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Letters to the editor

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King George

the focused!

George Bush is depicted as focused man by Butch Mazzuca in a recent column. I think he might be right, albeit not for the reasons offered by Butch.

Butch’s unrelenting loyalty to Bush and right wing ideology really makes it impossible for him to be logical, although he does try, and valiantly.

Does anyone believe that whoever was president on 9/11 would still be in office if he (or she) hadn’t struck back at someone? Its not like he had a choice. And attacking a sixth-rate army like Afghanistan’s wasn’t exactly a perilous risk. How this makes him a hero to so many confounds me. Is that the definition of focus?

Of course, now he’s focused on protecting warlords there who coincidentally, after a year under U.S. aegis, once again are the top producers of opium in the world. Our soldiers and our tax dollars are actively protecting them. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pipeline we’re still spending billions on a war on drugs. We actively protect the drug producers on one end of the pipeline and try (largely unsuccessfully) to interdict those same drugs at the other end of the pipeline. There’s some focus for you.

George W. convinced a skeptical (very) U.S. citizenry of the necessity of the very first U.S. pre-emptive attack on another sovereign nation because they had weapons of mass destruction and close ties to Al Quaeda. Now we find there are no WMD and Saddam and Bin Laden hated each other. But hey! Saddam was a bad guy. The people of Iraq were oppressed. Look at the strategic geopolitical advantage we gain from defeating Iraq? On and on come the rationalizations. Gotta protect their boy and what are a few facts when it comes to ideological loyalty?

The Treaty of Westphalia (1648, certainly pertinent today) notwithstanding; in this country and this century, the operative laws concerning war, its initiation and its conduct are contained in the Constitution and the War Powers Act. Somewhat inconvenient to ideologues right now, but nevertheless, true. Too bad no one is focusing on those. But then, lying under oath about one’s sexual peccadilloes is no doubt a far more important consideration to Republicans than hundreds of widows and orphans and their lost loved ones (lost for spurious reasons). Let’s not even bother with thousands of innocent Iraqis. After all, they’re foreigners.

Either George W. had a hidden agenda to attack Iraq or he made one of the dumbest blunders in our history. Let’s ignore the current reports that he decided to attack Iraq within a week of 9/11 until they are proven. Because that would label him irrevocably as a liar. Inevitably he either lied or he has joined “the march of folly.” Focus?

Tell me how one focuses on one war (i.e., the war on terrorism) by diverting such substantial assets to

fight a wholly different war? I thought the very definition of focus was intense concentration on one subject at a time? I mean, it would be different if we had to attack Iraq, but it now appears that was a voluntary exercise of power.

If one is focused, one thinks things through – something Bush demonstrates by his actions that he isn’t mentally or emotionally capable of doing. His total focus on the war on Iraq evidently didn’t encompass a great deal of thought to the aftermath. Indeed, based on his post-war focus on Afghanistan, why is anyone surprised at the cost and chaos now evident in Iraq? This is a guy who blithely, on worldwide television, uses the word “crusade” referring to our Middle East conflict. Is there any high school history student who doesn’t get the inflammatory impact of that on Arabs? How about challenging thousand of bitter young Arab men to “bring it on!”? Was he focused then on how many of them would? Or how many American lives that single comment was likely to cost? Is that focus?

A healthy economy is one of the most necessary elements of successfully prosecuting any war. Bush’s focus? After 12 years of trickle-down economics under Reagan and Bush senior, the only benefits accrued were to the rich. Those three administrations abjectly failed to improve the economy for the average working man or even the middle class. Now we have an exact replication by a Harvard MBA who has to know this policy is doomed to failure. So? Is George W. a macro-economic savant far surpassing his forbears? Or, is he as George Will suggests, “trying to starve the beast” (shrink the government)? That at least would be logical. He’s focused all right, just not on what he should be, or worse, what he claims to be.

Is the Patriot Act “focus”? The government can search your house without your knowledge. They can tap your phones. They can arrest people on American soil, secretly. They can hold you incommunicado for months and years and refuse you access to a lawyer. They can track the books you read and the videos you watch. If you annoy the wrong FBI agent, you can be labeled just about anything they want to call you and your life may be totally ruined. That’s focus all right. The kind of focus you could have found in Germany in 1936.

Maybe if I get sufficiently frightened, I too will gladly sacrifice those rights so hard won by those million Americans who died to establish and protect them. Incarcerating the Nisei in concentration camps in WW II has been labeled by history as one of the most shameless hypocrisies in our democracy’s history. Wait till they get ahold of the Patriot Act! Bush refuses to allow any friendly foreign troops to help in Iraq unless they accede to U.S. domination. The U.S. has consistently refused to put U.S. troops under any foreign command since Black Jack Pershing refused to serve under the French in WW I. Yet we have no compunction about demanding that of others. Is he a control freak? Or simply, xenophobic? The inclusion of France, Russia and Germany in Iraq reconstruction would inevitably save American lives and countless billions of U.S. tax dollars. What’s the problem? Is he still mad that those countries didn’t support his invasion? Or, is he merely embarrassed that they turned out to be right?

And Butch! If you are going to continue to refer to Thomas Aquinas as a moral authority, perhaps you may wish to read him critically and in historical context. Despite the burnishing of his reputation by countless generations of Catholic educators, Aquinas was nothing more than a paid propagandist for a secularized and militant papacy. His perversions of early Christian doctrine and his blatant rationalizations aided and abetted in the death and murder of millions. Maybe he isn’t the best moral compass you might find. But then, that might explain why you don’t even try to look at Bush critically, merely adoringly.

Yesterday, Bush wiped out 30 years of environmental advances with a stroke of his pen. Another pen stroke a few months ago significantly advanced his anti-abortion views by revising Health Department regulations to make them come more into line with the Christian right (no votes, no publicity, no public discussion). The FTC is in the process of throwing out media ownership constraints to allow more owner concentration. Those owners are almost exclusively Republican-dominated and huge contributors to the Republican Party. The Labor Department just changed overtime rules. Now a check out clerk can be designated checkout counter manager and denied overtime. Great for those corporations that are going to spend all they can to get him re-elected. And let’s not forget the “no child left behind” promises. Anybody seen any action there? Maybe he’s too busy. But hey! He’s the president of all the people.

Is it any coincidence that Bush’s friends and acquaintances at Enron haven’t been brought to trial after over two years? And why is the administration objecting to the prosecution of WorldCom and its officers by the state of Oklahoma? WorldCom was of course a huge contributor to Bush’s campaign, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.

Any time the most powerful man in the world continually refers to himself on public television in the third person, I think of kings, tyrants and megalomaniacs. That’s not focus, that’s just scary.

Yeah Butch, Bush is focused. Just not on the things you want to think he is. Why don’t you try, just once, to come to a conclusion based on fact instead selecting facts to support your ideology? Then you could claim to be logical. That’s the way “reasoning” is supposed to work. What you write is called propaganda!

Jim Dorsey

Try some music

This sounds very much like the lady a number of years ago who burned herself from McDonald’s coffee, then proceeded to sue for lack of caution markings. The crowning achievement of this type person, I believe, is the “freeway noise” lawsuit. For God’s sake, this should have been a consideration of residents when they purchased a house or condo! We already effectively live in a bubble from the world. I don’t think it prudent to make a reality of one.

I think people should get a life: turn on some music to hear nice noise and count yourself blessed that you even have a place in our resort paradise!- Sheesh!

Ben Tryon

Life savers

Thank you to 911, all on the Gypsum Fire Department, Western Eagle Co. Ambulance, Valley View Hospital, doctors, Dr. Ammons, all nurses and staff at rehab unit for the care for me while I was in the hospital for a heart pacer.

Thanks for the many prayers, my family, Pastor Bruce Foster and Barbara, my church family at First Baptist Church of Gypsum for all who brought delicious food when I got home, flowers, gifts, cards, telephone calls for just being you. Marion, you meant so much to me. Just a big thank you for everything appreciated so much. I’m doing very good.

Gussie Baker

Gypsum

Why we’re free

This letter is in response to the letter written by David Levine,

printed in the Aug. 31st Vail Daily.

I served our country during Operation Desert Storm and spent six very long, uncomfortable months in the Persian Gulf. Although I didn’t enjoy my time there, I considered it an honor and a privilege to serve my country during a time of war.

Every day hundreds of brave men and women volunteer to join our armed services, knowing full well that they will probably be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Maybe you think we should have let Saddam continue on his merry way, stockpiling weapons, rewarding the families of suicide bombers, funding terrorist organizations, and torturing, raping and killing his own people.

Maybe you also think we should have allowed him to continue to build and fund terrorist training camps in his country.

You point out the fact that it cost our country upwards of $4 billion a month to keep our forces in Iraq, and unfortunately the lives of a few hundred of our bravest and finest citizens who have given their lives for our security and freedom.

I would like to point out the fact that in a few short hours on Sept. 11, 2001, a few gutless cowards took the lives of 3,000 innocent men, women and children, including firefighters and policemen.

Oh, and don’t forget the trillions of dollars this terrorist attack has cost our economy and I think it’s safe to say is a major factor in our deficit.

But maybe you are right. Maybe we should just keep to ourselves and let these wackos run wild and kill a few more thousand innocent people instead of using our all-volunteer armed forces to hunt down and put a stop to these insane terrorists.

You asked what I think? Well, I think you should pull your head out of your liberal … .

Your freedom came at the cost of the lives of hundreds of thousands of the bravest people who ever lived, and it’s going to cost more to keep it.

Brad Elrod


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