Your last issue's feature on RAWA (Revolu-
tionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan in "Women and the Taliban," 10/18/01) would have gone unwritten and unheard in the Middle East. I am grateful to your paper for revealing the true lives of these foreign women's crusade. You talk about taking a risk and not giving a second thought to reward or return favors; this female coalition demonstrates a fearlessness equal to that or our own soldiers, who we've dispatched to their country.
RAWA members face daily persecution from their nation's twisted religious authorities, sometimes being killed for doing something as noble as giving poor women and children an education in their underground shelters. It is so amazing that they've managed to stay together and in operation as they continue to face these dangers.
Thank you for bringing their story out of its overseas silence.
I am concerned about your "unbiased" point
of view. Your survey [the community survey The Inlander and KXLY-TV conducted together; related stories and breakout statistics ran in the October 4 edition of The Inlander] states that you had responses from 112. It is not clear if the 112 were residents of the Valley or the ones that commented on incorporation. You only printed comments from people who were against it and even one of those did not live in the Valley. Why is his opinion of any value to the residents? The other respondent was not even aware of the issues and made a statement that was not based on any background information at all.
I feel that you send the wrong message to those who are undecided. It would seem that any survey regarding incorporation should only include people who live in the Valley as they are the ones who are going to vote on it. I also think that anyone that votes without having any background on it and guesses what the impacts would be should be placed in a different category. Perhaps you should ask if they have been following the issue.
The issue will be difficult enough without your paper including results of a survey that leaves much to be desired. There is a lot of education to be done since too much information from other sources is not accurate.
(Editor's Note: As stated in the Oct. 4 issue, the 112 respondents who live in the proposed city's limits were the only ones polled on the question of whether they supported Valley incorporation, which they didn't by a 36 percent to 24 percent margin; 37 percent were undecided.)
I am responding to Robert Herold and
numerous other critics of President Bush's excursions around the country on Sept.11. I can't believe that I am defending the president, since I am one of his biggest critics.
Our capital was under attack. Should our President fly into Washington, D.C., or New York City when it is apparent that they are under attack? Air Force One is set up to be an emergency command center. We didn't need to know where the president was, only that he was safe and in command.
Thousands of disaster relief workers labored around the clock until their hands bled, praying for a miracle. I suggest that the miracle had already occurred, when as many as 40,000 people got out of the towering infernos. It continued when the airliner destined for the Capitol didn't make it and the canceled Boston flight, perhaps targeting the White House, did not get off the ground.
Imagine where we would have been as a nation if our President, Vice President, all of Congress and all military intelligence had been wiped out. That it didn't happen is truly a miracle, considering that the rest of the terrorists' mission was carried out with precision.
We are making martyrs out of the Afghan
people. Stop the bombing now! I am deeply concerned that we will lose international support for fighting terrorism by bombing Afghanistan. Every innocent Afghan civilian who is accidentally killed by our weapons will only inflame hatred for the U.S. around the world and push moderate people toward retaliation. We were gaining international respect by showing restraint and now we're losing that support.
I'm not saying that we don't do anything. . . but that we take the time to find nonviolent means to bring about true justice, not just retaliatory strikes. These actions should include the following: Stop the flow of money to Osama bin Laden, encourage Islamic moderates to speak up throughout the world to denounce terrorist acts, continue to give humanitarian aid to the Afghan people (to demonstrate that we know that the majority of Afghans don't support terrorism), stop the exporting of weapons by the U.S. to the Middle East, and support the use of international law to resolve conflicts, holding all countries accountable for their actions.
If we really are sincere about making a long-term commitment to fight terrorism, we must be prepared to deal with the underlying roots of violence. Fighting violence with more violence only escalates it. We must seek long-term solutions that promote justice, not just quick fixes or retaliatory strikes.