Letters to the Editor

Readers write about separate countries for Iraqis, veterans needing full care, treating prisoners with respect, and how corn-based ethanol is not a solution to the energy crisis.

In Iraq, separate countries are not needed?

Regarding O'Brien Browne's Oct. 22 Opinion article, "Cause of Iraq's chaos: bad borders": We look for simple answers to complex problems, as Mr. Browne does in this piece.

Iraq could be separated into three countries reflecting religious and ethnic differences. However, as Browne noted, no outside force can ever overrule loyalties that "lay with family, tribe, linguistic grouping, and religious orientation."

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There are differences within the three subgroups of Sunni, Kurd, and Shiite, especially tribal and family. These differences could tear apart these new countries.

Where would it end? How small a country can you have? Sure, carving artificial borders creates major havoc, but creating a country for every tribe is ridiculous.

What holds countries like the US together? Tolerance, education, and economic benefits, which can be applied to any peoples.

Stewart Galloway
Round Lake, N.Y.

Regarding Mr. Browne's Opinion piece on splitting up Iraq, the problem is that armies have marched across that piece of real estate for thousands of years. In other words, wars of conquest began when we reached a certain level of civilization.

To right the wrongs of past conquests, a Kurdistan should be carved out of six nations that Kurds call home: Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Georgia, and Azberbajian.

In Iraq, the Sunnis will do all right because most Muslims are Sunni. The Shiites will also be OK because of Iranian support. But the Kurds will only be allowed a portion of their homeland and will be at the mercy of everyone else, which means those who surround them will continue to attack and kill them.

Kevin Synnott
Dickinson, N.D.

Veterans deserve full care

In response to the Oct. 22 article, "Wounded troops overwhelm care": The members of the Armed Forces called to serve their country have no choice – they go and serve. Almost without exception this involves tremendous personal sacrifice, especially for reserve forces who have to set aside their civilian life.

It is unacceptable to limit care for those who are wounded during their service to our country. As a country, we need to step up on this issue and pay whatever it requires to provide proper care for wounded veterans.

They answered the call, now support them. Figure out how later; provide the care now.

Jack Dearing
Matthews, N.C.

Treat prisoners with respect

The well-written Oct. 19 article, "US defends its harsh treatment of an American citizen," concerning the US Justice Department's justification for detaining Jose Padilla, highlights the need for a comprehensive review of what is humane and what is torture.

Has the Justice Department departed from its senses? Where is the humanity in the dispensation of justice? Mr. Padilla is an American citizen.

It seems that this issue deserves all the publicity and exposure it can get. The broad sweep of the Justice Department's rulings are mind-numbing.

There simply can be no justification for this kind of treatment.

Ask those who worked in World War II debriefing Nazi prisoners. They often said they got more information from treating their prisoners nicely, playing chess or cards with them.

Tony Gillotte
Vacaville, Calif.

Corn-based ethanol: not a solution

In response to your Oct. 23 editorial, "Halt the gold rush to corn fuel": For a number of reasons, corn-based ethanol is not the solution to the immense energy problems our nation is facing. Should it be part of the solution? By all means.

But so should ethanol made from other plants, other energy sources, and of course the path so many Americans seem so resistant to accept, a reduction in our own consumption of fuel – beginning, obviously, with vehicles that are far more efficient and that consume far less.

Carl Mattioli
Newtonville, Mass.

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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