Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - April 10th, 2003
Thoughts on the War
Come on, no one really thought this would be much of a contest, did they?
You don‘t need to be a Harvard scholar of military history to realize that coalition forces have infinitely more firepower than the Iraqis. It is only a matter of time before our military might prevails over a hopelessly outgunned foe.
Yet, there is more of a rush than we have been led to believe. The coalition forces need to win this war in a matter of weeks for geo-political reasons. If the battle for Baghdad takes months, any pretense of the U.S. liberating the Iraqi people transforms into the image of an invasion and occupation by a foreign aggressor - America.
You might be saying, “Who cares what other nations think. After all, we know our motive for sending troops to Iraq is to free its people or topple Saddam or get rid of weapons of mass destruction or FILL IN THE BLANK.“ The problem is a little matter called guerrilla warfare. Listening to young American soldiers talk on TV of winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people before the battle for Baghdad even begins, indicates the urgency of a quick victory passing down through the ranks. They all know that strategically the biggest danger of this conflict will occur after the regular Iraqi troops are defeated.
The possibility of Iraqis and foreign extremists in the Muslim world continuing the fight by taking lessons from the Mujahideen of Afghanistan, Fidel Castro‘s ragtag forces in the mountains of Cuba, and our own experiences fighting the American Revolution is very real. A guerrilla war fought in the streets of Iraq or bordering mountains could last for years.
We need to end this war as soon as possible and bring our troops home safe and sound.
Speaking of coming home, Jessica Lynch is the most famous U.S. soldier in the last 30 years - and rightfully so. The story of her ferocious fight for survival will become a book and movie that defies believability. What does it say about our country that a woman is now being used as the model for everything an American soldier should stand for? Something very good.
Next to Saddam Hussein, the journalists covering this war are made out to be the biggest losers. Some would have Peter Arnett and Geraldo Rivera shot on sight for talking too much.
Is it a coincidence that 99% of their critics are sitting safely at home on a sofa thousands of miles from the battlefield? I think not. Yeah, a few of the reporters may have made bad errors in judgment. You try embedding yourself with the military on battlefields complete with flying bullets, grenades and artillery shells. Could you volunteer to do your job on the front lines of Iraq where the potential of deadly chemical weapons is high and do your best every moment? These journalists are risking their lives to bring us the news and they don‘t have so much as a BB gun to protect themselves. I salute them for their bravery.
The Arab news organization, Al Jazeera, the most popular media among Arabs, has won new converts around the world during the conflict for their independent reporting. When the U.S. ostracized Al Jazeera for showing grisly photos of victims in the war, they joined a long list of those who have attempted to silence Al Jazeera.
I agree with U.S. journalists Ted Koppel and Joe Klein who have supported an uncensored reporting of the war. It seems to me that we either cover the war thoroughly or not at all. War is never pretty and most Americans want to see the truth, not some sanitized version of a glorious victory. For goodness sake, PG-rated movies that we allow our kids to view in this country often contain more violence than we could possibly see during one day on live TV in Iraq. If war coverage gets too gruesome, there is always something that can be resorted to known as the “off-switch.“
Al Jazeera must be doing something right. Recently, what is left of the Iraqi government outlawed Al Jazeera from reporting in Baghdad. Iraqi leaders joined the rulers of several other oil kingdoms that have barred Al Jazeera reporters. Why? They were kicked out for fearlessly reporting on the oppression that exists in these countries. It is telling that many relatives of U.S. troops listen to the Arab media to find out what really is going on with family members that are missing in Iraq.
Personally, I prefer BBC radio (when I can find it). BBC seems to be a step ahead and has less of an editorial agenda than most of the other media.
I swear we can handle it - just give us the truth. It is undeniable that ABC, Fox, CNN, and Al Jazeera all give us a different slant on the news. Thankfully in our country, unlike Iraq, Americans are allowed to sort it all out for themselves.

 
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