Letters for April 3, 2003

Death of war
I read today about an Iraqi mother wretchedly sobbing over her child whose head is partially blown off by a country attempting to liberate her and her family, and I wonder, how did free Americans ever buy into this inane excuse for invading Iraq? We must stop our government’s killing of our sons and daughters, killing of Iraqi people, animals and the earth’s ecosystem, and we must stop it now.

We, as a free people, do not have to accept this war’s destruction day after day waiting in vain for some ever-dimming, hopeful outcome. We have the capacity to aim missiles, in the dark of night, from miles on high into very specific targets below. We must have the capacity, in our hearts, minds and souls to create a path to a safe and peaceful world without using bombs. Let us start with ourselves, now. Imagine, think, act, live peace and allow only the raging war to die.

Evanne O’Donnell

Beyond blind alliance
The network pundit whined, “Intelligence failure …” I couldn’t help but snicker at the double meaning in the context of what was taking place in Iraq. Intelligence failure indeed. Why are we so surprised to learn the “hummus eating surrender monkeys” are showing some resolve in defending their homeland from a hostile invading force? Heck, even the smelliest peacenik or Frenchman would do the same in the face of a like invasion of his or her homeland.

In advertising there is a thing called bait and switch, wherein one thing is promoted at a very low price to get the customers into the store. When they arrive they learn that the store is sold out of the advertised product (or it may never have existed at all), but there’s plenty of stuff they want you to buy that isn’t nearly as good a deal. The neo-conservative cabal in control of our republic is perpetrating this skullduggery on “we the people” on a grand scale.

I will wear a yellow ribbon because I support our brave men and women in the military and I appreciate the sacrifices they make as they do their duty. I will fly my Stars and Stripes because I love this country for the blessings it allows me. I will not go quietly while my rights as a citizen are undermined. I will not stand mute as our republic is deconstructed by the minions of corporations, faux-patriot dittoheads and fundamentalist zealots of any stripe. I see these things, not blind allegiance, as the duty of citizens in this country today.

Dan Carter

Living peace
Anti-war rallies may be necessary; being from the Vietnam era, I understand this. But what is needed more is for each of us to be proactive for peace. We each have gifts to share and relationships to nurture. It is in the peaceful, humane, healthy ways we find to relate to each other that the seeds of peace are sown for now and for generations to come. We need to let our personal lives speak daily of our belief in peace.

Cara Fields

Mucho macho men
I found your recent article on the phenomenon of a new American post-9/11 machismo, culminating in such twin popular phenomena as George Bush and Eminem, to have been most enlightening to me in my perplexity as to how a person like George W. Bush could have made it to the White House and how anyone could like Eminem ["Rise of the neo-macho man,” Back beat, March 20].

Is it, however, any wonder? In the 1990s we did indeed endure a decade of male-bashing television sitcoms, the general increase in man-hating bitchiness among American female pop culture and a country dominated by male-emasculating Democratic pols who faulted our men for most of society’s ills.

So is it any wonder that there came about a backlash in the form of this right-wing, reactionary neo-machismo, which found its ultimate expression in the gangsta rapper and the counter-terrorism president who sees himself as Alpha Male? The country indeed does seem to crave this change of pace, at least until it gets us in a whole heap of new trouble.

John Lorenz

Don’t dog deputies
The Guest Comment ["Bang! Bang! In Chapman, so what?” March 13] in regard to the Butte County Sheriff’s Department and Chapman caught my attention. The 12-year resident of Chapman, who worded himself to be the employer of BCSD, was unhappy about their job performance.

“What I don’t understand is why the deputies do not recognize who their employer is: the people of Butte County,” he said. I can fully understand his reason for being upset. Chapman has always been known for its crime history, but think about it: Is this a reason to bad-mouth deputies? I would like for once that these men and women get the credit they deserve. No one ever comments on how dangerous their job can be, or how they put their lives in jeopardy. For once, these men and women should be applauded for taking interest in Butte County law enforcement.

The pay is not so great, the shifts are tiring and the people can be very rude. Face it, Chapman will always be Chapman, and having more deputies will not change its reputation. It will take a lot of work and dedication to change Chapman, but it must be a community effort. The Jan. 19 incident mentioned was a day of deep sorrow for many. I can sympathize with this person for feeling like a victim, but I will not feel sympathy for him not being allowed to play junior deputy. To you, sir, the employer, I would to say: Give them a raise or give them a break. One last thing: The dark sunglasses are part of the uniform.

J. Lopez

Might makes right?
“Democracy’s a beautiful thing,” as President Bush said. This vacuous statement should not mask our duty to ask hard questions.

We might look back to another Sept. 11, in the year 1973, when a plot cooked up by President Nixon, Henry Kissinger and the CIA culminated in the destruction of Chile’s democracy and the murder of Salvador Allende, Chile’s elected president.

Before the coup, the CIA had approached Gen. René Schneider, the commander in chief of Chile’s army. Schneider would have nothing to do with a coup and told the plotters that he would uphold Chile’s constitution. A month later, Schneider was assassinated.

In the aftermath of the coup, thousands of Chileans were murdered, tortured and disappeared, courtesy of the CIA and Kissinger—the same Kissinger whom Bush wanted to head up an investigation into “our” Sept. 11.

One can’t dispute the fact that the United States has supported tyrants and dictators when they have been “our” guys. Saddam used to be our guy. Will the United States install another “our-Saddam"?

My hope is that people would stop being "good Americans" and act as "responsible citizens." Because the "good American" is looking more and more like the "good German" who blindly chanted, "My country right or wrong, but my country."John O’Brien Chico