A Dixie Chick, War on Iraq, Bioterrorism, Media

Foxnews.com readers expressed passionate words in regards to Natalie Maines’ denouncement of President Bush, discussed by Mike Straka. William J. Bennett’s article presenting a firm argument as to why we must go to war with Iraq was vivaciously received by readers, providing them with a clear understanding of the logistics behind the situation.

Other topics discussed included the paranoia over a possible bioterrorist attack, the appropriateness of media sentiments on the war, and the stereotypes that plague Muslim women.

Here is a sample of this week’s mail.

In response to Strakalogue:

Mark Keffer writes:

With freedom comes responsibility and maturity. To have the freedom to say what you think and feel is a wonderful privilege. But it also requires one to have the knowledge and discretion of when to speak and when to keep one's mouth shut. Miss Maines has the freedom but fails to recognize the responsibility that comes with it. As the young men and women of our great nation prepare for war, I have a feeling of humbled pride. I fear for their safety and pray for their safe and speedy return. Those words which were spoken by a president almost 40 years ago still do ring true today. Our citizens become soldiers and are prepared to provide protection, money, humanitarian aid and leadership here and worldwide. We have our faults, that’s true. However, I feel in my heart that we try to be the most fair, giving and just nation in the world. I apologize if I appear to have rambled from the point. The small spark in your essay seems to have created a brush fire within me. I myself am very proud to be an American ...from Texas!

Amy writes:

Sometimes the American public can be a little too quick to judge those in the spotlight. Last time I checked, we had freedom of speech. I understand why Natalie would make those comments. She has as much right as the rest of the American public to voice how she feels. If it happens in front of an audience, then I suppose she knew what she was doing. I applaud her bravery to speak her mind and stand her ground. After all, isn't that why we are ready to fight Iraq, because we have chosen to stand our ground?

Tom McKee writes:

Not to be cynical, but I'm afraid the only reason Natalie Maines apologized is that she's come to realize that her fans can take her or leave her, and that a great many are choosing the latter option. I'm never surprised when Hollywood celebs spout their anti-Bush blather, but I guess Natalie and her fellow chicks forgot the general demographic of their fan base, and it ain't the same as Martin Sheen's or Susan Sarandon's!

In response to Why We Must Fight:

Tricia Wanish writes:

I am currently overseas with my husband who is serving in the U.S. Army. I appreciate these words of wisdom and support when all that seems to be publicized is news against Bush, the U.S., and an attack on Iraq. The military forces need support in order to keep up morale. Articles such as the one you have just written are the kinds of articles that the military look at and say, "That is why I am fighting for my country." With all of the negativity in this world it is hopeful to see an article showing that the use of force is meant and often does carry out a positive outcome.

Jennifer J. Horne writes:

Why do so many Americans not understand that freedom is not free? I was far from the brightest student but still learned what this country is about from my parents (Air Force retired), school and church. I respect what has been passed down to me and I will help defend to protect as necessary. I believe this is what is missing today. There is no respect taught and passed down, we have no discipline. I am very thankful that I have had the opportunity to live freely with a balanced life and hope my children will have the same opportunity.

Jefferson S. Kindrick writes:

Thank you for having afforded the American people, in particular those deluded with the narcotic of appeasement, the opportunity to read these clear and perceptive words. Harsh times call for harsh measures, particularly when peace and liberty are at stake. But, such times also call for clear and decisive leadership. Such leadership takes on many forms, and Mr. Bennett's is no less motivating and necessary than the president's; his definitive remarks afford us a reassurance and a rekindling of resolve that reminds us of our responsibility, our duty, and our privilege as a nation of defenders and liberators. I am a former U.S. Army Ranger and have now been a firefighter for six years. Taking the lead is never easy, but at the end of the day, one knows that one has done the right thing -- not just in spite of the cost, but indeed because of it.

In response to Junk Science:

Tom Conrad writes:

Chemical weapons all suffer from the density issue (as do so called "dirty bombs"). Disperse the nasty stuff enough to affect a lot of people and the concentration drops below the toxic level. A bio weapon like smallpox could be a much worse threat. It can spread by itself. Part of the problem is that most folks have no understanding of basic science. They "know" that this is this and that is that, and no amount of reason or logic will convince them otherwise.

James Robinson writes:

People are so easily misled and frightened these days. My father-in-law subscribes to the idea that these sorts of agents are of the greatest dangers. He is a maintenance man in a sheep and goat slaughter plant here in San Angelo, Texas, Rancher's Lamb. He apparently is unaware that he is exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of anthrax spores daily. Anthrax is very much extant in Texas and parts of New Mexico. I am convinced that I contracted a mild version of the disease some years ago when I spread several cubic yards of top soil over my lawn. I later learned the top soil came from an area near a rendering plant east of town. As you perhaps know, the spores occur naturally in the soil; are inhaled by herbivores, most particularly sheep and goats who graze right down to the dirt (unlike cattle). The sheep develop the decease, die, and decompose into the soil and the cycle is repeated. Anthrax, like most poison gases, are extremely feeble weapons. Otherwise they would not have been banned by international conventions.

In response to Fox News Watch:

Jeff Wells writes:

As a viewer/surfer, I tune in to obtain information, no more, no less. And it appears to me that more and more today, I am overloaded with the author/correspondent's opinion. We, as the American public, are intelligent enough to make up our own minds, and don't need the media to do this for us - please just provide me with the facts.

Mark Lathan writes:

I agreed with this piece for the most part, except for one point: Those reporters that are of a conservative bent have been far more objective than the others. I have been watching all the major news networks and have picked up on this rather quickly. Also, conservative reporters probably won't be overly accepting of any acts of brutality. This is a war; people die. For almost all liberals, the fact that a conservative president sent troops to a foreign land is an act of brutality. They also have treated Bush as a war criminal before the first was even fired.

Scott Lawter writes:

Sure, each form of news media may have a different slant. Some more liberal, some more conservative, some pro, some anti. But, this is America. If you don't like McDonalds, go to Hardee's don't just complain about McDonalds. All history is bias, I think we are adult enough to agree on that. Simple examples show that coverage in a western democracy will have a different headline as compared to say headlines in Jordan over the same story. Cultural bias in news media has been there forever and you are attempting to resurrect an old dusty bag by pulling the bias slant out. What concerns me is the slanted playing field that the anti war protesters come from. Your either pro-war or anti Bush. What is up with that? I know a lot of Democrats that are anti-Bush and pro-force to make a regime change in Iraq. You know no matter whom is in the White House, the President receives information and intelligence that would call and warrant this type of forceful effort. I appreciate the effort of the news media and think they get a lot of slack to do a thankless job. In response to ifeminists:

Robert W. Pratt writes:

Competing ideas require competition and inherent in competition are winners and losers. Some ideas prevail and others fail. If an idea, such as not allowing women freedom of choice, fails and is replaced by a new idea that choice is superior, the culture as it stood at that moment of change, and before, is disparaged. The new replacing the old is a rejection of someone's belief in what is superior. I would argue that such change is wholly positive and is not disparaging. However, such an argument cannot be made from any platform that incorporates the moral and cultural relativism you advocate in your final paragraph. You wrote: "By abandoning the assumption of superiority, Western feminists can say to the Arab-Muslim woman, "we don't disparage your religion or your ethnic origins. We only want you to have choice."" Such a statement is an exercise in futility because it is impossible.

Jen Koschmann writes:

Whether or not all Arab-Muslim women are "oppressed" is not the question we need to be asking. The fact is that in "the world Americans have entered as soldiers", Iraqi women ARE being abused and held down under an oppressive dictator's regime. The fact that Saddam Hussein would even think to use women and children as "shields" demonstrates that he has no regard for the special vulnerabilities of the women in his country. The current regime in Iraq views women a pawns to sacrifice, simply stepping stones to walk on in order to gain further control. The mindset of American feminists toward this war absolutely escapes my comprehension. If American feminists want oppressed women to have increased freedom and a choice in life, how can these same feminists here in our country speak out so vehemently against the war in Iraq? They, of all people, should support a regime change in order to further equality for women.

Surayyah Mahmoud-Harris writes:

While some struggle to "liberate" the women of Arab countries, there is rarely any mention of the issues faced by Muslim women in America. The Muslim woman in America does not only face issues of feminism and freedom of choice. Muslim women of color in particular also must deal with the reality of racial and political injustice of the past and in the present. We must not forget that in our fight for women's rights throughout the world, the first step is in our own back yard.