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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the Zimbabwe elections, US-Colombia free trade, employment for returning reservists, and protesting the Iraq war.

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Leaders can resolve the election dispute in Zimbabwe

Regarding the April 7 article, "Will the world stop Mugabe?": President Robert Mugabe's actions in the wake of the elections only add credence to the view that he has abandoned his role of serving the people of Zimbabwe.

A man who was once a revolutionary hero has allowed himself to be overtaken by self-interest and cronyism, ruling by fear while failing to meet his peoples' basic needs amid food shortages and rampant inflation.

Aside from the mystery surrounding the official electoral count, Mr. Mugabe can best serve his people now by stepping aside with grace, at last listening to the voice of Cincinnatus and other leaders who resisted the temptation to remain in power too long.

William E. Cooper

Richmond, Va.
University professor,University of Richmond

Regarding the recent article on Zimbabwe's elections: President Bush has repeatedly defended the invasion of Iraq by arguing the United States' role in advocating and even forcefully installing democracy in nondemocratic states.

Even ignoring our support of nondemocratic countries like Saudi Arabia and of dictator wannabes like President Musharraf in Pakistan, how can Mr. Bush sit blithely by while President Mugabe tramples on the democratic rights of Zimbabweans?

Will Buchanan

Brookeville, Md.

US free trade bad for Colombians

In response to your April 9 editorial, "The real issue on free trade": I was disheartened to see that your editorial showed concern only for what the United States could get from a free-trade (as opposed to fair-trade) agreement with Colombia and for what protection US workers will need.

What happens to Colombian farmers when US producers export their subsidized products, tariff-free, to Colombia and sell them at a price lower than Colombian producers need to make to support themselves? Why do you think farmers in Latin America have been rebelling against this model of trade?

Joan Peters

Boulder, Colo.

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