Regarding your June 13 article "In freer Iraq, new curbs on women's wear": I think it is shameful that we fought in Afghanistan, in part, to free women from the oppression of the Taliban, and are now allowing oppression by fundamentalist Muslims who are beginning to impose their rigid beliefs in Iraq. What are the coalition forces there for now, anyway? I hope we don't devolve to the level our forces held in the latter days of the Vietnam War, when soldiers were there to protect the soldiers who were there. We need to be in Iraq for a purpose, and that purpose should be to establish a working republic, with freedom for both men and women.
Regarding your June 13 article "On N. Korea, diplomatic clock runs down": The fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons does not make it a "nuclear power," no matter how many times the so-called experts describe it as such. The North Korean regime is doomed. It is only a matter of time. Unelected, irresponsible, ineffectual, isolated, despised by all of its neighbors, its people starving, it will shortly go the way of all former Stalinist dictatorships. It is incumbent upon the world community to be prepared for a collapse, and find a way to ameliorate the pain and anguish of the long-suffering people in North Korea.
Seoul, South Korea
Thank you for a great article ("Culture of consumption," June 12). During the past few years, I have been trying to tell the people I meet that a culture of consumption is good for capitalism but bad for America, and that unless Americans are able to tackle this paradox, America cannot pretend to lead the democratic world, nor help guarantee a future for the planet's young.
De St. Just Bethesda, Md.
Bravo to Karen Petley for her June 11 article "Mom looks at the results of all that togetherness": Perhaps if parents would "meddle" a little more in their children's lives, there wouldn't be hazings with underage drinking, out-of-control parties in homes with no parent, suicides by using the parent's gun, or a pregnant teen whose parents didn't know. Many problems with troubled teens would be eliminated if parents took more time to be with their children.
La Grange, Ill.
Regarding your June 11 article "Life goes on": The magnitude of the collective loss and impact on the country's psyche [of 9/11] catapults this story onto the front pages. However, it should be remembered that wives lose their spouses and children their fathers every day, as I did when I was 10 years old. Unlike the continued attention, and the "comfort" of not being "in it alone" for those who suffered the loss of 9/11, for most of us, once the covered dishes were gone, you were on your own - no monies flowing in from charities or from the government.
I grieved with/for the families of 9/11, but we shouldn't lose the perspective that they are "in the minority" when it comes to the absolute losses of this nature.
Maggie Valley, N.C.
Regarding the article about bacon being "the Achilles' heel of many an aspiring vegetarian" ("Bacon keeps on sizzling," June 11): In Britain, we buy excellent veggie bacon (produced in Australia) that some of our meat-eating friends prefer to pig bacon.
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