Letters: July 21, 2009
Caught by the tail
Since the late 1990s, published statements from the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski and the neocon think-tank Project for a New American Century have attested to the conviction within U.S. elites that their goal of global military hegemony would not enjoy public support unless that public were to perceive a vast external threat such as had been lacking since the end of the Cold War. In turn, the reaction in the July 15 "Voice Mail" to Graham Rayman's article 'Rat Trap' [July 8–15] on the informant in the Bronx terror plot attests to just how effective practices toward this end have been. So uncritically accepting are these respondents to the common media portrayal of such defendants as "part of the worldwide Islamist tentacles of tyranny" that they seem to have reacted to the article without actually even reading it. Reviewing case transcripts, Rayman clearly shows how completely "Malik," the FBI's informant, distorted the views toward the U.S. and terrorism attributed to his targets in the previous case in Albany in 2004. He thus sheds much-needed light on a matter that is apparent in these and most every other headline-grabbing terror case of recent memory, but typically downplayed in media coverage—namely, the role of law enforcement and/or intelligence services in creating such incidents, for purposes that have nothing to do with protecting us. In short, notwithstanding some of the shrill reactions to Rayman's piece, it isn't about "sympathy" for the Newburgh 4, or anyone else; it's simply about the truth.
To "Erik" [Voice Mail, July 8]: I don't call you indifferent—just ignorant and irrelevant. If you did your research, you'd know Michael was popular way before you and your "demographic" jumped on the Thriller bandwagon. He was touring since he was 9 years old and had several #1 Billboard hits at 11 years old. Do you know what it's like to grow up in the spotlight for 40 years, with the world watching? Nope. You'll never know. Michael was giving many young black men and women scholarships; he was healing Africa way before "Live Aid," or before Madonna and Angelina Jolie started their "adopt black babies" trend. He cared for thousands of sick and dying children, and he visited hospitals and helped AIDS patients. He was bigger than art and life. Leaders of nations and dignitaries acknowledged him and his work. He had a light surrounding him. And only those who are human (with human emotions) could sense this. So get your facts straight.
No vote for Pedro
Interesting that all the negative articles about our two fickle pinchi par de pendejos Senators ['Pedro Espada Plays Moneyball,' Tom Robbins, July 15–22] has stopped, now that they have returned to the gang of thugs.
I cannot believe this douche is still in office. Are the people of the Bronx that dim-witted? Color me glad that I am a Manhattanite at heart, and will not step foot into his besieged district until he's out on his ass.
Against the cupcake
Re Sarah DiGregorio's 'The Curse of the Cupcake' [July 15–22]: I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this piece. I laughed out loud at your husband's quote and your reaction. I am not a cupcake person—I'm a guy, so maybe that is why. I don't need them or swear an oath to one. I did have family in the city one day, and my 17-year-old niece wanted to go to the "Sex and the City cupcake place." My sister saved us all that trip by claiming she heard that they were filming Gossip Girl in the park. We played Ultimate Frisbee while the niece looked for nonexistent film crews. And we all got ice cream in the end.
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