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Thursday, Aug 18, 2005
Editorials & Commentary  XML
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Posted on Thu, Aug. 18, 2005
M O R E   N E W S   F R O M
 • Israel
 • Middle East
 • World News

Letters | Letters

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

North Coventry

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.

Mathieu Shapiro


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.

Joseph Lewis

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 die.

Ilya Shlyakhter


For letters on regional issues, see B2.

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