HEY READERS! You virtually carpet-bombed us this week with your opinions about Christopher Frizzelle's article "Stop Trying to Save My Brother" [March 27]. In the story, Chris asks protesters to "shut the fuck up" about "supporting the troops" and let his brother Patrick and his military brethren finish the job they've started in Iraq. What follows is just a smidge of the wildly varied letters we received.--Ed.


TO THE MERCURY: Many in the US military are there because they are violent people; I exclude the large numbers who join the military largely because of the poor economy ("poverty draft"). Frizzelle's brother apparently falls in the first category.

His main point, that if we support the troops we should support the war, is therefore partially correct. The problem is he draws the wrong conclusion. The correct conclusion is that if we oppose the war, we should not support the troops. I do, and I don't.



TO THE EDITOR: Christopher, thank you for speaking out against this "Support the Troops, Bring Them Home" nonsense. My only quibble is with the assumption that the peace movement "will gain momentum as casualties pile up." Maybe. But most of the 70% of Americans who support this war know that what we are accomplishing will come at a price. Those of us who have been there know the price well.

Asher Abrams

1st Light Armored Infantry Battalion, 1st Marine Division 1989-1993


TO THE EDITOR: Anyone--military or not--who knows they're doing the right thing doesn't need the support of strangers to feel good about what they're doing. Our military can follow the lead of their main man George W. After the demise of the election process, he truly, literally, doesn't need the support of anyone, does he?

As my father, himself a retired navy man of thirty years' service, says, "If you need support, get a jockstrap."

Hallie Kendall


TO THE EDITOR: Do you think Bush gives a shit about 23-year-old Patrick Frizzelle? Please take a walk around the Vietnam Memorial in Forest Park and read all the names of the (mostly) teenage boys who were sacrificed to "fight communism" in Southeast Asia.

Just as George W. Bush somehow missed out on military service in Vietnam, his daughters will not fight the War of Terror. As with every war, the few at the top will issue orders from the safety of their bunkers, and the children of the masses will be sacrificed as cannon fodder.

The Vietnam War ended not because of protesters' demands, but because American soldiers, recognizing that the war was screwing them over just as much as the "enemy," eventually refused to fight. We are each responsible for our choices at this time--to blindly cooperate in the name of "doing our jobs" or to oppose and resist the Bush Gang's fascist, earth-destroying agenda.

Emily Trinkaus


DEAR CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE: You tell us that if we support our troops, we need to let them do their job. I heartily agree. You haven't got a clue what that job is apparently. Let me fill you in.

At MEPS your brother took an oath to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. "Defend" is the key word here. To be an enemy in the active sense requires Iraq to declare war on us (which they have not done) or to make an unprovoked attack. (They have made attacks on our aircraft that violated their airspace to enforce a no-fly zone that violates international law.)

Our constitution forbids our troops to be used to provoke war. They may only be used to defend our allies if we have a mutual defense treaty. Iraq has not made an unprovoked attack on Great Britain either. Now our troops are violating their oath of service, their constitution, and international law. In that light, I say "Support our troops: bring them home. Let them do their job: DEFEND us and our allies, not attack others illegally." Now, from one conservative to another: YOU shut the fuck up until you grow out of your diapers and can hold an intelligent and informed conversation with other adults.

Lorcan MhicEoghan


TO THE EDITOR: It may be that to truly support the troops one should support their choices. However, Frizzelle also needs to realize that although his brother is there by choice, we worry for his well-being and so support him in that way. A racecar driver chooses to race, but his wife worries for his health and wants him to stop--she supports him, not his reckless behavior.

He also makes a contradictory claim that it is too late for America to extricate itself from this war and so should accept it. It is our responsibility to try to change things. His plea to not "make this harder than it has to be" is like the rapist explaining to their victim not to struggle because either way the rape will occur.

Christopher Frizzelle needs to decide whether he should work for the peace he is so anxious for, or follow his rhetoric of acquiescence. Either way, it is unfortunate that he has told "liberal pussies" to "shut the fuck up." This "argument" is both misogynistic and undemocratic. If he wants to be treated with respect by liberals, then he should treat them with the same respect.



TO THE EDITOR: For those who say, "We mustn't fight in Iraq because innocent civilians will die!" the relevant fact is that probably even more innocent civilians will die if Saddam Hussein stays in power. So far, 400,000 children have died of starvation under Saddam, even while an "oil for food" program was in effect. The stark fact is that while children were starving, Saddam was building palaces, and converting the food that came into his country--intended for innocent Iraqis--and diverting it to his own wealth, or using it to enhance his own prestige.

Saddam Hussein came to power essentially in a bloodbath where his political opponents were simply taken out back and shot. He has engaged in genocidal activities against the Kurds, and has overseen the mass murder of civilians in territories where dissent and opposition was growing.

If you want to know what Iraqis really think, ask a free Iraqi living in the United States or the UK, where they can speak free of reprisal. What you will hear from them is not condemnation of our entry into Iraq, but prayers for its success.

Tom Hunscher


TO THE EDITOR: I say FUCK THE TROOPS. They signed up, they wanted to be a piece of a death machine, and they will get what they asked for. The Bush/Blair/Sharon Oil Mafia cares not a bit for the lives of the soldiers, and they will die thusly. Now, I've heard quite a few people boo-hoo for the soldiers because they signed up for the college money and didn't know they would have to fight and die. Well, tough shit. College is a sham that they never had to go to in the first place. Look at this as another form of Darwinism. If you're too stupid to realize that joining the army reserves means you might have to one day fight in a war, then your dumb ass deserves to die.

Oh yeah, and fuck the cops, too. I hope someone goes September 11th on their asses.

The Pharaoh


DEAR MERCURY: Frizzelle's citation of "70% of Americans believe this needs to be done" is perhaps revelatory of his willing subordination to those in power. Polls, for what they are worth, also show that nearly half of America believes Iraq was behind the bombings of September 11, despite not a shard of evidence. And it's because the Bush Administration keeps stating it as truth, along with many other fabrications which engender fear and entangle people in these lies. They have taken a page out of Nazi propaganda: if you keep lying and keep people afraid, you can get them to believe anything.

I also question Frizzelle's assertion that most people who join the military "want to fight wars." Many people who join the military do so because they must choose between doing so and starving. Last I checked very few Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld relatives were lining up, nor were too many children of Fortune 500 CEOs.

Frizzelle's article comes from the same spring that has brought forth numerous apologetics for totalitarianism in the past: you must obey those above you, and if you do not, you are a traitor. He can "disdain" President Bush all he wants, but when it comes time to line up, Frizzelle is a willing commissar.

Peter Shaw


DEAR MERCURY: First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on the publishing of Christopher Frizzelle's article. I think the support of free speech is encouraging, considering the behavior of mass media. Secondly, I'd like to embrace my own freedom of speech by pointing out that Christopher Dildo-For-Brains Frizzelle is a fucking idiot! He assumes that all peace activists are calling for a mass exeunt from Iraq, and that our motivation is the suffering of his anti-"Liberal Pussy" soldiers, when really it's because WAR FUCKING SUCKS WHEN YOU'RE BEING BOMBED!

My mother lived through a war--I mean IN a war. It's not as easily brush off-able as "70 percent of Americans believe this needs to be done," and I certainly don't believe Iraqi civilians want this to be done. Would you, Dildo-For-Brains, want, need, or like to be bombed to bloody bits? Obviously you have no fucking clue what "war" really means. You just have a sick, judgmental, ignorant worldview. I hope your next life is in a Third World country.

Oh, and by the way, you may assume smelly hippie peaceniks like me care about your brother's welfare but I can assure you I don't give a flying fuck about it. For all I care he can learn a lesson and have his button-pushing, cruise-missile-sending aircraft carrier tip over into the sea.

Violet Michel-Delving


Dear Portland-based members of the U.S. Armed Forces: As members of the Portland City Council, we would like to express our whole-hearted support as you bravely set out to serve in the United States Military. We are aware that the President has activated and deployed numerous men and women of the Armed Forces from Portland and Oregon to assignments and missions related to the ongoing global war on terror and the current crisis in Iraq.

Regardless of our own personal views of the impending war with Iraq, the Portland City Council and the citizens of Portland have the deepest respect and concern for those service men and women who are willing to risk their lives to protect the United States of America.

The residents of this community have a deep awareness and appreciation for the unique personal pressures facing friends, families, and loved ones when military personnel are activated.

In the days to come, we want you to know that our thoughts and prayers will be with you, the members of our armed forces who will be called into action, and your families.

The Portland City Council wishes you a safe and swift return from harm's way.

With warm regards,

Vera Katz, Mayor; Jim Francesconi, Commissioner; Randy Leonard, Commissioner; Dan Saltzman, Commissioner; Erik Sten, Commissioner

CONGRATULATIONS TO VERA, JIM, RANDY, DAN, AND ERIK for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" No one does a better job of hiding their opinions to protect their careers like these ass-kissers, so they'll all receive two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater. Let's hope when voting time rolls around they get what they really deserve.