Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · If the shoe fits...
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If the shoe fits...

Robert Downes - December 22nd, 2008
There’s been so little fanfare over the latest news from Iraq that most Americans probably don’t have a clue: the war is essentially over.
Okay, let’s qualify that by saying “barring some unforseen calamity, the war is over...” because you just never know.
But on Thanksgiving Day, the Iraqi parliament approved a new security pact that requires the United States to withdraw our troops by 2011.
The Iraqi government also voted on new restrictions for U.S. troops when it comes to searching homes, detaining citizens, and conducting military operations. Iraqi officials will also have oversight over U.S. troops and our soldiers will be prosecuted in Iraqi courts for serious crimes that are committed off-duty.
There are also plans to pull U.S. troops out of the cities and confine them to bases out in the countryside until we get our ticket home in 2011 -- three years from now.
Britain will start withdrawing its 4,100 troops in March, expecting to be out of Iraq by June.
Just a year ago, this sort of bombshell would have blown conservative stacks on the talk show circuit. That was back when candidate John McCain vowed never to “surrender” in Iraq (as if some insurgent general was going to hand over his sword like Robert E. Lee at Appomattox). Imagine the effrontery of the Iraqis telling us what to do in their own country!
But now, the mood in America seems to be: “let’s pack our bags and split before they change their minds.”
President Bush is happy. “The vote affirms the growth of Iraq’s democracy and increasing ability to secure itself,” he said earlier this month.
President-elect Barack Obama has got to be happy, because the news means we’ll no longer be pumping $12 billion or more into the futile sands of Iraq each month. He and Congress are going to need every cent they can scrape up to move the country forward -- not to mention Obama’s plan to send thousands of new troops into Afghanistan.
American hawks can be happy because they can declare victory. And the same applies to the American peace movement. What’s not to like?
Of course, there are some naysayers who wonder if Iraq’s government can get it together to run the country on their own within three years’ time. Or, will they be engulfed by the insurgent militias that have made Iraq a moonscape of bomb craters and bloody markets?
Well, consider this: a sizeable number of Iraqis are ticked off that our troops will be allowed to stay in their country for three more years. In early December, 10,000 of them protested allowing us to stay that long.
Now, the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush last week is a big hero to many Iraqis, who would like to see us gone immediately. He yelled: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!”
Question: Can an old dog learn new tricks? Let’s use those shoes to tip-toe out of Iraq while the getting is good.

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