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Daytona Beach, Fla.
Sizing Up the Saudis
In your article asking if the U.S. still needs the Saudis [WORLD, Aug. 5], you referred to the "moderate voices" in Saudi Arabia. Can you be serious? This is the homeland of the majority of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers and of countless "leaders" who can groom the next generation for future attacks on the U.S. This is a nation that undermines the global fight against terrorism by funding the murderous Palestinian groups intent on using terror to destroy Israel. We worry about who would replace the ruling al-Saud family if U.S. support were to be withdrawn, but would any other group be that much worse?
The Saudis want members of the U.N. to force the peace process for the Palestinians, who danced with glee when people were killed in the Twin Towers. The Saudis supplied money to the Palestinians but say it was for justifiable causes, for families who lost their loved ones when they committed murderous bombings. The Saudis lied and hid the lies. Isn't this enough?
As long as the Saudis could provide cheap oil, it did not matter much what the Saudi government did to its citizens or foreigners. The international media should have been more critical of the Western governments' relationship with the Saudis. Many in the media were not interested in reflecting the true image of Saudi society until the recent extremist acts in the U.S. While governments must bear most of the blame, the media too did not live up to their moral obligations.
While Saudi Arabia holds 30% of the world's known oil reserves (260 billion bbl.), the tar sands in northern Canada hold as much as 2.5 trillion bbl. of oil. Though it is more expensive to refine oil from tar sands, would Americans mind paying a little more for oil if the money didn't enrich those who would fund terrorists around the world?
RE your article on Americans who are getting cut-rate prescriptions online from Canada [PERSONAL TIME: YOUR HEALTH, July 29]: As tens of thousands of satisfied American customers can attest, TheCanadianDrugstore.com only provides the finest brand-name and generic medications available from licensed Canadian pharmacies. If a customer isn't satisfied, recourse in the form of a timely refund is available.
BILLY SHAWN, PRESIDENT
Re the item about Michael Jackson's charges of racism against Sony [PEOPLE, July 22]: Jackson remains one of the biggest-selling recording artists of all time. What does a famous person have to do to keep his title, die at his peak? Who else is as famous? Everyone knows who wore the black hat, rhinestone glove and white socks and who moonwalked all over the globe, dominating pop music.
So Jackson is convinced that his recent poor album sales are due to a racist recording industry that underpromotes black artists. Why then are the likes of P. Diddy, Missy Elliott, Destiny's Child and other black musicians among the richest and most successful artists in the world? Why then have the vocabulary, style and influence of black music been embraced in nearly every corner of the globe? Jackson needs to look a little closer to home to understand why fewer people are buying his recordings. Pen some decent tunes, and they will be bought.
It was interesting to read about the new breed of Broadway musicals that are a compilation of recycled hit songs held together with a marginal story [THEATER, Aug. 5]. But I couldn't understand your critic's objection to the "dancing in the aisles" that occurs during the encore in Mamma Mia! What's so terrible about theatergoers of all ages standing, cheering, waving their arms, singing and dancing in the aisles after seeing a marvelous musical? This is what Broadway needs and why Mamma Mia! sells out in theaters around the world. Too bad its success wasn't marked by a Tony Award.
Owings Mills, Md.