Letters to the Editor for the weekly issue of January 16, 2011: As tensions rise with Iran, one reader spurns America's 'usual knee-jerk military response' and praises 'smart power' instead. Another reader points out factors behind teen pregnancy, emphasizing education as key to combatting it.
The Dec. 19 editorial "How to avoid war with Iran" offers a sensible solution to the significant threat Iran poses, one that avoids the usual knee-jerk military response from "the world's greatest military superpower."
US and Israeli caveman-style reliance on a bigger club to effectively alter perceived dangerous foreign action has lately failed to endear either country to many downtrodden citizens living under tyrannical regimes. They often see the countries as meddling bullies, even when they may be sympathetic to their goals.
America might ask itself: How different would its behavior be if it were not the world's military giant? How differently would the US then defend its national interests or those of its allies? Instead of wading in with machinery that destroys homes, schools, and infrastructure, not to mention killing and maiming innocent civilians, it might be forced to play smarter and more humanely.
America would need to resort to more patient deliberation and diplomacy that relies on wiser, less costly use of its assets.
The editorial seems to suggest this alternative path to change in Iran – by leveraging the internal and external forces already working to bring down the current Iranian regime.
The Dec. 19 article "Teen birthrate hits record low" makes excellent connections between sexual health education and the lowering of teen pregnancy rates. However, it does not acknowledge several other important factors in analyzing teen pregnancy.