Milestone in war on terror
The death of Osama bin Laden was a major milestone in the war on terrorism ("Where al-Qaeda is, minus its leader," Monday). However, we must realize that this war is not over yet. Bin Laden is dead, but "Bin Ladenism" — an ideology based on hatred and violence — is still alive in many parts of the Muslim world.
As Muslim Americans, our responsibility is to instill the true peaceful teachings of Islam in our children at a very young age. We must strongly reject perverse interpretations of Islam that promote violence and terrorism. Instead, we should promote the Quranic concept of "no compulsion in religion."
At the same time, non-Muslim Americans must realize that we are at war not with Islam, but with inhumane ideologies that neither the Quran nor Prophet Muhammad's life support.
Unless we do all these things, I am afraid we might not be completely victorious in this war.
Nasir Ahmad, Tinton Falls
Everyone wanted bin Laden dead
Some media outlets are expressing the uber-liberal rhetoric about how it is not cool to "boast" about killing a man, any man, even the most infamous terrorist of our times, one who orchestrated the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil.
We all wanted Osama bin Laden dead. He was at least the titular head of al-Qaeda and, as such, an incredibly important symbol to destroy. The plan to send Bin Laden to meet his maker was flawlessly executed by the Obama administration and happened on his watch, under his guidance, after he gave the word to proceed.
If the plan had failed, and Navy SEALs had been killed instead of bin Laden, President Obama would have reaped the recriminations and shouldered the blame. So let him have the "glory" now. Do not be so self-righteously pious as to refuse to acknowledge that bin Laden's death was a victory for the United States, the world, and for Obama.
Ken Derow, Wallingford
Abandon failed war strategy
One year after the U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden, I'm concerned that our government is still pursuing the same failed war strategy in Afghanistan, based on bringing "peace" through fighting and war.
We have no choice but to urge Congress and President Obama to abandon the failed war strategy in Afghanistan and focus instead on supporting political negotiations that include all parties to the conflict, including Afghanistan's neighbors Iran and Pakistan.
Stefan Kozinski, Wilmington
Mixed message on GOP
In the front-page story "House acts to curb loan rates" (Saturday), readers were informed that House Republicans passed a bill that would keep student loan rates at 3.4 percent for another year. The GOP wants to pay for the cost with spending cuts on a medical-screening program. According to the story, this exact program was targeted for cuts by President Obama in his budget proposal and by congressional Democrats to help ensure that Medicare reimbursements were not allowed to drop.
Yet, a few pages later in the newspaper, the Editorial Board skewered the GOP for insisting on cuts to the very same program that the Democrats and Obama had tried to trim. Nowhere in the editorial does it mention the Democrats' proposed cuts. I guess the claim that "GOP Aims to Cut Cervical Cancer Screening Program" has more punch than "President Obama and Congressional Democrats Aim to Cut Cervical Cancer Screening Program."
Scott Welsh, Marlton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Poll workers uphold the law
I am a poll worker in Montgomery County. Election days are long, as we arrive at 6:30 a.m. and don't leave until at least 9 p.m. One of the many forms that we, as poll workers, sign is an oath stating that we have done our duty to check the ID of all voters. Up to this past election, checking IDs has mainly consisted of comparing the signature of the voters to those in the poll books, unless there is a specific notation in the book stating that a voter must present an ID. Such notations usually are made when a person votes for the first time in a particular precinct.
As instructed, at this past election's "soft rollout," we asked everyone to show an ID. There were a few folks who refused, probably for the same reason as the author of the letter "A fun day at the polls" (Friday), who seemed proud that he caused a commotion and held up the voting line.
I would like to remind people that the poll workers did not pass the voter-ID law; the state legislature did. Our only job is to uphold the law, regardless of our personal feelings. Unless the law is repealed before the November election, I hope every voter keeps this in mind when entering the polling place. Holding up the line and causing a commotion won't cut it at my polling place. Our constable is a mighty big guy.
Ellen Dorazio, Norristown
Nuns can't be replaced
After reading all the recent letters regarding nuns, I felt compelled to thank the sisters for all the years they taught me, my family, my friends, and the thousands of other students in the Philadelphia area. They were dedicated and selfless in their role of educators of Christian values of loving God and the people he placed in our lives. Yes, today, we still have Catholic schools with fine lay teachers, but the nuns can't be replaced, and I and many others are grateful for all their sacrifices. God called them, they answered, and we were blessed by their presence, the gift of themselves.
Rose Benner, Paoli
Vetting process before primaries
Proposals to open Pennsylvania primaries to independent voters make little sense to me ("Open primary would temper partisanship," Sunday). Most who advocate that position know little about the vetting process the parties go through before offering candidates in the primaries.
Party committee people labor intently behind the scenes before primaries, discussing various local and national issues with the candidates and (here's the key) with constituents — voters who have registered as members of the committee person's party. In Chester County, that means party members help shape who is considered for office. The culmination of that process is the primary election. Why should those who have opted out of this process by registering as Independents be allowed to come in on the back end?
Michael Smerconish says that during the primaries, the two-party system is shaped by "only the most liberal and conservative voters." Not so. It is shaped by those who care enough to participate in the electoral process from the grassroots up. In the Chester County GOP, liberals, conservatives, and moderates participate in our process. I would not want Independents, who have decided not to participate, to be afforded the opportunity to dilute that participation.
Ben LaGarde, Republican committeeman, Upper Uwchlan Township
Taking daughters where?
Thanks to The Inquirer's relentless cheerleading for the worst president of all time, most people have no work to take their daughters to on "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" ("What fun her daughter sees," Sunday).
Joseph A. Ferry, Erdenheim