Time To Quit Iraq
As a longtime pacifist, perhaps longer than most peaceniks, I made an exception in the Iraq war. I felt we were justified in invading that country, because it might lead us to the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center; and also find out what Hussein had up his sleeves. But our FBI and CIA had it wrong, they had gathered erroneous information and got us into a situation that proved to be disastrous.
But if we had to do it all over again with the same set of circumstances, I certainly would concur. After all, every country functions on information gathered by so called specialists.
President Bush met with his top war commanders and national security advisers the other day to review the Iraq strategy, and concluded that he will stay the course. Which means in plain English that there will be more bloodshed and the loss of lives.
The Iraqi people have been unwilling or unable to secure any semblance of peace. There are too many hostile factions, each vying for dominance. In fact, the violence has increased. If we leave now, there will only be more chaos and perhaps a civil war. But if the Iraqi people want to shed more blood, no power on earth can prevent it.
We’ve helped them long enough. We’ve exhausted our patience. I think we have overstayed our presence. And the peace marchers have nothing to do with it. I’m not influenced by them or anyone else. As hard as it is for me to say this, our mission is over. Due to lack of cooperation, we have not been able to accomplish our goal.
We have nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve paid a heavy price to bring peace to that region. Wise men have said, and it is so true today, that if the road has proven hazardous, seek another.
We can hold our head high. We went in with good intentions. Who can fault anyone who honestly believed that he was on the right road?
More On Meeks
It was heartwarming for me, a retired community activist, to see that someone finally got the nerve up to out Congressman Gregory Meeks. In her letter to the editor in the Queens Chronicle’s Nov. 2 issue, Ann Rychlenski of Ozone Park told it like it is about Meeks: He ignores his constituents’ needs.
In the past, when I went undercover as a battered woman and found that most women calling the hotline and being further abused by the system were African American, I reached out to Meeks. He was very meek about this very serious problem. He did nothing even after hearing hours of evidence I provided to him.
When I received calls for help from those who lived in Meeks’ district and it was of a federal nature, I called his office. One problem was a very serious one regarding an illegal immigrant with nine children (who has recently received her green card, no thanks to Meeks) his representative was arrogant and dissuaded her from calling the office.
Bravo to Rychlenski. If more people exposed their elected officials, they would get the message and not become elitist and feel above the oath they took and the very people they are there to serve.
Another chapter has just unfolded in Iraq with the death sentence for Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. There is debate about the war in Iraq and our reasons for being there but one thing is crystal clear: Here is a man who was evil incarnate, a tyrant who killed his own people. He tortured, raped and imprisoned thousands by the stroke of a pen.
This verdict is a great victory for the Iraqi people and for their judicial system, since they applied their own laws. Furthermore, Hussein was tried by his own people in his own land and that is what true democracy is all about.
Frederick Bedell Jr.,
Public Advocate Waste
Why do we need a public advocate? We have so much overlap in this city—we have so many elected officials to turn to, when we request information or guidance to steer through the red tape of a bureaucracy—we really do not need another bureaucrat. And we have 311.
I am writing to you regarding Janet McCarthy’s letter in the Nov. 2 Queens Chronicle, wherein she contends that the global heating trend in our climate is not man made.
It is sad that my neighbor is denying a crucial problem, and it is appallingthat she is parroting Big Oil propaganda disguised as science.All New Yorkers shouldbe working to prevent a catastrophe that could literally wash up on, and over, ourdoorsteps.
McCarthy cites a solitary individual to support her fringe position: Richard Lindzen, a scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who questions the role of fossil fuel emissions in disrupting the climate.Lindzen has some great work behind him, butthat by itself meanslittle. History often shows us people who should know better speaking on behalfof utter madness. Isaac Newton, for all his brilliance, believed in alchemy. ThomasJefferson, for all his righteousness, supported slavery.
Lindzen may have departed from reason for the same cause Jefferson did,namely money. In December 1995, Harper’s magazine documented that Lindzen took thousands ofdollars from petroleum companies, including our dear friends at OPEC. Oncehe wasexposed, Lindzen ceased taking payments directly. Instead, he joined Exxon’s scheme to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars through foundations liketheCato Institute, which pays off climate change deniers on the corporation’s behalf. Exxon’s plot, detailed in memos acquired by the Washington Post, wasdesignedby the same consultants who orchestrated Philip Morris’ disinformationcampaign on lung cancer.
As for the rate of Arctic heating, Lindzen and McCarthy imply that a few snowstormsand forward sliding glaciers (most likely sliding because their bottoms are meltingout from under them) are more important than the millions of tons of ice that havefallen into the sea in the past 10 years.In October of this year, NASA’s GoddardInstitute and the journal Science both confirmed that even with new snowfall factoredin, Greenland loses a net 20 percent of its icy mass every year. That mass goes into theAtlantic, raising sea levels.
While McCarthy worries about what the government might do to her private automobile, I worry what herautomobile will do to my community. The time is fast approaching when we won’teven have the option of trading in our cars for MetroCards and bicycles. We’llbe trading them in for life rafts.That’s nature’s ultimatum, not mine. All the Exxon funded denial in the world won’t change it.
Youth And Guns
How many more lives must be lost because of a coward picking up a gun to resolve their anger or frustration? Gun violence in this country is one of the worst forms of terrorism. You never know when, or where it will occur. Consciously or subconsciously, we are terrorized daily because of this unnecessary act of indifference to life. We must come together and use common sense to prevent these devastating acts. This horrific act is a public health issue because it impacts all of us—physically, mentally and financially. It should not be up for political debate. It’s time to do what is “correct” and not continue to allow the manufacturers and distributors of these deadly weapons to wreak havoc on innocent and law abiding citizens. The manufacturers and distributors of “all” firearms must be held accountable for the hands that these weapons of mass destruction fall in. That’s only common sense.
We, as a nation must come together, and say we will no longer be victimized by these cruel and brutal acts. We must unite as a people regardless of race, color, creed or religion. A violent act is a violent act, regardless of whom it is committed by or against. Neither violence, nor the weapons used are color coded. Violent acts are committed by members of our society and must be stopped by law abiding members of our society.
We as parents, guardians, family members, friends and associates can and must speak out when we know (or suspect) that a person is engaged in criminal activity, or considered a threat to another’s life. For far too long, many have become blind to what is happening. Some of our young (and not so young) need professional help.Many are troubled and need guidance, and the terrible thing about it—we know it. Yet, we sit back and do nothing. We must stop talking about how bad they are and teach our youth morals and principles to live by. We must open our eyes and hearts and say enough is enough.
Many of our youth are bored, they are tired, and they are restless. We see them on the streets, we turn our heads. We see them using drugs, we ignore it. We see them drinking, we overlook it. We know they are engaged in criminal activity, and yet we do nothing. My friends, we are wrong. We are losing too many of them because we chose not to get involved in their lives. If our youth are to learn an acceptable way of life, it is our responsibility as parents/guardians to teach them and seek help when our efforts fail.
Liz Bishop Goldsmith,
president, Mothers Against Guns,
First of all, regarding the Queens Chronicle’s coverage of Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin,congratulations for having the courage and the ethics to denounce wrongdoing, especially when it comes from elected leaders who shouldknow better.Kudos as well for U.S. Attorney General Michael Garcia for conducting theinvestigation that led to this indictment.
The accusations directed at McLaughlin are truly astonishing.How could this have gone on for a decade without detection? How could McLaughlin even steal from a Little League baseball team?
In part, the problem is that one political party, the Democrats, dominate almost the entire borough of Queens and hold the lion’s share of New York City elected offices, and frankly, they are not accountable to anyone. It is all a Democratic good old boys and girls club.
This dominations indicates that it is time for Queens Republicans and candidates from other parties to emerge and provide much needed competition and alternatives to Queens voters and residents. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The proof is in the number of Democratic elected officials being indicted and convicted. From McLaughlin to Alan Hevesi, to Clarence Norman, Roger Green, Gloria Davis … Who is next?