Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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Slogging through the Iraqi quagmire

George Foster - August 23rd, 2007
Just when we think it can’t any get worse, the single, most deadly attack since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq hits us in the gut.
A staggering death toll of at least 400 civilians and many more wounded, resulted from explosive-filled garbage trucks flattening a village, recently. The Bush administration has characterized that attack as al Qaeda’s bid to break America’s will in Iraq.
Does anyone over ten years old really believe that Iraqi insurgents continue to kill innocent women and children primarily to affect U.S. public opinion? Iraq is in the midst of a civil war - Iraqis on Iraqis. Even Colin Powell and other Republican military experts say that Iraq has spiraled into civil war.
In other words, our soldiers have been given the near impossible task of refereeing in the crossfire of Shiites killing Sunnis, killing Kurds, killing...
It is true, though, that there is a presence of foreign fighters in Iraq that continues to cause more than their share of havoc. Militants coming from outside Iraq tend to do much of the suicide bombing. Yet foreign-born terrorists are thought to be no more than 10% of all insurgents now in Iraq, compared to at least 90% home-grown Iraqi militants.
The foreign fighters must be mostly from neighboring Iran, you say? Think again.
While the Bush Administration rails on about how Syria and Iran are supporting the chaos in Iraq (and they are), the U.S. military’s own figures show that 45% of all foreign fighters entering Iraq with the intention of killing American and Iraqi security forces come from Saudi Arabia. Iran and Syria provide only about 15% each. In addition, about half of all foreigners that we hold in Iraqi prisons are Saudis - by far the greatest number from any country.
No one ever talks about the flood of terrorists coming into Iraq from Saudi Arabia. Who mentions the millions in funding for Sunni insurgents from private Saudi citizens that the Iraq Study Group reported? Most unbelievably, no one even seems to care that Saudi Arabia was home to 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked us on 9/11/01. None of the hijackers were from Iraq, Iran, or Syria.
So why is our government labeling everyone but Saudi Arabia as a terrorist organization? Oh, how could I forget? The U.S. is preparing to sell another $20 billion in military arms to the Saudis while we purchase at least that amount from them in oil each year.
In private, even Dick Cheney is becoming frustrated with his Saudi “friends.” Apparently, during his trip to Riyahd in May, the vice president quietly put pressure on Saudi officials to stem the flow of Saudi militants into Iraq. Shiite Iraqi officials have long complained of Saudi Arabian support for Sunni insurgents in Iraq that kill us, and claim Cheney’s appeal has been ignored. And Senator Joe Lieberman wants to attack Iran, next?
I don’t care whether you agreed with our original invasion of Iraq or not. The issue is how do we get out of this mess as soon as possible.
Several politicians, most notably Senator John McCain, think we need at least 100,000 more American soldiers in Iraq. The recent military surge, favored by the Bush administration, added about 30,000 U.S. troops and is said to have resulted in some progress on the ground in Iraq (thousands of recent Iraqi victims of attacks might disagree). The bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommendations, if enacted, would have begun a drawdown of U.S. troops early in 2008.
If you ask the Iraqis what to do, most want us out. Polls even show that over 70% of Iraqis support attacks on American soldiers. In studies of U.S. public opinion, 60% of Americans think we should come home immediately or within a year. Less than half of Americans now believe the war in Iraq is even winnable.
Maybe the most revealing solution to the war was attributed to political satirist Mark Russell. We can’t leave Iraq, he says, because Iraq would be over-run by Iraqis.
 
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