Letters for May 1, 2003

From Scarlet A to Zirwas

Homophobic Free Weekly:It's sad that in the year 2003, New Timeswould print the homophobic sensationalism of Kathy Glasgow and Lissette Corsa's April 17 article, "Murdered in Havana." The cover-page reference to the victim's "flamboyantly gay life" (whatever that means) was bad enough. But the line about homosexuality's being "the one inescapable determinant of his life and career, and finally his death" was outrageous. Being a gay man was not the one inescapable determinant in the death of George Zirwas; murder was.

Next time a wife murders her husband or a pimp murders a prostitute, consider if heterosexuality should be acknowledged as "the one inescapable determinant" in these deaths.

Marc Paige

Fort Lauderdale

Some day:In regard to Ron Mangravite's April 17 story, "Pulitzer Surprise," depend on him to write insightfully, intelligently, and intelligibly. And passionately. Many thanks!

Rafael de Acha

Coral Gables

Peacenik that I love:I would like to thank Bob Norman very much for the April 3 article regarding of the fate of Mr. Joseph K. Smith and his beliefs in peace ("An Absolute Disgrace"). It is rather pathetic how ignorant people look at life and other human beings with such a violent attitude! Aggression only feeds violence, and today we are all caught in this vicious cycle.

It is my humble opinion that Mr. Smith is a true American and a true patriot, for he only exercised his birthright by expressing himself.

Andreas Vurdubakis

via the Internet

Or stop back-seat drivin':Bob Norman's March 20 article, "War Pigs," was great. Well-written.

The "70 percent" (I don't believe this figure is true) of Americans who support war don't realize what is really taking place in Iraq. You don't see the slaughter on the evening news. The media are very careful not to show it. All you see are bombed-out buildings. Where are all the people? The victims? Soldiers and civilians? The accidental killing of all these innocent civilians in a military action is called "collateral damage." I get upset when I realize that this type of situation can be reduced to such an innocent-sounding term by the military. These are human beings. But I also feel bad for our soldiers, who will be killed or maimed for life. For what purpose?

Here's what to do: Anyone who is "for the war" should be put in a uniform and on the front lines with our soldiers. Then, 24 hours later, we'll ask them if they are still "for the war."

We all have a right to be for or against the war. But it's easy to be for the war when you're nice and safe in the United States.

John Peters

Dania Beach

Sitting in a tree, .... i-n-g:Let me first identify myself as editor of the Sentry, a weekly newspaper that circulates primarily in Northeast Broward County, though we have subscribers throughout the county.

I want to comment on two aspects of columnist Bob Norman: First, the lengthy piece he did on Pompano Beach's water scandal ("Don't Drink the Water," March 13) was top-class investigative work. I doubt it's a common journalistic practice to praise the work of other publications, but if the consequences of Norman's investigation are as we expect, the Sentry plans to nominate his exposé for a Pulitzer for 2003.

Second, however, I fully disagree with Norman's position on the war against Saddam Hussein, which some media unjustifiably call the war against Iraq. Saddam is responsible for more known deaths than any other tyrant in history, except perhaps Adolf Hitler. No one has killed more Arabs than Saddam, and we are only beginning to learn of the many horrible atrocities committed at his regime's direction.

Roughly 70 percent of the people in the United States support what Bush is doing in Iraq, and news reports bear out that this invasion has rid the world of a despot whose "leadership" cannot be justified, regardless of one's political orientation. This country ignored the threat of terrorism until 9/11 brought home the fact that oceans no longer isolate us from extremists. Isolationism is a philosophy that in modern times will prove to be suicidal.

It is easy to spew venom against a leader of the party to which one does not belong, but I think it takes a significant degree of political integrity to voice approval for the leader of the other side. I am a Democrat and have been for decades. While I have fought and will fight for Norman's (and my) right to disagree, I would give his opinion on Bush's Middle East policy more credence if he could say he is a Republican and has been for decades.

M. Ross Shulmister

USAF Retired

Pompano Beach

 
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