Letters to the Editor

War: Talk of war talk prompts worry

Our country is engaged in a struggle against terrorism and it is on the threshold of a war against Saddam Hussein. We would all prefer a change of leadership in Iraq but the administration’s fervor to depose Saddam seems to have turned into a personal vendetta and anyone who disagrees with the president’s view is considered unpatriotic and told to shut up. (Sen. Trent Lott’s response to Sen. McDermott’s statement favoring inspection over immediate war.) Isn’t our right to disagree secured by the Bill of Rights? How will our rights be diminished in the name of national or political security?

I worry about the impending war; throughout history, Americans have prided themselves on their sense of fairness, their ability to retaliate and their aversion to first strike. Now our administration is aggressively provoking a fight like a schoolyard bully. This attitude has already cost us our allies and many American citizens are starting to realize that the enormous loss of civilian casualties in Iraq will create more enemies and more terrorists. This in turn will cost more American lives, deplete our budget, cripple our prestige overseas and set more limits on our civil rights. If the war is inevitable, shouldn’t we continue the UN process and maintain a united front with our allies? Let’s not isolate ourselves from our resources.

I worry about repeating past mistakes; on Sept. 11, our country was violated and our peace of mind was shattered. No degree of atonement can satisfy our outrage for this act of aggression but we must control and direct our fury in the right direction. After Pearl Harbor, loyal Japanese-American citizens were stripped of their property and interned because of their national origin and after Sept. 11 overzealous accusations have been made against Arab-Americans. We must not forget our Constitution, due process of law and the premise that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

I worry about our priorities; actors, performers and professional athletes make salaries in the millions while teachers, firemen and policemen have to moonlight to make ends meet. Where are scouts, recruiters and contracts for outstanding educators and law-enforcement officers?

I worry about our sense of justice and fair play: When crooked CEOs are exposed they are allowed to keep their millions. Shouldn’t their properties be liquidated to re-enburse the employees who have lost their jobs, their savings and their retirements?

I worry about our economy; the market is at a low point, the surplus we had two years ago in our national budget is now a deficit, the western ports are all locked down and our administration ignores these problems to pursue what seems like a personal vendetta against Sadaam.

T. R. VALDEZ

OAK HARBOR

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