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April 11, 2003

Calling War a ‘Failure’ Is Premature Speculation

Yes, war is hell (“Why They Call It Hell,” March 28). What is new about that? And what military expert could possibly come to the ridiculous conclusions, a week into the war, that “our troops were not prepared for this” and “the trouble is that this war has no front.” Such statements would be humorous were they not so off the mark. The editorialist’s eagerness to assign tragic consequences to our government’s policy regarding the war in Iraq is apparent.

I am proud of President Bush for his clarity of purpose and steadfast leadership. He is choosing a very difficult but necessary path. He is as courageous as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who does manage to gain the Forward’s praise. They are both courageous heroes who are standing up to the evil Iraqi regime. They are doing this in the face of the shortsighted opposition and distorted thinking represented in the editorial. It is unfortunate that the editorialist’s distaste for our president obfuscates the need to think clearly about the very serious threats and issues that are now facing our country.

Maureen Buchholz

Highland Park, Ill.

The editorialist’s presumptions of failure in the war in Iraq, well considered as they might be, are premature, while the ease with which the Forward glosses over the duplicitous behavior of our erstwhile European “allies” is equally troubling. Seeking out the help of the Europeans at this moment in time, whose efforts of delay have placed our forces in greater peril than they should have been, is unwise. They took a stand against the war, as is their right. But actions have consequences and they must learn this unpleasant lesson first.

Murray Orbuch

New York, N.Y.

A Road Map for Peace

Many traditional Jewish organizations, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are endangering our government’s relationship with Israel by taking a negative position toward President Bush’s “road map” (“Activists Plan Lobbying Blitz to Stall ‘Road Map,’” March 28).

We now confront a critical juncture as to how to begin to end the ongoing violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The road map offers us one of the most important opportunities for opening the dialogue between both sides.

It is crucial that we keep the American government as a friend — of both the Jews in this country and of Israel. To challenge this administration by opposing the president’s peace plan, particularly as the war rages on in Iraq and before the process is even begun, is to create a serious wedge. Bush has placed the road map as a strategic element in his Middle East foreign policy — obviously a more positive response to those opposing the war in Iraq.

The road map calls for many compromises, not all of them to the liking of either the Israelis or Palestinians — but that is precisely what must indeed transpire if this violence is to be ended and peace finally given a chance.

Jewel Bellush

Valhalla, N.Y.

Iran Group no Enemy

An April 4 article contains speculations about the opposition People’s Mojahedin of Iran based on the statements of the Iranian mullahs’ anti-human regime, which has taken advantage of the current war to try to export Islamic revolution to Iraq (“Quiet Cooperation as U.S., Iran Battle Common Enemy’’).

It is difficult to understand why the Forward chose to repeat slanderous allegations against our organization — such as that Iraq is using the Mojahedin “as a paramilitary force’’ and that the Mojahedin could be the next group to participate in the conflict — at a time when the Iranian regime had stationed more than 46 Revolutionary Guard brigades and a large number of surface-to-surface missiles and artillery units along the border with Iraq.

The presence along the Iran-Iraq border of Mojahedin forces, the largest opposition organization against the Iranian mullahs’ religious dictatorship, is only for the purpose of overthrowing the clerical regime and establishing democracy in Iran. The People’s Mojahedin of Iran has been engaged in a war against the clerical regime only. It has never been involved in Iraq’s internal affairs.

Hossein Abedini

Press Officer

People’s Mojahedin of Iran

Paris, France

Preemptive War Politics

Opinion writer and history professor Ron Rubin should go back to school for more coursework in international relations (“The New Powell Doctrine,” March 28).

Rubin’s justifying the preemptive aggressive politics embodied by President Bush’s war on Iraq — while scapegoating Secretary of State Colin Powell, the only rational mind in the administration — is a classic piece of academic double-think worthy of George Orwell’s “1984.”

Leon Bank

Tucson, Ariz.

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