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Letters - Oct. 12

Wu’s Gorge interest

It should be apparent Rep. David Wu is a rather unctuous individual. From his attack on a Stanford coed to his attempt to get Andrew Wiederhorn a free pass out of federal prison on house release.

Rep. Wu’s interest in the casino in Cascade Locks boils down to the fact that the Spirit Mountain casino is in his back yard and he looks out for the Grand Rondes. David Wu has never shown any interest before in the Columbia River Gorge, so one can only assume he has an interest in doing so now.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks City Council

Cascade Locks

Causes and justice

A recent article in the Washington Post by Jim Hoagland suggests that the most important element in achieving a stable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be the mutual recognition by both sides that their conflict is “rooted in a collision of two just causes.”

That got me thinking. I would propose a similar approach to the current Iraqi conflict. It would embody the following three premises:

* Any nation, the United States included, has the right and duty to defend its own people and borders.

* Any nation, Iraq included, has the right and duty to determine its own form of government and its own internal affairs.

* Any political group, Al Qaeda included, has the right and duty to speak out for and defend the poor, the disenfranchised and the victims of oppression.

The possibility that any of these “just causes” may be in “collision” with any other doesn’t render it morally invalid or less just — no matter who is espousing it or for what reasons, good or bad. All three of these just causes represent legitimate human rights. This does not imply that all means of expressing these rights are just and acceptable, certainly not genocide, war, terrorism or torture.

What this does mean is that a crucial first step toward ending the Iraqi conflict must be agreement among the contending parties that each espouses a “just cause” which must be respected and implemented in some way. As long as there is a presumption by any party that it alone has the only “just cause,” or a cause of greater justice, there may be no way to achieve a stable resolution of the conflict.

David C. Duncombe

White Salmon

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