Since U.S. forces arrived in Iraq back in March of 2003, more than 1,900 Americans have given their lives for their country. During that same time frame, the state of California, home to anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, recorded nearly 5,400 homicides. How high would that number be if, as in Iraq, the release of 70,000 hardened criminals along with an endless supply of terrorists, ready and willing to kill themselves and countless innocents, were added to the mix?
As the homicides in California continue, six a day on average, every day of the year, I see no mention of it in the media, no special color ribbon or wrist band assigned, no rock concerts or awareness protests organized. While this number of homicides comes from but one of our 50 states, nationwide the annual number totals nearly 16,000.
As I thank those serving our country for the job they do, pray for their safe return home, and mourn the loss of those who have given their life, I also pray that morality, decency, and respect for human life in general soon returns to our own country.
To the terrorists and thugs who can take a life as casually as spitting on the ground, and to those who rationalize their actions, here's to your punishment. May it be swift and appropriate.
I wish to compliment your editorial "The need for election reform." Honest elections are probably the most important issue affecting our country at this time.
I believe public confidence in fair elections is at an all-time low. Without diligence by both parties we are in danger of losing our democracy.
I do wonder why you never mention Rep. John Conyers' report on the Ohio Election. It shows the Republicans may have stolen the Ohio election for President Bush through a combination of questionable rulings by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and suppression of Democratic votes.
The election in the Ukraine was overturned and a new election held on the basis of large discrepancies in exit polls. Here the discrepancies were dismissed by the press as irrelevant. Can you explain that?
The Reform Ohio Now movement is definitely a step in the right direction.
Darrell L. Shahan
I was pleased to read Rose Russell's column about obstetric fistula linked to the decision by the Bush Administration to withhold $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund for the fourth year in a row. I am co-founder of 34 Million Friends of UNFPA and am proud to say that our effort asking 34 million Americans to chip in one dollar has had good if not spectacular results.
Half of our first million dollars went to fistula and the $1.7 million since then is going to fistula and to the purchasing of family planning commodities of which there is a worldwide shortage.
Thanks to "34 Million Friends," the Point G Hospital in Bamako, Mali, has a new operating room where Dr. Kalilou Ouattara repairs obstetric fistula.
How ironic. First they build a national museum honoring the American Indians. Then they decide to dump nuclear waste on a tribal reservation in Utah. Will their hubris never end?