Letters 3-30-2013


Let’s be friends

To defeat the enemy

When one suggests defeating the enemy, one visions a military action with armies involved. In this case, no military is involved. It uses the two most powerful weapons that have been around for centuries that are not weapons at all. They are: befriending the enemy and communication. When an enemy is befriended, it is no longer are our enemy, but our friend. Many conflicts are the result of a misunderstanding. Had there been proper communication, the Crusades may have been prevented.

Has this ever worked in history? Yes, twice. The Camp David meetings between President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel. It was a huge thing between both countries. A key thing was respect and trust. There were a lot of compromises but it resulted in a treaty that has lasted many years now and probably well into the future. Another one was when President Nixon visited China, which resulted in opening that country to international trade. It worked in the past and there is no reason that it will not work now.

To our enemies, we must appear as a giant bully, especially after Iraq and Afghanistan. We saw it as liberation and they viewed it as conquering. They have a dread fear we will invade or bomb them at any time. They are convinced that only nuclear weapons can stop such an invasion.

So how does the U.S. achieve another Camp David treaty? Like the two parties at Camp David, there must be trust and respect and this is at all levels, especially with our president. Seeing that our president is directly involved conveys a lot of trust and respect. Then they believe that they are now VIPs.

Invite a delegation from the “enemy” to the White House. Give them a warm welcome (like Israel gave Sadat) and give them nice Western gifts like ipads. Even give them a dinner in their honor in the White house.

Our delegation, including our president, should then sit across from their delegation, exchanging concerns, goals, etc. The goal is a treaty that has elements of nonaggression, status quo and even the fact we will go to bat for them to preserve the treaty and their borders.

Eventually, they may trust this treaty, so they can reduce their military and divert that energy and resources to other uses — like Costa Rica, which has no army. They may even stop trying to kill us.

On a timely basis, our president should invite delegations from Iran, North Korea, Cuba and the Taliban and give them the VIP treatment. It may then be a more peaceful world.

Joseph C. Coomer

Bellingham, Wash.