In the wake of the September 11 attacks, many have endeavored to spin the tragedy into support of their disparate agendas by projecting their own motivations on the terrorists. Thus, those who oppose sanctions on Iraq argue that this was the reason behind the attacks. Those who oppose Israel insist that we have angered Arab fundamentalists with our support of Israel. I thought I had seen this tactic stretched to its breaking point when I heard people explaining that this was the just desserts of failing to sign the Kyoto treaty on global warming (I’m sure that really steamed bin Laden, who considers carbon dioxide to be an infidel gas).

But then came the letter from Mark Dawson [September 28], asserting “some relationship between the violence inflicted in New York most recently and the violence inflicted on a bicycle messenger two years ago on the west side of Chicago.” I must say that I am intrigued by this hypothesis, but Mr. Dawson never fleshed it out. Is he saying that Thomas McBride was run down by a “sleeper” al Qaeda agent? Or is this more of a man-stuck-in-traffic/Loch-Ness-Monster synchronicity-style connection?

Either way, I have to say that the letter was brilliant. Except that it be-longed in the Onion, not the Reader.

Dan Shmikler

Wicker Park