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Boot's perspective on warfare in Middle East

July 24, 2006

Re "It's time to let the Israelis take off the gloves," Opinion, July 19

How dare Max Boot speak with such heartlessness about the killing of human beings? He writes: "Israel needs to hit the Assad regime. Hard." How does one "hit" a regime? Oh, he must mean drop bombs on Damascus. But we all know Syrian President Bashar Assad and his high-level cronies won't suffer, and neither, of course, will Boot, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or President Bush.

Women and children will die. Soldiers who joined up out of economic desperation will die. Pets and livestock will die. Apartments and businesses will be destroyed.

War may sometimes be necessary, but with it, emotional gravitas, discernment and compassion are necessary as well. One cannot help but suspect that the cold ease with which Boot and other hawks cheer war reflects not a coping skill, learned after years of grief and ambivalence about violence, but a lack of caring and awareness learned after years of privilege and ignorance.

JOHN TECUMSEH

Redondo Beach

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Boot said that Israel's response was "all too proportional" and that the casualties were collateral damage. More than 300 Lebanese, mostly civilians, have perished in Israel's assault, and it bombed civilian infrastructures -- all because two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped. How can that be proportional?

RON CASTELO

Hacienda Heights

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Boot writes: "The real problem is that Israel's response has been all too proportional." Isn't the real problem the continuing ability of terrorists and their state sponsors to use the Koran as justification for their murderous thuggery?

The real problem is a gross misinterpretation of the metaphors in all religious writings. The real problem will stay with us until an Islamic reformation occurs, which will bring the religion into the 21st century.

GENE TOUCHET

Palm Springs

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By suggesting that now would be a good time for Israel to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, Boot appears to be rooting for World War III.

There are incredible problems in the Middle East that require the utmost care and caution. The solutions to the many real problems in the area aren't going to be easily achieved. The last thing anyone needs to do is stupidly fan the fire and invite disaster.

Instead of giving Boot a platform for such cavalier nonsense, I would think a muzzle would be a better instrument.

STEVE CHANDLER

Santa Barbara

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