Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Cultural differences increase difficulties in Iraqi war

The Aug. 16 Opinion article, "From Belfast to Baghdad - what have we learned?" made an interesting comparison between two areas of conflict but ignored one point of difference. According to the article, in Northern Ireland, warring parties were all Christian, generally spoke the same language, were racially indistinguishable, and were all part of the same great Western civilization.

The British troops sent to Northern Ireland also shared those characteristics. This is not true of American troops trying to control the sectarian conflict in Iraq. Seen from the Iraqi perspective, they are foreigners, racially and culturally different. Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds are clearly aware of this when they observe American troops.

Robi Chakravorti

Professor emeritus,California State University, Sacramento Danger of manicured lawns

Thanks for the Aug. 17 article, "In Florida, lukewarm welcome for drought-resistant landscaping," which addresses how many individuals are turning toward grass-free lawns in order to conserve water. Lawns are a much more serious problem than most people realize. Unfortunately, the article only told part of the story.

Besides being a major cause of Florida's dwindling freshwater supply, lawn maintenance is a serious contributor to the pollution that is destroying our lakes and rivers. The pesticides and fertilizers used on lawns eventually find their way into the local waters, causing pollution troubles. Obsession with manicured lawns is gradually destroying the things people come to Florida to enjoy.

Richard Whitehead

Merritt Island, Fla.

Issues not confined to 'subprime'

I appreciated the Aug. 17 editorial, "Ride out the mortgage crisis," regarding the Federal Reserve's response to the recent market turmoil. I would disagree with the editorial's premise that this market trauma is confined to the residential subprime market. …

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