Readers Respond to the September Issue
We have not “overreacted” [“What 9/11 Wrought”]. The reason no major attacks have occurred is the vigilance and hard work of our soldiers, government and the general public.
Grosse Ile, Michigan
For some reason Joseph Lelyveld cannot connect the dots linking Guantánamo, the Patriot Act, wiretapping and other practices that have helped keep us safe over the past decade. He has come to the conclusion that 9/11 was a one-off, despite evidence of other plots uncovered. Thank God people like him were not making decisions about security after the attacks.
Joseph Lelyveld writes “there was no hard evidence linking at least one-fifth” of the Guantánamo detainees to terrorism. Conversely, some 80 percent were suspect. Why emphasize the 20 percent and ignore the 80 percent?
Lake Frederick, Virginia
Congratulations to Smithsonian magazine and Joseph Lelyveld for the essay “What 9/11 Wrought.” Mr. Lelyveld reminds us that those who attacked us ten years ago attacked not only us but the principles for which we stand. To the extent that we allow those principles to be compromised or ignored, we allow the attackers to win.
Brother Christopher Buck
Of all the differences between schools in Finland and the United States [“A+ for Finland”], what impressed this former teacher is that Finland guides its best college graduates to teaching, pays them well and allows them broad autonomy in the classroom. Structural reforms are less important than talented teachers who are given the freedom to succeed.
The reality is that Finland’s academic success is not something Americans can duplicate because of our more diverse population. Finland’s homogenous population—only 4 percent are foreign born, the article says—is the straw that stirs the drink.
I think Robin Wright’s article “The Struggle Within Islam” is correct about young Muslims’ desire to modernize their lives. But the fact is many live in countries guided by Shariah law, based on the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad. Ultimately, religion influences elected officials’ actions.