Volume 20, Number 37 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 25 - September 1- 7, 2010
Letters to the Editor
To the Editor
The extreme opposition to the building of the Mosque near Ground Zero reflects the many instances in history of demonization and then wars over religion, politics and race at least since the Crusades over a thousand years ago.
For instance, Reconquistas of Spain and Portugal used Knights and mercenaries from elsewhere in Europe to fight against the dark skinned Islamic Moors. In 1063 Pope Alexander the Second provided papal blessing to Iberian Christians in their wars against the Muslims.
Religious propaganda advocated to take the Holy Land from the Muslims and be rewarded ascension into the Heaven of Jesus. An interesting note is that when the Moors conquered Spain that Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in peace for several hundred years. The political motivation along with the religious was to conquer and dominate another country and its resources. And remember the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, when women were burned at the stake for heresy and communicating with the “wrong God.”
Although I am an Atheist, I do support the idea of freedom of religion. So should the Mosque protestors.
Troops are hamstrung
To the Editor
General Stanley McChrystal was replaced by General David Petraeus because of insubordination expressed by General McChrystal’s staff to a Rolling Stone reporter.
Although extremely poor judgment was exhibited by McChrystal and his staff in giving the interviews, it appears there is sufficient disagreement between our military in Afghanistan and the Obama Administration on the conduct of the war and the strategic decisions handed down by the White House.
The rules of engagement forced on our troops in Afghanistan appear to inhibit their ability to conduct successful operations in pursuit of the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. As Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret stated in Military, August 2010, our soldiers are encumbered “by bizarrely restrictive rules of engagement which make it easier for the enemy to kill them; harder for them to kill the enemy”.
President Obama shifted the strategic advantage to the Taliban and their supporters when he announced to the enemy the deadline for starting the withdrawal of our troops will be July 2011. This announcement gave the Taliban a boost in morale, and the strategic knowledge that if they could hold out to the middle of next year, U.S. troops will be leaving Afghanistan. The Taliban can then be in a better position to launch attacks and try to bring down the Karzai government.
As Jack Kelly stated, the Obama Administration has to “rewrite the rules of engagement and drop the deadline for troop withdrawal”.
Donald A. Moskowitz