Mail Call: Readers Weigh in on the War in Afghanistan, Women in the Military and the Future of Education

Article excerpt

Like untold millions of my fellow Americans, I gave scant attention to our military before the events of September 11. Now, as we engage in what is certain to be a difficult and harrowing ground war in Afghanistan, it's gratifying to know we have such incredibly well-trained and dedicated servicemen in our Special Operations forces ("The Warriors of the Night," Oct. 29). With their years of experience, impressive physical conditioning and state-of-the-art equipment, it seems to me quite plausible that they will be able to take out Osama bin Laden and his cohorts in the near future. Let's hope so.

Joel Zuckerman

Savannah, Ga.

Thank you for getting the terminology and facts straight in your article on the military's Special Operations. While it may seem trivial to some outside the military, there are important differences between the various units that belong to the Special Operations Command. You clearly outlined the unique training undertaken by the U.S. Army Rangers and that of the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets). You are to be commended for not once referring to Rangers as Special Forces.

Ethan Carter, First Lieutenant

Medical Service Corps, Army National Guard

Denver, Colo.

Over the years, NEWSWEEK has earned my respect as an outstanding disseminator and analyzer of important news. My respect jumped another notch when I read the letters column in the Oct. 22 issue, which was devoted to communications from readers in other countries. It is vital for us to digest the views of outside observers as our nation responds to on-going terrorist attacks, and I hope that, even as we see justice done, we will try to confront some of the hard truths that those writers (as well as Fareed Zakaria) discussed. But what especially made my respect for NEWSWEEK grow was learning that it is closely read by so many insightful people from around the world.

Grant Veeder

Waterloo, Iowa

As a brand-new subscriber, I want to say... bravo! The cartoon you ran on your Oct. 29 perspectives page entitled "Bipartisanship 2001"-- depicting a Democrat and a Republican member of Congress, both cowering in fear as a letter is delivered--is worth the price of admission. What a disgrace they are to us all. They should be ashamed. Thank you for helping remind us to laugh in the face of frustration and anger.

Andrea Nicole Sexton

Washington, D.C.

I thought Susan H. Greenberg's Oct. 29 article " 'Get Out of My Way'," about women in the military, was refreshing and inspirational. It's good to know that after all the years of struggle, women have finally taken their place in the military. I'm 17 and have been debating whether I would sign up for the armed forces, but after what happened on September 11 and reading this article, I have decided to join. …