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Catch-Up Classes

Re your story on conservatives' plans to get rid of remedial-education classes in colleges [EDUCATION, Oct. 14]: You noted that several states banish remedial students to two-year campuses; critics contend the practice will discourage students from ever making it to four-year colleges. The larger mission of community colleges is to provide learning opportunities for students of all backgrounds and ages. Many of these students start off in developmental courses and receive the preparation they need for productive careers without going on to a four-year university.
Sierra Madre, Calif.

As a teacher of developmental english and reading, I work with many students who are older than 22 . What they lack in classroom skills they often make up for in passion and determination. Their diverse life experiences enrich their writing and strengthen their ability to contribute to class discussions. They want the same thing as other students: a chance to prove themselves.
Macon, Ga.

The real problem is the poor educational standards in high schools that make these remedial college courses necessary. We need to push for stronger educational standards in high schools
Loveland, Colo.

The Sanctions Question

The humanitarian consequences of the sanctions against Iraq furnish Arabs and Muslims in the region with yet another reason to loathe the U.S. [IRAQ, Oct. 14]. This lingering catastrophe poisons public opinion in the Middle East and gives terrorists a rationale for their acts. The solution to the poverty and malnutrition of the Iraqi people is straightforward: lift most of the sanctions on Iraq and retain only the ones that keep military equipment out of Saddam's hands.

The Iraq Debate

Johanna McGeary's article about going to war with Iraq raised the questions we should ask ourselves [IRAQ, Oct.14]. The Bush Administration has whipped up post — Sept. 11 fear to a froth, just in time to stop freewheeling discussion of the string of economic and moral disasters that should have buried Republicans' chances in the midterm elections. These audacious political tactics, brilliantly orchestrated, imperil the future of the U.S. and of world peace.
Pleasant Ridge, Mich.

Re the seven questions on Iraq: here are three more. 1) What the hell do we think we're doing? 2) How are we going to catch Saddam Hussein if we can't catch Osama bin Laden? 3) How far into the toilet is the economy going to go as Bush pursues his objective?

Is Saddam a threat to U.S. security? It is nightmarish to think he could be that stupid. What we have is a President who has a personal quest to get Saddam. Bush said Saddam tried to kill his dad. Does that justify starting a war?
Coconut Creek, Fla.

Perhaps I could be swayed into considering the possibility that President Bush is not motivated purely by politics if he were to insist that his daughters enlist in the military.
Austin, Texas

Attack Now, Later or Never?

The debate about whether to go to war with Iraq in a few months (General Wesley K. Clark's position) or now (Kenneth L. Adelman's view) is no debate at all [VIEWPOINT, Oct. 14]. Both men assume war is appropriate. The real question is, Why should the U.S. go to war at such extreme cost and hazard on the basis of nothing more than speculation? I supported the last war against Iraq because it was a necessary response to Iraq's war of aggression and conquest. I do not support Bush's planned invasion of Iraq because it is a war of aggression being pursued for political ends.
Carmichael, Calif.

Attacking Iraq will simply invite the kind of war we want to avoid. It will certainly give Iraq an excuse to use whatever weapons it has. It will make the rest of the world view us with a jaundiced eye.
Asheville, N.C.

Although Clark very persuasively promoted his position to delay military action against Iraq, I must strongly disagree with that stance. Saddam will have weapons of mass destruction in the very near future. A delaying action to plan and organize would not necessarily mean more domestic support for an attack. Americans have a short memory. If we don't resolve to take action soon, we could slip back into a false sense of security and forget how serious the threat of the Iraqi dictator really is. The U.S. needs to act now, or it will face the consequences later.
Downey, Calif.

The U.S. must support Clark's arguments that we take the time to "do the whole job the right way." Rushing into war will not improve the U.S.'s reputation in the Arab world. As Clark points out, we will be responsible for a postconflict plan to rebuild Iraq after years of neglect, self-inflicted damage and social repression. We cannot hope to understand the urgent needs and challenges facing the Iraqi people in a post-Saddam nation without the input of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries in the region. Let's make sure we take the time, as Clark suggests.
Warren, Mich.

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