- - Sunday, May 17, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

How ironic that Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian President Putin in Sochi, Russia — but there is no discussion of Mr. Putin’s alliance with or supply of weapons to Iran. Isn’t this in direct opposition to U.S. safety? Doesn’t it threaten our allies as well?

Mr. Kerry stated: “We didn’t come here with an expectation that we were going to define a specific path forward or a major breakthrough … . We came here specifically to have a very full and open dialogue.” I wouldn’t call the omission of the above alliance a full and open dialogue.

This trip is costing U.S. citizens American tax dollars at a time when Mr. Putin continues to threaten parts of Ukraine and when we are not addressing the Russian alliance with Iran. Iran still threatens to attack Israel and the United States as its Iranian leaders continue to advocate their global Islamic caliphate mission quite openly, with numerous threats against not only Israel, but America and others they perceive as infidels.

All parties involved need more reform on human rights. President Obama and Mr. Kerry should indeed be “tough enough” to raise human-rights-related concerns, such as the persecution of Christians and others who do not support extremists.

We need to support all of our allies, but we also need to admit that we are all in need of a long-overdue conversation about what true human rights means. Murder, rape, looting, stealing, lying, deceiving, beheading and shooting are incompatible with a spiritual, holy life that all good people of sincere belief should lead. It’s really very simple, whether we belong to church, mosque, synagogue or temple: In order to seek the divine we must learn to be kind.

BARBARA BLOOM

Owings Mills


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