When you fight a “limited war” against a fanatical enemy with a “ noble cause” you can expect limited results (“Fallujah’s downfall dismays Americans,” front page, Jan. 9). The policy of limited, polite war leads to repeated Fallujahs and Khe Sanhs and the eventual reemergence, as strong or stronger, of the enemies’ conflict-causing ideology.
In the case of Khe Sanh, Ho Chi Min and the Vietnamese fought the French and drove them out before the United States, then became involved in the same quagmire that defeated the French. Limited war, limited results.
In the case of Fallujah, because of longstanding internal struggles, without the American deterrent, Islamic extremists are reemerging as strong or stronger than before. Limited war, limited results.
Extremists, whether terrorists or patriots or religious fanatics, will stop only when stopped. Until we learn the secret to winning a limited war and maintaining a lasting post-war peace, let’s learn a lesson from Fallujah and Khe Sanh: “Go big or go home.”
Sun City Center
I’m a big fan of Gov. Chris Christie. As politicians go, he’d make as good a president as we’ve had since Ronald Reagan. He’s charismatic, smart, tough and, based upon political standards, relatively honest. But I don’t believe he had no knowledge of the lane closing on the bridge. I think he was involved and that he probably concluded every meeting on the subject with: “Remember, I know nothing about this.”
On the rare chance that he actually didn’t know about the cause of the lane closing, his subordinates would never have acted as they did without feeling that it was something he would do, if he could get away with it. Again, I think he is a good man, but given the character of most of the people representing us over the years, I don’t believe him.
Special interest money puts politicians in office, and they usually cater to their financial benefactors to the detriment of their constituents. Humans who are honest according to a text-book definition of “honest” are usually too honest to run for such a dirty job.
I am a volunteer asking passersby to sign the petition to put the medical marijuana question on the November ballot. Most signers tell me stories of how a close friend or relative used it — or tried to get it — during chemo for pain and appetite. Ten years ago I knew about pain and appetite — and also about MS, ALS, IBS and PTSD — but few talked openly for fear of being exposed to a stranger.
Now I also hear first-person accounts about Crohn’s Disease (“It’s the only thing that works”), epilepsy, migraines and arthritis. People speak more freely because pot is less demonized than before. Some speak too freely. I heard from two who told me about growing it for their wives (neither husband uses it). They could lose their property — even their freedom — if we were overheard. That is why the question must be put on the ballot.
President Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act to punish those involved in the social turmoil of his time. That’s long past, and now we know that marijuana has medical benefits that will stay hidden until patients are allowed to have marijuana without fear of arrest.
John G. Chase
The Jan. 9 Trib had not one, but two, of the most well-written, to the point, timely, appropriate and overdue articles I have ever read on the same day! They addressed two issues so relevant to the state of our well-being. The first was Joe Henderson’s answer to your front-page article, “U.S. schools urged to revise discipline plans” (“Discipline not a black and white issue,” Metro), and Pat Buchanan’s Other Views, “Is the United States of America actually going to pot?”
If anyone had the misfortune of not reading these two fabulous articles, it would behoove them to take all the effort necessary to locate, read and re-read both. I salute the Tribune for printing both.
Coach and Christians
Regarding “Reference inappropriate,” (Your Views, Jan. 8): I am sorry Eleanor Nannis was “really offended” by Martin Fennelly’s comment regarding Bucs coach Lovie Smith being every bit “Christian” in his Jan. 2 column. As one who has been trying to live the Christian life and be a Christian since I joined the church at age 12 — I’m now 91 and still trying — I would be remiss if I did not comment.
Nannis states that references to being “Christian” infer that one’s morals are superior in some ways. She’s got that right! Christians try to live according to the Ten Commandments and other Biblical principles, and therefore strive to have higher morals. Many do; some do not quite make it. At least the bar is set high. To be called a Christian is a high compliment and a defining statement. I don’t know coach Smith, but Fennelly thinks he has enough good qualities to be called Christian. That tells me a lot about the coach.
Carl D. Brannan
Sen. Marco Rubio can lay out all the ideas he wants for addressing income inequality and stand on his head while doing so. Nevertheless, the elephant in the room is the unemployment benefits extension bill, which the Grand Old Party wants no part of. If GOP members were genuinely interested in fighting the war on poverty, they would be eager to pass this bill so that fellow Americans who have been out of work will have a little extra income while they’re out looking for a new job.
Many of those 1.3 million Americans whose unemployment benefits expired Dec. 28 probably won’t have enough money to make ends meet. And what about those with children?
All of our Republican legislators ought to hang their heads in shame. They are a national disgrace.
JoAnn Lee Frank