Will Democrats have a better foreign policy?

In his June 3 column, "Lieberman's got the vision thing, too," Godfrey Sperling does me the great honor of responding to my letter, which had appeared May 12 under the heading "Is there a candidate with a vision to rival Bush's?" The point of my letter was that this is a critical election that will set the direction our nation takes; therefore, at this stage, the more important concern is not so much the race itself, divorced from its consequences, as it is the debate on national policy that should be generated through it.

Mr. Sperling addresses part of what I say and presents Senator Lieberman as a candidate with a domestic vision that deserves attention. But turning to foreign policy, he reverts to the "horse race" motif: Mr. Lieberman's support of or acquiescence in the Iraq war may hurt him in the primary, but may be an asset in the main race. The larger question is twofold: Will the Democratic candidate articulate an alternative to the policy of dominance based on overwhelming military power? If he does, will his message be drowned out by jingoistic sound bites and diversion that exploits the fear generated by terrorism? This is critically important: Our power to dominate militarily is indeed without match, but an imperium that relies upon military superiority, resting on a fragile economic base, is doomed to be short-lived.
J. Hilton Turner
New Wilmington, Pa.

In the spotlight: Martha and Hillary

I read with dismay Rondi Adamson's comments about Hillary and Martha ("Martha and Hillary - feminism's great divide," June 6 Opinion). Hillary Clinton is a smart, savvy lawyer and politician. She is clearly the smarter of the two. Many wives have to deal with their husbands' unfaithfulness. Divorce doesn't always solve the problem and can create more serious ones - such as lack of food and shelter for the children. Like Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary had to deal with her husband's "private matters" early on and continually. As for being "at each other's throats," I don't think women have a corner on that market; men do that as well.
Charlotte Wells
Stephens City, Va.

Martha Stewart has brought class and style to a world that has spiraled down into tacky reality shows, Britney Spears fashion shows, and The Osbournes. I, for one, am proud to tell people that I like Martha Stewart's style and admire her tenacity in building a quality business. She has created her own success, whereas Hillary Clinton has ridden the political coattails of her husband. I know who represents the ideal feminist and whom I want the young women in my life to admire.
Mindy Stewart
Kalispell, Mont.

The comment about women being "still at each other's throats" seems far from reality when discussing the careers and troubles of these two women. The Monitor's political cartoonist showed it best when he depicted Martha as a little fish caught by a fisherman, surrounded by the big fish - Enron, ImClone, Merrill Lynch, etc. - still swimming freely. To say that Martha is being vilified by the media because of her illegal activities, not because she is a woman, skirts that issue entirely. Other companies' CEOs caused losses to thousands of employees and stockholders. Hillary, on the other hand, is constantly under virulent attack by the radical conservatives for everything from standing by her husband to rumors of her running for president.

Both are strong women who have made difficult choices in their lives (just as most of us have had to do) and are now living with the consequences. I admire them for some of those choices and not for others. Neither woman has done anything to warrant the media's going for the jugular.
Elizabeth Bain
Morristown, N.J.

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