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international conflicts - Ilya Shlyakhter (notestaff) - letters to editors
October 3rd, 2009
11:46 pm

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international conflicts
Assessing Blame for Conflicts in Gaza and Georgia

Re ''War Report Said to Fault Both Russia and Georgia'' (news article, Sept. 29):

Two recent international commission reports on conflicts -- in Georgia and in Gaza -- have blamed both sides irrespective of who fired first. That is a worrisome trend that does not promote stability. Both conflicts involve long-running grievances, yet it is clear who started the latest rounds of violence: the Georgians with their shelling of Tskhinvali, and the Palestinians with their rocketing of Sderot, Israel.

In both cases there are allegations of a disproportionate response. Yet without the initial attack, there would have been no response at all. No one would have died.

If we want hard-won periods of calm to take root, we must unambiguously censure those who break them.

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