The Taliban is like a venomous cobra, striking at everyone who wants to help Afghanistan become modern and independent [March 8]. The token presence of American forces or U.N. peacekeepers will not bring about a solution. The entire world will have to struggle for years, helping Afghanistan in its transformation. We must achieve this goal.
K.C. SUBHASH CHANDRA
I got home from work weary, upset by the price of gasoline and generally stressed out and found your issue about the war in Afghanistan in my mailbox. It snapped me right out of my gloom. Up in the hills of Afghanistan, exhausted and laden with weapons and gear, an American perseveres. The face of Marine Corporal Patrick Gravenese on your cover said it all. He is tired of the war, but he has to go on for all of us. We here at home lament the minor difficulties we encounter, while our troops are over there, sweating it. God bless them.
Signal Hill, Calif.
My immediate reaction to your cover headline "Afghanistan: The Other War" was, Shouldn't this be the only war?
F. WILLIAM ROFF
Neptune City, N.J.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai was not necessarily the choice of all the various Afghan factions and there are people who feel strongly that there was interference in the political process that led to his selection. As you reported, to this day Karzai is protected by U.S. bodyguards. If Afghans regard his presidency as legitimate, presumably some of them could be found to perform this duty.
PAUL KUNINO LYNCH
No More Clowning Around
I agree with columnist Joe Klein's argument that the issues the public has focused on are turning the election debate into a circus [March 8]. It's time for the war on terrorism, the economy, our kids' future and other priority issues to come to the forefront of the debate. Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, gay marriage and which candidate served more patriotically during the Vietnam War must take a backseat in the clown car of the circus, where they belong.
MARK D. FULLERTON
Don't sell the American people short, Joe Klein. We are ready to roll! It may take a while to rouse us, but then we react with a vengeance. Remember Watergate and President Nixon's fall from power? Americans were incensed, and they demanded justice. We are shocked at the weekly casualties and violence of the Iraq war. We are angry about the loss of jobs and economic decline. We are very concerned about the future and capable leadership. We are not paralyzed, and we want to do something about the economic and foreign policies of the Bush Administration.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
We have only the media to blame for the circus-like atmosphere surrounding issues like Janet Jackson's Super Bowl fiasco, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and same-sex marriages. If the media toned down the rhetoric and images, perhaps Americans would not be impervious to the genuine violence that pervades our culture and would focus on the election's serious issues.
RALPH J. PALMER
Bush's Re-Election Bid
You reported that the president's re-election team has already raised more than $140 million [March 8]. This has to be one of the most obscene pursuits in the history of the American presidency. The U.S. is for sale to Big Money.
Bush may have raised a huge sum for his re-election campaign, but money can't buy credibility with the voters. Remember the Bush team's "careful planning" and patronizing self-confidence before launching the war in Iraq?
In politics as in life, you cannot get the best but often have to choose the least bad. Bush not only has proved incapable of solving problems at home (creating an enormous budget deficit) but has also endangered the whole world by drawing back from international commitments (like the Kyoto Protocol), undermining the authority of the U.N. and ignoring the advice of old allies and the sentiments of the international community. Thanks to Bush's blind policies, the world is a much more dangerous place today. The American people must put an end to this.
Marching Down the Aisle
Your article "For Better Or For Worse?" [March 8] described the upsurge in semilegalized gay marriages. I am disappointed that marriage licenses for same-sex couples are being issued without the proper laws in place in all our states. To avoid a major conflict between gays and heterosexuals, we need to have this issue addressed now, before more mayors seek their 15 minutes of fame. We should not have to wait years for the legal remedy of the constitutional ban that President Bush supports.