Letters

Readers write about the new global arms race, US attorney firings, and the viability of the Yiddish language.

An arms race can have peaceful ends

In response to the March 26 article, "It's back: the global arms race": One reason we spend more on our military is simple. It is because we should never be in a race, per se, but always dominant in current and future conflicts; anything less is negligent and puts our soldiers in peril.

To summarize Sun Tzu, the noted Chinese war strategist, "To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."

We should always try the olive branch, but keeping a dominant stick deters those who do not want peace.
Doug Houston
Wichita Falls, Texas

US attorney firings in context

In response to the March 27 article, "Why US attorneys were fired: the evidence so far": The firing of eight US attorneys by the Bush administration broke no laws.

What we have is a Congress controlled by the opposition Democratic Party that is using the occasion to harass President Bush and his inner circle of executive advisers and administrators for political gain.

The needs and maintenance of the United States come first, not this corrupt use of congressional power to conduct show trials.
Arthur G. Shadforth
Merritt Island, Fla.

Regarding the March 27 article about the US attorneys being fired: This story about the controversial firing process isn't complete without reviewing how the Bush administration seems to have attempted to politicize all parts of the government.

Science, law enforcement, economics, the military, and many other disciplines have been used, or ignored, in what appears to be an attempt to strengthen the administration and weaken its opponents.

The firing of those prosecutors needs to be added to the list of questionable actions in which the Bush administration has engaged.
Erwin Leving
South Range, Wis.

Beware 'allies' who aren't friends

Regarding your March 26 editorial, "A Saudi-US fence around Iran": So Saudi Arabia is now eager to help curb the spread of radical Islam. What wonderful allies! But does anyone remember that the 9/11 murderers were nearly all Saudi citizens?

For the past generation, Saudi Arabia has been one of the primary sources of funding for radical Islam. Our great Saudi allies have spent a good chunk of their oil revenues to spread their anti-Western version of Islam.

While we Americans must surely welcome any help we can get in finding a diplomatic solution to Iranian ambitions, let us not forget that "allies" does not mean "friends."

The Saudis will be our allies only as long as it serves their own ambitions. They are not friends.
Bonnie Milani
Encino, Calif.

The Yiddish language is still viable

Regarding the March 21 article, "Last of the Yiddish Mohicans": I want to express my appreciation for this interesting and informative story. As it notes, here in Jerusalem, Yiddish is widely spoken by the ultraOrthodox community. There must be tens of thousands of native speakers here, so much so that we routinely hear it spoken by children, on the street, in shops, on the bus, etc.

I guess the prevalence of the language is a good indicator of its viability. If a language is not a natural part of the fabric of daily community life, it must be very hard to "preserve" it artificially.
Raymond Cohen
Jerusalem

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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. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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 Letters.

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