MAIL BAG

May 29 2006

MAIL BAG

May 29 2006

MAIL BAG

By what right do you trash a competent woman who has risen to such career heights?’

WE DONE THEM WRONG

I DILIGENTLY KEPT up with Canada’s first deployment to Afghanistan and had heard about the record kill-shot and the subsequent investigation into the corpse desecration. Nothing about what happened to those soldiers (“We were abandoned,” Cover, May 15) surprises me: Canada has a long history of bringing down its heroes. Whether it was jealousy or blind adherence to the rules by the powers that be, the lives of those men will never be the same. Some sort of recompense should be given to them, whether an apology or something more substantial, and the government must finally acknowledge these men’s accomplishments in the field. Otherwise how can the government expect the army to be willing to make the sacrifices expected of them, given their government could betray them regardless of their courage. Terry Verticchio, Burlington, Ont.

I DON’T SUBSCRIBE to Maclean’s and haven’t bought the magazine for five years. But I spotted the cover story and was curious to know what happened to the Canadian snipers. I heard they had logged some terrific results, and sort of recalled the “finger” incident being in the news, but it was like the snipers suddenly left the theatre. It is hard to imagine the short-sighted and pitiful response of the armed forces brass in this situation. Was the reality of war too much for the brass to stomach? What caused them to act like cowards toward subordinates performing a task none of the brass could even qualify to do? I find that despicable.

Theode Kasper, Calgary

WHEN I READ of the horror and suffering brought on by war, I’m not surprised that Omar Bradley, a U.S. five-star general known as the “GI’s general,” said that “as far as I am concerned, war itself is immoral.”

Stan Penner, Landmark, Man.

Why don’t the snipers apply to the U.S. army to enlist?

Harold Vick, Fort Thomas, Ky.

ROB FURLONG is obviously a great marksman, and for that he should be acclaimed, but we have sunk to a new low if we believe that firing a bullet so that “it tore into the man’s torso, ripping apart his insides”—“the longest

recorded kill”—should be a source of pride for the Canadian army or anyone else. I wonder about writer Michael Friscolanti’s mental health, if he believes maiming and killing other human beings is something to be proud of. Rev. Glen Eagle, Ajax, Ont

THIS STORY is typical of the Canadian military and government. I hope the men in this story are able to look themselves in the mirror every day knowing they did exactly as every soldier is expected to do: follow orders and be the best that you can be. I wish Canada’s leaders had more backbone.

Sgt. Blaine Broderick (ret’d), Carleton Place, Ont.

THIS ARTICLE seems to be a new low for Maclean’s. The blatant emphasis on the glory of killing a human being 2,430 m away—“a moment of pride for the Canadian army”— does a terrible disservice to professional Canadian soldiers as well as to Canada’s reputation in how we participate in international conflicts. Please don’t bother sending a renewal notice.

Bill and Nancy O’Brien, Burlington, Ont.

CHERIE BABY

AS I READ this diatribe (“There’s something about Cherie,” World, May 15), I was asking myself: what was the point of publishing this drivel, who is Rosalind Miles, and what are her accomplishments compared to Cherie Blair’s? By what right does the media trash a competent woman who has risen to such

career heights? Would we ever see this personal an attack on a man? Is ambition in a woman an undesirable characteristic? I’m ashamed to say I read it!

Jean Ennis, Courtenay, B.C.

SURE, her out-of-control spending and her general poor judgment are fair game for an article, but the glee with which the author catalogued her failings was over the top. “Expanding hindquarters,” “gargoyle grin,” “thick legs”—like the new Maclean’s, it’s mostly pertinent and interesting, but save the cruel remarks for real villains like Kenneth Lay or Donald Rumsfeld.

Sheila Whitzman, Westmount, Que..

THOSE PESKY GUIDELINES

GIVEN THAT he was chairman of the finance committee that reviewed them, it was stunning to see Maurizio Bevilacqua claim that the federal government does not have guidelines for reviewing proposed bank mergers (Interview, May 15). In fact, anyone can read the guidelines on the Department of Finance web page at http://www.fin.gc.ca/finserv/docs/ finserv2e.html#Merger.

DuffConacher, Coordinator, Democracy Watch, Ottawa

THE CRULLER DEBATE

MARK STEYN’S OBSESSION with attacking Michael Adams (“Shall we gather at the crullers?” May 8) confirms that he must fear Michael’s credibility with corporate and other audiences across Canada. But we would prefer if Mr. Steyn does not use Michael’s comments about Tim Hortons’ success as a launch pad for his own pro-life ranting. In any comparison of social comment based on the “lamest premise,” Mr. Steyn would win hands down.

Bruce MacLellan, President, Environics Communications Inc., Toronto

BUSH AND THE TWIN TOWERS

CONSPIRACY THEORIES are hatched by clever technocrats who understand that most members of our society cannot accept or understand a horrible tragedy (“Hijacking the truth on 9/11,” Education, May 15). As much as we may despise the acts of that day, we must acknowledge that the U.S. was outwitted by a group whose convictions and beliefs are no less powerful than ours,

‘How could Bush conspire to have the government blow up the towers? I doubt he could spell conspiracy, never mind mastermind one.’

although less desirable in our eyes. Remember: people who keep looking back tend to run into trouble, instead of avoiding it. Jacob Kasperowicz, Kirkland, Que.

WHAT A REMARKABLE coincidence that on page 41 there was a small item (“Write nonsense and win acceptance,” May 15, Blackboard Jungle) about three pranksters who programmed their computer to produce nonsensical gobbledygook to confound some eggheads at a conference and, on the same page, Maclean’s had an article dealing with self-declared intellectuals who suggested that 9/11 was a hoax. Surely the most ridiculous comment was by professor A.K. Dewdney of the University ofWestem Ontario, who supported such nonsense by claiming “we’re not a bunch of yahoos: we’re professional people.” Oh, is that right? How professional was that fellow professor of yours at Western who, some years ago, claimed superiority of races in a bizarre pecking order depending on whether they were Oriental, Caucasian or Negroid? Besides, how in the world could President Bush conspire to have the U.S. government blow up the Twin Towers? I doubt he could spell conspiracy, never mind mastermind one.

Bruce Pendergast, Guelph, Ont.

TEARS, ANGST AND HBO

SOME COLUMNS in your magazine are so moving and so tragic that they cry out for comment. The “Bad News” (7 Days, May 15) is one such example. Tears welled in my eyes as I read of the plight of your poor, deprived writer desperately seeking HBO enlightenment and then being forced to mine

the depths of the L.A. Times to unearth the nugget that Barry Bonds is not held in high esteem by his godfather, Willie Mays. May I offer a suggestion to assuage the suffering of this poor soul? A one-way ticket to LAX, a lifetime subscription to the LA. Times, a direct satellite hookup to HBO and a new job with People. There, now we’re all happy. David Livicker, Atikokan, Ont.

MUCH ADO ABOUT CLINTON

WHY SHOULD I CARE, at this juncture, if Hillary Rodham Clinton (“Tougher than Bush?”, World, May 8) is going to run in the American presidential race in 2008? Last time I checked, it is still the first half of2006, and we have a neo-conservative prime minister acting like he is a centrist. News flash: Canadians are a lot more interested in what damage Harper is going to do in 2006 than learning about how Clinton is terrifying your conservative buddies in the States.

David Woods, Sydney, Australia.

SCIENTOLOGY PRIMER

I READ Scott Feschuk’s open letter to Tom Cruise’s new baby in which he says “your Dad has for a long time been something called a Scientologist” (“Daddy loves you like crazy,” Comment, May l). I have been a Scientologist for 22 years. As far as I know, Scientology does not have “something to do with aliens.” It is a codified body of knowledge available to anyone, with information that betters conditions. I am an ordained minister of the Church of Scientology. When my father was lying in a hospital bed, dying from pneumonia, I gave him a continual Scientology process called a Body Communication Assist. He passed away in peace with me there. No medical personnel interfered with us. I abhor Feschuk’s satire of Cruise and his family. Perhaps he should actually read a book written by L. Ron Hubbard.

Katherine Jaconello, Toronto

CLARIFICATION

AN ARTICLE in the May 22 edition, “Best of Friends,” may have left the impression that Brian Mulroney offered a formal deal on the Constitution in 1984 to secure the support of René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois. This was not the case. Mr. Mulroney promised to bring Quebec back into the constitutional fold with “honour and enthusiasm,” but no formal offer was made.