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A woman’s right
(RE: “Don’t ban or force abortions,” Perspectives, July 23.) Ari Armstrong does a great job of recognizing the fundamental issues involved in both banning and forcing abortions: the mother’s right to her own life and body. By recognizing that a fetus is only a potential human being, living inside the body of the actual human being, the mother, the woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body, whether it is to abort or to bring the fetus to term.
Joseph Kellard/via Internet
Not born in the U.S.A
Y’know, I do believe these “birthers” are onto somethin’. I don’t want anyone who’s not an American to be able to influence the way Americans think or to be able to use our public airways to do it, either. I think that Mr. Limbaugh needs to show us all his birth certificate. What kind of name is “Rush” anyway? It sure don’t sound American to me.
Dishonesty on Afghanistan
The elongated occupation of Afghanistan faces rising difficulties because its justification is so dishonest and, thus, its aims so shifty and unclear. It can never be officially acknowledged that this ugly venture is really part of a grand chess game for control of the region’s fabulous energy resources. An initial rationale for invading Afghanistan was, of course, to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, but that goal quickly dissipated when, by most accounts, the Pentagon let the presumptive al Qaeda boss slip away into Pakistan, even though he’d been reportedly located and surrounded.
A subsequent justification cited the invasion’s supposed liberation of Afghan women, invoking a wispy U.S. “obligation” in that regard. Despite the sentimental appeal of this excuse, the status of Afghan women has changed very little, particularly outside of Kabul where the government holds virtually no sway.
Now, the U.S. mission has morphed into a full-blown exercise in nation building, all the while trying to defeat a growing domestic resistance centered on the region’s dominant Pashtun tribe. To that end, troop levels have surged and casualties mounted. Defense secretary Gates says there’s no end in sight and has obliquely hinted that circumstances might require a ground assault into Pakistan, where U.S. aerial bombings have already become routine.
The mythic Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu is said to have advised, “There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.” President Obama and his generals should dwell on Sun’s venerable wisdom, before they hypocritically shed more blood on behalf of international corporate energy interests.
Ambushed on race
This letter is in response to the numerous articles covering the controversy over the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. by the Cambridge, Mass., police department, as well as the comments made by President Barrack Obama. Let us reexamine the facts.
According to the several articles: Cambridge Police responded to a call about “two black males” breaking into a home near Harvard University. A woman reported seeing “two black males with backpacks on the porch,” with one “wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry.” Police ended up arresting the man who lives there — Henry Louis Gates Jr. He had forced his way through the front door because it was jammed.
By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in. “Why, because I’m a black man in America?” Gates said, according to a police report written by Sgt. James Crowley. Crowley is a veteran cop who teaches a racial profiling class for rookie police officers.
President Obama said the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in arresting his friend, the prominent black scholar. Crowley said he was just doing his job but that Gates continued to rant, “that I was doing this because he was a black man in America, that I was a racist.” Crowley said that while he was radioing in Gates’ name to the dispatcher for record, “I couldn’t hear myself say it. He was yelling that loud.”
The immediate question that comes to mind is why was Mr. Gates forcing his way into his own home? Who was the woman who called and what relationship does she have with Gates? Why would Gates assume this was racial profiling when he was informed by the police officer that Crowley was investigating a report of a break-in? Are these assumptions presented to Gates’ Harvard classes on a regular basis?
As for President Obama, we all remember his comment about blue-collar people in Pennsylvania “and it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” It has been said by many Freudian psychologists that usually the first words out of someone’s mouth give a clear view of a person’s beliefs. Is it possible that the Cambridge police were set up for a racial profiling ambush? I don’t know. But the immediate reactionary comments by Gates and Obama should give us a clue.
Joe Bialek/Cleveland, Ohio
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