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Letters the Week of Dec. 7, 2013
Treat Iran With Contempt -- It Deserves Only That!
Concerning the ongoing problem of what America should do about Iran (Nation & World: "Foreign-Policy Debate to Center on Iran," Nov. 16), I read the letter sent by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to President Bush and found it to be childish in its approach to solving the problems in Iraq and the Middle East.
It mostly questioned the Christian nature of our methods and practices in Iraq. It also included more of the same blather about Israel being an illegitimate state without the right to exist.
Ahmadinejad can say what he wishes, but I resent the president of a tin-pot country like Iran challenging the president of the United States and demanding equal status with him. Iran is a rogue nation that is continually stirring up trouble in its region. It threatens to extinguish Israel from the face of the earth, despite the well-defined legal basis in the United Nations for the establishment of Israel.
Iran depends on the outside world for most of its medical and manufactured goods. It pumps oil, but must send it outside the country to be refined.
It is, in truth a small, third-world economy with big ideas and a president with a loud mouth. He and his country should be treated in kind.
Know Thy Enemy -- in this Case, the Arabs
Jonathan Tobin writes of the death of the "Bush Doctrine" (A Matter of Opinion: "Recycled Trash Makes Poor Policy," Nov. 22).
President Bush has been on the receiving end of second-guessing and Monday-morning quarterbacking since his first election. No decision he makes -- whether small or large -- is good enough, nor any suggestion of policy is not without flaw. Most stories contain half-truths and outright lies, and the politicians use the stories as if they are factual, and not penned by agenda-driven writers or spoken by television pundits. As a result of this, the public can no longer distinguish truth from falsehood.
The enemy knew long ago how to defeat a more powerful enemy: weaken its will.
While the policy of Bush is correct, he undermined himself by not sticking to his policies when dealing with the Palestinians and all the other Arab nations.
They are collectively the enemy, and if we as Jews and as Americans don't recognize that, we'll lose our future.
Delray Beach, Fla.
What Will Syria and Iran Demand for Help in Iraq?
I completely agree with Jonathan Tobin's column "Recycled Trash Makes Poor Policy" (A Matter of Opinion, Nov. 22).
I have read elsewhere that the reason James Baker and company want to involve Syria and Iran is so that they will give us a breathing spell while we get our troops out with "honor." I suppose that it will be akin to Henry Kissinger's claiming victory in Vietnam as we withdrew.
My worry is that Syria and Iran will want a price for their forbearance, and Baker will have no compunction in pressing Israel to pay the cost.
President Bush, despite all of his support for Israel, wants to get our troops home before the elections in 2008. It doesn't look good for Israel.
Palm Harbour, Fla.
Don't Justify Feelings Due to Unfortunate Incident
William A. Levinson and Robert Goldberg make numerous claims regarding the intent and actions of MoveOn.org, all of which are at least arguable, if not clearly false (Letters: "Web Group Stands Guilty as Charged on Speech," Nov. 22.
For starters, the Anti-Defamation League lauded MoveOn.org for dealing with the hate speech posted to its open and unmoderated forums.
For those unfamiliar with an unmoderated forum, in such an online venue, anyone can submit virtually anything, and the submission is immediately posted. Until such a time as the post is brought to the attention of the sponsoring person or group, the post is there for all to see.
Further, monitoring the forum is not the same as reading every post. It is likely impossible for the limited staff maintained by MoveOn.org to read every post, even if it made sense to do so. The writers' claim that further examples of hate speech could be found on the forums two weeks after the cited posts were removed is proof only that there are sick and malicious individuals who present an ongoing challenge to the operators of free and open blogs and forums.
The facts are that everything MoveOn.org and its millions of members stand for is anathema to the hate speech Levinson and Goldberg are trying to make out as standard fare. To claim otherwise is to slander many good and righteous individuals, including many Jews, and including me.
Write Your Senator to Get Release of Soldiers!
The summer wars in Lebanon and Gaza are mostly over, except for the families of those who died, those who were wounded and, of course, for the families of three Israeli captives: Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
The Philadelphia Jewish community, individually and collectively, can make our voices heard in Washington, D.C., that we want our government to do all in its power to win their release.
Letters should be sent to: senator-elect Bob Casey Jr., and Sens. Arlen Specter, Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, c/o the U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510. Ask your senators to press the Bush administration to move prisoner-release negotiations to the top of the agenda.
Captives are sometimes lost forever, like Eli Cohen, but others, like Natan Sharansky, become pawns in successful international chess games.
Better live pawns than lost Israelis. Write today!