To the editors:

Gosh all hemlock. In the middle of reviewing M. Butterfly [March 22], Anthony Adler takes time out to explain “the ways in which culture and politics condition us to see things a certain way. Condition us, for instance, to mourn when Iraqi missiles hit Tel Aviv and call it victory when our own missiles shred the men, women, and–mostly–children of Baghdad.” Or does he mean the way his culture and his politics prevent him from conjecturing that Tel Aviv might contain men, women, and children who can be “shredded” by missiles?

George Glauberman

S. Woodlawn

Anthony Adler replies:

Mr. Glauberman misunderstands. The sentence he quotes isn’t about denying Israeli suffering; it’s about acknowledging that Iraqis suffered too. The first rule of war and the first rule of racism are identical: Never concede the enemy’s humanity. You’ve got to break that rule as much as possible.