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You Have A Voice
When President Kennedy was shot, his grandmother was still alive and living in Boston. She was also alive when President Lincoln was shot.
We are a young country – a new race of people, and you are the first of this new race. A member of the best class, the best country in the world.
You are the people in “We the people.” The glue that holds America together. So now is the time to make your voice heard – in your own backyard, our own little bean-patch.
You have a voice, make that voice heard. You already have that most important office – that of private citizen. You must take things in your own hands – there is no cavalry coming.
Always take sides. Neutrality helps the tyrant, not the good guys.
There will be no peace in this world until private citizens like you lead the change with independent thinking.
“Of the people, by the people and for the people.” Recognize that you are the people and you have the power. Vote!
The President's Dance Card
The President's bombing calendar is filling up like a beauty queen's dance card on prom night. First in line is Iraq. Every time an "enemy of Iraq" – insurgent being an insufficiently explicit invective – sticks his head up, an F-17 is likely to drop a 500-hundred bomb in his lap. This ordinance can be guided to knock the bottom out of a teacup. But to the Iraqis the amount of death and destruction caused by a precision-guided, quarter-ton munition is exactly that same as one guided by chance and gravity. Thus far this strategy has had mixed results, ineffective to counter-effective, with emphasis on the latter.
After the much ballyhooed killing of al Qaeda leader, Abu al-Zarqrwi, violence has only increased. Former U. S. deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, believes that the heightened level of turmoil may cause the Iraqi government to ask for the withdrawal of U. S. forces from their country. Recently, just such a proposal for U. S. withdrawal was presented to the Iraqi parliament by Prime Minister al-Malik. There's only so much of our help that Iraq can tolerate.
Afghanistan has the second dance. Operation Mountain Lion was launched about three months ago against formerly "defeated" Taliban and al Qaeda forces. It is an ongoing sweep with 2,500 U. S. and Afghan troops. On June 23, four U. S. troops were killed in this campaign. This brings the KIA in that nation to 308. The number of WIA is not reported.
The President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai believes that the United States' war on terrorism is a war of terrorism. "It is not acceptable [that] Afghans are dying," said the president. "In the last three to four weeks, 500 to 600 Afghans were killed. [Even] if they are Taliban, they are sons of this land." He urged the U. S. to reassess its approach.
In many ways the victory of the U.S. in Afghanistan was a defeat for that nation. In 1999 Afghanistan was exporting 3,200 tons of heroin a year, about 80 per cent of the world's supply. Then the Taliban came to power. In 2000 production fell to 185 tons a year, a reduction of 94 percent. After the U.S. led coalition ousted the Taliban, poppy fields bloomed once again. Production soared, providing money that fueled internecine fighting among a checkerboard of competing warlords and eroding the authority of the central government.
Iran is third in line. President Bush is fond of saying that "all options are on the table," leaving little doubt that the next step up from the quarter-ton will be the mega ton. President Bush presented Iran with a take-it-or-else proposal with "weeks not months" for Tehran to abandon uranium enrichment. But President Amadinejah is unruffled and unmoved. It seems that the diplomacy of intimidation, subtle threats, and bullying has had an effect opposite to that which was intended.
Iranians question the double standard that the U. S. applies to Israel, Pakistan, and India – all of which refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and thus avoid the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency – and to Iran. Tehran is a signatory of that treaty and is in full compliance with its provisions yet badgered with allegations of putative violations.
And this while the U.S. itself is in violation of the NPT. This treaty requires that nuclear nations begin dismantling its nuclear weapons. Yet the U. S. is presently developing a new generation of mini nukes.
Last on the dance card, North Korea. President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union Address named Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the "axis of evil" triumvirate. The phrase played great at home, but was poorly received abroad, especially so in North Korea. This characterization together with a punch-first policy put the Koreans on their guard. Since then they have aggressively pursued the development of nuclear weapons and plan an imminent launch of a long-range missile.
Secretary of defense for former President Clinton, William Perry, called for President Bush to destroy the test site with a cruise missile fired from a submarine. He does admit that this action "undoubtedly carries risk." True enough. President Kim Jong-il – the "pygmy" as President Bush called him – is likely to take issue with having his country bombed. Nevertheless, the U.S. ambassador to Japan chimed in with Mr. Perry, "all options are on the table" – popular phrase, that.
The U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, rejected an offer from N. K. for direct discussions. He added, ". . . the priority remains to persuade N. K. not to conduct the launch." How our ambassador plans to persuade them while refusing to talk to them is not clear.
It is also not clear who gets the next dance.
New Milford, PA
We Deserve Better
I try to keep my opinions neutral, but when I hear politicians talk about Iraq and use the term "cut and run," that makes me sick. Do they forget that we are the "United States” or what?
Very unpatriotic in my eyes, and shame on them for using the term. As if it will help them look better for some upcoming election; hardly. It makes me sick to think that they would stoop so low and almost snicker about it, like the cat that ate the canary!
We, as Americans better understand that this has to stop, or show us the money that we will get from all the oil! Pay back America! America will never see any money, either. Send our troops home alive and, you who say it, go fight for your own oil and power!
I don't believe in my heart that we sent our troops into Iraq (my daughter was one of them) for weapons of mass destruction. It is so obvious that we went in there for the oil, and the Bush administration has no intention of ever leaving. When it all blew up in his face, then he tries to blame us, the American citizens. He accomplished the "cut and run" a long time ago and is still running. He must think we are all stupid. I guess there was no easy way to say that, but it needs to be said and we, American citizens, deserve better. I pray every day to have our troops home safe, and I am the first to thank them. Do they like the term "cut and run”? I bet not! Ask them!
Remember what the word “terrorist” means!
Peter A. Seman
What Do We Do?
My question is, what do we do about illegal aliens?
I agree with every word written by Mr. Scroggins in the June 21 edition of the Susquehanna County Transcript. It is the plain, honest truth.
I have written our elected representatives, called their offices, and we still have the problem. We have an elected government that refuses to represent the people who elected them. They refuse to enforce our laws on illegal immigration.
If we elect new people, it won’t change.
So, my question is, what can we do to take our country back, before it is too late?
Kids Should Be Active
In response to Ms. Stark's letter in the June 21 edition of the County Transcript about creating a skate park, I'd like to second Ms. Stark's opinion. I suppose those who feel that the skateboarders are already causing problems in the community would rather the kids stay inside and watch TV, out of "the way," and off the streets. It seems that kids who actually have some motivation to be outside during the summer should be punished for being active. Shame on those kids who don't want to be obese like the other countless children in this country. Shame on them for trying to find a way to entertain themselves in a town where choices for activity include a movie theater (also great for sitting around), and a few gas stations for them to loiter at.
Sarcasm aside, creating a skate park is an excellent idea, one that had been mentioned many times in conversation around the halls of Montrose High School when I was a student. An outdoor park is hardly an inconvenience to build; I'm sure these kids would be happy with a few old hand rails and a wooden ramp. Why not accommodate them with a little concrete and some chain-link fencing? And for all those nay-sayers who'd protest the park because of safety issues, the answer is simple. A "skate at your own risk” sign probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle, and helmets are a great invention.
It's time to stop discouraging skateboarding in town. Times have changed drastically from my mother's and grandmother's generation, but skateboarding is the reason these kids get off their couches and enjoy the environment that has been granted to them – just as older generations found ways to make the most of their time as kids.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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