Letters to the editor on Syria, Brownback and civil rights, renaming airport

09/05/2013 12:00 AM

09/04/2013 5:25 PM

Like it or not, U.S. is world’s cop

For decades, America’s foreign policy has consisted of nearsighted, knee-jerk reactions resulting in a series of blunders, regardless of the governing party.

President Obama drew a red line and, like many presidents before him, is pressured to make good on his word or be perceived as weak. Saving face is not a good enough reason to go to war.

Congress is getting ready for some intense showcasing. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, has called for a more “robust” (new buzzword for the hawks) response in defense of American interests (Aug. 31 Eagle). He’s referring to commerce, oil coming and arms going. In other words, killing for profit. Not exactly the Christian values some people claim this country was founded on. The extreme left and libertarians in our beloved Congress promote isolationism. But most well-informed analysts conclude that the conflict in Syria will only get worse regardless of what America decides to do, with doing nothing being the worst option.

Whether we like it or not, the role of police of the world fell on America’s lap, and sometimes standing up for justice and human dignity is in order. Right now, we may not have enough information to know if the Syrian conflict qualifies as such. But knowing why we intervene in other countries’ problems will help us determine not only when we have to act, but also how and to what extent we should intervene.

FERNANDO SALGADO

Wichita

Why criticism?

In traditional Republican language, Rep Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, asserted that President Obama’s plan to aim to punish Syria for gassing hundreds of civilians is too weak and will only be a shot across the bow (Aug. 31 Eagle). Then, somehow, he argued that because the plan is not “robust,” that will actually embolden Syria’s president to further kill his people. This, of course, makes no sense, unless Pompeo’s objective is just another assault on the White House.

The proof of this was revealed when Pompeo couldn’t say what “our tactical response should be.” That sounds a lot like Mitt Romney during the presidential debates – again proving that Republicans are very well adapted for criticizing the president and little else.

Take, for example, the Affordable Care Act. Pompeo, like all radical right-wing politicians, isn’t fearful that it will break our economy. They are terrified that it will succeed. Then what will their arguments be on any issue in the future, either fiscal or social? If a government plan such as “Obamacare” is a success, how will they argue that it is only the private sector that can make things happen and that government is incapable of doing anything that really works?

MICHAL BETZ

Wichita

Opposing dream

The Eagle published a nice photo of Gov. Sam Brownback and a pastor ringing a bell in commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (Aug. 29 Eagle). In the accompanying article, Brownback said that King was a prophet but didn’t live to see his dream and words come true. Brownback went on to say: “They will come true. We are on the path for them to come true.”

But, wait – wasn’t this the same governor who only last year signed into law a bill suppressing voter turnout and leaving thousands of Kansans unable to vote?

Kansans United in Voice and Spirit, a citizens’ advocacy group, stated in a news release that the American Legislative Exchange Council is the primary influence on the current administration, not Kansans. ALEC is a group of powerful corporations whose goal, among others, is to restrict voting rights and weaken labor unions. In other words, our governor and ALEC are working hand in hand to take away the gains of the civil rights movement.

One can only hope the governor, his “sponsors” and all others who are blocking “the path” will stand aside so that King’s dream and words will come true.

MARY ERICKSON

Wichita

Change name

Wichita is not the geographic center of the North American continent or the continental U.S. Having an airport name that implies that makes a confusing impression on visitors at best. Changing the name to correct this makes sense, and I like Ike as the honoree (“Rename new airport?” Aug. 30 Eagle Editorial).

Recently, I learned that a friend from another state didn’t know that Dwight D. Eisenhower was from Kansas. As time goes on, fewer people will know who Ike is, much less that he was from Kansas. Renaming the airport to include the Eisenhower name can help maintain Ike’s legacy for future generations.

After World War II, Ike reorganized the military, making the Air Force its own branch. It was during his presidency that the KC-135 took flight. Today, McConnell Air Force Base is home to the refueling wing and the KC-135 tanker. Ike started NASA. Later, parts of the Saturn V rocket were built in Wichita. To this day, the National Institute for Aviation Research and Wichita State University have ties to NASA. John F. Kennedy may have sent us to the moon, but Ike started NASA.

Telling about Ike’s impact on our country, aviation, aerospace and Wichita is important. Renaming the airport after Eisenhower opens the door to doing that.

MIKE ALUMBAUGH

Derby

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