A strong US that also doesn't meddle

Regarding your June 8 opinion piece "Build a stronger US without fear": I strongly disagree with the premise that we won the cold war and that the US is now uniquely safe, secure, and prosperous. If that is so, why is the government seeking more controls and further erosion of our liberties to protect us from terrorism? And, are we safe with our military in such a state of collapse? I agree that nuclear missile defense may not be the best idea, but we still need to maintain a strong military for defense purposes.

As long as the US government continues meddling, interfering, and bullying other countries through economics or other means, there will be much resentment and hate toward the US. We must mind our own business and run our own country the best we can, so we can be a beacon for all other countries to emulate.

Nancy S. Dargle Seneca, S.C.

Responding to terrorism

I must applaud your June 7 editorial "Antiterrorism's limits," concerning the current knee-jerk reaction to the perceived threat of terrorism. As a former career Army officer and former diplomat, I have seen the results of real terrorist activities, as well as the evidence of our often simplistic reaction thereto. And, frankly, our reactions usually give the terrorists - whoever they might be - the very thing they usually seek: publicity. Meanwhile, we pat ourselves on the back for our "proactive antiterrorist/counterterrorist" activities.

We reduce the threat of terrorism, and serve the best interest of the United States, when we remember why our forefathers founded this country - to be a place where democracy and essential fairness were the rule, not the exception. When we forget this, we hand ourselves over to manipulation by those extremists - both domestic and foreign - who use violence as a political weapon.

Gary R. Hobin Leavenworth, Kan.

Clinton out of sync with media

It was encouraging to read your June 5 editorial "Star wars trek" questioning Clinton's attempt to push for a "limited antimissile defense system." The Clinton administration, supposedly egged on by the CIA and the Pentagon, is out of sync with the media and has little public support for a limited antimissile defense system. Cheers for the media!

Fred Duperrault Mountain View, Calif.

Mothers' rights for their children

The June 7 editorial "Supreme court, family court," endorsed the Supreme Court's decision regarding parents' right to control who visits their children.

However, it should have specified that this is largely a mother's right, because these disputes almost always arise from family courts' practice of awarding sole custody to mothers. In fact, these courts do not even enforce the minimal parenting time allowed to fathers.

If equal parenting were the normal practice after divorce, these grandparents' disputes would rarely arise, and presidential candidates would not be grandstanding about absent fathers.

Neil Steyskal Washington

Objective coverage of Kashmir

Regarding your June 6 article "The widening gap on Kashmir": It was one of the best articles I've read on Kashmir in a long time, and it was even a bit hopeful.

It was balanced and it laid out the reality of the situation there very clearly without appealing to anyone's negative stereotypes of Muslims or other groups, and without resorting to the use of any inflammatory labels like "terrorists," "oppressors," etc.

Yasmin Alam Anaheim Hills, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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