Letters to the Editor

Readers write about how Hamas is treated in Western media, holding politicians responsible for their actions, why the US should take the lead in helping Zimbabwe, and how Russia's actions have provoked Ukraine.

Why do Western media let Hamas off so easy?

In regard to the Jan. 16 article, "Amid broad Israeli support for Gaza war, a rare dissenting voice": Author Joshua Mitnick includes a curious quote from Sari Bashi: "Our goal is to get Israelis to stop targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza under the guise of targeting Hamas. But it's very, very slow progress."

It occurs to me that progress could be accelerated if Hamas were persuaded to abandon its strategy of purposely positioning their command posts, ammo dumps, and rocket sites in and around schools, hospitals, and civilian neighborhoods. They have habitually done this for the express purpose of maximizing civilian casualties, which they can then use to arouse the West's and the UN's indignation and sympathy. Why this cynical and outrageous exploitation of their own people is disregarded by the Western press is hard to comprehend.

Recommended: How much do you know about Ukraine? Take our quiz!

George Warren
Warrenton, Ore.

Bush should have been impeached

Regarding the Jan. 12 article, "No clear rules for Illinois Senate's first impeachment": Congratulations to the Illinois State Representatives for impeaching Gov. Rod Blagojevich. They lived up to their constitutional responsibility.

However, as corrupt as the Illinois governor's alleged violations were, the harmful results of his crimes and misdemeanors pale when compared with those of the former president of the United States, George W. Bush. Yet the House of Representatives allowed Bush to finish his term with no accountability for his transgressions.

With the impeachment of Governor Blagojevich, Illinois has wisely set a critical constitutional precedent. On the national level, America has betrayed itself by not impeaching Bush.

Fred Duperrault
Mountain View, Calif.

US can take the lead in Zimbabwe

In regard to the Jan. 16 Opinion piece, "Time to forcefully oust Mugabe": The rescue of Zimbabwe must not come from the US acting alone, but from the international community as a whole, with broad representation. The US might take a leading role, however. If no country takes the lead, it is likely that nothing will be done.

Lynn Austin
Campbell, Calif.

Russia's actions provoke Ukraine

Regarding the Jan. 16 editorial, "Ukraine needlessly pokes Russia": In this commentary, the Monitor suggests that Ukraine turned down a "discount" offer from Russia of $250 per thousand cubic meters of gas (mcm). In fact, while many countries in Europe paid $400 to $500 mcm in 2008, gas prices will plummet in 2009 because they are tied to oil. Ukraine's offer of $235 was based on the prices to be paid by the Czech Republic ($250) and Germany ($280) in 2009. Russia's decision to turn off Ukraine's gas to force it to pay $450, more than any other country will pay in 2009, smacks of blackmail.

The Monitor also suggests that Ukraine provoked Russia by banning Russian-language cable TV. In Ukraine's Crimea, residents have access to 27 stations broadcast partly or totally in Russian. This can easily be confirmed. The three stations banned were found to have violated the country's laws governing advertising. Russia's most popular channels can be watched throughout Ukraine.

There are three Western PR firms working for Russia on this dispute; it appears Russia is getting its money's worth.

Tammy Lynch
Shirley, Mass.

The Monitor welcomes your letters andopinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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