Questioning Bush's leadership

Regarding Godfrey Sperling's Sept. 10 Opinion piece "What Sept. 11 did for President Bush": Mr Sperling speaks of the sad irony that Sept. 11 made President Bush a leader.

The vast majority of the world seem to be recoiling against his kind of leadership, and of all the other world leaders, only Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair has ventured along President Bush's bellicose course.

The Bush administration is trying to lead us to war, and the world wants none of it. There are other ways to deal with evil.

President Bush hasn't become the kind of leader this world needs.
R. T. Hoffman
North Berwick, Maine

In response to Godfrey Sperling's Sept. 10 Opinion piece, I hope there are few besides Mr. Sperling who think Bush "has shown the world that he's quite a leader." With one exception, the world's heads of state seem to think he is headed in the wrong direction, and are hardly eager to follow.

President Bush's style of leadership is to say: "Let's do this together. You do it my way." Is this leadership, or intimidation?

What is most frightening is that he seems to have no grasp of what the consequences of his actions are likely to be.
Robert A. Lufburrow
Tumwater, Wash.

Comparing empires has its limitation

I read with great amusement the Sept. 11 article "America vis-à-vis past empires," comparing the US with empires of the past. It would be more appropriate to have non-US academics making comments. You may get a more balanced story.

The apparent "light touch" wielded by the US in comparison with Rome, may have something to do with the development of civilization over the past 2,000 years or so. Also, the people of Afghanistan and Vietnam may not agree about the "light touch."

I am an admirer of the United States. Much of what you stand for is wonderful, but let's leave the evaluation to the historians of another generation.
Glenn Manewell
Sydney, Australia

Musharraf's warning is good advice

In your Sept. 10 interview with President Musharraf, Mr. Musharraf warns the US on "the potentially grave consequences" if the US should launch a preemptive military strike against Iraq, and how it could damage our relations with the moderate Muslim world, as well as inflame the extremists into further acts of terror.

Why isn't President Bush listening?

Why isn't he listening to our allies in Europe? Why isn't he listening to people in his own administration who have military experience and depth in international affairs?

Could it be that the administration is launching a PR campaign simply to win us over to a peremptory decision, one that has already been made?
Nancy Lawder Wolcott

Standardized tests are not perfect

Regarding your interview with Education Secretary Rod Paige ("True believer," Learning Sept. 10): The scores on a nationally standardized test tell parents and educators only where a child places on the curve. A test is a sampling of what should be learned. If the curriculum gets narrowed to only what is sampled on the test, we have lost much of what children should know and be able to do.

Standardized testing gives us some useful but limited information. We need to be careful of the inferences and conclusions made from limited sampling.
Joan Commons
San Diego

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