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.

Crucial Iraq-War Questions

To The Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2007

Regarding the June 12 article, "U.S. signals permanent stay in Iraq": I am a little surprised by media statements that the U.S. is planning to stay in Iraq for decades to come. How can the present U.S. administration make such a statement? First, doesn't a long-term occupation policy depend on what the American people, the U.S. Congress, and future U.S. presidents want and decide to do? Will the American people accept the continued killing or maiming of their sons and daughters?

Second, what about the Iraqi government? It may request the United Nations not to renew and extend the foreign occupation beyond the December deadline. Can the U.N. ignore such a request? Can we even still regard Iraq as a sovereign nation? These are important and relevant questions that should be addressed.

Tom Van Meurs, Christchurch, New Zealand

Oppose Hydrocarbon Act

To Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 5, 2007

I have read through the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Act that Iraq's parliament is being pressured to adopt. It's not an easy document to read, couched as it is in legalese, but the gist of it is clear. If Iraq's parliament passes the Hydrocarbon Act into law, approximately 76 percent of Iraq's oil resources (about 62 of 81 oil fields) will be offered to private investors, under conditions heavily weighted in favor of large petroleum interests such as Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP.

The details of this bill are becoming widely known since its original leak in February by Kurdish interests, and strong objections to its passage were voiced in the House of Representatives on May 23 by Dennis Kucinich. I believe this agreement would be directly counter to America's interests in promoting peace and justice in the world, and should be opposed by every concerned American.

Donald Weed, Sammamish, WA

Chaos Seen in Iraq Exit

To The New York Times, May 30, 2007

"Chaos Is Seen in Iraq Exit, but Experts Split on Degree" shows that we are still failing to address the real questions about Iraq. Rather than discuss the violence that would follow a United States withdrawal, we should consider the desolation and death caused by a continued American presence.

Rather than address what's needed to make an American-imposed government work, consider whether such an artifice has the potential to do anything more than cause suffering and hostility, if not among Iraqi sects, then between Iraqis and Americans.

And as long as there are open issues, why not consider how rapidly imperial arrogance that ignores history and culture can obliterate a people, robbing them of both their economic and cultural infrastructure?

Fred Schachat, Durham, NC

Too Many BattleFronts Now

To the San Francisco Chronicle, June 12, 2007

What is U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman smoking ("Lieberman sees need for plan to strike Iran," June 11)? Didn't he receive the memo about the Armed Forces already being overstretched and nearing the breaking point?

Doesn't he know we are already fighting three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and global terrorism), none of which is being won or is even close to a satisfactory conclusion? Can't he see that innocent civilians will be the first to suffer, if bullets start to fly?

If we can't find and neutralize glorified bandits such as Osama bin Laden, how can we expect to fight and win four wars simultaneously? Why should the Iranians live according to the so-called rules of international law when the Bush administration flaunts or ignores them as it deems fit?

It is past time for our government to stop relying solely on the use of force to settle disputes and attempt to relearn the apparently lost art of diplomacy.

Edwin Gordon, Berkeley, CA

Israel Employs the Iron Fist

To International Herald Tribune, June 8, 2007

Regarding H. …

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