Antiwar on the eve of war

Regarding your March 13 article "An activist and historian counts the human toll of war": I was plunged into deep thought by the characterization of Howard Zinn, "champion of the little guy," as "to the left of the left."

I received my doctorate under Mr. Zinn's doctoral student Daniel Boone Schirmer. Mr. Schirmer was probably to the left of Zinn, and I may be to the left of Schirmer. I guess that makes me "to the left of the left of the left of the left."

It all just goes to show how everything is skewed when the "right of the right of the right of the right" is in the White House. That may be something of an exaggeration, but from the perspective of Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King, two examples of great American little guys that Zinn champions in his book, it's likely true.

The fact is, "left" today means people who are against the way corporate capitalism and militarism have come close to ruining this country. By that standard, even presidents Jefferson, Lincoln, and Eisenhower may have been characterized as "left." In fact, it sounds like just plain patriotism.
Francis Conroy
Riverton, N.J.

I was one of those "without a stitch of clothing" spelling PEACE on the beach mentioned in your March 13 article "If not war, then what?" This idea of bodies - both nude and clothed - being used to spell out antiwar protests has been adapted all over the world, from California to Montana, Japan to Antarctica. Some 15,000 people formed a peace sign in Rome. If you look at the photos and text regarding these events, I think you will understand how serious these people are in their opposition to war. I have gone on the three major marches in San Francisco, each with 100,000 to 250,000 people. It's sad that 95 naked women got more national press than all the marches.
Betsy Wood
Berkeley, Calif.

[Editor's note: A letter to the editor was removed.]

Merging 9/11 and Iraq raises questions

Thank you for the March 14 article "The Impact of Bush Linking 9/11 and Iraq."

It posed the provocative question: "In the end, will it matter if some Americans have meshed together Sept.11 and Iraq?" I disagree with the assumption that the Bush administration is not likely to face questions about how it promoted the war if it goes well. I think the question begs us to go far deeper. If the case for war is not just, moral, and grounded in solid reason, and if it is misunderstood by many US citizens due to misrepresentation by our leaders, it will not stand up with the rest of the world or in American history books.
Ann Tumlin-Carnes
Los Angeles

Should Statue of Liberty be returned?

In regard to your March 14 editorial "English sans French," and considering all the French wine and cheese some Americans are discarding, I wonder if there is a move afoot to return the Statue of Liberty to the people of France. If, because France has an opinion that differs from the present US administration, we cannot have French fries or French toast, perhaps we should not keep the French gift.
Louise Wilson
High Springs, Fla.

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