(2 of 4)
I enjoyed reading your article about ambition as I relaxed on my sofa and munched some popcorn. I'm now working up the ambition to go make dinner and finish the laundry.
ANNETTE BREHM West Lafayette, Ind.
I wish that your article had featured ordinary folks whose ambition drove them to be successful physicians, caregivers, inventors and scientists--people who actually work to keep humankind alive and functioning. Here's to the B-team players!
BILL LENTERS Rockford, Ill.
Congratulations on your excellent article on the roots and manifestations of ambition in our society. I was bothered, however, by the reverence for material achievement and its use as the measure of a life well lived. What about the pursuit of success in ways that do not result in money or fame? It is wrong to glorify the achievements of those who have shoved their way to the top for the sole purpose of attaining personal riches and renown.
CAITLIN MALONEY Glencoe, Ill.
Failure in Fallujah?
"Looking Out on Hostile Territory," your story on why the Iraqi city of Fallujah is still a threat despite last year's efforts to wipe out the insurgent forces there [Nov. 14], quoted a Marine officer as saying, "You've almost had insurgency Darwinism. All the stupid ones are dead." The surviving terrorists in Fallujah may be the smart ones in the short term, but their willingness to destroy their innocent countrymen will ensure their ultimate extinction. And that will be the fate of all fanatical terrorists.
RAY GREGORY Norfolk, Va.
Perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction for the antidote to violence in Iraq. When Saddam Hussein was in power, he suppressed most resistance through sheer force and an aggressive, overwhelming response to any uprising. I'm sure that the Kurds and the Shi'ite majority, with the support of the U.S., could deal with the Fallujah insurgents in Sunni-dominated areas. Sometimes the antidote is a bitter pill to swallow.
DAVID HICKS Duluth, Ga.
Your NOTEBOOK item "Outing Secret Jails" [Nov. 14] said the Washington Post reported that the CIA has held captured al-Qaeda members in covert detention centers in several East European countries as well as in Thailand, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Holding prisoners in secret and denying them recourse to judicial hearings in a timely fashion are more than appalling. The Bush Administration seems not to understand that if you want to "export" democracy, you need to act like a democracy, not a totalitarian state. Such actions undermine our stated reason for occupying Iraq. If President Bush is intent on remaking Iraq into a democracy, he needs to start acting like a civilized leader.
MALETTE POOLE Kure Beach, N.C.
Streets of Fire