Letters

Patriotism on college campuses

Regarding "College campuses are a hotbed of ... pro-war fervor?" (Nov. 27): Isn't it misleading to use only the University of Texas (UT) in an article whose title implies it is representative of all US college campuses? UT does not represent the views of all campuses. And wouldn't UT, the university of President Bush's home state, be most susceptible of supporting his war efforts? This is not an accurate representation of the nation's college students. Consider polling more than one campus before printing articles that appear to reflect public opinion.

Vanya Sandberg Kirkland, Wash.

It should be pointed out that campus activism in opposition to the Vietnam War took years to develop. For most of the war, the majority of students on campus favored governmental policy. Thus, it should not be surprising that campus organizing against our current war on terrorism is in its early stages. It should also be pointed out that antiwar efforts have organized much more quickly, and with greater participation, than at a comparable stage in Vietnam. It is clear that the fires of dangerous patriotism are being stoked once again in this country.

Joseph T. Miller Urbana, Ill.

Your article on pro-war fervor nails down my own opinion succinctly and accurately. In 1967-68 I was a rifleman in an infantry unit. My company operated from the coastal plains to the central highlands of Vietnam. Back then, I thought people of my generation who were against the war were overindulged, but they really did have something to fear. Now, college boys, wrapped in red, white, and blue think making a "masculine statement" is waving a flag at a frat party. If the war proceeds and American lives are taken, we'll see what their change in opinion will be.

Ron M. Anguiano Lakewood, Colo.

A new best friend for the US: Russia

I read with interest "A pivotal meeting for Russia, US" (Nov. 13) where Russians, suspicious of President Putin's warmth toward the US, said, "... it feels like another round of giving America what it wants while Russia gets nothing."

It has been little reported that the reason oil prices have been going down during the current tensions, is Russian generosity in flooding pipelines. This not only keeps the pressures of the Middle East off the US economy, but brings hard currency flooding back into Russia.

Perhaps the Russians can catch a glimmer of what Mr. Putin sees ahead for a country that stands with the US. People in the US stood beside the British during the Falklands War as well as WWI and WWII. What constant friends the British are to us, and never more than now.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see the benefits of a truly supportive and long-lasting friendship begin to blossom with the people of Russia as well?

Charles S. Cohn Folsom, Calif.

In war, think beyond PR 'problems'

Your article "US is prevailing with its most finely tuned war" (Nov. 21) attributes to planners of the current American military action in Afghanistan "the desire to avoid causing civilian casualties that could inflame Muslim public opinion." It seems to me that there are better reasons to avoid causing civilian casualties than the concern about Muslim public opinion.

My guess is that many people in the world think it typically arrogant of the US to view the killing of American civilians by Islamic extremists as a violation of universal moral principles, but the killing of Afghan civilians by our forces as a public relations problem.

Jack V. Wales Jr. Ojai, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail we receive, 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.

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