Week of August 4, 2004

Eat This
Taste tested: I don't think Rose Martelli's view of the Eats Bridge is very accurate ["Bridge to Nowhere," July 28]. First off, all the tables were covered with linen tablecloths. I got a large meal for $15 and I didn't expect to be served on china. Did you really think the city would allow glassware on a bridge? Think about it. And do you realize the volume of food that has to be served in such a confined space? Not your typical kitchen setup. And you might think twice about calling fellow St. Louisans semi-toothless drunks, since most of the people at this event read your newspaper.

One last thing: Do you think you need a reservation for brunch so they know how much food to cook? It's not rocket science. Remember, the city is just trying to get more attractions downtown.
Tom Tworek
Webster Groves

Stage Fright
Now tell us how you really feel: William Stage, you are such an asshole. "Is Saddam guilty?" [Street Talk, July 21] Ask the millions of people he butchered who are lying in some fuckin' sand-covered hole. What kind of fuckin' moronic question is that to be asking these empty fuckin' heads? You are guilty of being a fuckface, William.
Chris Crusciel
Creve Coeur

Moore's the Pity
Lies, lies, lies: I know a lot of readers consider Michael Moore a hero, but a hero should not be someone that manipulates the truth [Letters, July 21].

Before I go any further, let me say that I am not one of those extremist conservatives. In spite of the fact that I think Dubya has done a poor job in office, I also believe that even a clown like him should be defended from slander. Even many liberal writers believe Fahrenheit 9/11 was a farce. In researching Fahrenheit 9/11 I've found nine major flaws. Owing to space constraints, I'll supply the two most egregious:

Flaw No. 1: Michael Moore makes the claim that Iraq under Saddam Hussein never hurt an American. I agree that Iraq wouldn't directly attack the U.S. in some sort of absurd invasion from the movie Red Dawn, but he has harmed Americans and he planned attacks on Americans. On November 15, 1997, "the main propaganda organ for the Saddam regime, the newspaper Babel (which was run by Saddam Hussein's son Uday), ordered 'American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces.'" (From "Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11," by Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute, accessible at http://i2i.org.) In addition, "Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country," (From the New York Times, December 1, 2003.) Saddam Hussein also provided safe haven to terrorists who killed Americans, like Abu Nidal; funded suicide bombers in Israel who certainly killed Americans; and ran the Iraqi police, which plotted to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush.

Flaw No. 2: Michael Moore makes the claim that the Taliban visited Bush when he was still governor of Texas to discuss a future project involving Unocal. That meeting never happened. However, the Taliban did meet with the Clinton administration during the visit. (From "Un-Moored From Reality; Fahrenheit 9/11 Connects Dots That Aren't There," by Matt Labash in the Weekly Standard, July 5, 2004.)

Flaw No. 3: National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice is depicted in the movie telling a reporter, "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11." The scene deceptively shows the administration directly blaming Saddam and his regime for the attacks on 9/11 by taking her comments out of context. Now read the entire statement made by Ms. Rice to the reporter: "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It's not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11. But if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that led people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York." (From a November 28, 2003 CBS News interview.)

Flaw No. 4: In the film, Moore leads viewers to believe that members of bin Laden's family were allowed to exit the country after the attacks without being questioned by authorities. The September 11 commission, on the other hand, reported that 22 of the 26 people on the flight that took most of the bin Laden family out of the country were interviewed and found to be innocent of suspicion. (From Sumana Chatterjee and David Golstein's "Analyzing Fahrenheit 9/11: It's Accurate to a Degree," Seattle Times, July 5, 2004.) The commission reported that "each of the flights we have studied was investigated by the FBI and dealt with in a professional manner prior to its departure."

Flaw No. 5: Moore claims that James Bath, a friend of President Bush from his time with the Texas Air National Guard, might have funneled bin Laden money to an unsuccessful Bush oil-drilling firm called Arbusto Energy. Bill Allison, managing editor for the Center for Public Integrity (an independent watchdog group in Washington, D.C.), on the other hand, said, "We looked into bin Laden money going to Arbusto, and we never found anything to back that up." (From Chatterjee and Golstein.)

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