RE “IRAN dismisses US request to return spy drone’’ (Page A4, Dec. 14): To send one of the most technologically advanced aircraft, so secret it has hardly been acknowledged, into enemy territory without the basic precaution of a self-destruct feature for the exact situation encountered in Iran ignores an imperative made eminently evident by our past. Did we learn so little from the U-2 spy plane debacle in 1960 or the stealth fighter crash in Yugoslavia in 1999? Even the fictional crew on “Mission: Impossible’’ knew enough to destroy incriminating or damaging elements of its operations. And all the United States can think of is to ask Iran to give it back? Would we return a prized piece of war machinery from a hated enemy that fell into our hands?
America is on a conspicuous mission to display its deficiencies - economically, socially, intellectually, politically, and militarily. Am I leaving anything out? In just a few decades we’ve gone from, if not revered, certainly worldwide respect to being a global embarrassment subject to well-earned disgrace and mockery.