It’s not over till it’s over

So Jack Lessenberry has declared, with apparent seriousness, that “The United States of America has lost the war for Iraq” (“The week we lost the war,” Metro Times, April 14). Has Jack Lessenberry ever actually been to Iraq? I understand that Jack is an avid reader of The New York Times, and, therefore, probably views himself as eminently qualified to discuss the daily military situation in Iraq.

I’m reminded of the scene in Dr. Strangelove, in which the Russian ambassador asserts (mistakenly, it turns out) that the U.S. had developed a “doomsday machine.” The president says, “This is preposterous. I’ve never approved of anything like that.” To which the Russian ambassador replies, “Our source was The New York Times.”

Good to know that after Jayson Blair, The Times still has its fans. —Charles Brown, Franklin


Canadian contentment

Enjoyed your column on the Iraq problem. You called the shot a year ago and no doubt got hate mail sufficient to fill your wastebasket a few times over.

We smug Canadians can say we stayed away, but then our British-based colonial school system, for all its faults, requires us to read British history. We knew about the whuppin’ we took in 1920 at the hands of the Mesopotamian locals. Good luck getting out.

By the way, in today’s Toronto Globe, TV critic John Doyle writes, “And even though, as Fox’s Bill O’Reilly puts it, it’s far-left pinheads who write for this newspaper and read it, we still try to be polite pinheads.”

Ye gods! If that’s what O’Reilly thinks of the Globe, Doyle and me, what can he possibly think of you? —Tom Henderson, Windsor, Ontario


Perils of ignoring the past

Jack Lessenberry usually gets it right, but when he gets it wrong, he really gets it wrong!

He asserts that “Sept. 11 would have happened under any president (“Vote conservative in ’04,” Metro Times, April 21). The steps needed to prevent it would have been politically impossible. … Let’s concentrate on the future.”

Wrong! Sept. 11 would not have happened under any president. Any other administration in modern American history would have paid attention to the warnings they were given by the previous administration and their own intelligence community, regardless of the bureaucracy that might have impeded efforts at preventative action. Any other president would have had more respect for his office than to be vacationing for weeks at a time when warnings of attack were growing increasingly alarming. But then again, any other president wouldn’t have used the attacks as a basis for gutting civil liberties and waging pre-emptive war on a country that was not involved in the attacks in the first place.

Concentrating on the future requires truthfulness. It requires admitting one’s mistakes and learning from them. —Russell D. Brown, Detroit,


A rod for the Doll Rods

I have been a Doll Rods fan for a long time and your article (“Valley of the Doll Rods,” Metro Times, April 14) was absolutely the best one I have ever read about them. Thank you for filling in some gaps in their history for me and taking me places to visit them that I never would get to on my own.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the Doll Rods here in Cleveland as much as you lucky Detroiters do. —Gail Stachnik, Parma Heights, Ohio


Food fight!

Mr. Broder, someone who lives in Michigan called me to read me your column (“Authentic Mexican delights,” Metro Times, April 14) over the phone. Man. Your column was, by far, one of the best examples of Food Critic 101: boring, redundant, full of lists, prices, endless enumerations of menu items, bla bla bla.

Chowhound? You? Did you study food? You’re like all the rest, sir. Read North American weeklies and you’ll read your clones. Booooooooooooo-ring. All your friends think you, Jeff Broder, make the best nachos? And use poblanos for punch? Bravo. Write a recipe book, call it Broder Cooks Nachos: The World and His Friends Are Grateful. —Geneviève Côte, Montreal, Quebec

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