Rejoicing with Afghan women

Regarding "For many Afghan women, bare faces and lives resumed" (Nov. 16): I believe the women of Afghanistan will be strong and able, now that they are free - no matter what choices they make for dressing themselves in the future. Living and being raised under inhumane treatment can help one become kind and resolute.

I know that these women, at home or in the world, will be an important force for good. I suspect there have been true leaders under those burqas - moral, intelligent, spiritual, and practical women who will help bring Afghanistan into the modern world. This new, modern, but no less respectful Afghanistan can be a wonderful source of inspiration for people everywhere.

Angela Eidelman Santa Rosa, Calif.

I just wanted to say thank you for "For many Afghan women, bare faces and lives resumed." It brought tears to my eyes to see that picture, and read the story of these women. I've grown up in a society where women are able to do just about anything. Hearing of the lack of rights for Afghan women is horrible. But not anymore. They are finally going to be able to live as they should.

Thank you for the great story. I've passed it along to all of my friends over e-mail so they can read about the liberation.

Lori Setterstrom Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Good moves made by US military

Our administration and military deserve all the praise in the world for a well-run military campaign. Not only has it been successful up to this point, but by relying on opposition forces to do much of the groundwork military effort, it has become more of a liberation struggle between Muslim ethnic groups, instead of looking like a war between East and West or Christianity and Islam.

Carl Mattioli Newtonville, Mass.

What will it take to maintain peace?

I read "Our new kind of war needs team spirit" (Nov. 7, opinion), and I agree that our military efforts in the Middle East must be "tied tightly to political objectives" and that giving leading roles to police, humanitarian workers, and other nonmilitary people - especially individual citizens - will be effective in our fight to end terrorism.

Continually, we hear that terrorism is due, in part, to certain religious or cultural differences. The solution to terrorism is not to choose one religion or culture over another but to insist that everyone involved must find a greater concern that is more important than their differences.

Here in America, our law is structured around the premise that all people are created with certain freedoms and that we have the right to defend those freedoms. Although we have many religions, these freedoms are what we always have in common despite our differences.

Erin Johnson Whitman, Mass.

Appreciation for US response

We need to build on all the good that has come from the tragedy of Sept. 11. I have been very moved by the way in which the US has united after the tragedy and the way in which its leadership has shown spiritual strength - from comforting and helping those directly affected by the tragedy, to speaking out against indiscriminate attacks on Muslims.

For this sentiment to be echoed at such a time, when the pain of the tragedy has been so great, is inspirational to the whole world. The US has shown to the world a spiritual leadership, which it desperately needs at this time. It has been wonderful to witness it.

John Bates Cambridge, England

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