“Waiting for Roper v. Simmons,” by Patrick Mulvaney

Okemos, Mich.

Try to keep in mind that people have inherent value only in democracies, and not under fascist or totalitarian regimes. That people are absolutely disposable in the United States is indicative of just such a regime, and this is merely one of many symptoms.

Rather than merely addressing the symptoms, you may wish to consider the root causes as well.

I wish the best of luck to anti-death penalty activists in either case. It is at least positive that they address the problem at all. Unfortunately, the United States appears to have already slipped over to the dark side. The way back could be extremely difficult, if it is possible at all, without major social upheaval.

RONALD J. ZANGER


“The Dreams of George Bush,” by Robert L. Borosage

Concord, N.H.

Robert L. Borosage’s article “The Dreams of George Bush” is one of the best-written pieces that I have read in recent times. I found it very entertaining, and a very effective window into the warped, socialistic mindset of the far left. It is more than a little scary to think that there are people out there who actually see the world from such an unrealistic, skewed perspective as Borosage does. However, he expresses it with much style.

SAM SINGLETON


Sydney, Australia

In his State of the Union address, George Bush invoked Franklin Roosevelt’s words, “Each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth,” reminding Americans that like past generations, they too have dreams to pursue. He cautioned, however: “The road to Providence is uneven and unpredictable–yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom.” Such sentiments eerily echo the words of another world leader: “I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker”–Adolf Hitler in 1936, following the reoccupation of the Rhineland. As pointed out by Hitler’s biographer Ian Kershaw, “Few at that point had the foresight to realize that the path laid out by Providence led into the abyss.”

MARY CARDE


New York, NY

Clearly, the war in Iraq serves the Bush Administration in a number of ways. Internationally, the most dangerous of these is that it sets a precedent and insures national support for the invasion of countries whose governments aren’t pliable and whose resources we covet. In law enforcement, through the lie that this conflict is an extension of the “War on Terror,” it allows the Administration to attempt to trump the Bill of Rights in the name of national security and establish an executive branch, led by the “Commander in Chief,” that is above the law. In politics, it serves the Republican Party by creating an issue with which they can tar their opponents as weak, unpatriotic and without feeling for the men and women of the US armed services. This list of purposes goes on and on. Not the least of these is that the cost of the war creates a constant drain on the treasury, increasing the nation’s debt and budget deficit. Since the radical right’s strategy of “starving the beast” hinges on using budget pressures as a pretext for gutting the nation’s social programs–a goal the Bush Administration has clearly shown in its new budget–there is necessarily a palpable conflict between the Administration’s adventurism and the economic welfare of the American people. Isn’t it time for this cost of the war to be clearly, repeatedly and loudly presented to the people of this country?

BRIAN GISTER


“Now, the US Must Get Out of Iraq’s Way,” by Robert Scheer

San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain

Mr. Bush and his Administration (and fellow travelers) are fanfaring the Iraq elections as a triumph for “emerging democracy.” However, there was not one international observer present in Iraq to testify that the elections were valid. [According to the New York Times, “foreign observers played almost no direct role in monitoring the balloting.”] If Jimmy Carter and the hosts of international observers had not testified that the Venezuelan referendum was free and fair, we can be pretty certain that Bush and his followers would have given the thumbs down and declared them inadmissible. Is this yet another instance of Republican hypocrisy?

GRAHAM LONG


“What We Don’t Know About 9/11 Hurts Us,” by Robert Scheer

Bel Air, Md.

I am a registered Republican who has always maintained that 9/11 was very preventable. Robert Scheer’s article “What We Don’t Know About 9/11 Hurts Us” reinforces what many have believed all along. The truth is the enemy of the Bush Administration, and it will be his undoing. The hallmark of the Administration is government by deception, dirty tricks, secrecy and cover-ups under the very capable leadership of Karl Rove.

MICHAEL J. MARSALEK