America's undemocratic treatment of Iraqis
Regarding the June 16 article "US anti- guerrilla campaign draws Iraqi ire": Censorship in a democracy is not a good thing. The "chilling effect" of L. Paul Bremer's actions is one of the scariest acts thus far in a war that began with an administration that forgot our government is one "of the people, by the people, and for the people." The Iraqi citizens deserve far better treatment than they are receiving from our leaders. It's bad enough that we are left to wonder why the war was fought, let alone wonder why the Iraqi citizens must now live under an occupation force.
Regarding your June 13 article "Tight times for summer school": Once again, inadequate funding for schools has cost us even more in the long run as summer-school cutbacks force children to repeat grades.
As Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning in Baltimore, was quoted as saying in the article: "But the needs of young people are not seasonal.... It's a lot more costly in the long run to make a kid repeat a year."
Trying to patch up a weak budget by cutting programs here and there hurts schools in the long run, and in this case ends up costing more money. Why are the fiscal conservatives in this country not upset about this? They are always claiming government programs (including schools) should run on thinner and more-effective budgets. So why is it that they cut programs that end up costing more in the long run?
Fiscal reasonability for government programs begins with comprehensive, long-term financial planning, not more cuts to patch up a weak budget.
Someone takes money away from education and the only ones who lose out are the children. These kids aren't going to have enough education to start a life at all. Education cuts are the reason why I teach my children on the side.
'Imminent' revolution in Iran
Regarding your June 16 Editorial "Iran: ripe for revolution?": Think back to the massive changes brought about by the shipyard strikes in Gdansk, Poland, in 1981 and you might rethink your statement that Iranian revolution isn't likely.
I think revolution in Iran is imminent. For one, young Iranians have much more access to worldwide media than the Poles had, or, for that matter, any Eastern European back then. Secondly, far from being threatened from the West, tolerant, moderate Islamic nations in the area - Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, for example - are putting pressure on Islamic right-wing governments as they never have in the past.
Thirdly, the university students have a very valid, cogent, and focused issue on which to build: The ayatollahs are not divine and are not God. I believe this last argument will be central to the downfall of all of the right-wing fundamentalist movements in the Middle East, especially vis-a-vis Wahhabism and sharia (Islamic law), which are both under fire from Western and Eastern cultures alike.
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles.
Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.
Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.
A June 10 letter regarding the article "Push to fund DDT in fight against malaria" (May 29), misstated a statistic. The correct statement should have been that malaria causes more than 1 million deaths a year, with more than 300 million to 500 million cases worldwide.