Letters

Counteract anti-American views with information

With the increasing anti-American tone of the third world, our diplomatic efforts are of increasing importance. I spent 28 years in the United States Information Agency (USIA) in overseas posts and in Washington, explicating policies and American values abroad. Taking policy guidance from the White House and the State Department, we built amazing goodwill and understanding among millions around the world looking beyond the confines of their own repressive governments for signs of hope from the US. Today, we have more friends abroad than we might think, and we need to reach out to them anew.

USIA's demise and the consolidation of its functions in the State Department folded a small, resilient, quick-acting government agency that advised the president and his cabinet about foreign public opinion into the oldest cabinet department of our government. USIA is not close to functioning as it used to. In time, the State Department will strengthen its cultural and public-informational outreach efforts in the same tradition as the USIA did at its founding in 1953. Colin Powell has already taken major steps to increase the role public diplomacy plays within the State Department. He sees it as a serious implement of our overall international diplomatic engagement, as it should be.
Bruce K. Byers
Reston, Va.

Work university students harder

Regarding "Ways to curb college binges" (Editorial, April 11): Having traveled to several places in Europe and Asia, I have been amazed by the lack of university students I've seen going to night clubs. When I've asked about this, the answer is always the same. "They are studying." When I was in college, I would have been considered a binge drinker. Because my classes were so easy, I could get away with that behavior. A solution to college drinking might be to have the universities examine their curriculums. I went to school with some students who spent five to seven years getting undergraduate degrees, mostly due to partying. What kind of university policies allow this to happen?
Dave Futch
Mililani, Hawaii

Broad view of local news appreciated

Regarding "Students demand divestment, this time targeting Israel" (April 9): Your unbiased reporting in this article about the activities of the Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of California at Berkeley was noticed. I live just over the hill from Berkeley and was shocked to find out this was going on and to realize that the local newspapers had been ignoring this movement and the thought-provoking issues this group is helping to raise.

The articles' accompanying photograph showing the mock Israeli checkpoint was an eye-catching and appropriate one. The next day when the local paper carried a photograph of campus police arresting these angry demonstrators and a sensational article focusing on campus confrontations, I was most grateful for having been provided with a much deeper and more balanced view of the situation.
Heather Honegger
Lafayette, Calif.

Breaking the step-family myth

Regarding "The good news about step families" (Homefront, April 3): Thank you for publishing this article about the good side of stepfamilies. As a soon-to-be stepparent, I find my role often painted in a negative light by the media. We all know of, and hear about, the archetype of the "wicked stepmother." It is encouraging to see something positive about the bringing together of such families, to give hope that a stepfamily really is a "family," and that dysfunction is not the necessary result of a restructured family unit.
Heather Foutz
Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of 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.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK