The 'Superpower Knows Best' Attitude
There's something wrong with this picture! "Why US Sticks with Foreign Policy by Coalition" (April 2) displays the terrible arrogance that has become prevalent in the language of United States spokespersons.
Their tone conveys the thinking that other nations ought to agree with the US and support whatever it proposes. It is as though opinions in other countries have no value. An anonymous Pentagon official is quoted as saying that a coalition gives the "weakest sister ... the power to coerce other members." As if the US never coerces?
Agreement is not nearly as important as encouraging different opinions. If we stop discussing and listening and allowing people to vote, we're heading this world into fragmentation. Globalization isn't about money. It ought to be about cooperation and building global human relationships.
Stolen Web site
I was quite interested in "'Cybernazis Use Web to Reach Into Europe" (March 7). I am a candidate for governor of Minnesota, and as such my campaign hosted a Web site. About three weeks ago our site was "hacked" and our password was changed. The site was filled with pornography. We contacted the Internet service provider and had the "plug pulled" on the page, chalking it up to graffiti syndrome.
To our surprise, the site was reactivated with our original site name, only this time the site contained Nazi references and a photo of Hitler. Basically our Web site has been stolen. After reading your article, I believe the hacker that stole the site may have transferred or sold it to a "Cybernazi."
Foreigner welcomed in E. Germany
Much to my surprise, the article "German Special Squad Tackles Neo-Nazi Attacks, but Roots of Problem Remain" (March 26) says that "entire neighborhoods [are] unsafe for foreigners" in eastern Germany. As a Jewish-American, I'd like to share my experience.
I recently spent a year in Koenigs Wusterhausen (where your correspondent wrote from) on a Fulbright Scholarship, teaching English. I was the first American whom the majority of my students had met, and was welcomed with open arms into their homes. When my students/friends found out that I was Jewish, I never felt threatened or unwelcomed - in fact, quite the opposite. They were curious to learn more about me.
Yes, Neo-Nazis do exist in Germany, just as gangs exist in America. But I wish people could begin to focus more on the positive aspects of life and culture in former East Germany rather than the negative ones.
National security and morality
Rear Admiral Lloyd Vasey's op-ed piece, "US Soul-Check: Moral Rot is a Security Risk" (March 8), is right to suggest that a nation is protected not by its weaponry, but by its adherence to truth and the eternal principles of honesty, kindness, and justice. From virtue flow all blessings, including material prosperity and the ability to safeguard it.
I suggest another truth: A nation gets the leaders it deserves. An appalling thought? There is also good in it, because our leaders' experiences have educational value. The national debate on the presence - indeed the epidemic - of sex addiction in America shows that some are realizing a higher purpose behind the unfortunate Washington scandals.
It takes work to maintain democracy and personal integrity. The success of the two are interrelated. I thank the good admiral for having the courage to speak out as a military leader who understands the priorities of the real Commander-in-Chief - God.
William H. Roberts Jr.
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. Letters must be signed and include your address and telephone number. All submissions are subject to editing. Mail letters to "Readers Write," and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to email@example.com