Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Still another turning point in Iraq

George Foster - June 22nd, 2006
Still another turning point in Iraq
It is about time.
For three years, thousands of Iraqi and U.S. military agents have chased the murderous terrorist, Abu Mousab al-Zaqawi, in a country not much larger than the state of Michigan. When the elusive leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was recently killed in a farmhouse by two 500 pound bombs launched by F-16 fighter jets, many including President Bush tempered their response as to its significance.
Actually, there can be little doubt al-Zaqawi’s “termination” is a very important moment relating to the violence that has been spewing out of control in Iraq – for better or worse. While it may be true that al-Zaqawi’s band number only a few hundred of the 25,000 to 50,000 insurgents thought to be fighting in Iraq, his death is symbolic as the new government struggles to bring security to the country. The momentum gained from “terminating” the world’s most ruthless jihadist gives renewed hope to Iraqis struggling to bring their bickering factions together. Any major success also gives Americans encouragement that our soldiers might come home sometime soon.
On the other hand, heightened pressure has now been laid on the U.S. military and Iraqi security forces to bring the chaos under control. If there is no visible reduction in violence as a result of eliminating al-Zaqawi, the American public will grow even more impatient with the prospect of our troops standing in the crossfire of increased sectarian violence in the most populous areas of Iraq.
Which way will the conflict go? The next three or four months should give us the answer.

Speaking of terrorists, you may have heard that the conservative author and TV political attack-dog, Ann Coulter, angrily referred to certain 9/11 widows as witches and concluded that no one is allowed to debate their views because of their status as victims.
Coulter stated, “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.” She added, “And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren’t planning to divorce these harpies?” Whew - Coulter has given the word “cruel” new meaning.
Even beyond civility, Ann Coulter cannot comprehend family members of the deceased pressing to find out why the attacks occurred. If not for these widows and other relatives of the victims, there would have been no independent 9/11 commission. For months, the Bush administration refused to authorize such a review until family members pressured them into doing the obvious – setting up a group of experts to study the most deadly terrorist attacks in history.
By this act alone, these widows did a great service for all Americans. Though not expecting praise, who could have guessed these women could be ripped for doing what any caring, grieving spouse would do?
No one should be surprised, though, because this is the same compassionate Ann Coulter who once said, “There should be a poll tax and literacy test for people to vote.” She must long for the good old days of the Jim Crow South, if not a return to slavery.
She also referred to founding father Alexander Hamilton as a former President of the U.S. during a cable news debate. When attorney Alan Dershowitz gently corrected her that Hamilton had never been president, it was a precious moment in which Ann Coulter had nothing to say.
As Dershowitz knows, Ann Coulter can spout any absurd notion that supports her political point of view, while the rest of us struggle to respond without lowering ourselves to her undignified level.
 
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