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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Random Thoughts

George Foster - July 17th, 2003
Why invading Liberia is a bad idea

Say it ain‘t so. Now, the U.S. is thinking of sending troops to
Liberia? Have we all gone nuts?
Liberia is probably the worst hellhole on earth. In the latest
edition of the World‘s Most Dangerous Places, Liberia is one of only three
countries that earns a five-star rating as the baddest of the bad nations.
Liberia is more dangerous than militia-infested Afghanistan. It is more
deadly than Israel/Palestine where it seems people are blown up like holiday
firecrackers on most days. Living in Liberia is far riskier than Iraq where
anarchy still reigns. Only Columbia and Chechnya are rated as equally nasty
places if you value your existence on earth.
Keeping our military out of Liberia isn‘t to say the country‘s
inhabitants don‘t deserve our help. To put it mildly, Liberia is not a
comfortable place to live. Hundreds of thousands have perished in the
crossfire during the last decade while rival factions all vie for control of
this small African country. One in every 15 Liberians has been killed in
the fighting, which often includes torture, rape, and amputations forced en
mass on the victims. Why should we send our sons and daughters in the U.S.
armed forces to join this slaughter?
President Bush has demanded that Liberia‘s president step down from
office. Charles Taylor is the latest of a succession of cruel rulers in
Liberia who seem to be a big part of the problem. Taylor succeeded Samuel
Doe, whose ears were cut off, was tortured to death, and then had the rest
of his corpse dragged through the capital, Monrovia, for all to admire.
Liberians learned quickly what kind of leader Samuel Doe was after he
ousted the previous president, William Tolbert, Jr. in 1980. Doe arranged
for Tolbert and 13 of his aides to be executed on television shortly after
the coupe took place. Hopefully, Liberian parents monitor their children‘s
TV viewing habits.
Taylor is a disaster for Liberia but what right do we have to demand
that Liberia‘s elected president step down? We need to mind our own store
and keep U.S. troops out of this cesspool of death they call Liberia. And
don‘t tell me that our military is needed because of the humanitarian crisis
that prevails there. Neighboring countries in Africa such as Rwanda and the
Congo have lost millions of lives recently due to war, poverty, and disease
without the U.S. threatening to intervene. Liberia is just one of dozens of
countries around the world where civil war rages without hope of cooling
down any time soon. We can‘t be everywhere at once on nation-building
crusades.
And besides, lest we soon forget, we are stretched a little thin
fighting a war against terrorism. There is no connection in Liberia to
terrorist networks that have declared war on America. Liberia has no weapons
of mass destruction. We have no interests in Liberia - strategic, economic
or otherwise that require a U.S invasion.
On the other hand, Liberia needs a long-term commitment from the
world community to hasten an end to its misery. Unfortunately, the U.S.
severely strained its ties to NATO and the United Nations before our attack
on Baghdad. When France and Germany insisted that an invasion of Iraq should
wait until the existence of weapons of mass destruction had been proved, we
Americans were angered at our allies‘ appeasement policies. Oops.
Liberia desperately needs food, medical supplies, and peacekeeping
troops that only the international community can provide for the long-term.
It is time for the United States to kiss and makeup with NATO and the U.N.
in order to help countries like Liberia help themselves.

 
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