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When did the nation start planning whether to go to war or not?



Published: Thu, August 22, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



When did the nation start planning whetherto go to war or not?

EDITOR:

Here we go again. Every day the paper has an item about the eventual, even imminent attack on Iraq by the United States. A few weeks ago, the Senate held hearings about just such a possibility, and the weekend news/talk shows were all about when rather than if. One pundit called for a debate in the Congress like the one before the Desert Storm war.

It's eerie that we are sitting around, debating going to war. It always seemed to me that was something forced on us by enemies who attacked us like Al-Qaida, etc., but nowadays we plan our wars like we plan anything else, such as a new golf course or baseball stadium.

Over the last half dozen decades our national policy has been one called nuclear deterrence. This policy was based on the idea of massive retaliation; no one (Soviet Union) would attack us knowing that the retaliation would be so severe that the attacking country would be totally destroyed. Hence the idea of war to achieve an end was useless. This strategy on its face worked, since we did not have a nuclear war with the Soviets, but it did not stop wars such as Vietnam and dozens of others, many of which are termed guerrilla or terrorist wars.

Now it seems to me our policy has shifted in two ways. First our policy now is to put so much power and so much technology into the war in the hope that the casualties involved are minimized and success guaranteed. The second is to make the pre-emptive strikes on the enemy in a sort of hit the enemy before he can defend himself or strike back.

In the Balkans recently, our air power was such that we were eventually able to dictate a cease-fire and move troops into a relatively peaceful environment. These strategies are the ones being parlayed around the country these days. We hear of 220,000 troops being necessary in Iraq, even after the use of first-strike, massive air power. Still the idea that we can destroy the enemy in Iraq and not suffer terrible consequences, including casualties, doesn't seem to be getting a lot of emphasis

Finally the use of diplomacy is practically being denounced.Critics would immediately say that talking with Saddam Hussein borders on appeasement and is a waste of time.

On the other hand, the old expression that "a bad peace is better than a good war" is still true and as the debate about our first strike war against Iraq emerges into the fall we should demand to hear all sides and all the details, before we head down this horrible road again.

MYRON GARWIG

Youngstown

Troubled people don'thave license to burgle

EDITOR:

Gail White's column of Aug. 16 was offensive to "church folks." It was obvious that her reference was the Catholic Church.

In my response to her attack on the church, I would like to point out to White that when the young man, the subject of her article, was kicked out by his father, no church or any place, for that matter, is a place to break in and enter.

A church is a place of worship, not a sleeping room, hotel or motel. And then, she tells that the man was so cunning that he left a window ajar for his re-entry. Further, what White calls a communion cracker, to us of the Catholic faith is the real presence of the Body of Christ. This is our faith. This is our belief. And, yes, the chalice is precious -- it holds the real presence of the Blood of Christ.

Whoever caught and referred the young man to a social service agency did the right thing. The man needs help. f White knows so much about this desperate man, why didn't she refer him to the Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army or take him into her own home?

White's writing is evidence that she knows little or nothing about the Catholic Church and its charities. She should call the diocese and get a list of charities that provide for the poor and respond to disasters.

HELEN TOTH

Campbell

Success at Lordstown shows Valley at its best

EDITOR:

August 14, the date when bright new plans were announced for General Motors' Lordstown complex, should be remembered in the Mahoning Valley as a symbol of the great success that can happen when a community applies long-range thinking, teamwork and perseverance for a common cause. August 14 will forever be remembered as the day when our Valley's positive attributes shined to ensure a promising future for a community of people whose pluck and work ethic were recognized and rewarded by GM.

How easy it might have been to miss this opportunity. Who would have blamed our community if we'd just resigned ourselves to accept another kick in the pants? But we didn't. We mobilized and got the job done, thanks to a great many heroes.

Had it not been for the leadership, persuasiveness and strategic planning of managers and union leaders at the Lordstown complex, GM might have decided to build its new small car elsewhere.

Had it not been for the can-do attitude and resolve toward continuous improvement within the Lordstown complex's rank-and-file, GM could have easily said "no" about Lordstown.

Had our local and state governments and leaders in business and industry not displayed determination, salesmanship and a willingness to think creatively in building a winning package, General Motors may not have been persuaded that there's gold still to be mined in Lordstown.

Please join all of us at First Place in saluting these heroes. And let's not forget to say thanks to those in Detroit who said "yes" in recognition of the great potential in our Valley.

To all of those heroes, we are grateful. Had any one of them failed, the economic fallout in the Mahoning Valley would have been unthinkable.

Instead, another generation of workers will find opportunities. Parents can look forward to raising their children in quality communities. Property owners can rest assured their investments will gain value. The valley's infrastructure can be maintained and improved. And America can look forward to driving a fine new automobile proudly stamped "Built in Lordstown."

STEVEN R. LEWIS, CEO

First Place Bank

Pope still has work to do

EDITOR:

I agree with a recent letter writer who said the Pope should not retire; to do so would be depriving the world of a Christian model which is sorely needed. John Paul II is a "man of the century."

True human greatness is found in a personality that points beyond himself. I hope he will be a saint.

JO ANN WALLACE

Youngstown

Income tax hike would maintain quality of life

EDITOR:

Regarding the article, "Firefighters and officers push for income tax":

In considering whether to vote on a half-percent tax this November, it is important to ask what are we paying for in approving this tax and what are we saving if it is rejected.

In approving the tax, we are first making a commitment to maintain a quality of life that we have come to expect and enjoy as citizens of Youngstown. In voting down that tax, we accept a more dangerous environment in which it takes more time for police and firefighters to respond. It is suggested that area business might leave the city if we, the citizens of the town, assert our own interests.

Are they the new & quot;mob & quot; in town, telling us to keep our mouths shut or else? Are these the same suburban residents, who complain about the crime in Youngstown, yet want to aid the city from which they get their money less and less? Their primary concern is what they can get out of the city and how little they can put into it.

Toward the end of the article, Mr. Hudson complains about the impending tax that the police and firefighters are proposing and says that they & quot;should have come to the council months ago when the deficit first emerged. & quot; Is it not council's job to develop the budget? Would council be willing to entrust any of their other functions to another department? If so, which ones?

I think the people of Youngstown should vote their own interests -- a fatter wallet or adequate safety forces. I'll stick with the safety forces. Everybody who thinks they don't need the cops and firemen can patrol their own property 24/7 and put out their own fires or, they could have their businessmen buddies from Boardman and Liberty come and help them.

DENNIS DUFFY

Youngstown

How bad do they have it?

EDITOR:

Recently I heard a statement to the effect that YSU's faculty and staff are overworked and underpaid. It seems to be a familiar scenario, that we hear from those that get paid with public funds.

Since these are public funds, why shouldn't these proceedings and the jobs and pay scales, be printed in the paper instead of behind closed doors?

I believe that the public is entitled to know all these things and be able to compare the wages and conditions to our own experiences.

GEORGE R. HOLKO

Warren




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