Reacting to the first debate
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Reacting to the first debate

I attended the Gussen-Garrett debate (“Hoping to take the Fifth,” Oct. 12). Adam Gussen accused Congressman Garrett of casting many votes that were to the detriment of the people of the Fifth District. Mr. Garrett did not refute any of these accusations or explain them. Mr. Garrett did repeatedly bemoan the sad state of our economy. He did not refute the fact that his votes, and those of his fellow Republicans, got us into this mess by supporting the misguided policies of the Bush administration. He did not acknowledge that the depth of this severe recession occurred just a few months after President Obama’s taking office, and was caused by President Bush’s economic policies. Nor did he recognize that the economy has been improving ever since. He complained about a lack of bipartisanship but failed to acknowledge that the slow growth of our economy is partially due to the permanent roadblocks that he and his party have put in the way of progress.

As to our relationship with Israel, both candidates promise to be strong supporters of Israel. But Congressman Garrett mistakenly accuses the Obama policy of being a “complete disaster” and complains that we are “treating our friends like enemies.” Yet both Israeli President Shimon Perez and Defense Minister Ehud Barack praise the Obama administration for being the most supportive of Israel’s security ever. Even Prime Minister Netanyahu, while trying to magnify any differences between them, acknowledges that they basically see eye to eye because of very close consultation between our militaries, intelligence agencies, and heads of state. Prime Minister Netanyahu does not define his red line for Iran any more precisely than does President Obama, because they both know it is better to keep the Iranians guessing. Neither has Netanyahu gone to war with Iran, which would be against the advice of all his military and intelligence advisers. Both Netanyahu and Obama have said that containment is not their policy, and that Iran cannot be allowed to have even one nuclear missile. Mr. Gussen said he is particularly sensitive to this issue.

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