January 2007

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News and Opinion

Letters to the Editor

What Is Behind Gates

Michael Klare's analysis of the appointment of Robert Gates to head the Department of Defense is way too optimistic and technocratic for my tastes. Gates held high positions in the CIA hierarchy during the Iran-Contra Affair and its subsequent cover-up. This is a guy who can make a 20 pound roast beef go down like a White Castle burger. The shredders have already been primed to cleanse the records of the Rumsfeld era. Even with the subpoena power Democrats have just won, Gates will be sure there are no clues about cooked intelligence, overruled recommendations from Shinseki or other members of the Joint Chiefs, or knowledge that the sources used by Feith, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were known to be unreliable (e.g. Curveball).

This is not a matter of putting a different platoon of players on the field, to play defense instead of offense. This is about the takeover of the Defense Department by people who already reek from the stench of cover-up. This is about bringing in clean-up artists who were once saved only by a blanket George H Bush pardon to Reagan Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, which allowed him to destroy evidence before it could be presented to the Iran-Contra grand jury (viewed by prosecutors, and mentioned in Judge Walsh's final report). Klare's analysis assumes that Gates and Bush will be playing a positive role in developing a withdrawal strategy. I do not think that Bush finds such a strategy acceptable or "realistic."

-- Ben Burrows, Elkins Park, PA 

Common Sense And Common Humantiy: The Minimum Wage and Politician's Salaries

Politicians are employees of their communities, states, nation, and should earn little more than the median income of their constituents. Minimum wage workers should earn little less than the median income. We are not an ethical nation if our labor laws maintain a class of poverty, if we do not maintain a decent life for all.

-- David Walden Levin, Norristown, PA 

Dry Bones Is No Laughing Matter

I'm not Lebanese, but I have friends who are. I can tell you from experience in growing up with their families and having several as friends, that they are as heartfelt and wonderful as you can get. Their families are unique and they are warm and friendly. They have amazing values and their children come first. They take care of their elders, until the day that they die. And they are emotional and valuable people from whom this world could learn a lot.

Violence and injustice happens, it's the true nature of the beast. We are all struck by a mysterious and all consuming way of thinking that allows us to believe we are ultimately the benefactor of all that is good, but the fact is only God makes that decision and he is the only one who ever will.

Why am I telling you this? As a writer and a publisher there are things that I'm sure cross your desk that seem funny and entertaining. The strange thing is that these jokes may not be as entertaining to those who are not part of your group of one, the Jewish community. I have plenty of Jewish friends, muslims, catholics, christians, and more... I have also studied many different cultures and religions and one thing holds firm, the judgement of others is too quickly defined by our religion. No one is without blame, we are all blind to one another, it's just a simple fact.

I thank you for taking the time to read this, as a woman and a writer at times myself, I find that information is relatively easy to bend and mold to our liking. I just pray with all of my heart and soul that we as a people take the time to feel what others must feel when they are being attacked or insulted. We are not above sin, not any human person. As a writer I just hope that you can tap into that, as well as tapping into the humor of some other mans fate. We did not choose to be born a particular color, religion or sex, but we do choose how we live our lives in this self destructive world.

-- Maria Salazar, Miami, FL

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice welcomes the submission of articles and letters to the editor letters @ pjvoice.com. Please include name, address and phone number for identification purposes. We cannot publish every submission we receive. We also reserve the right to edit submissions for length, clarity, grammar, accuracy, and style, though we will never intentionally distort the author's intent.

Editor-in-chief Charles Smolover editor @ pjvoice.com

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