Optimistic about Iraq
To the editor:
Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be an amazing degree of pessimism about the future of Iraq. Perhaps we should focus on what the vast majority of ordinary Iraqis have already used as indicators.
Most of the complaints from ordinary Iraqis at first were about food and disrupted water and electric supplies, not politics. Now, as in Afghanistan, armed gangs are making their bids for turf and power. It is a dangerous situation, but in terms of total lethality, not any worse than the toll violence in major American cities takes each year.
Of course, Iraq is not in the United States, but that is exactly the point. If, with all our considerable resources, we can hardly put a dent in gang violence in even one American city, Los Angeles (800 gang related deaths in 1995), why would we expect to completely and quickly pacify a country the size of the entire state of California?
California is a great state but, like all the other states, it is not perfect. There seems to be an ongoing, but useless, argument about American perfection in the matter of invading Iraq in the first place. Some say that America is a great country and should have trusted its best information available at the time and exercised its judgment to invade before it was too late.
Others say America is not a perfect country and should have gotten even more information and even more support before going in too early. The argument is useless because the deed is done. The decision left us is to finish what we started or to abandon the Iraqi people to the whims of the terrorists.
Afghanistan should have taught us something about the consequences of ignoring the whims of terrorists for too long. The Taliban took the part of their people they didn't like to sports stadiums donated for the use of all their people and executed them in horrible public displays. We did not go there because they did that, but because terrorists they supported came here on 9/11 and made horrible displays of their own on American soil.
We went to Afghanistan too late for too many victims, domestic and foreign. Perhaps we did go into Iraq too early but, since we are there, we should take a good look at the whims of the terrorists in Iraq.
Terrorists have bombed the U.N. headquarters in Iraq, killing workers dedicated to helping the Iraqi people. Recently, terrorists have deliberately targeted the Red Cross in Iraq and killed humanitarian workers.
I am optimistic that the America pursuit of terrorists in Iraq will give the Iraqi people the life the terrorists threaten, the liberty the terrorists try to deny, and the opportunity to pursue the happiness the Iraqi people deserve.
Do we really need Mail Call?
To the editor:
I read The Herald-Mail on a daily basis. Usually, I get decent tri-state news. I have to comment though, on the section called Mail Call. I'm wondering if this section is really a positive addition to Hagerstown's newspaper.
One of the impressions I get from The Herald-Mail is that Hagerstown is trying to clean up its image, attract new business and improve the downtown business area. I totally agree that all of these things are needed in Hagerstown.
There is evidence all over Hagerstown that it was once a thriving and prosperous area that has gone to seed. It could be wonderful again with a change of attitude and some positive energy.
Mail Call seems to portray the very worst in human expression. The comments are often caustic and petty. Complaints about who can use the Food Bank? Complaints about "undesirables" sitting on park benches downtown? Ill-formed political opinions, religious rants, parents angry about having to purchase school t-shirts? The average Mail Call respondent portrays the people of Hagerstown in such a negative manner. Mail Call is the "Jerry Springer" of Hagerstown. It perpetuates the ignorant redneck reputation that has been prevalent for years in this area.