There is a lot to criticize in Mr. Steiner's letter of March 1, but as the editor of the Observer would probably prefer, I didn't send in a multi-page letter, I will just point out one of the most glaring absurdities, contained in one sentence at the end of the first paragraph.
The author's statement that a place 7,000 miles away from America cannot be a threat to the U.S. is ridiculous. Perhaps he has never heard of ballistic missiles, which Iraq used to try to provoke Israel in the 1991 Gulf War, and better versions of which Iran and North Korea continue to develop and test today. Mr. Steiner may also have missed 9/11, a horrific attack on American civilians that was planned and executed by people who lived on the opposite side of the world from America.
A threat to the United States according to the author must necessarily be contiguous, or at least relatively close by. What a relief! We need only fear totalitarian regimes in Mexico and Canada. Looking back at history, we are surprised to discover that Nazi Germany, militaristic Japan, and the Soviet Union were, by the author's definition, not threats.
It worries me when I realize that Mr. Steiner's silly analysis of what determines a threat to America's interests is what passes for a logical statement these days.