Readers Write: Skepticism on Iran deal, Israel, media

Letters to the Editor for the January 13, 2014 weekly magazine: Will the delay agreement become a Neville Chamberlain 'peace for our time' appeasement?; What of the media's double standard of silence on Israel's possession of nuclear weapons?; We should review the history of the lead-up to World War II and not repeat the same mistakes.

Skepticism on Iran deal, Israel, media

The Monitor's sanguine Dec. 9 editorial ("In Iran nuke deal, a test") is worrisome. That optimistic view of the agreement that delays Iran's nuclear program has a downside with catastrophic consequences that are exponentially worse. Jihadists will not be deterred by the possible mutually assured nuclear destruction that kept the Americans and Soviets in check during the cold war. Militant Islamist extremists appear to seek such destruction. Will the delay agreement led by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry become our Neville Chamberlain "peace for our time" appeasement?

Richard M. Peekema

San Jose, Calif.

Deal or no deal, I have never understood the media's effective double standard and general silence regarding Israel's possession of nuclear weapons. From the "unfair and unbalanced" Fox; to liberal media; to conservatives and neo-cons; to TV, radio, and daily/weekly publications; almost no one talks about it. Neither do people note that Israel is not a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Even the independent and objective Monitor appears to coalesce with such biased journalism. Noam Chomsky and others have pointed out the disconnect in heaping sanctions on Iran while doing little to protest Israel's occupation, annexation, and illegal settlement of Palestinian territories.

I am neither an Iranian nor a Palestinian. I just cannot suppress a sigh – and contempt – for such an apparent double standard.

Mutih Skeini

Gallipolis, Ohio

As I read this Monitor's View, I see, in my mind's eye, superimposed upon it a 1938 photograph of Neville Chamberlain with his classic rolled-up black umbrella, proclaiming "Peace for our time" after reaching a deal with Hitler. (Yes, I am old enough to have been reading newspapers at that time.) I tremble when I recall that those who have not learned their history are doomed to repeat it. It would serve us all well to review the history of the lead-up to World War II, and not repeat the mistakes made in those perilous times.

Jerome V. White

Amherst, N.H.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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