Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Steven Lee

Don Rogers 7/11/04: Bullets below!!!!After reading your paper’s article about the latest Michael Moore movie, I was disappointed that you make the reference to potential movie goers that might not agree with any of the “facts” in the movie. This movie contains intentional lies, unsubstanciated points of view, and inaccuracies, not facts. I include a list printed in the NY Post, a paper that actually checked before stating the points made in the movie were facts:Moore’s favorite anti-administration interviewee is former National Security Council aide Richard Clarke. Yet the film never mentions that it was Clarke who gave the order to spirit the bin Laden family out of America immediately after 9/11. Moore makes much of this mystery; why didn’t he ask Clarke about it? At one point of the film, he portrays GIs as moronic savages who work themselves up with music before setting out to kill. Later, he depicts them as proletarian victims of a cynical ruling class, who deserve sympathy and honor for their sacrifice. Which is it?The film’s amusing (if bordering on racist) Saudi-bashing sequences rely for their effect on the audience having forgotten that President Bill Clinton was every bit as friendly with Prince Bandar (or “Bandar Bush,” as Moore calls him) and the Saudi monarchy as his successor. In general, the movie is packed with points that Moore assumes his audience will never check, or are either lies or cleverly hedged half-lies: Moore says that the Saudis have paid the Bush family $1.4 billion. But wait – the Bushes aren’t billionaires. If you watch the film a second time you’ll note Moore saying that they paid $1.4 billion to the Bush family and (added very quietly and quickly) its friends and associates. Moore asserts that the Afghan war was fought only to enable the Unocal company to build a pipeline. In fact, Unocal dropped that idea back in August 1998. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are looking at the idea now, but nothing has come of it so far, and in any case Unocal has nothing to do with it. In a “congressmen with no kids at war” stunt, Moore claims that no one in Congress has a son or daughter fighting in America’s armed services, then approaches several congressmen in the street and asks them to sign up and send their kids to Iraq. His claim would certainly surprise Sgt. Brooks Johnson of the 101st Airborne, the son of Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. And for that matter, the active-duty sons of Sen. Joseph Biden and Attorney General John Ashcroft, among others. The most offensive sequence in “Fahrenheit 9/11″‘s long two hours lasts only a few minutes. It’s Moore’s file-footage depiction of happy Iraq before the Americans began their supposedly pointless invasion. You see men sitting in cafes, kids flying kites, women shopping. Cut to bombs exploding at night. What Moore presumably doesn’t know, or simply doesn’t care about, is that the building you see being blown up is the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. Not many children flew kites there. It was in a part of the city that ordinary Iraqis weren’t allowed to visit ó on pain of death. I only hope that anyone who sees this movie will actually check the assertions out for themselves, and not just believe more propoganda from Michael Moore.Steven LeeVail7 minutesBeing a registered independent, I figured if I was swelled with pride in the United States after Avon’s fireworks show Saturday night, I should balance it out by watching Michael Moore’s film on Sunday night. I just finished watching it and behind all the propaganda, and all of Mr. Moore’s own personal agenda, I just can’t get those seven minutes out of my head. Rather, I just can’t forgive those seven minutes that George W. Bush hesitated at news of the WTC attack.People sometimes say, “Take that with a grain of salt.” Well, I usually put salt on everything I ingest. I’m pretty darn skeptical. I instantly assumed, “Hey, maybe it was just six minutes and four seconds and Mr. Moore was rounding up.” I also wished I could’ve seen that whole six minutes and four seconds’ worth of footage, of our president hesitating after being told about the plane(s) hitting the World Trade Center. For those of you who haven’t seen it, President Bush was visiting a young children’s classroom (kindergarten I think) when he was told about the WTC attack, and he went on with the class for 6-plus minutes. I try to think of excuses as to why he hesitated, and think of reasons to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding the delay, but I can’t find any. Was he worried about upsetting the children while leaving in a rush? Was he just overcome with shock and couldn’t believe it? Would he have followed if someone else had led the charge and said it was best if he left right now? I would really need to study his face for those seven minutes in full without the film splices and Michael Moore’s commentary. But even then, I don’t think that would help with how sick I feel right now. I remember my friend Mike Christenberry leaving work in a rush on 9/11 just as soon as he found out because he has a lot of friends and family in New York. I remember watching him drive out of the parking garage with that look of “Damn, I’ve got to do something NOW!” Watching footage of 9/11, you see a lot of sadness and despair, but you also see a lot of action. Everyone from the fire department and police, to the local businessperson, to the Beastie Boys who said to themselves “Damn, I’ve got to do something NOW!” They rescued people, they provided shelter, they brought food. Try to think of your family-friends in trouble, like life or death trouble. Would you hesitate? Even if you were so overwhelmed with it all and ended up doing the wrong thing instead of the right thing, wouldn’t you still be doing SOMETHING? As an American, and more importantly as a human being, I need to help people to feel whole. I imagine there are many others out there who feel the same. I feel tremedous guilt for not being more somber during that morning of 9/11, but that doesn’t come close to the frustration I feel that I wasn’t there to do something, ANYTHING. Maybe it wasn’t really seven minutes? Maybe it was just four, or even two and Michael Moore is just exaggerating. But can any of you say that you, as president of the United States, would hesistate for more than a few seconds after getting that information? As commander in chief, would you hesistate knowing that your country is under attack?Regardless of the rest of the movie, all of Bush’s speech mistakes in front of the camera, all the evidence of former business failures, all of the bin Laden money ties – seriously, wipe them from your mind. Understanding the power which the president of the United States wields, do you expect him to hesitate for seven minutes at this news? More importantly, would you expect your commader in chief to balk once they were made aware that their country was under attack, that Americans were dying?I don’t hate George W. Bush. I don’t hate any of his cabinet or the current administration. As a human being, it is my duty to God to love unconditionally. But it is my conscious choice as to who and what I forgive. This balk, this hesitation, this lack of action I just can’t forgive.But now I recognize that because of this beautiful country I live in, I’m given a chance to finally do something about how I feel right now. I get to vote.Brian DalrympleVailPresidential sinsI think that if you’re the president and wish to get re-elected, your sins should not be juicy. I mean, this is a society that thrives on the escapades of Scott Peterson and Kobe Bryant. We also got turned on by the sexual encounters of one William Jefferson Clinton. Conversely, simple lies, refusing to accept responsibility, or covering up for friends can be glosssed over. If Ken Lay was a personal friend and a big contributor to your election, then he doesn’t get indicted. Ifa trusted member of your administration commits a felony when he reveals the name of a secret CIA agent, then we do a cover-up. If someone (maybe the president himself) approves vile interrogation methods, then we refuse to release pertinent memos. If the energy bill is written by executives of the energy industries, then we don’t reveal their names. If the prescription drug bill is simply wonderful for the pharmaceutical industry, then we just ignore that fact.It’s true that the struggle in Iraq and the level of employment are important issues, but honest and open government is important also – maybe more so.David Le VineAll’s fine hereI read yet another article about Red Cliff’s water and wastewater woes in your July 6 paper, and as a 24-year resident and past town council member, I’d like to comment.First, all your articles seem to insinuate that Red Cliff has been negligent in providing adequate water and sewer services to it’s townspeople. I have lived here 24 years. I am always able to flush my toilet and I’ve always had good water to drink. I, and the majority of my neighbors, have never boiled our drinking water and we don’t have giardia.Almost three years ago the town purchased a new, state-of-the-art water plant (your article erroneously said we were contemplating replacing it). Yes, we’ve had problems – some were our responsibility and some were the responsibility of the engineers and installers, who in good faith we trusted to deliver the working water plant they were paid for. Small towns have very little money and very little clout, and our council and administration has been struggling to solve this problem since it began. Your articles imply we are sitting here doing nothing, committing violation after violation. This is not true.Second, your article also implied that Red Cliff wasn’t “handing over documents” – the headline read “EPA orders Red Cliff to hand over documents.” We are in regular communication with both bureaucricies (who by the way have admitted to having lost some documents in the past), and are working out the problem. The mayor and the town administrator are working with the state and EPA to resolve this matter.How about an article that is positive, hopeful, and sheds a good light on this small community? There are many positive things going on in town. There’s been a Studio Tour each year now for seven years, when hundreds of people visit Red Cliff to enjoy and purchase the creations of 12 resident artists There’s Mango’s – the best fish taco in the county. And there are good people on the council working every day to improve our infrastructure and our neighborhood. Shame on you for implying otherwise.Red Cliff has gotten bad press for years. Sometimes the articles are even written by people who have never set foot in the town. It must be a slow day at the Daily when you throw stones at a town who is struggling with a small budget and the many problems that exist in the few remaining tiny mountain communities. There’s too much negativity in the world. How about something good for a change?Sydney Summers

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