Iraq has democracy, so bring troops home
Congratulations to President Bush for bringing democracy to Iraq. As most people know, democracy takes on a slightly different appearance in different regions of the world. In the United States, for example, the familiar image is 100 fat, useless spungers sitting on a hill going "quack quack," "oink oink," "bow wow" -- and stuffing money into their pockets as fast as possible; while in the Middle East, it looks more like an endless five-way civil war, with lots of colorful beheadings.
Many experts seem to think that such a civil war in Iraq is now inevitable, whether our troops are there in the middle of it or not. So ... mission accomplished!
Maybe it's time to bring our boys and girls home, lest they get in the way of good old Middle Eastern Democratic process.
Suppose it's not just Bush's bad advisers?
Are W's "friends" doing him in again? First the neocons convinced him to go to war on a fake-o pretext in Iraq. Then they shot down his Harriet Miers nomination. And now their backroom maneuvering to justify Iraq and silence critics has landed one in federal court, and the president's closest adviser is likely to go down next.
Somewhere I remember a campaign promise that went something like: "I will restore honor and integrity to the White House."
You'd think W might know what's going on right under his nose. But then again, maybe he does ...
Bush administration unfairly blamed
Why are people saying members of the Bush administration are lying when they were using the same information that the previous administration was using from 1998?
I would say also that in 2002, President Bush stating that WMDs was one of the reasons to go into Iraq could have been valid. Remember that he did try to please the other party by pursuing that running joke called the U.N. for 14 months. Saddam Hussein and his regime could have sent the WMD program(s) to his buds in Syria. I think the mistake we are making is going back rather than looking at the possibilities and solutions.
By the way, those IEDs that are killing our troops and progressive Iraqis are signs that what really waits for us to leave in Iraq is very dangerous.
Did you ever see film of the last days of Saigon when we were evacuating? The South Vietnamese were scrambling to get aboard the planes. Of course, a lot of them got left behind. That did get me thinking that there are people who do prize freedom. To leave abruptly from Iraq would then make it Vietnam.
UARC critic misinterpreted documents dealing with UH-Navy negotiations
I am compelled to respond to Professor Beverly Keever's Oct. 30 commentary
in the Star-Bulletin. It contains inaccuracies about the proposed agreement between the University of Hawaii and the U.S. Navy to establish a University Affiliated Research Center.
What Keever labels as "purchase orders" -- and the Star-Bulletin includes as an illustration -- for security equipment and related items for facilities at the Manoa Innovation Center are, in fact, only cost estimate documents. These cost estimates were required to provide the Navy with estimated costing information should such security equipment be required. Nothing more, nothing less -- strictly a request for cost information. If this equipment was required, it would become part of our cost negotiations and would be covered by the Navy.
Further, the documents posted for public review on the Web clearly show that there is no need for these security-related items. They are not a part of the package. No such expense was ever encumbered, and there is no purchase order signed by Gary Ostrander, UH vice chancellor for research and graduate education, or any other university official for such work.
A second item that Keever refers to are the "sketches of employee badges containing the seal of the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Navy's weapons-development arm that would manage the 'task orders' performed by UH's researchers." First, Naval Sea Systems is not the Navy's weapons development arm. Second, in the early stages of negotiations we provided the Navy with the option to go with employee badges or not. Using badges would be more expensive. If the Navy had insisted on this our samples demonstrated that the university is capable of producing the badges. This was part of the very detailed negotiating process, and, again, part of the discussion about costs to be borne by the Navy.
As it happens, the model we chose to follow is a "no employee badge" system similar to the one at the University of Washington. Badges are not part of the package; the samples were produced strictly as samples.
The third item in Keever's commentary that requires a response is her reference to the functional chart for the UARC. As our negotiations have proceeded, Ostrander's name was used in one box as interim executive director since the proposal and its operations report to his office. In the absence of directors, four proposed co-principal invest- igators also have their names in the appropriate boxes. All four are UH faculty with superb research records.
This has been done only for illustrative purposes to demonstrate to the Navy the caliber of researchers who will manage the UARC. As we have said in the past, all of these positions will be advertised and filled if and when we establish a UARC contract.
While it might seem somewhat trivial to be responding in this manner, it is important to correct the record so that misinformation is not perpetuated as discussion of this complex issue continues. There will be other opportunities for open conversation. Our goal remains to satisfy all concerns with accurate, full, free and reasoned deliberation so that an informed decision results.
Vice chancellor for Administration, Finance and Operations
University of Hawaii at Manoa