"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Thursday, April 10, 2003 Globe letter-writers outraged at image of US troops relaxing in Saddam's palace: a 'terrible message to the world.'
While the front page of today's Boston Globe was proclaiming in large-point type the fall of Baghdad, what was the tenor of the Letters to the Editor section, soapbox for cloud-cuckooland?
Well, perhaps in reflection of the 77-percent support rate the war enjoys among Americans, a full two letters (here and here) defending the US side were run, in the interest of equal time. (Both were responses.)
Four of the remaining five letters were critical of the war, the behavior of American soldiers, or the Bush Administration.
There are many reasons to criticize Bush, writes a Democrat who'd like more party leaders to emulate Sen. Kerry in calling for a "regime change" in the White House.
"What did this war accomplish?" asks Robert Soderholm of leafy Wellesley, who might better put that question to the children released from jail this week in Baghdad, or the prisoners being beaten and tortured to the moment Coalition troops arrived.
"The picture and caption seemed to condone the actions of our soldiers -- a terrible message to be sending to all of the world," writes Janet Patterson of Belmont.
Writes Joan Hartel of Norton: "THANK YOU for clearing up any doubt as to whether we are in this war for simple arrogant supremacy or to liberate the Iraqis. The April 8 front-page photograph of soldiers helping themselves to souvenirs, as the caption says, shows how pompous we can be. When Iraqis helped themselves to objects in public buildings in Basra, it was called 'looting.'"
"I WAS REVOLTED by the huge picture of US soldiers lounging in the remains of a presidential palace in Baghdad (Page A1, April 8). Flagrantly disrespectful behavior by the US military is undoubtedly going on, but the Globe doesn't have to participate in it. What does this picture have to do with eliminating terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, or ''freeing'' the Iraqi people?
Furthermore, the caption ''US troops rifled through files and helped themselves to souvenirs'' made me boil.
Isn't this called looting? Shame on you and them."
Guess that means your Uncle Harry who was in the 3rd Infantry and brought back that Hitler ashtray from Berchtesgaden was a looter, too.
The banner of the day unveiled in Baghdad yesterday read: "Go Home Human Shields, You U.S. Wankers." The drawback from a Greater Bostonian perspective: "Coming home" for the human shields means returning to Cambridge and Belmont and resuming the writing of letters to the Globe.