Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Protecting US Embassies

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Protecting US Embassies

Article excerpt

Bruce Laingen's opinion piece ("Beyond the Bombs," March 26) is a persuasive account of the administration's failure to put its money where its mouth is regarding security for our diplomats overseas. Yet Mr. Laingen has it only half right.

Yes, our embassies need more protection. But what is also needed is a fresh look at why and how the US conducts diplomacy. The State Department of today functions in a mid-20th century mind set in how it gathers and reports information. In an era where CNN regularly scoops the embassy political officer, and economic data can be easily picked up from the Web, the State Department needs to take a serious look at its mission.

Michael A. Rugh Washington, D.C. Military force in Yugoslavia Bravo, Helena Cobban! In "Three calls Clinton ought to make on Kosovo" (April 1), she hit the nail on the head. She has suggested four rational moves he could make toward stemming the tide of this holocaust. I just hope he takes note. Rachel D. Odhner Perkiomenville, Pa. Would your columnist have taken the same attitude to Hitler's aggression in World War II? Take a nonviolent approach and let Germany annihilate whatever portion of mankind it chose to target? In my opinion, we waited much too long to get involved in Yugoslavia, and we should be sending in ground troops immediately. Tim Carmell Portland, Ore. Why prisons are overcrowded Your editorial regarding the growing number of incarcerated Americans ("Still-Bulging Prisons," March 22) points out, once again, that the state cannot regulate behavior, but only punish it. A sense of personal responsibility must come from within, fed and fostered by education rather than punishment. Laws against acts that don't harm others should be stricken from our lawbooks. The failed war on drugs has mostly served to make necessary the endless construction of new holding tanks for offenders at taxpayer cost. …

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