Letters to the Editor, Week 46

Limit religious freedoms?

                Watchingthe news about the Western Boro Church! If it is a church it belongs to Satanas far as I can see. When the belief of any group of people race’s hate orwhat, can jeopardize the liberty and freedom or even lives or destroy what thisnation stands for, then I believe there should be some kind of law orlimitation on what freedom really is!

                As longas groups like this exist not only in our nation, but around the world, thepoison that they reflect contaminates the spiritual bond that holds all tribalorder together.

                Theonly thing that I believe God actually hates is the power that feeds hate andthat is what evil really is.

Jerry Hutchins


Vet’s Assembly great

                Eachyear, for probably the last 12, if not more, I have had the unique pleasureattending the Veterans Day assembly. This event is organized by the students ofTonasket High School under the supervision of Anita Asmussen.

                Eachyear I come away thinking that if the next year they can do as well that wouldbe superb. But, each year I am surprised. They don’t do as good, they dobetter. The quality and integrity of these students is superb. And, I’mreferring to all the students not just the ones performing at center stage. Theaudience, made up of the entire student body, sprinkled with many veterans andsome additional towns people were respectfully quiet yet applaudingappropriately.

                Anadditional highlight were six poems written and presented by six differentstudents, the quality of which would be beyond the expectations of anyone. Ididn’t get the names of each one and to mention some without mentioning allwould be a discredit to the integrity of the assembly. But there was one poem thatcaused me to think in a different direction. That poem was titled, “I Am.” Itstarts out saying, “I am a soldier, I am a mother, I am a father, I am adaughter, I am a son.” And it weaves through how the individuals of our societyare affected by the soldier. In my own heart and mind I added, as I’m sure manydid, I am an American and I’m proud of that. I am an American who is proud tobe an American. I am proud to be a part of the society that allows me thefreedom to write and you to read this letter. And, I am proud to be a part of acommunity who has the quality of young people I experienced, as school thatteaches them and parents that them birth.

The Old Coffee Drinker,

Randy Middleton


Eisenhower socialist

Once again your editorial decries the “socialist agenda” andthe problems with liberals. After finishing your latest polemic, I beganreflecting on the Conservative movement’s slow but steady march further andfurther to the right. In your name-calling and labeling, you substitute panderingpopulist drivel for meaningful thought. This led me to do some presidentialresearch. I discovered a former president who cut the defense budget andincreased Social Security. This same president was also responsible for theinterstate highway system, one of the grandest public works projects in ourcountry. Furthermore, he cautioned against what he called the”military-industrial complex” which he felt was aiding in the arms race. Theman’s name: Dwight D. Eisenhower. I’m wondering if you consider him a socialistas well?

Shawn Morrison


Publisher’s answer: You asked Shawn so here’s my answer.I doubt that Eisenhower was a socialist. Cutting the defense budget, expandingsocial security and engaging in important public works do not make him one. TheInterstate Highway System was modeled after Germany’s autobahn. Hitler builtthe autobahn to facilitate the movement of German troops from one front to theother; a fact I doubt was lost on the Supreme Allied Commander of WWII. Socialsecurity was a retirement program funded by donations from the private sector.Progressives, assisted by conservatives, have modified it over the years tosupport all kinds of social programs while raiding the “trust fund” to supporttheir out of control spending at the Federal level. What is amazing is thatprogressives are still hung up on fear of the “military-industrial complex”while being totally blind to new threats to our freedoms being imposed by the”government-union complex.” This may come as a surprise Shawn, butconservatives are not opposed to all government programs. We just believe thatgovernment is best that governs least and most social programs can be handledbest by private sector efforts. Government has proven to be woefullyinefficient in its execution of any program it administers.

Bringing our troops home

On 11/3 Publisher Forhan wrote: “There is only one purposeto war. Destroy the enemy-kill them or beat them into submission.” He concludedbecause it is “criminal” that our troops in Afghanistan are not allowed toapply more brutality, they should be brought home.

Thank you, publisher, for the call for withdrawal, but canwe be honest enough to call this “war” what it is: the invasion and occupationof a weaker nation? After 9 years, has it not become a fool’s errand? Isinvading and brutalizing people in their own lands, their own villages andhomes, not a nasty business? Do we not betray our troops in asking them to doso in the first place on behalf of political and corporate interests? Is therenot obvious reason our troops return to commit suicide in alarming rates? Isn’tthe immorality and folly of GW Bush now Obama’s, who has climbed into bed withthe defense industry as shamelessly?

Yes, indigenous people resist invasion of their sovereignsoil. Imagine that. Imagine the US invaded by a militarily superior nation.Imagine their soldiers and vehicles patrolling our streets. Would we not, inhumiliation and rage, bare our arms to defend our homeland? Would we not shootfrom the shadows, the cover of our homes and forests and market places? Wouldwe not plant IED’s? And after digging our children from the rubble left bytheir errant missiles, would we not, in desperation, strap bombs to ourselvesand walk into their crowds? Would anything less not be treasonous? Would we notfight to the end to oust our occupiers in the tradition of our forbearers inplaces like Lexington and Concord, who we worship and celebrate today with fireworks and parades?

Is American exceptionalism- the notion that we are God’schosen and therefore out of reach of international laws of war and aggression-so arrogant and blind as to not see the tragedy of the hypocrisy? Did we learnnothing from Vietnam where no amount of Am
erican brutality could cower theresolve of the indigenous people of the region? Did we learn nothing from therage behind America’s Middle East meddling that lead to 9/11? Will we continueto denigrate the sacrifices our forefathers of 1776 and grandfathers of 1945,in becoming what they deplored… or will we learn and return to our roots? It isthe question of our times.

Bemoaning the lack of American brutality in Afghanistan,Publisher, neither flatters you, serves your readers, your country, or addressesthe compelling issue.

Mark Lindstrom

Lake Wenatchee

Publisher’s response: War is essentially immoral. It isbrutal and diminishes all of us. That does not change the fact that we areoften confronted in life with situations that require us to choose a coarse ofaction that we would otherwise abhor. Yes, we invaded a “weaker nation.”Problem is, it was that “weaker nation” that allowed its citizens to attack uson 9/11. The best way to end this immoral activity is to execute it thoroughlyand aggressively. Anything short of that extends the brutality and encouragesother weak nations with a grievance, real or perceived, to use their ownviolent efforts to exact retribution from the “Great Satin.” Also, yourdescription of American exceptionalism is fundamentally flawed. Ourexceptionalism has nothing to do with being “God’s chosen” or that we aresomehow exempt from “International law on war and aggression.” Americanexceptionalism is about how we have been a beacon of light and hope to a worlddominated by dictators and terrorists that have nothing to offer to their”subjects” except repression and poverty. American exceptionalism is about theeconomic power we have unleashed by supporting and encouraging individualachievement. American exceptionalism is about standing up for the oppressed andthe downtrodden. The point of my opinion piece on 11/3 was that we apparentlyhave not learned anything from Vietnam. Sending our troops into harms way andthen tying their hands with stupid restrictive policies that our enemies do nothave to observe is inexcusable. It is also hypocritical to accuse our troops ofviolations of International law while excusing even worse behavior from theenemy. It’s time to fight the war or get our troops out.

Forhan wrong

In the Nov. 3 Echo, the publisher wrote, “Let the Afghanpeople destroy each other. And when that seething caldron (sic) of hate boilsover again we can bomb them with cruise missiles or drones…” We are outraged,ashamed, embarrassed and appalled to have these hateful and ignorant words inour hometown newspaper. First, policies of a country’s leaders or its fanaticalminorities should not be confused with the feelings and thinking of the people.Second, the only good thing about Forhan’s tirade is that the brilliant andgifted young exchange student from Afghanistan who attended our high schoollast year is not here to read his murderous words. This young woman dreams ofbecoming a doctor and returning to Afghanistan to help her people. She and thepeople of her country deserve support and humanity from our country, and notthe meanness Forhan has conveyed.

Susan and John Butruille


Tough competitor

I really dug your (Bill Forhan’s)column in the Nov. 3 issue on getting the troops out of Afghanistan, especiallyyour well-informed definition of war. As I read the column, my heart startedbeating hard and I wanted to go ambush somebody and crush their will. Man, I’dhate to be in competition against you, or have to invade Leavenworth! Pleasee-mail the column to me if you have time and I will run it and post it in mypaper, The Depot Bay Beacon. Your column needs some broad distribution.

Rick Beasley

Depot Bay, Oregon