Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the denial of a visa, saving the planet, and the shocking Taser YouTube video.

What's behind US denial of a visa for an Arab academic

In response to Tariq Ramadan's Oct. 31 Opinion piece, "The US blacklisted me. Let's talk," it is clear that he has a definite understanding of the importance of freedom of speech.

It makes one wonder why our security officials want to exclude Mr. Ramadan from this country.

He is, after all, just the kind of lecturer who is needed here, knowledgeable about Western views of democracy, fluent in English, moderate in political views, and devoted to the idea of a discussion between America and the Arab world.

Could it be that our officials want to exclude Ramadan from our shores because he undermines their stereotype of all Arabs as barbaric, irrational fanatics?

Miriam Reik
New York

Focus on saving the planet, not waging war

In response to the Nov. 1 article, "Within democratic field, Iran is the new Iraq": Doesn't it seem as if we are in a "war" frame of mind in this country?

Why? We are facing the demise of the planet from pollution and overconsumption. We are experiencing brutality against people at a magnitude that we have not seen before.

Why would we let the presidential campaign degenerate into a discussion about war in Iran? Shouldn't we be talking about how to heal the world for future generations?

Mary Heinricht
Camano Island, Wash.

YouTube's Taser video: shock effects

Regarding Dennis Jett's Oct. 31 Opinion piece, "What YouTube doesn't show": For many of us in this country, veracity is essential in the workplace. If we were found to be dishonest by omission or misinformation, we could and would lose our jobs.

Yet the very people we depend on to keep us informed in an unbiased manner regularly fail to do so.

It seems that they are unable to keep their own house in order.

With few exceptions (for example, Dan Rather, Mirthala Salinas, and Stephen Glass) there is no consequence for this, at least publicly.

I'm not sure which is worse, that we as readers find it so easy to be seduced by these stories or that the media does a less than stellar job of policing itself.

How many people were affected by this rush to create controversy?

Not counting the man-hours, can you imagine the ordeal that people were put through to create the 300-page report about this incident? And it was hardly mentioned in the media.

I certainly would be interested in what this investigation cost, and if it will be passed on to the individual responsible.

Kevin M. Kortlander
Grimsley, Tenn.

In response to Dennis Jett's Oct. 31 Opinion piece: As one of the millions of people worldwide who saw the Florida incident on YouTube, I feel compelled to point out that many of us, if not most, were outraged by the reckless use of electric shocks on a restrained individual.

The individual wasn't armed; he was on the ground, surrounded by four police officers.

What we saw and hated was torture, not censorship.

The United States is admired for its freedoms. It's also dreaded for its violence, at home and abroad.

Mr. Jett would be wise to recognize this if he aspires to analyzing the failures of US foreign policy.

Nicolas Monnet
Paris

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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