Despite its rhetoric, N. Korea is behaving rationally

In the Feb. 27 opinion piece "Not engaging N. Korea is like handing it a loaded weapon," Rose Gottemoeller writes that North Korea is acting like "a child who is out of control." I disagree, and think that North Korea is behaving in an extremely rational manner from its perspective.

Considering that the US publicly declared that three nations are "an axis of evil," and ever since then has been moving toward the goal of invading the first nation on the list, it is logical that the second nation would assume that it will be the next target after the first nation is conquered.

When North Korea looks around the world today and sees that only nuclear powers (or countries closely allied with them) have real respect and security, it feels it must become a nuclear power to maintain control of its own destiny. Once it has a sufficient quantity of nuclear weapons, the mere threat of using them would be sufficient to keep the country secure from invasion.

With the US currently preoccupied with the Iraq situation, now is undoubtedly the best opportunity North Korea will ever have to become a nuclear power. But it must be done quickly, while the US (and the world) is primarily focused in the other direction.

This is the reality which must be addressed by the US, and promptly, unless our leaders have already accepted the idea of a nuclear North Korea.
Bruce Long
Tempe, Ariz.

INS is doing too little, not too much

Regarding your Feb. 6 article "Registration for Arabs draws fire": Does the Monitor think that Americans do not want this nation's immigration laws enforced? Your coverage of registration at the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) office made the foreigners here illegally sound like victims. The article included a misleading quote from a foreigner who claimed he "lived here as a good citizen." If he were a real citizen, he wouldn't be standing in line at the INS office.

More accurately, US citizens are the aggrieved party here, having suffered a shocking attack that cost the lives of thousands. All the complaints from noncitizens are really a bit much when this nation is facing war and terrorism. Foreigners conveniently forget that living in the US is a privilege, not a right. Immigration from terror-supporting nations should be ended for the time being.
Brenda Walker
Berkeley, Calif.

Racism isn't just a Southern thing

Regarding your highly offensive Feb. 25 article "Upscale school revives a satire about race" about rich white children in "whiteface" assuming their authority on the subject of race: How self-righteous! I have never seen such a shameful depiction of Southerners.

As a proud Southerner, I am tired of this type of hate being spread. These rich white Northern students don't have any idea about race. They live in areas where they rarely come in contact with African-Americans on the same level as we in the South do. This school should actively recruit more blacks and deal with its own anti- inclusionary problems first.

The South dealt with race 40 years ago. There is no place in the South today where you will not see the races living everyday life in harmony. To write a play dragging down the South - both black and white - is insensitive, offensive, and bigoted.

Why didn't this school put on a play about the race problems of Boston in the 1970s? Massachusetts should deal with its own past first.

The people of the South are dealing with it each day, and shouldn't have to kneel at the altar of repentance forever.
David Cooksey
Birmingham, Ala.

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