LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Cover weapons research at UO
It is unfortunate that The Register-Guard continues to punt on the issue of weapons research being conducted under the auspices of the Oregon Nanotechnologies and Microtechnologies Institute.
As our local daily newspaper, The Register-Guard is responsible for thoroughly informing citizens about developments within our fine city. It troubles me that the newspaper has failed to mention - or, better yet, investigate - ONAMI's involvement in weapons research and Homeland Security-related research, as well as fully disclose the nature of all contracts with the Department of Defense and the even creepier "pie in the sky" research department, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
Eugene and its surrounding area are generally peace loving and anti-war, yet our state and local politicians have allowed, and funded, the University of Oregon's growing contribution to the wars of the future. I, for one, would like to see The Register-Guard hold them accountable for their actions by reporting them. Otherwise, please step aside so that the citizens of Eugene are not led to believe that ONAMI is as sugar-coated as the newspaper has portrayed it thus far. I ask The Register-Guard to do its job, please, and report the news.
Volunteers made event best ever
I would like to express my appreciation to all the wonderful and generous volunteers at the Eugene Celebration.
For me, this was the best year ever. As a mother with two teens, I loved that the Celebration was confined to the downtown area. I felt very comfortable allowing them to explore the Celebration alone. And as their school participated in this year's parade, I had a chance to mingle with other parents.
While my children wandered, I had the opportunity to talk to my fellow citizens, including business people, retired people, religious people, artisans and many other families. All were enjoying the interesting music and great food. A special thanks to this year's organizers.
Too bad Saddam isn't ruling Iraq
Many people, viewing the catastrophe of the last four years, say about Iraq, "Well, at least we got rid of Saddam." I disagree. I'm sorry Saddam Hussein is no longer running Iraq.
Make no mistake, Saddam was an evil individual. The world, however, is not automatically a better place when an evil man is deposed and hanged. In the case of Iraq, Saddam performed the useful function of keeping a lid on the place. No one since has been able to. Neocons like New York Times columnist David Brooks are now looking for an out, the "soft partition." There will be partition, but there will be nothing soft about it.
For decades, Iraqis have been having large families and getting government jobs, while the whole structure survived on oil exports. Without oil, everything implodes.
The Kurds have been largely separated for a long time, and the Shiites are clearing out Sunnis from most of the mixed Arab neighborhoods. Kurds and Shiites are OK with partition because they have plenty of oil, but for Sunnis, it's a recipe for extinction. They will fight.
In Anbar, we are naively arming them for that day. As the ethnic cleansing wraps up and the referendum in Kirkuk approaches, the situation will get worse. U.S. troops can delay the inevitable, but then we'll leave and there will be a bloodbath.
Is there a better way out? Not likely. Do I wish Saddam were still in charge of Iraq? Every day.
Troop reduction is a sham
I remember watching a movie many years ago in which a teenage boy sets fire to his girlfriend's parents' porch, thinking he could become a hero in their eyes by putting out the fire and saving their house.
It was a really bad movie, but it came to mind this morning as I read that, based on Gen. David Petraeus' recommendations, President Bush may send some soldiers home, leaving military forces in Iraq at "pre-surge" levels.
What a sham! By "surging" numbers, then bringing home the number of soldiers he just added, Bush can now claim he's responding to critics - "Look, ma, I'm reducing the number of troops!"- while everything returns to "Stay The Course 2006" status.
We've seen this phony surge-reduction equation before: The Bush administration routinely inflates budget deficit projections, beyond what independent analysts predict, then when a large deficit is less than their inflated estimate, they claim progress or success, and the president can be George the Hero - "Look, ma, I reduced the deficit!"
By the way, in that old movie, the teenage boy ended up burning down his girlfriend's house. He really wasn't a hero.
Bush will leave Iraq to successor
After two days of congressional hearings, it is clear that President Bush's Iraq policy is two-fold: short term, put forward a general who has a halo over his head to present the policy (with its inaccurate statistics) to the public so that any criticism would be considered unpatriotic; and long term, kick the ball down the field so that nothing will change until a new administration takes over in 2009, which Bush can blame in the future for losing the war in Iraq.
Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are part of this Bush strategy and should be held accountable for their participation in this "stay the course" policy. The White House's double-speak and obfuscation continue when the possible withdrawal by next summer of the 30,000 troops added in this year's temporary surge is presented as a major withdrawal. Meanwhile, the killing and carnage continue.
What if U.S. hadn't invaded Iraq?
Here's an assignment I'd love to see Maureen Dowd or Frank Rich or Paul Krugman - or maybe The Register-Guard editorial department - tackle.
I'd love to see a think piece describing what America, the Middle East and, for that matter, the world might look like today if responsible adults in Congress had prevented the Bush/Cheney tribe from illegally invading Iraq.
What condition would our military be in? How many dead would still be with us and how many horribly wounded would be whole? What would our national debt be?
Would Osama bin Laden still be alive if our forces had remained focused on Afghanistan and the Pakistan border? Would there even be a Taliban or an al-Qaeda? How many Iraqis would still be getting electricity and water? For that matter, how many of the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis would still be alive and living with their families?
How much of the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars squandered by the Bush administration through no-bid contracts handed to the Halliburtons and the KBRs would be available for American jobs, schools, bridges and health care for children in poverty?
That's what should be covered. Not the Lunesta blather of people like Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
Proofreading errors are grating
I often wonder if anyone proofreads any of the content of the paper.
Case in point is the front page headline on Sept. 11: "a group of residents deter a roaring blaze" - which would be fine if it were residents (plural) who were deterring the blaze. When it is a group (singular), it needs to be "deters." The plural, "residents," is just describing what kind of group it is.
The homonyms "their," "they're" and "there" are frequently misused by the newspaper's writers. Another one is "peek" and "peak." If I had lots of time to read more of the paper, I could fill pages with examples! I used to keep a log of amusing misuses of the language.
I went to school in Eugene, and I believe that the education I received in elementary school is far superior to what the system offers now. I have grandchildren who are very intelligent, but have some problems with the English language. Is it being taught at all?
Even Avis tries harder - do you suppose The Register-Guard could, too?
Huffman bashed usual suspects
What a shame! With a generously provided forum (by this paper), Dr. Todd Huffman had a wonderful opportunity to heal, as physicians do.
But in his guest viewpoint column on Sept. 11, he began with an overwrought remembrance of that terrible day in 2001 and quickly got to his real message, which, as expected, was nothing more than a recitation of the vitriolic Democrat and MoveOn.org talking points: Bush/Cheney are evil; we have no civil liberties or habeas corpus; international law and the Geneva Conventions are in the toilet. And, in case you didn't know it, we're all torturers. What claptrap!
Such ravings, while appealing to many in these environs, serve as a reminder that exaggerated allegations and unsubstantiated charges only diminish the credibility of the claimant and, if possible, make him appear more foolish than he really is. Huffman also fails to note that the current Democratic leadership voted for the Iraq war and continues to vote for further funding. Maybe he should address his concerns to them and not solely to the Bush/Cheney bogeymen.
Perhaps on next year's anniversary, Huffman's practice of pediatric medicine will be sufficiently occupying so that we will all be spared another of his transparent diatribes.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Sep 17, 2007|
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