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Iraq war views

U.S. freedom allows sovereignty activism

I wholeheartedly agree with John L. Kaulukou, former judge, marshal under the monarchy, speaker of the House of the Republic of Hawaii, longtime ally of King Kalakaua and his sister Lili'uokalani, as he stated in 1898 that annexation to the United States was "the best thing that could happen for Hawaii, both for the native and foreign population. ... I rejoice heartily that it has come."

I agree with former Queen Lili'uokalani's entry in her diary on Sept. 2, 1900, that "Tho' for a moment (the overthrow) cost me a pang of pain for my people it was only momentary, for the present has a hope for the future of my people."

I also agree as Stephen T. Boggs, emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii, who once stated, "Sovereignty in the modern day and age rests with the people, not with any government, or any form of government."

Only in the 50th state and the rest of the United States are pro-sovereignty activists free to march and demonstrate, and I to opine. God bless America.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

Ivins is wrong about what wars can do

In her Jan. 21 "Molly's World" column, Molly Ivins contends that war "doesn't solve anything." Tell that to the emperor of Japan and Adolf Hitler. Wars, when fought to their proper conclusion, solve virtually everything. The only wars that "lead to more war" are those wars we don't fight to win, and these are not really wars.

The last real war we fought was World War II. We need a new term to describe what we used to call "limited wars" or "police actions" (e.g. the Korean War). I propose "Military Actions to Restore the Status Quo Anti." In Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, we conducted MARSQUA. Each of these efforts has led to more war or the likelihood that we will have to consider military action to resolve lingering issues.

Ivins contends that the first rule of statesmanship is to "avoid war at all costs." So Britain should not have declared war on Germany after Germany attacked Poland? President Franklin D. Roosevelt should have sent the emperor of Japan a letter apologizing for having provoked Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and ended our oil embargo so Japan could continue military actions against China and the rest of the Pacific rim?

Maybe Ivins' logic makes sense for those who live in "Molly's World," but those of us who live in the real world have to deal with things as they actually are.

Esmond Marks

Reduce trash pickups to save more money

Wouldn't it be cheaper to decrease the frequency of trash pickups than to charge residents for them?

Once-a-week pickup would save lots of money -- half the wages and expenses of running the trucks. At first, when we moved to Kauai from Oahu and found out that we had only once-a-week pickup, we thought it would not be enough. But we easily adjusted. Anyway, those big rubbish cans that the city gives out hardly ever get filled up. Many people put their plastic bags in their neighbors' cans instead of putting out their own.

It's just a thought, but maybe it would be worth a try. After all, we're always trying to save money, not pay more.

H. Santos

Lottery would replace need for fund-raisers

At a University of Hawaii College of Education class meeting this week of English teachers-in-training, among whom two out of 25 are already teaching in the field, the word from both professor and student-teachers is that to obtain books for English classes it is commonly necessary for teachers to raise funds.

Some are lucky and can obtain well-used sets of books from a more experienced teacher who is not using them. Otherwise, they either take the time and energy to raise the funds or spend their own money.

One student-teacher at the meeting made the point that the lottery is a solution. We have a very underfunded school system. Several people at the school where I teach say they would budget money each month to participate in the lottery. Some people express the opinion that we in Hawaii can't handle the lottery, that people will be parted from their money, especially those who barely have money for shoes. I don't know if that argument negates the need for money to buy books for literature class.

Are we the only state in the union too holy or too full of poor people who can't control themselves? What of the futures of all the public school students?

Nandarani Evans

Seven school districts would damage system

Malcolm Kirkpatrick's Jan. 13 letter ("Lingle's education plan has merit") consisted of dubious or erroneous allegations. Quite questionable is the serious charge of "waste and fraud in the University of Hawaii."

To say that Hawaii is "one of the most expensive governments in the United States" is contrary to the facts reported annually in the mainland state rankings. That omits our 20 percent extra cost of living. Yet state and local taxes combined are just above the national average. Nor does the claim of fewer Hawaii students explain why we are ranked 50th in state funding.

The argument that this low school funding is not important ignores the fact that about half of all new teachers are uncertified. It ignores the good teachers who leave Hawaii for much higher incomes elsewhere. It ignores the lack of modern technology and poorly maintained classroom buildings -- not a weak connection.

Although decentralization can have its benefits, business owners find many advantages in the lower costs and uniform products of centralization. But Governor Lingle's seven school boards will raise costs and reduce uniformity in curricula, courses, textbooks, technology and classrooms.

Jerome G. Manis


Conflict about war with Iraq

Anti-war views don't deserve our attention

Much ado was made about the local and national protests last weekend opposing military intervention in Iraq. Estimates range from 100,000 to 500,000 protesters nationwide, while local reports said 1,000 marched on Ala Moana Boulevard.

Let's put the numbers in perspective. Perennial presidential candidate Pat Buchanan received nearly 450,000 votes for president in 2000, more than 1,000 coming from Hawaii.

Did such "support" warrant inclusion of Buchanan's policy views and objectives into the national debate? Hardly. It was a feeble showing. His vote total was less than 1 percent. Using a liberal estimate of 500,000 protesters amounts to less than one-fifth of one-10th of a percentage of the American population. Much to the chagrin of protesters, the people support the military and its commander in chief, President George W. Bush. Nice try though.

John Turner

Public officials, media should rise against war

Following last weekend's huge protests around the globe, more citizens must speak up and oppose the inane Iraq policy being pursued by our government.

I've heard businessmen, from both small and large companies, complaining that a war in Iraq will greatly damage the local economy and their businesses. Yet where are the newspaper editorials and the letters to the editor and to Congress urging that this war be avoided? Where are our City Council members and our mayor on this issue, at a time when many other cities and mayors have come out against the war in Iraq?

For recent retirees and those soon to retire, this war will depress stock prices more and undermine retirement earnings. The U.S. and local economies, just now climbing out of recession, will be thrust back down -- especially Hawaii's tourism-oriented economy.

Many of us marched against the war last weekend -- hundreds of thousands internationally, more than 1,300 locally. But the media have not presented the full strength and breadth of the anti-war voices of reason. More must speak up and act to avert the folly of this war and the danger to our fundamental freedoms posed by our own government via its overreaction to "terrorism."

The greatest threat to our liberties now comes from the U.S. government via the misnamed Patriot Act and the legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. This latter act, throwing another department at the government's past failure, was replete with other provisions undermining liberties and rights.

It's time to roll back the anti-American laws pushed by the Bush regime, to oppose his warmongering in the oil-rich Middle East, to halt the rush to militarism around the world, and to defend our own democracy. We need to act now to reverse this alarming trend toward idiocy, destruction, tyranny and war.

John Witeck

Bush should heed Lincoln's warning

James Roller would have readers equate President Bush's use of American military might with Abraham Lincoln's leadership in the Civil War (Letters, Jan. 21). Bush's history has yet to be written, and his still may be a peacetime administration. Lincoln, however, does provide a prescient illustration of how we have arrived at the post-democratic era of American political economy.

Late in the war, Lincoln penned the following letter to his friend Col. William F. Elkins: "We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is wearing to an end. ... The best blood of the flower of American youth has been freely offered upon the country's altar that the nation might live. It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.

"As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. ... God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

Following the war between the states, the equal protection clause of the Constitution has been used rarely to ensure the rights of freed slaves and their descendants, but commonly to gain rights for the nonhuman entities called corporations. And now a U.S. president threatens war not to protect the nation's security, but to gain access to resources for his corporate sponsors. Even Honest Abe could not have imagined how low the nation would sink.

Richard Weigel

Bush policy on Iraq falsely justifies war

By mobilizing our excellent military without having gained justification for a unilateral attack on Iraq, President Bush has boxed himself into a corner with the clock ticking down.

It is unlikely that proof of possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be obtained in the immediate future. On the other hand, it is doubtful that we can maintain the cost and morale of large, mobilized forces in the field, ready to strike, for an indefinite period of time. Forces now in the Persian Gulf may be needed in other parts of the world, and summer will arrive quickly with weather that will make a delayed attack on Iraq difficult.

Many governments have orchestrated phony events to falsely justify the necessity for immediate military action without being branded as aggressors. Fortunately, most wars that have started with deceptive provocation have failed.

I hope that our leaders will resist the temptation to create a fake incident linking Saddam Hussein with terrorists or WMD, thereby creating false justification for an attack.

Jonathan Starr
Wailuku, Maui

Pro-choice advocates made a bad choice

On Jan. 22 I attended the pro-life/pro-choice demonstrations at the state Capitol. I was amazed and disturbed by the lack of courtesy and respect displayed by pro-choice demonstrators who apparently felt compelled to resort to abusive and offensive language and actions.

It seems that although they were promoting the freedom to choose, they did their best to prevent others from choosing and expressing their opinions.

One person told me "f*** courtesy" as he commenced to stand directly in front of the sign I was holding. Another asked me a question but then shouted, "I don't give a sh** about your opinion." Still another one said, "Go home." Their coup d'etat was to vandalize a pro-life banner.

Their lack of respect and courtesy only served to weaken their cause and reputation. I sure hope that next year the pro-choice people will honor what they profess to promote.

Sharon Dumas

120-day quarantine is still the safest bet

The Star-Bulletin's Jan. 14 editorial showed a lack of hindsight and foresight in characterizing the state's quarantine requirements as "outmoded" and "absurd." It also insulted the integrity of the program and its mission by characterizing it as being "apparently aimed at saving jobs at quarantine facilities."

When the issue was raised years ago, the Department of Agriculture heard from physicians and vets who protested the reduction in quarantine from 120 days. Concern was voiced about faulty record-keeping or false test results, and about possibly needing to implement medical treatments to be on the safe side of questionable animal attacks.

You say that state-of-the-art technology will protect us? Such thinking is naive. Why should we blindly trust that a disastrous safety hazard will never occur simply because an animal has an implanted microchip and has paperwork?

My pet went through quarantine when it was 120 days. It was hard, but I understood that our quality of island life depended on such strong safeguards. We enjoy lifestyles geared toward year-round outdoor activities. We also have a plethora of wild and feral animals. Imagine the impact on both if even one ill animal gets loose or is released.

Instead of abolishing quarantine, we should focus on improving animals' quality of life while they're in quarantine.

Dawn Farm

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