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Published: Friday, 9/15/2006

What made Iraq war so important?

With all the recent propaganda about the war in Iraq being an ideological battle against terrorism and equating it to fighting Hitler and Stalin, it makes me wonder why this is important now and wasn't years ago when the same type of genocide was going on in Rwanda and Sudan, and still is in many sub-Saharan countries in Africa.

I don't recall our government whipping everyone into a froth over it back then. I don't recall our entire economy being so tilted by war back then.

Currently, largely because of a lack of funding (brought on by constant battles against terrorists and militants), Africa is losing a whole generation to AIDS, simply because so many people live in poverty and there is no way for a war-strapped leaderless country to find the $500 it would cost to treat each AIDS patient for a year.

Refugees from these battles linger for years in tent cities, not a citizen to any country. A Forum writer suggested that more people have died in terrorist attacks than our soldiers have died in this war, echoing the popular sentiment that it's about numbers as well as ideology.

The terrorist attacks in modernized countries are acceptable outrages (and rightly so), yet Africa's deaths due to violent genocide and AIDS eclipse any numbers President Bush can crunch about his war. Perhaps it is because people who live in poverty are not valued. The disparity in New Orleans in the past year strongly suggests that.

Why Iraq? Why now? What makes the difference? Are we really in this war to fight the good fight or are we truly in it for oil?

I tend to think if it hadn't been for 9/11, Boy George would have found some other excuse to go to war.

Monica Birsen

Rudolph, Ohio

I was glad that your Sept. 5 article, "Strickland, Blackwell to clash in first debate today," acknowledged that the debate excluded half the candidates - namely Green Bob Fitrakis and Libertarian Bill Peirce. But you're still not asking the important questions.

What gives either Ted Strickland or Ken Blackwell the right to decide what we have the right to know, or what we want to know?

Why did they purposely copy the format of recent presidential debates, when those were simply a series of sound bites?

Why should we believe in candidates enough to vote for them when they don't believe in themselves enough to debate all their opponents, or to use a format conducive to real discussion?

What does their interference with our becoming fully informed about our choices say about what either one would try to hide from us as governor?

If the Democratic and Republican candidates work together to exclude other candidates, haven't the two big parties gotten too close to being two halves of the same party?

Why don't the media challenge them by inviting the Green and Libertarian candidates to debates, and making those candidates part of the election news?

How legitimate is it to use polls as the criteria for inclusion when many polls also exclude Mr. Fitrakis and Mr. Peirce?

Will voters be satisfied with major media election coverage that focuses on style, or will they also examine the blogs, Web sites, and alternative media that cover all candidates and address substance?

Incidentally, why isn't The Blade more interested in the only gubernatorial ticket that includes a Toledoan (Bob Fitrakis' running mate Anita Rios)?

Jessica Weinberg

Ada, Ohio

So you think what Tom Noe did hurt no one? It has hurt everyone - the whole U.S.A. by putting money into President Bush's campaign to get him elected - which it did. We all know money talks. If not for that we might have had an honest election!

Now, no one believes in honest elections - and very few honest candidates. It also takes away from injured workers. I was on disability once and it was very hard to get.

Now, more than ever, more and more people feel "what's the use to vote?" I think he should be jailed and the key thrown away.

Mike Ferner painting the overpass was nothing compared to Tom Noe.

EVA HANCE

Secor Road

You have to be crazy to want to be the next president

After eight years of George W(rongway) Bush, we need a man like Ross Perot to step up and run the country.

Mr. Perot knew how to manage a successful business.

When Iran held Americans and his employees he got them out, while the U.S. government failed and waited more than a year for the release of the others.

He warned us that NAFTA would be wrong and lose American jobs. People didn't care because it didn't affect their good paying union jobs - at the time.

The news media called him "crazy" and made fun of his personal features.

A person would have to be crazy to run for our highest office, put their family and personal life through the media thrashing machine, and win, only to take the place of Mr. Bush, and push a bloody rock of misery and mistakes up a hellish mountain.

Whatever is left of our country in 2008 when Baby Bush is done will take a special leader and, Lord help us, the pickins' are slim.

John T. Kleeberger

Metamora, Ohio

Why is it so hard for The Blade to just say congratulations and good job to Rossford and its administrators?

Your editorial headline was deceiving. You still think Bass Pro would be better in Toledo. You still have to dredge up the past - the failed amphitheater and arena.

Well, too bad, Blade. We (Rossford) did it and you didn't!

JUDITH A. HEBAN

Rossford

A Readers' Forum writer finally has exposed the previously unknown Democratic method for handling the war in Iraq by stating that the Democrats are smarter and faster than the terrorist groups.

Despite the fact that the writer changed the wording, this policy is actually an old, crumpled, Massachusetts hat band, emblazoned with "cut and run."

The writer continued to say "the bitter history of Vietnam is conveniently ignored."

Certainly, I agree with that statement because, as the writer says, he is totally ignoring the fact our military won the battles in Vietnam but lost the war because of the political interference of politicians and anti-war "intellectuals" such as Jane Fonda.

This same political and "intellectual" interference has been prevalent in the United States during this Iraq war.

The writer went on to state that the United States dismissed the United Nations before Iraq. He is morally and intellectually ignoring the fact that the United States backed the United Nations for almost 12 years as resolution after resolution concerning Iraq was passed and not acted upon by the United Nations.

Because of this, the writer's moral and intellectual stance apparently causes him to assume the United States should no longer be an active United Nations member and that the United States should not be allowed to dream that the United Nations will finally act on resolutions passed by the members.

Charles Day

Lambertville, Mich.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is missing a golden opportunity to make billions of dollars for the state of Ohio.

Every year, millions of our tax dollars are being spent on Lake Erie and yet it is succumbing to pollution due to mismanagement. I'm sure that some private management company from Saudi Arabia or Dubai would pay a fortune to lease the state of Ohio's share of Lake Erie.

We could probably afford to throw in the Ohio Turnpike as a bonus!

WILLIAM POZNANSKI

Melvin Drive



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