I agree with the substance of the Dec. 29 editorial "The tilted Saudi chessboard" that letting Saudi Arabia host a world chess tournament was a mistake. Unfortunately, however, this rationale would apply to the United States as well. I chair the committee that recommends the venue for the triennial World Conference on Tobacco or Health. Prospective bidders must guarantee that visas will be issued to all bona fide delegates. Although not always fully honored in practice, this has been the ideal.
It saddens me that I cannot lead a bid to host the 2021 conference in the United States. Given America's current visa policies, how could I guarantee that all legitimate and vetted delegates would be welcome? And how many other world conferences must go elsewhere or risk their participants being denied entry?
Harry A. Lando, St. Paul, Minn.
The writer is chairman of the advisory board for the world conferences to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
If the United States were a better friend to our allies, we would encourage their better intents rather than indulging their worst, whether Saudi anti- Zionism or Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory.
Our government has an interest in encouraging people to work and play well with others — here at home and in our foreign relations. American history is rife with contradictions on fair play. There is no need to perpetuate them. However seemingly profitable, inevitably the cost of injustice is too much to bear.
Annlinn Kruger, Bar Harbor, Maine