The viability of a peaceful response

Greg Hansen's article "War could make the terrorist threat worse" (Sept. 24, opinion page) was excellent. I grew up in Northern Ireland and have some experience of what makes terrorism thrive.

We need more pieces on the source of terrorism. I believe the Western press has been biased against the average Palestinian, and thus helped terrorism thrive in several places. More articles quoting moderate Muslims would also help balance the picture.

Gavin Mason Houston

Thank you for "War could make the terrorist threat worse." I believe in justice, not revenge, and so do most Americans I speak with - people who do not thirst for blood. I'd like to think that we have evolved beyond the need for war - but we aren't hearing the voices that cry for peace and change.

Connie Rystad Kelseyville, Calif.

"War could make the terrorist threat worse" is a prime example of the insidious propaganda of far-left pacifists. I've not seen evidence of the impending irrational attacks Greg Hansen predicts. Indeed, aside from moronic, racist retribution toward Arab-Americans, I have seen only calculated restraint on the part of our leaders.

We have a responsibility to act in defense of our country. I am sure we ought to (and will) review our current foreign policies in the Middle East as well. Both should be done, not with blind rage, but with measured resolve. I pray that Americans will have the strength to resist the sometimes-fashionable view that we must avoid war, even in the face of such violence on our own blessed soil.

Joe Young Oak Park, Ill.

Greg Hansen sings an old song, one taught to many a student of international politics for the past 30 years. The fear of making more terrorists has been the excuse used for not dealing with the problem. Obviously, nobody wants a war, but Mr Hansen's brand of optimism does not stand with either the government or the citizens of the United States.

We have done a world of favors for other nations, and have received derision and spite in response. Even now, our allies and the world community at large give lip service to America's tragedy, but I detect little heart in it from most of them. We didn'task for the mantle of world leadership, but we wear it as best we can. If we are not appreciated, maybe another nation would like to try it for a while. We could use the rest.

Perhaps we shouldtake a Machiavellian approach to world politics, start looking out forour best interests, and follow the principleto the letter of the law.It is time the world realized thatsowingterrorismagainst us will reap a fearsome harvest. Never let it be said that America would let a few brigands handcuff this great nation of action into sitting idly by.

Chris Just Phoenix, Ariz.

Searching for global empathy

In response to "Voices of America: Patriotism, anger flood US airwaves" (Sept. 24), I felt a mixture of sadness and alienation.I feel united with my neighbors and understand their patriotism, but I feel a deeper sense of global citizenship. The Afghans who are running to their borders are the New Yorkers running down the steps of the World Trade Center, fleeing terror and death they did not invite and are not responsible for.

It would be an unspeakable crime to make innocent civilians pay for the evil of a radical group of terrorists.I cannot stomach the thought of more families suffering what we are suffering here in the US. Justice must be served, and thecycle of violence must stop, if we are ever to build a safe world for our children.

Stephanie Daniels Somerville, Mass.

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