Hussein death sentence sends the message that killing is just

Regarding the Nov. 6 article, "Saddam Hussein death sentence a milestone": Upon first hearing of the sentence handed down, I felt regret.

In no way, shape, or form do I condone the acts of the Hussein regime over the past decades.

However, I feel that the death sentence is a continual historical mistake.

How as an international community will we ever evolve? The message given to all is that execution is just.

An opportunity has been missed for the tribunal to send the message that execution, whether to one or thousands, is an act that is ancient, barbaric, and "the easy way out."

By handing down a death sentence, the tribunal has placed itself on the same level as Mr. Hussein and many others who came before.

By seeking other alternatives, American experts and Iraqi members of the tribunal could have projected a higher spiritual level and could have led others, globally, by example.

To finish with the old cliché: "An eye for an eye makes us all blind."
Damien Tomlinson
Sydney, Australia

Complex issues behind Gallaudet protest

Regarding the Nov. 8 article, "Signs of change at Gallaudet": There are deeper issues at play here than were covered in the article.

Consistently fewer than 50 percent of undergraduate students at Gallaudet (a university for the deaf) get their diplomas. That is a scandal.

At least one student I know blames his inability to find his place in a larger world on the isolation that "deaf culture" produces and on a "nobody can tell me nothin' " attitude that shuts deaf people out of the wider world they might participate in otherwise. "Deaf culture" is insular and self-limiting.

How much of the recent protest at Gallaudet is a tacit admission of this?

How much of this unrest is motivated by frustration? And how much of it is caused by the deaf protesters' doubt that "their way" (which they defend so vigorously) is not the best way to succeed?

Or do the students feel that their former provost (who relied largely on lip reading until she learned sign language when she was in her 20s) might be an example of someone who best demonstrates "another way" to be in the world, which might work better?

We need to read more about the complexities of the situation at Gallaudet and have some honest, nonhype information shed on what just happened.
Sandra Rangel
Alexandria, Va.

Reasons for Republican ouster

The Nov. 10 article, "In this election, swing voters make comeback," mentions several ousted Republicans, including the representative from my district, Nancy Johnson.

The article states that Ms. Johnson and others were not "tainted by ethics problems, or significantly less well-thought-of by their constituents than in previous years. But they had R's after their names."

I disagree. Those who voted against Johnson are not mindless contrarians. To be voted out is evidence that Johnson was less well-thought-of by thinking voters in her district.

Rather than listing my own reasons for not voting for Johnson, I can tell you that, having voted for her in the past, it is not simply because there was an R after her name.
Johanne Bach
Simsbury, Conn.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.