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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge