The search for reason amid ruin and wrath

Thank you for your coverage of last week's attacks and their aftermath. In contrast with the rising pitch of vengeful rhetoric from President Bush and his advisers, the compassionate positions articulated in your articles, editorials, and letters reflect a more realistic understanding of human nature. We need to be thinking as citizens of the world - not just as citizens of the United States. A response focused on diplomacy and fairness will accomplish more positive changes than will a predominantly military reaction - and be consistent with our country's ideals.

Catherine Badgley Chelsea, Mich.

I want to express my appreciation to those at the Monitor who bring a reasonable, balanced voice to the media. In my search for information following Tuesday's events, I was disappointed with the mainstream media's quick fixation on war, vengeance, and sensationalism. This is not the kind of news that helps to heal a nation, or promotes tolerance and democracy. Reading the Monitor's coverage, I gained a better perspective on this tragedy - in terms of its international ramifications, moral implications, and historical significance. I hope that others in the media will someday understand that we need more than raw information - we need wisdom!

Karen Kho Berkeley, Calif.

Thank you for the organized, wonderful way that you inform the world of events in your country. I thank America for the way you have believed in us, provided for us, and above all for the wonderful people you have sent. Those who generate and create such goodness cannot be brought down. I respond to this crisis with all my heart.

Patricia Maritz Zululand, South Africa

Thank you for balanced reporting on the Middle East. Your stories are often a departure from the usual in that you give "the other side" equal representation. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, you sound a voice of reason while our politicians are singing "God Bless America" and waving flags.

Marion Fritschmason Wallingford, Conn.

In a time of agony, you have again relied on rational discourse instead of raw passion. Your conclusion that perpetrators may be known, but killing them may not end their motivations ("Resilience and Restraint," Sept. 12, editorial), is consistent with views of peace-loving people around the globe.

Bilal Hashmi Bellingham, Wash.

A sterling piece on communication between air-traffic controllers and American Flight 11 ("Controllers' tale of Flight 11," Sept. 13). There is nothing that comes close to this detail and insight, much less in such a level-headed way. I continue to be impressed by the Monitor.

David Brown Los Angeles

Show force, not patience

Regarding the letter-writer who suggested that those who sacrifice their lives for a cause are not engaging in acts of cowardice ("Calls for compassion in wake of Tuesday's terror," Sept. 13) - I believe the terrorists of Sept. 11 are the most cowardly life forms on this planet. To indicate otherwise is a reprehensible insult to the victims, the rescuers, and freedom and democracy. The implication that US policy is somehow to blame for this tragedy is a mindset that creates more animals. I feel the policy of restraint you advocate is extraordinarily flawed. We have shown restraint for years - which is why thousands of innocent US citizens perished. A display of destructive force is the only effective method to deal with this. There is no such thing as collateral damage in societies that support and glamorize terrorists.

Mark D. Eley Indianapolis

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to 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.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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