Letters to the Editor

Readers write about an Iraqi journalist, the moral responsibilities of the US military, treatment of the Yazidi minority in Iraq, India's nuclear power plants, and celebrities visiting Iraq

Iraqi journalist can bring hope to the Middle East

I greatly appreciate the Aug. 23 article, "An Iraqi journalist on the Washington Post Metro desk," about the young man, Omar Fekeiki, who offered help to an American reporter in Baghdad and found a career in journalism. People such as Mr. Fekeiki can be the key to bringing peaceful change in the Middle East.

His appreciation for the laws in the US that exist and are enforced also can serve as a reminder to those living in the US of how fortunate they are. I hope he is successful in starting his own publication and that one day his written words will have an effect on all nations, especially in encouraging a peaceful world.

Susan Comrov
Skokie, Ill.

US military's moral responsibility

The Aug. 20 article, "Treating the trauma of war – fairly," which addresses how the US military avoids paying for treatment by relabeling cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as personality disorders, articulates yet another moral failure by the US in this war in Iraq. When a nation chooses to send their young men and women to fight, that nation has a moral responsibility for any emotional and physical wounds suffered in battle.

Those of us who treat clients suffering from PTSD know that the wounds of trauma are slow to heal and that both those with PTSD and personality disorders should be systematically excluded from battle assignments. When the military dodges its moral responsibility, it simply diminishes its own credibility in enforcing a responsible, ethical selection process.

Margaret Potchatek
Coupeville, Wash.

Treatment of an Iraqi ethnic minority

I very much appreciated the reporting in the Aug. 17 article, "Bombings signal rising threat for Iraq's ethnic minorities," about the attacks on the Yazidi minority in Iraq. I was shocked by what has happened to this religious minority.

I worked closely with many Yazidis for over nine months from 2003-04 while deployed in Iraq with the US military and stationed in Mosul. In my opinion, the Yazidis were one of the most peaceful and nonviolent groups in Iraq. I visited their nearly 1,000-year-old compounds just outside Mosul on two occasions, and was warmly welcomed. I also worked closely with many of them on a daily basis.

In a country with so much violence and carnage, the Yazidi people were a joy to be around and held very little ill-will toward any other ethnic groups in Iraq. The attacks on them is just another example of the cowardly extremists in the Middle East who use religion as a shield for unjust actions.

David Baumgardner
Bryan, Texas

India's nuclear power plants

In response to the Aug. 22 article, "India: Nuclear pact causes deep rift," opponents of India's nuclear deal with the US give shaky reasons for reneging on it. Safety for all humanity – not politics – is the justifiable basis to halt any US-assisted nuclear production.

All parties involved in such a transaction are overlooking the fact that nuclear power plants or manufacturing of nuclear weapons are prone to natural disasters. The environmental and health concerns should far outweigh the politics. Where is India going to put all that radioactive waste that, according to scientists, does not diffuse for centuries?

The decision on this deal should be based not on fears of unfounded foreign infiltration, but on sincere concern for the environment that sustains all humanity.

Charmaine Allaka

Celebrities visiting Africa

The Aug. 22 article, "Star power brings attention to Africa," about former President Clinton's tour of Africa and the trend of celebrities visiting Africa, really captures the feel of the place. While growing up in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, it was often said that Africa did not get fair press about the situation there. Thankfully, we can't say that now!

Michael Noyce
Durban, South Africa

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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