Update on Sgt. Pequeño
The July 7 photo essay, “War Is Personal,” by Eugene Richards, is, as I’m sure it was intended to be, shocking and heartbreaking. Please, what happened to Sgt. José Pequeño and his mother?
Space limitations imposed by The Nation prevented a fuller story. José Pequeño is in the James A. Haley VA hospital in Tampa, Florida, following a recent surgery, and his mother and sister are with him, as they have been throughout his ordeal. For information about Sergeant Pequeño and how you may be able to assist this remarkable family, please see caringbridge.org/visit/josepequeno.
The Devil Redeemed
I have often thought Alexander Cockburn’s commentaries are either “right on” or skewed beyond reason. With “The Canonization of St. Tim” [“Beat the Devil,” July 7] he has found redemption. This is the most accurate piece of criticism I have seen regarding pundit/anchor behavior after 9/11. I relished his take, too, on the Holy Roman Catholic Media à la Chris Matthews, former altar boy. As a 70-something ex-Catholic, I find it literally does my heart good to see hypocrisy stoned.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
New York City
Jon Wiener’s “Warriors for Zion–in California” [July 7] dismissing Muslim anti-Semitism at UC, Irvine (UCI) is riddled with errors, distortions and omissions. He incorrectly states that only “one stone [was] thrown at one Jew,” and “only” one swastika was found–as if that weren’t enough. There have been several threats and assaults, and several swastikas, not to mention the destruction of a Holocaust memorial and regular Muslim Student Union (MSU) events spreading lies about Jews, promoting Israel’s destruction, justifying terrorism and insanely claiming there’s a holocaust against Palestinians.
Wiener ignores the impact of this– students fearing to wear items identifying them as Jewish or pro-Israel and two students transferring, as recommended by the Hillel-organized Task Force of Jews and non-Jews (not the “ad hoc Jewish group” Wiener claims).
Wiener says that the Office for Civil Rights absolved UCI, but it wasn’t for lack of evidence. The decision was based on OCR’s determination to no longer afford Jews the same protections as other ethnic groups under Title VI. That’s why, as Wiener notes, “three Republican senators” complained about OCR’s decision. Six liberal Democratic Congress members also complained, including Brad Sherman and Linda Sanchez of California.