September 11, 2013

Letters to the editor: Higgins Beach not critical plover site

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

An adult piping plover stays close by a nesting chick. There's no reason to have officials patrolling Maine beaches that, like Higgins, don't have a history of producing fledgling plovers, a reader says.

Photo by Amanda Reed/Maine Audubon

Instead of rushing to strike, we should give the evidence, including the U.N. inspectors' report, full airing at the United Nations. Public presentation of evidence would force those defending Assad, including Russia, to rebut the evidence, which Frank thinks is "undeniable."

Why are we in such a hurry to "retaliate" unilaterally? I recall that even after 9/11, George W. Bush took months to build a strong coalition for war.

A few weeks' pause for deliberation will make no difference militarily because Assad has already taken measures to protect his forces and assets from a U.S. missile strike. But waiting might pay big dividends in building a consensus for nonmilitary punishment that could move toward a peaceful resolution of this horrible conflict.

Harold McWilliams


Inaction in gassing's wake would encourage brutality

The international community established a legal and ethical framework under the aegis of the United Nations to guard against overt acts of violence against populations using chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction.

Countries of the world are obligated to adhere to punitive rules of law to protect all segments of the diverse world populations from sins against humanity. The Western nations and Russia went to war against the Nazi regime in World War II in order to stop the widespread plundering and slaughter of millions of innocent civilians.

We are now faced with the awful specter of the use of chemical weapons upon the Syrian people by their own leader, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The pictures that we saw of more than 1,400 men, women and children murdered by poison gas should be enough for all of us to agree that halting this insanity going on in Syria needs to be done right now.

By using the limited military intervention that President Obama has outlined, we will send a strong and necessary signal around the world to other rogue leaders that such terrible weapons will absolutely not be tolerated.

I am stunned by the silence and tepid response of many in the world community to this worldwide tragedy. Hesitation and doubt over what to do will be a historic black mark against all of us if nothing is done.

It will give leaders who wish to control populations by force and brutality unhampered leeway to do whatever they decide to do without consequence.

Everyone who cares about living the good life should consider the reality that this same Syrian massacre could happen where they live. Now is not the time to turn away from the hard decision of doing what is right and just for all people.

John Oser



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