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Letters: End futile wars in Middle East

Iraqi Christians, who fled the violence in the northern city of Mosul after Islamic State group militants took control of the area, attend a Good Friday mass at the Ashti camp in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Photo by Safin Hamed, Getty Images.

The war on ISIS is simply the latest version of our immoral, illegal and criminal war against the Muslim world in the Middle East. It’s time to question it, debate it … then mercifully end it. Any time Western powers declare war on any group in the Middle East, they inspire thousands of folks, Muslims and non-Muslim supporters from around the world, to journey to the emerging new geography of the Middle East to wage war on the West. It also inspires like-minded folks to commit atrocities in their home countries, inflicting as much carnage as possible in retaliation. Trumpeting a war and blasting thousands to bits with bomb-spitting drones is a ghastly waste of precious treasure that could be used to build up rather than tear down society.

The West must acknowledge its role in smashing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Somalia — to name six — into failed states, making them ripe for the ensuing chaos we now declare war on. That vicious circle of perpetual war promotes and guarantees blowback in the form of  suicide bombings or suicidal shooting rampages that can never be completely stopped.

Ending perpetual war reduces inspiration for these highly infrequent, but highly effective revenge attacks. As we kill thousands, many if not most of whom are innocents, mainstream media yawns and skips to the latest neofascist sound bites from grotesque contenders seeking to lead the U.S. war party to more war. But when suicide bombers kill dozens in retaliation, it’s wall to wall coverage for days till the next ratings diversion emerges. The West’s role in this perpetual cycle of violence is never revealed, never questioned.

U.S. policy in the Middle East endlessly channels Forest Gump’s, “Stupid is as stupid does.” That must change.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Financial crisis years in the making

Can someone put a copy of Page 21 of Friday’s Sun-Times on Neil Steinberg’s and Mark Brown’s desk? John O’Conner’s piece (“Court: AFSCME not owed raises” — March 25) will help them both better understand the financial disaster occurring in our state. Financial mismanagement was in progress long before Gov. Rauner took office.

Joseph A. Murzanski, Palos Heights

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