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Letters week of Feb. 14, 2008

February 14, 2008
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When It Comes to Iraq,  Is Anyone Better Off?

Concerning whether the neocons were wrong (A Matter of Opinion: "Were They Really So Wrong?" Jan. 31) in determining if America should fight Islamic terror, the answer is: Of course, they were!

Do we want to force democracy on Arabs? That's as stupid as Hamas winning an election.

Staying in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was gone? Stupid! Al Qaeda was not in Iraq; it's still in Afghanistan.

Are Iraqis better off since Bush's war? Are Americans better off? Are there any fewer Islamic terrorists in the world?

Neocons ignore history, sociology, language and religion, as well as declarations of terror given in Arabic, not English.
Albert Reingewirtz
Narberth

Alternative to Neocons? Try Telling the Truth!

Here's the alternative those of us who oppose the neoconservatives offer: the truth (A Matter of Opinion: "Were They Really So Wrong?" Jan. 31).

Everything the neocons have said has been based on fiction. We need to deal with reality when making policy and going to war. No more lies!
Peter Stein
Philadelphia

A Life-and-Death Struggle Between Two Civilizations

Jonathan Tobin raises an interesting issue. How can our democratic culture withstand the Islamic beliefs that seek to establish the Grand Caliphate, and thereby rule the world (A Matter of Opinion: "Were They Really So Wrong?" Jan. 31).

Unless the nonradical Islamists speak out against the terrorists, negotiations are fruitless. The world is facing a religious culture that glorify jihadists, who are willing to kill themselves as long as they also kill some of their enemy.

How can democratic nations, who value freedom of religion and equality of humankind, demonstrate that they are willing to fight to maintain their values and beliefs?

Our educators and philosophers need to focus on this task. President Bush believed that exposure to democratic ideas would be enough to make Arabs want to create a democratic nation. How wrong he was!

When Palestinians were given the opportunity to elect their leaders, the terror group Hamas won the election.

We need to expand our thinking, forget labels and seek answers to a global problem.

This is a struggle between a culture that seeks to make life on earth meaningful and satisfying, and a religious culture that glorifies death and promises a reward in heaven.
Julius Romanoff
Newtown

The Left Doesn't 'Get' the Enemy, but Neocons Do
Well done to Jonathan Tobin for his evaluation of the current situation (A Matter of Opinion: "Were They Really So Wrong?" Jan. 31).

The neocons aren't dead and gone. And that's because they're still right.

They may have lost the public-relations battle for a while, but the war's not over, the wishful thinking of the left (and of the old "realist" right) to the contrary notwithstanding.

If the left gets to govern the country, it will make a hash of it for sure because they just don't "get" our enemies.
Ken Green
Philadelphia

Bet on Obama, and You're Taking a Huge Gamble

Samuel Freedman's laudatory column on Barack Obama troubles me (Opinions: "Fulfilled Prophecy Puts an End to the Phantasms of Race," Jan. 31).

Obviously, it would be good for the United States if we could overcome the racial divide. However, as a person with strong feelings for the State of Israel, I believe Obama would be a disaster.

He chose to join the Trinity United Church of Christ and its pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who had a long history of anti-Semitic bigotry.

Wright said that "Zionism is racism" and denounced Israel as a "racist state." Wright was a friend of Louis Farrakhan. Last year, his church gave a special award to Farrakhan. Wright said that Farrakhan "truly epitomized greatness."

Recently, to deflect the ugliness of Wright's views, Obama publicly chastised the pastor for some of these sayings, but then added, "That doesn't detract from my affection for Rev. Wright or my appreciation of the good work he has done."

Continuing to attend this hate-filled church and calling Wright his "mentor" are abominations.

Obama himself has offered glimpses of what his presidency would entail.

His main foreign-policy adviser is Zbignew Brezinski, who worked for Jimmy Carter. Brezinski has continuously shown animosity toward Israel. Obama was also a vocal critic of John Bolton, the best friend Israel had in the Bush administration.

I, too, yearn for the day when a black man or woman can transcend race and aspire to the presidency. However, any person who cares about the survival of Israel would be taking a huge gamble in voting for Obama.
Jerry Cantor
Philadelphia

How About Some Modest Fashions for Brides?

I just finished perusing the most recent edition of your Weddings supplement (Jan. 24), and I have to say that while the Jewish Exponent is apparently on the cutting-edge of the bridal fashion world, I did not see one gown that would be appropriate for a traditional Jewish bride for whom tzniut ("modesty") would be a factor.

Not only Orthodox brides are conscious of appearing in public modestly dressed, but indeed, there are many fashionable and sophisticated women who as brides would not want to "bare all" in front of their wedding guests.

Just as kosher food and Jewish observance are seeing a rise in popularity as people want a return to their roots, so, too, do the laws regarding dress take on more significance to more and more Jewish women.

I'm sure the editors would not have a hard time finding designers whose gowns are not only up to date, but in keeping with this traditional value.

The Exponent has been doing a fantastic job in covering issues and stories that are of interest to the observant community. Let's have the supplements follow suit!
Marsha Greenberg
Stamford, Conn.

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