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

Bin Laden Aftermath

To The New York Times, May 9, 2011

Killing evil does not, indeed, make us evil, but could we not have reached this same end without leaving so many bodies strewn along the path to justice?

Measured intelligence and leadership from President Obama were key. Just as important were intelligence gathering in the field and synthesis of that knowledge. Finally, precision by a small team in carrying out the surgical strike enabled by that intelligence brought fruition to the 10-year manhunt.

One can only wonder, however, if after 9/11 we had focused exclusively on the criminal investigation-including the gathering, sharing and synthesis of information-could two wars, about 6,000 American deaths, over 30,000 casualties, and many more Afghan and Iraqi deaths have been avoided?

Did we really need to obliterate Afghanistan and Iraq to get the guy who committed mass murder on Sept. 11?

John E. Colbert, Chicago, IL

Mission Accomplished

To the Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2011

Tom Hayden hit the nail on the head concerning the need to withdraw our military from Afghanistan and Iraq. Unlike President George W. Bush's false alarm, the "mission" is now accomplished.

What exactly was the mission? I have always thought it was to get those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, not to wage war against the people of Afghanistan or Iraq, who are not a threat to our national security. With the death of Osama bin Laden and the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, why is there a need to maintain this full-scale warfare?

The terrorism threat is something we need to learn to deal with. I totally support Hayden's call for us to utilize our special forces units on an as-needed basis. Now is the time to focus on our domestic priorities and bring to a halt this waste of American lives and treasure.

Ira Landis, Ocean Hills, CA

9/11 Inspires Students

To The New York Times, May 5, 2011

"9/11 Inspires Student Patriotism and Celebration" describes the response of young Americans to the death of Osama bin Laden as "punctuated by jubilant, if not jingoistic, celebrations." There was also a more subdued but equally notable reaction.

My generation's childhood was shaped by 9/11, but many of us ardently resist allowing the violent policy it ushered in to define our adulthood. Rather than responding with jingoistic celebration, we were inspired to reflect on the degree to which our country's relationship with the rest of the world has been defined by a decade of military conflict.

We were reminded of the work before us, as a generation burdened with the responsibility of repairing this damage. The celebrators on college campuses across the nation represent only a part of America's youth. Those who did not take to the streets understand that recent events demand a very different form of patriotism.

Joshua Morse, Oberlin, OH (the writer is a student at Oberlin College)

Post Coverage of Death

To The Washington Post, May 6, 2011

I was disturbed by Bradley Graham's May 2 front-page description of Osama bin Laden as a man who "demonstrated the power and global reach of a terrorism campaign rooted in centuries-old Islamic beliefs and skilled in modern-day technology."

While it is fair to say that bin Laden was skilled in the use of technology to spread his terrorist beliefs, to suggest that his sinister and bellicose beliefs can be traced or ascribed to foundations in Islam was unjust and potentially inflammatory. One can only hope that Graham's statement did not represent the views of The Post, its readers or the public.

John Graham, Potomac, MD (the writer is unrelated to the author of the story cited)

Unarmed but Dangerous

To The New York Times, May 4, 2011

The fact that Osama bin Laden was unarmed may be important symbolically.

Over recent years bin Laden projected the image of a dedicated terrorist leader, always carrying a rifle and living in caves. …

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