"I live in 'that other America' and treasure it"
A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.
Other America answers
It takes a visitor to raise awareness of our hidden potential
Editor, The Times:
I live in "that other America" and treasure it. If only this America could/would take the lead and hold the other in check. Author Brahim Takheroubte calls it, correctly, "simple and fragile, like a rose in summer."
As a troubled citizen of the United States, I thank you for a wonderful 231st birthday tribute to the America I know and love. I was sobbing by the time I reached the end to see it so recognized by a visiting foreigner, knowing how many here living it don't even "see" it, much less value it. What a tribute to America in spite of everything!
Buried in the Snohomish Voices was possibly an explanation of why there is "that other America," in the letter, "Obsolete part: War-era transmission," by Thomas Munyon [July 4]: "If we had ... (stayed) at home showing the rest of the world how to live using our resources to advance civilization ... then we would really have something the rest of the world would envy ... "
Of course, in the same edition is "Independence: fine words, brutal war" [Froma Harrop syndicated column, July 4].
Both Americas were there from the beginning.
As long as America lives, it will be a balancing act. I hope her citizens are up for the job.
Thanks for an edition packed full of thoughtful reflections on our 231st birthday.
-- Adelaide Loges, Bothell
Since you asked
I am a Jewish American, not that it matters. I just wanted you, Brahim Takheroubte, to know: You slander my country and try to get away with it by repeating the tell me of America chant.
You never share what any Americans ever said but give us sugar with the good stuff while shoving your jihady propaganda between the lines.
You just used the ink and paper I pay for to slam my country on the Fourth of July. I'd like to meet you in the ring for a few rounds of good old American boxing! You are supporting terrorism with your words and you likely know it quite well. We are doing just fine without you.
I love guys like you who come here and enjoy my country with pay and then slam us so you can push your Middle East fanatical agenda. Then write in my newspaper about how truly bad America is — what a crock.
I just hope most Americans see through your [garbage].
I have been to the Middle East and the people treat each other like trash — so this writer has no right to criticize America, or any other country, for that matter.
-- Glenn Steinberg, Edmonds
Go with our blessings
Brahim Takheroubte's guest commentary on the 231st anniversary of the founding of the greatest republic in the history of the world impelled me to research the history of his country, Algeria.
I believe I speak for all Americans when I wish for Mr. Takheroubte that someday a group of individuals with the courage and conviction of the United States' Founding Fathers will emerge in Algeria so that it too can experience the same freedoms and joy that he so eloquently described and that we sometimes take for granted.
-- Doug Hartsock, Kirkland
Let's go for another spin
My, my! the letters to the editor ["Uprighting Scooter," Northwest Voices, July 6] are just full of people angry with us liberals for being angry with the president for commuting "Scooter" Libby's sentence to no prison (still has to pay the fine). They bring up so many instances of Bill Clinton's (and his staff's) bad behavior.
Sandy Berger, for example, stole documents! Oh, yeah, he took copies of documents from the National Archives, was charged and pled guilty to a misdemeanor. But he was one of Clinton's aides! Yes, he was. Three years before he did his crime.
Oh, and the tired canard that Valerie Plame was just a glorified "secretary" for the CIA. If that's so, then why did the head of the CIA ask the Justice Department to begin an investigation? Why did President Bush appoint a special prosecutor? Why did the firm of Brewster Jennings have to close its doors?
Because Plame was working under commercial cover at the CIA, was covert, and now everyone who'd ever had contact with her or anyone from Brewster Jennings could be suspected of being a foreign agent.
And let's not forget dear Bill, whom every conservative loves to hate. He did too have sex with that woman, and he lied about it! Yes he did. And he was impeached in the Senate and found innocent.
Clinton himself admitted to the affair and apologized to the public for both his behavior and his lying. Doesn't mean he wasn't a jerk. Also doesn't mean George Bush isn't being one, either.
Paris Hilton drove on a suspended license and got jail time. Libby was convicted of lying to investigators, lying to a grand jury and obstruction of justice, and he gets to go home.
He helped cover up the truth about who did what and when concerning the outing of a CIA agent charged with defending our country against weapons of mass destruction, during wartime.
Bush may well have been within his rights to commute Libby's sentence, but I do believe we liberal whackos have every right to be upset.
And please, can we stop with all the "Bill Clinton did it!" nonsense? If Richard Nixon did it, does that make it OK for Bush to do it, too? Bringing up one person's bad behavior does not condone anyone else's.
-- Sten Ryason, Seattle
The joy of full throttle
I would like to thank The Times for publishing all the wonderfully hilarious letters to the editor July 6 supporting the Libby commutation. It was very entertaining to read Bush apologists claiming, in effect: "since Bill Clinton did it, so can George!"
Given George was the guy who was going to restore morals and ethics to the White House, it appears the right has resigned itself to admitting George is every bit as amoral and unethical as Bill.
I'm a liberal, but I am not in the least bit angry over the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence. After all, it was a legal commutation. And, once you've accepted what George stated publicly, you expect this sort of behavior.
What did George say? "This would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship ... heh heh heh ... just so long as I'm the dictator!" And this is the guy they choose to defend?
The pardoning of Marc Rich by Clinton and the right-wing letter writers using Rich as an example of Clinton's wrongdoing is very interesting, given the current circumstances. Rich always claimed his innocence, as did his attorney.
His attorney also helped to seek his pardon. His attorney's name? I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Keep writing those letters ... and again, thanks for the laughs!
-- Kevin Wruck, Marysville