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Letters to the editor – 12/31/14

Dreaming ahead

Reading Don Chapman’s MidWeek cover story on Honolulu-Nagaoka’s sister- cities relationship made me think that perhaps one day American towns will have sister cities in the Middle East. One can only hope. Imagine, as John Lennon said.

Karen Arden

What’s victory?

While I respect his past service, Jerry Coffee would be of greater service in the future if he could offer solutions instead of waving the flag and talking about our sacred dead.

If he has a proposal on how to win insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq that hasn’t been tried, he should flat out say so. He mocks anything short of total victory, but the industrial way of war with firepower, massed armies and the total victory Mr. Coffee wants only works if your opponent is doing the same, which hasn’t happened since 1945. Iraq had an effective army when we left, only three years ago, and Prime Minister al-Maliki intentionally dismantled it Sunni by Sunni for tribal reasons and his own financial gain. Reinforcing failure by going back to Iraq under the same Iraqi political conditions would have the same bad outcome. This would seem obvious.

Blaming the president for not achieving total military victory within a country that has a corrupt and sectarian government at odds with half its population is either disingenuous or misinformed. It also denies the incredible amount of treas- ure and blood the United States already has poured into Iraq for almost a generation with scan to show for it.

After 30 years military service myself, I know waving the flag feels good in the short run, but sadly becomes meaningless without a plan that takes into account our real world and real challenges.

Peter Daspit

Rail ‘interests’

It is both hilarious and sad that it’s news that rail will cost up to $700 million more (and rising)! Was it supposed to be within budget?
The special interests that rolled rail through actually will make more money the more rail costs. Politicians will get more campaign donations from those special interests the more it costs and the longer it takes. Sure, special interests are peo- ple, too (I’m surprised that’s not on a T-shirt somewhere), so perhaps certain groups enriching themselves off the tax dollar is not so bad and sim- ply par for the course for the state with the heartbreakingly lowest voter turnout.

The best long-term, win- win-win traffic solution would have been to create and move jobs near the Ewa Plain so that eventually the jobs would be where the people are. That way, we would not have to spend all our money, resources and time moving ever-increasing thou- sands of people 20 miles between Ewa and town twice a day forever. Parents would be closer to their children.

The ironic tragedy is that the special interests and politicians could have gotten the same rewards and more had they chosen that path.

Leighton Loo

Isle pride
Bob Hogue’s column “The Good Guys (And Gals) Of Isle Sports” is a page to clip and save. Pictured are Kolten Wong, who starred in the World Series for St. Louis; Ken Niumatalolo, who has won more games as Navy’s football coach than any other and Marcus Mariota, who won the Heisman while leading Oregon into its first national football playoff.

It’s further proof of the athletic talent these little islands produce, and why we should all be proud.

Al Lee