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Letters to the editor

October 08, 2004

Far from secure


To the editor:

Recent polls indicate that some traditionally Democrat-voting women are leaning toward President Bush because of security concerns for their families. But are we safer for having preemptively invaded Iraq? Is it true that a tough-talking, go-it-alone president can make us more secure? Is this military-dominated response the best way to peace?

I don't think so. The unanimous report of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission said that to "win the war against terrorism," we will need to change the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world. Too many are terribly poor and live in desperate conditions, made worse by oppressive leaders who we support financially and politically.

For many Muslims, we are part of the problem and have, in recent years, become a terrifying bully. As writers of the Christian Century (Aug. 24) lament, "what a difference it would make in the struggle against terrorism if the grievances of the Muslim world were taken seriously."

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I, too, want security for my family. But I firmly believe that peace is founded on justice. As we move toward a "smaller" world with such interconnected economies and lives, the only way to have security for my family is to have security for all families - Muslim, Jewish, Christian and all the other peoples of the earth. May it be so.

Charlotte Baker
Sharpsburg




Jesus would vote for the Republicans


To the editor:

In her letter to the editor on Sept. 19, Christine Ford states that Christians should vote for George W. Bush solely because of his stance on abortion. She further asks four questions about how Jesus would vote on several issues. Obviously, any answer would be mere speculation. Before casting a vote on Election Day, she asks that Christians consider her questions, to which I will respond.

First, she asks if Jesus would vote for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. It is possible, and it is also possible that he would have also voted for the tax cuts for all Americans who pay taxes, thanks to George W. Bush.

Next, she asks if Jesus would aid those in need. That is a definite yes. Thanks to President Bush's faith-based initiatives, organizations can further extend compassion to people in their time of need.

The next question is if Jesus wants us to be good stewards of the Earth's resources. Sure he does, but I am not sure about this question's relevancy in this election.

Finally, she poses the question about whether Jesus would have sent our troops into a "needless" war in Iraq. There is nothing needless or unjust about defending liberty.

Please don't be fooled into thinking that a Kerry-Edwards White House will lead this country closer to Christian ideals. Two key issues that John Kerry does not have a problem flip-flopping on are abortion and same-sex marriage.

Kerry wants everyone to know that he is a serious Catholic, but faith means nothing if it doesn't influence your decisions. George W. Bush has repeatedly shown that his Christian faith influences his decisions. We, as a country, are on the right track under his leadership.

Dan Rinehart
Hagerstown




Iraq was not a war on terror


To the editor:

More than 1,000 dead and 7,000 wounded. Are we safer from terrorism than before we invaded Iraq? The answer is a resounding no.

No doubt al-Qaeda expected us to pull out of the Middle East after 9/11. Our quick response in driving the Taliban out of Afghanistan must have been quite a shock to them. They probably expected to expand their base and instead lost the best one they had. If President Bush had followed up on that victory, we might indeed have taken a big step toward winning the war on terrorism.

Instead, he turned our military might on Iraq and Saddam Hussein, an enemy of a-Qaeda who had very efficiently kept them from operating in that country. Probably little that we could have done after winning in Afghanistan could have pleased Osama bin Ladin more.

Not only did we overthrow Saddam, making it possible that al-Qaeda can someday take over Iraq, but the war also improved his recruiting efforts among Muslim youth all over the Middle East. We diverted our military from the real enemy - the lawless tribal regions along the Pakistan-Afghan border where the real hotbed of terrorism lies.

Saddam certainly had no love for us, but his primary motivation was to keep his job as leader of Iraq. The al- Qaeda terrorists are motivated by religion. They see the West as evil and out to destroy Islam. Little motivates the true believer of any religion more than the belief that God is on your side and that you are carrying out his will.

President Bush has failed to properly conduct the real war on terrorism, did not adequately plan for the war in Iraq that he chose to fight and that has cost the lives of more than 1,000 of our finest young men and women. In addition, he squandered $200 billion that could have been far better spent elsewhere to really make us safer.

He certainly does not deserve another four years in office to go on making more bad decisions. We can make sure that he doesn't get that chance by voting him out of office on Nov. 2.

John Warner
Williamsport

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