TO MERCURY READERS: I would like to respond to criticism of the article I wrote following the attack on the WTC ["Bad Karma," Sept. 13, by Nevdon Jamgochian].
The first letter written by Raymond C. Horn (formerly of the Clackamas County News) seems to be a hoax [Letters to the Editor, Sept. 20]. No real, competent journalist would claim to have the magical powers that "Mr. Horn" did when "he" claimed to be able to eerily predict the behavior of all eight million New Yorkers from 3000 miles away.
A less senile critique came from Andrew Stillman [Letters to the Editor, Sept. 20]. He wrote "What outrages me about the printing of this piece is its timing and the lack of emotional responsibility it takes"
I wrote what I saw. That was my experience being in downtown New York an hour after the collapse. I never claimed I saw everything going on. I would have written a different article if I thought you had no other source of information.
I am not a pep rally leader, nor should you look for emotional support from articles in weeklies. This is a terrible, terrible time--but putting a schmaltzy gloss on it is irresponsible and un-American.
Susan Sontag in the Sept 24th New Yorker writes, "The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators [regarding Sept 11] in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy."
A wide variety of opinions are circulating regarding this gruesome action, and to disregard them because of fear or because you are pissed off is not only dumb, but dangerous.
MAKE BRAINS, NOT WAR
TO THE EDITOR: The Mercury did an excellent job of covering the Osama bin Laden attack. Phil Busse provided good coverage of the dilemma facing many progressives [News, "Which Way to Turn?"], who are opposed to military retaliation, but aren't sure exactly why.
Bret Frazer's article ["Who, US?"] provided much needed background on previous US attempts at military justice: the massive and indiscriminate slaughter of the Gulf War and the various rash and misdirected attempts to strike at terrorists. Additionally, while the Left does not need to be reminded of the atrocities of Vietnam, it's well to ponder the legacy of Dresden and Hiroshima (and the more pointless Nagasaki) in that most "noble" of wars.
Not being a pacifist. I have no problem supporting a robust and decisive military response to this mass murder. But the White House must show that it is determined to accurately target the "evil-doers" and not innocent bystanders, which will mean relying less on big bombs and more on ground troops. We must thoroughly reassess our foreign policy, which for far too long has bred suffering and resentment in all corners of the world and has provided the raw material for rich egomaniacs like Osama bin Laden to advance their own evil plans.
PUNK ROCK OR FRAGGLE ROCK?
TO THE EDITOR: [Re: Dance of Days, Music, Sept 20]. Punk rock is a sad religion. Punk rock is for angry geeks who take themselves way too seriously, and that's fine. If it makes them feel more alive or a part of something, good for them. But like all religious folk, they need to realize how boring the rest of us find it. I am so tired of the endless punk rawk theological debate clogging up my favorite newspapers. So some guy pissed away years of his life and wrote a book about it: I care. Really. I'm sure people have written many fine books on Fraggle Rock or Canadian pop singers but, mercifully, you don't write full page reviews about them. I ask that you show punk rock the same mercy.
A HATEFUL LETTER FROM SOMEONE WHO HATES HATERS
TO THE EDITOR: "No Hate... " That seems to be what we hear from these so-called peace groups, such as Portland Peaceful Response. However, these groups HATE our government, HATE our troops and anything else they do not agree with. They are NOT a peaceful group just ask the police and local citizens who were attacked by these peaceful people for supporting our flag and country. They cause division in society, and they just don't have a clue. They DO NOT represent the voice of Oregon or our city.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
In the news article "Which Way to Turn?" from our September 20th issue, we stated the September 16th Peace March in downtown Portland was "brought together by the Pacific Green Party and Indymedia." While the march was certainly populated by folks from both of these fine organizations, in actuality, the march was sponsored by the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition. Sorry!--eds.