Regarding your Oct. 7 article "Congress hits warpath on Iraq funding issues": We had the same domestic problems after World War II as we have now but the money we spent on the Marshall Plan was very well spent. It certainly contributed to a more stable world, in stark contrast to the results of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, which contributed to the conditions that laid the foundation for World War II. Is not the money to be spent on Iraq to be classified the same way? Will not a stable Iraq benefit the whole world?
Is it not necessary to take this larger view of the results of our actions? A prosperous United States in an unstable world is not a credible option.
Jacklyn T. Bort
Regarding your Oct. 8 article "Turks pitch in: new troops to Iraq": American taxpayers are lending the Turkish government $8.5 billion dollars in exchange for the deployment of 10,000 Turkish troops to Iraq. To sweeten the deal, an agreement has been made between Turkey and the United States that they will cooperate in eliminating the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Kurdish resistance that has been a thorn in the side of the Turks.
Up until now, the Kurds have been among the few supporters of the US invasion of Iraq. This agreement seems to be a sure way of undermining that support. Obviously, the Iraqi National Council does not like the idea of having Turkish troops in Iraq, as many Kurds sit on the Council. Can the Bush administration think of any more ways to shoot itself in the foot?
Regarding your Oct. 7 article "Emerging lessons of the recall": Another lesson from the recall that you did not note was spoken by Gray Davis himself in the early days just after the recall was certified. He said that politicians will never again be able to make "tough decisions" without looking over their shoulders at the people. Wow! What a concept! He obviously insinuates that there may be an endless cycle of recalls that would hamstring and paralyze governors and others. But I find it very refreshing that politicos will finally return to their duty to their constituents and the general welfare of the people rather than big money. I hope that this lesson rings out loudest and clearest for all politicos all over the United States: The government of the people, by the people, and for the people is being taken back by those same people who are sick and tired of the way it has evolved.
Chee Woo Leong
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
You missed one crucial point in your otherwise excellent article discussing the unsurprising exodus of teachers, "The great escape" (Oct. 7). There is a widespread misconception in the public that teaching is a "bottom of the barrel" or "easy" profession where only those who can't or don't want to work in the real world seek jobs. As a result, the best and brightest teachers frequently become disillusioned and leave to find higher-paying and publicly "acceptable" jobs.
Thus, we find education locked in a downward spiral with ever-declining standards, high student/teacher ratios, and poorly trained and discouraged teachers.
It is high time for the media to start celebrating more of our true heroes - teachers - and for our political leaders to do whatever it takes to return our teachers to the mainstream of public respect and appreciation.
Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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