ANYTHING BOYS CAN DO…
South Orange, N.J.
Fortunately, those who love The Dangerous Book for Boys despite its casual sexism will have a better girls’ alternative than the rather Victorian The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls [Katha Pollitt, “Subject to Debate,” July 9]. The true companion book is called The Daring Book for Girls, by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz (whom I represent) coming this fall, and it will be every bit as fun and adventurous as its predecessor. It may not counter the Anglo- imperial martial spirit of the boys’ book, but it will still do a lot to level the playing field.
When leftists assign motive for actions, they forget that boys forget to be political unless some Nation-nanny smacks them across the nose with it. Self-sacrificing white male patriotic heroism, exemplified this minute by the 100,000 all-volunteer servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, three-quarters of whom say they enlisted “because of 9/11,” is alive and very well, despite the feminist assault prevalent in education and left media. These heroes hate what the hate-America Nation types are broadcasting back home but are dutifully silent, until they get back. We are, no kidding, on a crusade, about the fifth according to my specialty in history. Believe your murderous Islamist soulmates when they say it daily.
VILLALOBOS IN THE NATION?
New York City
I write not so much to disagree with Joaquín Villalobos’s July 9 “Revolution in Venezuela?“–although I do–as to reveal Villalobos’s post-Salvadoran war trajectory, which is marked by values and actions I think The Nation neither shares nor wants to promote.
First, a clarification: Villalobos was not the “top commander and strategist of the leftist FMLN in El Salvador,” as his author bio states. He was the leader of the ERP, one of the five groups constituting the insurgency, but he at no time led the FMLN politically or militarily.
Villalobos has made several statements supporting the US invasion of Iraq. Another example of his turn to the right: a March 23, 2004, Nation article documented how the Colombian government used human rights rhetoric to cover up the paramilitary death squad activities, mass arrests, rape and other atrocities perpetrated by the Uribe administration; Villalobos stated in a May 16, 2004, interview in Uruguay’s La Republica, “In Latin America, Colombia is the first country that has applied a model in which human rights have been turned into a strategic advantage.” Villalobos served as a “conflict consultant” to the Uribe government. His critiques of the Latin American left and his conflict-consulting business appear to have taken off in synergistic ways.