FRIDAY’S LETTERS: Readers All Riled Up Over Rall Retraction, War Dead and More

By: E&P Staff

The biggest responses in the last 24 hours came from — not surprisingly — two very different stories dealing with the war in Iraq. Will Bunch has gotten a number of impassioned responses relating to his column on a soldier who died in Iraq while believing the war wasn’t even worth fighting. The other, a short item about political cartoonist Ted Rall’s “retraction” over a cartoon he published claiming that U.S. figures of war dead are grossly undercounted, received several derisive e-mails. Here’s the latest.

Re: More Death in Iraq: A Reluctant Soldier’s Story

I was moved by your fine story on Gennaro Pellegrini. This backdoor draft to keep supplying men for Iraq must end. In the case of Mr. Pellegrini, it was especially ironic, with only a couple of weeks left to fulfill his obligation, or so he thought. This is not the America I know and love, that’s all I know. I am becoming more and more incensed with this war, although I never did support it from day one.

Please keep up the great work. It has appeared to me that the once-liberal media has come under control of the government somehow — and that’s kind of scary.

I think the Cindy Sheehan story will explode in Crawford, Texas into an even bigger event. I haven’t lost a loved one but I am thinking of driving over there to support her cause.

Again thanks and I’m glad I got to read your report. My sympathies to the Pellegrini family.

Steve Nick
Vinton, La.


Too bad about Gennaro, huh? I mean, when he signed up, who knew that he would actually have to serve?

Oh, that’s right — I knew. That’s why I never signed up, Will. That, and I know it’s immoral to kill other human beings, even if I don’t agree with them.

If Gennaro didn’t want to fight, why didn’t he sit in jail? He didn’t want to fight, but killing Iraqis is better than doing hard time, huh? Except if you’re the dead Iraqi.

Will, you need to decide if someone who ignores 50+ years of American history is really a hero. Will, the U.S. hasn’t been involved in a moral war for the last 50+ years. In fact, we’ve been involved in mostly illegal wars during those 50 years. Nothing honorable. Nothing noble. Just a lot of killing of folks who have less firepower and money than we do.

If I kill someone because I think they’re robbing a store, and find out later they weren’t, I go to jail. When something similar happens to a soldier in Iraq, you write about them as if they were a hero.

There were no WMDs, Will. No plan to nuke the U.S.. Nothing. Just a lot of Americans killing Iraqis.

Christopher Wing


Re: ‘Vanity Fair’ Rips Media ‘Conspiracy’ in Covering Up Role in Plame Scandal

As you know, some of the better Web sites call these types of “reporters” what they are: stenographers. And the TV faces don’t even begin with the label of reporter. Maybe prostitutes, for the worst of them, would be a better name,

Lewis Chapp


Re: Ted Rall Issues ‘Retraction’ of Iraq Cartoon

You don’t suppose Rall was licking his chops and just jumped on the 9,000 figure in his haste to give our soldiers and marines another black eye? Where oh where have the cartoonist such as Bill Mauldin gone.

Robert D. Sherrill,
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
(Father of a Marine that served in Iraq)

Ed’s Note: Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Bill Mauldin died in 2003. See his Wikipedia entry here.


Ted Rall has it right. Finally a man with backbone tells it right and gets people upset. I forsee a day when it’ll be jail time in this country to even make a statement.

Johann Dohmann


So now Ted Rall says the story is not “bogus”, just “inadequately sourced”?

Given his flexible standards I am surprised Ted has not done a rash of articles on babies in the microwave.

Aunt Gladys is my source, but I am sure she would put Ted on her e-mail list as well.

Mike Patton

Ed’s Note: We’re going to go out on a limb here and say the Mike Patton above is probably NOT the Mike Patton of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle/Fantomas/Tomahawk fame.


Ted Rall says: “The battery in my B.S. detector must have been running low last week.”

How can that be? Ted Rall is so full of B.S. that he can never run low.

George Ou

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