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Green Crusaders
I am glad that TIME covers the many people taking on global environmental challenges and China’s in particular [Oct. 29]. In a country going wild for development at all costs, some unsung heroes are fighting tough battles that help slow China’s environmental degradation. They need sustained help from influential media to push their cause ahead. In addition to Shi Zhengrong’s solar energy, another story is worth TIME’s coverage: Ni Jie and his company Luyuan Electric Vehicle are producing about 300,000 electric bicycles a year to provide Chinese consumers with an affordable, less polluting alternative to cars.
Wen Yong,

Congratulations for highlighting our environmental heroes. Their voices on behalf of our ailing planet should inspire us all to take up the urgent challenge and become heroes too. Our future depends on it.
Anne Maree Teasdale,
Emerald, Australia

Lauding high-profile “Heroes of the Environment” is one thing. But when the worst of the world’s pollution is caused by industrial activity, why not identify the movers and shakers who are pressuring business to lift its game? The world guru on environmental accounting, Prof. Rob Gray, of the University of St Andrews, Scotland, would be a good start.
David Macklin,

Your special issue confirmed what I have suspected for some time: TIME, once the best politically neutral current-affairs magazine, has morphed into a mouthpiece for assorted left-wing and green causes and commentators. I long for the TIME of the past, which reported on events around the world in a concise, accurate, unbiased manner, not the TIME that dedicates 46 pages to the kind of lightweight, feel-good articles I could find in the weekend magazine of my local newspaper.
Robert Bogisich,
Glen Iris, Australia

Another Inconvenient Truth
As a grandson of survivors of the Armenian genocide, I was intrigued to read Samantha Power’s compelling Commentary “Honesty Is the Best Policy” [Oct. 29]. I’ve been alarmed by congressional opposition to the resolution to hold Turkey responsible for the mass killing of Armenians during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Political expediency should play no role in this debate; the facts overwhelmingly support what many in the world recognize as the 20th century’s first genocide. Denial only perpetuates the suffering of the families affected by this horrific tragedy and discredits the U.S. government’s resolve in championing human rights. If Turkey is to be the model of a moderate Islamic country, it should do the right thing and come to terms with its past.
Stephan Pechdimaldji,
Westlake Village, Calif., U.S.

IF the U.S. house of representatives had a resolution on the table detailing the genocide inflicted upon the indigenous population by their forefathers, then perhaps the rest of the world might begin to take these pompous asses seriously. Why can’t Americans look in the mirror and see what hypocrites they are?
Graham Turner,
Newton On Rawcliffe, England

Power’s support of this misguided legislation is one of the reasons countries around the world see the U.S. as hypocritical and sanctimonious. How about looking in the mirror to see our gross mistreatment of Native Americans, Chinese, Japanese and Africans? Better to continue working with the Turks while encouraging them to repudiate the events of 1915, much as we strive to overcome the consequences of having enslaved the ancestors of 12% of our population. Honesty is the best policy? How about, Judge not, lest you be judged?
Derek Braybrooks,
Irmo, S.C., U.S.

Thank you for publishing a fair perspective on the Armenian genocide and Turkey’s denial. We invade countries in response to feeble threats but fold and quiver in our boots in the face of ultimatums from so-called allies. The genocide did not put our troops in harm’s way; our President did. And whoever thinks Turkey can give up billions of dollars in trade and investment with the U.S. is foolish. More honest and objective people like Power are needed to help us bring this century-old matter to some sort of closure.
Eva Garibian,
Arcadia, Calif., U.S.

Since when is congress the repository of historical truth? If, as Power asserts, the Turks remain indifferent allies after all the largesse we have lavished on them, what makes her think they’ll be more tractable after we pass a gratuitous resolution that insults them? We should oppose the resolution because it would be an empty gesture certain to damage our international position. This is plain irresponsibility at a time when American troops are still mired in the thankless Iraq adventure.
Bikash Roy,
Cary, N.C., U.S.

While the U.S. should join the ranks of countries that recognize the genocide of 1915, why at this moment? We should have passed this resolution decades ago, so why not wait a while longer to avoid compromising our soldiers in the field? Or is the timing of this resolution just another ploy to further embarrass our President?
Randall Schwalbe,
Hawthorne, Calif., U.S.

Guns for Hire
Thank you for the article “America’s Other Army,” about the private security companies operating in Iraq [Oct. 29]. If the architects of the Iraq invasion had used some common sense — like deploying more troops — we wouldn’t need military contractors. And if the Iraqi people had backbone and stood up to terrorists, our troops could come home. It seems that American blood is cheap to them.
Gerry Turchi,
Mooresville, Ind., U.S.

It would be helpful if we stopped using the euphemism security contractor and instead used the age-old and well-understood term mercenary. Then everybody would have a clearer understanding of what is going on and what is being sanctioned by our government.
Christopher Hebeler,
St. Louis, Mo., U.S.

Nurturing Nobel Winners
The essay on geneticist Mario Capecchi eloquently described his remarkable life [Oct. 22]. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded his innovative research for nearly 40 years. As the Essay noted, when Capecchi submitted a grant application for studies that included the work leading to the Nobel Prize, the scientists evaluating the proposal expressed skepticism. Nevertheless, the evaluators gave the application an outstanding overall score, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded the grant in 1981. The flexibility of the NIH grant system made it possible for Capecchi to use the funds, in part, for his Nobel Prize–winning work. American taxpayers can be very proud of their support of biomedical and behavioral research through the NIH, which has led to significant medical advances by thousands of scientists at universities, medical schools and other institutions in all 50 states and has contributed to 122 Nobel Prizes.
Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, Md., U.S.

Summoning Spirits?
I was disappointed to see Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, cast alongside Hugo Chávez — a clearly paranoid and delusional man — as simply another “leftist anti-Yanqui” South American leader [Oct. 8]. It seems that Tim Padgett is more interested in stirring the old ghosts of anti-commie sentiment, which in South America led to the disastrous and brutal rule of the U.S.-backed military juntas (from which many countries are still reeling), than in presenting us with an accurate account of current politics.
Pedro Morais,

Bloodstained Gems
At the heart of the failed revolution lie the confiscated resources of Burma [Oct. 22]. The military regime will not step down as long as there are still rubies in the mines. The mines and the roads that lead to them are worked by Burmese people who were abducted and enslaved. There should be an international ban not only on arms sales to that illegal regime but also on purchases of jewels from its mines. Burmese monks protested knowing that death, torture or some of the worst prisons in the world await them. This is a very serious statement for them to make — a statement I hope we respond to.
Lynne Martineau,
New Sharon, Maine, u.s.

Global Healing
When I saw the cover story on breast cancer at a newsstand, I instantly picked up the magazine [Oct. 15]. Breast cancer is indeed becoming a global concern and strikes women regardless of age or socioeconomic level. My fiancé, who is 32, is one of the survivors. She had surgery, received chemotherapy, went bald and took medicines mentioned in your report such as tamoxifen and Herceptin. She is currently healthy and living a better life than before. Having a strong will to survive means you are on your way to being cured; we leave the rest to prayers and medicine.
Alexander Abimanyu,

I really appreciated Kathleen Kingsbury’s report on breast cancer. In this country nobody discusses the disease even though it has become more prevalent. Fighting it is a global challenge. Governments, religious leaders, nongovernmental organizations and social activists have to work jointly to free the world of breast cancer.
Yohannes Aytenfisu,
Addis Ababa

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