To the Editor:

The most important line in Andrew Olson’s column, “Virtue judgments often useful” (10/4), is when he asks the reader to “set aside your opinion of the Iraq war.” Indeed, that not-so-small request makes his argument possible, since it removes from consideration the most difficult data for his theory. Do I understand this correctly? We should consider the continued relevance of “good” and “evil” in foreign policy — as in the “axis of evil” speech, which the author himself brought up — but we should “set aside” the most contentious foreign policy decision of our young century, in which we invaded a member of that axis?

Michael Peppard GRD ’09

Oct. 4, 2006