What Will Happen to the Women of Afghanistan?
Your coverage of the Afghan conflict in the Opinion page article "Consequences in Kabul," April 29, is as thoughtful as all of your ongoing coverage of this strange, anachronistic civil war. But I have been looking in vain for any mention of what is gong to happen to the women of Afghanistan.
The provisional government has asked all government workers to stay at their posts to ensure that all essential services continue. Yet it is my understanding that a large percentage of civil servants, teachers, and other professionals are women, appointed by the Marxist government both on principle and because of the shortage of men.
With the fundamentalists in power, even the so-called "moderate fundamentalists," what woman would be brave enough to go to work? And if the fundamentalists do what I fully expect they will, that is, punish all those who were part of the Marxist establishment, who will run that unhappy country?
The war has already removed what few rights rural and small-city women used to have. What will now happen to the urban and educated women of the capital, Kabul? Laina Farhat, San Francisco Tips for safe computing
The Science and Technology page column "Utility Programs Can Be Lifesavers," May 6, is informative and timely. Having lost a substantial portion of my dissertation to a corruption of my hard disk, I have learned to depend on utility programs to prevent similar disasters in the future.
However, I would have liked for the author to stress the even greater importance of using antivirus software in conjunction with a backup program.
Without assuring that your backup is virus-free, you run the risk of reinfecting your hard disk which can cause even greater, irretrievable data loss. Helfried C. Zrzavy, Bennington, N.H. Examining life down under
The review of John Pilger's book "A Secret Country," in the article "The Dark Underside Of Life Down Under," April 16, includes a number of assertions which cannot go unchallenged.
The book itself is a polemical retailing of Mr. Pilger's views - not of facts - and as such it is difficult to see the book as one which will advance a reader's understanding of Australia.
Some of the assertions are wrong to the point of being falsehoods. Contrary to statements in the review, Aboriginals in Australia are all citizens, with the same democratic rights and privileges as all other citizens. It is an invention to describe Australian "black heroes" as "trapped in apartheid-like poverty cycles."
The review also accepts as truth a number of Pilger's polemical assertions, mentioning for example his claims about interference in Australian political process. These claims are not new, but they have been dismissed in Australia where, incidentally, the book has been reviewed in very negative terms. Christopher Lamb, Washington, Minister, Embassy of Australia Mickey is American
Regarding the editorial "Le Mickey! Le Donald! Le Goofy!," April 15: I do not share the author's perception of Euro Disneyland. Disneyland is American, not French. In America, it is fun. In France it is a tasteless and unseemly intrusion. T. F. McAinsh, Glasgow