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Published: Thursday, 10/3/2002

Freedom is only cure for oppression

President Bush's war on terrorism has been less than successful: He has failed to find Osama bin Laden. He has freed (I use the term loosely) Afghanistan only to use U.S. tax dollars to rebuild it. While he knows that Iraq and other Arabic countries harbor terrorists (in-cluding al-Qaeda), he panders to the United Nations and to our own congressmen waiting for a sanction to strike Iraq.

However, President Bush has failed in another way: Israel. Israel has endured terrorism from the countries in the region for more than 40 years. If we divide the actual time that the United States has dealt with terrorism into the amount of time Israel has dealt with it, Israel is at least 40 times more justified to wage a war on terrorism than is the United States.

When we look at our foreign affairs with the Israelis during the past 10 years (under Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush), we see that the U.S. has pushed the Israelis into bargaining for peace - which amounts to bargaining with terrorists.

Mr. Bush should wake up and realize that we are not fighting a few people - we are fighting a concept. The concept is oppression. Our freedom is the only cure for the concept of oppression. Mr. Bush had better grasp it before we are too late to save Israel - or ourselves.

RICHARD SUTHERLAND II

Maumee

A letter in the Readers' Forum spoke of more positive “happenings” during the Finkbeiner administration than the Ford administration. I would suggest that the difference in the two men is style.

Mayor Finkbeiner was outspoken, seemed to have a news conference every day, and was out-and-about in the city. Mayor Ford is quiet and thoughtful, preferring to accomplish matters behind the scenes.

There was criticism of Mayor Finkbeiner's style and there will be criticism of Mayor Ford's style, but I believe there are many positive happenings in Mr. Ford's administration, just with a different agenda and in a different approach.

SHARON RITTER

Cloverdale Road

The turbulent and troubling events of the past year have caused each of us to reflect upon issues that affect our sense of personal well being. What gives life meaning? What enriches and sustains our spirit? How relevant is music to spiritual and philosophical issues and the human condition?

Music played integral parts in ceremonies here in Toledo, across the nation, and around the world. Music for reflection, for solace, and for meaning. The symphony itself presented a concert that was described by The Blade as “powerful music making” with “searing emotional effect.”

While our work is done intimately, listener by listener, we are affected by the outside forces that shape our community. We celebrate success, but we are challenged to sustain this fine music resource. For example, in a year of financial uncertainty for everyone, this community rallied to balance the symphony budget.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation renewed a second grant of $600,000 to continue innovative programs in the areas of artistic leadership, performance quality, community access, and ongoing organizational development. We are proud to have been chosen from a national pool of applicants.

Legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich chose to celebrate his 75th birthday with a performance in Toledo, one of only a handful of U.S. engagements, and Stefan Sanderling has agreed to provide artistic leadership. It is the artistic quality of the orchestra itself that attracts international musicians of the caliber of these artists and many others to northwest Ohio.

As we look toward our 60th anniversary next season we are working hard to ensure that the Toledo Symphony can sustain artistic accomplishment and remain a vibrant musical resource for the region with active community involvement by our musicians. We are grateful for the community's partnership and its investment. We will look for you in our audience.

ROBERT BELL

President, CEO

Toledo Symphony

I agree with Amjad Hussain that one should not blame a religion for the misdeeds of some of its adherents. However, religious edicts are subject to a multitude of interpretations. For example, even though Islam forbids suicide, that hasn't stopped many imams from teaching Muslim youths to become “martyrs,” i.e. suicide hijackers and bombers, in the name of Allah.

Dr. Hussain accuses U.S. officials of conducting a “hateful campaign” against Islam when in fact this government and nation have bent over backwards to reach out and show Muslims here and abroad solidarity and friendship, thereby disassociating Islam as a religion from the politics of Islamic fanaticism.

One cannot say the same of Dr. Hussain's native Pakistan and the majority of Muslim and Arab nations who, at best, remained silent after 9/11, and at worst danced in the streets to celebrate the deaths of Americans. These dictatorships and theocracies do not practice respect and acceptance. Religious differences are not celebrated, they're banned, and any kind of dissent is ruthlessly crushed.

For Arabs and Muslims to “distance” themselves, as Dr. Hussain says they have, from the horror of 9/11 is simply not good enough. What they need to do is condemn unequivocally - not just in words but in deeds - intolerance, hatred, and terrorism.

Dr. Hussain should quit pointing an accusatory finger at the United States, Israel, and western civilization as the culprits and start pointing it inwardly to examine how Islam got hijacked by fanaticism and corruption.

RUTHY LIGHT

Indian Road

The “boating interests” have succeeded in obtaining federal and local money for dredging the mouth of the Ottawa River. This dredging will serve only one purpose, to benefit marinas and waterfront residents in the affected area. The funding for this project may have been obtained under the guise that this is a pollution cleanup project. Only the mouth of the river is being dredged. The heaviest pollution and the pollution's source are upriver from the area that will be dredged.

The pollution problem of the Ottawa River is not being addressed by this dredging project. Over time this dredged area will become polluted again because of the flow of pollution from upriver. I am not an environmental engineer, but I would think that the cleanup of the Ottawa River should start at the source of the pollution. This project should not be funded with environmental clean-up funds. This project should be classified as a recreational project, not as an environmental clean-up project.

MARGE NOWICKI

131st Street

In today's environment the Democrat's icon, John F. Kennedy, would be a Republican. Since the Clintonization of the Democratic Party the Democrats have become so politically corrupt that they can't even imagine that George W. Bush is trying to do what's needed.

Saddam Hussein is not a misunderstood boy who needs a timeout. Why would anyone allow Saddam to continue to develop weapons? In 1998, Saddam threw out the U.N.'s weapons inspectors. Nothing was done because it was not politically correct and the nightmare of the Democratic Party would occur: poor polling numbers. George W. Bush knows the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. This is very upsetting to politically correct Democrats.

TERRY SOMMERS

Walbridge

I would like to know if anyone on this planet can explain why the railroad has to block rush-hour traffic across Navarre and Woodville roads, particularly during the two weeks that Starr Avenue is closed at I-280 for construction. It is virtually impossible (or impassable!) to drive between East Toledo and Oregon at 5 p.m. It raises road rage to a whole new level.

JOYCE MILLIMEN

Cyril Street



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