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Published: Sunday, 3/2/2003

Iraq policy is difficult, but right

In this past year I have heard from many people who disagree with the Bush Administration's policy on Iraq. The “Not now” people, the “No war for oil” people, the “We need more proof people,” and so on. I have respected their points of view although I disagreed. Now that we are getting close to war the real wackos are coming out of the woodwork.

If you remember, “More proof” is what many people said we needed when the rumors of the death camps were coming out of Germany in the early 1940s.

These Ferner-esque people would not fight if the Iraqi army were on the banks of the Maumee. They would wade in to the water with flowers and lighted candles, humming some anti-war mantra. They have existed since the beginning of time and thank God they do not govern us. They are a small minority of socialists who are frustrated by the fact that nobody pays them any mind.

No one hates war more than me. I have seen what war does to the enemy, the civilians, and the American soldier. I am sure that this decision weighs heavily on the President's mind and heart. There comes a time when the right thing has to be done. I pray that we can accomplish the mission with the least loss of life possible.

I have never been prouder of our men and women in uniform. I wish them Godspeed.

HARRY WATSON

Brookfield Drive

I have a niece I love very much who recently spent three months in Kuwait and she may be called back in the future. She must leave two young children and her husband to go and protect our country.

I feel Mike Ferner should be charged with treason for his actions and statements concerning Iraq. I will never forgive him if even one of our service people is hurt trying to keep him safe. He is not worth one hair on my niece's head.

DONNA WAGNER

115th Street

I commend Lucas County Children Services' Dean Sparks for finally doing the right thing in relation to “Baby Molly.” While the best interest of the baby has always been to be with her biological family, the fact that the grandparents had identified another couple to adopt the baby should not have been a deterrent to her placement with her biological family instead of the foster parents.

Foster parents are just that, foster parents, not pre-approved adoptive parents. A child is in foster care as a temporary solution, until problems (real or imagined) within the birth family can be worked out. Foster parents should know at the start that a child placed with them is not theirs and they should be instrumental in the reunification of the family. That way, no one is devastated when the child is placed with family or someone chosen by the family.

Mr. Sparks stated in a letter to the Readers' Forum that “no government system, be it child protection, juvenile detention, mental health, or other, can fix kids. The simple truth is that we cannot substitute the state for a child's family and expect great outcomes.”

Knowing this, why was the baby not placed with the grandparents months ago? Mr. Sparks speaks out of both sides of his mouth. Had not these grandparents had the money, and the wherewithal to fight the child protection focus, this story would have been entirely different. Tragedy has been prevented.

This newspaper did a disservice to this baby with its headline, “Grandparents get discarded girl.” That was terribly insensitive. Hopefully when the girl is old enough to ask questions, her grandparents and parents will be able to explain what happened.

The least painful transition for the baby is to make a swift transition to her grandparents.

TWILA PAGE

Kimball Avenue

I'm not sure if Mario Goveia's poorly thought out Feb. 19 attack on columnists Ann McFeatters and Marilou Johanek proves he's ignorant of history, has a poor understanding of the complex issues at risk with a possible war with Iraq, or got a Rush Limbaugh special edition dictionary on sale (“liberal propaganda,” “truth-twisting,” and extra points for putting Ted Kennedy, Tom Daschle, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton in the same sentence), but I would guess he's guilty of all three.

When Saddam Hussein was gassing his people, where was America? Keeping our mouths shut in the 1980s (thanks, President Reagan) while American companies supplied Iraq with chemicals and weapons because he was “our” torturer. Why is George W. Bush even going through the motions of getting the United Nations approval now? Not because he's concerned about what the rest of the world thinks of us but because most polls show Americans are demanding it.

And it's funny that Mr. Goveia tosses out past American efforts to rebuild nations like Germany, Japan, and Afghanistan and forgets to mention who will be footing the bills. Estimates to invade Iraq run from $60 billion to $100 billion and thousands of deaths - and that doesn't include the rebuilding. Is Mr. Goveia ready to pay more taxes to pick up the tab? I think not.

He can use all the Republican Party meaningless catchphrases he wants. But this war is a costly and senseless mistake. And it's people like him who put us all at risk, not columnists McFeatters and Johanek.

ALAN GOLDSMITH

Ann Arbor

Shame on you for blaming the Drug Enforcement Administration for not winning or even slowing down the flow of illegal drugs. Eighty-eight years ago the United States changed its approach from a legalized/regulated market to one of prohibition for some drugs. Law enforcement was given the impossible task of trying to enforce an approach that has not worked since Adam and Eve bit on the apple.

The DEA and all police officers in this country know that prohibition did not work for our grandparents and it is not working for us. The DEA knows but is reluctant to say that every drug dealer arrested, shot, or killed has been replaced within days. We are truly the mosquito on the butt of an elephant.

Do not blame the DEA for failure. Blame the politicians who refuse to speak plainly that the prohibition approach is and always will be a failure.

HOWARD J. WOOLDRIDGE

Austin, Texas

A reader says the nation suffered under President Clinton.

He claims his 401(k) suffered. Let's see, the stock market was at 11,400 when Mr. Clinton left office, now it's at 7,800; 401(k)s are tied directly to stocks and have lost almost 3,800 points. Well, duh!

Does the writer think the military hardware we are now deploying was made in the last two-years? A Republican Congress passed a bill to severely weaken oversight of accountants and businesses and Mr. Clinton vetoed it and was overridden in the Congress. This is a fact.

The writer better get ready for his children to pay for President Bush's tax cuts for the rich. This year's deficit will be $300 billion, and next year's is estimated at $304 billion. It's a “conservative” budget.

Can anyone imagine what the next president will inherit from this administration? Some people must take Doonesbury seriously, because one strip suggested that all our problems should be blamed on Bill Clinton.

JAMES PERINE

Lima

Here's the “litmus” test of whether one's motives for dissension are really anti-Bush based or on myriad other good reasons not to have a war.

You can't hide from this one. You've ratted yourself out already. The test: Have you bought the duct tape? (Have you, Hillary, Tom D., et al?).

ROBERT L. FAISON

Sylvania



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