Dueling political claims to the 9/11 legacy

Regarding your Aug. 30 article, "Bush's risky 9/11 legacy": Why is it so easy for everyone to forget the original reason we went to war following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and whom we originally went after: Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We still have American and coalition troops there, but we don't seem to hear nearly as much about their efforts as we do about Iraq.

This "war on terror" has been turned upside down and backward by the Bush administration's focus on Iraq. All it has done is draw more Islamic anger to that region.
Cynthia A. Micallef
Palmyra, Maine

Both John Kerry and George Bush seem to be exploiting 9/11 for political purposes. While the incident was tragic and horrible and should never be forgotten, there are many other problems facing this country that never seem to be adequately addressed. From what I've heard so far, both their campaign strategies seem rather generic. It makes me wonder what they actually believe in.

I would have a great deal more respect for someone who stood alone and spoke of issues not so seemingly "popular."
Christina Jones
Troy, Ill.

Schools eligible for more aid to disabled

The National Council on Disability acknowledges that your Aug. 24 article, "Demand on special ed is growing," raises some timely issues. Among the national perspectives offered, one caught our attention. The comment reads, "When special education laws were created in the 1970s, 'we had no idea what we were getting into.' "

On the contrary, in 1970, before enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), more than 1 million students were excluded from public schools, and another 3.5 million did not receive appropriate services. Because of these dismal conditions, Congress enacted IDEA in 1975.

Furthermore, Medicaid was authorized to cover health services provided to students under IDEA, provided the services are covered in the state's Medicaid plan. Medicaid funds have been available for IDEA services since the enactment of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988.

Despite congressional efforts to provide additional funding and supports, however, too many eligible school students are still not receiving the services under Medicaid and IDEA to which they are entitled, and districts are not requesting or receiving all the funds for eligible children and youth which they need.

Fault lies with the schools that do not take advantage of all major federal resources available to them and then complain that they lack sufficient funds to comply with IDEA.
Martin Gould, Ed D
Senior Research Specialist

National Council on Disability

Limits to flip-flopping?

Regarding Daniel Schorr's Aug. 27 Opinion piece "Face it: Every politician flip-flops": Changing one's mind over a chain of events or over some long period of time (more than six months to a few years) shows that a politician can roll with the punches. But if that politician changes with the tide almost daily, it shows he (or she) is only flopping in the sand like a fish out of water, instead of making his own way in the shifting currents. A man with no base cannot be trusted.
Buzz Prescott
Columbia, S.C.

Every day brings changes. If a politician can't keep up, I don't want him in office. Some seem to think every answer can be "cookie cuttered." If John Kerry is a flip-flopper, then so much the better. I will have to wear my flip-flops come November.
Suzanne Young
Granger, Iowa

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