Letters to the Editor

Readers write about US troops and Christian missionizing, the relationship between the US and Iran, law enforcement and a drugs-for-gun deal, companies that use CFLs, and Musharraf and duo-leadership in Pakistan.

Protect troops from coercive Christian missionizing

In response to the Oct. 4 article, "Are US troops being force-fed Christianity?": Holy smokes! That is a frightening report on the infiltration of fundamentalist-driven attitudes affecting our military. It astounds me that there is not more of an uproar over the nonaction of the military authorities and government in this regard. Well, the country reelected this president with his religious ideas, and the religious right is running with the ball, and no one is stopping them. Thank goodness someone is documenting this, and thanks to the Monitor for this very thorough insight into a disturbing attack on the rights of our men and women in the service.

No wonder the world is so confused by such signals upheld by the current administration.

Deb Wickersham
Roseville, Calif.

How US-Iran ties could have improved

In response to the Oct. 3 article, "Are US and Iran headed for war?": Do you think the Western world missed an opportunity to warm relations with Iran when it ignored the use of chemical weapons used by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War? Sure, we had a right to be upset with Iran over the takeover of the US Embassy there, but Mr. Hussein's brutality should not have gone unpunished at the time. Do you think that, if we had made moves then, the situation with both Iraq and Iran would be better now? Certainly a lot more Kurds would be alive today.

Paul Moore
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Law enforcement introduced drugs

In response to the Oct. 5 article, "At high court: In a drugs-for-gun deal, is the gun being 'used'?": It strikes me that Michael Watson is guilty of attempting to purchase a handgun illegally and that rather than him "contributing to the introduction of the firearm into the transaction," it was the federal law enforcement officials who introduced drugs into the transaction.

Most troubling is that they turned an illegal firearms purchase into an illegal drug sale and will claim credit for having stopped a drug transaction. That was an unnecessary step in stopping the crime, and makes the federal law-enforcement agents seem, well, sort of sleazy. Without federal manipulation, this would not have been a drug offense at all.

Paul Murray
Arlington, Va.

Wal-Mart wasn't the first to sell CFLs

Regarding the Oct. 4 article, "Bulb brilliance at Wal-Mart": Major media often portray the change to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs as totally driven by Wal-Mart.

Several years ago, when these bulbs were truly expensive, we installed CFLs all over our store. We invested in the inventory to offer them to our small-town market, and we dropped our margin very low to try and get them into our community. As soon as the reflector models became available, we rebulbed the spotlights in our gift shop and offered them for sale. We are in the process of rebulbing all the Christmas trees in our shop with light emitting diode (LED) light sets, and this year the majority of Christmas light sets will be LEDs at lower than normal margins.

Media reports on the greening of Wal-Mart frustrate me and, I'm sure, hundreds or thousands of other independent retailers who were on the CFL bandwagon from the beginning. We do not have the clout to demand lower prices from the manufacturers; therefore, we chose to make less on the CFLs so our society can benefit.

Please give the small guys some credit.

Don Wahr
Manistee, Mich.

Musharraf must play fair

Regarding the Oct. 5 article, "Will Bhutto boost Musharraf?": This article candidly describes the future of the new duo-leadership in Pakistan. As a true believer of democracy, I feel that if Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf wants to be in power and is the popular leader, then he should not use the back door to maintain power. By opting for the legal method, he could earn a lot of praise nationally and internationally.

Arfa Sarfaraz
Lahore, Pakistan

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