Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Palin's VP qualifications, the US military's role around the world, another way to look at the abortion debate, and Syria's superficial diplomatic gestures.

Palin is qualified to be VP, but not president

Regarding the Oct. 16 Opinion piece, "History may wink at Palin": Sarah Palin would probably do a fantastic job in the sort of ceremonial duties that were typical of the vice presidency before Al Gore and Dick Cheney. If a foreign leader dies, she'll get her climate-appropriate black dress and catch a flight with time to spare.

The problem is that if she has to serve as president, this self-described "hockey mom" is going to have to run the country and lead us through this banking crisis. Our foreign policy is going to be set by someone who thinks governing a state on Russia's border is foreign-policy experience.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Daniel Schein
San Jose, Calif.

US can't sustain world police force

Regarding the Oct. 14 article, "Is US fighting force big enough?": Mr. Lubold writes about the size of America's armed forces and then makes the mistake of only interviewing those "experts" who advocated our involvement in Iraq.

They said it would be a cakewalk, remember? How did that turn out? Wouldn't it make sense to get a perspective from people who predicted what actually ended up happening?

Of course, the wise policy would be to realize that America cannot be a global policeman without eventually going bankrupt. We're seeing the consequences of using debt as a means of funding a global empire. The foreclosures, bankruptcies, and stock market swings are only the beginning.

Americans must face a stark choice: Bring the troops home and end our unsustainable world empire on our own terms, or watch as our economy and standard of living plummet.

Economic reality can be delayed, but not ignored.

Steve Hogan
Sunnyvale, Calif.

Our military forces are more than adequate to do their real job, which is the defense of our country.

As Iraq has proved, our country cannot afford to, nor should we, act as an offensive force against other countries for any reason except a direct attack on our own.

James Stepp
Orlando, Fla.

Focus energy on unwanted children

In regard to the Oct. 15 Opinion piece, "Amid Palin hype, a pro-life feminist's dilemma": I don't think people in general understand the real issue here. It is not that the government should be "pro" anything – it is just that the government has no interest in the matter of abortion. I don't know anyone who supports abortion per se, but I cannot find that the state has any interest in controlling a woman's decision about whether to have a baby or not.

This whole controversy is an incredible waste of energy, which might more properly be put into caring for the thousands of unwanted children in the world.

Bill Cadogan
Townsend, Mass.

Syria's diplomacy is superficial

Regarding the Oct. 15 article, "Syria boosts diplomatic ties with Iran": Syrian President Bashir al-Assad is cleverly playing both sides of the field in establishing diplomatic relations with Lebanon and Iraq to satisfy the West, while retaining his connections to Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas.

In an effort to support the failing economy of Syria with infusions of money from Europe and the US, Mr. Assad has made gestures toward these nations. These gestures are superficial.

He is not changing his support for terrorism while offering a hand of friendship to Europe and the US in an effort to bulk up his financial position.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, Md.

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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