Letters, Dec. 14
Scared of losing face
So many of the national and international disagreements are a matter of individuals attempting to save face within their own constituencies; e.g., Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas went to the U.N. and his Palestinian government was given an "observer" membership. This ticked off Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel. So he tried to save face by announcing the building of 3,000 more homes in disputed territory. Now Khaled Meshal of Hamas, in saving his and their faces, contends (as usual) that Israel must be wiped off the map.
In this country, Obama/Geitner want $1.6 trillion of new spending, trying to save their faces within their gang, and Boehner comes back with mammoth spending cuts, trying to save his face and his job as speaker. None of the antagonists wish to sit together at the table and solve their differences. Why doesn't Netanyahu cross into Gaza and sit down and discuss these elemental differences? No, that would be losing face. And Obama takes off to speak at a Tinker Toy factory rather than cabbing over to the Capitol to sit down with Boehner, Ryan, and Kantor. There are enough faces to save in this ballet to keep a staff of cosmetic specialists busy until they all are swept over their multiple political and fiscal cliffs.
Come on folks, you might learn to like whosever on the opposite side of the table. But that would appear to be losing face.