- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sensibilities on the trail

Ryan Messmore is right that the presidential candidates should be given an opportunity to explain how faith informs their personal views and influences their thinking on public policy in more than 60-second sound bites (“Faith on the hustings,” Commentary, Tuesday). However, the candidates also bear a responsibility to remember the sensibilities of those Americans who are not of the majority faith, and those of no faith, who might feel uncomfortable with too much emphasis on religion in the campaign.

Appealing to voters along religious lines can be divisive, contrary to the American ideal of including all citizens in the political process, and can open the door to promises that violate the separation of government and religion.

In discussing faith on the campaign trail, the candidates must above all use good judgment and be sensitive to the fact that the American electorate is politically and religiously diverse.

ABRAHAM H. FOXMAN

National director

Anti-Defamation League

New York City

Turkey’s strategy

The Turkish bombing raids against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq have significant implications for the wider region and for the delicate relationships between the political players involved (“Turkish strike hits Kurdish rebels,” World, Monday).

By opening Iraqi airspace to bombing raids, the United States has given its clear approval to the Turkish strategy of suppressing the Kurdish movement’s fight for a separatist state in Turkey.

However, at the same time, the United States is supporting the Kurds in their separatist ambitions in both Iraq and Iran.

America was heavily involved in the drafting of Iraq’s interim constitution, which set out a program for dividing Iraq along ethnic lines into three separate regions under a limited central government.

The Iraqis amended this when they adopted their own constitution in 2005, but on Sept. 26, the U.S. Senate passed a non-binding resolution, supported by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, approving the three-way division of Iraq.

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