Regarding Godfrey Sperling's column "The Democratic retreat on Sept. 11" (May 28): All this talk about the Democrats wanting open hearings and committees on the lack of preparedness and intelligence communication before Sept. 11 has got me wondering: Does it really make sense to demand hearings and committees on why a bombing happened and why there was a failure in a certain area? Wouldn't that just be informative and helpful for the enemy, by allowing them the privilege to hear about weaknesses in defense? And wouldn't national confidence and resolve be weakened to hear a lot of talk about missed warnings?
I'm not saying that the United States government and its agencies shouldn't learn from mistakes that were made, but broadcasting its failures at a time of war would be counterproductive.
Regarding your review of "Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East" ("Israeli-Arab conflict could use more religion," May 23, Books): How refreshing to read the review of Marc Gopin's book in which he states that Middle East conflict cannot be resolved by individual political leaders but must be addressed on the level of the people within the community. Bravo! And yet, I must question whether or not a war is instigated by and thereby able to be stopped by the people.
The power to end or maintain wars must fall on the leaders. People, I believe, are "led" somewhat sheepishly into the act. Can we envision a leader currently in a war-torn state suddenly relinquishing his power to press on into war and instead start pushing for peace? I hope so.
This is precisely the kind of leadership that is needed to achieve the "Holy Peace" of which Mr. Gopin writes.