January 12: Western hearts

It's not the hearts and minds of Arabs or Muslims we have to win over, it's Western liberals'.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Western hearts Sir, - For a moment, this week, it seemed the US had finally started doing things right, bombarding, to great effect, from the air and sea, large numbers of al-Qaida men trying to flee into Kenya. It looked like the Bush administration was following its opponents' advice and getting real, i.e., hitting the terrorists where they could find them instead of invading countries to export democracy ("US warplanes from newly dispatched carrier flying missions over Somalia," January 10). European, UN and mainstream media reaction? Europe, led by Italy's foreign minister and lamely followed by the new UN secretary, deplored the US action, declaring the al-Qaida operatives in Somalia civilians. The New York Times, unable to spin the killing of al-Qaida men as an imperialist abuse, tried to limit the damage by headlining its story "Airstrike Rekindles Somalis' Anger at the US." The Left is at a loss when Bush actually strikes terrorists. After all, everyone knows the US only bombs old men, women and children, orphanages, milk factories, innocent wedding parties and funerals. Ask any newsmen in Somalia and they will all testify that - just like in Fallujah, South Lebanon or Afghanistan's Helmand province - there were no armed "freedom fighters" anywhere nearby, only sobbing widows and starving toddlers. It's not the hearts and minds of Arabs or Muslims we have to win over, it's Western liberals'. TUVIA FOGEL Milan Where & when Sir, - Shmuel Katz in "Educating Mr. Sarid" (January 11) castigates Yossi Sarid thoroughly and, for me, enjoyably. In recalling Abba Eban's famous statement that Israel's pre-1967 borders have "a memory of Auschwitz," Katz dates it to "soon after the Six Day War of June 1967." More specifically, for those who may doubt the authenticity of the phrase, it can be found in the November 5, 1969 issue of the German-language Der Spiegel. YISRAEL MEDAD Shiloh Action time Sir, - I identified with every word of Shirley Zauer's "The existential threat from within" (January 7) on what is happening in our beloved country. She did not miss a beat; every point was relevant, and it is time to take action. I'm looking forward to more information about a serious change in the electoral system. I am a relatively new subscriber to your newspaper, but I am enjoying the experience. Keep up the good work. FIONA SEMBERG Caesarea Over and over... Sir, - Reader Theodore Cohen ("Yes and no," Letters, January 10) should know that repeating movies on TCM ad nauseam is the policy of Ted Turner's company itself and not necessarily HOT or YES policy here. To quote Mark Evanier of the US, from his blog "News From Me": "We love Turner Classic Movies. Sure, they run a lot of the same films over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Any time I get the urge to watch Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, I can either go downstairs and get my DVD of it or just turn on TCM, where there's around a 1-in-3 chance of it being on." MEL NARUNSKY Ashkelon