Letters, July 29, 2015


President is a master politician

Unfortunately, as indicated in the editorial, President Barack Obama has been able to bypass the Congress by a series of tactical maneuvers (“End run around Congress,” WJW, July 23).  By taking the Iranian deal, prior to the time that Congress is able to act, to the U.N. Security Council and having received a unanimous vote in favor, Obama has stripped the. Congress of its ability to block the agreement

By his actions at the United Nations and by essentially ignoring Congress, Obama has shown that he is a master politician and not to be trusted.  In a carefully prepared campaign to push through a concession-laden Iranian agreement, he first outflanked the Congress by claiming that the agreement was not a treaty but an accord, not subject to a two-thirds approval by both houses of Congress.  Then in another tactical stroke, two-thirds of Congress was needed for disapproval of the agreement.

Now, even the required 60 days’ debate in Congress has been rendered almost meaningless as the Security Council has approved the accord, bypassing Congress and allowing other nations to lift sanctions against Iran almost immediately.


Masterful strategist, but one not to be trusted.
Silver Spring


Congress should not move too quickly on Iran deal
In their op-ed, Dennis Jett and Bradley Harris tie opponents of the G5+1 agreement with those who supported George W. Bush’s war in Iraq (“The Iran agreement is a good deal for America,” Voices, WJW, July 23). I opposed the war in Iraq.  Looking at those Iraqis waiting in the wings, it was clear at the time deposing Saddam Hussein would result in a new Iranian puppet state and open the door to Iranian expansion. But opposed as I was to that war, I also question the Iran agreement as being inadequate.

There are two problems I see with the agreement. First, it is temporary, with parts expiring over 10 to 15 years.  Second, Iran can delay on-site inspections for up to 24 days. This gives Iran plenty of time to hide concrete physical evidence needed to support less reliable evidence gathered by satellite observation or soil samples.

Still I urge Congress not to move too quickly. There seems to be strong opposition to the agreement in the Iranian parliament. Weeks prior to the agreement, its members already passed legislation making inspections of military facilities illegal. The religious establishment, led by Supreme Leader (Ali) Khamenei, also seems unhappy with the agreement.  I would rather have Iran be the first to reject the deal.  It would make it easier to keep the G5+1 coalition together.
Silver Spring


Freundel jail term may be a death sentence
The article, “Remorseful Freundel in solitary confinement,” was tragic to read (WJW, July 16). [Rabbi Barry Freundel’s] sentence of more than 6 years in prison is very possibly a death sentence.  I would think that our legal system was designed to mete out justice and wherever possible, rehabilitation and integration back into society.  Instead, it seems that the justice system in Freundel’s case was more into punishment and vindictiveness.

Rabbi Freundel is 63 years old and not in the best of health. If he serves out the entirety of his sentence, [he] would be close to 70 years old upon release.  He paid a very high price for his misguided and reprehensible behavior.  One cannot help but feel pain of the many people that he hurt.  Freundel lost his reputation, family, friends, career, home and now his freedom.

Prison and solitary confinement, for any amount of time, is stressful at best and lethal at worst.  His body under this type of duress is producing a continuous stream of corticosteroids (cortisol).   In brief, we know that this type of cortisol release can be lethal.  Next month we will be in Hebrew month of Elul.  In Elul we prepare ourselves for the High Holidays. It is fitting that we keep the innocent victims of this debacle in our prayers.  However, we should have compassion for Rabbi Freundel for the sake of our humanity.
Staten Island, N.Y.

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