Tune out the chickenhawks
The chickenhawks are back. These politicians (and talk show hosts!) who never served in combat (and won’t now) are screaming again to send Americans into a new ground war.
It is a war that we don’t need to defend our country. It’s for power and political points, just like Iraq. In that war, “W” and his henchmen even avoided the political cost of asking for a draft by placing a tremendous burden on the National Guard. Those Guard members were rewarded (?) for their voluntary devotion to our county and bravery by seeing their tours of duty repeatedly expanded. Over 4,400 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq alone. Over 1 million were wounded there and in Afghanistan.
“W” avoided the immediate financial costs of those wars simply by not raising taxes to pay for them. Instead, he lowered taxes and passed on the cost of war (trillions of dollars) to future generations. Those wars also helped create tens of thousands of new terrorists. They certainly did not make us safer.
This time the Republican chickenhawks are running for president. They want a ground war in the Middle East. They don’t care about the cost in either lives or money. In fact, they still want to reduce taxes on the rich. That way, the middle class and poor, and future generations, will have to pay once again.
Fortunately, our current president recognizes the human costs of going to war: hundreds of Americans killed or wounded, and $10 billion or more, per month. More important, he stressed that a few terrorist events, tragic as they are, cannot damage the enormous strength and stability of the United States. Unlike the chickenhawks, our president isn’t trying to sell us fear to justify even more violence and limits on civil liberties.
This year there were over 350 mass shootings in the United States. Only one was related to terrorism. If we really care about safety, it makes a lot more sense to do something about gun violence at home than to send ground troops abroad.
Speak truth to the fearmongers, and have a peaceful New Year.
Randy Brook, Twisp
Please control your dogs
I write in conjunction to Marjorie Woodruff’s article on dogs on trails (Dec. 16).
First, know that I love dogs; I will pet yours with permission, give them water, and take care of them.
So, my daughter and I were skiing up the Rendezvous last December. We saw many dogs on the trails. I am aware of my surroundings and conscious of their presence. But, as I was coming downhill I noticed a dog and his owner staring up into a tree, a squirrel probably. They took no notice of me, so I did not snowplow to a halt. But the dog raced in front of me as I passed, knocking me straight down onto my skis. I lost my wind of course, but later I did find I bruised my ribs. It hurt to breathe for a long time. Plus, it was my holiday too, and I wanted to go skiing more.
My point is this: Dog owners, please take care and be aware when your beloved pets are out in public. They don’t always behave like you think they will. Take hold of their collars when someone is coming down a hill; dogs love the chase, we know that. It is up to you to keep them welcome on our community trails.
Have a safe holiday.
Kirsten Ostlie, Twisp