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Only Compassion Can Win the Peace

May 21, 2003

Re "U.S. Partly to Blame, Arabs Say," May 15: With the heads of state trying to put our broken world back together again, it is perhaps the insight of Syrian merchant Amin Rammal that should serve as the motto for reconstruction: "I hate what my neighbor does to me, but I will not torch his house. On the contrary, I visit him when he is sick -- this is what God wants us to do." Thank you, Mr. Rammal, for reminding us that it is one's genuine show of compassion and generosity during an enemy's time of hardship that will mend the fences of hatred.

Shari O'Connell

Santa Monica

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Re "Iraqi Children Risk Dying of Malnutrition," May 15: Buried in the lower left-hand corner of Page A9 is a little paragraph about the increase in the number of Iraqi children at risk of death from starvation to 300,000, double the prewar total.

The U.S. invasion was supposed to be a boon to the Iraqi people. Wouldn't the death of 150,000 more children equal or exceed the most heinous crimes of Saddam Hussein? We need to do much more for these innocent victims.

Jim Weinstein

Los Angeles

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