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Mr. Ables is correct about the difficulty of creating global law. We would need to overcome the same problems that our Founding Fathers did in bringing our nation together more than 200 years ago. They didn’t let failures stop them. We shouldn’t let the failure of our support of the United Nations in preventing war stop us.

FELIX ROSENTHAL

Annandale

Pay attention, Americans

Exposing misadventures of an administration that has become the poster child for incompetence, misjudgment and failure should be commended (“Loose congressional lips,” Editorial, Tuesday).

There is nothing secret about the fact that this administration led us into a war of choice with lies and selected facts that later proved worthless. We are mired down five years and thousands of American deaths later trying to extricate ourselves without igniting a larger conflagration in the Middle East. To provide cover for the same strategists to plan “concealed” action in an area as fragile as that between Turkey and Kurdish Iraq would be truly unpatriotic.

If the spokesman for such action Eric Edelman admits that it would have to be kept secret but also might have to be denied, how can that strategy be valid or worthwhile?

President Bush had trouble reciting the line, but fortunately, some of our leaders in Congress have no trouble saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

JOAN SALEMI

West Springfield

Blowing more than smoke

A recent Op-Ed column (“Weird science,” July 24) repeated a misleading quote that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, implying that I and the American Cancer Society consider the marketing of smokeless tobacco products to be a reasonable approach to help smokers quit. Although this misrepresentation was corrected in a July 25 letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, it has been seized on by tobacco industry supporters to promote this new line of products.

In reality, there is no evidence that switching to smokeless products is more effective than using one of the many proven methods for quitting smoking, and it is certainly less safe. Smokers who postpone quitting by supplementing rather than replacing their nicotine addiction in settings where they cannot smoke will only increase their risk of lung cancer and other diseases.

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