Turkey's past has not been forgotten
In response to your Dec. 3 editorial "Going Hot Turkey: The Muslim nation deserves entry to the EU": You chide the European Union for supposedly denying membership to Turkey because that country is Muslim. We should recall, however, that Turkey became overwhelmingly Muslim only because it annihilated millions of indigenous Christians - Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks - early in the 20th century.
Turkey continues to deny its history and even imposes numerous restrictions on its few remaining Christians. Before accusing others - including the mainly Christian European Union - of religious discrimination, Turkey needs to examine its own behavior.
David B. Boyajian
Regarding "Going Hot Turkey": If it is sound and right to add more than 70 million Muslims to the EU, why not have a similar immigration policy in the US in the name of the same principles this editorial advocates?
The assumption that the EU is or ought to be like the US is equally problematic.
Cornelia A. Tsakiridou
Regarding your Dec. 3 article "Pressure on Baghdad grows": Perhaps British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has political motives for releasing the report on Saddam Hussein's hideous human rights record. Indeed, the British government has expressed a desire to help President Bush form a coalition to depose Mr. Hussein.
But Amnesty International's criticism is still absurd. Any regime that arbitrarily tortures, rapes, and murders its citizens should obviously be challenged, and if necessary, overthrown.
Isn't that what civil rights organizations should want? Or are Amnesty International's directors politically opposed to this British and American goal?
West Hempstead, N.Y.
Today's youth need better role models
In response to your Dec. 4 article "Keeping kids clean": You fail to touch on the real reasons kids use drugs and alcohol: namely, to avoid life and the stresses associated with it - the same reasons used by their parents.
Our society strives to avoid pain and suffering, looking for meaning in a high-paying job, a big house, and lots of stuff. We are bombarded with advertisements showing that drinking makes one popular or makes life meaningful.
We spend our weekends socializing with alcohol, watching football games sponsored by beer companies, and avoiding spending quality time with our children. We fail to pass any kind of meaningful spiritual life to our kids.
Until we as a society decide that it is time to change our priorities, our children will continue to use drug and alcohol.
Instead of focusing on them, we must first focus on the adults; they are the ones we can change.
La Crosse, Wis.
Regarding "Keeping kids clean": What works is truthful education. When organizations like Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and Partnership for Drug-policy Facts and Alternatives (PDFA) lie or grossly exaggerate the dangers of marijuana, they lose credibility.
When our youth learn they've been lied to about marijuana, they assume they are being lied to about other drugs.
Thus, we have a "meth" epidemic throughout the US. What the "drug warriors" are doing is not only not working - it's counterproductive. It's time to do something different - substantially different.
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