UN's role in postwar Iraq

Regarding the April 9 opinion column "US, with help from friends, must lead in rebuilding Iraq": Now it is more urgent than ever to listen to other nations who see the outcome of this war differently.

John Hughes said, "The divisive French action has caused something of a train wreck at the UN...." Were the French divisive to oppose war, or was the US divisive to reject the Security Council?

The world carried out an incredible dialogue and decided that this war was not called for. The good news is that this dialogue took place, and it must continue. The United Nations need not await dictates from the US. The US may have guns controlling Iraq, but it does not have authority to decide the UN's role.

For the future of humanity, there must be dialogue, respect for other views, and cooperation. We find our nation isolated, cut off from goodwill, and in a very tenuous place. Improvement can only come from a return to listening to others, accepting with respect the participation of all nations in the next urgent dialogue. Otherwise, one has to ask, "What democracy?"
Grace Braley Yonkers, N.Y.

The April 11 editorial cartoon defies logic. It is the freed Iraqi people who are tearing down symbols of Saddam Hussein's self-idolatry. American fighters made this possible.

The cartoon is also illogical in alleging that President Bush tore down the United Nations. It is he who has given the UN new relevance by putting teeth into the UN resolutions on Iraq.

Why American liberals would want to maintain the UN as a hollow debating society is beyond me. It is equally illogical that some individuals on the American left would see a moral equivalence between the US administration and Hussein's regime.
Normie Capenegro
Keansbury, N.J.

A taxing problem

The IRS's inability to fairly collect all the taxes Congress levies often leads supporters of this monstrous system to suggest that we need more and tougher laws. These laws and the ham-handed enforcement that follows frequently offend common sense.

My personal return last year was 31 pages long. It cost more than $1,200 to have my accountant prepare it. The cost in money and man-hours to comply with a tax code full of four-page forms, five-page worksheets, and 10 pages of instructions for each feature is grinding down more citizens. There should be no surprise that some citizens have "opted out" of the tax system.

Snake-oil salesmen used to say that if their potion did not cure you, you must not have taken enough. If present draconian enforcement still can't force people into compliance, instead of piling on more enforcement, maybe we would be better off trying a different cure.
Ewin Barnett
Boon County, Mo.

Censoring children's books

The April 9 article "Converting bullies with books" contends that if children read books with ethical themes, they will behave more virtuously. As an author of a book for teachers on children's literature, I suspect that this conclusion constitutes a slippery slope of reasoning. In that regard, many people have denounced youngsters' reading books (or viewing TV programs) that contain immoral subject matter. This will cause them to develop depraved mannerisms, it is argued. Therefore, a positive view of "bibliotherapy" might lead to unnecessary censorship of children's literature. Should young people only be provided with books that may stimulate them to behave righteously?
Patrick Groff
San Diego, Calif.
Professor of Education Emeritus

San Diego State University

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