Readers write about forging relationships with Iranians, switching from dryers to clotheslines, and improving the juvenile justice system.
Forging relationships with Iranians is complex
In response to the Aug. 23 Opinion article, "How to challenge Iran's militancy without using arms," about reaching out to the Iranian people directly, I am often shocked by the simple-minded point of view that American analysts have on the subject of Iran. In particular, I mean those who advocate establishing a relationship with the Iranian people, opening an embassy in Tehran, and isolating the Islamic government from the people.
These analysts all have suggestions on what America should do and they always fail to mention how to achieve it. Establishing a relationship by circumventing the Iranian government is unrealistic. The majority of trade and economic levers are in the hands of the Iranian government. The Islamic Republic of Iran is not about to allow the US to have a direct relationship with the Iranian people.
The analysts never explain what will occur if the Iranian government prevents or stops the US from establishing this relationship. What would be the next option? The Iranian government survives on bashing the US and it blames America for just about everything negative in Iran. A relationship such as the one suggested by these analysts would assume that the people of Iran want the US to intervene in their government but there is insufficient evidence to support that contention.
Switching to clotheslines
Thank you for the well-written Aug. 24 article, "As an energy-saver, the clothesline makes a comeback," about reclaiming the right to dry and the importance of clotheslines. In 2001, Americans used 66 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to run clothes dryers, according to the Department of Energy. Electric dryers are responsible for about 6 percent of all electricity used in homes and cost the average household about $100 per year. Yet most families could readily switch to using clotheslines, for at least part of the year. This is an easy and cost-saving opportunity to reduce our ecological impact. Where this opportunity is hindered, citizens should reclaim their right to dry.