Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Article excerpt

Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves.

Why Have a Larger Army?

To The New York Times, Dec. 24, 2006

Larger ground forces are necessary only if we continue to accept the current administration's premise that the only way to deal with adversaries and insurgencies is perpetual war.

Perhaps it is time to think about a larger diplomatic corps, or at least a government more committed to seeing diplomacy as a means of meeting world crises.

Ann Magyar, Boston, MA

Avoidance vs. Choices in Iraq

To The New York Times, Dec. 27, 2006

Rather than luring or conscripting more young people into the military and spending incomprehensible amounts of money to arm them, we should do what is right and rational: sit down with our "enemies," without preconditions, and talk.

The belief that a strong military can protect us is delusional. The true enemies facing us-religious fundamentalism, environmental degradation, pandemic diseases, poverty, unsustainable methods of energy and agriculture production, and violence-are global issues. There will be no military solutions to any of them.

The last thing the world needs is more soldiers sworn to kill for their dictators, theocrats, absolutists and commanders in chief.

Jeffery Blackwell, Delafield, WI

Quagmire of the Vanities

To The New York Times, Jan. 10, 2007

Paul Krugman is right: gambling on the Iraq war is much easier "when the lives at stake are those of other people's children." Except that it is my son, a 20-year-old United States Marine stationed in Falluja, whose life is being gambled with.

It is my son whose blood may yet protect the egos of men who won't admit that they were wrong. And it is my son whose 3,000-plus comrades-in-service have already paid the ultimate price for fighting another nation's civil war.

After four years of pointless, fruitless, uninstigated combat, if President Bush indeed escalates the "sacrifice" of other parents' beloved children-against all reason, against the will of the electorate and without any personal sacrifice to call his own-it would not be vanity. It is called tyranny.

Donna J. Anton, Hayle, England

Shrewd Politics or Vanity?

To The New York Times, Jan. 10, 2007

At the risk of giving the president more credit than he deserves, I would suggest that shrewd politics shaped his "surge strategy" as much as the dysfunctional traits suggested by Paul Krugman.

President Bush's request for more troops presents the Democrats with a true dilemma. If they support the surge, then they share the blame when the strategy fails. And if they do not support it-say, by cutting off money-then the president can gleefully blame them for undercutting his "winning strategy" just when it was going to turn the tide in our favor.

Jay Kirschenbaum, New York, NY

Surge! What Words Will Stop It?

To the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 11, 2007

The president has a penchant for concise phrases, short words. So we've gone through shock and awe, mission accomplished, the decider and now we come to his new word-surge!

One new word, one syllable, which will result in more deaths, more injured, because the commander in chief is in charge of the killing fields. What words can we use to stop him?

Trish Hooper, Portola Valley, CA

Mr. Bush and the 'Surge'

To The Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2007

About two-thirds of the way through President Bush's speech Wednesday night, he spoke of Iran's support for insurgents in Iraq. He then stated that "we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

In the next paragraph he referred to sending "an additional carrier strike group to the region," having recently chosen an admiral to head Centcom; expanding intelligence-sharing (meaning covert operations involving Iran); and deploying Patriot air defense systems. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.