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That awful sucking rant
Regarding Richard Shumate's Rant ("That awful sucking sound," Sept. 26): Could you be any further up the Republicans' ass? If the Clinton administration did such a terrible job with the FAA and CIA then why didn't the Bush administration immediately try to improve them? Answer: Because nobody in our government (Republican or Democrat) really ever thought that someone would be crazy enough to attack us.

It's sickening to think of all the positive and inspiring things you could be writing in the aftermath of this disaster. Instead you try to blame our country's tragedy on the Clinton administration to further your Republican agenda. Do us all a favor and try and help our country heal via your pulpit. We don't need the wedges you and your media counterparts continually try and drive between the American people. We have a small window in which to bring this country together and we can't afford to waste it. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and you are doing a good job of trying to destroy it. You disgust me.

-- Robert Johns, Marietta

Suffering through Sugg
The "Blame America" Left is a predictable bunch and given to boldly recycling their own prattle. But John Sugg's rambling piece (Fish Wrapper, Sept. 19) launches us up, up and away into the ionosphere of idiocy so fast that even the tendentious Creative Loafing should reflect for a moment. To be fair, Sugg does happen to stumble over a nugget of truth in his piece, i.e., how dangerous it is to trade our freedoms for promises of security. I'll drink to that.

But Sugg paints those who disagree with him as crude yahoos who howl for the vitrification of large tracts of sand in certain Arab countries. By last count, that's somewhere north of 90 percent of the U.S. population. Sugg then ferrets out the government/corporate cabal that is making "fair play a joke" and upsetting the delicate balance of tolerance, equality, multiculturalism, etc.

And if making a mockery of fair play wasn't bad enough in the midst of this tragedy, Sugg posits that mosques are being systematically desecrated here in the U.S. Even though Sugg can't cite a single example of this, it probably did happen somewhere -- proving that we really are an intolerant people and thus invited terrorism upon ourselves.

Sugg trots out President Carter's recent dictums to give heft to the notion that a military response would make us the criminals in this case. Yes indeed folks, the same President Carter who marked the nadir of American prestige and power in the 20th century by his feckless oversight of the Iranian Hostage situation now hectors the current administration to employ only economic and political sanctions in the hopes that someone -- anyone! -- will turn bin Laden over to us. Honestly, has there been a more risible position than President Carter's in recent memory? We have already placed onerous economic sanctions on Afghanistan years before 911. As an aside, how can you sanction an economy that doesn't exist?

As for political pressure, the Taliban was recognized by a whopping three, count 'em, three, countries before the attacks ... some plan indeed. Perhaps Sugg will offer WebVan as a stock pick in the next Creative Loafing.

Suffering the "Blame America" crowd's simpering is even worse than sitting through a preachy, high-school valedictorian speech delivered by an 18-year-old who has just discovered life's great mysteries.

-- Jay Craft, Atlanta

Ignorance isn't bliss
I just briefly wanted to applaud you for your article (Fish Wrapper, Sept. 19) concerning the terrorism issue. I and some associates of mine agreed with the statements you made and think it was a bold action on your part. At last someone in the media is trying to tackle the real issues of why other countries despise the U.S., instead of propagandizing the public with the simple-minded notion that people hate U.S. because of our "freedom."

America and Israel are not saints and the American public at large are oblivious as to what is really going on. Like you, I fear things will be "allowed" to become worse due to people's ignorance. I'm sure you have received some negative comments concerning your article but you need to know that there are people such as myself who appreciate individuals who are willing to speak out. Keep up the good work, and I enjoy your paper immensely.

-- William Allen, Stone Mountain

Ay from Canada
Mr. Sugg: From the point of view of a Canadian, you seem to have it about right (Fish Wrapper, Sept. 19). You missed a few, but what the hell, no need to quibble. Unfortunately, while the bloody act of the 11th got the world's attention, the U.S. reaction was predictable.

Now would be a great time for the U.S. to empower the World Court and use American Muslims to start trucking wheat, fertilizer, medicine, etc., into Afghanistan. As my grandmother used to say, "Honey catches more flies than vinegar." Cheaper too. Not to mention that vinegar, or fear, doesn't work anymore, as we just saw, but I'm sure that as the trucks moved inland dispensing largesse, the Taliban would retreat, along with Mr. bin Laden. Too bad that's a pipe dream.

Chaney, Rumsfelt, Rice and Powell, and that posturing ass Bush leads the parade while a nation armed to the teeth is blind with rage. We do indeed live in grim times. I wish you luck. We all need it.

-- Kenneth Peerless, British Columbia, Canada

Noxious coverage
I found the recent article about MARTA negative and a little offbeat (Best of Cityscape, Sept. 19). First off, money. $7 is not much to pay with the comparison of the $10-$15 it takes to park and the cost of gas it takes to drive an SUV (as many drive those low mileage trucks for non-hauling-commuting) or regular car to a place. Also you make no mention of the noxious fumes that will not be put into the air by riding MARTA. Yesterday morning the air where I reside reeked of carbon monoxide. YUCK!

Finally, it's quite a challenge to ride a bike to Downtown Atlanta because no-one else seems to do it. Also, if the stations smell so bad, write a letter to the mayor. He may not do something about it, but at least the word is getting out.

-- Coral Virag, McDonough

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