Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

Opinion | When an Ally Can’t Trust America’s Word

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Turkey Begins Syria Offensive, Targeting U.S.-Backed Kurds” (, Oct. 9):

Turkey’s military incursion into Syria, just days after President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from the region, is an unfortunate reminder that United States foreign policy in the Trump era is essentially a mystery to everyone.

That Mr. Trump, after snubbing Turkey’s president at the United Nations, tries to make it all better with Turkey by offering up an American ally, the Kurds, as sacrificial lambs, reminds the world that under this administration, the United States simply cannot be trusted.

Cody Lyon

To the Editor:

This president has now made us complicit in the potential genocide of an ally.

What a terrible burden of guilt he has placed on our military, which was ordered to stand back on the actions against the Kurds, with whom it has stood shoulder to shoulder for years.

The impact of this outrageous decision will be felt by us all for years to come. Pray for the Kurds.

Donna Sullivan
Indian Land, S.C.

The N.B.A. in China

To the Editor:

Re “As China Fumes, N.B.A.’s Vision of a Lucrative Expansion Dims” (front page, Oct. 9):

As the National Basketball Association has found to its dismay, doing business with tyrants is tricky.

The Chinese government has taken away any illusions the N.B.A. or others might have had by saying that because the league had worked with China for many years, it “knows clearly in its heart what to say and what to do.”

The danger in accommodating totalitarian governments like China’s is that gradually everyone begins to know in his heart what to say and what to do, as well as what not to say and do.

It is encouraging to hear the bipartisan storm of condemnation of the N.B.A.’s effort to go along with the Chinese government’s repression of Americans’ free speech, and it is encouraging to hear at least one coach speak out in support of democracy in Hong Kong, in contrast to the shameful silence of our president.

Tim Shaw
Cambridge, Mass.

The Comforts of a Home Garden

To the Editor:

Re “The Primal Thrill of a Cherry Tomato,” by Jennifer Weiner (Op-Ed, Sept. 28):

I completely relate to the thrill of gardening as a means of emotional as well as nutritional replenishment, as Ms. Weiner so movingly writes.

When I was growing up, my maternal grandparents lived with us and had a garden in a small portion of our backyard, including tomatoes, onions, radishes and other delights that graced our table for many years — an outgrowth of their experience with victory gardens during World War II and liberty gardens during World War I, both of which they lived through, here in the United States.

My grandparents were married 72 years and lived to be almost 100. I can’t be sure if their garden was responsible for their happiness and longevity, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt: It didn’t hurt.

Greg Joseph
Sun City, Ariz.

What the Psychic Foretold

To the Editor:

“In an Upper West Side Parlor, a Revolving Crystal Ball Kept On Spinning” (news article, Sept. 25) brought back memories of the psychic who held court at the Ansonia on Broadway and West 73rd Street. It was about 40 years ago when my cousin and I paid $5 apiece to write down three questions, then found seats in the psychic’s crowded meeting room.

It took a while for her to get to us, but when she did, she told my cousin that no, she wouldn’t get married. (What kind of psychic tells a woman that she won’t get married?)

Also, my cousin wouldn’t be offered that great job she’d been interviewed for, but she’d do very well if she stayed where she was.

My cousin scoffed as we walked back down Broadway, and two months later I was maid of honor at her wedding. She had a second interview for that appealing job, but they didn’t hire her. As for her new husband, it turned out that his divorce from his previous wife hadn’t been finalized.

My cousin dumped him, returned to her old job and recently retired as a vice president at the company. (Unfortunately, the prediction that I’d get married didn’t work out — but I’m still looking.)

Carol Robinson
New York

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