Magazine article Editor & Publisher

TODAY'S LETTERS: Iraq War, Mortgage Coverage and 'NYT' Changes

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

TODAY'S LETTERS: Iraq War, Mortgage Coverage and 'NYT' Changes

Article excerpt

Readers wrote in today about the Iraq war, mortgage coverage and changes to The New York Times

5 Years Ago: Many Top Newspapers Opposed War I read your article, "Believe It or Not I am not an editor of a newspaper, nor do I work for one. Yet five years ago I, too, opposed the Iraq War. Believing in the power of the pen, I wrote several letters to my hometown paper, opposing it. None were published. I wrote my congressman...no reply. I wrote to the governor of my state...no reply. I discussed my beliefs with my pastor...I was informed God didn't want my views to go against the president. Still, I continued to voice my opinion to friends. Most were supportive of the war, and believed I was wrong. One friend blatantly stated I should leave the United States because it was "un-American" to be against the war. Yet, this same person would send his son to Canada, if the draft was re-instated.

It seems many commentators and editorialists were taking the same position as my friends. Perhaps, out of pressure, the war went from front page news to back page obscurity. Less and less did I read about men and women coming home wounded but denied proper care. Even less mentioned was the war's toll on military families, the financial strain, mental health issues, and suicide. Directly or indirectly, newspapers were encouraging us to support the war, with little attention to those who came home in a coffin. Instead, we celebrated Saddam Hussein's downfall without realizing its consequences.

Yet, there were a few bright spots in journalism...those who stood firmly against the Iraq war. I am sure it is difficult for any newspaper to take an unpopular stand. Likewise, I have no doubt they were criticized, ridiculed, and even condemned. Yet, their refusal to back down encouraged me to continue my opposition to the war. They have given me vindication...people are now realizing how wrong the war is. And, they have given me hope...perhaps, in the future, other newspapers will follow suit and stand up for what they believe in.

Although attempts were made to silence it, free speech is still alive and well. Long live the newspapers who were brave enough to use it!!!.

Thank you for your article. Thank you for reading my opinion.

Linda M. SmithIrmo, S.C.

How News Outlets Reported U.S. Toll in Iraq Hitting 4,000 I very much appreciated the in-depth discussion today marking the deaths of 4,000 American soldiers in Iraq.

However, the report leaves many questions unanswered. It would be helpful if the media would give us reports that put these numbers in context -- the numbers alone are somewhat meaningless. (I don't actually mean "meaningless" here. My brother was killed during the Vietnam conflict, so I know well that such numbers are never meaningless. But I would like to know what America is sacrificing in this war, compared to previous wars.)

For example, what is the ratio of deaths to U. S. personnel deployed to Iraq vs. Vietnam? In a ratio to, say, the Gross National Product, what exactly is our indebtedness for Iraq compared to Vietnam, Korea or even World War II? What percentage of the wounded coming home from Iraq would have been expected to die in previous wars? What resources are being dedicated to helping the returning wounded, compared to previous wars? What percentage of jobs that were done by soldiers and U.S. agencies in previous wars are being done by private contractors in Iraq, and what percentage of U.S. expenditures in Iraq would have been in the military budget in previous wars?

I am an American citizen living in Canada and a 1968 Stanford journalism graduate.

Merry Chellas

It appears the "American Puublic" does not want to be un-misinformed . I have travelled eastern United States while doing my section hiking of the Appalachian Trail over 5 years, and have met many Americans of different ages , stages , and employment . …

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