National Geographic : 2008 Dec
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Dorton, Bradenton, FL The America's Cup of Polo Felix Marquez, Bethesda, MD Standing in the Middle of Nowhere Kevin McNeal, Olympia, WA LETTERS As an Iranian-born U.S. citizen, I found your article insightful and balanced. A parallel can be drawn regarding the CIA backed coup of 1953 (which quelled a true democratic movement, resulting in all of the current geopolitical issues at hand) and the injustices in our own history against blacks, Japanese Americans during World War II, and American Indians. Until we acknowledge the past wrongdoing in Iran, we cannot set the right course for the future, pursuing a peace ful world. We must remember that a prime motivator of a terrorist is the historical injustices against his or her nation. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Itisuptoallofustotakea deep, painful look and correct our course. Would our next generation take up arms in retaliation if a foreign intelli gence agency overthrew our current government to secure cheap supplies of coal? HOOMAN SHADRAVAN West Hills, California Thank you for showing us a country quite different than the one portrayed by other media. It's sobering to think that if the United States had thought more strategically in 1953, Iran could be our ally. Short-range thinking focused on oil interest and paranoia about communism failed the long-term interests of our nation. We need to study Iran and learn more. JOHN L. DUNHAM Dayton, Ohio Moscow Never Sleeps I want to congratulate National Geographic for two reasons. First, this article has haunted me ever since I read it. It would seem that Moscow is experi encing one of those rare and exhilarating moments in history when everything and nothing is possible at the same time. Second, as a long-term subscriber, I have noticed that on those occasions when a novelist or poet writes one of your articles, the result is a wonderful marriage of imagery and images. Please keep this up, because you have shown that a few words by a good writer can be worth more than a thousand pictures. BOB TAYLOR Natick, Massachusetts impression that every Muscovite a billionaire drunk, I just returned from a month inRussia. There isfar moreto lifethe authan seamy nightlife, billionaires, and corruption. You failed tomention thehappy families strolling in Red Square, or the presence orean, Nigerian, and other foreign students who have found Ijust returned from a montplace in Russia. There is far more to life there than seamy nightlife, billionaires, and corruption.The You failed to mention the happy families strolling in Rdubbed Square, or the presence of Korean, Nigerian, and other foreign students who have found Moscow an excellent place to pursue an education. The beautifully appointed metro station that you dubbed a Soviet-era monument to the noble proletariat, now filled with "harried capitalists," represents freedom and affordable transportation to thousands of citizens, many of whom now own their own businesses. If your reporter had found good-hearted interpret ers, stayed in private homes, and listened to personal stories of people who survived Stalin's prisons instead of frequenting nightclubs, your article would be vastly different. SHARON KLEINSCHMIDT Texarkana, Arkansas The article left one with the impression that every Musco vite is either a drunk or a billionaire drunk. It is apparent that the author sought to report on the worst features of the city and its inhabitants. We had returned from Moscow just two weeks before reading the article. We saw a city that was vibrant, clean, and beau tiful, populated by hardworking, fun-loving, average people. We saw no motorcycle gangs, drunks, or bad behavior-but then we did not carouse in back alleys and drug dens. The two photos that show Red Square indicate there is something sinister about it. There is not! This report could have been about any big city, worldwide. THOMAS A. GEISLER Hayward, California Corrections, Clarifications August 2008: Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran Page 49: The statement attri buted to the Cyrus Cylinder-"I never resolve on war to reign" has been discredited by scholars as a 20th-century addition. Enweizewi -- koep~oh *^* Energizer, Energizer Bunny design, and other marks are trademarks of Energizer.