Probing the 'October Surprise'

Are we afraid to ask?The editorial "Swords and Plowshares," Aug. 21, exposes one of the contradictions of the Bush administration's many policy positions. The editorial says: "The Bush administration has tended to advocate both arms control and continued large arms transfers to the Middle East." Why the contradiction? Why are we continuing to feed the fires of additional violence in the Middle East? Is it possible that we have converted so much of our national manufacturing capacity to the military-industrial complex that we have relatively little else to export? We have been misled by the administration on many issues, foreign and domestic, and aggressive, investigative reporting in print as well as TV seems to have weakened considerably. It's almost like the hidden presence of a censor, as I recall during World War II, a sort of fear to say too much in a letter home. Are we becoming afraid of our own government? Wayne A. Lawson, Bellevue, Wash.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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