Our music needs to be improved upon by a white man? Whoa, horsey. Sounds like somebody's racial issue, if not somebody's racial hangup, to me. Not to mention an oxymoron. But show me the white man who'll dare say he's "improved" upon the perfectly personal art (and the synapses) of a Coltrane, a Hendrix, a Wonder, a Chaka, a Fela, a Marley, a P.E., a Biggie, et al., and I'll show you a man cruising for a critical beatdown. Not to mention one who thinks music is football.

Jazz you like it

Aurora Flores's "The Day the Clave Stopped" [November 17–23] contains provocative information, but unfortunately, she has done a disservice to jazz-formatted WBGO-FM by burying the news that it has increased the amount of Latin jazz music it programs daily.

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