• Behind the Push for An Afghan School

    Joe Klein's story "A Tale of Soldiers and a School" provides a gripping but incomplete picture of the state of educational affairs in Kandahar, Afghanistan [April 26]. Help the Afghan Children, which I help run and which is led by Afghan American Suraya Sadeed, is implementing an innovative peace-education program in Kandahar city that is helping 36,500 children in 22 targeted schools. Our project is far from perfect, but your readers should receive a more balanced picture of current efforts to help children in this very troubled region.

    Stephen Perlman, FAIRFAX, VA.

    I am a hawk, a conservative and not a Joe Klein fan, but this was an excellent article. As a Vietnam vet, I know we should have come home from there much sooner. Under current circumstances, we cannot save Afghanistan, but we can save Captain Jeremiah Ellis and hundreds like him.

    Karl Storath, ROMULUS, N.Y.

    Ellis and those who struggle to change the face of the war in Afghanistan have a daunting task. Guerrilla war waged by foreigners, as history affirms, is an uphill battle, as it means the killing of locals and the strengthening of the opposition. Hence two things are imperative for success: involve the powerful neighboring Muslim countries that recognize the Taliban are a cancer on their religion, and give moderate Taliban--they do exist--a voice in government to divide them from and undermine the extremists.

    Captain Connell Maguire, U.S. Navy (ret.), RIVIERA BEACH, FLA.

    Reading about what is happening from a writer at the front lines rather than from pundits sitting behind desks was an eye-opener. Klein's insightful, thought-provoking story shows the savvy of our troops in assisting a foreign people in their recovery, not just in waging war and creating havoc. It reminds me to offer my thanks to our GIs struggling to help in a land that is so dangerous and different from what most of us know living here in the U.S.

    Nanci Watkins, FREDERICK, COLO.

    Klein summed up the folly and incompetence of our misguided wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our junior officers, who are the best and brightest, are led by the dumb and dumbest. My advice to Ellis is, Be very proud of your service but upon discharge, run away from the Army fast. They do not deserve your intelligence and for sure don't deserve your life.

    Ed Henry, MILTON, DEL.

    Please have Klein do a follow-up piece in six months so we'll know how Ellis fares and if the school gets a passing grade.

    Peter van Dernoot, DENVER

    What's That Green Leaf On My Plate?

    Thanks for "A Revolution in School Lunches" [April 26]. I have been less than impressed with lunch fare at my kids' elementary school. I allow them to buy lunch at school one day a week, which they consider a treat. If Revolution Foods had a contract with our school district, I would let my kids buy lunch at school much more often. Note to Revolution Foods: please come to western Pennsylvania.

    Chris Turner, BETHEL PARK, PA.

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