No Great Mystery

Re “Fallujah’s Children” by Laura Gottesdiener [November 16/23]: Iraq has been in a state of never-ending war since 1990 (or 1980, if one includes the Iran-Iraq War), suffering from all the attending, well-documented dire consequences, including a seriously degraded, toxic environment. There are books and articles too numerous to mention on this topic, including Barry Sanders’s The Green Zone (2009). In The Great War for Civilisation (2005), Robert Fisk wrote, “There was one final scourge to be visited upon the Iraqi people, however, a foul cocktail in which both our gunfire and our sanctions played an intimate, horrific role, one that would contaminate Iraqis for years to come, perhaps for generations…. It manifested itself in abscesses, in massive tumours, in gangrene, internal bleeding and child mastectomies and shrunken heads and deformities and thousands of tiny graves.”

Given this history, why focus on one city and why call the suffering in Fallujah “the greatest medical mystery of the Iraq War”? Everyone knows and common sense tells us that war is not healthy for children and other living things. We know that, but those in power and in powerful positions, including in the media, choose to ignore it. There is no mystery, and alas, the suffering is not limited to children in one city in Iraq.

Claudia Lefko

Supreme Obstacle

Re “Unpack the Court” [D.D. Guttenplan, November 16/23]: There are two potential problems in the Constitution that the founders were aware of—the domination of the majority over a minority and, even more dangerous, the domination of a minority over the majority. We are living with the latter problem because of the rise of the corporate and hyperwealthy class. The corporate-​friendly Supreme Court, including the liberal justices, is an obstacle to democratic progress.

In addition, let’s stop the liberal obsession with vetting justices solely on their views on abortion. We should examine their corporate philosophies as well. Before Amy Coney Barrett’s arrival, four of the eight justices were products of Harvard, and four were from Yale. Surely we can find expert legal talent elsewhere.

As well as the emperor, it is vital that we also see that the Supreme Court is without clothes.

Victor Sciamarelli

Paradise Lost

Re Mike Davis’s “Fire in the Anthropocene” [November 2/9], on California’s blazes and the other consequences of climate change: Beautifully, achingly, terrifyingly written. I had been unaware the Cima Dome burned. I drove through it a year ago, and it was so lovely, I could not stop taking photographs. As long as the population continues to increase in Southern California, the environment (the biome, the water resources, the land itself) will be a burnt sacrifice.
Robert Borneman