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Web Letter

The USA has become such a joke, liar, imperialist, dictator, fascist state of thousands of human rights violations worldwide. It is an embarrassment to say that one lives in the USA. It is worse to be complicit in all the war crimes committed by Bush and Obama et al. Why would Syria ever consider listening to any one person from the US government, or Obama?

Assad's regime seems emboldened by the diplomatic thaw, seeing it as an opportunity to crack down further, instead of improving its record. President Barack Obama and his aides must make it clear that this is unacceptable, and that the jailing of activists like Maleh will lead to Syria's continued isolation. So far, the White House has issued a tepid statement expressing its "deep concern" over Maleh's detention and urging the Syrian regime to "end its practice of arbitrary arrests."

Paul Welch

Miami, FL

Mar 6 2010 - 1:18pm

Web Letter

Before the Iraq War, neoconservatives made some of the same arguments found in this article against Saddam. One cannot deny that Saddam was a dictator, but the Arab street generally opposed the invasion of Iraq as a violation of its sovereignty. While their opinion was a major consideration in my opposition to the Iraq War, I opposed it because it was unnecessary. Iraq was effectively contained and posed no threat to anyone after the Gulf War.

However, there are ancient, frozen conflicts between the Arab Middle East and Iran! Saddam was regarded in some quarters as a defender of Arab interests against Iran.

Certainly, the disorder in Iraq that followed the invasion has discouraged seeking Western support for regime change.

Woodrow Wilson said "self-determination" was the right of individuals and nations. The operative word was "self, " which implies internal changes within a country. He did not mean regime change by other counties.

While I agree with Wilson's position, I would also add that nobody knows a country better than its own people, and permanent changes are more likely to result from their own work.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Mar 1 2010 - 4:03pm