To the editor:

Johnathan Rosenbaum’s piece on “Catching Up With the World” [October 12] made me think how insular we Americans are in relation to other first world countries. Six thousand dead in a couple hours in a tiny corner of our country?

Thinking back a quarter of a century, we must remember death raining down from above, not just one day, but every day for about nine years. That’s what the Southeast Asians experienced every day. Yes, we dispensed with farmers, women and children, and farm animals by the thousands every day. We dropped more bombs on the Ho Chi Minh Trail than all bombs dropped by all aggressors in World War II.

So now we know. Two million total, some say. It seems to have been in vain, since traffic on that trail was stopped for short periods of time only.

Vietnam. No one talks about that stupid, macho, misdirected exercise today, the war that cost over 58,000 American lives. Everyone agrees now.

Refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, the ABM treaty, and land mine agreements and dumb missile shield stances may have caught us up with the world. We can only hope it is not as devastating for America.

Sincerely yours,

David B. Zoellner