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The initial decision to allow a Dubai-owned company to operate terminals at major U.S. ports was a good one; many free-market economists will tell you as much [March 6]. But the deal was unacceptable, given the fear and distrust of foreigners that the President and the Republican Party have cultivated in the people of the U.S. since 9/11. Bush needed Americans to adopt those attitudes in order to justify the war in Iraq and ensure his reelection. What he didn't count on was that those same attitudes would come back to haunt him.
ANDREW BOUTHILET Evanston, Ill.
Bring Back the Big Easy
"The Big Blank Canvas" [March 6], about the struggles the people of New Orleans are facing as they attempt to rebuild, made for sad reading. I spent a very enjoyable holiday in the city in December 2004. I was struck by the vibrancy of the place and the friendliness of the people. It appears that the decision to rebuild the city is being questioned. How can the U.S. turn its back on its own people, but spend $30 billion reconstructing Iraq? Let's hope that the recent Mardi Gras celebration will rally public opinion in favor of rebuilding the once proud city.
TONY KEAST Halifax, England
People Power Betrayed?
TIME's report on the foiled plot to overthrow the government in the Philippines noted that the coup was to be announced during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the People Power revolution that toppled Ferdinand Marcos [March 6]. A gift to the world uniquely our own, People Power has been used and abused until its true essence is degraded. To say that Filipino history repeats itself is an understatement. What's happening nowadays to the country clearly indicates that history strikes back with a vengeance. The inability of some Filipinos to learn from the past holds back the entire country.
RAPHAEL CAUSAPIN Manila
Filipinos wrote Asia's first constitution and proclaimed its first republic. The monuments to the People Power revolution offer a hint of the democratic achievements of the Philippines, but its citizens are capable of accomplishing even more.
LEOMIL O. APORTADERA Iloilo City, the Philippines