Your cover story on the Bush administration's efforts to salvage its foreign policy [Feb. 19] provoked musings on what-if scenarios. What if the Bush Administration dealt with the world as it really is, not as the Administration wants it to be? We would not be in the position we are in today. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in a raging civil war, the international goodwill following 9/11 has been wasted, and we have a huge deficit and a military that is being ground down. Even if this Administration could push a replay button, the result would be like the movie Groundhog Day, an endless repeat of the same mistakes.
Franktown, Colorado, U.S.
Think of the administration's responses to Iraq, Iran, Hurricane Katrina and global warming. Back to reality? When did this team pay its first visit?
Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.
Is it time for Condoleezza Rice to go? Since assuming her post of Secretary of State, she has had very few successes. It would appear diplomacy is not her strong suit. The fault might lie in the arrogant and uncompromising attitude of her bosses, but her performance has been dismal and disappointing. Much of her time and energy has been diverted to defending the strategies and policies of the Bush Administration. One wonders whether a more independent-thinking Secretary of State would better serve the country.
Amberley Village, Ohio, U.S.
Eventually we will have to explain 9/11 to a new generation, just as the greatest generation had to explain Pearl Harbor to my baby-boomer generation. What will we offer as an excuse for the mess we have created? That we envied the greatest generation's World War II glory and felt cheated that Vietnam was all we got? As it has turned out, the Iraq war isn't our World War II, nor is it another Vietnam. It is our World War I: a frivolous, costly, arrogant war that has set off an economic disaster, bred not just one maniac bent on genocide but a million and ended in a standstill that merely sets the stage for the next world war.
Mineral Ridge, Ohio, U.S.
The opportunity may have passed for Rice to redeem herself by revising U.S. foreign policy. The Iraq policy has already reached the point of no return, with irretrievable loss of lives and resources. What can Rice do in the next two years? Her only salvation might be to finalize a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. Otherwise, she will end up in infamy.
Nake M. Kamrany
Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.
At a speech in Egypt, Rice famously said, "For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region ... and we achieved neither." Unfortunately, the epitaph for her work in this Administration will be a perverse twist on that: for eight years, our country has pursued democracy at the expense of stability, and we lost both.
Stephen E. Phillips
New York City
A Woman Scorned
If astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak's actions were the result of some mental problems, her condition was not of her volition [Feb. 19]. People do not choose to be mentally ill any more than they choose to be physically ill. nasa's inability to monitor the psychological well-being of its astronauts is no excuse to use insulting and insensitive terminology to describe astronauts or anyone else who suffers from mental illness.
Lansing, Illinois, U.S.
Jeffrey Kluger stated that "in the tut-tut world of exposé journalism, astronautsparticularly womenmisbehave at their peril." I'm not sure exactly how women these days are "misbehaving," but I am sure that there are countless successful, powerful women who would be incensed by your characterization. Nowak in no way represents average, hardworking women, and for your writer to use her behavior as an excuse to demean women is just plain wrong. Just take a look at the way our male politicians are behaving, and tell me that they are not the ones misbehaving at their peril.
Danville, California, U.S.
Re "Marriage Rows" [Feb. 12]: news of forced marriages and honor killings, two cruel practices of the unsophisticated Asian community, has always saddened me. I finished Jasvinder Sanghera's memoir Shame in four days. I pray more socially minded Asian women follow Sanghera's footsteps in setting up refuge centers for Asian women. I congratulate her for founding the organization Karma Nirvana, not for the rocky path she has taken.
M.S. Shah Jahan
Bandits in the Hills
You have allowed TIME to become a publicizing medium for the propaganda of a dying movement, the New People's Army (N.P.A.) [Feb. 5]. Your photos tried to conjure an image of the N.P.A. rebels as Spartan revolutionaries, although most Filipinos know them to be bandits who survive through pillaging, extortion and coercion. And, oh yes, through naive media people.