Letters to the Editor

Before the U.S. begins a war with Iran

I’m not a supporter of the rulers in Iran. Their theocratic beheadings after Friday prayers are as vulgar as in Saudi Arabia.

Iranians are predominantly Shia Islam. Saudis are Sunni. The Saudi regime has supported Wahhabism, an extreme fundamentalist form of Islam, for generations. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabab (Somalia) and the Taliban are Sunni terrorist groups nurtured in Wahhabi madrasahs and intent on attacking the West.

So why has the U.S. backed Sunni Islam over Shia? Most Americans couldn’t distinguish between the two. So why pick one over the other?

We deploy troops all over the world and squander our resources. Our involvement has no chance of ending the 1400-year-old schism in Islam, and only makes matters worse.

Consider this: Iraq has 39 million people and 168,000 square miles, and Iran has 82 million people and 636,000 square miles. Iran is the size of Alaska, more mountainous and four times the size of Iraq. A war in Iran would be costly in terms of lives and treasure. The result? A country destroyed by tons of U.S. explosives and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. For what? Iran isn’t threatening us.

I don’t think we should be taking either side in this struggle. But, if we must, Iran is far more progressive and amenable to democratic principles. In fact, they democratically elected a secular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in the early 1950s and he ruled for two years until the CIA deposed him.

Let’s not make war on another Middle Eastern country.

Jim Osterhaus

Guttenberg

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