A Wreck In Iraq: Your Letters
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Murder In Iraq
How about "Murderer Meeting With a Murderer" as the title to your article? It would be closer to the truth.
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Dear Mr. Dreyfuss: While I ordinarily agree with most of what you write, and I agree with most of your column today and your argument that Iraq requires an inter-communal reconciliation that aims to salvage Iraq and end the U.S. occupation, I do not think your approach of labeling Hakim a mass murderer aids that effort. Frankly, every faction that should be a party to inter-communal negotiations is a mass murderer to the extent it has sponsored, condoned or conveniently overlooked death squad activities carried out in support of that faction's policies.
President Bush himself is arguably the seminal mass murderer in the region. Since Hakim is a power in Iraq, he should be included in the talks no less than Sadr or any other organizer of violence. Not including Hakim would be an insult to him that would only guarantee he steps up his violence in order to be heard and noticed. Including him, at worst, could incentivize him to agree to a cease fire while negotiations take place and, at best, could lead him to accept an ultimate compromise solution that ends all violence.
While your assumption that Bush is engaging Hakim solely to try to form an alliance that would perpetuate U.S. involvement in the region is undoubtedly correct, Bush's history in Iraq shows that he most often in the long term achieves the precise opposite of what he sets out to do, which in this case would be a positive. In any event, branding Hakim a mass murderer, as if was the only one in Iraq, does nothing to further the peace process, and it resonates with the type of divisive and counterproductive name-calling for which the Bush administration is infamous.
Permanent Temporary Tax Cuts
Nice article, and useful.
Temporary tax cuts during a recession make sense for the purpose of “priming the pump” even if the result is a higher budget deficit. But if you don’t raise tax rates back during good times, when our ever-cyclical economy picks up steam again (and can absorb the effects of returning tax rates to higher levels) first, the federal deficit keeps going up which creates all kinds of other problems and second, you relinquish the useful tool of a temporary cut from your toolbox when the next downtown rolls around.
The Republican argument postulates that since temporary tax cuts DO work to improve a slow economy, then permanent tax cuts will have the same salutary effect on the improved economy permanently. That’s NOT true and when you put it this way, most reasonable people take the point.
You expect the Iranians to just forgive and forget what happened in 1953? The U.S. government brought in the Shah and many Iranians were killed by their secret police, etc.
I don't blame them for being pissed at the U.S. government (and we who let it happen). Now that Bush is stuck in a quagmire, do you expect Iran to pull him out? I wouldn't.
And by the by, the U.S. is the only government that has actually used a nuke on civilian populations. Now it's our time to reap the chickens coming home to roost.
And "God" ain't gonna come down to save us.
Re-Embracing Human Rights
I read the article about recognizing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and felt like crying. THIS is the banner that we can stand behind that is the most effective tool against terrorists. Terrorists can make an easy case against us because we are generally exploitive and insensitive to the world community. This could be the revolution of our time. It has been built—and we should come.
Thank you so much!
Insomnia For War Criminals
Great—we, all of us, have to keep up the pressure. No war criminal, including George W. Bush, should ever have a good night's sleep.
More About Circuit City
I stopped shopping at the local Circuit City in Maryland many years ago when articles started appearing in the papers concerning the hiring policy for the local Prince George's County store. Some of the black employees reported that the CC personnel officers decided not to hire any additional black saleperson, as someone had decided that the sales floor might look "too black," and discourage white customers. Some of the black persons who had been turned down for sales jobs at CC filed suit against the store and lost. I have always wondered if there was some truth to what they claimed, and the reason for their not being hired had been based on their race. I just couldn't bring myself to shop there again, no matter how good the discounts might have been.
Gates Walks A Fine Line
It is unfortunate that there are those who see only complete capitulation to their way of thinking as success. Mr. Gates impressed me as a man who would like a chance to try to do the job, but realizes if he openly opposes the man who has nominated him for the job, he will not have any chance of completing anything. One never bites the hand that feeds them if they are wise.
Carter's Middle East Stand
Thank you Rabbi Lerner for saying thank you to former President Jimmy Carter.
I hope you look into the response to Carter's three-and-a-half-hour interview on C-SPAN on MSNBC's Scarborough Country. It is the perfect example of what Carter has been saying about the MSM: they are lopsided, unfair and not accurate about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict! It is linked at the website "Think Progress ." MSNBC's Scarborough focused on the one phone caller during the three and a half hours who called President Carter the tried and true term to shut down the debate—"anti-Semite." In the piece that Scarborough aired, Scarborough even stated "that they would not be covering all of the negative calls." There was only one!
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Respecting Mr. Lerner's article... reparations for refugees? What exactly does this mean? It's OK to rip off your land and property so long as we pay you for it? He better be more specific than that. Over a million people were displaced in the initial expulsion—their descendents expect more than a check. Say, a right of return for themselves and a return of expropriated property. Maybe some back rent. Maybe something for pain and suffering.
He's off to a good start if he wants social, political and economic justice, but can't really expect a handout to settle claims to property ownership and usage.