Humanitarian Mission That Shows Best of U.S.

Re "To Fight Terror, Dispatch a Lifesaving Hospital Ship," Commentary, Jan. 29: What a gesture of goodwill it would be if the Bush administration deployed a hospital ship off Pakistan, as suggested by James Lyons Jr.

The international community would witness a side to America other than the continuing tirades of a swaggering, bellicose American president pressuring other nations to join him in a preemptive attack on Iraq.

Lyons' reference to Project Hope brought back a flood of memories of the welcome our family received in the 1970s in Trujillo, Peru, when we accompanied my husband during his sabbatical year with that humanitarian program there. The mere mention that one was associated with Project Hope brought a friendly smile and warm-hearted abrazo (embrace) from every Peruvian we met.

We do need to capture the hearts and souls of the "man on the street," and I don't think we can bring respect to ourselves by being warmongers.

Jean Holt Koch

Los Angeles

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