Letters in the Editor's Mailbag

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Byline: The Register-Guard

Pfaff explains U.S. policy flaws

Everyone who hopes to understand America's disaster in the Middle East should read William Pfaff's essay in the Dec. 9 Commentary section.

Pfaff insightfully described the flaws of America's approach to the Middle East. Since World War II, successive American administrations have pandered to regional Arab compradors and local janissaries who have worked hand-in-hand with global corporations. These policies have supported international militarism and Zionist interests in the Israel-Palestine dispute.

As long as this continues to be American policy, none of the problems facing the Middle East, particularly that of Arabs and Israelis, will ever be solved. But if, as Pfaff contends, Iran has been caricatured as a military threat, how should Americans understand Iran?

First, Iran is a complex culture, and its foreign policy derives from many internal sources.

Second, Iran supplies oil and natural gas to the new economy growing between the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Japan. Where does America find itself in this new political, economic and cultural world?

My fellow Americans should keep Pfaff's essay for annual review and peruse it before every presidential election.

M. Reza Behnam


Imagine challenges police face

Personally, I am thrilled that any individual would want to tackle the law enforcement profession.

Take, for example, the regulations, rules and laws of the road, where the vast majority are shirking their responsibility in being law-abiding. Another example is the daily dangers and sometimes life-threatening situations these professionals face. Yet when the outcome is tragic, they'll have abundant blame and criticism easily placed on them by citizens who were not even there.

I'm not even mentioning the lack of funding for prosecution, incarceration and adequate patrols. What must this do to their morale?

Think about walking a day in the shoes of a person enforcing the law before sounding off. Let us appreciate those who truly must want to serve and protect!

Rhodana Janssens


Israel hasn't been the aggressor

I, too, am sometimes upset by particular policies and actions of the current Israeli government that seem callously hurtful to the Palestinians and ultimately self-defeating - settlement policies and specific choices about the new security wall, for example.

But I'm not confused, as Jack Dresser seems to be (letters, Dec. 6), about the larger question of Israel's role in the Middle East conflict.

Both Israel and a Palestinian state were created by United Nations mandate in 1947. It was the Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries who rejected that mandate and invaded Israel with express intent to destroy it and drive its Jewish citizens into the sea. Israel responded by aggressively defending itself and defeating the far larger combined army. Israel was attacked again in 1967 and then again in 1973, with similar results.

In the interim, Israel is attacked regularly in a guerrilla war funded and armed by Arab and Persian countries. With each attack and defeat, the Palestinians, by way of their patrons, have lost more and more land to Israel's legitimately increased security concerns.

Contrary to Dresser's assertion, the only appropriate representation of Islamic anger should be that directed at the self-serving Arab regimes that have used Israel as a scapegoat and a diversion from their own oppression of their own people.

Although Israel has made appalling tactical decisions at times - as the United States has in its wars, including the current one - Israel has never been the aggressor in this 60-year-old conflict, except in the sense of aggressively defending itself.

Peter Straton


Eugene needs a proven manager

Don Kahle's Dec. …