Letters to the Editor, Jan. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows (website)

Cartoon by Jim Meadows (website)

Thoughtless foreign policy will lead to war

Re: “U.S. heading to another war?,” T&V, Jan. 23

To the editor:

I begin my letter with the reminder of something said a few years back by Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister said, “We want to be known as the ‘Jewish State.’” My use of the term is governed by Netanyahu’s risky remark.

In his letter, J. Sicoransa wrote about a bill currently being formulated in the United States Senate, by Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), with co-sponsorship of Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). It is unfortunate that our political leaders, in particular the senior senator from New York, should place The United States of America at the service of “the Jewish State.” Israel developed its nuclear/germ warfare capacity and thereby introduced that sort of awfulness directly into the Middle East. For our part, here in the States, Israel’s possession of a nuclear capacity is something U.S. presidents, including Mr. Obama, have chosen to ignore. The demand that America support “the Jewish State” without regard to what it actually initiates runs counter to Jewish intellectual tradition. Mr. Schumer’s commitment to Israel would draw America into supporting it as a Jewish State rather than as a nation on its own merits, plain and simple.

Mr. Schumer has shown himself a hawk in matters other than those bound by his faith. In an email to me, dated Oct. 24, 2013, responding to my moral doubts about our drone practices, Senator Schumer wrote coolly, “These unmanned aircraft are most commonly known for their operations overseas in tracking down and killing suspected members of Al Qaeda and related terrorists organizations.” Here, in print, a United States Senator puts himself and our foreign policy on record that we kill over there on (mere) suspicion.

Does he imagine that if we kill people “over there,” those actions will not distort life here? To my query about the use of drones over our skies and the meaning of that action given our Constitution, the senator gave the now patented reply about the need for “balance between security and liberty in America.” How awful that we send our troops to other countries where many of them die believing they are protecting our way of life. Yet here on the home front, that way of life, that Constitution and those endowed rights, is the very life Mr. Schumer and others would reason away. “Balance” has become a symptom of severely detached reasoning.

John M. Giannone
Stuyvesant Town

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