Despite critics, Bush will leave great legacy
Swayed by polls and controversial national and international events, President Bush's critics are on the forefront actively bashing and vilifying him now that his approval rating is 34 percent. The rating became so low because the terrorists and left-wing Democrats are hitting America hard.
Ultimately, democracy in the Middle East, after blood and sweat are sacrificed, will become a huge success. And the terrorists will be defeated, and like Europe and Japan the Muslim regimes under a Democratic government will become our allies, too. Consequently our children will live in peace. And history will reveal that President George W. Bush will be one of the greatest presidents in our America.
Bernardo Pascua Benigno
Iraq responsibility belongs to U.S.
What massive arrogance is exhibited in Thomas Friedman's column "Iraqis must answer the big question". How dare he throw responsibility for the chaos created by our government's invasion of their country back on the Iraqis?
Talk about blaming the victim. And now that we have created this vicious, impossible environment for the Iraqi people, now that tens of thousands of them have died because of our actions, now that we have immeasurably deepened the "congenital" divisions among the various factions of that country, now we tell them that their "elected 'leaders' (must) come together and forge a national unity government -- and save Iraq."
I am sorry, Mr. Friedman, but this is like setting a man's house on fire, turning off the water and then telling him to put out the fire with a bucket of sand. We Americans, our government, created the mess unilaterally, all by ourselves. It was our government's decision to mount a war against a country that was no threat to us. The Iraqi people had no choice in this matter. The "big question" should be addressed to us, not the Iraqis. And the question should be: How can we compel our government to bring our troops home and let the Iraqis sort the situation out for themselves in their own time and in their own way?
We should pay for the damage that has been done and underwrite the reconstruction, and we should facilitate the help of the rest of the world to this unfortunate country. Establishing a definite timetable for our troops' withdrawal would be an essential first step.
That president is quite a leader
President Bush, who is very much concerned about how we have offended Arabs by not pleading with them to guard our ports, has nothing but praise for our Dubai friends who supplied only two of the 9/11 hijackers.
As we all know, our president has done his best to provide security for America by invading Iraq, providing instant support for our hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast and wiretapping phones in our best interests.
America is fortunate to have such a far-seeing leader at the helm of our ship of state.
John A. Broussard
We still have highest gas prices in U.S.
Douglas Luna (Letters, Feb. 25
) would have us believe that "all the evidence points to Hawaii consumers paying substantially less, on average, since the (gas) cap than they would have without the cap during the same period." Really? Let me offer a few facts: Tesoro just reported their highest quarterly profit in years. The average price of gasoline since the cap was implemented is much higher than the average price for the year before the cap, even if you exclude the spike due to Hurricane Katrina. We have the highest gas prices in the nation. Our prices ran about 40-50 cents a gallon higher than the national average before the cap -- they're running about 50 to 60 cents a gallon above the national average now.
The price cap in essence turned gasoline wholesalers into a completely noncompetitive regulated duopoly.
And if anyone thinks that the Democrats running the Legislature really want lower gas prices, then can they please explain why the Democrats on the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee recently voted for a 7.5 cent per gallon tax increase? If legislators really wanted to lower gas prices, they would cap our gas taxes, which are the highest in the nation.
Waimea plan has disturbing implications
I understand negotiations are continuing among the proposed partners "saving Waimea Valley" aiming to meet the court-imposed Wednesday deadline. The City Council's public hearing and final vote have been extended to that date as well. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is to be the owner of the land.
Having listened to the OHA trustees speak at Waimea on Jan. 11 and then read the relevant article on OHA's Web site, I have become concerned that OHA's eventual plans for the valley will put the valley beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. law, state of Hawaii law and City and County of Honolulu law.
The chairwoman of OHA (on its Web site) and two of the trustees (speaking on Jan. 11) stated that they wanted the valley to be in a future native Hawaiian governing entity. If these are OHA's intentions, they should be publicized well before this week's hearing. The City Council will be making the final decision on whether this partnership funded by the U.S. Army, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, City and County of Honolulu, OHA and Audubon Society is really in the best interest of all citizens.
Republicans should cross over for Case
Republicans would be smart to anoint a candidate for Ed Case's congressional seat and cross over to vote for the Case-Akaka race.
The Case-Akaka Senate race is more than just Democrat vs. Democrat. It's about change vs. establishment.
If the establishment can be broken, it would only benefit Republicans down the road. Young voters like me hesitate to participate because it seems like a waste of time when the establishment always wins. Attitudes would certainly change if voting translates to change for once.
Break the stronghold by ousting Senator Akaka, and quite possibly new blood from Hawaii's next generation of leaders will finally come out of hiding.