Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the US presence in Iraq and how to be an urban farmer.

US has a duty to provide stability for Iraqis

Regarding Robert Dujarric and Andy Zelleke's June 17 Opinion piece, "The death of US strategy in Iraq": This is the particular paragraph that embodies the cause of my frustration with the media for the past few years: " 'Stability' is hardly a worthy political objective for the sacrifices US soldiers and taxpayers continue to make in Iraq. From an American perspective, stability matters only if its terms are consistent with the US national interest; stability for its own sake is meaningless."

"Stability for its own sake is meaningless" in this case had to have been written by an American. I believe that most Iraqis would hold a different viewpoint!

Five years ago, the majority of Americans and the media were all blindly behind the invasion of Iraq and now have tired of this "venture." My point is that, once we kicked in the door of Iraq, we had a moral responsibility to provide this "meaningless" stability to these people instead of turning our backs on them.

We Americans have a terrible penchant for expecting to be applauded for our actions that are often short-sighted, and when accolades are not forthcoming, our feelings get hurt and we lose interest and want to quit.

Let's face it, it's time to show some responsibility and act like grown-ups. Isn't that what we tell our children?

Jeff Gluth
Albuquerque, N.M.

In response to the recent Opinion piece on the US presence in Iraq: Many years ago a baby girl was born in a poor farming village in South Korea. Just a few weeks after her birth the North Korean communists invaded the South and only the fact that this baby was born in what became known as the Pusan Perimeter prevented her from being killed. Today that baby girl is my wife and we have twin sons, as well.

So, in answer to the question "What outcome can justify the cost of fighting on" in Iraq, the answer – my answer – is: Years from now there may be another baby girl, born in Iraq, who marries an American serviceman and has babies, and that would not and could not happen if we abandon Iraq.

Art Brecher
Sparks, Nev.

Regarding the recent Opinion piece on the need for a clearer strategy in Iraq: No matter what John McCain and his supporters say about Iraq and the possibility of "winning" or achieving "victory," a thorough analysis of the facts leads to only one irrefutable conclusion: Iraq has already been a catastrophic failure for the United States, a strategic blunder in the war on terror that may well never begin to approach any of the goals the Bush administration irresponsibly fantasized about. Instead of cowing and destroying our enemies, we have empowered and multiplied them.

Carl Mattioli
Newtonville, Mass.

Pricey produce? Grow your own.

In response to the June 11 article, "Sticker shock at the supermarket": In an interesting account of people's reactions to food prices, one option was left out. Consumers, even those in high-rise apartments, can grow some of their own produce. Although it sounds like a throwback to hippie days, sprouts of all kinds take only a few days to produce. Lettuce and other greens can be ready in a few weeks.

Years ago, the Monitor ran a story on urban farming in Venezuela, where people have learned that it's often necessary to grow their own food, and some have even made a living from it. We could learn from them.

Patti Cassidy
Jamestown, R.I.

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, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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