Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the Zimbabwe elections, US-Colombia free trade, employment for returning reservists, and protesting the Iraq war.

Leaders can resolve the election dispute in Zimbabwe

Regarding the April 7 article, "Will the world stop Mugabe?": President Robert Mugabe's actions in the wake of the elections only add credence to the view that he has abandoned his role of serving the people of Zimbabwe.

A man who was once a revolutionary hero has allowed himself to be overtaken by self-interest and cronyism, ruling by fear while failing to meet his peoples' basic needs amid food shortages and rampant inflation.

Aside from the mystery surrounding the official electoral count, Mr. Mugabe can best serve his people now by stepping aside with grace, at last listening to the voice of Cincinnatus and other leaders who resisted the temptation to remain in power too long.

Recommended: Commentary
William E. Cooper

Richmond, Va.
University professor,University of Richmond


Regarding the recent article on Zimbabwe's elections: President Bush has repeatedly defended the invasion of Iraq by arguing the United States' role in advocating and even forcefully installing democracy in nondemocratic states.

Even ignoring our support of nondemocratic countries like Saudi Arabia and of dictator wannabes like President Musharraf in Pakistan, how can Mr. Bush sit blithely by while President Mugabe tramples on the democratic rights of Zimbabweans?

Will Buchanan

Brookeville, Md.

US free trade bad for Colombians

In response to your April 9 editorial, "The real issue on free trade": I was disheartened to see that your editorial showed concern only for what the United States could get from a free-trade (as opposed to fair-trade) agreement with Colombia and for what protection US workers will need.

What happens to Colombian farmers when US producers export their subsidized products, tariff-free, to Colombia and sell them at a price lower than Colombian producers need to make to support themselves? Why do you think farmers in Latin America have been rebelling against this model of trade?

Joan Peters

Boulder, Colo.

Unfair strain put on reservists

In response to the April 10 article, "While reservists serve, their jobs don't always wait": A labor-law attorney is quoted as saying, "There are companies that do feel a strain, and it is difficult for them." I say: possibly, but it is still more difficult for the soldiers and their families. Am I the only one with a feeling of outrage?

Daniel D. Kereth

Bluefield, W.Va.

The importance of Iraq war protests

Regarding the March 21 article, "Same war. Same platoon. Two paths since leaving Iraq": I attended all three days of the Winter Soldier hearings and saw Vincent Emanuele and many other young veterans give riveting testimonies on the deterioration of the rules of engagement, the crisis in veterans' benefits, racism against and dehumanization of the enemy, and the breakdown of the military.

As an ally of Iraq Veterans Against the War, I strongly support the very committed men and women who show great courage in talking about the horrors they saw and committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I continue to be inspired by veterans and military families, the ones most affected by this war. I know that their truth and our collective nonviolent actions will end the war.

Judith Kelly


Arlington, Va.
D.C. Metro-area regional associate

Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service

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, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and questions, comments and corrections to Feedback.

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