Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

The Germans and Schroeder are not anti-American

I was astonished to read Marik A. String's Oct. 13 Opinion piece, "How a hurricane fueled German politics." I voted for Gerhard Schroeder; he is a great statesman, and he is not a man to support anti-American tendencies.

What Mr. Schroeder did is this: He said "no" to the war in Iraq, like most Germans still do, because we do not feel compassion only for the people of America, but also for the people of Iraq. Do you call it "anti-American" to have a different opinion on war than the president of the United States?

Mr. String writes that the Katrina catastrophe "provoked such a political display of schadenfreude, anger, and German pride." This is not true at all, and it really hurt my feelings. He quotes the Tageszeitzung, saying a columnist felt happy that hurricane Katrina hit the US. I am ashamed of such sentiment, which would not have been found in a customary German newspaper. Why didn't the author quote a serious newspaper like the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, or the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung? Everybody in Germany I talked to was deeply concerned when we heard of the terrible floods in New Orleans, and our government offered help instantaneously when the catastrophe was first reported in our news.

In the quoted debate, it was not Mr. Schroeder's intention to criticize America, but to make clear what Germany should not do if struck by a similar catastrophe.Annette SoellingerEssen, Germany

Damage from Katrina partly man-made

In response to the Oct. 12 article, "Many big visions for new Big Easy": Please remember that the flooding in New Orleans from hurricane Katrina was in large part a man-made disaster. It is all too simple to think that not building in the lower areas of the city, or building the levees higher or stronger, will solve the problem.

The barrier islands need to be allowed to regenerate; perhaps the levee system, which caused great changes in the Mississippi River, needs to be rethought. …

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