War's wider scope may be imprudent

Regarding "US must redefine Afghan role" (March 12, Opinion): The original founders of the American government look wiser and wiser with each passing year. Elected leaders and citizens once understood the dire consequences of meddling in foreign quarrels. But American foreign policy has tragically moved away from the most prudent non- interventionism advocated by the Founders.

US foreign policy has been on a course of disastrous empire building for decades. This empire building is disguised by buzz words like "internationalism" and "globalism." The stated reason of pursuing this foreign policy is: "It's in our national interest." This is a myth, and our foreign policy of open-ended, worldwide militarism is earning the ill will of people who once admired our freedom.
John K. Carter
Camarillo, Calif.

Like most Canadians, I was appalled by the events of Sept. 11. Much to my surprise, however, my views are changing. America seems to be acting as a bully. The plan in Afghanistan, I thought, was to get the master-minds of the atrocity. But I don't understand what the plan is anymore. American news reports indicate that the plan now is to root out all terrorist networks. America is flexing its muscles in the Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, and Indonesia as well as elsewhere in varying degrees. America is using its economic clout to bully other nations to be "with us or against us." This is beyond the scope of the original mission.

Yet I don't know what the Americans can do differently. The nations of the world look to the US to solve their economic, social, and security problems. America is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. But showing more compassion without asking for anything in return would be a good start.
Stu Baker
Edmonton, Alberta

Drug testing erodes trust

Regarding "School drug testing faces test in court," (March 19): As a high school student, I can understand that administrator's wish to keep schools drug-free – this is certainly their responsibility. However, invading students' privacy by drug testing those who participate in school activities will not discourage drug use. These invasions foment anti-administration sentiment among students, and will only discourage them from participating in extracurricular activities.

In this age of rocky relations between students and faculty, the last thing high schools need is for students to cast a distrustful eye toward administrations. Invading the privacy of students, most of whom do not use drugs, is an unnecessary and unjust act.
Justin Weitz
Englewood, N.J.

E.T. still hits young hearts

Regarding "A lovable alien lands back on earth" (March 15, Arts&Leisure): Today's youthful audiences may find "E.T." less interesting than movies like "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" which currently flash and dance across the movie screens. However, the power and reach of "E.T." should not be underestimated. The young ones I know are enchanted by this movie. My 3-year-old niece not could care less about "Ice Age" or "Return to Neverland" but she does want to see the character E.T. on the big screen.

The reach of this simple tale transcends time in the telling of two individuals searching for a place to call home. The beauty of the story is complemented by its remarkable cinematography and what is perhaps John William's most underrated score. It still makes me cry.

So thanks to David Sterritt, for your commentary, and Steven Spielberg, for your vision, your passion, and for giving wings to our imaginations.
Tony Cosenza
Lemont, Ill.

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