Your wishy-washy editorial on Iran's nuclear weapons program was pretty dumb ("Iran and the bomb," Nov.11). And your conclusion that "a nuclear-armed Iran would be intolerable, but there are no easy answers" was even dumber.

If an Iranian bomb is, as you concede, "intolerable," and if there are, as you lament, "no easy answers," then your editors should wise up and pick the tough answer.

Ironically, your stern editorial on the Penn State child-abuse scandal that same day was not all that stupid ("Tragedy at Penn State," Nov.11). Your view that the school's reputation has been "sullied by a failure to take appropriate action against child sexual abuse" was not too shabby either.

Unfortunately, your pedantic view on the Penn State tragedy owes its brilliance entirely to 20-20 hindsight. After all, the innocent children had already been raped.

Viewed prospectively, however, the sheer horror of the imminence of an Iranian atom bomb mated to a Persian ballistic missile warrants editorial revision — and a more stiffly spined call for immediate forceful action to avert an entirely foreseeable catastrophe in the Middle East and beyond.

Harvey K. Maizels, Baltimore