Does the United States need to increase military activity in Afghanistan? Maybe we should pay attention to what conservative Jack Kelly and liberals Gwynne Dyer and Dan Simpson have written recently about the potential of Afghanistan to become President Obama's Vietnam.
Mr. Kelly wrote that al-Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan. Our target in that country is the Taliban, which, while a vicious government, does not threaten the security of the United States.
From the other end of the political spectrum, Mr. Dyer wrote that not one of the thousands of people that the United States has killed in Afghanistan and Iraq was likely to succeed in coming to the United States and doing us harm.
Looking at history, Mr. Simpson points out that the Afghans defeated both the British and Soviet armies. He doesn't think that the United States stands much chance of success there either.
I am not against military action when our country is threatened. But I am against a poorly conceived rush to increase U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. Mr. Kelly may be right when he says that the only reason that President Obama promised during his campaign to be hard on the Taliban was that he wanted a way to appear tough while promising to draw down U.S. troops in Iraq.
Before sending any more soldiers to Afghanistan, many of whom would certainly die, let's take a serious look at the terrorist threat and determine what other options we have to keep ourselves safe.
I was troubled by assertions made by Lucas County Juvenile Court Administrator Dan Pompa regarding new evidence showing juveniles are not treated fairly in Ohio's justice system. ("Ohio justice system gets poor marks for juvenile justice," Feb. 11).
In particular, Mr. Pompa attributed the greater percentage of adolescents Ohio detains and incarcerates to the large number of cities and minorities compared to rural states.
He goes on to say that young people of color are more likely to commit serious crimes than their white counterparts, which leads to higher rates of incarceration.
However, when one looks at the data from the 2006 national census of juveniles in residential placement, states with comparable populations such as Illinois and Michigan have nearly half the number of juveniles incarcerated as Ohio.
While people of color may be incarcerated at a greater rate than whites, this often is due to disproportionate arrests, heavy-handed prosecution, and lack of resources for adequate counsel. These systemic issues are at the core of the report released by the American Civil Liberties Union regarding unfairness in the juvenile justice system.
We must do more to protect young people from discrimination and stop the abuse of the criminal-justice process. It is time our elected officials took action and reformed our broken juvenile justice system.
American Civil Liberties Union
I was appalled when the fishermen, responding to criticism about the costs incurred in their Lake Erie rescue, used the emergency splashdown and subsequent miraculous rescue on the Hudson River to justify the expensive rescue effort here to get the fishermen and their equipment off the ice.
That s just too big a stretch.
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