Letters to the Editor

Readers write about war in Iraq, Second Amendment rights, and the public image of Buddhism.

American leaders need to bring an end to Iraq war

In response to Mark Moyar's March 20 Opinion piece, "Iraq five years later – still too soon to judge": We have "fortitude." We need leaders who can define an attainable goal (a "win"). With the current administration, victory is redefined each day to meet the media's requirements.

Max Kiltz
San Diego, Calif.

Regarding Mark Moyar's recent Opinion piece on Iraq: According to Mr. Moyar, "Most of what Senators Obama and Clinton presently say about Iraq concerns past mistakes. The next president, however, will not be a time-machine operator, but a shaper of the present and future who will need to offer the American people not gloom, but hope."

Personally, I can't think of a more hopeful act than bringing our troops home. And past mistakes are perfectly relevant when we have a hard-core war supporter like Sen. John McCain running for office.

Fraser Sherman
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Show Iraq war's positives, too

Regarding the March 20 article, "In the US, a disquiet": I must say it is the most one-sided, gloom-and-doom piece I've seen so far on the fifth anniversary of the war. I don't necessarily support the war; I have mixed emotions about it, but one thing I do believe is that reporters should at least give both sides of a story. The facts I see are that the violence is down in Iraq. Progress is being made, although slowly. But then, anyone who believes it would have been easy is kidding himself. There are positives. The government seems to be stabilizing and taking more control. The surge seems to be working. Sunnis are now more likely to ally themselves with the effort against terrorism. So why such a negative report?

William P. Blackman
Boerne, Texas

Gun rights were for national defense

In response to your March 21 editorial, "Trigger happy on gun rights": I am so sorry that you are all so afraid of England attacking you again. The Second Amendment was enacted so that you had the ability to defend yourselves by a well-regulated militia for the security of this nation. Against whom? That was England. 1812 was proof of that.

Your Founding Fathers did not consider it necessary for the nation to be armed so as to shoot schoolchildren, or so as to aid burglary, or so as to empower street gangs. Your Founding Fathers would be appalled at seeing automatic rifles, sawed-off shotguns, rocket launchers, etc., in the hands of their own next-door neighbors.

If you are looking for the best interpretation of the Second Amendment, you should ask yourselves what would they have wanted or what did they mean.

I hope the US Army is well armed today and therefore "the People" are armed. The people means the nation. Thank you for being a friend of England.

Paul Metcalf
Richmond, Texas

Don't treat Buddhism as exotic

Regarding the March 14 article, "Police keep tight lid on Tibet after protests": The reference to Tibetan monks using "martial arts techniques ... to shock pupils into enlightenment" is incorrect. The equivalent would be if a Tibetan newspaper explained Christianity as including a rite of "ritual cannibalism" during which the participants eat the flesh of their deity. I realize Tibet and Buddhism are intriguing to us – and rightly so – but there's really no need to enhance Tibetan Buddhism with fabricated exoticism. It does quite well on its own.

Sean Pfister
San Francisco

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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