Hurry up please, it’s time
Sir — While Pete Sampras may have proved a point or two to his detractors by winning the US Open championship, it is doubtful whether he will be able to come up with repeat performances in the future (“Pete proves doubters wrong”, Sept 10). Tenacity and fighting spirit are undoubtedly admirable qualities in any player, but Sampras should not fool himself into thinking that he has many more years of tennis left in him. Also, his opponent in the final was none other than Andre Agassi, who, like him, is way past his prime. Instead of trying to win more matches, Sampras should think of retiring now when he is still winning.
Meghna Poddar, Calcutta
Sir — It has been a year since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which will remain in public memory for many reasons, not least because of the television images beamed to millions of homes around the world. However, the United States of America is not the first country to become a victim of terrorism.
The overthrowing of a democratically elected government by Augusto Pinochet Ugarte 29 years ago on September 11 in Chile could well be described as an act of terrorism. The number of people killed in that incident was roughly the same as that in the tragedy last year. Yet, US support for the military dictator has prevented him from being brought to justice. It is time the US stopped applying different standards for itself and for others.
N. Jambunathan, Calcutta
Sir — The arrogance of the US could well earn it the label of being the world’s biggest terrorist state. Despite reiterating its commitment to combating terrorism, the US has not spared a thought for the plight of thousands of Indians who become victims of terrorist attacks every year in Jammu and Kashmir and in other parts of the country.
Instead, the US has allowed Pakistan to influence its policies. Having unilaterally decided to punish Iraq, the US needs Pakistan to win over other Muslim countries who would understandably be opposed to any military action against Iraq.
Manish Garg, Noida
Sir — Coming together to remember the victims of the WTC and Pentagon attacks is one thing. But the absurd sentimentalism of the Americans and the way in which the memorial services were planned to coincide with the actual sequence of events is quite another (“Alert US marks moment in tearful silence”, Sept 12). While watching the live telecast of the service yesterday on television, I was overcome with a strong sense of déjà vu. Equally shocking was the fact that Ground Zero, or the site of the collapse of the twin towers, has become a tourist spot, with most visitors buying T-shirts and other memorabilia from local traders there.
Monica Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — One cannot help feeling that most Americans are indifferent to the sufferings of people from other countries. This is obvious from the silence of the US during the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar by Pakistan-backed terrorists. Although this incident took place before September 11 and the war on terrorism, not much has changed since then.
Given that the US was responsible for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and creating a problem out of Afghanistan, it is surprising that the American media has not criticized its country’s foreign policy. But perhaps the Americans only know how to react when their own interests are compromised. This is probably why most countries do not sympathize with the US.
If the US declares war on Iraq, then the other countries of the world ought to take a firm stand against it. The US must be made to realize that it cannot kill innocent Iraqi civilians in order to settle scores with one man, Saddam Hussein.
Tejash Doshi, Calcutta
Sir — How could L.K. Advani talk about introducing a constitutional amendment to ban cow slaughter. Surely he is not unaware that there are more serious problems facing the country that need his attention' Advani could begin by dealing with problems like poverty and unemployment.
Rita Dutta, Calcutta