Saturday, July 29, 2006

Editor talks tough; reader gets a case of the vapors

About two weeks ago, the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star ran an editorial suggesting that the UN wasn't tough or serious enough about fighting terrorism. The editor used some pretty strong words in describing what such an international body should be doing:'s time for nations to reunite in a parallel organization--a coalition of the ready, willing, and able devoted to cleansing the earth of diseases disguised as men.
A few days later, FLS reader Joe Sucha agreed, and in his letter to the editor took Democrats and the liberal media to task for undermining the Bush administration's efforts in combatting terrorism:

What it does not address is not only our own colossal failure to vigorously support this administration's efforts to win this war, but the openly treasonable actions of prominent Democrats and the liberal media who blatantly undermine this administration's exhaustive efforts to succeed.

They are more intent on destabilizing the administration than protecting our country and its citizens.
A cold, tall mojito from the Pool Bar to Mr. Sucha. You go, Joe.

Joe also went on to quote the cleansing line from the editorial, which proved to be too much for poor Tres Seaver, who wrote in a letter published today:

The Free Lance-Star's high quality of text editing could not have allowed a typographical error of such magnitude as promoting "cleansing the earth of diseases disguised as men" in a July 13 editorial ["The nations united"], about the need to deal more forcefully with terrorists.

I cringed upon reading that phrase, but chalked it up to the editorial writer's propensity for apocalyptic speech.

But then see what you have wrought! You have inflamed poor Joe Sucha to pile on in his letter to the editor ["Democrats and liberal media do real harm to our country," July 17] with his interpretation of the problem.

To the Free Lance-Star's credit, they stuck to their guns in today's editorial:

But if "cleanse" violates anyone's sensibilities, we're happy to substitute "extirpate," "erase," "rub out," "rid the planet of," "obliterate," or "send packing to Hell." The object of--one trusts--every civilized person's blackest regards, terrorists themselves are avid practitioners of genocide. They hate and kill the innocent based on creed and national origin, as any number of bereaved Russian parents and Indian orphans--not to mention Sept. 11 mourners--will bear witness. Only a lack of means prevents terrorists from doing what Hitler and Pol Pot did.

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