Letters to the Editor

Readers endorse all-out war effort in Iraq and call on colleges to allow school rankings.

Victory in Iraq requires all-out effort

Regarding John Dillin's April 12 Opinion piece, "America, Iraq, and the question of total war": I find the piece very sobering. I'd like to believe that the US today could rise to the challenge of total war that my parents and grandparents faced during the fight against fascism under the leadership of President Franklin Roosevelt.

It is unfortunate that presently in Iraq we've undertaken a war against more than one head of a hydra.

The other heads have attacked the US at home and all over the world.

If we choose to ignore history, we are doomed to repeat mistakes. I wonder what history will tell us of America's time fighting in Iraq.

Anthony Leonido
Boston

In response to John Dillin's April 12 Opinion piece urging all-out efforts in Iraq: This Opinion piece was outstanding. In very evenhanded, logical, nonpartisan language, Mr. Dillin has broken down the choices perfectly. All Americans need to read Dillin's Opinion piece and do some true soul-searching. Bravo.

Paul Ward
Grand Rapids, Mich.

In response to John Dillin's April 12 Opinion piece reminding us of more robust US efforts in previous wars: The reason the people have turned against the war is that we aren't fighting to win. As in previous wars, politicians are running the war from Washington rather than letting the military fight the war in the field.

In Korea, Gen. Douglas MacArthur's hands were tied; the US had reduced its forces so much that it was nearly impossible to fight effectively.

The Vietnam war was lost by those in Washington who wouldn't let the military fight to win. All we heard about were "surgical strikes" and how President Lyndon Johnson picked targets from Washington. In the Gulf War, we should have let the troops take out Saddam Hussein. We had the opportunity, until politics reared its ugly head.

Now, again, we're fighting a war without giving troops the means to win. I've had two sons fight in Iraq. Both say we need to give our troops more freedom to fight and win. I don't mean we should level the place. But we should give troops the authority to do what needs to be done.

Politicians need to stop trying to win the war without damage, injuries, or death. Let the military fight the war, and they will be out of Iraq fairly soon.

Darryl Ferguson
Visalia, Calif.

Colleges rank sports, why not selves?

In response to the April 12 article, "The 'U.S. News' list: College presidents plan rankings boycott": Colleges seem to have no problem letting their athletic teams be ranked, but they protest when U.S. News and World Report tries to rank their schools.

At the heart of it all, what the rankings point to is academic reputation. Sure, in some instances, that reputation may be overblown or understated in some fashion. So be it.

But a university should stand on its reputation, and it should be tirelessly building and defending that reputation.

If rankings such as the one from U.S. News and World Report are part of that, then they should accept that. It's the real world.

Colleges are perfectly willing to live with rankings set to all sorts of criteria on the playing fields. Why not where it matters more: in the halls of higher learning?

Why can't we get information from an objective outside source? Do colleges' websites really tell us all we need to know?

Richard Jarvis
Alpharetta, Ga.

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.

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