September 6, 2013

Letters to the editor: Global war could end U.S. empire

President Obama has been purposely mislabeled a socialist by rightists when he is every bit a neocon and neoliberal, a man who galvanized the anti-Bush, anti-war people of 2008, who neutralized and converted them into a cheering section for the same Bush-Cheney agenda of "total, endless war."

John Kerry
click image to enlarge

Secretary of State John Kerry listens Wednesday during a hearing on President Obama’s request for congressional authorization for military intervention in Syria, in response to a sarin gas attack.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

Funny how Democrats, liberals and progressives had a problem with George W. Bush doing that agenda, but don't with Obama. Ditto, Syria.

It's not that the Republican Party in Congress is anti-Syrian war or against throwing Tomahawks into the bowels of Bashar al-Assad's kingdom, it's that Obama is doing it.

They know full well that keeping the price down at the gas pump (along with their re-election chances) hinges on controlling the entire Middle East -- if not through puppet dictators, U.S.-Saudi-Qatar-United Arab Emirates money, arms and military juntas, then through "responsibility to protect" invasions.

For Obama loyalists, Tomahawks are OK -- in fact, "humanitarian" in Susan Rice logic -- because "our President" Obama's doing it. The same man who won a Nobel Peace Prize is now qualifying himself for the Humanitarian Imperialist Prize.

Speculation on whether an invasion of Syria could lead to global war between the U.S., its (dwindling) allies and Iran, Russia and China is clear, I believe, to Washington planners who think such a war can be won and should be won. Moreover, some say "it's a given" or it's "in the cards."

If so, such global war will be the beginning of the end of this empire.

Michael T. Bucci

Damariscotta

Today I called and asked my representatives to vote against attacking Syria.

Our bombs will not bring Bashar Assad to justice for his atrocities, and they cannot protect civilians from his murderers.

Even with the best intentions, a bombing campaign broad enough to "degrade" Syria's obsolete but extensive military would expose civilians to more harm.

Some argue that we must respond because of credibility or deterrence, but those are empty words. We spent our credibility on catastrophic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Instead of discouraging our enemies, we showed them how easy it was to drag a superpower into an unwinnable war and drain our resources, allies and willpower.

Those who believe wars like this advance our interests need to rethink their strategy.

If we attack, we will not save children. We will not make friends. We will not restore our image in the world. We will not be victorious.

Instead, the opposite will happen: Children will die under our bombs.

We will make new enemies. The world will see us yet again as a relentless aggressor. Victory will escape us. The ones we hoped to protect will be disappointed and embittered, and our foes will emerge with renewed vigor.

Instead of bombing another country filled with families just like ours, let's use our might to help the 6.5 million Syrians who are now refugees, half of whom are children.

We are already the biggest donor, which is something to be proud of, but the need keeps growing. Let's fund more schools and hospitals, so that this generation in exile can be strong and open-minded and rebuild their country.

Let's ease the strain on the infrastructure of Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

Let's earn some real credibility with millions of people instead of making enemies.

Luke Beland

Portland

Whenever we intervene militarily in other countries' issues, we inevitably lose lots of American lives and lots of money.

Middle Easterners have been killing each other over one ideology or another for centuries, and they will continue to do so.

I don't remember who appointed the United States as the world's police, but we must stop.

We have to keep our nose out of their gaseous and incredibly inhumane treatment of each other.

Where are the British, the Canadians, the Swedes, the Swiss, the Greeks, the Polish, the Russians, the Norwegians, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Bolivians, the Italians and all other countries on this planet?

They are aware of the Middle East's ongoing lethal turmoil but have the sense to not sacrifice their own citizens in no-win, big-loss military interventions (see Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc).

I am all for war if the purpose is to protect our soil, our democracy, our heritage and our future.

I am all for war if the purpose is clear and the enemy is well-defined.

A leadership slaughter in Syria does not mean that our nation is in anyone's crosshairs.

Bob Knecht

South Freeport

Time to end honeymoon with big chemical industry

I have found it very frustrating that as Maine parents and consumers we cannot determine which of the products we buy at the store are safe.

One of my major concerns is BPA, which I know is a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to cancer and other health problems found right in the linings of packaged food.

There are alternatives available and any parent should be able to avoid buying foods with BPA if they want to protect themselves and their children, but it's not so simple.

My family loves food -- but I don't know whether it is safe to eat, because companies don't have to disclose their use of BPA.

I'm very disappointed with Gov. LePage for vetoing a bill last session that would have required major food manufacturers to report which products contain BPA in the packaging.

This Healthy Kids Act would have helped out my family because we eat a lot of food. Still, the governor could take a small step toward a solution.

He should use his influence as governor to write to the top food manufacturers and demand that they stop hiding their use of BPA.

It's time for Gov. LePage to stop scoring points for the big chemical industry -- or it's time for Gov. LePage to end his honeymoon with the big chemical industry.

Tim Devlin

Portland

Show the whole picture about organized labor

While you tout the few merits of organized labor in your Sept. 2 editorial ("Our View: Middle class is strong when unions are strong"), you fail to mention the crippling effect union work rules have on productivity and corporate planning (Bath Iron Works being a perfect example).

In the future, why not show the whole picture?

Davies Allan

Westport Island

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