Delayed Reaction

I was bemused by Frederick W. Kagan's piece "Pearl Harbor 2003?" [op-ed, March 18].

He begins by saying that we face an imminent threat in Korea, where the North Korean leadership may attempt a provocation of some sort during the war in Iraq. But his proposed response, building up the military, won't produce any result for years. How in the world will that help deal with a crisis that may be only days away?

-- Jeff Goldstein

Ideological Insult

George Will's March 19 op-ed column was the most arrogant right-wing propaganda I have read lately. If Will really thinks that the reason the antiwar protesters are what they are is an inherent hatred of the president, he is being even more condescending than usual. It is a sad time for American culture when a preference for diplomacy and tact over violence and imperialism is painted as nothing more than a byproduct of liberal ideology.

-- Gil Estridge

On the Troops' Side

I take offense at Marc Fisher's March 16 column ["It's Nothing Personal for War Protesters," Metro], in which he writes about interviewing protesters and asking if they know anyone fighting in the Middle East. Why should someone who doesn't know any of the 250,000 military personnel there be seen as the "elite" and therefore not justified in opposing this war? If anything, those of us opposed to this war have a greater concern for our fighters, because their lives are not a price we are willing to pay.

-- Virginia Wray Totaro

Excess in Montgomery

Why does your paper continue to be a shill for tax increases?

Your March 18 Metro article about Montgomery County's average proposed property tax increase of 7.8 percent and average proposed income tax increase of 5.4 percent, both while family budgets are in a recession, is no exception. Almost half the words were devoted to school officials saying they were not getting enough money. No mention was made of the fact that the budget of our $300,000 school superintendent, Jerry D. Weast, has increased 37 percent from four years ago, or that mid-level, no-student-contact administration has increased by 30 percent over the past four years. No space was given to those protesting the increases and opposing elected officials who are unable to govern unless revenue is rapidly increasing.

-- Robin Ficker

Cross Reference?

I note in passing that the March 20 graphic titled "The War Begins" on Page A17 says that the United States is sending the "1st Calvary" Division from Fort Hood. I know the president is in favor of "faith-based" initiatives, but this is ridiculous.

-- Richard Lamson

GI Jive

Jennifer Frey's article "Uncle Sam and the Art of Decapitation" [Style, March 21] mentions that Kaiser Wilhelm escaped "a madcap plan by American GIs to kidnap him." That seems rather unlikely, given that the term "GI" wasn't yet invented. Rather, during World War I, Salvation Army women providing refreshments to the soldiers became aware of the their special appreciation for doughnuts and referred to them as "doughboys," a term that long outlasted World War I.

-- William H. Goldwater

Save in the Sixth

Your obituary of former Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder Al Gionfriddo [Sports, March 16] incorrectly states that his famous catch of Joe DiMaggio's possible home run ended Game 6 of the 1947 World Series. DiMaggio's long drive was actually hit in the sixth inning of that game.

-- E.D. Lowry

Eke if You Can

Its appearance in the headline "Hoyas Eke Into Big East Tourney" [Sports, March 4] marks a turning point in the use of the word "eke." How the Hoyas accomplished their unprecedented "eking into" is shrouded in mystery.

To "eke out" anything (such as a living) is difficult. One can only imagine the formidable challenge faced by the Hoyas as the team "eked into" that tournament. My hat's off to those lads.

-- James V. Dolson