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Having taught and worked in Irish and Scottish universities in the past five years, I can confirm that the difference in attitude is striking. Scots are cautious and defensive, instinctively controlling — as Donald Trump is finding out in his attempts to open a golf course in northeast Scotland.

Irish students are far more open to debate and given to enterprise and experimentation. They are prepared to work long hours for very little.

As for Mr. Salmond’s cozying up to radical Islam, he has been active against U.S. interests in opposing the Iraq war in the Stop the War Coalition since 2003 and in siding with Islamists. The latest overture to Iran and the prospect of an Edinburgh-Tehran axis ought to warn any sensible person off the direction in which he appears to be taking Scotland. It goes without saying that many in Scotland are uneasy with these moves.


Edinburgh, Scotland

America engenders hatred

Suzanne Fields’ column “Teaching violent intolerance” (Op-Ed, April 7) completely missed the boat. Mrs. Fields nicely describes an Iranian cartoon of a little boy with President Bush in which the president asks the boy where his parents are, and the child replies that the president “has killed his father in Iraq, his mother in Lebanon, and his brothers in Gaza.”

Mrs. Fields concludes that such cartoons incite “primitive blood lust,” but she misses what is right in front of her. When Americans and Israelis kill Muslims in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza, we engender deep hatred. We are killing people’s fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Middle Eastern cartoons and textbooks aren’t the cause of hatred. The killing we commit is.

If we’re worried about indoctrination, we ought to take a look at our own textbooks first. I attended the Hebrew Academy of Washington for 10 years. We were taught that we transformed a land of empty deserts and swamps into the great country of Israel. We weren’t taught that Israel was created by the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. The depopulation and destruction of entire Palestinian villages wasn’t anywhere in the curriculum. Nor were the Jewish terrorists who were the first to plant terrorist bombs in crowded Palestinian markets.

Mrs. Fields complains that Palestinian children are taught only violence. She seems to miss the far greater problem: Palestinian children continue to face real violence and are denied the right to return to their homes. Peace will not come before we learn to treat others as we ourselves would want to be treated.


Winston-Salem, N.C.

Educational indoctrination

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry upon reading Gary Andres’ Thursday Op-Ed column, “Where have all the Republicans gone?” Here was another Republican pundit citing reams of statistics on which faction leans Republican or Democrat. Oh, for crying out loud.

Look, Jane, look. See our schools turn out little socialists year after year. Watch them compete for pet liberal “causes.” Observe the National Education Association, its state chapters and spinoffs (such as Uniserve) lobbying for decades while retaining a tax-exempt status. Witness the Bible, ROTC and patriotism — all spinning down the proverbial toilet.

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