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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Echoes of internment in questioning the loyalty of Iranian Americans

Iranian Americans
Iranian American siblings Darian Vaziri and Kiara Vaziri were held at the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash., for hours.
(Karen Ducey)

To the editor: Will we ever learn? This was my reaction to the articles on Iranian Americans being detained for questioning at the U.S.-Canada border after the targeted killing by the U.S. of Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani.

The reason for detaining these American citizens was apparently their families’ country of origin, despite claims to the contrary by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. These incidents of course recall the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Additionally, the suspicion with which these Iranian Americans were treated reflects President Trump’s questioning during his campaign of a judge’s fairness because he had Mexican heritage.

Is there a pattern here? It does seem that, historically, the presumption of loyalty to this country is less willingly offered to Americans whose origins are other than European. However, the records of military valor and sacrifice in our wars of Americans of non-European ancestry, such as Latinos and Asians, are proof enough, if any was needed, to quash any questions of loyalty.

Agustin Medina, South Pasadena

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To the editor: Your articles about Iranian Americans and their feelings about the strike that killed Suleimani are enlightening. They demonstrate these people’s love and concern for both America and Iran, and they show we had the correct policy when we were party to the nuclear agreement while also encouraging change from within Iran.

Does anyone realize that Trump has switched policies for our two tough international issues, Iran and North Korea, in a spectacularly incompetent manner? We seem to hold a 40-year grudge against Iran for taking hostages (all of whom returned home alive) but quickly forgive North Korea for, essentially, killing young Otto Warmbier.

Our policies should return to isolating North Korea (and re-engaging in the six-party talks) and working with Iran to help that country come along. Casting our own votes, now and in November, will be a great way to start.

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Scott Hamre, Cherry Valley, Calif.


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