Blair on shaky ground, but will prevail

Regarding your report on the annual conference of the British Labour Party ("Blair battles to stay on course," Oct. 2): Twelve months ago, Prime Minister Tony Blair misled the British public in his arguments for war against Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and Mr. Blair's refusal to acknowledge this fact has undermined his reputation as a political leader. Nevertheless, Blair's efforts to reform education and healthcare in the United Kingdom have been partially successful, and the majority of British voters support his domestic policies.

There is currently no serious political alternative to the Labour Party in Britain. The Conservative Party is in disarray while the Liberal Democrats have yet to clarify and define their political philosophy. Blair is likely to remain at 10 Downing St. for a historic third term after the next election.
Alistair Budd
Bristol, England

With Moussaoui, play by the rules

Regarding your Oct. 2 editorial "The Moussaoui Muddle": You acknowledge that the government's behavior is inappropriate and unconstitutional insofar as it seeks to deny Zacarias Moussaoui's constitutional right to a fair trial. You then suggest that it's all right for the prosecutors to unilaterally "declare" him to be an "enemy combatant" and try him before a military tribunal.

Not since "Alice in Wonderland" has such an idea been put forth. As you acknowledge, the prosecution may or may not have sufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Moussaoui has committed a crime, but since the government refuses to play by the procedural rules established to ensure that innocents are not wrongly convicted, the judge properly indicated she would dismiss the indictment.

The British authorities in colonial times behaved exactly the way the prosecution wants to here. That is why we established a Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Nicholas Trott Long
Providence, R.I.

A refreshing perspective on America

My thanks to Jeffrey Shaffer for his Oct. 3 "God bless average Americans": In response to the daily dose of human acts and opinions voiced in the media, I often ask myself: Is this the America I know? If I were to see America from some distant land only in light of what I see on TV, then I, too, would be shocked by it, fear it, and perhaps be tempted to join forces to undo it.

The world sees the worst of all its citizens in the media, because the worst is news, unlike the norm.

The Christian Science Monitor helps me see my country, my world, more as they really are. It does not hide or gloss over the worst, but helps to put things into perspective.
Joyce Robertson
Chesterfield, Mo.

Protocol of a meritocracy

Regarding the Oct. 2 Opinion "He needed an A; she needed to be fair": When contemplating how a bad grade will affect an individual's scholarship, or even military draft status, it's important to understand that these scholarships are limited in number. If you help a student maintain a scholarship he doesn't deserve, then you are also preventing another student from getting a chance at that scholarship slot.

It's easy to put a name and face on the student who blows an opportunity, but it's just as important to realize that there's another student in line to take a shot.

There's no fairness in propping up one student while denying an opportunity to another, even if you haven't met the student waiting in line.
Carl Friddle

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