Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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Time to get real on Iraq

George Foster - June 30th, 2005
Surely, we can’t be the idiots our government officials think we are.
CNN’s recent interview with Dick Cheney was jarring in the utter absence of reality on the subject of Iraq from the vice-president. His insistence that the insurgency in Iraq is in its last throes, proved once again how cavalier guys in the White House tend to become. How many times during this conflict have we heard that terrorists are now spiking up the violence in Iraq because they are on their last legs and democracy is breaking out all over the land?
We were fed that same nonsense by the administration soon after the original invasion into Iraq two years ago. We heard White House officials mention “insurgency desperation” before the Iraqi election five months ago. Now we are to believe that the terrorists are really desperate this time around?
Let’s face it, the only desperation the murderers who are blowing up everything in sight (including themselves) will feel for some time is to be the first in line to kill Americans and Iraqis they see as our collaborators.
Even General John Abizaid, the leading U.S. commander in the Persian Gulf, contradicted the vice-president when he stated recently that the insurgency in Iraq is at least as strong as it was six months ago. Also, he added that more foreign fighters were entering Iraq than six months ago.
The most incredible statement from the vice-president’s interview might be that Iraq “will be an enormous success story.” Obviously, our government officials need to keep a positive outlook for the sake of our troops and the country’s morale in time of war. Yet, if the violence miraculously disappeared overnight, and our troops came home tomorrow - this debacle could never be considered “an enormous success.”
Has Mr. Cheney considered that 100,000 innocent Iraqi bystanders may have died in the crossfire over the last two years? Has he forgotten that $230 billion of U.S. taxes has been poured into Iraq so far? It can’t be lost on the vice-president that over 1500 U.S. troops have given their lives to topple one incompetent, madman dictator, Saddam Hussein. By any measure, the American intervention into Iraq is well past any possibility of being deemed “an enormous success.”
As our country’s support for the war effort erodes, even congressional supporters of President Bush such as Chuck Hegal and Lindsay Graham have questioned the government’s strategy in Iraq. Some Republican allies of the administration have called for a timetable from the Defense Department to get out of Iraq.
Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld do make sense on this: we can’t leave now nor does it make any sense to publicize a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal. The resulting civil war in the Middle East to fill the vacuum of our immediate withdrawal could cause world anarchy and maybe millions more deaths. When it is time for our soldiers to leave, just get the hell out. Our enemies don’t need to know in advance.
Somehow, we need to get the job in Iraq done together. Currently, the polls in this country show less than 40% support our handling of the war. I guarantee that percentage would skyrocket upward if President Bush just leveled with the American people that our current strategy in Iraq has not worked and we need to close ranks in order to fix it.
Of course there are some good things going on in Iraq, but overall it is quagmire with no end in sight. Why not state the obvious (we have a problem, Houston), lay out a comprehensive plan to accelerate installation of security forces from other countries into the peacekeeping effort, and give our soldiers hope that they will be coming home sometime, soon.
Is that too much to ask?





 
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