Discreet media appreciated

Thank you for your commendation of Dan Rather, who decided to stand outside the obsessive (and boring) coverage of Chandra Levy (July 26 editorial, "Rather restrained"). For the sake of our very democracy and its requirement of an informed citizenry, the media must be encouraged to report the news responsibly. I don't believe we are in fact the "tabloid nation" that big media supposes us to be. There are very few venues for comprehensive news. The Monitor remains an excellent source for domestic and international news.

Nona Charleston Tulsa, Okla.

Finding the road to peace in Kashmir

Richard Hottelet offered one scenario for the resolution of the conflict in Kashmir. ("How to end the India-Pakistan cold war," opinion page, July 25). Perhaps a more empirical, humanist perspective should be considered.

A 1948 UN resolution promised the Kashmiris the right to self-determination.

According to Amnesty International, there is 1 Indian soldier for every 6 citizens, making it the most policed state in the world. Human Rights Watch has said that torture and "extrajudicial executions" have "been routinely used by the Indian security forces operating in Kashmir." More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the past 10 years.

In consistent polls taken of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist Kashmiris, over 92 percent prefer independence, rather than accession to either country. As American Muslims, we implore the global community to stand up to international injustice regardless of religion, race, or region.

Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar St Louis, Mo. Council on American-Islamic Relations

In a world bereft of memory and ambition, blue-sky logic like Richard Hottelet's would be plausible or even likely. But in a real world, populated by human beings, his opinion is so much wasted ink.

It is irrational to suppose that any of his suggestions would ever be considered by any of the players in this decades-old drama. His suggested technique might work in a neighborhood dispute where two individuals are involved and wherein a superior third party could dictate such terms. In the actual situation ,there are two great religions, dozens of sects, long-standing military and political imperatives.

There is a very real possibility that these two countries will lob rockets at each other some time in the coming decades.

Maybe this ultimate tragedy will clear the way for peace in that troubled area. It would certainly clear the way for development of defensive measures such as a missile shield that is currently proposed and widely pooh-poohed.

Glenn Sherman Pinole, Calif.

Rebates bound for China?

Regarding your article of July 18 "Tax rebates, arriving soon, likely to boost economy": The question is: Whose economy? Imports, especially from China, have long since crowded out US goods in stores.

Edward M. Cynarski Holyoke, Mass.

Poll's margin of error

Regarding "Bush gains ground with women" (July 24): The article states, "Meanwhile, among women, Bush actually rose slightly from a score of 55 in June to 57 in July." Later we learn, "The survey had a margin of error plus or minus 3.3 percent." The increase is less than the margin of error, and therefore minimally significant. Why was this trumpeted as a "gain" for Bush?

Maia Cowen Royal Oak, Mich.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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