Regarding "Yanking terrorism's roots" (Jan. 7, Editorial): If the United States government sincerely wants to reduce the strong anti-American feelings in the Muslim world, it should start behaving in an ethical manner in the Middle East.
Public relations propaganda is useless when the people of the Middle East see the US support things like corrupt Saudi Arabian rule. They see the effects of the sanctions and bombings on Iraq destroying the lives of the citizens while Hussein remains firmly in power, and they see the US call for a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, while condemning Palestinian leaders and continuously increasing support for Israel's military.
If the main approach is to use public relations to promote human rights, democracy, and religious freedom in the Middle East, then the plan will fail if the US continues to engage in a foreign policy that crushes or ignores these considerations.
Arthur Taylor Mason, Mich.
After reading your editorial it would seem as though terrorism is exclusively a Muslim act. There seems to be a denial that non-Muslim Americans commit acts of terrorism (i.e., Timothy McVeigh). We must have the courage to look at ourselves. Our disregard of the deaths of Muslims at the hands of India, Israel, Russia, and others promotes hatred against us. If America shows no compassion for the millions of Muslims dying at the hands of non-Muslims - how can we expect to open the hearts of Muslims to the deaths of Americans at the World Trade Center?
Fadwa Wazwaz Crystal, Minn.
I have just finished reading, with great pleasure, "Is it time to praise 'grandmother-chic'?" (Jan. 9, Homefront). In about two weeks I will hit the big 82. My present to myself is to go with a son, a nephew, and a small group from the Harvard Museum of National History into the Northwest Territories of Canada, via Edmonton and Yellowknife, to a lodge to watch the aurora borealis (never having seen one yet), to dog sled (never having been on one yet), and to snowmobile into boreal forests and go ice fishing, all at temperatures below freezing.
Last year's present to myself was to go to Tasmania and, by tiny plane, go into the World Heritage Wilderness Park. I look forward to more weird trips!
Faith Kidder Fuller Sedona, Ariz.
Regarding: "Rough road to my Bethlehem manger" (Dec. 21, Opinion): Emma Williams is pregnant, overdue, and has access to top medical care in Israel. But she has chosen to place her unborn child at risk to enter a zone of heated conflict in order to make a political point. Does she expect, or hope, to write another opinion based on harm that may occur to her, or her child, by her actions so she can blame the Israelis? Unbelievable!
Ed Davis Seattle
The author responds:
Our baby boy, Sholto, arrived Dec. 21, weighing in at 9.63 lbs. Despite our fears and earlier experiences, the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint let us through without delay.
Regarding Mr. Davis's question, I looked at a number of hospitals in Jerusalem, and concluded, on medical grounds, that the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem provided the best obstetric care for me. As for potential danger to me or my baby, there was little chance Israeli tanks would reinvade Bethlehem and target a clearly marked international hospital - as happened two months ago - during the few hours I would be in it.
Emma Williams Jerusalem
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