As a diabetes nurse-educator, I am gravely concerned about Yum Brands' impact on global health [Jan. 28]. On a recent tour of hospitals in China with a delegation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators, I saw the detrimental results of fast food's rise in overseas markets. As the industry pushes its high-fat, high-cholesterol, meat-based foods, rates of diabetes, heart disease and stroke are skyrocketing. Obesity rates have tripled over the past 20 years in countries that have adopted the American diet, according to a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2007. Rates of diabetes are expected to reach pandemic levels by 2030. Given all that Americans have learned about how diet affects health, shouldn't we export that knowledge rather than buckets of fried chicken? I'd love to see creative marketing minds work on exporting meals that we can be proud of.
Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, WASHINGTON
Other than the growing profit margins for the food industry, the only good thing about fast-food companies' pushing meat, fat and sugar on the developing world is the financial boon it will create for another ethically challenged U.S. industry. As those chicken nuggets start clogging arteries and aiding the global obesity epidemic, millions of people will develop diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. What an untapped market for the pharmaceutical sector!
Simon Chaitowitz, WASHINGTON
The Dance with Iran
In "Rethinking Iran," Samantha Power asserted that Washington "supported" Osama bin Laden during the 1980s [Jan. 28]. Power repeated a canard that has been pushed by numerous conspiracy theorists. As terrorism expert Peter Bergen has stated, this is a "folk myth" without a shred of evidence to support it. The 9/11 commission came to similar conclusions and noted that the CIA viewed bin Laden and his so-called Arab Afghans as "militarily insignificant" in the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It is unfortunate that a distinguished scholar like Power decided to repeat this urban legend.
James McKay, ALEXANDRIA, VA., U.S.
Power recommends engaging Iran, including high-level negotiations. It's not very reassuring to see how little we've learned from history. The ghost of Neville Chamberlain rides again.
Greg Lifschultz, ROWLETT, TEXAS, U.S.
This article focused on the history of the Bush Administration but ignored the history of Iran's mullahs. Iran's intentions have been plain and clear for decades: subvert and destroy. Every ounce of uranium they enrich brings them that much closer to having the Bomb. We must stop them. Peaceful coexistence with a Bomb-equipped Iran is a fool's dream with deadly consequences.
Jerome Ellard, BIG SANDY, TEXAS, U.S.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a mouthpiece for the mullahs. I can't vouch for the factuality of the Strait of Hormuz dustup, but I have no doubt about what Iran's ruling clerics want: Shari'a and the rule of the caliphate.
Richard Mogelson, MINNEAPOLIS
Friends of Hill
Joe Klein postulated that senator Hillary Clinton has a constituency among the women of America [Jan. 21]. Clinton clearly showed us how she treated the working women (and men) in the White House travel-office scandal they were fired without a thought. Similarly, Whitewater and the apologies for Bill's philandering hardly showed a concern for the little people. If working women expect Clinton to look out for them, they are in trouble.
Patrick Johnson, EAST HELENA, MONT., U.S.
I have been posting comments all over the Internet urging Americans to listen to Clinton. I wouldn't mind being able to campaign and vote for her. She brings something not only to the U.S. but also to the rest of the world, and your story confirmed that.
Lilia Ortega, PANAMA CITY
It seems that Clinton really did find her voice. It is the voice of a shrew: harsh, aggressive, accusatory. It shows us who this woman really is and what a mistake it would be to vote for her. It also shows us the desperation of the Clintons, who have planned so long to extend their dynasty but now face a real threat in Obama. Let's hope this is one shrew that Obama can tame.
Alan Moen, ENTIAT, WASH., U.S.
In the words of Senator Clinton herself: Let's pause for a reality check. Her campaign image of late reflects a regression to primitive tactics more than an evolution in intimacy. On the night before the New Hampshire primary, Clinton gave a chilling speech, mentioning al-Qaeda's interest in U.S. elections and implying that extremist groups would plan an attack based on whom primary voters nominated. Her rhetoric was eerily similar to that of President George W. Bush's on the eve of the 2006 midterm elections, when he declared that a victory for the Democrats who opposed his policy was a victory for the terrorists. Regardless of whether Clinton has learned to "trust herself" anew, as Klein fantasized, her strategy has only grown more unfortunate.
Anthony Kakoyannis, STUART, FLA., U.S.