Letters to the Editor

Readers write about abusive relationships, world peace, and international hosts.

Abused partners should not stay in the relationship

In response to David Code's Aug. 26 Opinion piece, "Put your marriage before your kids": As a juvenile intake officer in a county court system, I work with children who are making destructive choices, with families that are not working productively, and with victims of domestic violence.

I agreed with much of what Mr. Code wrote, however, I must offer my feedback on his first "key" to a successful marriage and family: "Recognize that we've already chosen the perfect spouse. No, we would NOT choose better next time."

I think it is important to recognize that not every person has chosen the perfect spouse, and, in cases of physical and sexual assault on spouses or children, that a victim of family violence will hopefully choose better next time and that there actually will be a next time for them to choose.

I am concerned that an abused partner reading Code's first key point might have inadvertently confirmed what she or he already believes – that the abuse is all her or his fault.

I would ask the author to include a short disclaimer indicating that his first point does not apply to people experiencing family violence, that abuse is never the victim's fault, and that there are people who can help.

Susan Bartlett
Manassas, Va.

After coming away totally disgusted after watching a TV program showing parents devoting all their time to their kids – to the exclusion of their own relationship – I read Mr. Code's article, which left me filled with hope that clear heads are seeing this problem for what it is and doing something about it.

Not only marriages, but also the kids and our society suffer from the effects of this misinformed coddling.

Paul Marthaler
Santa Fe, N.M.

US foreign policy hinders world peace

In response to Charles Kurzman and Neil A. Englehart's Aug. 29 Opinion piece, "Farewell to world peace?" To specify that international or intergovernmental wars do not include the Israel/Lebanon conflict is disingenuous.

Any war that crosses an international border becomes an international conflict.

The same with the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan – it has always been considerably ironic that the US has always called for the elimination of foreign fighters in these countries as the US is the main foreign contributor to the wars there.

World peace would be greatly advanced if American foreign policy did not run on preemptive, unilateral, full-spectrum dominance.

With a military presence in many countries, the main impediment to world peace these days is the US and its attempts to grab world resources and try to eliminate any opposition.

Jim Miles
Vernon, British Columbia

The global importance of host families

Regarding the Aug. 25 article, "The hunt is on for host families": I'm delighted to see the acknowledgment of the importance of hosting.

By staying with host families, our students have the opportunity to truly learn about a culture.

The stories that our students share with us of even the smallest experiences continue to show that stereotypes are being broken down and lifelong global friendships are being created.

Carla Orvis Hunt
Berkeley, Calif.

Director of immersion

Educulture International

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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