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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Obama’s “change”

Change not so easy once president

The headline “Clean break with Bush a challenge for Obama” [page one, May 16] raises the question: Why would Obama want to make a clean break with the Bush policies?

It is true that Obama was talking trash during the campaign, but now that he has to govern, he realizes that the Bush policies on the war on terror were well thought-out and worth keeping.

— Peter Kogler, Seattle

Continuing to undermine the Constitution

As we watch the unfolding saga of whether Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was fully briefed regarding CIA tactics to extract information, we shouldn’t be surprised by the outcome. All across the Democratic Party stage, principal actors like Pelosi, but also Obama, are showing that their message of change was indeed a cynical one: Change the administration, but don’t change the course this country is taking.

From the Iraq war, which candidate Obama promised he would end quickly, to the Guantánamo Bay prison, which he said he would close, to the military tribunals, which he said he would remove, we are seeing a continuation of overall U.S. policy, with perhaps a slight change in how it is promoted.

We should make no mistake: This president and his party are not so much laying a new foundation, as the recently coined phrase of President Obama might suggest, as they are continuing a path that subjugates the U.S. Constitution — our only real foundation — to a newly emerging world order. In this, the Democratic Party is no different from the Republican Party.

We need a new constitutional party for those of us who are disgusted with the left and the right.

— Thomas Erdmann, Seattle

Obama, not Israel, needs to change

The May 17 article “Obama to meet Israel’s leader — change in the wind?” [News] has it backward. It is not the Israeli leadership that needs to change — it’s ours. Israel knows how to deal with threats to its existence and ensure the security of its citizens. It’s time for our government to acknowledge and accept the truth about the Palestinians.

The Israeli electorate has coalesced after bitter firsthand experience. Israeli Jews, Arabs and Christians now accept as immutable that the Palestinians and their leaders in Fatah and Hamas have no desire to make durable peace, and will manipulate the “peace process” only to strengthen their hand. Israeli concessions only bring more aggression and violence — Gaza says it all.

The authors assume Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be tossed out if he defies the U.S. They are wrong. The mood in Israel has changed even among its most formerly optimistic and dovish citizens. Israelis clearly understand the Palestinian record — a consistent, 60-year strategy of never-ending war to annihilate the Jewish state.

If anyone needs to change, it’s the Obama administration. They should put aside the naive and gullible belief that they can broker peace with a people who very openly and proudly assert that they will never accept Israel’s right to exist.

— Robert Wilkes, Bellevue

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