Get Opinion in your inbox -- sign up for our weekly newsletter
Readers React
Opinion Readers React
Readers React

No-win situation with Iraq and the Islamic State

To the editor: I'll cede the point to Jonah Goldberg that there is a clash of civilizations going on between fundamentalist Muslims and the West, and that the West's enemies are more than just some criminals. So? Now what? ("Prepare for a long war against the Islamic State," Op-Ed, Aug. 11)

Framing the debate is a useless exercise; it is the last straw to grasp at for those like Goldberg who have been so wrong about the Middle East.

The real question is what, if anything, will bring progress? Iraq was too much involvement. Syria, according to hawks, was not enough. One would think Libya was just right — we knocked out a brutal dictator without boots on the ground — and now that's a mess as well.

Some things are beyond our ability to control. What President Obama understands that Goldberg doesn't is that we can't solve this thing through warfare, and the only thing to do is try to protect ourselves at home and our citizens overseas.

The world is, unfortunately, a brutal place.

Branden Frankel, Encino


To the editor: In 1623, the poet John Donne wrote, "Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." Those prophetic words were preceded by these: "No man is an island."

The bell is tolling for all of us, and we ignore it at our peril. Those who call for U.S. disengagement from the current Islamic terrorist onslaught in Iraq aren't listening to the bell.

If we don't confront the Islamic State now, we will be forced to confront it eventually — and perhaps much closer to home.

Louis H. Nevell, Los Angeles


To the editor: Is the Islamic State like Al Qaeda just before 9/11, a truly imminent threat? Or is it more like Saddam Hussein before 2003, a brutal dictator who let us believe, falsely, that he had weapons of mass destruction?

Will our homeland itself be subject to attack by a "retaliating" Islamic State, or will it not? That is the question.

Harvey Pearson, Los Feliz

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Iran nuclear deal: After 10 years, are all bets off?

    To the editor: The position that The Times takes with regard to the Iran nuclear deal is informative and balanced, and it frames the issues succinctly. For that I am thankful. However, it is not persuasive in its endorsement of the deal. ("Weighing the Iran nuclear deal: far from perfect, but the...

  • Mandatory kindergarten: Not all kids are ready at age 5

    To the editor: I couldn't agree more with your editorial opposed to a state bill requiring kindergarten. Not everyone is ready for kindergarten at age 5, nor should they be forced into it at that age before they are developmentally ready. ("Compulsory kindergarten: Still a bad idea," editorial,...

  • Napa Valley Wine Train: Who's being intolerant?

    To the editor: What a twisted rationalization from Sandy Banks regarding the Sistahs on the Reading Edge Book Club's trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train. ("When your seatmates are loud and louder," column, Sept. 1)

  • Canada shows the U.S. how to run a good election

    Canada shows the U.S. how to run a good election

    To the editor: For those of us who have studied parliamentary democracies, it's no surprise that our northern neighbor has a stable, well-run and efficient democratic system. Limited election seasons, limited money expended on campaigning and national broadcasters obligated to offer free on-air...

  • The Obama administration's post-Ferguson rhetoric and attacks on police

    To the editor: Obviously The Times is right that the police are now facing a new foe, the public. But what is missing in this article is the root of this animosity. To me it's a no-brainer. ("Police worry about their own safety after killings: 'It's a different world,'" Aug. 31)

  • An inspiring account of the busboy who helped Robert Kennedy

    To the editor: What a deeply moving and phenomenal column from Steve Lopez about the life of the busboy who tended to the mortally wounded Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. ("The busboy who cradled a dying RFK has finally stepped out of the past," Aug. 29)