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Gulf-Spill Blame

"The Spreading Stain" was very thorough [June 21]. What made me weep, however, was my beloved, oil-drenched state bird on the cover. Shame on everyone who has had a part in this tragic catastrophe.

Jill Hilbrecht, BATON ROUGE, LA.

Why didn't President Obama waive the Jones Act--which requires that only U.S. vessels engage in commercial activity in U.S. waters--within days of the BP explosion and request all available oil-spill-cleanup boats and equipment from around the world? President Bush waived the Jones Act immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit. Why has the media not pressed Obama to do so?

Daniel B. Jeffs, APPLE VALLEY, CALIF.

Please do not classify all Americans as gas-guzzling-car buyers. Since the '60s, many of us have bought small cars, protected the environment, rallied for public transportation and sent letters to our politicians that have fallen on deaf ears. The mighty dollar speaks to those who are willing to sacrifice our planet at all costs. The fault of this oil catastrophe lies with those who stood to profit, not the American people.

Angie Marotta, OKLAHOMA CITY

In assigning blame for the BP disaster, your article mentioned no one in the environmental movement. Surely environmentalists know that drilling miles out at sea at depths of thousands of feet is more dangerous and prone to catastrophe than doing so in the hundreds of safe sites that they have driven the drillers out of.

Tom Bullock, FOND DU LAC, WIS.

Congress should make BP, Transocean and Halliburton executives clean up the beaches in haz-mat suits until they find a solution and stop pointing fingers.

Kimberly Biedermann, FOREST HILL, MD.

What's Wisest For Israel?

Many thanks to Joe Klein for suggesting that Israeli policy be more collaborative and "wise" when dealing with the anti-Zionists, Holocaust deniers and terrorists ["The Limits of Toughness," June 21]. I'll consider that advice the next time I'm invited to give up my property or walk obediently into a gas chamber. My family consisted of good, obedient Jews in the '30s and '40s. They're now all dead. No more! Never again!

Fred M.B. Amram, MINNEAPOLIS

You deserve high praise for courageously publishing pieces that have the temerity to criticize Israel. I once supported Israel and am of Jewish descent, but I must sadly admit I am ashamed. Israel is as much a democracy as was apartheid South Africa or Mississippi in the 1950s. They held elections too and elevated token blacks.

Gene Griessman, ATLANTA

There's a double standard when it comes to the way many people view Israel. In April, when Egypt allegedly gassed to death four Gaza-tunnel smugglers, there was no criticism. But the kind of wisdom required of Israel, a nation surrounded by those who wish to destroy it, can be analogous to the wisdom required of a doctor visiting a hospital for the insane where inmates have too much leeway.

Carl Thomsen, SEATTLE

Hey, Mickey! You're So Fine

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