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In killing Ahmed Yassin, Israel did to Hamas what the U.S. has been trying to do to al-Qaida. If we had a clear shot at bin Laden or al Zawahiri, we'd blast them into martyrdom, too.

- Sol Taylor

Sherman Oaks

A deserved death

So our politicians, the E.U., the U.N., pundits, commentators and the terrorists themselves all warn of increased violence in Israel as a result of the elimination of the ``Spiritual Leader of Terror,'' Ahmed Yassin, who promised paradise to all who blew themselves up while murdering Jews. They all act as if 1,500 dead Israelis, thousands more crippled, deformed and wounded, hundreds of rocket attacks in Gaza and the south of Israel and a constant state of war on every Jew in the Middle East haven't been the Palestinian terrorists' best effort.

The much deserved death of Yassin comes exactly three years after the death of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass, who died after being shot while in the crosshairs of the careful and deliberate aim of a Palestinian sniper in Hebron. Her crime? She was an Israeli Jew.

Gee, and I thought the Palestinians just threw rocks at soldiers.

- Michael G. Miller

Los Angeles

Denying the obvious

Re ``LAUSD English learners gaining'' (March 19):

Good for them! Given a chance, immigrant students who have been trapped in bilingual programs for so many years will continue to make wonderful progress in English. Of course the deputy superintendent of instruction can't admit that the ``scaling back of bilingual education'' had anything to do with the impressive gains, giving the credit instead to ``better textbooks'' and ``the implementation of structured reading programs.'' But since these new textbooks and reading programs are in English, that's a hollow denial. These students will become truly bilingual: Fluent and accomplished in two languages.

- Linda S. Hamilton


Questionable results

Local officials interpret the gains on an English test (the CELDT) as evidence that English learners in the Los Angeles Unified School District are making real progress. The CELDT was introduced two years ago. Research shows that when a new standardized test is introduced, scores are low at first, and then increase each year as teachers and students become more familiar with the format and contents. The CELDT is closely aligned with the California State Standards; teachers are very aware of what kinds of items will be on the test. It is not clear if the gains represent real learning or simply better test preparation.

- Stephen Krashen

Emeritus Professor of Education

University of Southern California

Los Angeles

Get on the bus

Re ``Councilman takes train to work to set example'' (March 17):

I applaud Councilman Tom LaBonge's taking public transit to work. I sure hope Supervisors Zev Yaroslasvky and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke will take their respective local and Rapid buses to MTA board meetings to understand why operations should dictate transit, and not politics.

- Deric Wright

Los Angeles

Bloody hands

To President George W. Bush, one word of advice: ``Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.''

And to all those Americans who shared his shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later policy: You have on your hands the blood of 30,000 dead Iraqis and 500 dead U.S. soldiers as well as making enemies from people who have never harmed us in the past (Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement).

You should have concentrated on the facts and dealt with Afghanistan instead of manipulating intelligence for your own personal agenda. Well done, George. What do you have planned for an encore, global thermonuclear war or maybe World War III?

- Vatch Arouchian


Leftist hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of the left is once again on display. One of the reasons we went into Iraq was to stop a madman before his threat became imminent. But many on the left rail against this kind of ``preemptive'' strike. On the other hand, they're whining about why Bush didn't prevent 9-11. The flaws in that argument are legion, but if we stretch credibility way beyond the breaking point and assume that something could have been done, wouldn't that have been ``preemptive?''

- Mike Savell

Simi Valley

A common agenda

Re ``Redefining Words'' (Your Opinions, March 22):

Marti Marshall complains that gays are changing the meaning of words in our language. Marshall says specifically, ``If the homosexual agenda tries making a mockery of our vocabulary. ...''

What is this so-called homosexual agenda? I've been openly gay for over 20 years and nobody ever sent me a copy of this agenda. I just keep on getting up every morning and going to work, paying my bills, seeing a movie every once in a while, complaining about taxes and the government, spending time with family and friends. What part of that agenda differs from Marshall's?

But my real concern is the divisive language Marshall uses. She says ``Let the homosexuals come up with a new word, but leave our definitions alone.''

There's the problem. Separating us into ``us'' and ``them'' is far more destructive to society than same-sex marriage could ever possibly be. Last time I looked, it was just ``us,'' and we all have the right to equality.

- John Levy

Santa Clarita

Taking on gangs

In efforts to control the terrorism of gangs, the first step is to call it ``gang warfare.'' Next, resurrect the Rampart Division Gang Squad, and when the gang bangers are arrested, put them in desert camps like they do in Ely, Ariz. Jail is to be for punishment, not rehabilitation. These people can't and don't want to be rehabilitated. They are predators.

- Ted Simpson

Woodland Hills

Beyond vulgar

Re ``Occupied Palestinians'' (Your Opinions, March 17):

Greta Berlin is misinformed or biased. The Palestinians lack rights because of Yasser Arafat and their other terrorist leaders, not Israel, which simply wants to stop suicide bombers and snipers from killing innocent Jews. Palestinians bring restrictions on themselves by hiding murderers and bombs, even in ambulances. The barrier is there solely to keep them out of Israel.

Berlin's deceitful term ``apartheid'' implies two classes of people in one, binational state, and highlights the Arabs' latest scheme to destroy Israel, their ``one-state solution.'' They really hate the fence because it finally demarcates two lands for two peoples.

But Berlin's ugliest comment was that Israelis build ``concentration camps.'' Concentration camps had gas chambers for killing innocent Jews, and they no longer exist. Her insensitive rhetoric is beyond vulgar.

- Rueben Gordon

N. Hollywood

Breaking with Bush

On March 17, 2004, the headline of the Daily News proclaimed that ``Spain breaks with the U.S.,'' referring to the fact that the newly elected Spanish government is opposed to the war in Iraq. As one who has opposed this war from the moment it began to be promoted by the Bush administration, I suggest that a better headline would have been ``Spain breaks with the Bush administration.''

Spain has not broken with me, an American deeply scarred by the loss of our sons and daughters and innocent citizens of Iraq. Spain has broken with the leadership of the U.S., which used very dubious, if not false, pretenses to lead us into that conflict.

As President Bush, on the anniversary of this war, rallies the troops to continue the fight in Iraq - as if Iraqis had perpetrated the bombings in Spain - may I suggest that we join the Spanish and celebrate by bringing our troops home.

- Barney Bales

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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Mar 26, 2004

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