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Byline: The Register-Guard

Smith sides with Bush on Iraq

Recently, Sen. Gordon Smith showed his true colors about the war in Iraq by voting with the Republican caucus to block debate about the troop "surge" in Iraq. In December when he stood on the floor of the Senate and emotionally criticized the war effort, many folks compared him to former Sen. Mark Hatfield. Smith's an independent! He's willing to take a stand!

Apparently, it was just an act, because when it came time for Smith to vote on a Senate resolution, he voted for the status quo and against a statement of disapproval of the "surge." Instead of taking a stand, Smith showed that he is still a stooge of "The Decider" and the Republican Party.



Far more troops needed in Iraq

Right or wrong, we're in this stinking war up to our noses. It stinks because it has gone on too long. It has gone on too long because we, as a country, haven't yet recognized what we must do to extricate ourselves from Iraq.

If we're ever to leave Iraq with our national integrity intact and with Iraqis handling their own affairs, we should do now what we failed to do at the beginning: Cover the country like a wet army blanket with combat troops on the ground; ensure that we have enough troops so that nothing comes into or goes out of Iraq and nothing moves within its borders that we don't know about, can investigate and combat as necessary; have enough troops in Iraq to counter threats coming from neighboring countries; have enough troops rotating into and out of combat so that soldiers in the field are always alert and not unduly fatigued, and back up our troops with a solid line of support.

Instead, our commanders seemed more concerned with their image, with politics and with soldiers possibly being wounded or killed instead of deploying their combat resources as necessary. Our military leaders seemed to think that technology was a viable substitute for armed soldiers on the ground.

When attempting to hold ground and keep the peace after an invasion, there is no substitute yet for the foot soldier. A surge now of 21,500 more combat troops is insufficient. That number should be at least double.



Efficient wood heat available

It bothered me that reporter Diane Dietz's article on wood heat and air quality made no mention at all of more efficient wood burning appliances (Register-Guard, Feb. 6).

My family has heated our place exclusively with wood since I installed our stove two years ago to avoid paying hundreds more a month to use electric heat. Every evening we lounge around in its luxurious warmth and watch the curly yellow flames as its advanced non-catalytic system re-burns flue gases - known as secondary combustion - resulting in particulate emissions less than 3 grams per hour. By comparison, an open fireplace burning softwoods can produce up to 60 grams of smoky particulates per hour. And just one big diesel engine - up to 70.

I also found it ironic the guest viewpoint in the editorial section was another call to ban field burning. I know a fellow who says he's happy to fire up his old smoky woodstove to heat his shop, at any time, as long as they allow grass farmers to light up entire fields north of town. I concur.



A way to remember Molly Ivins

I will miss Molly Ivins' work for the rest of my life. For those of us who don't write columns, her memory could well be honored by the purchase of breast cancer stamps which the post office has been selling for some years. The small extra cost goes for breast cancer research.


Blue River
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Feb 17, 2007
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