Letters to the editor on Iraq, Israeli apartheid, intolerant Democrats

01/29/2014 12:00 AM

01/28/2014 7:21 PM

Military never belonged in Iraq

It’s happened again, just as it did 40 years ago when we left Saigon. Our soldiers fought and died in Iraq; they left, and now the insurgents have returned, taking over cities our soldiers fought for.

Shouldn’t we learn from mistakes? How could we possibly think it would be different this time?

We never belonged in Iraq, just as we never belonged in Vietnam. War is never right unless you are fighting against invaders on U.S. soil.

The problem is that our government has created a welfare/warfare state, and in order to pay for the welfare it must have warfare to keep the economy going. And the industries supplying the military encourage aggression in order to keep business booming.

It does not have to be this way. Our soldiers should come home to protect our borders. Businesses can produce and sell products other than war materials. We don’t have to be the world’s policeman. We don’t have to be an empire. It will be our ruin in the end.

LAURIE HARTKE

Newton

How similar

“Not apartheid” (Jan. 22 Letters to the Editor) revealed ignorance about how South African apartheid operated. A very small number of black Africans were permitted to achieve. Most were confined to menial jobs, while professional jobs were reserved for whites.

By the 1960s, “separate development” was the strategy – divide people into ethnic groups and assign them to parcels of woefully inferior land with white settler communities interspersed. This separated those ethnic group “homelands” into small nonviable areas, keeping the urban industrial areas that produce jobs, the better roads, and the water within the white settlements. Thirteen percent of the people – white settlers – received 87 percent of land.

How similar is this to hundreds of Israeli settlements breaking up the West Bank’s Arab communities – Christian and Muslim – into small, isolated areas, separated from one another by highways only Israelis can use. The settler boundaries were drawn to include the water and prime land, and jobs were reserved for the residents of Israeli settlements.

This is government policy in Israel, and the U.S. government has not effectively challenged it, as it continues sending billions of dollars to Israel every year. This is apartheid.

GRETCHEN EICK

Wichita

Not tolerant

We are told that the Democratic Party is the party of “tolerance.” We’re told that we should show tolerance for gays, for atheists, for women’s right to their body, etc. OK, that’s fine; people have the right to their own beliefs.

However, if you believe that you have the right to own a gun, if you believe in God, if you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, if you believe that abortion is taking a human life, if you believe that the federal government is too big, then you are a threat to this country. And if you live in New York, your governor wants you to leave. What kind of tolerance is that?

SHELBY SMITH

Wichita

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