Attacking the President
Re: "Truth be told, President can't afford to face soldier's mother," Currents, Aug. 14:
Trudy Rubin uses the tragic loss of Cindy Sheehan's son and her
unwitting grandstanding as an excuse to excoriate the President for
everything that's going/gone wrong with the war in Iraq. Why should he
meet with this poor woman whose torment and rally is being fueled and
funded by liberal activist groups and Bush haters?
Besides, the President does meet - privately - with the
families of many soldiers who have died in the Iraq conflict but we
don't hear about this from Rubin and others in the mainstream media.
Every war has its share of inexcusable fatal mistakes costing
thousands of lives, but if the cause is worthwhile, you persevere and
win, despite the inevitable errors. But here's the problem with Rubin
and other liberals: They flat out don't believe in the mission, never
did, and they'll be damned if they aren't going to do everything within
their power to frame developments in a negative light.
John de Carville
They need to talk
In her Aug. 14 column, Trudy Rubin ably explained why President Bush
can't afford to talk to Cindy Sheehan. Right now, Sheehan is the mother
of one of more than 1,800 American soldiers who have died in Iraq. If
she does not persevere in her efforts, following Bush from Crawford,
Texas, to Washington to wherever, and if we, the American people, do
not support her in demanding answers, all too soon she may become the
mother of one of 60,000 American soldiers killed, as in Vietnam. Our
nation cannot afford to let the conversation between Sheehan and the
President not take place.
Judith A. Williams
Steps for peace
The Aug. 16 editorial on Israel's withdrawal from Gaza ("A hopeful
first step") correctly says (1) that it represents for Israel a
monumental, internal confrontation; and (2) that it remains hard to
imagine a peaceful resolution on other issues, including Jerusalem and
the Arab demand for a "right of return."
The editorial fails, however, to address the reason Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon was forced to act alone: the Palestinians'
failure to undergo any similar internal confrontations. Until the
Palestinians end their unceasing incitement of hatred for Israel and
Jews, dismantle terrorist organizations (not "contain" them, as the
editorial states), accept Israel's right to live within secure borders
and create a free and democratic society, no action by Israel, Sharon,
or America or any other foreign donor will lead to comprehensive peace.
The definition of 'life'
Re: "When it truly is life or death," commentary, Aug. 10:
Why is Dominic Sisti so concerned about what he deems "fundamentally
flawed" news coverage that dared suggest that Susan Torres "gave birth"
to her child even though she was brain-dead? The fact that the
remainder of her body was allowed to remain functioning through "life"
support until after the birth (thus leading some news reports to
suggest she had died), leads me to answer "yes" to Sisti's question as
to whether this is "simply a matter of splitting hairs without much
practical import... ."
We ought to be discussing how tremendous advances in science have allowed a life to be born.
A case such as this is not what leads people to be confused over
end-of-life issues, as Sisti suggests. What leads to confusion are
incidents such as the Terri Schiavo case, in which a husband is allowed
to deny food and water to his wife and causes her to die, even though
she was very much alive.
The writer teaches theology and contemporary medical ethics at Immaculata University.
Paying your share
Re: "The estate tax is unjust and hurts the economy," letter, Aug. 5:
The letter calls the estate tax "fundamentally unfair." What's
fundamentally unfair is to saddle future generations with debt. Budget
deficits are thus very relevant to the question of the estate tax. You
must treat your country's debt as your own; how else can you call
yourself a citizen? If you don't pay off your share of the national
debt during your life, it's only fair that you should pay it when you
For letters on regional issues, see B2.