November 10, 2011 Issue


War isn’t the answer

Dear Editor:

I regret not writing a letter to the editor of The News and Farmer every week since March 2003 telling the good people of this community how misguided and futile the U.S. war in Iraq is. It has cost this country 4,484 U.S. military fatalities, the deaths of at least 257 American private contractors, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers wounded, $800 billion already spent, and upwards of $4 trillion in long term costs.

Our Congressman, John Barrow, has repeatedly voted to continue funding this war. Rep. Barrow’s aids say he would never vote to stop funding the war because he wants to see that our soldiers have the resources they need to complete their mission. Barrow believes he is representing the will of the majority of his constituents.



Americans have been plied with the propaganda that the surge of U.S. troops into Iraq in 2007 was a success, but the sad truth is that it did not solve anything. United States cannot bring its war in Iraq to a successful conclusion because this has been an illegal war since the U.S. invaded Iraq 8 years 8 months ago using known false pretexts.

A combination of economic, political and military exigencies is forcing United States to leave Iraq against its will. We are witnessing the involuntary retreat of the U.S. military empire although the U.S. national security establishment has every intention of keeping Iraq under its thumb.

Neoconservatives are pointing fingers at President Obama for “losing” Iraq. They claim that the war was won under President Bush and that Obama has frittered away that hard won military victory. Plenty of gullible Americans believe this nonsense. The right wing is catapulting this disinformation in order to put a conservative Republican back in the White House.

I think it is highly likely that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee and will win the presidential election in 2012 largely because of the moribund economy. Conservatives will take a Republican victory as a mandate to increase “defense” spending and to continue America’s wars of choice. The jewel in the neoconservatives’ plan for unchallenged American military supremacy in the oil rich Middle East is Iran.

My prescription is for United States to end its costly, counterproductive wars of choice and to reinvent itself with an equitable, post fossil fuel, green, sustainable economy, but this will not happen. President Obama made a promising speech in Cairo but continued with a militarized U.S. foreign policy. As far as I know The Bush Doctrine as enunciated in the 2002 National Security Strategy is still extant. It proclaimed that United States will never allow any nation or group to challenge its military supremacy in any theater on earth, at sea, in the air, or even in space.

President Romney will continue the neoconservatives’ “Project for a New American Century” just as President Obama has. It is the blueprint for U.S. global hegemony. The ideal of an egalitarian democracy recedes in Americans’ collective memory. United States has become a plutocracy. The government is controlled by extremely wealthy individuals and powerful corporations. Money determines everything. Sandra Day O’Connor warned Americans of the dangers of “the long slide into fascism” shortly after she retired from the Supreme Court. “It is easier to stop that slide near the top than near the bottom” O’Connor cautioned. We are considerably further down that long slide now than just a few years ago when Ms. O’Connor gave that ominous speech.

Unless American citizens act to secure democratic rule, we can expect a type of crypto-fascism where ordinary Americans have little autonomy or influence. Since war generates profits for the well connected even while the general economy deteriorates, we can also expect endless wars. Warmongers have been beating the drum for war against Iran for a long time. The propaganda war over Iran’s nuclear program is heating up even before the 2012 election. President Obama may well order military strikes against Iran in the next year in an effort to preempt a Republican electoral victory. The pretext will be to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, but United States or its proxy Israel will be the aggressor.

United States cannot kill its way to security or prosperity. It cannot impose its will by force on an increasingly anti-American world. Mighty empires have suffered precipitous collapse as the result of misguided military adventures. Unless humanity learns how to solve its problems without resulting to war, civilization as we know it on this planet is in dire peril. Going to war in Iraq was the biggest foreign policy blunder in U.S. history. Going to war with Iran would be an even bigger fiasco and could easily ignite WWIII. United States should show true leadership and embrace the paradigm shift required to reinvent a sustainable economy in an interdependent, multipolar world. We must push false fears, war profiteering, and corruption aside in order to secure democracy, peace, and a sustainable economy.

Randy Cain

Get informed and involved

Dear Editor:

I am writing to share my growing concerns regarding how our local government is being run or managed. Romans 13:17 reminds us that governments are established by God for the good of the people. It only stands to reason that Godly people should be holding office or be involved in government in any way.

As citizens of Jefferson County, we must make every effort to get informed, stay informed and get involved! With all the other responsibilities we juggle, it can be difficult to stay informed about national happenings even with the media, but even harder to stay informed on local issues, particularly when they are so secretive about what is going on in the county and seem to do things behind our backs.

I think it is our responsibility as a citizen, a parent, a voter or just as a Godly influence in our county to get involved and educate ourselves and other on what it should take to hold office in our city and county government. I am troubled by the waste, mismanagement and failure of leadership that is taking place on a number of levels in our national, state and local government. How is it possible for our business and community leaders, the people who have been appointed to serve on our boards and committees to stand by and allow this to continue?

Are the current board and committee members here in Jefferson County liable to all of us? I believe it is time we all take a deep look at how our county and city is being operated. We should have people in office, serving on our boards and committees that are wise, responsible individuals with total accountability and transparency regarding how revenue is being used and spend in the county and city.

These organizations should give the public detailed information. I believe the public has a right to know the details. Many of us have questions and answers are needed.

One of my major concerns right now is the question about the re-zoning of this property located on U.S. 319 in Wadley. WE have been told this land was purchased by the Development Authority of Jefferson County for another industrial park over a year ago. Why?

There are two other industrial parks already in Wadley. They said they had money they had to spend on another industrial park in the southern end of the county. Why?

The land is zoned agriculture-residential. That is why land is zoned in the first place, to keep such as this from happening. That is why we have zoning in place for this kind of project. We already have existing industrial areas for this so what is the purpose of zoning ordinances if this is to be allowed? Why would you come into the middle of a residential –agricultural area and think it would be fine with the residents of this area and why would a zoning board even consider this appropriate?

Why should the residents have to endure this when it would have made more sense to go where there is other industry already? Has our Jefferson County Zoning Board been hustled by the greatest salesmen in Jefferson County?

We shall see.


Julia Hall

The Feet of A Soldier

Dear Editor:

My feet are tired, my ankles are swollen,
From point one to point two, we are constantly strollin’.
Our daily supply of needs is on our back,
From bullets, to ammo, to even a chewing gum pack.
We look to our left, we look to our right,
Who knows what is going to be there in the middle of the night.
We have grenades on our waist, and knives in pockets on our legs,
We could wash away our fright if we had beer in a keg.
My feet are sweaty, there’s dust in my socks,
How many more miles over these treacherous rocks?
Can’t take my boots off, even for a rest,
I may have to jump and run for some kind of test.
I heard a shot fired, and looked to my right,
My buddy’s been shot, here kicks in the fright.
We exchange fire, rapid rounds of bullets spent,
Oh, how many more miles, back to my tent?
Can somebody help my friend, my buddy of war?
“Help is on the way,” to him I implore.
Shelter him, protect him, and keep myself safe,
My feet are blistered, and becoming so chaffed.
The helmet on my head is to protect my brain,
But for my feet and legs, it is hard to overcome the strain.
I know what tomorrow probably has in store,
More walking and walking and bullets fire galore.
I’ll be glad to get home and when asked what do I remember most,
It will be the walking and walking from post to post.
So when you lay down at night in your comfortable bed,
Remember our boys whose feet have for you walked and bled.

Dale Harris


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