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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2005

North Korea analysis was poppycock

Gwynne Dyer's Sept. 27 column was a perfect example of what the U.S. faces in trying to work with some of our European friends that all too often espouse a self-inflated world view under the guise of realpolitik, that in reality is little more than wishful, head-in-the-sand thinking and old-world appeasement.

Mr. Dyer's first sentence sets the tone for his entertaining but misguided analysis: "If you want to understand why they have all been so worried about North Korea, you have to imagine the Doomsday scenario that haunts them."

He then describes an almost comical scenario in which North Korea pre-emptively launches its two nuclear missiles - one at Seoul and the other at an American base in Japan. He states that "this is approximately the scenario that the panic-mongers have been asking us to believe in, and if it isn't true then there was never a crisis."

Shame on Mr. Dyer for constructing this Trojan horse strawman so that it can be easily torn down to support the false and misguided conclusion that "if it isn't true then there was never a crisis." There is an apt English word to describe his logic and analysis - poppycock.

There are other scenarios that Mr. Dyer might instead have described; for example, North Korea selling nuclear bombs to terrorists, who would then load such bombs in ships designed to detonate after entering the harbors of U.S. coastal cities. After all, we have seen what two airships loaded with jet fuel did to the World Trade Center.

This latter scenario is not nearly as entertaining as Mr. Dyer's Doomsday piece, but then again it would lead to the opposite conclusion and would therefore get in the way of trying to sell a European isolationist political viewpoint, the truth be damned.

Peter Friedman

Ottawa Hills

Congratulations and welcome to the real world! The recent column by Roberta de Boer, the third in her series titled "LiFE," was well written and insightful, a sensitive and in-depth coverage of a family sending a beloved son to war.

Without exploiting the family's emotional experience for journalistic profit, it was a thoughtful and provocative piece, extensively researched and compassionately presented, with a genuine respect for each family member's viewpoint.

It was reality reporting at its best.

On reading the vast majority of Ms. de Boer's work, I confess I have been guilty of a rush to judgment and tunnel vision, just the negative aspects that I felt were so glaringly consistent in her writing.

Apart from her excellent articles in which she shared a grieving daughter's emotions on the suffering and loss of her mother, I felt that her writing was shallow and caustic, devoid of empathy, and for the most part out of touch with the mainstream.

However, with Ms. de Boer's most recent piece, to quote the author, "I learned yet again what a mistake it is to make assumptions about people."

In capturing the essence of "LiFE" on paper, the author demonstrated her growing levels of understanding and compassion, and evolving journalistic maturity. I salute her and encourage her to keep up the good work.

Catherine Scannell

Maumee

A Blade headline said: "Bomb kills 7, hurts 20 in Iraqi capital." In the third paragraph the article states that three American soldiers also died.

It seems to me that when three American soldiers die in that seemingly endless war it should command a headline and a separate column. With names and details.

JAMES McCREA

Perrysburg

In The Blade's never-ending quest to discredit the Bush Administration you continue to distort the facts on the Valerie Plame case ("Behind bars for a cause," Sept. 23).

Valerie Plame was not an "operative" with the CIA, but worked behind a desk at headquarters. Years before she had left the covert work overseas for a desk job. Most knew she worked at CIA headquarters, as do thousands of others. Her own husband "outed" her on many occasions, and they both gave interviews freely.

Joe Wilson was caught in his own lies regarding Niger, and he was exposed as the fraud he is. His true agenda came out as he worked on the John Kerry campaign, and he made it clear he was against Mr. Bush. (So much for neutrality on the Niger issue.)

Judith Miller was released of any holding back on names by the White House. It was her employer, the New York Times, that has not given her permission to release the source.

So, one can only wonder just who she is trying to protect. Certainly not the White House, but I suspect she is protecting someone from the Times, or perhaps a top Democrat.

Only she knows, but a brave warrior she is not. When the whole truth comes out, I wonder if The Blade will print it. I suspect not. It would not fit your agenda.

Carol Taylor

Bedford Township

In the Sept. 25 Parade Magazine, a reader of the "Ask Marilyn" column wondered: What single country supplies the United States with the most oil?

Her answers included "For the year so far, is it: a) Iraq, b) Saudi Arahia, c) Kuwait, or d) Canada?" The answer appeared at the end of the column.

Imagine my surprise when I turned to see what the answer was: "d) Canada." Her comment was "I'll bet you're surprised. For the seventh year in a row, it has been the largest supplier of crude oil and oil products to the United States."

If this is true, how come everything we read over the years says the increase is due to the war in Iraq, blown up pipe lines, and now the hurricanes Katrina and Rita?

Boy, Canada sure covers a lot of area.

P. Ratajski

Perrysburg

Back in April I wrote a letter congratulating The Blade for exposing what the paper dubbed "Coingate."

I also said maybe it's time for Ohio to join 45 other states and get out of the workers' compensation business. I noticed recently that the legislature is considering doing just that.

Hooray! It's about time!

CARL TEIPEL

Sylvania

I had to laugh at the stupidity of the two almost middle-aged tourists who decided to stop on their way home from a seven-week summer vacation for a "night of revelry" in New Orleans.

Why on earth would anyone in their right mind stop in a city that knew for a week that a hurricane was due to hit and that had been told to evacuate? Yeah, everyone wants to spend a night where a hurricane is bearing down.

Sounds like they had had way too many drinks before they even got there and had a dispute that caused them to be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Can you say DUH?

Becky Swinney

Heatherdowns Boulevard

Intelligent design may be many things to many people.

But one thing it isn't: intelligent.

Dick Laumann

Gray Fox Curve

I believe, in the interest of fairness, that intelligent design should be taught in all public schools, just as soon as qualified science teachers are permitted to teach evolution in every church in the country.

Larry Koosed

Perrysburg



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