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You reported that an Indian woman, Monica Besra, believes her abdominal tumor was healed by a miracle performed posthumously by Mother Teresa [SEQUEL, Oct. 21]. You noted that her husband believes that it was medicine, not a miracle, that cured her. Even if the medal bearing an image of Mother Teresa wasn't responsible for a miracle, couldn't Besra's faith in the nun have been a catalyst helping the medication that vanquished the tumor? It could be that one's faith is just as powerful a remedy as anything doctors prescribe. And no matter what the Roman Catholic Church decides about beatification, Mother Teresa was a saint. THOMAS L. STEVENS Englewood, Fla.
When Harry Dissed Colin
Although singer Harry Belafonte once profitably recorded The Banana Boat Song for the entertainment of a largely white audience, he recently raised the cliched but still inflammatory specter of the house Negro to criticize the actions of Secretary of State Colin Powell [PEOPLE, Oct. 21]. Your reporting stated blandly that Powell's dignified response of calling the slave reference "unfortunate" made Belafonte's comment seem extreme, as if it weren't extreme in its own right. For my money, what Belafonte said was racist, ridiculous, cruel and downright stupid. ANDREW E. DANIELS Hickory, N.C.
Your report on the weapons that the U.S. could use in a war with Iraq [WORLD, Oct. 21] noted that Iraq's best tactic would be to deploy weapons of mass destruction. While Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran, today his troops would have trouble getting close enough to deliver them. So what would be a possible Iraqi gambit? If the U.S. began military operations to soften up Iraq, Saddam would quickly ask the U.N. to send in weapons inspectors. He would then show the inspection team he doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction. There would be an international outcry to lift the sanctions and force the U.S. to pay reparations for any damage done. The U.S. needs the inspectors to go in before we attack. JAMES HARRIS Atlanta
Without nuclear capability, the only response that a nation like Iraq would have to the high-tech war that you described would be terrorism. Going to war with Iraq would endanger not the U.S. military but our civilian population. PAUL WANKOWICZ Winchester, Mass.
The U.S. has often underestimated the strength of its enemies. Iraq wouldn't line up its forces in an open field. Your chart on the strength of the Iraqi forces relative to those of the U.S. stated that the Iraqi navy poses no threat to U.S. ships. But what kind of navy did it take to kill 17 U.S. sailors and severely damage their ship near Yemen? The likelihood that the Iraqi conflict would take the direction that is anticipated by U.S. military strategists is remote. C. TODD VERGIELS Toledo, Ohio
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against Saddam's regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. The riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would only give Saddam time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere. Acting now to disarm Saddam, using military force if necessary, is the only way we will keep America safe. JAMIE M. WHITE Eldorado, Ill.