Letters to the Editor

Readers write about unemployment, deceptions in the Iraq war, Arab college enrollment, women in government, and cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad.

Candidates must debate an end to US unemployment

Regarding your March 6 editorial, "Gloves off for Clinton and Obama?": The Democratic Party nomination process has generated much interest in India. Of the many issues that are being debated between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the problem of growing unemployment is one that I find most disturbing.

With so much automation and mechanization of all kinds of production processes and services in the United States, and there being nothing to suggest that these would ever be reversed, it is difficult to imagine how either candidate can end unemployment.

In fact they have not discussed this issue enough. They have barely touched upon it when debating outsourcing, immigration, and Social Security. This is understandable; politicians across the globe have not found a good answer to this problem.

One wonders: If Sens. Obama and Clinton won't admit the fact that unemployment is a natural product of modern industrial economies and has to be lived with, who else will?

Ashim Kumar Chatterjee
Delhi, India

Al Qaeda was not in Iraq before war

Regarding the Feb. 11 article, "In Iraq, US spotlights Al Qaeda weakness," and the coverage by the "embedded" reporter in weeks prior: From the beginning of the Iraq invasion, the Bush administration has attempted to subvert the truth, portraying Iraq as a battle in the "war on terror."

Early media coverage indicated that Al Qaeda in Iraq did not even exist prior to the United States' invasion. Subsequent coverage demonstrated that Al Qaeda in Iraq had come into existence and was gaining increasing strength. However, in relation to other sectarian elements, such as Moqtada al-Sadr's troops, Al Qaeda is still a very small group working at the fringes of the strife that Iraq has suffered since 2003.

By continuing to hammer the message that we are battling Al Qaeda, President Bush and company try to distract the American people from the fact that we are responsible for igniting conflict in Iraq, a garden-variety sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. We are responsible for one of the most egregious examples of "sectarian" (as opposed to ethnic) cleansing, on a much larger scale than occurred in Kosovo.

Rusty Wyrick
North Little Rock, Ark.

Colleges need to reach all Arabs

Regarding the March 6 article, "A bid to enroll Arabs in US colleges": Are the MIT students reaching out to all Arabs, such as Iraqi and Coptic Christians? Or are they inadvertently perpetuating the "us" versus "them" mentality that critics trace to the prophet Muhammad himself? If the latter, they would not appear to be true "agents of cross-cultural exchange."

Emerson Ellett
Ocean, N.J.

Too many women support patriarchy

In response to the Feb. 21 article, "A generation shift in women's vote," in which a woman was quoted as saying, "I've come to the conclusion that this country isn't ready for a female president": America's reluctance to allow women to participate as full citizens in a male-oriented society is too often aided and abetted by women themselves.

If you don't like Hillary Clinton's agenda, don't vote for her.

If you don't like her gender, wake up and consider what you are saying to idealistic girls about their aspirations.

Diana Jeffreys
Watkinsville, Ga.

Reprinted cartoons represent hypocrisy

Regarding the March 10 article, "Danish Cartoons: One Afghan's peaceful protest": When I think about Denmark, usually the image of savory butter cookies comes to mind. But there is nothing sweet about Denmark these days. Several Danish newspapers last month reprinted cartoons that offensively depicted the holy founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad. The editors of the originating newspaper, the Jyllands-Posten, justified reprinting the cartoons in response to an alleged plot to murder one of the cartoonists by a few Muslim extremists. As pointed out by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, "what was the need to reprint the cartoons when the police had already apprehended the three people who were alleged to be plotting against one of the cartoonists?"

What's even more troubling is that the same newspaper in 2003 vetoed the publishing of a cartoon relating to Jesus Christ, with the reasoning that caricatures of Jesus were offensive and not funny. We wish the same decency and forbearance were extended in the current situation. Instead, twisted revenge and double standards plague the decision to reprint the cartoons of the prophet of Islam. Sadly, perhaps Shakespeare's Marcellus was right in saying, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

Sohail Husain
New Haven, Conn.

Member, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

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. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd

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