I thought Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention was thoughtful, forceful and full of insight. Her comment about the "limitless opportunity" for immigrants such as herself that has always been America's "gift to the world" was borne out for me that same night.

I went to dinner at the Lebanese Taverna in Arlington, where, as a thank-you to customers on the restaurant's 25th anniversary, the owners "turned back the clock" by featuring 1979 prices from the original menu. The menu also included a "history" in the form of a lovely letter from the founder and owner, Tanios Abi-Najm.

The letter began, "It is said that America is a land where dreams can be transformed into reality." How wonderful for those of us who are native-born to be reminded of how much our country means to those who came here with dreams that could not be realized or recognized anywhere else. It would be special to bring that perspective of innate appreciation and gladness into the White House.

NANCY S. KILPATRICK

Arlington

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With the Democratic National Convention at full steam, so is the rhetoric about President Bush's approach to the war in Iraq. I'm tired of hearing Mr. Bush accused of "going it alone" and "unilateralism" with regard to Iraq, because that's false. More than a dozen countries cooperated in the U.S.-led effort to depose Saddam Hussein. Somehow these countries are forgotten, except for Britain.

People seem to assume that an action is multilateral only if it is sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council.

In truth, seeking council action is more synonymous with driving into a brick wall. Examples of U.N. inaction include the entire Cold War, Rwanda and Kosovo. While the United Nations exists as a framework for multilateralism, so do NATO, the European Union, the African Union and several other international organizations.

If I were an adviser to a newly elected President Kerry, I would suggest using the latter forms of multilateralism -- the ones Mr. Bush used.

MATT PHELPS

Alexandria

The writer is a member of the Republican National Committee.

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As I watch the Democratic National Convention coverage on television and see all of the big corporations throwing fancy bashes for those "important" delegates, and see all of the special political organizations set up to circumvent the new campaign finance laws, and see all the skyboxes in FleetCenter loaded with gourmet treats and expensive liquor, only one thought comes to my mind about these Democrats: hypocrisy.

ROBERT C. GOTSHALL JR.

Palm Bay, Fla.

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Arguments can easily be made that political conventions no longer provide the drama of years gone by. The candidates are known, and the platform is a done deal, rarely read or argued about. Yet, do the mass media of our nation not have a duty to present the views of our nation's elected leaders to help make ours a more perfect union? Is it any wonder that young people turn away from a life of service and from the voting booths when the media focus on red and blue issues, instead of issues that matter to all of us?

As Barack Obama said so eloquently Tuesday night, "In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation: the belief in things not seen, the belief that there are better days ahead."

How much better off as a nation would we be had more people, especially the young people who are our future, been able to hear the inspiring words of a man born to a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas who shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.

HOWARD SALTER

Olney

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Former president Bill Clinton gives a speech at the Democratic National Convention, and the next day, The Post digs up the Monica Lewinsky story ["The Frenzy Over Lewinsky," Metro, July 27].

Why, other than to undermine Mr. Clinton's speech, was this done?

Now that The Post has printed this juxtaposition, I hope it balances its coverage by doing the same after speeches at the Republican convention. I hope to see stories about, for example, the allegations of sexual harassment against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani's messy divorce and Laura Bush's car accident.

KIRT SUOMELA

Bethesda