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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2003

Is this war or armed robbery?

Is it war, really? Or more like armed robbery?

Gen. Tommy Franks was asked when he expected the Iraqis would use their weapons of mass destruction. The general circumvented the question, switched the subject, and ended his news conference.

Even worse, earlier General Franks said any WMD would be destroyed when found. The United States had difficulty handling its own nerve agents under peacetime conditions. Which grunts get this job on the battlefield?

The casus belli for President Bush's invasion is that Saddam Hussein has horrific, dangerous weapons. Saddam was not to be believed. The doubts of Hans Blix, Robin Cook, and Jane's Military were unheeded.

General Franks must have some idea under which military condition Iraq is poised to use WMD. In the open desert? In the encirclement of Baghdad? In a suicide attack?

It is in the interest of all parties concerned that evidence of Saddam's WMD be preserved, not destroyed. That justifies Mr. Bush's invasion, and the United Nation's future need for resolve in taking action.

On the other hand, intending to destroy such weapons begs again the casus belli. Then the darker strategies of Mr. Bush's critics return. Revenge. Ambition. Domination. Abrogation of European oil contracts with the consequent suppression of the European Union's economic engine. (If you don't believe the Bush Administration despises the EU, why, then, his recent subsidies and tariffs in direct defiance of free trade?)

In war, to the victor go the spoils. In armed robbery, to the transgressor goes the remediation. Would you allow an armed robber to use the money he stole to hire a lawyer in his defense? Do you think world opinion would let the U.S. rebuild Iraq with oil wells it stole?

Don't tamper with the evidence.

ROYCE WICKS

East Broadway

More than 200,000 of our finest are fighting in Iraq. Thousands of Americans are protesting at home and all around the world. Thousands of Americans are protesting the protesters. We get 24-hour coverage of the war. Soldiers are risking and sacrificing their young lives to liberate people from a tyrant. Possible terror attacks at home in retaliation. “Shock and awe.” Innocent Iraqi men, women, and children caught in the fighting. All this turmoil, pain, and suffering.

Would all of this have still happened if Dan Rather had sacrificed his life by taking out Saddam Hussein when he interviewed the Iraqi dictator a few weeks ago? I heard someone say this on television. Nothing personal against Dan Rather.

DANIEL SUBLESKI

Sylvania

Aggressive effort to eradicate mosquito

As health sanitation personnel across the country struggle with the West Nile Virus, they are still formulating the best approach to countermeasures. I write this strictly as a concerned citizen and wish to make clear my scientific background includes no specific training in the vectoring of insect-borne viruses.

The suggestions for exposure avoidance previously published in The Blade, such as eliminating standing water, make good sense. I would, however, propose a more aggressive approach to actual eradication of mosquitoes that includes a community-wide effort.

In past years, many homes had electronic traps, but last summer, they seemed uncommon. These should be restored to operation, if possible, or perhaps homeowners would opt for the new generation of propane-powered mosquito killers that are so efficient that one could serve three or four adjacent residences.

I would also suggest that the Toledo Area Sanitary District trucks be re-equipped with hot plates which far better disperse the insecticide as a vapor, a practice that was abandoned partly due to traffic hazards resulting from the fog. With a dual spray setup, the fog could be used in areas such as woods or swamps where there is no traffic.

The TASD does its best, but if we all lend a hand with our own insect killers and follow the other procedures, the program is enhanced, and everyone (including the birds) would benefit. For every mosquito we eliminate in the early spring, that is the equivalent of killing thousands in August, so this initiative should start very soon. One thing is certain: If there is no mosquito to carry it, West Nile goes nowhere.

WILLIAM BONSER

Central Grove

As a long-term employee of Food Town (now known as Spartan, Inc.) facing an uncertain future, I would like to acknowledge the assistance that City Councilman Pete Gerken and the facilitators at DaimlerChrysler UAW Regional Training Center have offered the workers of Food Town.

Those workers face very bleak futures economically as well as the emotional distress that too many of Toledo's working people have also experienced. Mr. Gerken and his staff are providing hope and positive direction at a time that many of us need it desperately.

Most Food Town workers have been together in their home stores through major life changes and also the major life changes of their customers. Food Town workers were “family” and always felt like their customers were part of that “family.” Unfortunately, recent management decisions are breaking up the Food Town family.

DaimlerChrysler UAW Regional Training Center is extending the Food Town worker a means of recovery from this crisis and deserves our deepest gratitude. With its support, the effects of this displacement will be easier to tolerate and also benefit the community and economy by allowing these workers to find their way to new careers.

DIANA M. ALDRICH

Swanton

In response to a letter questioning what happened to the winnings of a Monte Carlo night held at Highland Meadows Golf Club recently, the only winnings were plastic poker chips that were turned in for donated prizes.

I worked the dice table. The event was nothing more than club members having a fun time as if they were in Las Vegas. No money was involved and I'm sure a good time was had by all, especially the players at my dice table.

ED TUCHOLSKI

Rossford

The passing of former State Rep. John Garcia is a loss for our community. Mr. Garcia used to say that you did not have to live in his House district for him to represent you in Columbus; he wanted to help work for everyone.

I approached John several years ago and asked if we could have some of his time to explain some of the problems families of divorce and separation were experiencing. John was truly moved. After that first meeting John worked endlessly at trying to strengthen these families.

No matter what day of the week or hour of the day, John made it clear that he wanted to help. In Columbus he supported legislation that would strengthen families. John was always at our functions lending a hand or giving a suggestion. His heart was always in the right place at the right time.

John touched the lives of many. We will always be grateful for all his efforts and will deeply miss him. While heaven is a perfect place, I can see John there walking down the streets of gold saying “Hi, John Garcia, nice to meet you. What can I do to help?”

DAVID BAZ

Children's Rights Council

West Sylvania Avenue

A chance to weigh the evidence

I appreciate The Blade for including a wide range of opinions in the Readers' Forum and in the op-ed columns. Some express my ideas very well; others make me mad! But I try to read all of them. That helps me decide what “facts” are correct and to reach my own opinion based on varied evidence.

RILMA BUCKMAN

Creek Run Drive



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