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Letters to the editor

Global warming, gorillas and good playlists on WRAS-FM

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GLOBAL WARMING WAKE-UP CALL

In your article, "What happens if the water tap goes dry?" (Fallout, Nov. 8) we are still hearing views from climate-change deniers that this drought is just part of a "cycle." That this is a "wake-up call," and that "we need to be prepared for the next one." I've got news. I have lived in the Atlanta area for more than 30 years, and there's never been a drought like this one. The wake-up call is already here! It's called global warming.

– Bruce Conger, Sandy Springs

LOCAL GORILLA FUND helps primates

Your excellent article about Gorilla Haven ("Gorillas in our midst," Nov. 1) correctly identifies Dr. Tara Stoinski as Zoo Atlanta's coordinator of primate research. I would like to add that she is also McGrath Chair of Research and Conservation for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Few Atlantans are aware that DFGFI is based here, in donated offices at Zoo Atlanta, and thus is Atlanta's prime connection to gorillas in the wild.

DFGFI continues Dian Fossey's groundbreaking work by operating the Karisoke Research Center she founded in Rwanda to study and protect mountain gorillas, in cooperation with Rwanda's park service. We also assist national parks and community-managed reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and run facilities in Rwanda and the DRC that care for orphaned gorillas confiscated from poachers. Among the health, education and microenterprise projects we support for people in both countries is a community-managed conservation university in the DRC that is training a new generation of African conservationists (see www.gorillafund.org).

We are proud that Dr. Stoinski also serves on the board of Gorilla Haven, which supplies a unique service for the protection of the endangered western lowland gorillas, the subspecies that is found in captivity.

– Erika Archibald, Ph.D., communications director, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Excited to see shape of broad minds

Let me start by congratulating you on your article "The odd couple" (Vibes, Oct. 25) (the article about Shape of Broad Minds). When I opened up CL and saw Khujo and Jneiro starin' me down, I was very excited to see one of my favorite groups. Your article was very interesting, and I can't wait to read more of what you write. However, there was one sentence in your article that really caught me off guard. It reads "However, his (Jneiro) songs don't get played on the radio or video channels such as MTV." I am a radio DJ for WRAS-Atlanta (Album 88), and Shape of Broad Minds has been in our heavy rotation since they started layin' down music. I understand that you were most likely talking about the mainstream national stations cranking out the same songs again and again, and, you're right; none of them has ever played this group, and probably never even heard about them. However, as a nonprofit station, we struggle for all the credit we can get (and in my opinion deserve). I only ask that in future articles, especially those pertaining to music, and especially, especially those pertaining to local Atlanta music, you credit those stations that do give artists such as Khujo and Jneiro playtime. If you ever want to check if an artist is in our particular rotation, just call our station at 404-413-9727 and the DJ will be able to answer your question. Thank you for your time, and again, way to go on most of the article. I'm looking forward to seeing the articles you write in the future.

– Greg Gallagher, Atlanta

Biopic, review overlook Arabs' role in conflict

The bottom line was lost in Felicity Feaster's review of Man from Plains (Flicks, "Man on a mission," Nov. 1) and in Andisheh Nouraee's article "Isn't there any good news in Iraq?" (Don't Panic, Nov. 1). Namely, that it is the Arab world that started and maintains the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is worth remembering that the Arab world invaded Israel in 1948, and that (Arab-initiated) war caused the refugee issue. Some 800,000 Jews in Arab lands also lost their homes in the aftermath, but were uplifted by Israel. They attract no attention, even though their families are half Israel's populace, because they ceased to be a problem.

It is Arab regimes that refuse to recognize the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, while keeping alive the Arab refugee issue for propaganda purposes. Those regimes indoctrinate in schools and media for endless war. Israel has repeatedly made territorial concessions, only to face increased violence. The daily rocket attacks on southern Israeli towns began after Israel turned Gaza over to the Palestinians. In addition to which, the latter elected an extremist Hamas government.

Somehow all this is lost in Man from Plains, and Ms. Feaster's review. One wonders whether the Arab loans that kept Carter's peanut farms afloat, and the donations by the (extremist-linked) Zayed Center to the Carter Center have not skewed his views. Certainly, Carter never criticizes the far more glaring situations in Arab lands, and downplays the deaths of hundreds of thousands of black Africans in Darfur, caused by the Arab government in Khartoum.

None of this is mentioned in the film, or in Feaster's review. Instead, even when critics are shown, the film minimizes their message, and avoids any proper rebuttal of Carter's assertions. While castigating Israel's security fence, Carter and Feaster forget that it has saved many lives from the ongoing attempted suicide attacks.

Ultimately, peace can come in the Middle East only when Arab governments truly acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a permanent country. This includes recognizing the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab lands as equivalent to those of Arab refugees. It would allow resettlement of the latter in the West Bank, and not as President Abbas demands, in pre-1967 Israel. It would involve an end to indoctrination. No doubt, Israelis will be delighted for them to make major concessions, as they have in the past when they gave up the huge Sinai, and recently Gaza, for the hope that peace can come.

– Shaul Lavan, Atlanta

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