Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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