Readers Respond

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Letter to the Pilot

When will this farce of a war end?

To the Editor:

My friend Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Democratic National Committee, sent me this information below and I believe that the American people have the right to hear the opinion of everyone, whether they agree on what is said or not. I am not asking you to agree with everything you read, I am asking you to educate yourself with the truth as others may see it.

President Bush has sent our troops to war without the proper equipment, based on flawed, inaccurate intelligence and no plan for success. Too many lives are being lost and too little progress is being made because of this President's failures as costs continue to escalate and Iraq becomes the international training ground of choice for terrorists. Our troops, our allies and the American people deserve better.

The President can't make up for the mistakes that led us to war in Iraq. But he can stop ignoring the facts, ignoring the experts and ignoring the legitimate concerns of the American people.

He needs to answer the question that every American is struggling to answer: What is our plan to succeed in Iraq and at what point can our troops begin to return home? And he needs to do that sooner rather than later, because our troops aren't getting what they deserve from this Administration.

Three year have now passed since the start of the Iraq war.

First Americans were misled by the use of manipulated intelligence and outright false claims about Iraq's ties to September 11th. Since then, we have received a steady stream of propaganda, declaring "Mission Accomplished", describing an insurgency in it's "last throes" and claiming great progress as Iraq descends into civil war.

The distortions continued this afternoon, as President Bush took the stage and again misled people. Here's what he said:

BUSH: "First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don't think we ever said- at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September 11th and Saddam Hussein.:"

That is false. In fact, almost exactly three years ago he did just that:

"The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." (President George W. Bush, Letter to Congress, 3/21/03)

Republicans in the White House and Congress have the three-part political strategy on Iraq: ignore the reality on the ground, cover up past failures and distortions, and attack the patriotism of anyone who demands accountability. None of that will solve anything in Iraq, and none of it will make America safer.

People are tired of this administration's dangerous incompetence and consistently misleading statements. No wonder new polls confirm that Americans continue to lose confidence in George Bush and the Republican's ability to lead. Only a third of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing overall, and 61 percent disapprove of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

- Tom Ellis, Storm Lake

Let Wal-Mart bank

To the Editor:

No one has the right to prevent Wal-Mart from opening a bank. Wal-Mart runs its business and profits from the voluntary decision of its customers to shop there... no one would be forced to use its services.

That Wal-Mart might emerge as a formidable rival to established banks would be consistent with a free capitalist economy. It might actually bring to banking the same cost-cutting strategy that has made Wal-Mart prevail over less efficient competitors.

- David Holcberg, via e-mail