The nonbinding resolutions regarding troop levels in Iraq and talk of redeployment initiated by congressional Democrats exemplify their long-standing disrespect for our military. America's future is at stake while they frivolously play politics. Their objective is to embarrass the President but, instead, their actions undercut troop morale and encourage terrorists to step up attacks on them.
Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John Kennedy understood the value of a strong military. But since the days of the anti-war McGovernites, Democrats treat the military as an unwanted stepchild and the issue of national defense as a nuisance.
The Clinton Administration left our national defense vulnerable by recklessly cutting military spending. Sen. John Kerry has voted against virtually every national defense appropriation in his career. Democrats were behind the weakening of CIA intelligence-gathering capability in the 1990s and, more recently, opposed the Patriot Act and intercepting terrorist communications. When one of their own supports the military, he is run out of the party, ala Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards have left no question where they stand after recent derogatory words and deeds regarding military strategy. Inexcusable insults by those who aspire to be commander in chief are appalling.
Military personnel do more in one day to advance the cause of freedom than these candidates have done in a lifetime. They are intelligent, expertly trained, courageous, and dedicated professionals. Yet they are subjected to continuous degrading ridicule.
Democratic "leadership" has failed to demonstrate it understands the value of a strong military, the grave threat we face, and the need to forcefully combat it. Until the Democrats change their attitude and unite with the President to fight this menace, the threat will continue to grow.
Parents need to accept responsibility
In the wake of the tragic death of Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel, there are many questions to be asked. As the daughter of a retired Toledo police officer, this tragedy hit very close to home. My father worked in the vice squad for part of his 30-year career.
Detective Dressel's colleagues should be commended on the apprehension of the suspected shooter in a timely manner under heart-wrenching circumstances. The fact that the suspect is only 15 years old is alarming. Where was the parent of this child? Why was this juvenile, with a history of criminal problems, allowed to be out of his house at 2 a.m? The court system needs to take a hard look at the parent of the youth charged in this tragedy. The juvenile should be charged as an adult, without question.
Although the mother of Robert Jobe did not commit the homicide of Detective Dressel, she is responsible for her minor son's whereabouts at 2 a.m. I have been a teacher for more than 16 years. It amazes me how many parents there are who don't seem to care or who feel their child is not their responsibility. Parents would like to blame everyone from the school system to the court system for the problems of their child. What about parents taking responsibility for their child?
If this had been the case in the horrific incident that unfolded when Detective Dressel was performing his responsibility as a police officer, then there would be a wife, two young children, and a host of other family, friends, and fellow officers who would not be grieving now.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Detective Dressel's family, friends, and fellow officers of the Toledo Police Department.
Know facts before blaming the parents
The letters written to The Blade over the past few days about the slaying of Detective Keith Dressel by a 15-year-old have had one overwhelming theme: Blame the parents. As I read the Feb. 25 article about the recent surge in extreme poverty, however, I couldn't help but make a connection. If destitute parents are forced to work multiple jobs in order to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, how can they find the time for parenting?
Unfortunately, the recent articles about the killing offered no information about the 15-year-old suspect's family or financial situation. Perhaps in this situation the parents had the time to instill values in their child but neglected this duty, but perhaps they didn't. In how many other cases of juvenile crime is poverty the real culprit?
Why bring up the subject of race?
In Rose Russell's Feb. 24 column about the police officer who was shot, she indirectly accused the responding officers of police brutality toward Sherman Powell, who is black, while wondering why the white suspect had no bruises on his face. Her column, with the supposed purpose of calling for prayer and community unity to avoid future racially motivated incidents in Toledo, didn't help at all.
Why bring this up? Does she know the details of the incident well enough to make this accusation? If not, and if Toledo is as racially tense as she states, then she unnecessarily added fuel to the fire. I honestly believe prayer and compassion were and are the overwhelming responses to this incident, not paranoid thoughts about race.
Keeping leverage to influence N. Korea
What change resulted in the willingness of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to reach a nuclear arms agreement? The key incentive, not mentioned in Blade editorials urging engagement and direct negotiation, is the recent limitation on the flow of funds to North Korea through the international banking system.
A provision in a section of the USA Patriot Act amended anti-laundering provisions of federal law to combat international financing of terrorism. In the fall of 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department used that provision and issued a "notice of proposed rule-making" in regard to Banco Delta Asia in Macau, one of the DPRK's primary links to the international banking community.
The rule-making action immediately caused other banks to stay away from Banco Delta Asia - it is now in receivership - and to stay away from DPRK transactions. Ruler Kim Jong Il objected vehemently. Clearly, the DPRK was adversely impacted.
The significance of this U.S. action was revealed in North Korea's insistence that financial issues be resolved before the nuclear negotiations could go forward. Further, this is documented in the final agreement: "The U.S. will advance the process of terminating the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act with respect with the DPRK."
Agreements are reached not just because adversaries agree to sit down and talk. Rather, closure is reached when appropriate leverage is brought to bear. U.S. law - as amended by the Patriot Act - provided the legal basis and leverage to influence the DPRK negotiations.
Going forward it is critical that the U.S. not give away future potential use of the act's provisions. Rather, it must keep that leverage available should North Korea not adhere to its part of the agreement.
Right to go after delinquent taxes
I commend our new Lucas County Treasurer, Wade Kapszukiewicz, for going after delinquent property tax deadbeats.
Honest taxpayers like us widows and the elderly who only have Social Security have the burden to pay for schools and city parks, which I'm sure the [deadbeats] enjoy.
Our previous treasurer was only interested in a better education and degrees for himself - and free lunches.
A Feb. 21 letter writer should quit twisting the facts. Marcy Kaptur went to Iraq to see for herself what is going on. More of our representatives should do the same because this administration under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney is more propaganda than fact!
GERALD W. KAROW