Letters

Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS 

A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Why our troops must...
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Why our troops must leave Iraq

George Foster - October 5th, 2006
Most Iraqis now hate Americans and can’t wait for us to get the hell out of their country. More alarmingly, the number of Iraqis who feel this way is still growing.
If you doubt this fact, as I did, you probably haven’t seen the latest polls from Iraq, itself. These results hit me like a thunderbolt, but unfortunately didn’t attract many headlines in the U.S.
The shocking conclusions from the latest independent study shows that 61% of Iraqis approve attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. Not attacks “by” our troops, they support attacks “on” the U.S. military.
And I was surprised earlier this year over results of a similar poll that said 47% of Iraqis approved of the violence against American troops? Now, six out of ten Iraqis apparently want us dead – roughly 15 million people. Isn’t this the same nation we freed from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein? With friends like these, no wonder there is little time, lately, to track down al-Qaeda terrorists.
We know that few Iraqis embraced our troops with open arms as promised in 2003. The Iraqi people did seem open, though, to the creation of a U.S. supported democratic state. Today, embracing Iraqi arms seem to be more symbolic of an AK-47 in one hand and a stinger missile in the other – aimed at us.
Dispelling any notion that only terrorists were polled in the above-mentioned survey, this study of Iraqis also found an overwhelming negative opinion of Osama bin Laden and a majority disapproval of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
It should be obvious by the polls and the unrelenting carnage in Iraq that forcing our troops on Iraqis is not presently a viable solution. And just when do the Iraqi people want us to leave? The same survey asked that question and concluded over half of the general Iraqi population wants U.S. troops out within a year.
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. State Department conducted its own study and found that two-thirds of Baghdad’s residents prefer our forces leave Iraq immediately. If these poll numbers are even half-accurate, it is surely time to begin planning our departure from this nightmare better known as Iraq.
Regardless of whether you agreed with the original invasion of Iraq or not, most Americans want our troops to stay for now. Anti-Iraqi War notables Al Gore and Jimmy Carter even support keeping the U.S. military in Iraq without a defined exit date. Until this watershed moment, I have not supported bringing the troops home because the alternative seemed to be all-out civil war there.
Well, we are now on the brink of the worst-case scenario. Iraq is engulfed in a sectarian war with our troops caught in the middle of a population that hates us. But does standard military wisdom dictate that foreign troops should automatically leave a nation when most of its citizens wish it? Of course not - it depends on the circumstances.
In this case, Iraq is a nation that did not attack us - President Bush recently agreed that Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. At this juncture, the presence of American troops in Iraq, supposedly, is to help its people achieve freedom. Shouldn’t they be free to expect foreign forces to leave when we are no longer wanted?
Our country has now spent more than $300 billion on resurrecting Iraq. Even more staggering is the growing human cost – almost 2700 American lives lost, tens of thousands seriously wounded and many thousands more suffering with post-traumatic-stress-disorder. After three and a half years, it is time for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country.
Maybe good can actually come from their population turning on us. You can bet that Iraqis would be more likely to get their act together if our military suddenly announced to them, “You’ve got your wish, people. We are out of here.”
 
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