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Published: Thursday, 8/15/2002

Is toppling Saddam worth the sacrifice?

Eleven years ago I wrote a letter to The Blade voicing my opposition to the war with Iraq. Now I do the same with the other George Bush. Why is it that both Bush presidents want to attack oil-rich Iraq? Why is it that so many Americans go along with the plans of these two men? Where is the outrage?

And this time, George W. is even going to bypass Congress and attack whenever he feels like it. Since when can the Executive Branch declare war? Where are the voices of the defenders of our Constitution?

This time around America won't have the allies that it did in 1991. All of Europe warns us not to invade. Perhaps it is the wisdom of their people and leaders. Who, then, can we call upon as allies? I've heard that Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait support us. It is interesting to note that each is a monarchy. Kuwait forbids women to vote; Bahrain permits no one to vote. Qatar has had no national elections since 1970. Yet, according to President Bush and the warmongers, we need to bring democracy to Iraq.

Democracy? Like the right to vote, and no monarch for a ruler, and things like our brave patriots fought for in 1776?

Are we are willing to send our young men and women into Iraq to just bring down a dictator? Do we care so little about our young men and women in uniform that we would subject them to injury and death because we don't like a dictator? Our government, I guess, only likes democracies. Democracies like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kingdom of Jordan. Democracies like our trading pals communist China. Democracies like the monarchies of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Or is it the oil?

DENIS EBLE

Westcastle Drive

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A recent letter questioned the sincerity of Israel's apology for accidentally killing Palestinian civilians. So far we have heard no apologies from Palestinians for bombing innocent Israelis by suicidal zealots egged on by their leaders who rejoice at the destruction they cause in Israeli public places.

Does the writer believe that the Arab attacks on American innocents require an apology to his country when America strikes back?

MARGARET COOPER

Perrysburg

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The Blade has emphasized the shortsighted policy of the Ohio legislature in its cutbacks of funding to higher education. A glance to the north reveals a new report from a study commissioned by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the President's Council, State Universities of Michigan. It measured the impact of investment in four-year universities to the state's economy. State public universities contribute $39 billion to the Michigan economy annually. This is a return of between $5.50 and $6.50 for each dollar it costs to operate the schools in the state.

For each dollar contributed by the state government to the universities' operating costs, the state's economy receives a collective return of $26. (Source: The University Record, The University of Michigan, July 22, 2002.)

Where else can comparable returns be found?

Ohio, a larger state with more universities, should receive an even greater impact from funding higher education.

JAMES G. RAVIN

Crossfields Road

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Could we please dispense with the “junk” verbiage utilized by all and sundry currently (along with the “junk” diets and “junk” [inadequate] exercise habits described in a Readers' Forum letter of Aug. 4)?

Too many people who should know better are touting “a healthy lifestyle,” “a healthy diet,” etc., when no such thing exists. Exercising my self-granted nitpicking prerogative, may I remind the users of such “junk” verbiage that one can become healthy by adopting a healthful diet or living a healthful lifestyle, but that neither the diet nor the lifestyle can be “healthy” or “unhealthy” in and of itself.

All together now (advertisers, food canners, pharmacists, physicians, nurses, dieticians, teachers, columnists, editors, Forum contributors, etc.), repeat after me: “If I eat a healthful diet and live a healthful lifestyle, I will become healthy as a result thereof.”

There, that wasn't so difficult, was it?

LOREN L. PACE

Findlay

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According to the news media anyone can be sued for almost anything, and this is one of the reasons medical rates have gone sky high.

So in order to protect oneself it might be a good idea to post a sign (like they used to have in restaurants by the public coat rack) saying they are not responsible for safety.

A sign for doctors might say: “All persons entering and/or deciding to do business here must understand that they are accepting responsibility for their safety, well-being, honesty, and trust. We on our part promise to do our best. Thank you.”

If signs like this were posted it just might lower many costs. If signs like this were posted in Washington, D.C., it might even lower our growing debt.

CHARLES R. GINSBURG

South Detroit Avenue

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The fact that the Ohio Turnpike Commission, throughout its ranks, is accepting numerous gratuities and other favors is just another sorry example of how America is run today. It's simply a variation on the Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, etc., and locally, Ed Bergsmark, debacles: Companies and individuals who take advantage of their position to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

And what does the little guy get from the turnpike commission? Higher tolls, certainly. But more significantly, trucks choke our ancillary roads, making them overburdened and dangerous, just so they can avoid the cost of the turnpike.

Is there something wrong with this picture?

It's time to make the turnpike free - at least to the big rigs - and to abolish the self-serving Turnpike Commission. I'm outraged with the business-as-usual model in America today. It's the average citizens' turn in this democracy.

NANCY LIGHT

Waterville

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A young man was given six months for killing another man by running him over not once but three separate times with his automobile. This was because the jury was not convinced he meant to kill. What would constitute “intentional” homicide? Running over the man five times? Even if he was convicted of vehicular homicide, the sentence would only be five years!

Is killing another by means of a vehicle somehow less of a crime than shooting a gun? A three-year sentence is given if a gun is used in a holdup in addition to the regular sentence.

This sends a clear message: “If you are contemplating killing someone, run them over!” You will do 75 percent less time. The outcome is the same no matter what instrument is used. Why is it that our criminal justice system favors the use of an automobile as a weapon with such lenient sentencing? I doubt that loved ones feel justice was served.

It is about time our criminal justice system place a fair and uniform value on the taking of a human life, regardless of the means or tools used.

STEVEN C. PRICE

Penelope Drive

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Maybe this would be a good time to get rid of the guys who are accepting golf outings, dinners, etc., and make the Ohio Turnpike a free road as originally promised when it was built.

ELIZABETH WHITBECK

Waterville



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