Nation Builders

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I was deeply moved by Joe Klein's article "The New Greatest Generation" [Aug. 29]. In recognizing the accomplishments and acquired abilities of the veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, he has renewed my faith that our beloved country will return to sanity. I came of age during World War II and enthusiastically pass on the Greatest Generation designation.
Mollie Hollowell, DOYLESTOWN, PA., U.S.

In updating the term Greatest Generation, you trivialize it. The term was adopted to honor those who fought in World War II; more than 291,000 died in combat, nearly 671,000 were wounded, and more than 73,000 are still listed as missing in action. I do not want to diminish the sacrifices being made by today's men and women in uniform, but I would appreciate your affixing another name to them.
Joseph R. Corrigan, SANFORD, N.C., U.S.,

Thank you for your uplifting article on the positive impact that veterans are making on American society. Klein helps break the stereotype that veterans are troubled time bombs or robots who can't think for themselves by recognizing that they have gained important leadership and social skills from their military training and deployments.

We're all frustrated by Republicans, Democrats and the Tea Party. Why don't we have a Veterans Party? Judging from your article, the vets have a better perspective on life than the current gang on Capitol Hill, all of whom should be fired!
Robert Cockerham, FAIRFAX, VA., U.S.

It's heartening to learn how some of the U.S.'s wounded vets are not only re habilitating themselves but also helping others. At the same time, it is important to remember that the gratuitous attack on Iraq shattered that nation's physical and social infrastructure and that the occu pa tion of Afghanistan continues long after the initial excuse for the invasion has evaporated. The success of a few good men in the U.S. and in Haiti is not enough to outweigh the bloody legacy the U.S. is bequeathing to the next generation.
John R. Perry, CHICAGO

The Buck Doesn't Stop Here
John Sununu has joined the chorus blaming the President for the U.S. economy [It's Obama's Downgrade, Aug. 29]. What utter nonsense! No President — Republican or Democratic — can raise or lower taxes or change spend ing levels or priorities. Only Congress can. Since Obama's Inauguration, the Republicans, joined by the Tea Partyers elected last year, have made it clear that their only objective is to ensure that Obama is a one-term President, and they have acted accordingly. It is their economy, bought and paid for.

The S&P downgrade had less to do with Obama's policies than the intransigence of the Republican-dominated House. The Tea Party has the implicit goal of the deconstruction of the federal government. No one should be surprised by the resulting economic chaos. Electing these people to Congress is like appointing jihadists to oversee airport security.
Bruce Frank, BONDVILLE, VT., U.S.

Japan's Struggle Continues
Re "A Long Road to Recovery" [Aug. 29.]: I could not agree more with Krista Mahr's article on the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Nontransparency and procrastination by those in charge left many of us in the dark. Recovery may indeed be unusually lethargic, but we have every reason to believe that Fukushima will return to normal, as there are many kind souls helping out diligently.
Miko Isetan, KOBE, JAPAN

I can't help but admire the Japanese for their unity and bravery since the Fukushima disaster began in March. Japan's future may seem uncertain for now, but I know it will confront this crisis.
Sophia Malyadi, PARIS,

Autism Research
I was dismayed as I read Judith Warner's article [Autism's Lone Wolf, Aug. 29]. I'm a parent of a child with Asperger's, and it seems everywhere I turn there are news stories about what causes autism — vaccinations, genes, environmental factors and now perhaps my choice of spouse. Parents of children on the autism spectrum have enough to deal with. Feeling we are somehow responsible for our children's condition is just a bit too much. I wish less time was spent trying to figure out what causes autism and more time was dedicated to developing therapies to help the children who have it.
MaryBeth Matzek, APPLETON, WIS., U.S.

A Stellar Tribute
Bobby Ghosh's Essay on Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor is a real homage to the Indian film star [My Hero! Aug. 29]. Thank you for saluting a true legend.
Shantanu Mukharji, VACOAS, MAURITIUS