Readers gave their take on the violence in Lebanon. One said, "By enabling Hizbullah to challenge Israel, Iran has shown the world not to underestimate its capacity for maneuvering." Another noted, "This assertion distracts from the fact that America needs to be involved in a diplomatic intervention."
By enabling Hizbullah to chal-lenge Israel ("The Hand That Feeds the Fire," July 24), Iran has shown the world not to underestimate its capacity for maneuvering and turning challenges to its favor. Instead of being bogged down by diplomatic and other coercive methods used by the world community, Iran has chosen to open a crisis front in West Asia. Suddenly, America is on the defensive. And Iran, almost isolated a month ago, has started gaining the sympathy of the Islamic populace, if not of Islamic governments, in and around the Middle East. Now there are many reasons for the world to understand better why Iran should not be allowed to develop or possess nuclear weapons. Everyone saw through this cunning game plan and responded accordingly. And an encouraging sign for peace efforts is the fact that this time the Arab states don't hold Israel primarily responsible for the crisis. They understand well that it was Hizbullah that started it, and that it was the handiwork of none other than Iran. The United States and its allies ought to seize upon this sentiment and utilize this opportunity for seeking a means of securing Lebanon and ridding the country of Hizbullah--and take the initiative to make a fresh start at addressing the Palestinians' grievances.
R. K. Sudan
Your picture of a dead child carries only one message: your photographers are insensitive people. Your magazine should be more sensitive toward the feelings of the relatives of the dead, whoever they may be. Did NEWSWEEK publish images of people killed in New York's Twin Towers on September 11 or those killed in the Madrid bombing?
Mani Maran Ratnam
About 100,000 lives have been lost in Iraq, many in senseless massacres, since America's invasion began more than three years ago. The large majority of those killed were innocent civilians, men and women, young and old. As if that were not enough, America quietly watched as Israeli soldiers made inroads into both Gaza and Lebanon. To pay lip service to the escalating conflict, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a hurried visit to the countries concerned and confidently announced that there would be a new peace, one that would be "sustainable." Since when has peace in the Middle East ever been sustained? Agreement after agreement was forcibly reached, only to be torn to pieces not long after. Never mind the religion, never mind the ethnicity, what the world needs is respect for the right of others (friends and enemies alike) to lead peaceful lives. If human beings cannot tolerate the existence of their fellow beings, any superficial roadmap could well be inconsequential.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Just as in 1981, when israel stopped Saddam Hussein from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel is again doing the world's dirty work. Israel left Lebanon six years ago with the promise that Hizbullah would be disarmed and Lebanon would reassert its sovereignty along its southern border. As usual, the world did nothing. Now Israel has to do the job. So stop criticizing Israel for doing what the rest of the world should have done a few years ago, namely make the world a safer place.
Israel, much like the United States, has become a war machine out of control. When will our government and our mainstream media join the rest of the civilized world and hold that nation accountable for its barbaric behavior? What support much of the world felt for Israel has been mostly destroyed by its savagery. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking it is only the Muslim world that is outraged by Israel's actions. There are millions of us Middle Americans who share that sentiment.
I shed tears at the sight of the picture of a dead Lebanese child, who was likely killed by a bomb. I have a son who may be the same age as that dead child. Unfortunately, it was the mad, reckless and irresponsible act by Hizbullah about a month ago that sparked the strong Israeli response. Now that innocent child is dead as a result. However, I was incensed at the irresponsible, unbalanced reporting by NEWSWEEK in showing a dead Lebanese child and not showing a dead child victim of Katyusha rockets in Israel. Israelis bleed and die, too. And such one-sided reporting only stokes the embers of hatred against the true victim--Israel.
"March of the Populists" (May 29) makes interesting reading. Globally, populist measures are being undertaken at the cost of genuine progress. One such glaring example is the Indian government's venture to reserve educational seats and jobs on the basis of caste and religion. This action is aimed purely at garnering blocks of populist votes. Student protests have not made any difference to populist-driven politicians and the government. Badly needed programs like compulsory vaccination, primary education and women's empowerment have already taken a back seat. India's global trade efforts and its competitive advantage in knowledge-based industries will be jeopardized if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not get a free hand to implement his globalization policy.
Your article "What the world Really Wants" (May 29) is an insult to Nigerians. The issue here is not about Olusegun Obasanjo but about respecting a Constitution, responsible governance and a democratic process that began about eight years ago as a hopeful end to military dictatorship and arbitrariness--the real cause of much of the woes in Nigeria since independence. The extension to a third term of Obasanjo's rule would nip that process in the bud and ridicule the immense sacrifice of millions of Nigerians, including those who paid the ultimate price. It would open up the possibility of descent into civilian dictatorship, life presidencies and sham governments, which have dotted the region for decades and heaped suffering and disaster on its people. The approximately 250 ethnic groups that make up Nigeria are peace-loving but fiercely proud and bitterly resentful of injustice and usurpation of authority and power. Whatever modest progress has been made during Obasanjo's presidency is in jeopardy of collapsing, and more sectarian violence will ensue. If George W. Bush plays any role at all in persuading reason to prevail in Nigeria, then that is commendable.
S. E. Nwogbo
Do you really believe the United States is trying to spread democracy in the world? Isn't America operating in Iraq with long-term energy goals and in Afghanistan to get Central Asian oil and to contain China? If the United States is spreading democracy, why doesn't it do so in Persian Gulf states, none of which has a democratically elected leader? Why do business with Pakistan and its military dictator? Why doesn't America attack China to get rid of communism in order to spread de-mocracy, or why doesn't the United States give generous aid to, say, Haiti, the way it aids Israel? The driving force behind U.S. foreign policy is economics and imperialism. The mantra of spreading democracy or freedom is a sham.
In Steven Levy's "Dear Diary--and Everyone Else, Too" (May 29), he discusses the retro-blog of Megan McCafferty, which is based on her actual teenage notebook diaries, written some 20 years ago. McCafferty says that fewer people, especially teenagers, are keeping such diaries these days due to the ubiquitous use of the Internet, e-mail and text messaging. She believes something is being lost as a result. Levy strongly disagrees, quoting the dramatic increase in personal documentation via "virtual" writing, including Weblogs, as opposed to "tangible" means, such as notebooks, diaries and love letters. Like many tech-heads, Levy is missing the point. Anything written on Web pages or as an e-mail or text message has no tangible form unless you print it out, something I doubt many teenagers ever do. So what will happen 20 or 30 years from now when people want to refer back to their old blogs, e-mails or text messages? Will they still be able to access them, or even remember their password? Where in cyberspace will these messages be stored? This is the inherent weakness of the Internet, and digital storage in general, that no one wants to address. Paper and film may not be around forever, but they'll outlast anything posted in cyberspace.
Thanks for "The Quest for Rest" (May 8). Recently I almost drove off the road. This had happened several times, so I went to see my physician. She asked me if I snore, and when I said yes, she set me up for a sleep study at our hospital. I was fitted with a CPAP mask and have been sleeping great ever since. I am now more awake in the mornings, without fear of falling asleep while I drive. I hope more women will see their physicians if they have any of the symptoms mentioned in your story. Keep up the great work and continue to report on stories that can help us all live a better life.
Marti E. Newman
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
You failed to discuss thyroid disease as a common cause of insomnia in women. When I was 35, I started suffering from profound insomnia. For several years, doctors prescribed antidepressants and sleeping pills to alleviate the symptoms, but most of these medications didn't work. Finally, a primary-care doctor figured out I had an autoimmune dysfunction: hyperthyroiditis, or Graves' disease. I am now 43 and am finally able to sleep, thanks to the help of a dedicated endocrinologist.
You have a photo of and an article on the shuttle Discovery ("Back to Space," July 17), which was launched in early July. You state that this flight was the first manned mission into space since the Columbia disaster three years ago. In fact, the comeback occurred during the summer of 2005, when NASA launched the shuttle Discovery on a successful mission with a woman as commander. The crew even made some repairs during a spacewalk.
You quote Zurab Zhvania as Prime Minister of Georgia ("Another Hot Front," Aug. 7). In fact, Zhvania died in February 2005.
You report ("Countering the Threat," July 17) that Japan "recently bought fighter jets with aerial refueling capabilities." I don't believe that Japan has purchased any fighter aircraft from any nation since the 1980s. It has developed some of its own fighters recently, but that is not the same as purchasing them from abroad. You also say that "some of [Japan's] new hardware, including SM-3 missiles ... do have offensive capabilities." The SM-3 standard missile is purely defensive; it does not have any attack capability. It is true that some versions of the standard missile can be used for attacking enemy shipping and other targets, but not the SM-3 version, and certainly not the ones that Japan possesses or will possess.