, Newburyport, MA


March 29, 2012

Debate without accusations

To the editor:

I was struck by the stark contrast between your excellent editorial, "Finding religions' common ground" and Mike Tyson's letter, "No to support for Islamic Brotherhood," appearing in adjacent columns on today's (March 21) editorial page.

Your editorial closes with a plea to "quell ... the bitter rhetoric that plagues us in these scary times." Mr. Tyson's letter closes with the accusation that our president and secretary of Defense "want to support a group of people whose main goal ... is to bring us down."

Mr. Tyson asserts that the president, bypassing the Congress, has asked "the international community for its permission" to send U.S. troops to Syria. I am not aware of any evidence supporting that assertion. But passing for the moment that accuracy of that assertion, one should be able to debate the wisdom or unwisdom of intervening militarily in Syria's tragedy without accusing any party to the debate — even Mr. Tyson himself — with disloyalty to our shared country.

Peter L. Albrecht


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