Letters to the editor on Gaza, defense cuts, missing history, eminent domain

11/27/2012 12:00 AM

11/26/2012 5:34 PM

Do deeper analysis of Gaza conflict

Thanks to the writer of “Stop the siege on the Gaza Strip” (Nov. 21 Letters to the Editor), Eagle readers were given an all too rare exposure to the context of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Under a cloud of one-sided reporting and knee-jerk support of Israel’s behavior, the American public is deprived of historical facts and of a moral and humane understanding of the horrific conditions resulting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

In a show of unanimous bipartisan agreement, the U.S. Congress passed a declaration initiated by Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in unconditional support of Israel without a mention of Palestinian suffering and reasons for rocket firings.

I do not condone violence on either side, but I do write this to encourage a deeper analysis of the inevitable tragic consequences when the daily life of the Palestinians is a life of terror and resistance to Israeli domination.

Case in point: On Nov. 8, two days before the rocket firings, 13-year-old Ahmed Daqqa, who was playing soccer in the village of Abassan, was killed by Israeli soldiers 1.5 kilometers away in Gaza territory. On Nov. 10, another four civilians, ages 16-19, were killed. This belies Israelis’ propaganda that they are the victims and entitled to self-defense with impunity.



Dangerous cuts

The U.S. Army has a real problem planning for the future. In spite of the assertion of “Defense spending large and growing” (Nov. 20 Letters to the Editor), the programmed future reduction in appropriations will reduce the defense appropriation to a percentage of the gross domestic product that existed before World War II. This will limit what the force will be able to do.

The decision not to protect Europe with an anti-missile shield built in Eastern Europe only encouraged Iran to develop missiles to deliver nuclear weapons to Europe. The Israeli missile shield shows us what can be done with the will to protect a population. Similarly, the hasty retreat from Iraq and the scheduled 2014 retreat from Afghanistan tell the world that we will never again be used to influence the course of world history.

With a much smaller force, reduced funding and no new equipment, and with a government unwilling to make an impact on the growth of radical Islam, what should the future Army plan for? With an Army that is rendered inconsequential, and with shredding of the retirement system, why would a young man want to join and make soldiering a career? Future letter writers should suggest solutions for these problems.



Missing history

Carrie Rengers (Nov. 13 Business Today) reported that someone had written on businessman Wink Hartman’s Facebook page that the American dream had ended because Barack Obama had been re-elected. Hartman said he was not the author of the post, but I would like to respond.

If you want to tell the history of America, you must tell the whole story. First of all, this great nation belongs to God, the creator of all of mankind. We are only stewards of this Earth, and it is to be shared by all of God’s creatures.

The white settlers did not discover America; the land was already inhabited, and was then stolen from Native Americans. The Facebook post went on to say that “white Christian males … discovered, explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest Republic in the history of mankind.” One fact needs to be added: This land was settled and developed using the free labor of African slaves.

It’s time for us all to recognize that we are in this life together. We can all coexist in this great nation if we acknowledge that God is in charge, and we are all created equally in God’s eyes.



No ‘they’

I was moved to write regarding a comment made by a nearby resident about the robbery of a convenience store on North Broadway (“Store robbery on Broadway ends as clerk shoots suspect,” Nov. 23 Eagle). She suggested that “they really need to clean this area up.” What I want to know is who “they” are and what she is planning to do.

Neighborhoods and neighbors have fought against crime and changed their neighborhoods. This resident needs to visit with her neighbors so they can form a plan of action. This happens all over Wichita. There is no “they” here; there is only “we.”



Government needed

Much has been said by conservatives about how we need to get government out of their business. One of the most socialized parts of our government is the power of eminent domain.

Some think that eminent domain is unfair. But where would we be without it?

There would be no easements or rights of way, and without easements or rights of way, there would be no streets or highways, no railroads, no utilities, no communications. Are conservative businessmen going to run their businesses without utilities, without communications, without shipping? These would not be in place without government actions in the past.


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