Letters to the Editor

Readers write about: the United Nations as a peacekeeping force, America's democratic systmem, Ahmadinejad should be treated as a guest, and native American healing methods.

Iraq needs a United Nations peacekeeping force

Regarding the Sept. 21 article, "How much can UN achieve in Iraq?": After shunning the United Nations and global consensus against war, the United States pushed ahead. War has consequences for both victor and the vanquished. We are not able to decide who won and what victory is at this stage.

The fact of the matter is, millions in Iraq are languishing in fear and uncertainty about the future of what was once a nation. Indeed, it is time that peace-loving members of the UN, the largest remaining forum for help, get their act together.

They should leave aside all internal politics, loftily drafted resolutions, and meaningless policy debates that go into crafting documents. Instead, action that is well intended, effective, and enduring should begin with all earnestness.

I think a peacekeeping force should replace the occupying army, and Iraq should be administered by UN administrators.

Subramaniam Shankar

Kerala, India

Democrats: Powerless to end war

Regarding the Sept. 21 article, "Doubts aside, no move to cut troop levels": What an odd democratic system we have in this country that President Bush (who lost the popular vote in 2000 and barely won it in 2004) and his minority party of senators can effectively strong-arm the majority in Congress and continue to "wage the war as he sees fit."

Essentially, the president has the same carte blanche for the Iraq war as before the Republican majority was voted out of power last year. Based on what the president and his political cohorts are saying, it is evident that they are willing to commit US military forces in Iraq for at least a generation, if not more, as in South Korea and Germany.

For their part, congressional Democrats, not to mention a solid majority of Americans, are simply powerless to realize a shift in policy from military engagement to political diplomacy; in other words, from war to peace. Is it any wonder why both Mr. Bush and Congress have such dreadful approval ratings?

I want to believe that we Americans have a decent democratic system, but at these times I am not so sure we do.

Steven Byrd
Biddeford, Maine

Even Ahmadinejad deserves courtesy

In response to the Sept. 26 article, "Iran leader meets furor, and thrives": Why did Columbia University invite the president of Iran to speak at the university if all the administration was going to do was act crudely and rudely to a guest?

Columbia President Lee Bollinger is definitely not a credit to Columbia University.

His introduction of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should have been short and sweet. After the Iranian president did his thing, then Mr. Bollinger could have taken him to task.

Evidently Bollinger needs some lessons in common sense and good judgment. You do not invite a criminal into your house. But if you do, as Bollinger did, then you have the obligation of a host to at least be civil.

Frank Gallo
Williamsburg, Va.

Appreciate Indian healing methods

I really appreciated the Sept. 13 article, "Sweating out war," about the federal government tapping into native cultures. Thank you very much for giving us insight into native American healing ceremonies. Maybe someday we can all live in peace, and others will quit calling us savages.

Elizabeth Satiacum
Orchard, Wash.

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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