Postwar rationalization: an oxymoron

What strikes me in Daniel Schorr's Sept. 26 column, "A war still in search of a rationale," is that the author refuses to draw the only reasonable conclusion from his own argument: There was no and never will be justification for the war on Iraq.

Indeed, a war cannot possibly be rationalized after the fact - that is, after the killing, injuring, and destroying. Its morality, like that of any other (policy) decision, hinges on the facts it was based on. Morality by hindsight is an oxymoron.

Unfortunately, Mr. Schorr is not the only commentator who makes this mistake.
Bart Van Steirteghem
New York

Too soon for another Clinton

Regarding your Sept. 25 article "She's not a candidate ... probably": Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton may just be the woman to beat someone like George W. Bush, and it would be wonderful if and when a woman could do that. I believe, however, she has too much baggage, i.e., former President Bill Clinton. Not enough time has passed to forget his problems, and she needs to build up her own charisma. She is very bright and astute, and she would do a great job. But too many people remember all the problems of the Clinton administration.

She is not yet a credible candidate.
Rosemary Chambers
Bellevue, Wash.

Bush bankroll for Teach For America

We greatly appreciate Prof. Pamela Walters' support and encouragement of Teach For America and of her son's participation as one of our newest corps members, as articulated in her Sept. 26 Opinion piece "Save the Teachers."

We do, however, want to make sure that the record is clear on the Bush administration's support of Teach For America. In recent months, the administration has helped Teach For America obtain grants to help offset the loss of the AmeriCorps education awards; the administration's appointed chair of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service has moved to reprioritize professional corps such as Teach For America for the next round of AmeriCorps grants; and the Bush administration has been pushing to add nearly $100 million above the House and Senate proposed spending levels for AmeriCorps for 2004.

The setbacks at AmeriCorps in 2003 were unfortunate for Teach For America and many other nonprofit organizations, but the administration's recent actions have made clear its strong support for AmeriCorps and for Teach For America.
Wendy Kopp
New York
President and Founder Teach For America

Iran's nuclear ambitions

Regarding your Sept. 26 editorial "Avoiding an Iraq in Iran": You mention a possible nuclear race in the Middle East, which you write would endanger Israel, without mentioning that Israel possesses atomic weapons. Could it be possible that Iran (along with other countries) feels insecure about the Zionists in its area and, in view of recent events in Iraq, feels it needs a nuclear arsenal to defend itself?

The crux of the Middle East problem is Israel and American support for its behavior in the Middle East.
Carlos de Vasconcellos
Upland, Calif.

You write "The US and Europe should avoid splitting over this issue and do everything short of war to make Iran comply." Short of war? War is the only way the US could get Iran to comply with anything that the civilized world wants.
Brian Grempler
Owings Mills, Md.

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