Mr. Parrish's commentary is right on [see "Mourning in America," 9/20]. I heard him this morning on KUOW and agreed with him wholeheartedly. I am an old lady and I do remember very clearly the attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Roosevelt was an intelligent, very capable leader, and whether or not he had been forewarned is irrelevant today. With regard to the attack on the twin towers in New York, and the painful aftermath with hundreds of our nation's finest losing their lives in the line of duty trying to rescue the innocently slaughtered victims, we are left with a man who seems only capable of jingoes and clich鳬 who is right at home with his arm across someone's shoulder while mouthing platitudes into a megaphone (he wasn't a cheerleader in school for nothing). He is neither intelligent nor capable.
Unfortunately, not one of our "leaders" has had the courage to step up and admit our own mistaken policies and to refuse to follow Jingo George in lockstep. We ourselves are being skyjacked. "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels."
The world is filled with desperate people whom we either exploit or terrorize, and their very real objections are ignored or unheard. Occasionally they resort to the equivalent of a two-by-four over the head to try to be heard; this time their fury turned into a holocaust consuming thousands of innocents. We must listen to these people and try to understand their needs and concerns and work with them to solve the problems. Instead of bombs we need to go into Pakistan with food and medicine and offer the Afghanis as well as the Pakistanis to rebuild their countries' bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, and mosques. Not only would it be the right thing to do, it would be the "Christian" and humane thing to do.
We have regularly used and exported terrorism, supported and maintained despots, and blocked others from overthrowing their oppressive regimes as we ourselves once did, and if we drop one bomb on Afghanistan, we will ourselves have finally become the world's most bloody terrorist.
I realize as a staff writer, Geov Parrish has a deadline commitment to meet each week, but I wonder if these time constraints don't sometimes compromise his ability to reason. He ends his column ("Mourning in America," Sept. 20) with a comparison of the WTC/Pentagon attacks with the JFK assassination, and criticizes George Bush for not closing down all offices, schools, and stores for a day of national mourning, as was done then.
Parrish must be only person in the country to compare the events of 9-11-01 to the JFK assassination. Most people compared these terrorist acts to Pearl Harbor, in which the country was instantly thrown into a state of war and emergency military preparedness. In such times, shutting down all offices, schools, and stores for a day of national mourning presents an additional risk to the country's social, economic, transportation, communication, and security concerns. The airline industry was shut down for five days, and tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs amidst tens of billions of dollars of lost revenue. The fact that Bush did not call for a national shutdown of business-as-usual helped authorities capture several more terrorists impersonating airline personnel. Bush was right in his decision to give priority to security concerns over emotional needs, and Parrish is wrong in his criticism of this decision.
The real story of hope that resulted from the tragedy of 9-11-01 was in people coming together, reaching out to help each other as members of a common family of Americans. The government didn't need to shut down the country for a day as Parrish suggests; the people helped heal themselves through countless acts of compassion, generosity and kindness. It's unfortunate that Parrish chose to focus on a small negative aspect of despair, rather than on this greater picture of hope.
John W. Cartmell
James Cowles suggests that we "adopt a policy of ruthlessly (etc., etc.)" as respects terrorists organizations and those harboring them [Letters, Sept. 20]. Good idea. As a card carrying Conservative and Rush Limbaugh listener, I can accept his premise; I do however have one minor caveat. What is his definition of "terrorist"? We have people over here bombing abortion clinics and killing abortionists. Are they terrorists? Should we "take them out"? If the U.S. does not root them out, should we bomb the Capitol? (Not a bad idea considering some of the people there).
Or maybe a terrorist is someone like those people over there who maintain that their God is the only God and their religion is the only religion, and those who don't accept that are "infidels" and must be abolished. OK, we have religions over here that claim their God is the only God and their religion is the only religion, and if we don't accept that then we are doomed to an eternity in purgatory. Same deal, just that the folks over there are a little more efficient.
Please, James, define "terrorists" for us. If we are going to disagree, we should at least agree on what we are disagreeing on.
I am writing in response to the "Ruthless" James R. Cowles letter from last week. If this country were to adopt the policies that you outlined in your shortsighted diatribe, the following events could potentially take place: (1) we bomb Florida for harboring and training terrorists (some Americans want to bomb Florida for election fraud anyway), (2) we send in armed troops to dismantle the CIA for training bin Laden in terrorist tactics, and (3) we threaten the capital cities, economic assets, political leadership, and infrastructure of Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, or any other state that harbors potential violent separatists ࠬa Timothy McVeigh.
Would innocent people die? Sure. But think of the logistical nightmares we could avoid by engaging an enemy on familiar territory.
PEACE, you asshole.
Two of your writers have been remarkably entertaining, creative, and an absolute joy to read—until quite recently. Judy, the Date Girl, and your extremely droll Pet Lady have, very unfortunately, departed from their areas of expertise to venture into the world of politics, tossing acerbic names at George W. Bush and generally sounding quite venomous.
Candidly, this was an unfortunate display of unwarranted and cranky name-calling, especially in view of the fact that Dubya got better marks than Gore in college. And, didn't Bush also fly Air Force Reserve jets while Al flunked out of divinity school? Hell, nobody flunks divinity school.
If either writer were able to point out specific areas for criticism, or maybe even offer constructive ideas rather than reverting to cheap shots, that would be fine. But their bullshit blasts have been silly, far beneath their writing abilities.
Sure, you're a lefty paper; there's no disillusionment. Yet, you might rise above that idiotic content. Incidentally, I'm not a Republican.
We're damn lefties, let us have it. Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. By submission of a letter, you agree that we may edit the letter and publish and/or license the publication of it in print, electronically, and for archival purposes. Please include name, location, and phone number.