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Double standard on Iran

Trudy Rubin’s Feb. 8 column on Israel vs. Iran revealed a pathetic double standard used by the media and Democratic Left living in cozy U.S. confines 6,000 miles away from crazed terrorists hell-bent on destroying anything Western or democratic.

While our government, the United Nations and Europeans fiddle with sanctions, the mullahs in Tehran threaten wiping Israel off the map while developing their nuclear warheads. But we know better what Israel should or shouldn’t do to survive while surrounded by terrorist states in this miserable neighborhood?

How come we didn’t use sanctions against Cuba and the Soviet Union during the 1960s missile crisis? How come we didn’t use sanctions against the Taliban and al-Qaida after 9/11? How come the Brits didn’t use sanctions against Argentina instead of invading the Falklands to save some sheep?

Certainly, our “diplomatic buddies” in China and Russia don’t use sanctions against Tibet or Chechnya.

Israel’s remarkable cultural and military connections to America, in the face of Soviet expansionism in the last century, and current rise of Islamic militancy, should cause Western leaders and media to support her policies, not dictate them from afar. Show us the sanctions when Iranian rockets can reach New York City!

Joseph Harari


Paul’s war stance is solid

It seems that the candidates for the Republican nomination for president are all in favor of going to war, except for Ron Paul. They either want us to attack Iran in a coalition with Israel, or go into Syria, alone or with somebody. While I am not a supporter of Paul, I feel he is the only candidate making sense of this issue. And to say that a president who advocates diplomacy and sanctions over death and destruction is weak begs the question of what is strength.

Advocating another pre-emptive strike in the Middle East will not be good for this country in any way. It will further alienate the people of the region who already see us as imperialists who only want their resources at the best possible price. And they feel that we are spiritual hypocrites trying to force Judeo-Christian morals on them that we don’t practice ourselves.

It also will bankrupt this country. We sit around and lament the huge deficit we have, and then want to increase it with another military incursion.

If we continue on this course, we will have to go back to calling the Defense Department the war department.

Joe Stickney


Civility still important

I believe that civility in politics is important to a healthy democracy. Civility should not be viewed as cowardice or a lack of conviction but as a respectful pact to agree to disagree.

I grew up in a family where politics was often and passionately discussed. My father would sit at our kitchen table with neighbors and friends and discuss the virtues and shortcomings of both political parties. There were many heated exchanges. But the tone of these discussions was always respectful and ended in a handshake or a slap on the back. Unfortunately, those days are gone.

Now our discourse is something far less thoughtful and open-minded. It has become dangerous and unproductive. Add in no commitment to telling the truth, and many damaging rumors become our focus.

Our democracy is centered on a two-party system that, thus far, has served us well. In recent polls, most Americans agree that coarseness and a lack of respect between Democrats and Republicans is unacceptable.

No need to check your passion at the door, but please permit those with opposing ideas to speak freely as well.

Rose Kelly Rhoades



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.