Prison’s Dilemma

4 minute read

Prison’s Dilemma
Re “Why Gitmo Will Never Close” [June 10]: Guantánamo must surely rate as one of the greatest state-sponsored miscarriages of justice of recent times. Michael Crowley glosses over the reality of the fact that many of Guantánamo’s inmates should not be there in the first place. An undisclosed number were boys as young as 14 and men who were handed over for bounty money by Pakistani officials to U.S. authorities in Afghanistan simply because they were neither Afghans nor Pakistanis.
James Livingston,
Whitianga, New Zealand For every prisoner in detention there are most likely several hundred extremists on the outside. This means that the prison is deep in diminishing returns as far as providing any useful defense for the U.S. or its citizens. In fact its largest impact is to provide justification to extremists for their terrorism against the U.S., something that finds sympathy in many quarters and makes the U.S. look very arrogant. Can you imagine the outcry if U.S. prisoners were treated similarly?
Mike Meiring,
Johannesburg School of Faith
Re “Faith and the Campus” [June 10]: In the long article by Karl Vick and Ashraf Khalil on Egypt and Cairo’s al-Azhar University, one point of information is conspicuously missing. On this very location, four years ago, then new U.S. President Barack Obama chose to deliver a groundbreaking speech, promising new and better relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world, between Israeli and Palestinians. Four years later, none of this is achieved.
Goeran Vesterlund,
Naettraby, Sweden According to the article 6 out of 10 students study religion at al-Azhar, the “most celebrated educational institution in the Muslim world.” And then people wonder why the Muslim world is in such a mess when its “best” universities produce graduates that can tell you everything about the Koran but very little else.
Jan Bekker,
Pretoria, South Africa Italy’s Euro Decision
Re “Per Favore, Put the Euro to a Vote” [June 10]: Beppe Grillo is a great populist, and true to the name, has shown little interest in actually working as a legislator to move Italy forward. He further strengthens his popular support by “refusing” to work with other elected representatives. This abdication of responsibility is a cynical strategy that releases him from accountability. In keeping with this theme, he is now shouting that Italians themselves should vote on whether to keep the euro.
Eric Potter,
Kandern, Germany The enormous consolidation of the multiple currencies into a single one in most of the European countries was never supposed to attract supporters only. No matter what governments do, detractors are always there ready to pounce, never to look for solutions. The present economic woes of Europe are nothing new. There have always been ups and downs, and there will always be obstructions that hurt the most vulnerable of people, the poor and the lower-middle class. A downturn is inevitably followed by an upturn, so it is only a matter of tightening our belts like we have done on more than one occasion in the past.
Mariano Castrillón,
Johannesburg Teaching to the Test
Re 10 Questions [june 10]: Regular tests try to not only rank and compare students’ results, but are also used to show the success of the educational system. This puts pressure on students, teachers and schools. As a result, teaching to the test becomes widespread. This neglects the fact that students are individuals and that schools have to face diverse problems. Educational success is reduced to the grade point average. I hope that more educators not only realize the problems within the educational system, but also step up for their students to help them get an education that meets their needs.
Daniela Sailer,
Augsburg, Germany

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