Letters to the Editor
Readers write about bringing 'change' to America, how the media report on Taiwan, and the causes of a Liberian conflict.
Changing America is up to all of us, not just Obama
Regarding the Nov. 6 Opinion piece, "A historic victory. A changed nation. Now, can Obama deliver?": Author Jerry Lanson asks if Barack Obama can convert the call for change to reality, but I think the bigger question is, can we, as Americans, bring about the changes we desire in our own daily lives?
Are we, the people, the elected officials, the corporate leaders, living within our means? Are we working hard, living ethically, and telling the truth? Do we use civil discourse, leadership, and diplomacy while dealing with family and community members? Do we practice patience and vision as we work toward common goals? This is how true, fundamental change will happen in America, and each and every one of us can make it a reality.
Covering Taiwan without bias is vital
In regard to the Nov. 12 article, "Taiwan's former president jailed in corruption probe": I am writing to thank author Jonathan Adams for this very fair and well-researched article. It has become rare to see journalists who take the time to address all perspectives of issues related to Taiwan, especially considering the complexity of politics involving several players, such as the Kuomintang (KMT) Party and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as well as the Taiwanese public.
It is commonly known that many major Western media outlets often recycle news on Taiwan from their Beijing correspondents. And I also lament the far-reaching effect of old links between the KMT and the US media, resulting in articles that are often biased in favor of the current Ma administration. So while there is little international media bias toward the DPP (which would not be a good thing anyway), I wish other publications would follow the high bar set by Mr. Adams.
Taiwan's nascent democracy is being put to the test right now, and fair reporting is highly sought after, but hard to come by. Big thanks to Mr. Adams and The Christian Science Monitor from the Taiwanese in the San Francisco area who are reading your articles.
Liberian crisis was little about religion
Regarding the Nov. 7 film review, 'Pray the Devil Back to Hell': I object to author Peter Rainer's characterization of Muslim warlords raping and pillaging to depose the Christian Charles Taylor in Liberia.
Although it's true that the group Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) has been accused of atrocities and is comprised of 70 percent Muslim Mandingos, the basis for the conflict was hardly religious in nature. For example, former LURD leader Sekou Conneh was raised and educated in Christian and Methodist schools. The southern rebel group, Movement for Democracy in Liberia, has links to Christian politicians in Ivory Coast. Government forces under Mr. Taylor also engaged in widespread rape and recruitment of child soldiers, especially in Bushrod Island. But Taylor has been described by some as a supporter of Muslims, having close ties to Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, and providing them with facilities and radio broadcasting in his country.
Rainer's review does present a touching perspective of people working together for peace across religious lines. But the best way to propagate this kind of peace is to avoid characterizing conflicts in religious terms when there is no basis for it.
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