The War This Time
In "Why Are We in Libya?" Fareed Zakaria has deftly explained the dilemma faced by the U.S. Administration [April 4]. To go the whole hog or not that is the question. If the aim is indeed to topple Muammar Gaddafi, the halfhearted action initiated by President Obama won't do. Gaddafi is too well entrenched. A massive, concerted effort by the U.S. and its allies will be required to rid Libya of Gaddafi, which is not only of strategic but also of humanitarian interest. Obama's role as the leader of the free world demands that he pull out all the stops in pursuit of the noble mission of toppling Gaddafi.
We are now in another war, and more U.S. forces are at risk. I am appalled at President Obama's decision. When the President went to Dover Air Force Base and saw the coffins of the war dead coming home from Afghanistan, I thought, Gee, this guy really gets it! Apparently that was just another photo op.
Troy W. Deckard,
Bedford, Ind., U.S.
President Obama walks through a political minefield with every decision he makes. He can barely breathe without some blowhard critiquing his inhalation technique. Time is on his side, however. He is one of the most logical practitioners ever to sit in the Oval Office.
Grand Junction, Colo., U.S.
Zakaria writes that if Gaddafi "ends up living a lavish life in South Africa and Libya is free of his madness, it's a small price to pay." A small price for whom? It's an awful suggestion morally, financially and in any other way we can imagine that we South Africans should have this murderous hoodlum in our midst.
I suppose Libya and its 6.5 million citizens are very important to the world's economy and maybe even to its political stability, but couldn't you have reversed the photos on your cover [April 4]? For more than 50 years, Elizabeth Taylor unlike the despicable despot Gaddafi made the world a better place to live in, starring in films depicting women with different ways of thinking and showing us all what a true professional and caring human being can achieve.
Charles P. McBride,
Gaithersburg, Md., U.S.
TIME dishonored Taylor by placing her small, beautiful image on the cover with Gaddafi's large, ugly one. The cover should have been hers alone.
Fairfield, Conn., U.S.
Guns and Grief
Patti Davis' Viewpoint on the attempted murder of her father is a wonderful piece about the love for family and an indictment of the criminal-justice system ["Freedom Is Too Good for Hinckley," April 4]. As the victim of a serious crime that occurred when I was 14 years old, I and my family have had the same pains and other feelings that all other crime victims will forever have. While criminals like John Hinckley Jr. are allowed out of prison because they have completed their sentences, their victims will continue to serve lifetime sentences of physical pain, fear and lost dreams.
How disappointing to see TIME publish Davis' mean-spirited and classist diatribe against Hinckley. She takes a tragedy that involved mental illness, easy access to guns and the devastation of multiple families (including Hinckley's) and reduces it to the vilification of Hinckley and even his girlfriends. Davis finds the former too pampered, the latter too low class. Nothing in this essay made a cogent argument about the real issues of this case: crime, punishment, culpability and mental illness.
Jeanne A.K. Hey,
Oxford, Ohio, U.S.
Let's Share the Burden
I'm a Democrat most of the time, but I think the Republicans are right about streamlining entitlement spending ["The Debt Dilemma," April 4]. Changes to the Social Security system could be put into effect if targeted at those in their 20s and 30s, who would have enough time to change their investments. Those over 40 would not have time to recoup the difference if benefits were cut.
Twin Falls, Idaho, U.S.
Why do we talk so much about Social Security and Medicare when discussing the debt? Our tax code allows corporations making billions of dollars to pay no taxes. In the 1950s, corporations accounted for 32% of government revenue; today they account for 9%. We also spend an obscene amount of money on military defense. We are in this financial crisis as a result of corporate greed run amok because of deregulation. Don't blame the debt on the victims.
North Huntingdon, Pa., U.S.
Re the Briefing story "A Push to Limit Abortion" [April 4]: I hope the governor of South Dakota, whose new law requires women seeking an abortion to go through waiting and dissuasive counseling, is offering a livable child-welfare payment to women who make "good choices." Such consistency of principles would be admirable.
Hood River, Ore., U.S.