In David Walters' article ("To Die in Fallujah," Apr. 14), I am a little concerned about your use of the word "mercenary." To call the civilians who were killed in Fallujah (and they were civilians) "mercenaries" is a mistake. They were not hired to fight but to protect. They were civilian contract workers just as if they had been truck drivers or cooks or any number of occupations that the US government has seen fit to outsource these days. Those men were not "combatants" and took no active part in hostilities against the local population. These men were trained professionals and knew what they were getting into when they signed on. They knew the dangers and accepted the risk. To call them "mercenaries" is an insult to those men and to our profession. If you would bother to look around instead of staring at a map of places you have never been you would see that there are civilians doing all sorts of jobs all over the world (Bosnia, Kosovo,Kuwait, Qatar just to name a few) working for companies such as Halliburton, Dyncorp, Steele Foundation and Wackenhut. Are they mercenaries too? What is the definition of mercenary? What is yours? All I ask is that you do a little more research and get the story straight.
-- Aaron Leftwich, Charlotte
Worthy of Praise
Tara Servatius' insightful column ("The Worth of a Life," Apr. 14) is effortlessly urban genius. She manages to stimulate considerable musings and fodder across cultural, racial, and economic lines. This is extremely necessary today. Minorities still appear to be second-rate news, unless it's something negative and derogatory. "The Worth Of A Life" explored the blatant omissions of journalistic coverage for non-white, downtrodden people and relished on the "bandwagon effect" for the Malibu-style, "I'm Important" and "I Sell Newspapers" minority steeped in most periodicals.
Citizen Servatius, I appreciate your eloquent honesty and conviction each week in Creative Loafing. Please continue your fresh perspectives undeterred and free-flowing. Your messages ring clear to my ears. Thank you.
--Jarvis Peguese, Charlotte
Keep The Day Job, Gene
Just finished regurgitating Gene Lazo's take on the 9/11 Commission ("Where There's Flies, There's . . .," Apr. 14). Gene, I notice in your photo that you wear rather dark sunglasses. So dark, in fact, that if properly placed on your proboscis, you could easily be mistaken for a blind person. After reading your article I know for certain that indeed you are quite blind, well, at least to the truth anyway. I strongly suggest that you keep your day job and adhere to writing about things you actually know. Then again, that would mean refraining from writing anything at all, would it not? So now you are the self-proclaimed sage who has the insider track on events that "should" have taken place to avoid this terrible tragedy? Revisionist history is a dangerous thing, Brother Gene, especially when you have Creative Loafing behind you to print any slop that escapes your keyboard. Go tell it to the mountain, Mohammed, I've already read this book and it stinks. Much like your writings.
-- Gary F. Sekura, Charlotte
Final Judgment: Hilarious
Having been raised in the ultra- conservative Church of God denomination that buys into the "theology" of LaHaye and Jenkins' fiction . . . I found your article ("Here Come De Final Judge," by John Grooms, Apr. 7) to be so DAMN funny! I read it out loud to my partner this morning while enjoying the beauty of the morning and we laughed so loud I'm sure the neighbors heard us! Thank you for an excellent article!
-- Matt Rogers, Atlanta
Filling in Rep's Gaps
While the report on Charlotte Rep ("It's the Art, Stupid," by Perry Tannenbaum, Apr. 14) was to the point and harsh, the truth about the arts reigns supreme. Facts are: People do love musicals and diverse programming -- and musicals sell -- much more so than some Pinter play.
Perhaps the recent arrival of Broadway Carolina! -- run by a former Broadway conductor and LA producer -- can help bridge the gap with their latest offering of Lullaby of Broadway -- and the upcoming Off-Broadway hits, Songs For a New World and The Last Five Years. You can't get more New York musical edge with a pop flair than that!
-- Robby House, Atlanta