RE "How to deal with dictators"[Aug. 6]: I was disappointed to read Peter Beinart's suggestion that bringing Benazir Bhutto back to power is the ideal way to solve mushrooming fundamentalism in Pakistan. It seems he has forgotten or is simply unaware of Bhutto's role in the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Her government was the first to recognize the Taliban regime after it took control of Kabul in 1996 and hailed its leaders as agents of peace in the region. Bhutto's secularism is no more sincere than that of General Pervez Musharraf or any other Pakistani leader.
Forogh Hakimzada, MONTEREY, CALIF., U.S.
Resurrecting a Dead Language
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen wants a return to the Latin Mass because she is unhappy with Roman Catholic teachings and would like to escape back to a time when those in the pew had no clue [Aug. 6]. The allure of Mass is not in language but in the celebration itself. Cullen should savor the fact that she can understand what is being said in English and disagree with it. The church should maintain the common language of the people, because it is their faith that makes the church more of a community than an institution.
Josh Steger, GREEN BAY, WIS., U.S.
An Army of Ambassadors
Mark Kukis' story on the Karbala attacks really put a human face on the cold statistics of the casualties and suffering in Iraq [Aug. 6]. It was impossible to deny the reality of violence and pain that so many soldiers see in Iraq. Regardless of our opinions on the war, we can all agree that our soldiers are amazing heroes. Along with their loved ones, they deserve our continued support. I wish I could shake each soldier's hand and thank all those in uniform for the sacrifices they've made. Please bring them home soon.
Jose Mendoza, GRANADA HILLS, CALIF., U.S.
Is it possible to learn from history? How did the American people feel 232 years ago when British troops were sent to Lexington and Concord to seize rebel leaders? I do not know of any example in which democracy was brought to a country with weapons of destruction. Do we really need another four years of war in Iraq?
Dirk Bruehl, SALISBURY, Pa., U.S
The Long Goodbye
The enemies of democracy thrive on its rationality and willingness to compromise. Al-Qaeda was so emboldened by the weak response to attacks on U.S. troops in Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (in the 1990s) that it dared launch the suicide missions of 9/11 [July 30]. The U.S. must stay the course because if it retreats from Iraq, all enemies of freedom, especially al-Qaeda and its admirers, will become more adventurous. In addition, those religious zealots will claim Islam as one of their tragic victims.
Husam Dughman, TORONTO