• What Rover Knows

    It is good to know that animals are being recognized as "smarter than we realized" [Aug. 16]. It only took us a gazillion years to figure that out, and we're the "smart" ones?

    Rebecca Stokes, FORT MYERS, FLA.

    To leave parrots out of your article is almost more than my companion birds can bear. Irene Pepperberg and Alex the African gray parrot did much to change minds on this topic, but anyone who has these birds realizes they have intelligence and can sense your ups and downs.

    Clarence P. Cameron, MADISON, WIS.

    Thank you so much for this article. We are not the only intelligent beings on this earth, and animals should be treated with respect, not just as pets.

    Kelly French, DELAWARE, OHIO

    Battle at Ground Zero

    I have followed the fight over a possible Islamic center near the World Trade Center with mixed emotions [The Moment, Aug. 16]. While it is true that not all Muslims were responsible for 9/11, it is also true that Muslim extremists killed 3,000 innocent people in the name of Allah. If Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan were really interested in healing relations among Christians, Jews and Muslims, they should have been sensitive to this fact and proposed a cultural center and place of worship that would represent the faiths of all who died on that day.

    Rosemarie Ratti, SPRINGFIELD, VT.

    It is only natural that the families of 9/11 victims would be horrified by the proposed Islamic center. But rather than persecuting U.S. Muslims, should we not work with them toward a stronger relationship? Daisy Khan wants to start the healing. Hopefully she will be able to show Americans a different view of Islam.

    Regina Thornton, PITTSBURGH

    The vast majority of the opponents of the project do not harbor anti-Islamic sentiments but have the common sense to know that building a mosque so close to Ground Zero would touch a nerve that is still very raw. Build it somewhere else!

    Eric C. Zabicki, NEW YORK CITY

    I don't agree with the criticisms of Park 51, but if people can't voice them out of fear that doing so will benefit al-Qaeda, as Bobby Ghosh suggests, wouldn't that truly be the victory for terrorists?

    Ben Garner, TULSA, OKLA.

    Rethinking Iraq

    Re "Never Again" [Aug. 16]: Joe Klein's excellent summary of our involvement in Iraq has greater credibility because of his mea culpa for his early support of the invasion. We have paid a terrible price for this strategic blunder, while those who seek us harm have grown.

    George Delaney, JUPITER, FLA.

    'Nancy Gibbs' Essay on her dog, Twist, helped me recognize that my kids were raised not just by my husband and me but also by our dog, Oso.'

    Sally Nogg, POUGHQUAG, N.Y

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