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What a crybaby! Debbie Cook shoots off her mouth, which she is entitled to do, then runs whining to the media (Nick Schou's "Jingo Fever," May 9) when she ends up on the short end of the popularity stick. Worse yet, rags like the Weekly don't even bother to let her stand by her words by printing her entire statement. You guys are so full of smug self-importance that you don't even see the irony in condemning those who call her names or dislike her personally, while calling names and launching personal attacks of your own. Cook trots out her family history of military service in a blatant attempt at knee-jerk jingoism, but the Weekly doesn't seem to mind that. As for the letters she has received, it's no surprise that they came from outside Huntington Beach. We are well aware of the tactics employed by this thin-skinned cynic who has always been able to dish it out but never able to take it. Cook needs to learn to say what she means and mean what she says and accept the consequences of those words. There's no honor in shooting off one's mouth only when there's no fear of anything short of utter acceptance or complete silence from those who disagree.

Bradford Sedersen
Huntington Beach

A Smug Editor responds: I'm going to give you Journalism 101, Bradford, and it's only going to cost your self esteem. One: Check your facts: Cook didn't go whining to anyone; Nick Schou sought her out. Two: Don't use words or phrases with which you're unfamiliar: "knee-jerk jingoism" would suggest that Cook likes all wars when the story makes clear she did not like this one. Three: make sure your thesis is supported by evidence. For instance, Cook seems quite ready to accept the consequences of her actions, one of which is to run a city in which you live.

Was appalled at the racist comments about Middle East citizens spewed by Young Americans for Freedom when they attacked HB City Councilwoman Debbie Cook's vote against using tax dollars to tie yellow ribbons around the city. As a resident of Huntington Beach, she definitely represents my point of view--which is that a yellow ribbon cannot possibly symbolize the myriad questions and issues tied up in our government's invasion of Iraq. I applaud Debbie Cook for having the courage to say that we would be supporting our troops more directly by writing them letters or sending them care packages. And, while we're at it, send care packages to their families here at home. The Los Angeles Times reported recently that the military monthly stipend each family receives is not enough to live on and they are forced to seek charity from churches and other non-profits.

Lynda A. Hernandez
Huntington Beach


I read Jim Washburn's latest hatred toward Israel ("Weaponless Warrior," May 9). I thought I'd point out just a tiny sampling of the types of things he says in order to omit and distort and mislead to make it look like Israel is the bad guy. He refers to "occupation" and Israel using a fence to take more of what Washburn considers the Palestinians' land. He doesn't bother to tell the reader that Jews have lived in the West Bank for thousands of years. He doesn't tell the reader that much of Jewish history is contained in cities like Hebron in the West Bank. He doesn't tell the reader that the only reason that the Jewish people lost their land in the first place in 1948 was that Arabs rejected a peace agreement, and attacked Israel, killing an unconscionable number of Jews! Before that, the British had clearly stated that the West Bank was, of course, land belonging to Jewish people. Of course, Arabs also have rights to live in the Middle East, just as Jews do. But Washburn never refers to Arabs who live in Jerusalem as "occupiers." Why is it that when Jewish people build a house, they're occupying Arab land, but when Arabs build a house in Israel, it's perfectly okay?

Todd Raphael
Via email

Jim Washburn responds: Todd, I didn't call the Arabs in Jerusalem "occupiers" because they're not there in tanks and attack helicopters and aren't bulldozing their neighbors' homes. Please forgive me for not including all of Israel's history in a 1,400-word article. I don't hate Israel at all, and sympathize with their predicament, but since theirs is the only side heard in most U.S. media, I felt an obligation to use my limited space to relate a bit of life on the other side. You can't refute the fact that the suicide-bombing murder of Israelis receives huge play in the U.S., while the day-in, day-out state-sanctioned murder of Palestinians is rarely even mentioned. Murder is murder. Thugs on both sides are perpetuating the world's longest "he hit me first" feud, and our arming one side while turning a blind eye to the havoc done with our weapons is neither moral nor bringing the sides one iota closer to a lasting peace.

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