Abu Ghraib and responsibility: 9/11 widow, others weigh in

Regarding the May 6 article "Abu Ghraib's message for the rank and file": Many would like to see the generals that are running the show in Iraq, not to mention those above them, called on the carpet for what happened in Abu Ghraib. This is an unrealistic desire. While the generals are in fact responsible for what happens in their command, they can be held accountable only for what they themselves know about. There is not a general in the world, past or present, who knows all about what is occurring in his or her command.

These enlisted people, who the media insist are thrown to the wolves, are the individuals that are responsible for the reprehensible actions that occurred - not the generals. Therefore, they and they alone should face the consequences of their actions. Quit trying to make martyrs of them. They are anything but martyrs.
Keith Thompson
Everett, Wash.

As with the rank and file taking the main heat in the chain of military command, so the same occurs in the ranks of business. Too many times, I have seen lax and lazy upper management dodge the bullet on all sorts of issues including compromised safety, underbudgeting and overspending, failed projects and technology, loser strategies, etc.

The rank and file get punished for the execution of those actions while many in the ranks above get rewarded with bigger and better things to eventually screw up for another day. The occasional upper manager is punished, however - especially if they are on the outs with their peers anyway.
Michael J. Stempo
Bethlehem, Pa.

Abu Ghraib ... what a joke. As a Trade Tower widow, ask me if I care that Muslim prisoners were "humiliated" in an effort to gain information or soften them up for further interrogation.

We are supposed to tiptoe around a culture whose avowed purpose is to murder as many of us "infidels" as possible?

Seeing a prisoner naked is suddenly equivalent to the kidnapping and beheading of civilian workers sent to help? On what planet?

No doubt we will be careful to protect their civil rights, right up until the moment they nuke one of our cities.
Leslie Dimmling
New York

Knowledge dissolves prejudice, hatred

I understand that a national conservative radio commentator dishonored the outstanding efforts of the Evanston Township High School to provide the next generation of Americans with a diverse view of the world. I read the May 10 Monitor article about Evanston's efforts, "A classroom as big as the world," and would like to present the following thoughts:

I am only one person and have nowhere near the power or audience that that individual has. However, I do have this one voice and I would like to speak to the issues of bigotry, prejudice, and hatred - problems that rest on the unstable foundation of insufficient knowledge and understanding of the many cultures of the world.

Knowledge is power, not in a manipulative sense, but in the sense that knowledge of one another, our cultures, and our value and belief systems can temper the reactive sides of each of us and our homelands.

I congratulate Evanston Township High School, its teachers, its administration, and most especially its students. I congratulate The Christian Science Monitor for the journalistic foresight to publish a story affirming our ability to understand, cope, and live with diversity. And I wish the radio personality a long life, so that he, too, may learn the true power of knowledge.
Cathy McManamey
Hinsdale, Ill.

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