‘MAKE THE PIE HIGHER’
Patricia J. Williams just gets better and better [“The Deciderator,” May 15]. Perhaps because I’ve spent my life teaching English, I think her exquisite description of how Bush misundermalappropriates our magnificent language is her best yet.
TRANSLATOR: HAZARDOUS JOB
As a translator and scholar of Japanese who has had the experience of translating in “politicized” contexts, I was particularly struck by the disturbing case David Cole reported in “Lost in Translation” [May 15]. I will forward the article to other translators, and I imagine a number of us will write a letter in support of Mohammed Yousry. How can any effective communication occur across languages without translators? He should certainly be freed!
ENDANGERING THE TROOPS
I cannot thank Jeremy Scahill enough for “Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater” [May 8]. I am a mother whose son is in the Army, stationed in Iraq. I was distressed by the tragic destruction of life in Falluja caused by the US retaliatory action for the deaths of the four men who are the subject of Scahill’s story. I suspected that the four were contractors, and I resent the fact that mercenaries (for that is what those contractors are), not subject to military rules, can create circumstances that our military must pay for. I believe these mercenaries put the lives of US soldiers–as well as the lives of innocent Iraqis–at risk. Blackwater should be held responsible not just for the deaths of the four men but for all the lives lost in Falluja. The Bush Administration, which chose to privatize this war, is the true culprit.
MOSER, A K A ‘THE EVISCERATOR’
Bob Moser’s coup de grâce on reborn-again renegade Ralph Reed [“The Devil Inside,” April 17 ] would have made Walker Percy’s day. In his matchless novel The Moviegoer Percy’s alter ego, Binx Bolling, confesses: “Whenever I feel bad, I go to the library and read controversial periodicals.” Then: “Down I plunk myself with a liberal weekly at one of the massive tables, nodding to myself whenever the writer scores a point. ‘Damn right, old son,’ I say, jerking my chair in approval. ‘Pour it on.'” And finally the clincher: “‘That one did it. Eviscerated.'” May Moser (to paraphrase the master) continue to eviscerate those deserving.
NOEL E. PARMENTEL JR.