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Home Improvment Special Featured In Our April, 26th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Take Away Their Ability To Fight

War is such a terrible, destructive enterprise that man would be much better off if we did not participate in such adventures.  The problem is that there are people out there that, for various reasons, figure they ought to rule the world and what is worse is that they get large groups of other  people  to buy into what they want.  Followers have very little to gain and a lot to lose,  including their lives. 

So when war is thrust upon you or your  country, how do you win that war in the most efficient way possible and with the least cost in both property and lives?  In the movie “Patton”, Patton tells the soldiers that you do not win a war by dying for your country but by getting your enemy to die for his.  There is some truth in that statement but there is more  to it than that.  It takes “stuff” to win a war.  It takes “stuff” to kill and injure  a lot of people.

Wars are won by taking away the enemies ability to fight, or the “stuff” they need to wage the war.  Grant did exactly that to Lee in the Civil War.  When Grant took over the Army of the Potomac he tried several frontal assaults on Lee, with disastrous results.  He then slowly began to surround Lee’s Army cutting Lee from his supplies. Meanwhile, Grant sent Sherman into the south from Atlanta to the sea.  Sherman’s army was to chew up the south, burning crops, destroying factories, railroads anything that the south could use to wage war.  When Lee surrendered he still had 40,000 troops in the field, but they were starving and without supplies.

In World War II, the first target of the allied bombing campaign was the Ploiesti Oil Fields in Romania controlled by Germany.  You can’t run a mechanized army without oil.  General MacArthur was the absolute master of this strategy.  He destroyed Japanese outpost after outpost without firing a shot.  He simply went around them, cut off their supplies, and left them there to rot.  He was quoted as saying that “starvation was his ally.”

The war on terror has its similarities with past wars. If you are going to take out a large group of Americans, it takes “stuff.”  The “stuff” of 9/11/01 was commercial air planes.  That was a sucker punch and we all know it is not going to happen again.  We have better security, hardened cockpit doors, pilots who won’t leave the cockpit and will carry guns, and as a last resort, the American passengers will put the plane into ground just like they did with Flight 93. 

You then need WMD’s, for the lack of a better term.  I am sure the United States government is watching very closely the legitimate makers of chemical, biological and nuclear materials, making sure their products do not fall into the hands of the terrorists.  So where is Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to go for their “stuff?”  It was not too hard to connect the dots right to Iraq immediately after 9/11 and it does not matter if Saddam had those weapons at that point in time.  Left alone, even with sanctions, he would have eventually had them and we would have been the recipient of some kind of device sooner or later.

The war in Iraq is then just a battle in the war on terror.  We are in Iraq to cut off the supplies of “stuff” to the terrorists.  There may not have been any obvious connection between Sadaam Hussein and Al Qaeda, but do you think these people write interoffice memos to each other?   This strategy is working.  Does anyone remember how quickly Mr. Qadhafi, of Libya, gave up his nuclear program to the United States when he saw Saddam crawl out of his spider hole.  There also has to be a hesitation factor on the part of some countries in the area that if we find they are supplying the terrorists we may put that government in a spider hole next.

The terrorists on 9/11 knocked down two buildings and then we took two countries away from the terrorists, Afghanistan and Iraq.  Knock down some  more building and there may be some more countries that will no longer be a safe haven to the terrorists.  Let us not forget how this mess started with the unprovoked killing of thousands of innocent Americans on 9/11 by a group of terrorists from the middle east.  Should the United States have done nothing at this point, or should we have taken action to put a stop to this kind of nonsense?


Daniel Wolfe

Susquehanna, Pa

Please Support Our Service

To the residences of the Susquehanna Fire Dept Ambulance coverage area.

The annual Ambulance Fund Drive is underway.  Every household in the coverage area should receive a donation request.  The fund drive is very important to the operation of the Ambulance Service, as we do not receive any tax dollars to support the Ambulance Service.  We rely on the fund drive donations and what money we receive from some insurance company’s that are billed for ambulance service to finance the ambulance operations. 

As a reminder the fund drive has replaced the old Ambulance Club Membership.  When you contribute to the fund drive you receive the same benefits as provide in the old membership club.  It is more important this year than ever that the community support the ambulance fund drive given the unprecedented cost increase in operating the ambulance.  If you have not received a fund drive request please contact the Susquehanna Fire Dept Ambulance, PO BX 175 Susquehanna, Pa. 18847 or call 853-3861.


Susquehanna Fire Dept. Ambulance

The Last Five Minutes

Osama ben Laden and all the Muslin terrorist organizations - el-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah - would cease to be a threat to the United States but for our witless and willing support for the state of Israel.  If our nation were to adapt an America-first policy instead of its fanatical Israel-first agenda, domestic terrorists would dry up like autumn leaves and be blown away from our shores.

The fact that Iraq and Syria are considered to be a menace to world peace is a testament to the power of propaganda, disinformation, forged documents, and half-truths.  These third-world nations are not, nor could not jeopardize us, let alone world peace, but they are a thorn in the side of Israel.

Now it starts all over again: the heated rhetoric, the fanciful dangers, the cherry-picked intelligence against another third-world nation---Iran.  However, this go-around does indeed has the potential for devastating worldwide consequences.

Iran borders the jugular vein of the industrial West, the Persian Gulf.  Through this narrow inland sea pass 40% of the world's supply of petroleum, 14 million barrels of oil a day.  At the North end of the Gulf, pipelines from Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and most of the United Arab Emirates fill the oil bays of supertankers that then head South.  But before they emerge into open the sea they must pass through a narrow inlet with a hairpin turn, the Strait of Hormuz.

The Strait is so narrow that only two one-mile wide channels exist, one in-going and one out-going.  Sink just one tanker in one of these shallow lanes and watch gasoline immediately spike to $5, $6, or $7 a gallon; block two lanes and the result will be catastrophic.

If the United States initiates an unprovoked against Iran, and backs this nation into a corner, this is a very real possibility. 

The United States has tasked the Fifth Fleet with the responsibility of protecting the Gulf and in particular its two shipping channels.  But this is like setting up a chain-link fence as a barrier against mosquitoes.  The fence, strong though it may be, is no obstacle to mosquitoes.  And Iran has the "mosquitoes," two to be precise.

The Hoot missile is a ship-launched, rocket-propelled torpedo capable of underwater speeds in excess of 220 mph.  It emits a stream of bubbles from its nose which coats the torpedo in a thin layer of air preventing water from coming in contact with the missile.  This reduces drag exponentially and enables it to achieve speeds four times faster than a conventional torpedo. Hoots are radar evasive, have scramble-proof electronics, and can switch to a slow-speed search mode.

Iran began mass producing the Hoot in early 2005.

The second "mosquito" is a flying boat.  This is a small, propellor-driven aircraft floated on a trimaran hull (a hull with two outriggers that reduces draft).  When it reaches a certain speed it skims over the surface of the water at 100 mph.  This boat/plane is said to have radar-evasive capability and can launch Hoot torpedoes.

In the Strait of Hormuz, at its narrowest point there are three islands, all of which are occupied by Iran.  From these islands to the center of one of the main sea lanes is a distance of ten miles.  The Hoot has a range of four+ miles.  If a flying boat could get to within five or six miles of an oil tanker, which would take less than four minutes, and then launch a Hoot with its 300 to 400-pound explosive warhead, it would reach its target in one minute.  From launch to target would take five minutes. It could be the last five minutes of life as we know it.

The tanker would do down, the channel would be blocked, and tens of thousands of barrels of crude would leak out into the Gulf.   If these waters were to become polluted with oil, the desalination facilities which produce all the potable for this region would be forced to either shut down or risk being fouled by oil contamination.

There is no question that Iran is receiving help from North Korea, China, and Russia, which originally developed the super-speed torpedo and the flying boat a decade ago.  These nations are playing both sides of the fence, saying one thing to please the U.S. and doing something else to win favor with oil-rich Iran. The involvement of these governments make military intervention in the Gulf even more precarious.

What will President Bush and the neocons do?  It is impossible to predict the behavior of an administration so easily influenced by foreign interests.  But this much is sure:  Of all the questionable actions President Bush has been accused of, blamed for, and been complicent in, there is something that can be said with some certitude:  his past mistakes will form no part in present decisions.


Bob Scroggins,

New Milford, PA

Bureaucratic Nonsense

I am astonished that we, as Americans have to put up with such bureaucratic non sense.

Gas prices rise again!

It is all over speculation? They raise it just because they can. The oil  companies have reached their largest profit in history. What are they doing with all their money? Do they go to church? One of the commandments is: "I shall not steal”. We just sit back and accept it.

The monopoly of oil companies is wrong and we don't seem to care, because if we did we would be marching; just like the illegal immigrants, by the millions!

I can't believe my eyes when I see this. America is following our leaders, like sheep to slaughter, quietly, silently.

Somebody better change our government's way of thinking, from the top to the bottom before we all go broke and we have our own civil war; never mind Iraq! What ever happened to "we the people, of the people, by the people, and for the people"?

Monopolies do not belong in America, controlling our food and oil with no end in sight .

If our leaders were really concerned about us they would stop the cycle and change the way our country revolves around oil; reverse the laws that allow big companies to drag us down economically. Are we that naive? When is it all going to end?

The CEOs who get paid big bucks for making these decisions are just as much to blame. They keep taking large sums of money for making decisions that should be throwing red flags up to us, but we just don't care.

They think we can't change anything, so they just keep milking their own country, showing false positives in the stock markets and leaving loopholes for other countries to buy into America.

Ask yourselves: Is our economy really doing good?

The production of ethanol could dramatically change America. It would put the farmers to work, put the steel mills back in operation and provide many jobs.

It would work, but it will never happen unless we Americans wake up and make it happen.

Call everyone, from Washington to your local police chief and scream. Make your words ring in their ears, make the car manufacturers build cars that run on ethanol and maybe America can survive.

Otherwise it is our own fault.


Peter Seman

Thompson Pa.


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