Letters: Iraq Buildup, Global Warming, Hip-Hop

Listeners comment on the president's planned troop increase in Iraq, putting a stop to climate change, and double standards in hip-hop music.

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NEAL CONAN, host:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your e-mails. A week ago, we spoke with veterans of the war in Iraq about their views; on the debate in Congress, the planned troop increase, traditional veterans groups, and the new group VoteVets.org which ran an ad during the Super Bowl that opposed the president's plan. That did not fit well with Erin Wilden(ph).

I'm a military wife, she wrote, who's husband is on his second deployment. I was astounded by the actions of the veterans during the Super Bowl. My husband very willingly became a soldier. There is no draft now. Every person who decides to enter the Armed Forces knows that deployment is a very likely possibility. I support my husband. These troops don't need to be told Americans, especially vets, don't support the Bush administration because he's keeping you over there. They need our resolution and support.

Another listener disagreed. I'm a two-time veteran of the war in Iraq, e-mailed Chris Miller(ph). I have a purple heart and a combat action badge for my time there. It is utter nonsense that you cannot support the troops without supporting the mission. I'm a living example of it. I did my absolute all everyday I was there to make the mission succeed, but, personally, I totally disagree with the war from the beginning to the end. I will continue to support the troops and I will continue to speak out against the war.

Our discussion of another controversial topic, Can We Afford to Stop Global Warming, brought a huge amount of e-mail. This one is from Abby(ph) in Portland, Oregon. Your guest's idea that prosperity is going to solve the problem of global warming is absurd. That very prosperity is what's going to cause an increase in global warming. As the impoverished become richer, they're going to demand the same level of stuff as the developed world. That means an increase in children, cars, computers, etc., which would further increase carbon emissions and thereby increase global warming.

Kevin Willie(ph), a listener in Colorado e-mailed to complain that we can't focus only on stopping climate change. The media have been hyping the issue of global warming for more than a decade, without any substantive discussion of what it would take to actually reverse the problem. We should make some attempt to mitigate the prospect but much more effort should be place on what we can do to live with the change, as it is unlikely to be reversed in our lifetime.

We also talked about hip-hop with Byron Hurt, a filmmaker who asked some of the biggest names in the business why so many of their lyrics include sexual and homophobic slurs and celebrate violence and materialism. In response, a listener named Hawk Gates(ph) e-mailed to ask why the double standard? White people can make movies that are chock-full of extreme violence and foul language but it's look at as art? Meanwhile, people become upset when they hear violent images laced with profanity in hip-hop. Why is it that hip-hop usually does not receive the consideration of being poetry? Why don't more people look at hip-hop through the lens of art?

If you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by e-mail. The address, talk@npr.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

(Soundbite of music)

I'm Neal Conan, NPR News in Washington.

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