Bring back the draft and beef up the military

Regarding your Sept. 3 article, "Reservists now play central, not backup role": While it is true that people join the National Guard knowing that they may end up on active duty, I am hearing about people returning from one tour and six months later being deployed again. That cannot continue. We need a larger Army and we need to bring back the draft. If more people had a vested interest in what was going on, they might think twice about rushing off to war. Get rid of the tax cut and give us a real Army.
Chuck Pike
Charlotte, N.C.

Regarding "Reservists now play central, not backup role": I have a solution for the Reserve problem. Reactivate the State Guard as we did during the world wars. Reservists could handle domestic duties often assigned to the regular Guard. The State Guard would be comprised of older Americans who would serve one or two weeks a year and one weekend a month (no basic training and no oversees duty unless there is a major war). The New York State Guard already has this rotation in place, as it was never deactivated.
Michael J. Peters
Fitchburg, Wis.

Prove the threat from Iraq

Regarding your Aug. 28 editorial, "Sharing the war burden": Most Americans would disagree with your statement, "The Iraqi menace is well documented...." The Bush administration has presented no evidence other than defector and detainee hearsay.

President Bush must present hard, documented evidence as reason to wage war on Iraq. We should certainly not be at the point of deciding between making war and declaring war.
Craig Kaiser
Arroyo Grande, Calif.

How not to create Mideast democracies

Regarding "Bush the Crusader" (editorial, Aug. 30): Bush claims an interest in democratizing the world and seems committed to carrying out his vision, even if he has to do it alone. I fail to see how such a unilateral use of power reflects anything resembling democratic ideals. Quite to the contrary, this bellowing warlord is acting despotically.

The tensions between democratic nations and the Middle Eastern states is a terrifying caldron of political unrest. I believe the Arab governments do need to become less oppressive and that democratization could be valuable.

But squashing the current rulers in favor of a puppet democracy hardly represents an honest lesson in civics.
Rev. Keith Goheen
Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Shady money raised by Bush

Your Aug. 28 article, "Bush remains popular but his coattails are tucked in," extolling his fundraising abilities rings alarm bells. Who has $110 million to donate to political campaigns? CEOs who have raided pension plans, refused to pay living wages, and polluted our water and air?

Could it be that supporting President Bush is seen as a business investment in gutting federal regulations that now protect the little guy?

I don't attribute Mr. Bush's fundraising success to his popularity. I attribute it to lax political morals that lead corporations to realize they can buy public policy.
Kirsten Schwind
Dexter, Mich.

Giving laptops to students

Regarding your Sept. 4 editorial, "Laptops as a fourth 'R'": It is a bold and imaginative experiment. What teachers and parents expect of students will be key. The students, parents, teachers, the legislature, and the governor will all play a part in determining whether or not this project is successful. Mike M. Norman

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