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Published: Friday, 7/23/2004

Isn't helping Iraq worth the effort?

As the arguments about the war in Iraq continue, my opinions vary, but I have one certain belief: If much of today's media and the anti-war attitudes of fellow Americans existed in the 1700s as they do today, we would be electing a prime minister this fall and not a president.

Will the people of Iraq be a better country without Saddam? Yes! Was the world's only superpower right to take him out of power as one prong for our security? Yes!

Were statements and decisions made by both parties in both houses of Congress and the President based upon false intelligence? Yes!

Will Iraq instantly be a secure and democratic country? No!

If we look to our own history, the prelude of our independence started long before we elected our first president. The prelude to our revolution started circa 1763, with the Revolutionary War beginning in 1775. The first major conflict took place in June of 1775 with the American troops being dug in on an ancestor's farmland: Breed's Hill.

That fight is better known as the Battle of Bunker Hill. Yet it was not until April of 1789 that George Washington was elected our first president of the United Sates.

How can we expect Iraq to be a near-instant success? Isn't helping Iraq as other countries helped us worth the effort? All wars are not bad. But then, I might be wrong and we would all be better off as English subjects.

Bernie Huntebrinker

Sylvania

That the very persons who have sworn before all Americans and God to protect individual freedoms debated the topic of limiting marriage to a man and a woman demonstrates what dangerous ground this country is on.

The Federal Marriage Amendment was not only a step backward in terms of civil rights: It was a pivotal step toward a new "Christian tyranny," similar to the one of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, one in which torture was not only allowed but championed - all to induce conformance to Christian doctrines.

The force of law to stifle marriage of gays and lesbians is torture for those who will be unable to marry. It is a rack on which gays and lesbians are either to recant their humanity or die martyrs.

Let's leave the dark ages of might and follow the bright light of right.

Richard Sutherland II

Maumee

Now that the Toledo Diocese has revealed its plans to close parishes, it is time to ask some very tough questions:

Is it fair to close parishes because of population concerns if the pastor has a record of driving away families?

Is it fair to close schools when tuition rates have made a Christian/Catholic education something only the wealthiest families can afford?

Can the Toledo Diocese honestly claim to be concerned about the number of ordained clergy when some parish priests are hostile to the aspirations of laymen to become deacons?

Is it fair to close any parish for financial considerations when members have no accounting of money handling or input about spending?

Can anyone fairly criticize parishioners for not getting involved when their offers to help are refused or even reproached?

Can the Bishop of Toledo claim to hear input from members of the diocese if he insulates himself from those members with his own bureaucracy?

Those of us who live in the central part of Toledo need to be heard by the bishop, not spoken for by priests whose motives are questionable at best.

THOMAS J. CARTER

Everett Street

Am I the only one sick of hearing people label Fahrenheit 9/11 as being full of lies without actually providing evidence?

Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are among the worst at this. They both continue to state that the movie claims the bin Laden flights out of the country after Sept. 11 took place while everyone else was still grounded.

This is simply untrue. Michael Moore clearly states these flights took place after Sept. 13, which is when the FAA began to lift regulations. Mr. O'Reilly in particular should be ashamed of himself. A respected journalist such as he should get his information straight before reporting it to the public. But then again, he admits to only watching half of the film.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a means to get a dialogue going. You can disagree with Mr. Moore's opinions, but thus far I'm not hearing anything that discredits his facts.

So if you're going to make accusations like these, offer proof. Show me that Toledoans can be more objective than the O'Reillys and Limbaughs of the world.

Jason Korbus

Bronx Drive

In a recent editorial you rightly noted the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in unraveling the complexities of the early hand-over to the new Iraqi government.

President Bush on April 14 gave visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon everything he wanted, probably much to Mr. Sharon's surprise.

The Sharon plan calls for (total?) evacuation of the Gaza Strip while maintaining virtual Israeli physical control of this Palestinian ghetto. In turn, Mr. Sharon envisions for the West Bank a Palestinian state on not more than 10 percent of the original Palestine mandate, not including any part of contested Jerusalem.

Palestinians under Yasser Arafat had since November, 1988, sought a modest 22 percent of the mandate including East Jerusalem, that is to say the pre-1967 boundaries.

My family and I left the American University in Cairo and Egypt hours before the onset of the 1967 war. I came to Bowling Green State University, but have been back to the Middle East many times since.

Mr. Sharon's policies and now Mr. Bush's blanket endorsement will not bring peace and security to Israeli families or to the devastated Palestinians. Growing Arab hatred of American policies - but not, I am glad to say, visiting American individuals - are the result.

JOHN G. MERRIAM

Hopewell Place

Rain or shine, in freezing temperatures or blazing sun, members of Pax Christi have stood on the corner of the Seneca County courthouse square in Tiffin in vigil for the cause of peace. We are there Monday and Wednesday from noon until 1 and on Friday from 5 p.m. until 6. The vigils started in January, 2003, before the war in Iraq began.

Although Pax Christi is a Roman Catholic peace organization, we are of all faiths. The focus is on peace in the world, especially in Iraq, where our country is deeply entrenched. Our group supports our troops and prays for their safe return home and we also pray for policies that will bring a quick, peaceful end to our occupation of Iraq.

Some ask us, "Why are you still standing vigil for peace? The war is over and the government has been handed over to the Iraqis." We reply, "Our troops are still in Iraq and there is no peace there."

Many cars passing by honk in response to our signs. There are many gestures of support. Local businesses have brought us hot cocoa in the cold and lemonade in the heat.

We urge others to join us and another group like us in Toledo and show their support for peace.

Mary Lilly

Tiffin, Ohio

John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his vice president was not one to balance the Democratic ticket. This duo is nowhere near the center of the Democratic Party. Sens. Kerry and Edwards were declared the first and fourth most liberal voting senators in Washington. If we add in the Ketchup Queen as First Lady with all of her contributions to liberal organizations, we end up with a lopsided tilt to the left.

Yeow! This trio makes Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton look like conservatives.

Mel Ogrodowski

Elm Street



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