Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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November 25, 2009 - MidWeek
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Afghan goal?

Regarding Jerry Coffee’s column “Why We Must Fight In Afghanistan,” nobody (including Mr. Coffee) talks about how the Taliban and al-Qaida are resup-plied. To the best of my knowledge, weapons, ammo and explosives are not manufactured in Afghanistan. So they are coming from somewhere else. Unless we stop this flow all we have is another Vietnam with the same eventual conclusion.

Waziristan equals North Vietnam. No amount of troops will change that, even though I would love victory. The Afghan fighters have an unending supply of fanatical young men coming out of the madrasas in Pakistan.The Pakistani army is a joke, and its so-called offensives have no follow through. Expecting them to produce effective results is a fool’s dream, and their intelligence service is essentially hand-in-glove with the Taliban. I believe that the last time the Afghan fighters were defeated was by Alexander the Great, and I’m not even sure of that.

We don’t look like the Afghans, and we don’t speak their language. During the day our soldiers come around and give candy to the kids, but at night the Taliban want to know who talked to the Americans. The CIA is reputed to have purchased the output from the poppy fields, which is apparently the only cash crop the Afghans have. We have been unwilling or unable to seal off the Waziristan/Pakistan border.

Where is victory going to come from? More troops sounds like Gen. Westmoreland in Vietnam all over again. Please, Mr. Coffee, don’t let your experience from that war blind you to reality in Afghanistan.

Paul Tyksinski
Kailua


 

It’s not weakness

Jerry Coffee, Michelle Malkin and other conservative commentators have stated that Obama’s hesitancy on an Afghan war buildup implies weakness. Just the opposite is true. Clearly, President Obama does not want to send soldiers into harm’s way without a clear goal, a solid plan and an exit strategy - three aspects sorely missing from President Bush’s military ventures.

I know that we Americans are used to presidents who send Americans into battle on falsified weapons reports. But it seems like our current president understands that you don’t send soldiers into battle without first nailing down what we’re supposed to be doing, and why.

So hats off to Obama’s “hesitation.” Soldiers are human beings, not chess pieces. It’s about time we get a president who understands that.

Mark Spivey
Honolulu

Detailing threats

The Nov. 4 issue of MidWeek includes three articles that define the threats we face today to our freedoms and liberties: Michelle Malkin’s column “Religious Left’s War of Free Speech; Jerry Coffee’s “The Things that make USA Special,” and Arianna Huffington’s “Obama: Stop Coddling Big Banks.” The placement of the articles was perfect, and I love Michelle Malkin. I agree with all three articles, and I am baffled that there are still people who do not or will not acknowledge the threats of which they warn.

Joseph R. Spatola
Nuuanu


Puzzling math

I find Dan Boylan’s column “We’re Looking Bad By The Numbers” rather puzzling. He says that the “governor will not entertain the idea of raising taxes on those with the ability to pay.”

Who is he talking about? The Legislature raised the income tax on high incomes to the highest in the nation at 11.5 percent while at the same time it has raised the GET .5 percent to pay for rail and increased taxes on gasoline 10 cents per gallon, both affecting those in the lower-income categories with the least ability to pay. Legislators do not discriminate by income when raising taxes.

I also have to think that when Mr. Boylan says President Bush made a $900 million bailout of the banks and President Obama with a $900 million stimulus package that in both cases he has his math wrong. These are billion, with a B.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

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