In his argument for the draft [op-ed, Jan. 18], Mark Shields wrote that just two members of the Princeton University graduating class of 2001 became officers in the U.S. armed services. By contrast, Mr. Shields wrote, more than two out of three students in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's 1954 Princeton class served on active duty. Mr. Shields's point was that a draft makes others volunteer before they're drafted.

Perhaps a more damning number might be that just four members of the last Congress had children in uniform. I would be more empathetic to this administration's military policies if I saw a photo of Jenna and Barbara Bush in uniform driving a jeep in, say, Qatar.




Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has plowed new ground in the increasingly competitive field of non-apologetic apologies. Mr. Rumsfeld, after making remarks about draftees adding "no value" to the U.S. military, offered what he calls a full apology to "any veteran who misinterpreted" his remarks [front page, Jan. 22].

That's an apology? He takes no responsibility for the effect of his words while suggesting that veterans don't understand plain English.


Takoma Park