Think before going to war


To the Editor:

While our leader keeps promising he does not want more wars in the Middle East or elsewhere, and wants to bring our soldiers back from far-away places, his satraps and friends keep stepping all over his head, pursuing long-failed policies of regime change, and again putting thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives in foreign countries at risk, to say nothing of the pain of our surviving veterans!

But, as usual, the war drummers are not wasting a thought on what should be done next, when the country in question lies in ruins.

The housing and infrastructure can eventually be rebuilt, making millions of reconstruction dollars (paid by the U.S. taxpayer) for the well-connected industrialists who get the contracts from the government. 

But the surviving population that is seeing the last little bit of prewar stability down the drain will not love the conqueror from the other side of the world, and will not be willing to accept a regime of that conqueror’s choosing. No one seems to have any idea of what may follow the mullah regime!

Or will we farm out the future of Iran, one of the oldest cultures in known history, to our beloved allies, the Wahhabi Saudis, with their beheadings and crucifixions, as we have already helped them to reduce Yemen to rubble?

Please everybody — think!


Brigette Lent
Randolph, Vt.


Lent recently moved from Edgartown to Vermont.  –Ed.


  1. It is Iran and it’s proxy Houthis who have destroyed Yemen. It is Iran the biggest terrorist threat in the world that wants Israel destroyed. Iran may have an older culture but it is spreading its lies and deceit everywhere.

    • lucky us, we have a president and his cronies that would never tell an untruth.
      Andrew –Are you saying that because a regime “lies and spreads deceit” it is good reason to go to war ?
      I guess– What could be better than 2 nations that lie, spread deceit and support terrorist activities going to war with each other ?

  2. So, Brigette Lent makes an impassioned plea for compassion and a stop to war with Iran, and is immediately targeted for political antagonism from “andrew”. Will men never learn?

  3. I agree with Andrew for two reasons. The first reason is the substance of his response. The second reason is that I can understand his grammar. The first paragraph of this letter is one, long, sentence. Several “sentences” begin with conjunctions. I cannot clearly discern your point.

  4. Considering the ignorance on who’s doing what on the world stage and why, I say let conservatives chase their tails lest they find a country they haven’t broken and sell arms to the nearest despotic government.

  5. I don’t want a war either. My point to Ms Lent is that it is not the Wahabi Saudis who are destroying Yemen but the Houthis armed by Iran.

    • Andrew– you gotta be kidding. The Saudis bomb civilian neighborhoods , infrastructure, hospitals ,schools and anything else they want to with American munitions and planes in Yemen You seem to think that because a group of people take up arms and fight against that, they are the bad guys. We sell weapons to the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia, the most repressive regime in the middle east ( Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians not withstanding) and we are somehow the good guys.
      I am thoroughly ashamed of my country— and, to you stupes that are going to tell me “leave, then”, NO — this is my country, I am a veteran, and what the United States is doing under the control of a narcissistic maniacal megalomaniac is wrong. I will resist.

    • I should resist this one but after a quick refresher: If Israel is aligning with the Saudis against Iran and the Houthis, are we doing this to help Israel, hurt Iran, or enhance the flow of money from the Saudis? Seems the last. To me the Houdis are more interested in preserving their future than attacking Israel a thousand miles away. Israel allied with Saudi, really???

      • new englander— it seems your last comment was directed towards me–The format is a bit confusing, so I try to start my comments with the name of who I am commenting to . Just to be clear– I in no way meant to imply that Israel and Saudi Arabia are “allied”
        I was simply stating that while Saudi Arabia has an abysmal record on human rights, the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis is at least as bad , if not worse. Just because we have 2 countries that have no regard for human rights does not make them allies.

        • The response was directed to Andrew. My sense is a fair portion of America believes anything accomplished in the Middle East, whether diplomatically or militarily, should be for the benefit of America.

          We pause to allow for cynical laughter.

          I found a piece stating leaders of Israel and Saudi Arabia agreed about something regarding Iran and that someone didn’t like Israel. Surprise.

          Conclusion #1: Anything resembling friendship is going to be backed up with lots of spin.
          Conclusion #2: POTUS is swimming in a shark tank.

  6. dondondon. I am not going to argue with you. I know Iran, I lived there I speak the language. They are the aggressors. Your comment of Israels treatment of the Palestinians is laughable on its face. You dont understand world affairs, you have never traveled or lived anywhere as I have and you are a principled liberal who admittedly hates the USA.

    • Andrew– First, let me address your comment about me “admittedly” hating the United states– Where have i ever said that ? yes, I am ashamed , and disgusted about the actions and policies of the current regime in Washington . When I travel, I am embarrassed about the actions of my country. This country was founded on principals that you apparently do not share with the founders of this country or the majority of people around the world who respect the values we have cultivated for centuries. That in no way means that I “hate” this country– you weren’t even born here. how dare you say that about me–

  7. Here is the refresher New Englander. The Houthis toppled the legitimate (you dems are for legitimate elections are you not?) and internationally recognized government of Sanaa Yemen and they are Shiite. The Saudias fought back to reinstate the leader of Yemen who happens to be a Sunni. Yes there are Sunni/Shiite tensions but mostly this is about Irans hegemony and expansionist moves to control the Middle East. Yes the Saudias are a rough bunch but we have known that for years. Iran is far worse and wants Israel destroyed. Do you New Englander want Israel destroyed? Houthis are Irans proxy and may not want Israel destroyed but Iran does and is financing Houthis. No one is innocent but the Saudis now recognize Iran is dangerous and is aligning with the US and Israel to stem Iran.

    • You’re making into friends countries that are not. Not the same as Syria, not nearly as bad. The current Mideast puzzle omits many pieces, deliberately I believe. Also, you’re missing the money piece and money is the traditional way to turn patriots into traitors.

    • Mideast politics are messy. I’ve observed *difficulties* in policy for every administration. It’s a pick and choose: if we want this, we have to give up that but maybe if we chat with these folks over here, etc.

  8. Israel and Saudia do not have formal relations but behind the scenes they have manifest agreement on all manner of issues. They are allied against Iran and against anti Semitism. They trade. Saudi is also increasingly alienated from Hamas and Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority. Saudis are friendly to Israel and defacto allied.

    • Andrew– you have been watching guys like hannity and listening to people like sarah sanders for too long– just because they can spin anything to really ignorant people does not mean you can do it to an educated audience. I particularly love the “behind the scenes” assertion. I guess any day now, you will be telling us that mexico is secretly paying for the wall.
      And how about an apology about me “hating” the United States. I know George does not like me calling you a liar, but I hope he makes an exception on this one since you are lying about me. You are a liar.. I do not, never have and never will hate the U.S — If George allows unsubstantiated slander on this site, I will certainly participate in the new national pastime of lying, spreading misinformation about people I don’t like or have never met, and be proud to do it.

      • I guess I missed that, but you both could, you know, police yourselves and be a lot more civil to each other.

        • Thank you Gorge for letting my comment stand. perhaps Andrew will issue an apology on this forum. It would be the right thing to do, and a start of a more civil dialogue between us.

  9. I take umbrage regarding several comments posted regarding Israelis treatment of Palestinians?
    What country on this planet would allow a neighboring country to bombard it with thousands of rockets without reacting? How would France, England, Russia, the United States react? They would flatten the offensive country. And then the world would agree that they had every right to retaliate. But not Israel, no, they don’t have the right to respond.
    If only Israel had qualified and honorable partners to negotiate with, this Palestinian problem would have been resolved 50 years ago. Instead, Hamas and other entities, who hold Palestinian people hostage to their hatred of Israel, have charters that call for the destruction of Israel.. Israel is the only UN member state that’s been targeted for annihilation by another UN member state.
    Think about it. The leadership of Iran, together with Iran-funded proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, has repeatedly called for wiping Israel off the map. Is there any other country facing the threat of genocidal destruction?
    Israel is the only country that has won all its major wars for survival and self-defense, yet is confronted by defeated adversaries who have insisted on dictating the terms of peace. Why aren’t all the countries that were split and divided after various wars, entitled to “do-overs” regarding borders and treaties? Why is Israel the only country treated this way?
    Israel is the only country in the world with a separate — and permanent — agenda item, #7, at the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.
    No other member state, including serial human-rights violators like North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Sudan, gets its own agenda item. Only the sole liberal democracy in the Middle East is treated in this blatantly biased manner because that’s the way it works — the bad guys circle the wagons to protect one another, and, at the same time, gang up on Israel, creating an automatic majority against it.
    Israel is the only country condemned by name this year at the World Health Organization annual assembly as a “violator” of health rights.
    This canard takes place despite the fact that Israel provides world-class medical assistance to Syrians wounded in the country’s civil war and Palestinians living in Hamas-ruled Gaza; has achieved one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates for all its citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish alike; is among the very first medical responders to humanitarian crises wherever they may occur, from Haiti to Nepal; and is daily advancing the frontiers of medicine for everyone, something that can’t be said for too many other nations.
    Israel is the only country that’s the daily target of three UN bodies established and staffed solely for the purpose of advancing the Palestinian cause and bashing Israel — the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People; and the Division for Palestinian Rights in the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.
    Israel is the only country targeted by the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement.
    Has anyone seen any significant campus activity that takes aim at true human rights offenders, including some in Israel’s neighborhood, who behead, forcibly convert, and expel Christians; drop chemically-laced barrel bombs on civilians; deny Palestinians full rights; and use capital punishment, including for minors, with abandon?
    Has anyone seen movements for companies to pull out of any country other than Israel?
    Turkey, as but one example, has brazenly and unjustifiably occupied one-third of the island nation of Cyprus for 41 years, deployed an estimated 40,000 Turkish troops there, and transferred countless settlers from Anatolia, yet there’s not a peep against Ankara from those who purport to act in the name of “justice” and against “occupation.”
    Stop singling Israel out with “double standards” that no other country is held to.
    Am Yisrael chai.

    • Oaks bluff — thank you for a reasonable comment with many good points. You are correct that Israel has faced extreme hostility from it’s neighbors since it’s inception.
      You also make clear that there are many other nations that treat their citizens poorly. I agree. However, not every act of aggression should be met with aggression. Yes, the Palestinians have negotiated in bad faith, and likely could have reached an agreement years ago. However, Israel’s continued annexation of land and steadily building settlements does not seem to me to be negotiating in good faith either.
      A 2015 report found that there is a 10 year difference in life expectancy between people who live in Israel (Jewish and non Jewish) and those who live in Gaza. Israel controls imports of fuel, food, medicine, and other essential commodities, and occasionally uses that power as a weapon. It also restricts Palestinian passports and travel. I am not saying that Israel is a “bad” country, does not have the right to defend itself, and does not have the right to a secure border. What I am saying is that Israel has kept very tight and repressive control over the lives of nearly 2 million people in the Gaza strip. I can understand why the Israelis are very concerned about their security, but also why the Palestinians have no hope. When one has no hope, it breeds frustration, and that breeds violence. It is the only course of action in the minds of some in the Gaza strip, and retaliation is the only course of action in the minds of some in Israel. An almost impossible cycle to break.

  10. Oakbluffs is absolutely correct on all points. Anti semitism is alive and well in the USA among many liberals. They call it anti zionism but that is just parsing worlds. Thinking that Israel is the occupier and that they are the terrorists is also alive and well on MV and at the Hebrew Center among some.

    • Andrew — come on . Criticizing Israel is not antisemitism. That would be like me saying that if someone criticizes the Islamic republic of Iran they are against Muslims and Islam.
      You may think that Israel is not the “occupier”, and Israel has stated it is not occupying the “disputed territories” but when a country controls the air space, coastlines, movement of the people , goods and services, and can roll the military into an area at will, it is an “occupier”
      It has nothing to do with antisemitism.

  11. Don, do you mean like how we and our government in the US all occupy American Indian land? Unfortunately, for many people, criticizing Israeli policy is all about anti-Semitism. I personally do not align my political views with those who wish to see Israel annihilated and every Jew everywhere, dead. If you take a look at a map of the entire Middle East, it’s hard to see your point of view. Am Yisrael chai.

    • Jackie. So some people think that Israel is above reproach ? The Israeli government can do anything , and because they are “gods chosen people” any criticism labels one as as racist ?
      Listen to fox news — according to them, anyone who criticizes anything that trump does “hates America” that’s as ridiculous as saying I am antisemitic because I don’t approve of Israel rolling tanks into certain neighborhoods and flattening them. I don’t approve of them taking olive groves from families who have tended the trees for centuries, and turning them into heavily armed outpost for Israeli citizens. I also don’t approve of Iran supporting terrorist activities and perhaps attacking shipping in international waters. Does that make me an Islamophobe ? It is the “Islamic republic” after all.
      I criticize the trump administration for taking kids away from their parents and putting them in cages and Andrew says I hate America.
      If I criticize white police officers for killing unarmed black people. Does that mean I hate police ?
      If I don’t like catholic priest molesting children does that mean I hate catholics ?
      where does it stop ?

  12. Don dondon. Israel is not an occupier. It is their country and was so stated under the Balfour declaration. It lives freely with Arabs as citizens. Palestinians area invented people. Israel has offered them 99 percent of what they wanted and they refused. Nothing is disputed. If they truly want peace they will get back the West Bank and they already have Gaza. Israel has turned sand into an oasis and is highly productive and inventive. Jews from all over the world persecuted have right of return. Jews are Gods chosen people since the Abrahamic covenant He made with them. Anti Semitic is on the rise again and you are not helping.

    • Andrew– antisemitism is on the rise I agree- but you take the usual fox “news” slant, and say it’s liberals– I did not see the antifa people chanting “Jews will not replace us” at the Charlottesville unite the RIGHT rally last year. Pirates are the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s chosen people.

  13. Sure, not meeting aggression with aggression, sounds wonderful.

    This approach is based on “western sensibilities and western values”. It is not based on current “reality” of Mideastern tribal religious values. This non-aggression approach has been tried many times.

    Do you by chance, remember all of the terrorist bombings that occurred in Israel during the various “intifadas”?

    What kind of nonaggression, should have Israel, deployed? Or the stabbings that were rampant, or the Palestinian rockets deliberately targeting of civilians and soft targets such as schools? Or how about the 600 rockets fired into Israel in May of 2019? Or the terrorist firebombs that have burned more than 8700 acres since May 2018?

    OOOH, I love this one.

    New settlements and continued annexation of land do not seem to me to be negotiating in good faith either. This a bunch of poo.

    The Arab/Palestinians lost the wars. Israel has the right to do whatever it wants with the land it has conquered after it was repeatedly attacked by the neighboring countries. Historically, this is how it works.

    If it weren’t for Mideastern oil, we would not be even talking about the Palestinian problems.

    As far as “aggression”, Israel has the most stringent “rules of engagement”. Before they attack Gaza, the used to call all the cell phones and landlines to warn the citizens, they used to drop dummy bombs on top of buildings (knocking) before they attacked. They have done some much to try to avoid Palestinian casualties.

    The 2015 quality of life report that was quoted is absolute meaningless “hogwash”. It is absurd to even consider discussing the quality of life in Gaza. There was and is plenty of money for infrastructure that would benefit the people of Gaza. The only reason why Israel (and Egypt)l control the borders of Gaze is that Hamas brought in all kinds of weapons. All Hamas has to do is come to the table and negotiate in “good faith” and stop their hostilities. It is unimaginable how much money and worldwide assistance would pour into Palestinian interests. Hamas does not care about the welfare of the Palestinian people. When Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza, it left behind all kinds of income-producing infrastructure, such greenhouses. The first thing the Palestinians did was to destroy them. If the people have a decent quality of life, Hamas will lose control.

    In 2006 Hamas was elected by the Palestinians. Hamas kicked out Fatah. Now Hamas (an Iranian terrorist proxy) uses the people of Gaza as pawns, human shields without any regard for their welfare, health or quality of life. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has squandered millions, probably billions on its campaigns against Israel.

    Hamas realizing that they were losing their spotlight on the world stage became desperate for attention. The world knows that they have not ever negotiated in good faith and that they can not be trusted. Thus, they created this border fence demonstration. They get masses of people there and then send their terrorists to attack the fence and attack Israeli soldier, then they hope for casualties. When they experienced”lack of aggression” by Israel, they stepped up their game and started shooting at the soldiers. That got the reaction they wanted. No Palestinian casualties no worldwide attention.

    Do I hate Hamas, oh, you betcha? They cause so much misery to their own people. They continually poison the minds of their children. Until they stop doing that, there is no hope for peace.

    In the past, Israel has been willing to negotiate and agree to almost anything for an opportunity for peace. Now, I feel they have come to the realization that no matter what, Hamas and Iran will only agree to a negotiation that leads to the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.

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