Posted: December 26, 2006

Cut off war funds

I'm with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a troop "surge." It's not at all clear what it will accomplish to increase the size of the U.S. military in Iraq by 20,000, 40,000 or even 50,000 persons.

There's no clear mission for the extra people to perform. The time needed to get them all trained, equipped and into uniform could stretch well into 2008, and with the Iraq war being as unpopular as it is, it's not at all clear where new recruits will come from.

With the well-intentioned advice of the Iraq Study Group being now completely dried out, shriveled up and irrelevant, Democrats need to force the issue by cutting off funding for the war.

Richmond L Gardner


Finger in the dike

As it was with Vietnam, we must redeploy. The horror this may create for Iraqis will hopefully be brief. American taxpayers will rebuild Iraq and our political "leadership" will be held to account. Sending more troops is another finger in another hole in the impossible dike that "Iraq" has become. Let the dam burst now; the water level behind it grows daily.

Vietnam presented an ideological foe - communism - which a gun could not destroy. Soviet communism was defeated by America's strengths: democracy, capitalism, and military bulwark.

America will defeat Islamic extremism by aggressive defense, attacking real threats, and encouraging Muslims with the shining example that America has the potential to be, and as exemplified by the 2006 congressional elections.

Thomas Flynn


Voting reform

Several priorities are being discussed by our new Democratic majority in Congress, including the minimum wage, health care, education, paying our debt, and, of course, the impossible situation in Iraq. An overwhelming number of problems have been created, and the most immediate concern now is which ones to fix first.

May I suggest the one issue that should transcend all others: voting reform. Whether it be electronic machines that can't be audited, the placement of voting machines to provide easier access to supporters of the party in power, or extremely prejudicial gerrymandering, we have serious election problems that must be fixed.

It is the height of hypocrisy to hold our voting process up as an example to the world when we cannot guarantee our own elections are free and honest.

Ron Stitt

Cherry Hill

Middle East coverage

As a retired U.S. foreign service officer who spent nearly three years in Israel and several more years producing analyses on the Arab-Israeli conflict, I am well aware of the complexities of the issues and even more aware of the violent prejudices and emotions on all sides.

Inquirer correspondent Ned Warwick's articles provide us with valuable insights into these issues by focusing on the man in the street and the everyday problems that people face. He has also provided useful coverage of the larger, political picture. In no case have I detected any bias, a remarkable feat in itself.

We cannot solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem or the larger Arab-Israeli-Palestinian problem. It is extremely difficult even to offer solutions, but we can make an effort as citizens to understand them. In this effort, The Inquirer's articles from Jerusalem are extremely helpful and deserve to be read carefully.

Gardiner P. Pearson


Shame on a rabbi

As a Jew, I was horrified by the article showing Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joyously shaking hands with Rabbi David Weiss ("Iran president predicts Israel to be 'wiped out'," Dec. 13).

For that rabbi to consider himself a man of God and a rabbi is ludicrous and shameful. How dare he acknowledge that he is anti-Israel and a member of a group called Jews United Against Zionism.

I wonder how many Jews are part of that group. Certainly, not the millions who lost family members in the Holocaust.

I'm happy to see that Weiss did not deny the killing of Jews in World War II, but to blatantly say that the figures given are higher than they actually were is ignorant on his part and anti-Jewish.

Have not the Jews suffered enough? Do we have to have a rabbi's words add salt to the wounds from which we already suffer?

I guess no family, etc., that Weiss knew died in the Holocaust.

Shame on him and his comments.

Gloria Gelman


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