Where's the global respect?

Godfrey Sperling Jr.'s column ``Reagan legacy: relaxation of global tensions,'' Dec. 13 tries to whitewash Mr. Reagan by crediting him with bringing ``global respect'' to the United States. Mr. Sperling ignores the cruel US policy in Lebanon that brought death to 240 US servicemen, the trumped-up excursion into tiny Grenada, harbor-mining and other bully tactics in Nicaragua, the sneak bombing of Libya, the deceit of the Iran-contra affair, the guile of false-flagging in the Persian Gulf, duplicity with drug dealers in Central America, and shameful sulking when the World Court or United Nations voted against the US. Which of the above earned respect for the US? Norman Walter Red House, W.Va.

Regarding Godfrey Sperling Jr.'s panegyric for President Reagan: It seems that the eight-year charade continues unabated in search of the movie's happy ending. The press has pointedly refused to see that the emperor has no clothes. Reagan is not ``leaving behind a nation that once again holds global respect.'' On the contrary, witness the recent lopsided UN vote against the US on the question of Arafat's visa. Mr. Reagan's tax giveaway to the rich coupled with the defense buildup has plunged the US into a serious and long-term crisis.

Except for the very rich, Americans are a lot worse off today than they were eight years ago. Though median family income is up, it now takes two wage earners to earn enough to get by; and a greater portion of their earnings are going to pay the interest on the national debt.

On every level, the Reagan presidency has been a failure. While the credits roll, the emperor will ride into the California sunset clothed in praise. Unfortunately, this is a double feature, and the policies of the Reagan years promise a true horror flick for the second reel. Alan Krulick Somerville, Mass.

Child care and choices I read the article ``A child's place,'' Dec. 5, with interest. As a working parent I am very concerned about the child care issue. But Dr. Salk missed the boat on the issue. Many parents have no choice but to send their children to day care.

Our family could not exist on a single income. My wife and I, and many others like us, would love to be full-time parents but simply can't afford to. I teach in a Roman Catholic high school, and my wife works for a nonprofit housing group. We aren't yuppies, just an average family forced to make difficult choices. Edward L. Donnellan Jr. Baltimore

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