From print issue

Author: Readers

Mistaken Identity

“Kung fu dream girls” (Winter 2001-02) contains several errors. The photo is of Zhang Ziyi, not Michelle Yeoh. Also, the text describes Michelle Yeoh as the central female character of the film. I disagree. The movie has multiple plot lines, but if one had to identify the central female character, it is Jen, as played by Zhang Ziyi. Yeoh is a major supporting cast member.
Finally, while Yeoh made her name in the Hong Kong film industry and is an ethnic Chinese, she is from Malaysia. Would one call Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe “American Actors,” just because they make films for Hollywood?

Bill Picht ’90
San Jose, California


It’s hard to believe that the sight of 70 of Notre Dame’s “best and brightest” marching in formation after an ROTC exercise would alarm some administrators (“The Campus in the Wake”). In the wake of 09/11 who better to prepare to defend our land than these ND-ROTC students? As an undergrad, I routinely witnessed Army ROTC students double-timing through campus in formation early on Saturday mornings as I walked to the Stepan Center fields to play rugby.

As a nation we honor those men and women who receive the yellow and red ribbon. It would seem those who oppose the military benefit from the sacrifices made by that same military. They enjoy the freedom and other luxuries provided them and yet dislike those who have gained, defended and now preserve it. There’s a saying: “Keep your sword bright for liberty’s sake.” It was never truer than it is now!

Timothy M. McKeogh ’80, ’81M.A.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Defending one’s country

Oh, the luxury of living in the freest country in the world and being able denounce the concept of “country” (“The Campus in the Wake”). What I find chilling is Father Michael Baxter’s narrow mind. What is “country” if it is not one’s family, one’s home, one’s neighbors – one’s country.

William D. Hohmann ’58
Tucson, Arizona

The Media in the Middle

I agree with Robert Schmuhl’s observation (“The Communal Lifeline”) that “in the months ahead, journalists will have to find their balance on the new, tricky footing the war on terrorism creates.” I would hope today’s journalists would also respect the fact that matters of war have always been, and continue to be, entrusted to the executive branch of our government. I also hope they proceed appreciative of the fact that the efficacy with which our great country responds to and dispatches with the terrorists will in no way be predicated on the manner in which our response to these terrorists is reported by the media.

William L. Kallal ’66
Cheyenne, Wyoming

Another Look

“The Way We Like to See Ourselves” sidesteps some core notions in understanding hatred for America overseas. Millions see only this of America: young soldiers, smug and heavily armed, out of touch with their surroundings, McDonald’s garish outlets, deadly Marlboro cigarettes, idiotic television shows, American-owned factories paying slave wages, and pipelines snaking through their homelands to suck out whatever is valuable. Not to mention one corrupt government after another in bed with American corporations.

Until we change our ambassadors (the scions of corporate greed) and their protector (the U.S. military), our image will continue as predatory colonialists. The corporate vehicle, currently scouring the globe for money, operates far from our eyes and the ethics of the average American.

Dennis Lopez ’73
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

I was disappointed in “The Way We Like To See Ourselves.” The author totally ignored the statements of the one who “masterminded” and financed the horrific attacks of Sept. 11, Osama bin Laden, who did not lead an uprising of the poor (his family wealth is well-known). Bin Laden made clear his motivations in the video of his speech to the U.S. and to the world as seen on TV. He is attempting to lead a holy war of all those Arabs and Islamics who are and have been totally frustrated by the indifference of the world to the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinians for more than five decades by the Israelis who are armed and financed by the United States. The United States, therefore, is seen as the prime perpetrator of all that Israel does and, consequently, in the world’s view, the U.S. bears the responsibility for the actions of Israel.

It might be productive and useful if someone could review the history of the creation of Israel starting in 1947 with the “mandate” from the United Nations which partitioned Palestine to make room for the returning Jewish people. The question that should be answered is: “Who should have enforced the partitioning by means of monitoring and by peacekeeping forces.” Should the enforcer be Israel or the United Nations? Since 1947 Israel is pushing its frontiers further and further into Arab lands and is occupying those lands illegally while claiming to be responding to “terrorism.” Bin Laden stated that until that injustice is rectified, the United States would have no peace, and it is a basic tenet of the Catholic faith that there is no peace without justice first.

Bin Laden also mentioned Iraq and our oppressive and unjust economic sanctions which are harming the Iraqi people. For confirmation of this, we can examine the work of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, which is bringing humanitarian aid to the Iraqis and to all the people in the region. Our sanctions could be limited to strategic materials. In fact, it has been said that the problem generating this hatred is not our freedom and prosperity, it is our foreign policy.

Albert Boutross ’51
Yorktown Heights, New York