A set of messages want a clearer paradigm:

1. "Of the 190-odd countries in the world, which country is superior to the U.S. in the many particulars listed? Only by offering a model (besides "Utopia") standard can we judge failure or success. If American democracy is a failure, tell us what other democracy is a greater success and why. Compared to what other country is America a failure and why?"

Arnold Beichman, beichman@hoover.stanford.edu, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for The Washington Times. His updated biography "Herman Wouk, the Novelist as Social Historian," has just been published.

2. "I think this is a good idea especially if it is guided by what I call the critical affirmative theory of Africa - that is our assessment of the course of our development and contributions to it which is not arrested at the level of the recycling of diasbling dogmas and stereotypes about Africa. Instead we should engage in critical self-appraisal, accompanied by thoughtful, unapolegetic and culturally anchored recommendations of where our societies should be heading in the areas of democracy, religious management and economic development."

 E. G. Iweriebor, eiwerieb@hunter.cuny.edu, completed his Ph.D. at Columbia. He is a Professor of History and Head of Department, Hunters College, New York. His recent book is on technology in Nigeria.