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Tiring of blame game

January 21, 2007

Re "How the left lowers our guard," Opinion, Jan. 18

In reducing the complex history of American involvement in the Middle East to a partisan polemic, Dinesh D'Souza ignored certain watershed moments. Among them: the United States' early and frequent support for Israel; its decision to withdraw from Beirut after the bombing of the Marine barracks; its orchestration of the coup that installed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in Iran; and certainly its decision to maintain a permanent military presence in Saudi Arabia (which Osama bin Laden has frequently referred to as the tipping point in his decision to attack the United States).

Liberal and conservative presidents alike have made these decisions, but if we wish to avoid repeating the mistakes of our past, we cannot do as D'Souza suggests; we cannot continue to allow politics to trump policymaking.

JOSHUA D. ROSENFELD

Redondo Beach

*

I find it disheartening that a major newspaper provides a forum for pundits such as D'Souza, who only provide gross and polarizing generalizations to the public.

D'Souza seemingly yearns for a united and confident United States in its efforts against terrorism; and yet this piece is strictly in the vein of the cultural blame game that only encourages divisiveness. Furthermore, Americans don't need a steady diet of unexplained and abstract categories of the "left" and the "right." Please, an end to polemics; let's resume clear but precise arguments, whatever the author's political persuasion may be.

ALVARO PACHECO JR.

Los Angeles

*

I am sick of seeing the right continue to blame former President Clinton six years into a disastrous Bush presidency. It is especially misguided to accuse the Clinton administration of not going after Bin Laden vigorously enough, when it was a fanatical Republican Congress that effectively tied Clinton's hands.

Republicans paralyzed government for years; they claimed that Clinton was "wagging the dog" -- military action against our real enemies was criticized as merely a distraction from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The GOP also contaminated the use of impeachment as a tool for punishing real misconduct -- such as lies to the public that resulted in a meaningless war and the deaths of thousands. It's time to start placing the blame where it really belongs.

JULIA MILLER

Irvine

*

Since 9/11, I have been wondering this: What is the statute of limitations for Republicans blaming the left for the problems of the world? I think I finally have my answer -- eight years and one day. That way every problem we have until inauguration day 2009 will be the fault of the last Democratic president, then each new problem will be the fault of the current Democrat. Conservative Republicans can rest easy knowing that they are totally without responsibility. What a blissful way to live.

RICHARD SHAFARMAN

Saugus

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