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POSTED: Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bad call to stay in Afghan war

Concerning the war in Afghanistan, the theory now being peddled to President Barack Obama by many of his military advisers amounts to this:

The war can be won, Afghanistan can be “;pacified”; and made “;democratic,”; and al-Qaida “;contained”; if we transform the U.S. Army into a salvationist host of social workers armed with rifles that will never be used to kill people except in self-defense. (The other needed killings, tortures, mutilations, rapes, etc., would be done by local troops, warlords and on-our-side terrorists.)

This strategy is called “;counterinsurgency”; or COIN. We begin by sending 30,000 more social workers and continue as needed.

If Barack Obama buys this strategy, his presidency is doomed. The way out of this Vietnam-style mess is to pull out of this mess at once. If Obama does this, his presidency is saved.

Ivor Kraft

Honolulu

 

               

     

 

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Better leaders for better health care

With the cost of today's health care premiums, it is difficult for my small business to operate effectively. Furthermore, my taxes paid are being used to an ever greater degree by our government to pay for Medicare and Medicaid.

It is time for the people of America to get leadership that will allow them to get affordable and effective health care coverage and receive fiscally responsible governance.

Horst Dammholz

Kailua

 

Promote sports in Afghanistan

Congratulations to President Barack Obama for winning the Noble Peace Prize—and a thought on his quest to win Afghans' hearts and minds.

The U.S. probably won't feel comfortable being involved in Afghan camel fighting or goat-head butting-to-the-death contests. But America can promote sports such as wrestling, soccer and bicycle racing, and hook up with Afghan promoters to offer prizes to create a more positive image of the United States. Televising these events showing the winners and the big money prizes will begin to win Afghans over to a larger degree than they are warming up to us now.

In a separate program the U.S. can offer big bucks for Afghans who identify any al-Qaida. These programs will cost, but far less than we are spending now or plan to spend in the future, and beats the heck out of paying Afghans not to attack our troops.

Stephen Burns

Mililani

 

Damien reports were excellent

I thoroughly enjoyed the press coverage on St. Damien de Veuster by Mary Adamski of the Star-Bulletin.

May St. Damien and the four other saints canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 11, 2009, serve as a guiding examples and inspiration for us to serve God and others.

Mahalo nui loa to Mary Adamski and other staff members of the Star-Bulletin for their outstanding and informative coverage.

Also, special thanks to all those who went on this once-in-a lifetime pilgrimage: Most Rev. Larry Silva, Mrs. Audrey Toguchi, Dr. Walter Chang, Kalaupapa residents, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka and pilgrims.

Lawrence M.O. Chun

Kailua

 

Help save sharks by not eating fish

The tiny Pacific nation of Palau is making big news by creating the world's first sanctuary for endangered sharks. People are understandably wary of sharks, but humans are more of a threat to sharks than they are to us.

Despite sharks' undeserved bad reputation, people are the real predators of the sea. By lining up at seafood buffets, we've decimated fish populations and caused marine life to suffer.

If you're hooked on the taste of seafood, but don't want to cause violence and bloodshed, see www.GoVeg.com for information on faux fish and other vegetarian foods.

Heather Moore

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

 

UH pay-per-view games forget fans

The University of Hawaii Athletic Department is whittling away the future fan base for the Warrior football team.

This year, away games are available live only on a pay-per-view basis, unless the game is being broadcast by a national TV network.

Twenty years ago, when my children were learning about football and the pleasures of being UH football fans, we would watch games on TV live and free. How many children these days have that opportunity?

Sure, maybe the Athletic Department can make a little more money by charging a very limited fan base to watch UH football live, but the fans of the future, the children of Hawaii, have less and less chance to develop an attachment to this team.

These are the people who will not be buying tickets as adults. When 5,000 fans show up for a home game 10 years from now, we can all think back to this Athletic Department and the short-sighted decisions that have marked its tenure.

Tom Loomis

Kailua