"How uninformed and foolish are you Democrats?"
A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.
The president puts troops before all other misgivings
Editor, The Times:
When President Bush vetoed the military spending bill, he showed his disregard for the well-being of America's soldiers ["After veto, a hunt for middle ground," Times page one, May 2]. Though the words he spoke were different, his message was, I would rather have America's soldiers fighting an open-ended war without funding than give them what they need and bring them home to their families.
In his actual veto statement he said, "It didn't make any sense to impose the will of politicians over the recommendations of our military commanders in the field" ["House fails to override Bush's veto," News, May 2]. Of course this is a lie.
In response, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who led troops in Iraq, says, "The president of the United States is holding our soldiers hostage to his ego." And retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who also led troops in Iraq, says, "The president vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible."
In reality, the president — not our representatives — is the one substituting his opinions for good judgment. The commanders and the soldiers want to leave Iraq; the American people and our representatives want to leave Iraq. Will we stay to protect this president's pride?
— Silas James, Olympia
Mission accomplished in terms of boosting troops' morale
There is a constant and incessant demeaning in the press regarding the president's visit to the crew of the carrier Abraham Lincoln, on its return from the war zone of Iraq ["After Bush's veto, a hunt for middle ground," News, May 2].
Has it ever occurred to any of you that the banner "Mission Accomplished" referred to the aircraft carrier and its crew returning after months in the war zone and proud, as they should be, of a mission they accomplished? Do any of you know what goes on aboard an aircraft carrier in a war zone?
The president, as he should, was honoring the crew with his visit. If anyone bothered to listen to the president's speech after arriving on board, he never included the phrase "mission accomplished." He knew there was a long, hard fight left ahead.
How uninformed and foolish are you Democrats?
— Ray Womack, Olalla
A reasonable lunacy
After all of these years of unjustified, unprovoked, "preemptive," "unilaterally" instigated and completely avoidable human carnage in Iraq, President George W. Bush has finally answered one of my burning questions:
Why are we in Iraq (what is the objective)? (Of course, everyone knows there were never any so-called "WMD" or Iraqi government ties to terrorists); Who is the enemy?
George W. Bush answered question one this week: "Success is obtaining a 'reasonable amount' of violence."
So, in other words, the reason for the slaughter of more than 4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis, along with spending of our tax dollars, which now exceeds the cost of World War I, not to mention the rise of terrorist groups, domestic hate groups, and terrorist attacks that mirror this newfound philosophy, is so that the nonviolence in Iraq, prevalent prior to the American insurgence and occupation, can transform into a "reasonable level" of violence.
OK, that makes all the sense in the world to me now. Any reasonable American would agree. (What!?)
— Roderick Siders, Renton
Commander in disbelief
The designers of the Iraq war say a timetable for withdrawal will send the wrong message. Bah! It will send exactly the right message.
The people understand that the invasion and occupation of Iraq were a terrible mistake, and they demand change.
Here is the message of merit: Ending the war shows that a democratic government can be made to carry out the will of the people, without violence, despite a delusional, hubristic executive's refusal to face reality or act responsibly.
George Bush's veto sends the worst message: The U.S. is no model of democracy and its government ignores the demands of its people.
— Tim Skeel, Seattle
They fight for you
In attacking Democrats for setting timelines on progress in Iraq, President Bush says he rejects "politicians telling men in uniform how to do their jobs." This is sheer hypocrisy.
The Bush administration has frequently told the military how to do its job — for example, in browbeating military leaders to reject former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki's estimate (and accepted counterinsurgency doctrine) that it would take hundreds of thousands of troops to occupy Iraq.
In our civilian democracy, it is precisely the constitutional obligation of the president and the Congress to "tell men in uniform how to do their jobs."
No one is suggesting that Washington control day-to-day military tactics. But it is certainly the job of our political representatives to evaluate reports from those in uniform and other evidence of what is taking place in the field and reach strategic conclusions, including deciding the goals of a military campaign and whether goals previously set can be achieved.
We are not a military dictatorship, and such decisions cannot be left to the generals. Democrats and responsible Republicans should expose and oppose Bush's demagoguery on this point.
— Linden Rhoads, Seattle
Gunz 'N ruses
George Bush's assertion that terrorists will follow us home if we don't keep fighting in Iraq is absurd. It makes the terrorists sound like a bunch of groupies following their favorite band on tour.
Here is a quiz for Mr. Bush: Would a freedom-hating terrorist who is bent on killing Americans be more likely to, a) go to Iraq where we have a highly trained army of professional soldiers, or b) come to the United States where we have hundreds of millions of unarmed civilians?
The answer to this question may stump the commander in chief, but it is evident to me that the war in Iraq has little to do with the security of our homeland.
In spite of this war, major terrorist attacks have occurred in Spain and in England. The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide has increased, not decreased, while we have fought in Iraq.
Our Quixotic blunderings in the Middle East may be doing more to stir up the hornet's nest than to provide security.
The president may be reluctant to bring our troops home, but fear of terrorist groupies is not a reason to stay in Iraq.
— Joe Sullivan, Kirkland
The me in enemy
Readers Gerald Stiles and Dan Kessler hit the nail on the head ["War on terror," Northwest Voices, April 29]: If it weren't for those dern libruls interfering with the conduct of the war, we'd already be taking down the yellow ribbons and making plans for the victory parades. Those historical revisionists are already starting to deny that we were winning in Iraq before the Democrats started their meddling three months ago.
That hogwash might fly with the traitorous 65 percent of Americans who want the war to end, but if Vice President Dick Cheney says things were going well, that's good enough for me.
The Democrats don't understand that George Bush only pretends to be an incompetent bungler, the better to lure al-Qaida into his trap. Mr. Stiles said it well: That's a whole lotta shrewd intellect.
Incidentally, do you two have any more Kool-Aid? I've run out.
— Dan Furlong, Kingston
The us in distrust
Reflecting on our loss of several close friends and some relatives with whom we no longer speak brings to mind the most singular accomplishment of the Bush administration, one achieved by no other president in history: another war right here at home, a war of "Americans against Americans"!
— Ki Punches, Everett
Dispute of happiness
Again, the socialists will flog their illegal-immigrant agenda in the face of the 90 percent of the legal citizens of the U.S.A. who don't want them here. Again, the socialists in Congress will pretend that the May Day demonstrations are a mandate to Balkanize the U.S.A. ["Thousands rally to support immigration-law changes," Local News, May 2.]
When the corrupted Congress sends that bill to George Bush to allow millions of illegals to gain citizenship and access to our Social Security fund, medical services and any job not already sent to China, Bush will gladly sign. Then we will have government by demonstration and not democracy.
Why not ask the American taxpaying citizens to vote on this treachery? Can't the globalists stand a little democracy? If not, they will find themselves starting a bloody civil war. We, the people, are getting angry.
— Mark Lemmon, Ocean Shores
A right to rare swarms
I do believe in free speech and the right to exercise that privilege on our city streets, but why, why, why, must it be done at rush hour?
I know for sure that most cities in our region have city ordinances in place that would not allow these types of disruptions during peak rush-hour times, or in conjunction with other major events. How come we haven't done something like this to manage congestion in Seattle? Is the City Council concerned only about the rights of the minority, and not the safety of the masses?
The council has the authority to change this policy; please do something. It affects all of us who commute into the city every day to work.
— Steven Hoyt, Lynnwood
Where the money flows
In the photo accompanying the University Bridge sinkhole story, 12 (count them) workers are standing, most with their hands in their pockets, while three actually seem involved in removal of the fallen cars ["Pipe break, sinkhole keep University Bridge closed through Thursday evening," page one, May 3].
If utility workers all went to work, perhaps the city's 20-year replacement plan could be reduced substantially, as could the $83 million or so it spends yearly on water-system capital improvements.
Makes sense to me.
— Margaret Symons, Seattle
It's another tequila disguise
It's clear that Seattleites love to celebrate most any event that comes along, but "Sinkhole de Mayo"? Isn't that a bit over the top?
— Dick Hughes, Enumclaw