Letters to the Editor

Readers write about occupation of Bosnia, French rioters, global warming's effect on kids, and China's relationship with the dollar.

Is occupation necessary to cure fragmentation?

In response to the Nov. 30 article, "Bosnia's latest political crisis": The United Nations is doing the same thing in Bosnia that the United States has been trying to do in Iraq. That goal is to prevent, through occupation, the fragmentation of a country that has never been held together except by dictators.

I wonder if our desire to maintain the unity of Bosnia and Iraq doesn't boil down to a fundamental arrogance on our part.

Who are we to say that Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims – or Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds for that matter – are primitive ethnic groups that need to be taught how to get along? And that they are not full-fledged nationalities that deserve their own states?

Michal Zapendowski
New York

French rioters considered law-breakers

In response to the Nov. 28 article, "Paris riots renew call for community cops": The most important component of the renewed tensions and violence in the suburbs is French culture itself.

In contrast, in the US, Britain, and Australia, integration is encouraged and differences are tolerated.

French culture does not recognize the non-Western immigrant as equal. It rejects him on the basis of his color and ethnic background.

The French government considers the rioters delinquents and lawbreakers who must be punished.

But a long policy of settling African immigrants in public housing in segregated areas where access to jobs and education are nonexistent is a factor that alienated the youth.

A balanced policy that emphasizes prevention, engagement, and positive self-criticism is the only remedy to these riots that are plaguing French society.

Ignoring them will only postpone dealing with the ever-growing tensions between the state and society.

Zerougui Abdelkader
Washington

Global warming: better to frighten kids

In response to your Dec. 3 editorial, "Warmageddon": The concern for the responses of children to news about global warming shows concern for only half of the problem.

What will the children think of us a few decades from now when they discover that we failed to tell them the truth about global warming?

Is lying to children preferable to frightening them?

Dwight Brown
Kerrville, Texas

China will drop the dollar

In response to Donald Boudreaux's Nov. 28 Opinion piece, "Facing up to the falling dollar": I have a hard time believing that Mr. Boudreaux doesn't think a country like China would be willing to take a loss by dumping its hoard of dollars.

The US has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to send hundreds of thousands of American troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.

These efforts have been conducted in a capricious and cavalier manner.

Thousands of lives have been lost or ruined.

The objectives of these campaigns have been nebulous at best.

If China launched an economic attack against us by, among other things, dumping its reserves of dollars, no lives would be directly at risk.

Why does Mr. Boudreaux think people will gamble with lives, but not with the dollar?

John Stettler
Dallas

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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