Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 06, 2004

Let us assure you most solemnly that Abdul Qadeer Khan's illegal and covert trade in nuclear proliferation was an egregious aberration and not a symptomatic failure of the command and control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. And we regret very much the chagrin expressed by the writers of "Pakistan policy sends dangerous signal" (Opinion * Commentary, March 31) at the Bush administration's designation of Pakistan as a non-NATO ally.

And let us also hasten to assure the authors of the article that Pakistan is in no circumstance sweeping under the rug Mr. Khan's despicable behavior and his abuse of the great honor and trust the Pakistani nation had bestowed on him for his signal achievement in giving Pakistan the capacity for nuclear deterrence.

Despite pardoning Mr. Khan, President Pervez Musharraf has in no way exonerated the nuclear scientist for his nefarious criminal activity.

In fact, a vigorous probe is under way to bring to justice all those who had profited from the mercenary activity without regard for its implications for the safety of the world.

In this regard, it must be emphatically pointed out that the government of Pakistan was never involved in or its bona fides remotely tainted by Mr. Khan's thoughtless, and indeed sad, conduct.

And notwithstanding the writers' criticism, we praise them for their pragmatism and foresightedness, and indeed vision, when they remarked that "maintaining good relations with, and shoring up, General Musharraf's moderate regime is not merely desirable, it is crucial," for the United States and Pakistan - and if we may add, if we are to put an end forever to the scourge of terror and its perpetrators.

Talat Waseem

Washington

The writer is the press counselor for Pakistan's embassy to the United States.

We need to see more of the carnage of war

Gosh, what an outpouring of outrage at The Sun for publishing a "gruesome photo" ("Gruesome photo gave no respect to Iraq victims," letters, April 2). But were Friday's letter writers serious? Or have they somehow missed the blood and gore in many of today's movies?

If people can't stomach the war in Iraq, then they need to stop supporting it. And The Sun's argument in "A lynching" (editorial, April 2) that we can't back out of Iraq is ludicrous. The same argument was made in Vietnam, and the result was more than 50,000 dead Americans.

I say let's stop at about 600 U.S. fatalities in Iraq. And as for "gruesome photos," we need to see more, not less, of the horrors of the Iraq war. The body bags coming to Dover Air Force Base should be on the evening news, not subject to a news blackout.

President Bush and company want Iraq to be an anti-septic war, one no one knows too much about.

But our young men and women fighting in Iraq should not be the only ones who see what an explosion - or a mob - can do to a human body.

Paul Streckfus

Pasadena

A courageous choice to show bloody truth

The Sun's decision to print the photos of mutilated bodies of civilian contractors killed in Iraq was the only right one to make if its intention is to honestly report world events ("On grisly day, 9 U.S. lives lost," April 1).

As the father of a 3-year-old girl, I am acutely sensitive to the gratuitous violence I see every day on television and in print. But to edit out the actions of Iraqis toward U.S. personnel would be exactly the kind of manipulation of public sentiment of which the press is often accused.

No one should be "cleaning up" the news from that war to make it more palatable to those of us sitting comfortably at home.

Mark Thistel

Baltimore

I was disgusted by the attack and the subsequent abuse of the bodies of the four U.S. contractors recently killed in Iraq. The Sun's front-page photograph brought home the reality of our fighting a war without any battle lines and with a hard-to-define enemy.

Whoever made the final decision to run the photograph in The Sun made a courageous choice in the face of certain condemnation by a large segment of the readership.

The job of a newspaper is to inform the readers of the news. Period. Sometimes the necessity of having to be dispassionate can seem cruel, but it is vital to the central mission of a news organization.

I, for one, do not want to be kept in the dark about what is going on in Iraq in a misguided attempt to sanitize the news.

Jason Lee

Baltimore

Where's the outrage over Iraqi deaths?

I, along with many others, take umbrage at viewing gruesome photos of the corpses of Americans murdered in Iraq in The Sun.

Yes, my thoughts go out to the families and friends of the victims. I cannot imagine the pain and grief that they feel.

However, where is the outrage when The Sun publishes photos of dead Iraqis, especially innocent civilians? Are their lives not as important to their loved ones?

The people of Iraq did not ask for this war, and they are human beings just like the rest of us.

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