Letters to the editor: 09-11-2013

September 11, 2013 

Syria

While your eyeballs are glued to the TV, while watching President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and various TV anchors deplore the fact that Assad of Syria is using chemical weapons on his own people, ask yourself: “Would I have known this is happening, if TV had not been invented some 70 years ago?”

Also ask yourself: “Where was the outrage when Iraq was using chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) on Iranians and Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988)?”

More than 50,000 soldier’s lives were wasted by getting involved in the Vietnam War— which we basically lost. Since then, we have wasted thousands more lives and billions of dollars during the Bosnian, Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Isn’t it about time politicians faced up to the fact that America can no longer afford to use its credit card while acting like the world’s policeman?

Getting involved in what happens in a sovereign nation (Syria) will only result in more 9/11-type terrorist acts and does nothing for our national security.

If you agree, call your congressman and senators and tell them you want America to stay out of this hornet’s nest.

ROBERT BOESTER, Boise

Remember when the U.S. backed the resistance in Afghanistan to defeat Russia? How arrogant to think Russia would take it on our word that they should back us in Syria.

This administration burned and re-burned the credibility bridge early and often. All that’s left now is the gap.

PAUL GUSTAFSON, Boise

What will the adminstration do if it turns out that the rebels in Syria are also using chemical weapons? Will we bomb them, too? I’m sure the weapons manufacturers in this country couldn’t care less; after all, it’s just more gravy for them. Why else do they have a lobby at Congress? They’ve got to be the busiest business in this country. Everything else seems to be pretty flat.

RON ALLEN, Caldwell

Syria is terrible and I fear we are watching a repeat of Lebanon. But before we know it, the planned "surgical strikes" will lead the U.S. to other military involvement and I believe our president is fooling himself to think otherwise.

I happen to believe that not one American should be put in harm’s way in this sectarian powder keg. Even though I’m not a soldier, a relief worker or a diplomat, I am only a real friend’s distance away from the nightmares of Darfur, Rwanda, Mali and Bosnia. I was in Calcutta when East Pakistan became Bangladesh and sneaked over the border on foot to see a true war zone: bombed out villages, the dead, the maimed and the dying. Syria, Congo, Afghanistan and Sudan all trigger my own outrage of war and empathy for those who have endured.

There’s not much I can do to solve war but there is much I can do to make a difference in a refugee’s life. Maybe you can too.

DAVID LASH, Boise

Fire prevention

A recent photo showed a home owner on a concrete slab, the only remainder of his forest fire consumed home. Look closely and you’ll see burned remains of many trees a few feet from the slab.

The Ketchum fire chief is trying to ban flammable roofs on new construction. It’s stunning that people in that area would consider such a home in that area.

It’s time to codify conditions where fire fighters will be asked to put their lives at risk to defend structures.

You want to build on a windy ridgeline accessible by a road unsuitable for fire fighting equipment? You want a wood shake roof on a log home? You want to build in an indefensible tree filled valley? You don’t want fire mitigating landscaping? By all means go ahead and build so you can enjoy all of nature’s wonders including forest fires.

The Forest Service needs to develop standards home owners are required to meet if they want fire protection. Lacking compliance with the standards not one iota of extra effort should be made to protect those structures.

BOB FRITSCH, Boise

Forests

Why should the State of Idaho (and others) claim ownership to the “national forests?”

Because that was supposed to have been the action of Congress with the admittance of the territories as states; excepting only forts and associated defense type properties necessary for the federal government to protect the citizens (see Article 1, Section 8, last two paragraphs, U.S. Constitution). Regardless of any agreements made under pressure to become states (or the withholding of same), the federal government should not have retained ownership of the lands within the states.

The states should also be able to manage the forests better than the federal government does.

In my opinion, the federal agencies have, for the most part, become infested with environmentalists who want no human footprint in any of the forests. The result we are seeing is lack of good forest management such as proper tree thinning, controlled logging, uncontrollable wild fires and horrendous waste of good lumber; to say nothing of the destruction of the lumber industry.

Again, in my opinion, the feds bit off more than the could chew; and now they simply cannot afford to take proper care of the forests that once produced substantial cash flow from logging.

C.M. “CHUCK” VOGELSONG, Riggins

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