LIV Golf, Trump and the Saudi Connection

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  • Norman Lear Is 100, and He Has a Gift for Us
  • A Chilling Scenario
  • Guns in Texas Schools
  • Cellphones on the Subway
Phil Mickelson stepped back after a heckler interrupted his opening tee shot on Friday.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Embracing Saudi Tour, Trump Tries Again to Infiltrate the Sports World” (Sports, July 28):

The Saudis may have created their extravagant LIV Golf tour to make a good impression. At least that has been the gist of newspaper articles. Former President Donald Trump has been quoted as saying it’s great publicity for Saudi Arabia.

I disagree. I think the effort is properly backfiring. Many stories about LIV Golf emphasize two things:

First, they mention the horrible record of Saudi Arabia on human rights, including its evident role in the 9/11 attack and its murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and the rights of the L.G.B.T. community.

Second, they refer to the obscene payments being made to professional golfers to join the LIV Golf tour, which calls attention to the obscene wealth of Saudi Arabia and, among other things, its failure to use its oil supplies to rescue the West in the Ukraine-Russia war.

In other words, the LIV Golf tour is doing precisely the opposite of what it intends. Of course, LIV did not know that its principal defender would be Donald Trump.

David M. Dorsen
The writer was assistant chief counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973-74.

To the Editor:

Re “LIV ‘Atrocity’ at Trump’s Course Brings a Somber Protest by Kin of 9/11 Victims” (Sports, July 30):

The 9/11 families are right to hold the Saudis responsible for the deaths of their loved ones, but not in terms of the direct role they posit. There is no hard evidence that the Saudi government was involved in the actual plot, and it had everything to lose from the vast international ramifications unleashed by the attacks.

What the Saudi regime is guilty of before history is the creation of the vast milieu of religious radicalism that led to the attacks. The Saudis’ official Wahhabi creed is the font of modern Sunni extremism, and they have long spread it abroad through the World Muslim League, which they founded in 1962.

During the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s they and their close ally Pakistan funneled American aid to the most hard-line resistance groups, and indoctrinated Afghan refugees in hate-filled jihad. And in the 1990s they supported the rise of the Taliban and were one of the handful of countries to recognize the militants.

And although the families are right to chastise Donald Trump for his association with the Saudis, his support for Riyadh is in keeping with 80 years of American foreign policy.

That is the original sin that must be atoned for, and the connection that must be severed, if Islamic extremism is to be ultimately defeated.

Vanni Cappelli
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
The writer is president of the Afghanistan Foreign Press Association.

To the Editor:

Re “The Host Plays by His Own Rules, or None at All” (Sports, July 29):

Reading the story recounting Donald Trump’s round of golf on Thursday would be hilarious if it didn’t illustrate the deadly serious consequences of such a person being in charge in the White House.

Defying protocol, enlisting his cronies to help him cheat and putting his fellow players at risk? Sounds like a recipe for Jan. 6.

Maris Thatcher Meyerson
Berkeley, Calif.

Norman Lear Is 100, and He Has a Gift for Us

Norman Lear in 2021.Credit…Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Carroll O’Connor, who played Archie Bunker, in 1971.Credit…CBS, via Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “On My 100th Birthday, Reflections on Archie Bunker and Donald Trump,” by Norman Lear (Opinion guest essay,, July 27):

It was incredibly moving to read Mr. Lear’s essay. I suspect that there are others who were moved as I was. Call us Lear Democrats. We are liberals who are desperate not to destroy “Red America” but to find a way to live together respectfully in a country that we all love, a country that must still struggle to guarantee liberty and justice for all.

I hope that Democrats running in coming elections will identify, like Mr. Lear, as flag-waving believer(s) “in truth, justice and the American way.” Like Mr. Lear, I hope they will focus on the future and not the past, and I hope they will show that they can appreciate the absurdity of the human condition.

We are lucky that Norman Lear is still here to remind us what liberal patriotism sounds like. We must listen. Lear Democrats can win.

Jeffrey Israel
Williamstown, Mass.
The writer is the author of “Living With Hate in American Politics and Religion: How Popular Culture Can Defuse Intractable Differences.”

To the Editor:

While Norman Lear notes that “for all his faults, Archie loved his country and he loved his family, even when they called him out on his ignorance and bigotries,” the tragedy is that today Archie and his family wouldn’t engage each other in a healthy debate despite the abhorrence of the other’s views. They would simply shun each other.

Larry Pollack
Plainview, N.Y.

A Chilling Scenario

Dr. Mary Ott was one of several doctors who gave testimony before lawmakers.Credit…Kaiti Sullivan for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Indiana Clash Shows G.O.P. Rift Over the Scope of Abortion Bans” (front page, July 28):

One of the more chilling sentences I have recently read concerning our post-Roe world was “And what if a woman’s health is threatened by a pregnancy but doctors do not believe she will die?”

So now doctors have to parse just how close to death a woman has to be before they can provide appropriate medical interventions. That could potentially cause doctors to choose between best medical practices and facing jail time. And women having to get very close to dying in order to be treated.

Well done, “pro-life” justices.

Suzanne Levin
Princeton, N.J.

Guns in Texas Schools

To the Editor:

Hey, y’all, come to Texas if you want to protect your children from gun violence, because the City of Fort Worth plans to spend millions on intervention, counseling services, active shooter drills, mentoring and community partnerships.

Sadly, it forgot to plan for the elephant-size AR-15-style rifle in the classroom. There, these legally purchased, military-style assault rifles with extra-capacity magazines can tear apart doors, desks and a classroom full of little children in seconds.

Tragically, that would be like teaching your child how to protect themselves from the vicious dogs roaming the streets instead of barring residents from owning vicious dogs.

But since gun sales increase after every mass shooting, I don’t expect the N.R.A. or any Republican lawmaker to call for a ban on assault weapons anytime soon.

Sharon Austry
Fort Worth

Cellphones on the Subway

Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

To the Editor:

“New York Plans Cell Service Throughout Subways” (news article, July 30) fails to contemplate what the change would look — or, rather, sound — like underground.

Anyone who actually rides the subway can tell you that flagrantly rude cellphone use has become unbearable and unavoidable in recent years. It’s a rare ride when you’re not forced to listen to someone’s music, video game or movie.

I would hate to be robbed of my one small pleasure in this age of waning urban civility: seeing people shouting into their cellphones having their conversations abruptly cut short after the car doors shut and the train enters the tunnel.

Daniel Stone
New York

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