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Byline: The Register-Guard

Petraeus could help Afghan war

Afghanistan is at risk because people like Gen. David Petraeus and his philosophy are scarce commodities.

NATO, Pentagon and intelligence bureaucrats, many masquerading in military uniforms, have consistently ignored and depreciated counter insurgency warfare. Successful career development worldwide requires rsums applying advanced technologies for conventional warfare in Europe and on blue water seas to Third World small wars. Counterinsurgency warfare receives scant attention for being low tech and labor intensive.

When Petraeus commanded the 101st Airborne in Iraq in April 2003, he said, "Now the hard part begins."

However, he had only two stars and did not co-author Army's counter insurgency field manual until 2006.

The Marine Corps, not Army, has the unpopular distinction for embracing the culture of counterinsurgency warfare. As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace had the watch for internal political battles, allowing Petraeus prominence.

Seldom would such a gifted soldier obtain significance needed within ossified defense bureaucracies to implement proven counterinsurgency tactics.

Application of counterinsurgency tactics would increase momentum among local religious, tribal and political leaders to reject the Taliban and accept national government.

The objective would be to help them make pragmatic, consistent decisions recognizing utility of and alignment with Kabul.

Afghan and NATO combined units would clear Taliban from marginal regions, remain militarily present, and allow reconstruction teams entry. Locals would assume authority as behavior confirmed commitment to national goals.

In rebellious regions, attacks would disrupt Taliban units planning offensives, until a regular presence expanded from adjacent pacifed areas.

Nolan Nelson


Same theme, different era

Norm Fox's diatribe (letters, July 6) brings to mind a letter published in The New York Times.

The author, former Attorney General George Wickersham, wrote in part, "the effect was bound to be injurious upon society as a whole and to result in the destruction of the family organization as it had been known in the past."

I'm sure that Fox would have had an ally in Mrs. James Dahlgren, who testified on Capitol Hill that "Marriage is a sacred unity, there is only one head of household ... it upsets the natural order and sows `division and discord' in the family unit and in the country."

Wickersham's letter was published in 1915, and Dahlgren's testimony was heard in 1878.

They were speaking against women's suffrage.

Hallie Edwards


No shortage of caring citizens

This is a note of praise and appreciation to the people who came to the aid of my husband, David, when he lost his balance and fell as we were preparing to cross Oak Street at Saturday Market recently.

We were immediately surrounded by people of all ages and descriptions whose faces showed concern and worry for his plight.

At least one person asked if an ambulance should be summoned. A woman stated that she was an ER nurse as she and a young man assisted David to a sitting position with his back against a post.

Another woman offered the water bottle she had been filling her baby's cup with, and there was another man with a baby in a carrier on his chest who actively sought to assist us.

The nurse and several others offered to stay with David while I hurried back a short distance to our car.

Then our group of angels helped David into the passenger seat, continuing to inquire about his condition and seeing to his comfort. We later determined that David was only bruised and shaken.

We are grateful to everyone involved who demonstrated such loving spirit. That's our Eugene!

Jerri Columpus


Salmon pay for electric vehicles

First came the letters from self-righteous hybrid vehicle owners, spreading the gospel of ecoism.

Not to be outdone, Allan Wellhausen (letters, July 4) trumps the hybrid crowd with his elitist letter about electric vehicles, claiming a $5,000 per year savings in gasoline cost - and wouldn't it be loverly if everyone should live like him?

Harnessing energy is never free. In Oregon, the energy for an electric vehicle would come mostly from hydroelectric dams, and would show on Wellhausen's electric bill.

There are other costs as well. Those poor salmon would be picking up a big part of the tab. I wonder if Wellhausen has Oregon salmon license plates on his vehicle?

In other areas of the country, electric vehicles would have to be energized by coal-fired or nuclear facilities, hastening the global apocalypse prophesied by climate scientists.

Electric vehicle owners may enjoy less out-of-pocket cost to themselves, but only at a greater cost to others. If that's Wellhausen's utopia, he should ride the bus to work.

According to the Lane Transit District Web site, the operating cost of a single LTD boarding is $3.30 and the average fare paid is only 49 cents, leaving $2.81 to be paid by others. Add in the road damage from 15-ton buses and the total cost is a slide rule calculation.

Even I can beat that. I drive my 20 mpg pickup about 20 miles per day for less than the operating cost of two LTD boardings.

Ain't braggin', just sayin'.

Don Richey


Opus pit proposal misses mark

The concept of this community providing a subsidy for a project should be to offer a developer the incentive to provide something better for the community. That's not the case in the Opus/PIVOT Architecture proposal for the Sears pit site (Register-Guard, July 2).

This proposal should be an embarrassment to both of these parties. This proposal offers us a building and site design that neither respects nor contributes to the site, the downtown or the community.

The hole is more aesthetic than this proposal. Leaving the hole is a better alternative than this submission. It suggests the architects don't care, which is a serious statement, especially to the architectural and larger community. Shame on them.

Aesthetics and good site design obviously weren't a part of the selection scoring criteria or this proposal would have never made it to this decision level. When the community is asked to offer financial aid to a project, something better than this has to be the reward. Any of the other proposals contribute more.

This is the third strike for Opus Development, and probably the same for PIVOT, and now it is time to call them out. If we have to offer subsidy to attract a developer for downtown development, we should build and provide uses that can be as the honey to attract tenants. Then the bees will come.

Doesn't anyone really care or have any pride in the aesthetics of this place?

Otto P. Poticha, A.I.A.

Poticha Architects


Green can make hard choices

Often I hear that the Lane County commissioners have had years to find a solution to the cuts in federal funding and have done nothing about it. I think that's wrong.

Twelve or so times money measures have been placed on the ballot and turned down, with the admonition to "cut the fat." Some people accuse the county of cutting public safety as a punishment to voters.

After 12 years of cutting here, there and everywhere, people have to expect that eventually it will come down to cutting public safety funding, because everything else has been cut to the bone and public safety takes the largest share of the general fund.

It's been said that Commissioner Bobby Green has had years to work on this problem and has done nothing about it, but Green was one of three commissioners who enacted an income tax dedicated to public safety, was chastised for doing so and threatened with recall.

It took character and courage to stand up and say, "I know folks won't be happy about this tax, but it is the best thing for all Lane County and it's the right thing to do."

We don't need a commissioner who will vote to keep people happy, we need a commissioner who will do the research and make the hard choices, like Green does.

And the voters of Lane County need to realize that we pay the second- lowest tax rate in the state, and now we're getting what we don't pay for.

Gerald Lacey


Piercy seeks unified community

A few weeks ago, KindTree Productions celebrated artists with autism at the "Autism Artism 2008" Gala Opening in the Lane Community College Art Gallery. The show continues in Building No. 11 through Thursday.

Among the artists, friends and fans, Mayor Kitty Piercy was there to share in the celebration and to share her approach to autism as Eugene's top elected official. She could have listed programs and initiatives, but she instead departed from her prepared remarks and told all the artists and family there that everything she does as mayor is for people with autism because they are part of the community and she is here to serve the community.

That day, Mayor Piercy demonstrated why she enjoys so much support.

In her heart, she doesn't see fragmented communities and competing constituencies. She sees all of us in the same boat, traveling together, each of us doing the best we can for ourselves and each other and benefiting by that mutual support.

People with autism may need different supports than most of us. But certainly, you or I could not survive alone, either. And Piercy understands that.

Strength in diversity is not just a slogan. We are so lucky to have her.

Tim Mueller

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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 16, 2008
Previous Article:A river's deadly lessons.
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