No one needs another Pearl Harbor
Regarding "Taking the battle to the terrorists" (June 7): The assumption by the Bush administration that modern technology and weaponry make preemptive strikes an option must be examined carefully. What will become of the international laws that have developed over many years? If we certify preemptive strikes, will Franklin D. Roosevelt's phrase, "a date which will live in infamy" be regarded as outmoded rhetoric?
When Japan struck at Pearl Harbor, and when Israel preemptively attacked Iraq's incipient nuclear plant with impunity, did they signal to the international community that suspicion, real or imagined, validates a first strike without warning? Are we to behave like the terrorists we condemn? Do we aid the erosion of diplomacy on the grounds that terrorists are without borders, without sovereignty, and therefore are legitimate first-strike targets? Certainly this is not the path we want to take.
Regarding "For real India-Pakistan dialogue" (June 10, Opinion): Robert M. Hathaway and Dennis Krux discuss holding talks between India and Pakistan to handle the nuclear threat hanging over Kashmir. I believe there may be a quicker way.
The price of war all too often remains unconsidered. But there are simple questions we should be asking both India and Pakistan to consider. Who will pay for the rebuilding of their cities and infrastructure if these countries ignore warnings and engage in nuclear war? Who will pay the horrendous costs of caring for the wounded and feeding the armies of hungry, homeless, displaced civilians, and orphaned children?
We should warn both India and Pakistan that they will be on their own if they fail to heed the warnings of the world community and choose to inflict untold death and suffering on their people.
Anthony G. Gumbs
Glendale Heights, Ill.
Videogames affect adults
Regarding "Videogames have special effect on adults" (June 10): My friends and I have had the videogame debate before, in which I express my concern that they spend too much time "gaming" and they claim it to be far better than passive television watching. Perhaps, but an activity being better than cable TV isn't really saying all that much.
My friends claim that gaming is a relaxing, harmless recreation and that people have played games for eons. True, but these games involved face-to-face interaction, social skills, and physical activity. And they didn't have the violent content so popular in videogames today.
Your article states that two hours of gaming per day equals one full month a year sitting at a console. That is way too much! What could possibly be learned that is of lasting value by gaming? Learn to play an instrument, take a bike ride, be a community volunteer. Real life is far richer than a box full of electronic fantasies.
Regarding "So, Americans can play soccer" (June 6): This article overlooked the success of the US women's soccer program. It began, "Note to the United States: Your national soccer team has finally arrived." What do you mean "arrived"? The women's team won the World Cup in 1999 and brought home the silver from the 2000 Olympics. But the US women's soccer team wasn't mentioned in any context. When they won the World Cup, I remember cover articles claiming that a new era not only in women's sports but in all sports was dawning. Now all that seems to have been forgotten.
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