to the Editor

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Monday, October 1, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Revving economy calls for thinking big

In light of the serious economic problems confronting Hawaii, I suggest that Governor Cayetano commence a massive public works project of a scope never seen in the history of Hawaii. The project would include a light-rail system to move tourists around Oahu with ease. It would cost billions and employ thousands, like the public works of the Great Depression.

Second, instead of waiving the landing fees for each plane that lands here, we should do the opposite. Landing fees in Hawaii are probably the stupidest concept ever conceived by a state that has tourism for its single significant industry. Paying planes to land here would make much more sense.

John P. Mayo
President, Lex Brodie's Tire Company

Sacrifice for country isn't pointless

I seriously have to take issue with a letter published in the Star-Bulletin on Sept. 16 by the Rev. Mike Young of the First Unitarian Church. In his letter he states, "To send off our warriors to seek recompense is almost pointless."

Was our reaction to Nazi Germany, the Empire of Japan, the Viet Cong or Saddam Hussein pointless? What about all those soldiers who bravely gave their lives in all those wars?

There always have been bleeding-heart liberals objecting to America defending itself with force, but where are they now? They're enjoying the greatest freedoms and liberties on Earth today.

To those about to once again defend this great nation against evil, I say your sacrifice and objective isn't pointless.

Chris Roth

Waianae residents love their country

To suggest that the Waianae Coast is any less patriotic than any other community in Hawaii is outrageous!

My aunt and uncle, Glen and Maggie Skeels, lived there for a combined total of more than 100 years. He was a submariner during World War II. Tripping over one of the Buddha statues he had in their Farrington Highway home was a constant hazard. I accompanied my aunt's ashes to that most patriotic of addresses, Punchbowl Cemetery.

Richard Thompson


"The danger is having a meeting of the minds behind closed doors on issues that should be discussed in public."

Sen. Les Ihara

On closed-door meetings held by legislators to set the agenda for an upcoming special session on how to respond to the sharp fall-off in tourism that has followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on America.

"We certainly needed to be more sensitive and we deserved to get smacked for that."

Ken Robertson

Executive editor of the Washington state newspaper that published a controversial column questioning the patriotism of Hawaii residents after the terrorist attack. Robertson and the column writer, Karen Zacharias, apologized in print after being deluged with angry responses from Hawaii.

Violence is a useless response to attack

There is a marked dissonance between the bellicose talking-heads on television, including our president, and the cool political thinkers on the World Wide Web.

See Howard Zinn, historian, on "Will we now bomb Afghanistan ... to send a message to terrorists? We have done that before. It is the old way of thinking and acting. Reagan bombed Libya, and Bush made war on Iraq, and Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan, to send a message to terrorists.

"And now comes this horror in New York and Washington. Isn't it clear that sending a message to terrorists through violence doesn't work, and only leads to more terrorism?"

Jonathan Schell, long a voice for nuclear disarmament, warns in the catastrophe on Sept. 11 could have been worse. A portable nuclear bomb would have been far more devastating.

He writes, "To lose two huge buildings and the people in them is one thing, to lose all of Manhattan -- or much, much more -- is another. We have been warned."

Surely it's time to pull up our socks and try reconciliation.

Robert Aitken

U.S. foreign policy caused this mess

As long as our elected leaders continue supporting oppressive governments for the sake of cheap oil, American civilians will continue dying at the hand of terrorists.

Untold numbers are oppressed in Saudi Arabia, the country from which Osama bin Laden was exiled by the royal family -- who are given billions of dollars in U.S. military aid.

Speak out against the royal family and you may lose your head. Thousands of Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip also have been killed by American weapons you and I paid for.

In retaliation, thousands of American civilians have now been killed. We turned a blind eye when Arab blood was spilled at our expense. Now we are paying the price for our indifference.

Do we want more bloodshed? Are we prepared for chemical or biological warfare? Will it take hundreds of thousands of U.S. civilian deaths for our leaders to finally realize that their hypocritical foreign policy is to blame?

Our nation stands at a crossroads. We can continue supporting oppressive govern- ments and pay the price in lost American lives. Or we can uphold our love of freedom (upon which our nation was founded) by fighting oppression wherever it may exist.

In light of the recent tragedy, this is not what most Americans want to hear. But unless we act rationally instead of emotionally, our great nation will be headed down a dark and bloody path with no turning back.

David O'Donnell

New fight is cause to rethink drug war

The war the United States now undertakes against terrorism should lead to a re-evaluation of the war against drugs. The demand for illegal drugs has created a gold mine for criminals all over the world. In some countries the drug dealers are stronger than recognized governments.

Illegal drug money is often cited as a source of funding for terrorism worldwide. Stopping this flow of money can only be accomplished by allowing addicts safe and legal access to drugs.

Ending our drug war will mean tolerating a certain level of drug-related social problems. Those who see the drug war as a morale crusade may balk at this, but it's the only step that makes sense.

Tracy Ryan

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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