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Re "The Don Quixote of Darfur" [Nov. 12]: Luis Moreno-Ocampo helped prosecute the worst criminals in the history of my native Argentina, an unimaginable task that would have cost him his life only a few months earlier. But your article's title seemed to imply that Moreno-Ocampo, now prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, is engaged in acts of futility. Don Quixote fought imaginary enemies represented by windmills, while Moreno-Ocampo is fighting the world's worst real enemies: those who commit crimes against humanity. We should cherish the unparalleled moral clarity of Moreno-Ocampo, who provides stark contrast to other officials, like the recently appointed Attorney General, who refused to say whether or not waterboarding is torture.
Ricardoj. Galarza, GUILDERLAND, N.Y.
As an argentine, I am very proud of Moreno-Ocampo. I want to congratulate him for getting so far in his career and working so hard to bring justice to Darfur. I wish him very good luck.
Elina Salvarregui, NASHVILLE
The First Cut Is the Deepest
Your article on male circumcision didn't mention the protective, sensory and sexual functions of the foreskin [Nov. 12]. A boy's intact foreskin protects against urine and fecal matter during the diaper phase, contains numerous erogenous receptors and matures into a natural sliding and gliding mechanism that enables nonabrasive, self-lubricating sexual activity. Research has found that circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis. Any discussion of circumcision should start with the foreskin's biological role.
Erica Fuchs, AMES, IOWA
Thanks for bringing attention to an issue we rarely give thought to, despite being disgusted by reports of female circumcision. The surgery causes severe pain and trauma, yet many doctors still don't use anesthesia. The genital health of European males is comparable to that of U.S. males, and it is better in some ways--for example, HIV infection rates are lower among (mostly intact) European males than among (mostly circumcised) U.S. males.
Amber Craig, DURHAM, N.C.
Your article was hardly neutral, what with a picture of a crying baby, another showing a banner that read STOP INFANT CIRCUMCISION, and a quote in large boldface type from a member of an anticircumcision group who claims he "always felt something was missing." He should get his head examined, not the body part in question.
Ken Cowan, PARIS
If Americans would get over their religion and sex taboos and teach their children hygiene, parents would not be mutilating their sons. I'm sure God or whoever the grand designer is put the foreskin there for a reason. Leave it on, and keep it clean!
Jim Malatak, SEATTLE
"The Art of Tailgating" reminded me of a luncheon my husband and I planned about 30 years ago, prior to a UNC-Duke football game [Nov. 12]. We encountered horrendous traffic and had no time for our party, so we carried our coolers into the stadium and ate our quiche, raw vegetables and dip at our seats. Apparently our Yankee menu caused quite a sensation, and people all around us were staring and pointing. Finally, one young Southern gentleman, seated several seats to the right in the row below us, became so curious that he yelled, "What are they eating?" The answer was swift and tinged with horror from those seated immediately in front of us: "Custard pie and uncooked vegetables!" We still get a chuckle over that "tailgate party."
Bonnie Martha Hall, HINGHAM, MASS.
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