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 © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Don't let North Korea have the final say on 'The Interview'
    Don't let North Korea have the final say on 'The Interview'

    You might have heard there's a film out there so offensive to North Korea's dictator that hackers connected to his regime spooked a major Hollywood studio into scrubbing the movie's Christmas Day release.

  • The Times' important series on produce from Mexico

    To the editor: When growers do not adhere to labor rules, it suppresses production costs. Those costs are carried throughout the entire produce process (from farm to table). Not only does this result in very poor labor practices, as we have seen in your series, it causes our food prices to be...

  • No sympathy for exiled Roman Polanski

    To the editor: Your article asks about Roman Polanski, "Was he a sex offender skipping town to avoid facing justice? Or was he a victim of a corrupt judicial system that wanted to make an example of an acclaimed film director?" ("Roman Polanski's lawyers open new front against L.A. County...

  • 'The Interview' pulled: Sony let the bad guys win
    'The Interview' pulled: Sony let the bad guys win

    To the editor: While I understand concern for public safety, to allow anyone or any country to dictate through threat is a huge mistake. Giving in to bullies hurts all of us, and as we all know, it opens the door to more of the same. ("Sony scraps 'The Interview' release; North Korea blamed for...

  • John Yoo's tortured logic on torture

    To the editor: I am appalled that The Times provided a forum to John Yoo, who drafted the Bush administration memos that enabled torture. He is unrepentant in his defense of the torture memo that allowed the pain, degradation and humiliation of human beings, many of whom were ultimately found...

  • In defense of Amazon's customer service

    To the editor: I was surprised to read David Lazarus' column on the difficulty of reaching a live customer-service worker at a company like Amazon after having just exclaimed to my husband how amazed I was at an interaction I had with it. ("Firms' don't-call-us policies speak volumes," Dec. 15)

Comments
Loading