'Lost' star not alone in being crime victim
The home invasion and robbery of one of the TV stars on "Lost"
came only about a week and a half after Matthew Fox, another "Lost" star who lives in Kailua, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show where they both extolled the lifestyle, culture and hospitality of Hawaii.
They are infinitely qualified to espouse the grand benefits, especially when their biased, rose-colored view comes from owning several acres of Maui and millions of bucks. It's a shame that they did not know what the rest of us know -- that Hawaii, especially Oahu, is lawless.
My experience on Oahu is more like Holloway's than Oprah's. My car was broken into three times the last year. It's easy to make baseless claims to try to blame an ineffectual police department or a liberal state and county judiciary. I don't know where we fix blame or where we apply the resources to regain control of our lawless citizenry. But I do know that my property taxes have risen in the past two years with no increase in security or services.
When is Oahu going to get serious about crime? If you don't stand up and demand better of your law enforcement, judiciary, government and citizenry it will only be a matter of time before the rest of the country learns the truth about Hawaii. Eventually even Oprah will learn the truth.
Iraq's problems trace back to Ottomans
Llewellyn D. Howell's excellent commentary "Withdrawal will require smart strategizing"
in the Star-Bulletin Sunday edition unfortunately did not present a historical perspective of the situation in Iraq.
Your readers should understand that the national entity known as "Iraq" was established in 1920 by the British, who were given a mandate to this former Ottoman region by the League of Nations. The British defined the territorial limits of Iraq with little correspondence to natural frontiers or traditional tribal and ethnic settlements. This entity became an independent Iraq in 1932. The Arab Sunnis, who comprise only 15 percent of the population of Iraq, were given favored status under the British mandate. This favored status was continued under the Iraqi kingdom and the regime of Saddam Hussein.
A group with so few members would have much reduced power under a democratically elected government in Iraq. This fact is the driving force of the insurgency.
The commonly used term "the Iraqi people" is misleading. Within the boundaries of Iraq are regions of "Arabic people," divided into regions of the two rival Moslem sects Shia and Sunni, and "Kurdish people." There are also small minorities of Turkomans and members of various Christian denominations. An understanding of the situation in Iraq requires historical perspective.
Americans should not tolerate prison abuse
Amnesty International recently described treatment at current U.S.-run detention centers and prisons abroad as "cruel, inhuman or degrading." Familiarize yourself with the frightening accounts of people who are being held in secret, without any representation. Imagine if your loved one was being held without any knowledge of his or her location or reason for imprisonment, for years, exposed to treatment that makes you want to vomit.
An independent investigation into abuses still has not been conducted. Instead, "low-level soldiers" are being charged without an inquiry into the chain-of-command. America can do better than that. Amnesty is calling for an independent investigation to bring justice and expose inappropriate treatment of our fellow human beings.
Perhaps visit a place where torture has been used and decide for yourself. Regardless of your politics, we all need to do what's right.
Abercrombie knows ESA needs reform
Mahalo to Congressman Neil Abercrombie on his courageous vote to reform the Endangered Species Recovery Act
. A longtime champion of the environment, Abercrombie understands the needs of the people of Hawaii such as housing, transportation, education, health and a clean environment. He has worked vigorously to meet those needs.
Abercrombie continues to be a champion of the environment and would not vote for any bill that would be detrimental to the quality of life in Hawaii.
Chairman, Government Relations Committee
Building Industry Association of Hawaii
Scripted talk as vital as planning invasion
The Bush administration is to be congratulated for recognizing that our troops need to say the right things about our successful invasion of Iraq.
After the staged "interview" the president had Thursday, in which soldiers were rehearsed in advance, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita frankly stated that "The soldiers were advised as to the issues they should expect to discuss . . ."
As with all Hollywood super-productions, careful scripting is vital. The Iraq invasion is no exception.
John A. Broussard