Iran going nuclear: a reasonable response?

I am very disappointed by the Monitor's editorial regarding nuclear weapons in Iran ("Preventing a Nuclear Iran," Aug. 6). The editors repeat all the stock phrases and threats about Iranian ambitions. I would like to know why everyone automatically thinks that any military advance by an Arab/Muslim country is a threat to Israel. Every time Iran tests a missile or there is a new story about Iran's nuclear weapons, the threat to Israel is unfailingly mentioned. Yet Iran and other countries in the region may be pursuing these weapons as a defensive measure. No mention is made of Israel's extensive arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. No mention is made of Israel's sophisticated ballistic-missile program. While I don't agree with Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, I find it perfectly logical and understandable. The Iranians face a very credible military threat from both the United States and Israel. If Iran decides to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, that is its right.
Shahab Mushtaq
Peoria, Ill.

Good soldier Powell

Regarding Daniel Schorr's Aug. 8 Opinion column "Colin Powell's stiff upper lip": I would hope Secretary of State Colin Powell has more integrity than to work for George W. Bush should Mr. Bush gain a second term. The moderate Mr. Powell does not fit in with this administration's neoconservative hawks. Powell is a good soldier who follows his commander in chief's orders, but it is evident that he is not totally in step with where Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Karl Rove are taking the country.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
Louisville, Ky.

A better campaign strategy

Regarding your Aug. 8 article "Special- interest groups gain clout in presidential politics": Democrats should concentrate on raising money so that the millions of hardworking citizens can hear a clear message that meets their immediate needs; on getting these people to register to vote; and on helping them in every way to cast a vote.
Al Gion
Madison, Wis.

Not so nostalgic about the 1980s

Regarding Jeffrey Shaffer's Aug. 8 Opinion column "My Little Pony's galloping comeback": I'm wondering if Mr. Shaffer and I were on the same planet in the 1980s. I remember it as one of the worst decades in my working career as a real estate broker: 18 percent interest rates; high mortgage foreclosures; shopping centers and office centers all over the country going belly up; high unemployment. A significant number of Americans lost their small businesses - many of which were family-owned, where people had shed blood, sweat, and tears for several generations. The '80s? They were awful - except, of course, if you had plenty of money invested and could benefit from 18 percent interest rates, or plenty of money to buy up those foreclosed shopping centers. In other words, they were great for the affluent and lousy for us ordinary types.
Anita Ilika

One bite, two desserts

Regarding your Aug. 6 article "Let them eat cake - or maybe pie": Leave it to us calorie-happy Pennsylvania Dutch to find a way to resolve the cake or pie impasse. Visit eastern Pennsylvania any morning of the week and you'll find yourself able to choose either shoo-fly pie or funny cake to accompany your breakfast cup of coffee. Both are cake, both have crusts, and both are baked in pie tins. Are we smart or what?

And if you choose the proper place to have your cake/pie, you may even be treated to a free second cup of coffee!
Richard G. Miller
Sellersville, Pa.

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