Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Iraq

Sep.
24th

IS: Where will airstrikes lead us?

When it comes to the Islamic State, maybe we can squeeze them back into Syria and continue passionately with our air assault on all the nefarious types assembled there.

But where is this leading us? It feels about as well thought out as taking potshots at a hornets’ nest with a BB gun!

Sep.
16th

OBAMA: Decisions in Iraq based on politics

With the Islamic State capturing a large area in Syria and more than a third of Iraq, it is obvious that not obtaining a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq in 2011 was a significant foreign policy failure.

Did President Obama seriously pursue a SOFA? Dexter Filkens (New Yorker writer) quotes an Iraqi politician as stating that “The American attitude was let’s get out of here as quickly as possible.”

What did the military recommend? According to retired general Jack Keane, former Army vice chief of staff, the generals recommended a residual force of 24,000 to maintain stability in Iraq. The

Read more »

Sep.
15th

IS: ‘No boots’ strategy is a recipe for failure

This administration’s obsession with having no “boots on the ground” is a formula for the ultimate failure of a mission it asserts is critically important to national security.

Any serious student of war will tell you that the most common path to disaster is failure to match forces to objectives, along with failure to appreciate that, while an enemy may be evil, it is not necessarily stupid. Strategy is, thus, about using appropriate means to achieve the necessary ends, considering how your opponent will respond.

The administration’s strategy against the Islamic State requires personnel for command, control, communications, training and

Read more »

Sep.
11th

MIDEAST: US policy based on weapon sales

The Middle East appears to be complicated and U.S. policy confused. But it’s really very simple. You only need to understand two rules.

• No matter who American arms manufacturers sell billions of weapons to, the weapons end up in the hands of the most vicious extremists.

• U.S. arms merchants and their bankers don’t give a damn, as long as they make the sale.

We invariably end up fighting enemies we created and who use our weapons. America armed and financed the Afghan resistance against Russia, which became al-Qaida and the Taliban. We financed the “Sunni Awakening” in Iraq, and since

Read more »

Aug.
11th

IRAQ: US must do more to prevent genocide

What happened to never again allowing genocide?

The phrase “never again,” referring to the genocide by the Nazis towards Europe’s Jews, has been violated numerous times since the end of World War II. We watched the slaughter on TV during the dinner hour of 500,000 Tutsis in Rwanda. It took months before the U.S. and some of its allies finally intervened in Kosovo.

We are witnessing again the most brutal onslaught against everyone who is not a Sunni Muslim by ISIS. I find it an outrage that the U.S., its allies and the U.N. have stood by while thousands are

Read more »

July
9th

OBAMA: Most criticism has been undeserved

Another letter writer (TNT, 7-8) raises the question of Barack Obama’s ranking as a U.S. president, giving three reasons for finding him wanting in his political role.

I too have been disappointed, and did not vote for a major party candidate in 2012. But criticism of Obama as president has generally been excessive, as people seem to forget that no president since Abraham Lincoln took over at a worse juncture in our history.

On the day that Obama became president (Jan. 20, 2009), the country was deeply involved in two hot wars (going nowhere), the country’s financial system was in

Read more »

July
3rd

IRAQ: Nothing has changed, 98 years later

Lines on a map do not make a nation. Sadly, our error in invading Iraq is being shown to us and the world via Twitter and YouTube, but the mistake is far older. The sharp lines of the Sykes-Picot agreement never will make a nation of Sunni, Shia and Kurds; 98 years later nothing has changed.

The forces of ISIL are a crude and terrible implement, but they are nevertheless the tools we left behind. Are we surprised they are being put to use?

June
27th

ISRAEL: Divestiture vote doesn’t promote peace

Kudos to Martin Schram for his op-ed, “Presbyterians’ effort against Israel is misguided” (TNT, 6-26).

The recent vote by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to divest in three American companies doing business with Israel is hypocritical as these companies also do business with Palestinians in the West Bank. Unfortunately, it may also influence other church denominations to follow its lead.

This decision was influenced by the distortions of groups aligned with the global BDS (boycott/divestment/sanctions) movement that regularly demonizes Israel and gives the Palestinian Authority and Hamas a pass. This same movement is now calling the Presbyterian vote a victory.

Read more »