Sectarianism is the rule in Middle East
To the editor:
To foster world stability, it is in the best interest of the United States to promote equilibrium in the Middle East.
Israel should be kept strong because it is a Western-oriented ally and buffer country in the region.
Iraq was a buffer against Iran. With the death of Saddam Hussein and the takeover by the Shiites, the balance of power has shifted to Shiite Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Sunni majority in Syria, supported by Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, are fighting President Bashar Assad of Syria, a Shiite. We should support the Sunnis in Syria with some arms and hope they can hold their own and keep Assad off balance. Since the Syrian rebels have al-Qaida elements among them, we do not want to strengthen them, nor weaken Assad, too much.
Egypt is a dubious friend of the United States. The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood continues to cast a shadow on the country. We should back the Egyptian military as a counter-weight to the Islamists in Egypt.
Sectarianism in the Middle East prevails over national identity, and conflicts will be fought due to sectarian and religious differences. We have to remember who our potential enemies are in the world.
Donald A. Moskowitz
No need to rush Syria attack
To the editor:
President Obama wants to “punish” Syrian President Bashar Assad for allegedly gassing his own people. But, will Obama’s stated actions, which don’t include regime change, really punish Assad, or will they more likely harm innocent people including foreigners, diplomats, or even Americans?
Has “punishment” that doesn’t actually harm a nation’s leaders ever resulted in policy changes? Not that I know about. If Assad falls and radical Islamists take over his gas stockpiles, the U.S. and the world are in greater danger than now.