The Two Sides of War

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Two Sides of War

Regarding Andrew Nagorski's review of Giles MacDonough's "After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation" ["The Squall After the Whirlwind," Book World, Aug. 26]:

Nagorski apparently thinks that MacDonough shouldn't have dredged up all those nasty facts because, after all, the Germans had it coming and Allied cruelties were understandable, considering their pain and sacrifices.

Why don't we just throw away the entire record of suffering by losers of all wars throughout history, because they all deserved what they got? Let's write only one-sided histories glorifying the bloody actions of winners and use history primarily to perpetuate the myth that conflicts have only one side worth listening to. That way, we can have more wars.

Justifying fresh injustices by pointing out past injustices does nothing to end the cycle of violence and retribution.

Good historians rightly tell the stories of the suffering on both sides of wars and of how all the leaders failed to keep the peace.

-- Nancy Pace

Frederick

Faith in Green

Regarding Warren Brown's Aug. 19 Car Culture column:

You can tell that Brown doesn't like hybrid vehicles, but the reason is somewhat elusive. He cited entropy, spirituality, oil, ethanol, walkable communities, love and faith, among other things, as reasons energy conservation is eventually an "act of faith in something better."

As to what that something is (fuel-efficiency standards, hybrids, fuel cells, carbon taxes, voodoo?) he seemed to have no clue.

All I know is that my hybrid gets 51 miles per gallon and emits an ultra-low volume of pollutants. I save money, the air is cleaner and batteries can be recycled, at least to some degree.

The only thing Brown seems to believe in is prayer: Get on your knees and pray that the Lord might solve all our energy and global warming problems. Maybe, but I'll stick to more secular efforts.

-- Philip S. Church

Fairfax

Cartoonist Most Foul

Tom Toles's toilet stall cartoon in the Aug. 29 Post, playing off Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's troubles, should have been flushed before publication out of deference to the basic decency of your readers. Censorship, no. Editorial discretion, yes.

-- Ernest C. Raskauskas Sr.

Potomac

A Kick About Terms

Regarding Katie Carrera's Aug. 10 Sports story "Stoked for Beckham, Even in the Top Row":

The author used the term "f?tbol" to describe soccer played in England and Italy.

While this term does seem worldly and is the name of the sport in Spanish-speaking countries, it certainly isn't the norm in countries where another language is spoken.

In Italy, the word "calcio" is used, and in England, as in any other English-speaking country, plain "football" suffices.

-- Alex Davis

Alexandria

Those Frisky Doctors

Regarding the Aug. 23 front-page article "Elderly Staying Sexually Active":

The article said that "the elderly would benefit from more frank and open discussions about sex with their doctors."

Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think that sex with their doctors is what they need.

-- Mark W. Garrett

Maitland, Fla.

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