Tuesday, September 18, 2001
I am amazed at the letters from Mr. (Leonard) Kitts and Mr. (Paul) Woolery (Our Readers Write, Sept. 15) and how completely they have mischaracterized events. While it is true that the United States has been supportive of repressive regimes, it has been in the framework of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." The enemy was the Soviet Union and the United States was desperate to prevent more nations from becoming Soviet satellites. Our choice at that time was either to deal with the current government or to allow it to be overthrown by communists. While there is no doubt that some of the governments we helped support were guilty of heinous acts, you have only to look at Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge for what could happen with a communist government takeover.
Mr. Kitts and Mr. Woolery are concerned that "violence begets violence." The centuries of warfare in the Balkans bear them out. But what did the terrorists that "bombed" the World Trade Center and the Pentagon think? That we would just shrug and go about our business? That our government was not up to making the tough choice about striking back even at the cost of more lives? That our hope would be that we could ignore the terrorists and they would just go away? Nonsense. At this point what choice does the United States have? To do nothing will only invite more of the same.
It is still unclear as to who actually gave the orders to carry out this attack, however, one of the prime suspects is Osama bin Laden who has been at the forefront of world terrorism and implicated in several other terrorist attacks. He has linked his hatred of the royal family in Saudi Arabia to the United States for being the chief supporter of that regime both economically by our purchases of oil and militarily in terms of arms supplies. He has tied this hatred to a perverted form of Islam and declared a holy war to annihilate the United States. He wants nothing less than the complete destruction of our country. So please don't suggest that we do anything other than rid the world of this enemy.
At the beginning of World War II, Hitler stated he would "wring England's neck like a chicken." Sir Winston's response was "some chicken, some neck." Well, whoever was behind the bombings should re-read their history with special attention to American military achievement. And the nation that has stood behind that military. If the terrorists wish to die for their cause, hopefully we can accommodate them.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge