Readers Write: July 19

Obama, high court no fans of bipartisanship

Jay Bookman could have saved himself a lot of calendar counting if he’d only remembered two numbers: 1 and 5 (“Where’s the GOP’s Plan?,” Opinion, July 12) The “one” is for Obama, who will veto anything the Republicans send him having to do with Obamacare; the “five” are the Supreme Court justices who rule according to supposed “intentions.” For all his talk of bipartisanship, Obama prefers his pen, his phone, and his bully pulpit, rather than working with Republicans.

JUDITH MCCARTHY, ATLANTA

Bookman’s right on Iran deal

I would like to applaud Jay Bookman for his recent column (“Iran nuclear deal far better than any of our other options,” Opinion, July 14). As a state senator, I am well-versed in the art of compromise. Both sides leave a negotiation satisfied but not with everything they want. The Iran deal took two years of painstaking negotiations to complete with six nations at the table. And the final product, experts agree, is the best path to preventing and verifying that Iran does not become a nuclear state. Just as importantly, a successful negotiation helps to avert another costly and bloody war in the region. As Congress reviews the deal over the next two months, I urge senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue not to undermine two years of diplomacy by voting against this agreement. Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And we must not let political posturing be the enemy of peace.

SEN. NAN GROGAN ORROCK, ATLANTA

Teach real Southern history

I wish the AJC had fact-checked Mr. Garlock’s history lesson (“Remember history but lower the flag,” Opinion, July 10). We should remember history, but we should remember real history, not some neo-Confederate imagined history. He says most people in the South did not own slaves, but the 1860 Census shows us that one-half of families in South Carolina and Mississippi owned slaves, and a third of the other Southern families also were slave owners. The Southern boys Garlock states were not fighting to protect slavery, but for their country’s freedom. The reason for their fighting is a much-researched topic with many answers. Other bad information about Northern slaves — by 1860 there were no slaveholders in the Northern states. As for Lee freeing his inherited slave, he did this because the will which gave them to him required that. Abraham Lincoln did give strength to the argument that the war was not just about slavery at the beginning, but he says in his second inaugural address that “slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war.” I am an eighty-five-year-old born-and-bred Atlantan with two Confederate veteran great-grandfathers. I revere the Southern past, but I believe we should revere the correct past.

FORREST SMITH, MARIETTA

Don’t lose history’s symbols

There is now an outcry to remove the Confederate flag and Confederate statues due to the Charleston, S.C. shooting. A few years ago, there was pressure to remove the Mount Soledad Cross and the Ten Commandments from the Alabama courthouse. Could it be that the same force (or forces) to remove the Confederate flag and statues are the same as those that want to remove religious symbols, even though the stated reasons are different? In one case, the reasons are separation of church and state, and that it might offend someone of another faith. In the other case, it is a symbol of hatred. These are emblems that remind us of our history. There is an old adage that a people who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.

BEN H. BOWDEN, ATLANTA

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