Rediscovering Lebanon's 'Economic Haven'

Rediscovering Lebanon's 'Economic Haven'

Regarding the opinion-page article ''Take the Chains Off Travel to Lebanon,'' July 14: The State Department continues to ignore Lebanon, potentially one of the most important economic players in the Middle East.

Instead of allowing American entrepreneurs access to this economic gold mine, politics stifles economic opportunity. Every day, America falls more and more behind as commerce is lost to London and Paris, where weekly news segments rave about the markets blossoming in Beirut. Is it not time that we allow American businesses the chance to rediscover this economic haven too?

Also, it is simply illogical to equate security conditions in Lebanon with those in Iraq and Libya. We, as Americans, should have the choice to visit Lebanon if we wish. The United States government no longer has reason to prevent us from doing so.

Carol G. Chouchani Arlington, Va.

Protecting people, the environment

Some background information is needed in the front-page article ''Ranchers Clash With Rangers in Wild West,'' July 13. As a retired member of the United States Forest Service, I would like to point out that people in the West have been making steady progress in conservation knowledge and practice.

In the past, federal agencies were more decentralized. The park service preferred to hire local people for seasonal jobs because of their work ethic and knowledge of the park. Now all employees must be selected from the Federal Register.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service poisoned squawfish, once considered a ''trash fish,'' in order to improve fishing on the San Juan River.

Now the surviving squawfish are considered ''endangered,'' and work on the Animas/La Plata project has been halted. This water project is needed to fulfill treaty obligations with the Ute Tribe. The US Forest Service sold large volumes of timber so that the parents of the baby boomers could have affordable housing. Now very little timber is sold, despite heavy losses from insects, disease, and fire.

It is the government that has changed, not the people. Part of the problem is that the environmental movement has been insensitive to what its actions may do to people.

Jack H. Ott Mancos, Colo.

Remembering youth activist Iqbal

The article ''Students Honor a Friend's Memory With a New School,'' June 22, is about 7th graders in Quincy, Mass., raising money to fulfill the dream of Iqbal Masih (a youth activist who deplored child labor conditions in Pakistan and who was later killed) to build a school in Muridke, Pakistan. The dedication of these 7th graders to their friend inspired me and others. I was disappointed that you left no information about how I might be able to help the children in their cause. Where can I and others send a donation, or what can we do to help?

Robin Kaye Larsen Rexburg, Idaho

Editor's note: Donations may be sent to ''A School for Iqbal Masih Fund,'' c/o The Hibernia Savings Bank, Quincy High School Branch, 731 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02170. E-mail messages can be sent to ''RonAdams2@aol.com.''

The relevance of first ladies

Regarding the front-page article ''Hillary Clinton Takes a Page From Eleanor Roosevelt Book,'' July 11: I was amazed to read that American University historian Allan Lichtman thinks ''that first ladies are irrelevant to their husbands' reelection chances, even when they have played important policy roles.'' Many components go into a marriage and many more into a presidential election. No matter what a person does (good or bad), is she irrelevant to her spouse's success or failure? I think the statement is baloney.

Nancy Leussler Glendale, Wis.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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