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Bush Sends Powell to the Middle East

April 05, 2002

Re President Bush's Thursday speech on the Middle East conflict:

Finally, President Bush responded to national and international calls for U.S. pressure on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that has claimed so many innocent lives. Sending Secretary of State Colin Powell must be more than a symbolic gesture, and U.S. insistence on Israeli withdrawal of troops from Palestinian cities under siege must yield evidence that steps toward peace are possible.

Lenore Navarro Dowling

Los Angeles

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I must be missing something. Suicide bombers attack the United States, and we bomb the whole country of Afghanistan. Suicide bombers attack Israel, and when Israeli ground troops go into Palestine, we tell them to get out. What right have we to do that? Especially since, given the difference in the size of our populations, Israel has had a greater percentage of its people killed than we have.

Lorraine Knopf

Santa Monica

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It is sad that, at a time when the world is facing a true calamity, Robert Satloff ("Don't Blame Bush: The Peace Process Was Already in Ashes," Commentary, April 3) would make it a priority to worry about President Bush's image instead of offering real solutions.

The truth is, it is not relevant whose fault it is. How do we solve the problem? Bush wanted to be the leader of the free world, and he can't escape the responsibility that goes with that office.

Sanford Thier

Venice

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Unless Bush stops all financial aid and delivery of U.S. military goods to Israel, he is in effect holding out all Americans to the world as accessories to Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and making us hostages to international terror. The security interests of the American people require that the U.S. be a totally neutral power broker in the Middle East. The decades-long alignment with Israel has outlived any utility it might have had during the Cold War and should be brought to a swift end, starting now.

Thomas Milo Somers

Loma Linda

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In the Middle East, the enemies of peace are on both sides. In each case, they are those who strive for a one-state solution. Tragically, neither side can achieve this without committing atrocities. Neither side can afford to bequeath such a poisonous legacy to its future generations. Let's implement the Saudi peace proposal. It is almost too late--the breakdown of the values of coexistence there imperils coexistence in our multinational, multicultural and multireligious world everywhere. The world needs to be a democracy of all its communities. Such a democracy is not easy but still much better than any unilateralist alternative.

Martin Kotowski

Sherman Oaks

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I want to tell the American people that not all Palestinians support Yasser Arafat. There are many Palestinians like me who want to live in peace with the Jews. A long time ago I didn't accept Israel, but just as Mexico has long ago accepted that California will never be returned, it is in the best interests of the Palestinian people to do the same with Israel. Allah does not see suicide bombers as martyrs. He sees them as murderers. There are many who fear for their lives if they say they want to live in peace with the Jews. Please remember that not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Palestinians support Arafat.

Farouk Mohamad

Irvine

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We are justified in judging the suicide bombings by Palestinian extremists as despicable acts. However, the civilized world believes in fairness and, therefore, it must offer a substitute method to enable an occupied people to answer the excesses that inevitably accompany a long-term military occupation. I suggest that we send the Palestinians some of our civilized weapons along with military advisors to teach them to bomb in a civilized way.

Muhsin Abo-Shaeer

Goleta

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