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Missing the Point 

Since seeing Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 ('Moore Publicity,' June 29), I have read many criticisms of it. While I agree with some of the issues raised, the whole debate over the movie misses the most important points. It is not Moore's voice but the voices of the ordinary Americans he interviews that have continued to haunt me since I left the theater.

I hear the words of Michael Pedersen, who wondered --in the last letter he wrote home before his helico pter was shot down -- whether there was any purpose at all to his presence there.

I remember the soldier who, unable to look at the camera, said that a part of him died each time he killed someone.

And I think about the Marine who, having served in Iraq already, said he would do anything not to return.

In discussions about the movie, I have yet to hear anyone suggest a response to these soldiers. It is devastating to imagine American soldiers risking their lives without understanding why. How will we help soldiers recover? What does it mean if soldiers are willing to risk court martial not to return to this war? What can we tell the families of the 852 soldiers who have lost their lives? These are the questions I'd like to hear answered. M. Andrew Doss Film Exposure The documentary by Michael Moore, which is an unapologetic polemic against the Bush administration, seeks to unseat the ruling Caesar by putting in perspective the goals and intentions of our leadership. In this 'take no prisoners' film, it becomes obvious Moore's driving motivations are not very far removed from another independent film, by Mel Gibson.

Contrary to right-wing pundits, this film is not Democratic propaganda. In fact, Fahrenheit 9/11 points out there is plenty of 'sin' in the leadership of both parties for its war on the American people. While the lion's share of blame is directed at the Bush cabal because of its total control over all three branches of government, the Democratic leadership doesn't walk away unscathed, either.

Quite simply, this movie is as American as any movie could be, in the vein of Thomas Paine's Common Sense. The film exposes a leadership that, in true monarchy fashion, seeks profiteering while implementing class warfare against all except the wealthiest one percent.

Anyone who was moved to tears by The Passion of the Christ needs to see this film. Moore wonderfully illustrates the real meaning behind, 'Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's.' Bush and company must take responsibility for their actions -- by their choice or by ours. Lest they forget, they are in power by our good graces, not the other way around.

Stacey Michael

GETTING PERSONAL

I find it interesting that the most fervent critics of the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 seem more obsessed with attacking Michael Moore than the points he makes in his film.

Moore's film offers a dramatic and unapologetic critique of Bush and his administration. But the facts that serve as the basis for Moore's critique have yet to be disputed. In fact, most, if not all, of the claims he makes are well known and part of the public record.

If people think the case Moore makes is flawed, then they should debate the merits of that case. The failure of many right-wing critics to do so makes me wonder if they're more interested in playing politics than engaging in a genuine debate about the issues the film raises.

Priya Murthy

TAKE A STAND

On behalf of the Alliance for Affordable Energy, I commend and thank Gambit Weekly for your excellent editorial in favor of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act ('What We Know,' Commentary, June 22). The time for Sens. Breaux and Landrieu to take a stand on climate change is now, considering the serious impact climate change is predicted to have on our city and state.

Thanks you, Gambit, for your well-researched and forward-thinking commentary on this important issue. Micah Walker Parkin Alliance for Affordable Energy Pink Residue The Pink Institution ('Southern Hostility,' June 15) stayed with me long after I read it for the second time. Selah Saterstrom's book confirms that madness has done a fine job in the strange, shadowy world of the Deep South.

A haunting book powerful and hard hitting, it could be a life saver. Thank you for your excellent review on an upcoming author that we should all pay attention to.

Ann C. Hampton

THANK YOU NOTE My father was a small-town GP, compassionate beyond belief and a boon to his patients, many of whom were geriatric. Never mind that Daddy was 75, he still had hundreds of patients in Starkville, Miss., when he died five years ago. Like Ronnie Virgets' dad ('Finalities,' May 4), he had fallen and cracked his head while taking his briefcase to the car on a cold and rainy December night two weeks before Christmas. Nine days later, he died.

Fortunately for his family, there were many people to come and tell us how much he had meant to them. What was really important, though, was that he knew what he meant to us, how much we loved and respected and tried to emulate him. I am sure Virgets' dad knew the same.

I am 58 years old and still not over it. Virgets' column put into words what I have not been able to say, really, to myself. It was beautiful. I have been reading Virgets for years and have given his work to others, but this is the first time I felt compelled to write. Virgets has an amazing gift. Thank you for sharing it.

Name withheld by request

MISSING EARL Just wanted to let you know that Las Vegas' loss is New Orleans' gain ('The Entertainer,' June 8)!

We miss Earl Turner very much.

Annie McDonald Las Vegas, Nev.

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