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

Pirates' Warning

To the San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 28, 2008

If we think the pirates of Somalia are merely some bunch of "crazies," we had better think again. They represent the first shots fired in the coming world war between the "haves" and the "have-nots."

Unless we take seriously the plight of the world's poor, we are doomed to a period of unrest and disruption that will last until we finally understand that those who are suffering become the concern of us all-no matter where we live or how comfortable our lives may seem.

Ashley Jones, Alameda, CA

Trans-Atlantic Relations

To the International Herald Tribune, Nov. 18, 2008

Regarding the article "Rice reflects on the world Obama will inherit": I don't know what world Condoleezza Rice is living in, but it is certainly not the one that I know. The most incredible comment from the U.S. secretary of state may be: "It's a myth that we have poor relations with the Europeans." Perhaps in diplomatic circles the Europeans are polite, but as far as the general population is concerned, relations between the U.S. and Europe are at an all-time low.

Rice praises the U.S. promotion of "the democratic experience" around the world. Under President Bush, much of this effort has been carried out with bombs. The Bush version of democracy is certainly not appreciated in many parts of the world.

Jack Turbiville, Avignon, France

Obama's Victory an Apology

To the International Herald Tribune, Nov. 7, 2008

As an American expatriate, I choose to view the Obama victory as a strong apology from U.S. voters to the rest of the world for the damage done by the Bush administration, as well as our history of slavery. It is a coup, a revolution by peaceful, democratic means. How nice to have something to be proud of once again.

Jeanette F. Huber, Kinsale, Ireland

New Hope for the Middle East

To The Independent, Nov. 6, 2008

During his visit to Israel in late July, Barack Obama made two pledges which he described as complementary rather than contradictory-one to the security of Israel and the other to a renewed and urgent search for peace in Palestine, not waiting "until a few years into my term or my second term...in order to get the process moving." Amid the inevitable clamor of special pleading, his commitment to the healing of this running sore will be a crucial test not only of his foreign policy but of his presidency.

Colin V. Smith, Rainford, Merseyside, UK

Peace with Clinton?

To San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 4, 2008

I wish I could believe Robert Scheer's prediction that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton will "leave her mark by exploiting her pro-Israel creds to complete President Bill Clinton's once promising Mideast peace initiatives...."

During her campaign for president, Clinton pledged that the United States "will never pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions or to impose a made-in-America solution," and declared that "America's position is unchanging; our resolve unyielding; our stance non-negotiable. The United States stands with Israel now and forever."

Given that Clinton is one of the top recipients of campaign contributions from the pro-Israel lobby and is likely to run for president again, it's not at all clear that she will do what it takes to induce Israel to curb its ideological appetite for Palestinian land and to make the necessary and sufficient concessions for peace.

Khaled Galal, San Francisco, CA

Jerusalem's Sacred Spaces

To Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Dec. 2, 2008

There is a potential in Jerusalem to create an example for the world where Jews, Muslims and Christians can demonstrate a true celebration of Abrahamic culture and religion. Jerusalem can be an international center of peace, understanding and tolerance, but not if you completely disrespect the sacred space of others. …

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