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Letters to the Editor

September 07, 2009

Rebuilding economy more important than helping Afghanistan



To the editor:

President Obama has declared that Afghanistan is one of his top national security priorities.

This spring, he said "for six years, Afghanistan has been denied the resources that it demands because of the war in Iraq. Now, we must make a commitment that can accomplish our goals." American tolerance for another prolonged war might not be as secure as the president seems to think.

Most Americans will be accepting to a point about "nation building," but will not, I don't believe, support a sustained and long-term commitment of troops and money while back home they are losing their jobs, their homes, their pensions and investments toward retirement. Sure, we may not have a son or daughter in uniform presently serving in that far-away isolated country, but that doesn't mean we tolerate a continued infusion of money and troops.

The new leader of British armed forces fighting there recently predicted a "30- to 40-year war" needed to stabilize the provinces into a strong central government. Just because the war remains below most Americans' radar doesn't mean massive car bombs, increased American casualties and inept and inefficient Afghan troops won't turn the tide against U.S. policy.

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Although forgotten by most Americans, 20 years ago, a once-100,000-strong Soviet force departed from Afghanistan after a nine-year war. More than a million Afghans and some 15,000 Soviet troops were killed at an unbelievable cost to both countries. To what objective? The hated Taliban still came to power and wreaked havoc with the people anyway.

The continued drain on U.S. military, money and resources are at stake. Will the Afghan elections prove the country can save itself? Or at least indicate a strong sense of national unity with a peaceful voter turnout?

A functioning democracy in Afghanistan might be a dream never to be realized in this administration's lifetime. It's high time this president's war policy be viewed with "realistic glasses" rather than the country-building objectives of the past.

For once, let's put America's priorities in order. Let's do some "nation building" at home and bring our own country back to economic stability.

Blanton Croft
Hagerstown




Support American jobs to get U.S. back on track



To the editor:

In reply to Barbara Murphy's Aug. 20 letter to the editor ("It's time to take our country back," page A4), she made statements I think a lot of us are thinking.

If the politicians - from small-town mayors and councils to state and federal government - will not listen to the people they represent, pass bills they do not read or think about the later effects of things they make into laws, get them out of office. The taxpayers are paying their salary.

To get this country back on track, we need good-paying jobs for the people and companies that stay here in this country and are proud to say "Made in America," and the people need to buy their products and support them instead of the inferior, contaminated products coming from other countries.

Charles Miller
Boonsboro




County candidates should start preparing now



To the editor:

Now is the time for all fiscally conservative, unannounced candidates for Washington County Commissioners to start preparing for next year's campaign.

Several financial documents are available on the county government's Web site under the tab "Financial Documents" within the accounting section of the Office of Budget and Finance Department. These documents include annual operating and capital improvement budgets, audited financial statements and "Official Statements."

These documents are well-written and easy to read. However, they are a bit long, and frugal, interested parties might want to save them on their computers for future reference instead of printing all of the pages.

Sooner or later, the majority of county commissioners will be fiscally conservative because they won't be able to spend money they can't get from taxes or from increasing the county's debt. Next year might be the year that county spending finally levels off.

The total approved budget increased from $209 million in 2005 to $344 million this fiscal year. The total debt increased from $168 million in 2005 to $209 million this year. The total reserves might be lurking somewhere in these financial documents, but since I am not going to be a fiscally conservative candidate for county commissioner, I refuse to spend hours searching for county reserves that I believe county officials don't want me to find.

The fiscally conservative candidates shouldn't have to spend a small fortune on signs and advertising to get elected county commissioners if all of the unemployed voters and the voters who know their property taxes are too high actually vote.

If you think you can spend less than the current county commissioners, please start preparing for the election next year.

Daniel Moeller
Rohrersville

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