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Strengthened by negotiation

May 22, 2008

Re "It's 2008, not 1938," Opinion, May 17

J. Peter Scoblic gives us half the story. Although he is right to accuse the conservatives of "head in the sand" stubbornness, his advocacy of negotiation leaves out several variables that aid talks with foes like North Korea and Iran. Neville Chamberlains' appeasement of Hitler was made from a position of weakness. Any negotiations today would be made from a position of American strength.

Negotiations are not always a one-way street. By negotiating with the United States, North Korea would get continued good relations with its neighbors. Furthermore, Chamberlain's appeasement gave Britain time to rearm. It also awakened the "arsenal of democracy."

Walt Brennan Jr.

Burbank

President Bush believes that holding a dialogue with your enemies (that's called diplomacy, by the way) is the same as giving in to their demands.

Bush is shamed by the famous words of John F. Kennedy: "So let us begin anew -- remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."

Bush is afraid to negotiate with anyone who disagrees with him on any level.

Jerry Weil

Seal Beach

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