Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Afghanistan war drawn on for too long
Democracy not compatible
Iraq’s governmental disintegration is just one more illustration of why we should not have gone to war there and should get out of Afghanistan now. [“Brother of Ohio soldier: ‘We are a nation at war,’ ” seattletimes.com, April 6.]
The only way democracy works is if people are willing to accept “no.” In a democracy, someone always loses. Where countries are divided along religious and sectarian lines, democracy will not work. Religion does not accept “no” on matters which significantly affect religious tenets. The world’s history is replete with wars initiated by religions that refused to accept “no.”
This is one of the reasons our Constitution’s drafters attempted to limit the effect of religion in politics. Unfortunately, our political parties and the U.S. Supreme Court seem to have forgotten this vital lesson.
— Malcolm L. Edwards, Seattle
The Afghanistan War has been going on entirely too long. For more than 10 years now, the combination of the Iraq war and the Afghan war is taking more and more of a negative effect on the U.S. troops, the U.S. debt, and, I truly believe, the U.S. population as a whole. The recent massacre of Afghan citizens reminded me of the My Lai Massacre that happened in Vietnam in 1968. I had to look up the information about this Vietnam massacre, but I clearly remember, as a 10-year-old, the great controversy and the many of our citizens who took both sides of this controversy.
“War is hell.” Even the U.S. secretary of defense said these very words before TV and newspaper reporters only a few days ago. If “war is hell,” then why in the name of sanity does humanity engage in it so much? Perhaps only God knows!
In closing, I would like to say, “The U.S. troops who continue to fight are doing the American citizens a greater service than we can ever repay.”
My question to the warmongers in Washington, D.C., is: “How can you ever wash off your hands the blood of the fallen and injured troops in two wars that are going on entirely too long!”
— Timothy (Tim) Monroe Bledsoe, South Carolina
I have an opinion to offer in the killing of 17 children and adults by the soldier in Afghanistan. [“Signs point to lone killer, Afghan investigator says,” News, April 4.]
I am 62 years old and served six years in the U.S. Army but was born in the Netherlands. The Netherlands used to have Indonesia as a colony. As children in school, we were told that Indonesians sometimes went “amok” (Dutch spelling).
A man — always a man — would go on a killing spree in his village, using typically a “kris,” a sort of wavy short blade. At the time there was nothing like it happening anywhere else. Now it’s happening everywhere and it got me to thinking about it.
The murderers are always male. They focus on the defenseless. Their victims are mostly women and children. They kill themselves sometimes, but only when surrounded by cops and others who are determined to put a stop to his slaughter.
I think these males have by some convoluted thinking decided that they want to get respect from people and they think that to do this, they must show people that they can be uncompromisingly bad. They want to be feared and thus respected but they are cowards, which is why they aren’t respected in the first place. So they go and kill the defenseless and the surprise arrives when the realization sets in that their action did not gain respect but loathing instead.
If they are caught alive, they’ll whimper and plead and claim trauma. What kind of excuse is that? You killed children, you now want me to feel sorry for you?
— Will Wolthuis, Kent