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Ilya Shlyakhter (notestaff) - letters to editors
February 4th, 2009
12:02 am


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proper use of force
In Search of Another Route to Mideast Peace

Re: ''Obama's Long Shot for Peace'' (column, Feb. 1)

By Nicholas D. Kristof's notion of a ''proportional'' response, the United States should have stopped its attack on Japan as soon as 2,400 people were killed ''in retaliation'' for Pearl Harbor, and should have stopped attacking the Taliban as soon as 3,000 people were killed ''in retaliation'' for 9/11.

The problem is, the goal of these responses is not ''retaliation.'' It is the prevention of future attacks. A ''proportional'' response uses enough force to stop future attacks -- no more and no less.

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