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The war on terrorism really is a holy war, since so many moderate Muslims are standing by silently, out of complicity or fear, while gangsterlike extremists are defining a militant Islam for the next generation. THOMAS W. DRAPER Provo, Utah
It is an appalling irony that the U.S.'s addiction to oil (notably for large and powerful motor vehicles) not only props up Middle East tyrannies but also funds people dedicated to destroying America. Changing our automobile-dependent lifestyle would be immensely difficult and disruptive and would involve major battles with business interests, yet we absolutely must reduce our demand for petroleum to a level that can be supplied by countries that don't have links to international terrorism. ROY A. MATTHEWS Ottawa
>> Readers had mixed feelings about the Sept. 15 cover illustration. While an Ohio woman was "relieved that TIME tastefully acknowledged the second anniversary of 9/11 without resorting to garish displays," a Californian was not pleased, declaring, "Those three scowling, sunglasses-wearing men look as if you plucked them out of a cheap music video. It's an ugly stereotype, pandering to our worst prejudices." And a Belgian was even more piqued, saying, "Rarely have I seen a more racist cover picture or one more likely to reinforce misguided nationalism and resentment on both sides of the world."
Terrorist Breeding Grounds
In "Islam's Other Hot Spots" [After 9/11: Roots Of Terror, Sept. 15], you quoted a Pakistani Muslim student as saying "Since the days of the Prophet, there are only two forces on earth, Muslims and infidels. And their fight will go on until Judgment Day." That remark reminds me of the Marxist view that the world is divided into proletarians and capitalists. We're well aware of the destructive result of this doctrine. Unless Muslims can overcome the simplistic vision of the world as a place of two antagonistic realms, of believers and infidels, and embrace cultural diversity and religious tolerance, their relationship with the West will inevitably lead to conflict. GEORG SCHWARZMANN Columbia, S.C.
We need to hammer the two epicenters of terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, our backstabbing allies. Saudi Arabia may be the cradle of Islam, and Pakistan may have the bomb, but these two countries are playing us for fools. PETER D'BRASS Fort Worth, Texas
9/11: Two Years Later
In "Life During Wartime," Nancy Gibbs asserted that in Iraq, "true victory will take more time, cost more lives and consume more treasure than [those who backed the war] had ever reckoned" [AFTER 9/11: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?, Sept. 15]. That statement is undoubtedly true. But the idea that even those who opposed the war "now have to accept that there is no turning back" is absurd. There are plenty of patriotic Americans who don't accept President Bush's course of action. Freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein is a noble cause. The problem is that we have failed. Saddam is still alive, and our swaggering has created worldwide resentment against the U.S. and increased terrorism. DOREEN PUGH Valley Stream, N.Y.