Kenai Peninsula Online - Alaska Newspaper Letters to the Editor 03/17/03

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003





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Letters to the EditorAn Iraqi child's life is worth as much as an American child's life

A young wife and college student walks with her friend in front of the Kenai Peninsula Borough building between 11a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Her husband is in the military and may go to Iraq. She carries a peace sign and people passing call her names and yell at her. Others honk in support. She has tremendous courage to speak.

The next week the same young woman is still there. However, there are more to support her. Last week even more joined her and I was one of them. What made me join her? Certainly, speaking out against a war with Iraq will make people label me, call me names and expose my family to comments that they do not deserve. Others will support my actions but will be silent about it in public.

I decided I should speak out against this war for a simple reason. It has nothing to do with accusations of fighting for oil, that this is a religious war, and that this nation needs to disarm those with weapons of mass destruction.

My reasons are very simple question and come down to answering a simple question: "Is an Iraqi child's life worth more than an American child?" One answer is "I do not know why, but it is."

This is the answer President Bush would give. I cannot give that answer. I cannot take the life of innocent children and their fathers or mothers because of the potential that I may lose my life or my grandson's lives. The one thing I must maintain in my life is my spiritual foundation.

No matter what the level of fear I have for my family, I cannot walk down the streets of America knowing I destroyed other's lives and homes for my safety. Until I know that Iraq has attacked my family or country I must learn to live with the fear. I must react to it in a positive peaceful way. I must reject my biological imperative for survival. I must fight my anger and frustration at a world that is not civil. I cannot unleash those emotions without terrible consequences to those truths I hold dear.

An Iraqi child is the same as an American child.

Kenneth E. Tarbox, Soldotna

More questions than answers about proposed war on Iraq

These are uncertain times for our Republic. On what seems to be the eve of war we need to ask questions that should have been answered a while ago. We need to shut off the TV, turn down the radio and read books instead of the paper. We need to research history and ask ourselves and our neighbors some hard questions.

Who armed Saddam Hussein to begin with? Where did he get the technology to produce weapons of mass destruction? Does anyone besides me remember the mainstream press referring to Saddam Hussein as a "moderate Arab" and a photo of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein in the mid-1980s?

Are we really prepared for a war? Are we truly prepared to support the disabled veterans and their families? See to their medical needs for the rest of their lives?

Are we ready to completely rebuild Iraq, feed, shelter, clothe them with some kind of Marshall Plan in the aftermath at the same time see our school budgets shrink?

Are corporations willing to pay higher taxes long term to assure Iraq doesn't disintegrate into violent lawlessness as Afghanistan did after Soviet occupation? Are we willing to pay higher taxes?

If we disarm Iraq, should we also disarm Pakistan, India and North Korea along with other countries known to possess weapons of mass destruction? Should we disarm?

For every answer I get from my government, I have 10 more questions. I cannot in good conscience support this war. If you are asking questions also, contact, educate yourself, call your representative and the president, join me on Saturday in front of the Borough Building.

Question those in power ? it's your patriotic duty.

Dan Funk, Soldotna

France has good reasons to oppose war with Iraq

One day when I was 10 years old sledding with my brother and sister, my oldest sister came to tell us we had to come into the house immediately. She informed us my oldest brother was killed in action in France.

This was World War II.

Some years ago I decided to trace my brother's steps from Normandy to Eastern France where he was killed. I heard many disturbing stories of people who remember that war. Stories of fathers and older brothers forced from homes to help the Germans build the defenses. Stories of mothers who carried their little children and all the possessions they could from the larger cities to small country homes because there was no food and their homes were bombed. Stories of after the war these fathers and brothers coming home to find there was no home and then trying to find the rest of their family. Stories of people living in pieces of building with no heat, adequate protection against the rain nor enough food until the Marshall Plan finally helped them. This is the war that France remembers. As hard as my brother's death was on my mother, father and the rest of our family, it was nothing in comparison to what the French suffered.

Margaret Menting, Kenai

One cannot compromise beliefs, principles in the name of peace

In the March 9 Peninsula Clarion on the front page was an article about some local spiritual leaders planning a peace and meditation get-together.

In the article it was urged that "we all work together for religious tolerance and accept religions and faiths that are different from ours." Let me remind you that this country was founded on Christian principles. Our God is not the God of the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, etc.

In the article Victoria Placard said that "It must be breaking God's heart to see all of His children fighting over Him." Well, Victoria, let me tell you that we are not all his children, and if anything is breaking God's heart, it is that so many millions have been deceived by so many false religions.

Would a child of God hijack a jet airliner and use it to annihilate 3,000 innocent souls?

I think not! Yet the Muslim praises Allah for the destruction. Their God is not our God.

The wolves are in the sheep pen and it is too late to close the gate. Religious diversity does one thing in my opinion: It divides a godly nation.

Sure we all want peace, but at what cost? Will you compromise your religious beliefs and principles in the name of peace?

What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? Read Joshua, chapter 24, verse 15 in particular. Will you?

May God open your eyes.

Mark Reed, Sterling

Legislators, governor should cut their salaries before other things go

Re: Proposals involving the Longevity Bonus and permanent fund

As a resident of the state since 1946, having seen these benefits from start to now, I do tend to take offense when our governing electees try whittling at these programs. They were originated to benefit residents who lived here and worked during the times of low and mostly seasonal incomes, raising families, paying both school and income taxes, who had no access to retirement funds such as IRAs and Ginnie Maes, which few would have had the surplus to invest in anyway.

The decision by a state Supreme Court Judge to loosen the requirement for the longevity bonus was not popular at the time, and it was acknowledged that the program as it was originally written, would automatically cancel itself, (due to normal life spans), before the funding was exhausted.

Voters were not asked when the present deductions were set up on our permanent fund dividends, but as they are definitely recognized as necessary, have lodged no complaints. Up to another 5 percent might be acceptable for state use, but to have our present high-income representatives suggest we give up anywhere from one-fourth to three-fourths of our current senior incomes while they do not at any time suggest lowering their salaries even 5 percent, sounds like discrimination. Their cut would bring in far more to the state's coffers than ours, and would be a definite show of good faith on their part.

As a matter of curiosity, why aren't the investments that support our general fund as productive as the permanent fund has been?

Georgia Griffin, Soldotna

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