Our dangers are from within
WHILE DIANE Dimond has written some thoughtful columns off and on, I really have to take issue with her on her (April 8) column about Russian influence, real or imagined, in our latest presidential election. First of all, the United States itself has meddled in the activities of other countries, including those of Russia, for at least 72 years. We even rigged political elections in the Western European countries of Italy and France in the 1940s and early 1950s, in Australia during the early- to mid-1970s when we deposed the democratically elected government of Prime Minister (Gough) Whitlam, or in engineering the unseating of a democratically elected president in Chile, Salvador Allende, and replacing him with a brutal tyrant named Augusto Pinochet who committed far more human rights violations than Allende did.
Second, the nation’s most dangerous enemies are all domestic and all come from the right end of the political spectrum: the neocons; the neo-liberals; and fringe white militia groups. The neocons include the “Deep State” – a cabal of unaccountable governmental officials from the NSA, CIA, etc. – and individuals like Hillary Clinton who are willing to have a pre-emptive nuclear war with Russia and the Palestinians/Arabs. …
Trump is the next most serious threat to our country with his xenophobia, crude sexism, his appointment of extremist Supreme Court “justices” and Cabinet members, and his willingness to use torture and mass murder, etc., to further his agenda. Beside the(se) domestic threats, we have the … white hate groups that dwarf any threat Mexicans, Arabs, etc., could ever pose to our country.
WILLIAM R. DELZELL
It’s time to seek peace
RECENT NEWS has covered the missile attack on a Syrian airbase ordered by Donald Trump. A poor example from a president that campaigned on not bombing Syria. A president who campaigned on making America great again, wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. What did this missile strike really do when they were flying aircraft out of the very same airbase by the next day?
Did we really need to launch this attack? Why do our country’s leaders continue to involve us in foreign military conflicts that have nothing to do with our country? Our military is meant for national defense, not for regime change and nation building. It’s time we stop sending our troops into pointless military action, stop putting our youths’ lives at risk for nothing more than government agenda and greed. As one of the biggest super powers in the world, there was absolutely no reason to send 59 Tomahawk missiles into a small country (like) Syria.
Aren’t we as a nation tired of war? Aren’t we tired of watching politicians use our military and our youth to further their agendas? We need peace in our country, not an absolute addiction to war. For the past 15 years, our troops have been involved in military conflicts around the world, predominantly in the Middle East, yet we’ve never been attacked by any of these countries in how long? September 11 happened over 15 years ago, and no attacks since, yet here we are sending 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. How can you look at this any other way than as an act of war… ordered without congressional approval. It’s time we move our country toward peace and liberty, not more war.
STEPHEN DESPIN JR.
Lawyers want status quo
I WOULD be less skeptical about the eventual outcome of the commission named by the state Supreme Court to investigate the scandal involving court-appointed guardianship of elderly family members if this 16-member body weren’t so overloaded with representatives of the legal industry. I’m afraid there are way too many lawyers and judges on it who could stand to gain, in one way or another, by preserving the status quo. It’s too tempting to issue a final report months from now that whitewashes the present legal scheme they may have had a hand in establishing. … Maybe the Supreme Court thinks lay people aren’t smart enough to delve into this issue; I submit they are indeed… and would almost certainly act without prejudice.
It’s time to cut the military
FIFTY YEARS AGO, on April 4, 1967, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war in Vietnam at Riverside Church in New York City. He said: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Today in the United States, just over half of all federal discretionary spending goes to the military. And the White House has proposed U.S. military spending be increased by $54 billion next year. Yet, the United States already spends more on its military than the next seven nations combined – China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan. Is it really necessary for us to spend more on our military than the next seven nations combined in order to defend ourselves? Is it really necessary to our national security for the nation to maintain a network of some 800 military bases in 160 countries all around the world? Or has our military spending become a national addiction over which we seemingly have no control – a result of the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex about which President Dwight Eisenhower warned? …
“There is nothing, except a tragic death wish,” King said, “to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.”
REV. ROGER SCOTT POWERS
Pastor, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Time to wean off oil, gas
THERE ARE SO many issues that could be addressed in …Doug Turner’s sarcastic and misleading (April 3) op-ed, “‘Keep it in the ground’ movement naïve to realities,” but I’d like to address just a few.
First: Chaco Canyon. Drilling and fracking anywhere and, in particular, just outside of and on the way into the World Heritage Site is damaging. Drilling pads, derricks, industry truck traffic, air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution are all damaging the environment surrounding Chaco right now.
Hydraulic fracturing damages more than just water sources and, according to publicly available data from the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division, in 2016 an average of 1,609 gallons of crude oil was spilled each day, along with 9,052 gallons of “produced water,” salty wastewater often laden with toxic chemicals.
Second: Reality. No one is ignorant of the fact that oil and gas has contributed to the state’s economy while enjoying the profits they make. … We also know the state pays a price … in the form of pollution, degraded land and related health issues in spite of (current) regulations. …
Third: Technology. We know solar and wind energy are plentiful …and technology is rapidly lowering their cost while employing thousands of New Mexicans. … The Department of Energy’s U.S. Energy and Employment Report, released in January, showed the solar industry creates more electricity-generation employment than oil, gas, coal and nuclear combined.
…the longer we wait, the more we put jobs and our economy at risk as the rest of the nation moves ahead of us by embracing these new technologies. It is naïve to think otherwise.