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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2004

Superpower? We're fooling ourselves

Sometime after the Soviet Union dissolved, we began referring to ourselves as the "world's only superpower." This dubious reference became more frequent just before the U.S. attack on Iraq. The word "superpower" had previously referred to several nations.

We might note that, despite some changes, those other nations haven't disappeared. For the most part, they've been quietly increasing in size and strength, while we've been noisily claiming unrivaled superiority. Moreover, the rapid growth of new rivals foreshadows the inclusion of others.

Russia, with vast natural resources, covering as much land as the U.S. coupled with most of China, has a rapidly improving economy and huge nuclear missile arsenal, most certainly qualifying it as a superpower. China has a population greater than four times that of the U.S. and a 3 million-man army.

With a large nuclear missile arsenal and tremendous industrial might, China is a high-growth superpower. Newer on the list, India, with a population more than three times that of the U.S., and a nuclear missile arsenal, is rapidly absorbing American technology and white-collar jobs. The European Union, competitive in size and economy, of late views the U.S. as a bit roguish, compelling it to consider the increase of its own military might.

The "world's only superpower" is an arrogant, erroneous self-reference, serving only to fool ourselves into a perilous mind set of false security, obscuring the great dangers of unprovoked military action. Modern decisions regarding war not only demand moral, political, and financial considerations, but the consideration of human survival. Though merit might be found in fooling an enemy, what possible merit exists in fooling ourselves?

DAVID A. WARNER

Rowland Road

If you're content to send other people's children to be killed in an unjust and unnecessary war based on lies.

If you believe people are too stupid to understand what we are in Iraq for.

If you believe it's fair to send our soldiers to get maimed and or killed, and then reduce their medical benefits.

If you believe the religious right should be able to dictate how our government is run.

If you believe as George Bush does that there is no such thing as global warming.

If you believe that big business should not be held responsible for destroying the environment and our health as well.

If you believe it's right to bankrupt this country and possibly the world economy by continuing to spend billions of the taxpayers' money on this unjust war.

If you believe a president should only have to work a third of the time he is in office.

If you believe it's right to spend billions to rebuild Iraq's economy while so many people in this country are crying for help.

If you believe your taxes should go up while taxes for the rich go down.

If you believe all of this, then you really should vote for George W. Bush. You deserve each other.

JAMES E. STROUD

Walbridge

I read with dismay the first paragraph of your Aug. 1 political coverage on Page 1. You reported: "Zanesville, Ohio - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry came to Ohio this weekend in search of his post-convention bounce, only to find President Bush already here trying to steal it away."

Because President Bush was already in Ohio, I submit that you have, in your usual biased, liberal manner, confused who was stealing from whom. I suggest that in order to place yourself openly with the liberal media big boys, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, you rename your publication the Toledo Flaming Liberal Telegram.

George J. Eistetter

River Road

I think it is very unfortunate that the Toledo Mud Hens organization and the Lucas County commissioners are not taking a more open approach to the recent decision to eliminate the Pooches in the Park fund-raiser for the humane society.

Even in today's litigious society, insurance companies are often willing to underwrite such events beyond or in addition to the existing coverage provided to the organization. The likelihood of an incident, while real, is not very great. In most cases, the pet owner, and not the organizer of the event, would be held primarily liable.

The liability of this fund-raiser is small.

Joe Wester

Woodbridge Road

As a preacher I appreciate a well-crafted and well-delivered speech. So I enjoy political conventions and presidential debates. In addition the possibility also exists that some politician will stick his foot so far in his mouth that toe jam will come out of his ears, and I don't want to miss that.

The recent Democratic National Convention did not offer much fodder for our nation's comedians, and you may not have agreed with some politicians' stance on an issue, but for the most part the speeches were well thought out and delivered.

One thing Sen. John Kerry said keeps gnawing at my psyche. He said: "I don't wear my religion on my sleeve." He then went on to quote President Abraham Lincoln with these words, "I don't claim to believe God is on our side, but I humbly pray that we are on God's side."

We cherish religious freedom. It would be improper for a presidential candidate to force feed us his specific religious belief, doctrine, or creed. As president of this great land, a man must stay generic and diplomatic in regards to religion, I understand that.

Lincoln was a man of God who also said, "No man has the right to consider himself educated until he has read the Bible." Lincoln also said, "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is of more value than a college education."

If Mr. Kerry would have said that he spends the first hour of every day in Bible study and prayer seeking God's will for this country and pleading for wisdom to lead his people, then he would have earned the right to quote Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Lincoln earned the nickname "Honest Abe," and he didn't earn it by confusing diplomacy with spiritual cowardice.

DON GOZDOWSKI

Franklin Avenue

Recently the media and the Democratic Party have gone on a major campaign to scare the voters in America (another election ploy). They all declare, "Record deficits the highest in history." How they deceive the uneducated and/or uninformed is what is most important: The size of the deficit relative to the total economy - not the raw number itself. The total domestic economy is reported as the GDP or gross domestic product.

What the media are not telling you is relative numbers. In 1943 the deficit was 30.3 percent of GDP. In 1983 it was 6 percent of GDP. Today it is 3.5 percent of GDP, half what it was in 1983 and one tenth what it was in 1943.

If you earn $30,000 a year and have a credit card balance in excess of $1,050 you are in worse shape financially than our economy.

What the media fail to tell their followers is that our economy is substantially stronger and healthier than they claim. It is truly a shame that in the greatest nation in the world we have such deceptive, one-sided reporting trying to scare the general public. This represents another example why use of anti-depressant medication continues to increase.

Edwin J. Nagle III

Caroline Avenue

Unfortunately, coverage of the continuing war in Iraq seems to have diminished from the pages of The Blade. In addition, any specific mention of U.S. soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq has also disappeared from President Bush's campaign speeches. July was a bad month over there. Fifty-eight U.S. soldiers died and 301 were wounded. August isn't looking much better, with 10 U.S. dead the first week.

Mr. Bush now says we've "turned the corner." It looks to me like we're turning our backs.

Chiara Duggan

Bryan, Ohio



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