Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Support our president

I am writing to urge support for President Barack Obama’s initiative concerning Iran. The Republican policy of perpetual war has failed the United States both in human and economic terms. Further, it has worsened the geopolitical situation by destabilizing regimes and opening new areas to Iranian influence.

Despite these obvious failures, the Republicans continue to push the shoot first idea. Worse, they embarrass the nation, truckling to Benjamin Netanyahu like prepubescent teenagers following the current rock ‘n’ roll idol all the while prating about American exceptionalism and leadership. Netanyahu agrees with the simplistic aggressive Republican policy not because he sees it as a solution to problems in the area -- it hasn’t worked for Israel -- but for his own personal political/electoral advantage.

President Obama is attempting to find ways to deal with the ideologically riven, violence-prone region through compromise and negotiation. He hopes to reason rather than shoot first. If the effort fails, other efforts will have to be used, but we can hope those are not 10-year wars based on deficit funding that is left off the official budget to hoodwink taxpayers. The president deserves wholehearted support, particularly from those who have no viable alternative to offer.

-- Fred R. van Hartesveldt

Fort Valley

Love it or leave

In light of all of this controversy over McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, can someone clue me in on a question? How many people working at either place have been forced to work there? Maybe by court order, church edict or what have you?

I have worked in a couple of places in my life and I have employed people as well. Each time, one of the first things discussed were wages. All parties agreed or we didn’t have a deal. Has all of that changed?

I know a couple who work for Wal-Mart and knew how much they were going to make when they started. What is the fuss about? If they don’t like it, they can go get a job somewhere else. Or is that belaboring the obvious?

-- Jim Huber

Centerville

What are the options?

As I read comments on the proposed agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, I wonder if our president’s critics are even remotely connected to reality. I hear that no agreement is better than a bad agreement, and you cannot trust Iran to comply with a good agreement. If both of these statements are true, then what are our options? Sanctions have not worked to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

What happens if Republicans are successful in rejecting the current proposal and Great Britain, France, Russia and China approve it? Are we going to cut trading with these countries? Will we sink their ships carrying cargo to Iran?

Are we going to bomb or invade Iran to prevent them from continuing their nuclear program? If not, what will we do? What will we do If the Saudis want the bomb? I have not heard viable options to the current proposal that accounts for the fact that other major powers (Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) will need to support any changes to this agreement.

International relations are much more complicated than many of our leaders and news broadcasters portray. I do not know the answer but I am tired of seeing conservatives attack our president as weak and offer no viable options to his positions. All this does is weaken his ability to represent our country in the international community. It worsens the problem, not improves it.

-- Clarence Berry

Warner Robins

Real reason?

It seems strange that the “territory of Alaska” would be purchased for $7.2 million at such a time so near the end of the Civil War. (Today in History 3-30-1867). This was March 1867. The very same month and year when the first Reconstruction Act was passed, revoking all legal government in 10 Southern states, placing them under martial law. While the Cotton Belt states suffered under a carpetbagger government, where did all the money come from? I believe the answer lies in the real reason for this war.

-- Dwight Poole

Hawkinsville

Scream or whisper?

Just suppose you are standing on the bank of a swift running river and you look out and see a really nice family of man, wife and two small children calmly floating down the river. Singing and really enjoying the ride. However, you know that just around the curve is a falls that no one has ever survived going over. Do you gently call out to them that they should be sweet and have a nice day, or do you scream out very loudly that they come to shore immediately or they will all be killed?

Dr. Bill Cummings and those who have their minds set are those who would call out softly so as not to upset the children, while the hell fire and damnation preacher is the one who would scream to get out of the river quickly. Which one really cares about the welfare of those in the boat?

-- Jimmy Harrell

Byron

Nature’s protection from nature

This spring’s storms sure packed a mean punch. Unfortunately, new studies show that we will likely see even more intense storms like this in the future due to global warming, which could lead to drastic flood damage. A new report from Environment Georgia shows that our wetlands here in Atlanta and the surrounding areas are nature’s first line of defense against such storms and flooding. In fact, the remaining wetlands situated in flood-prone areas can hold enough rain to cover Macon in more than a foot of water.

Despite the crucial role they play in flood and erosion prevention, not all of our wetlands are guaranteed protection under the current Clean Water Act, but federal officials are moving to change that. We’re urging U.S. Rep. John Lewis to restore protections for all of our waters and wetlands, so they can continue to shelter us from the storms and serve as vital habitats for the wonderful wildlife of Georgia.

-- Lucy Shen

Atlanta

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