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Published: Tuesday, 10/3/2006

Iraq foray on shaky foundation

One of many valuable lessons one learns from helping to build houses with Habitat for Humanity is the absolute importance of getting the foundation right. If the deck on which the house is to be built is not perfectly level and the corners square, the house will never be right.

The depressing news from Iraq of yet another U.S. military adventure mired in quicksand raises the question why, even with the world's most powerful, technologically sophisticated military, we can't seem to win a war against a rag-tag bunch of determined insurgents. Could it be that our basic premise - the foundation and belief system underlying all our military interventions - is wrong?

America relies heavily on military force to ensure our security and access to other countries' resources. We assume that superior firepower (and wealth) is all we need to have our way in the world, to change regimes we don't like by force without considering the people affected. Funny how people tend to resent it bitterly when we kill their loved ones, bomb their homes and cities, and destroy their security and way of life.

After all, we're doing it for their own good, to bring them democracy and freedom, right? Anyway, who needs to win hearts and minds when we can smash any opposition with our overwhelming military power?

Or can we? What if Napoleon was right that all the armies in the world cannot defeat an idea whose time has come? And what if that keystone idea is that each human being is sacred and no good end can be achieved by killing people?

Would we be so hated and threatened now if we'd hit Iraq with a massive Marshall Plan, instead of devastating "shock and awe" bombing?

Phyllis Palmer

Lambertville

What has happened to the moral fiber of our nation?

When a newscaster of some stature asks a former president on national television why he didn't do enough to kill a terrorist, why should a teenager, beset with personal problems, think twice about killing a classmate or teacher? Killing seems the acceptable solution to every problem?

When the success or failure of a war we started is reported only by the number of our personnel who are killed and the number of terrorists or insurgents who are killed?

Are not the lives of all innocent Iraqi people who are also being killed in the course of this war considered important? The total number of these innocent people who have lost their lives is never flashed in the headlines of our newspapers.

When a political party in our country can so confuse the electorate by claiming to be anti-abortion and therefore pro-life while not hesitating to pre-empt war against another country, thereby killing thousands?

God loves each person in Iraq as well as each person in America. Is killing the only solution to our problems?

When I was in France recently, I spoke to a Croatian. When asked about the war in Iraq, he responded vehemently that Croatians have suffered so much from war, they could never support our war in Iraq. America has forgotten the scourge of war on our own soil.

I weep for America's soul.

Marie Andree Chorzempa

Sylvania

Hooray for Councilman Frank Szollosi!

He is absolutely right about Toledo Express vs. Detroit Metro. And this is from a strong Carty supporter. Toledo Express needs all the business it can get to stay afloat, and Toledoans who fly out of Detroit are not helping.

But let's stop for a minute and examine this time and convenience thing.

To fly out of Detroit one would have to leave Toledo two or three hours before flight time, face heavy traffic, park miles away from his gate, endure huge crowds, and finally get on the airplane exhausted and irritable.

Say you decide to fly out of Toledo Express. You leave maybe an hour before flight time, take a leisurely drive to the airport (easily avoiding Airport Highway, of course, except for the last quarter mile) park, and walk a few steps to your gate - relaxed and energetic.

Now on the return flight the airplane arrives at Toledo Express and lands. At Detroit Metro you arrive, circle for an hour or two, and finally land - exhausted and irritable.

Where is the time saved? Where is the convenience?

When our city officials are traveling on city business we have the right to expect them to arrive at their destination calm and collected, especially Carty.

Toledo Express can accomplish this. Detroit Metro cannot.

EVELYN KUHL

Carver Boulevard

Certain recent significant developments in South Asia, which are expected to have long-term repercussions in the war against terrorism, have attracted little media attention. The Pakistani government, after suffering earlier military reversals in the mostly self-ruled North-West Frontier Province, bordering Afghanistan, signed a pact with tribal leaders granting self-rule, including law and order, practically barring entry of Pakistani troops into this region.

This area has served as a safe haven for the Taliban, along with Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leaders. It has served as a launching pad for Taliban incursions into Afghanistan, as recently alleged by the Afghan president. The United States may as well say "sayonara" to capturing bin Laden, who is now assured of a larger foxhole to hide in.

This certainly puts a crimp in the fight against terrorism, assuring a safe refuge for the terrorists outside the jurisdiction of the Pakistan government. This alarming development should also raise questions as to the commitment of the Pakistani government to this fight. So much for a front-line U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism.

In the future, the U.S. Congress should think twice before doling out hard-earned U.S. taxpayer dollars in foreign aid. Only with a sustained effort at demolition and closure of the terrorist training camps in Pakistan, along with a serious change in the school curriculum, can changes come about so we can breathe easy.

Satish K. Sood

Ottawa Hills

We want Southwyck Shopping Center back and alive. We want Dillards, Foot Locker, the bookstores, Spencer Gifts, and all the former stores opened and ready for business. We want the fun, inside shows with tables full of arts and crafts, and all the other shows back at Southwyck.

We love the interior of Southwyck. It's warm, charming, and homey, and we love to stroll from one end to the other shopping for our needs. We want the food court back for our lunch.

We want the surrounding streets taken care of, repaired for easy access to all the entrances.

Most of all, we do not want another new mall.

MICHAEL and NORMA HERR

Wauseon

I must respond to a recent Readers' Forum critique of President Clinton's defensive demeanor on Fox TV. And to the writer's misplaced praise for today's White House occupant.

Marital fidelity, gracious talk, prayer, and even Carl Rove PR cannot begin to make up for the gross incompetence of our current administration. If, as the writer claims, "Mr. Bush prays to God and does what is right," why do his pals running for office avoid him like the plague?

Because results are what count. So far the results are: stratospheric debt, a disastrous war, and a continuing anti-environment, anti-science, anti-constitution, and anti-middle class agenda.

President Clinton was far from perfect as a moral role model, but as an effective leader, consensus builder, and global communicator, he was definitely not "Bush" league.

Bryce Clark

Sylvania

Was it a slow news day on Sept. 30 or was the temptation too great to resist touting a book by a reporter bashing President Bush? Isn't it enough that we already have to endure the editors' and columnists' hatred of this man within the pages on a daily basis?

Jim Krusinski

Goddard Road



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