Letters to the editor

August 20, 2004

Take a page from Ataturk

To the editor:

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Remember that name. In it, I see the solution to the current situation in Iraq. While I have little knowledge of the historical pains it took to grow the country, I know that the nation of Turkey is the example that we would want to prevail in this divided nation.

Atatrk was a firm, brilliant Turkish leader in a nation that was born and torn through an early Christian heritage to one that today is radically secular and a somewhat democratic Islamic society. Centuries before him, the Apostle Paul traveled through this country on his missionary journeys and established the seven churches of Asia. We see that in the book of Revelations.

I believe the establishment of a praying people is a force that keeps that region strong today. Many oppose our occupation of Iraq. Some are vocal, while others are silent.


I view our occupation as a setback for our future quest to bring world peace to an already divided world. We entered Iraq without proper invitation. We entered with the force of the mighty "crusader," not that of the "missionary." It's much like someone breaking and entering or bombarding the front door of your house just to take a penny. You would have invited them in and probably given them more than they stole if they had called in advance or knocked.

The United Nations needs to oversee the operation to bring a civility to the monstrosity our single nation has transposed. Hundreds of troops and innocent civilians are nobly dying or being exposed to dangers because diplomacy doesn't seem to work fast enough in a nation laced with misdirection. But I do believe this:

Ataturk's spirit of excellence prevails in the hearts of every "true" Islamic soul. The pride of an Islamic person is based on a culture that looks to Allah and prays to find solutions to its own problems, much like we must take care of our own nation's problems. We don't ask Canada or Mexico for help. It is in God we trust, right? An Iraqi taking charge is the solution to resolve this war. Their example is the spirit of excellence demonstrated by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a true Islamic hero. His ideals are right for a country so divided it looks impossible to bring peace. While every nation has its own set of problems, the solutions for the Iraqis may be right in their own backyard.

Reginald Pugh

Banned for being honest

To the editor:

On Sunday, Aug. 15, I was denied tickets to President Bush's Hedgesville appearance. While standing in line at the Republican headquarters in Martinsburg, W.Va., I was approached by a party member who asked point- blank if I would be supporting Bush in the 2004 election.

I said plainly and honestly, "No, I won't." The man said nothing, went inside the building and returned a moment later. He said that I could not have tickets, citing a necessary ticket count. He asked for my name, address and telephone number, saying that he would contact me later if it worked out. I refused his offer, and he repeated that he could not give me tickets. As I walked to my car, I was eyed by security, who took steps toward my car.

It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that my being denied tickets on Sunday was due to necessary "ticket counts," especially when The Martinsburg Journal reported on Monday, Aug. 16, that there were "thousands of tickets to give out."

It sickens me that in a supposedly democratic nation, a law-abiding citizen, who happens also to be a member of AmeriCorps, a domestic service organization, is denied her right to attend a public event based on her political preference. The political left often uses terms like "fascist" and "Orwellian" to describe the Bush administration and the society it is trying to create. What happened to me on Sunday only gives credence to such claims.

Angela Iafrate
Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Complications are numerous

To the editor:

While watching a few minutes of the love-fest our local TV news crew had with Bush supporters at his campaign stop in Hedgesville, I heard President Bush quoted as saying " there's nothing complicated about protecting America."

If it's not complicated, then why are we paying Halliburton so much money? One complication I see is proof of any "nucular" materials that aren't leftovers from the first Gulf War. Why does there seem no end to the drawn-out slaughter on both sides of this war (is it legally still a war)?

That part is definitely complicated.

Butch Moser

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