by Inlander Readers

It's Called "War" -- Someone should inform the military-industrial-political complex that once a nation is fully committed to the institution of mutual mass-murder -- the definition of "war" -- that nation shouldn't simultaneously demand that the rules of humanity should constrain its mobilized armies. Dehumanizing one's enemy is the necessary precursor of going to war.

As any combat veteran will attest, once ensconced in the insane thick of it all, there are no rules governing war other than the continued propagation of a conditioned hate for the other guy. Without hatred, there can be no war, no victory. Otherwise, nobody will die, and combatants will simply end up getting drunk together while the military ordnance rusts.

It was a justified hate of Germany, rather than the tactical military might of the Soviet Union that allowed the Red Army to destroy the Nazi regime. Had Stalin been pressured to investigate and then prosecute the myriad crimes committed by his forces during the siege of Berlin, as today American forces are being pilloried in Iraq for taking pictures of bruised, naked Arabs, the Russians would still be dug in at the Selow Heights in Berlin's eastern suburbs, calling upon the grandkids to somehow finish the job while the sanctimonious bozos in the Hague debate the impossible.

War is the business of death and cannot, if waged successfully, be subject to conditions other than what war demands: killing, torture and the unconditional capitulation and humiliation of the conquered until the devil's thirst has been quenched. It is up to the rational of this world to cease paying the devil his due through the continued sick initiation of one of his favorite pastimes.

Robert Glenn

Spokane, Wash.

Shock and Awe... Again -- As a veteran of the first Gulf War, I am outraged. President Bush has put American troops in positions that no soldier - no human being - should ever have to endure. Our country has truly been compromised by the shock and awe of death and human abuse. I pray that the next president can end this crisis with dignity.

Lee Rozelle

Thorsby, Wash.

Students, Behave! -- I heard some more shocking news. Schoolteachers are quitting their careers because they don't feel safe in classrooms and they have no way to control unruly students who disrupt classes. Educators are too close and don't see an obvious answer. The problem started in the '70s, with the law forbidding corporal punishment in classrooms. It's a good law, but they haven't incorporated alternative means of discipline. Kids in the upper grades now do whatever nasty things they please. Schools get sued for using ordinary discipline.

Schools should set up disciplinary panels of at least three staff members, before which unruly students write and present an acceptable speech relating why in a free society, we have rules that everyone must follow. It needs to happen in a timely fashion such that the offending students are removed from classrooms immediately. As it is now, kids enjoy in-house detention because they get away from regular classes, teachers and annoying students. If they have to personally perform an educational task until they actually succeed, at least they'll graduate with ability to read, write and appear conscientious.

John Scatchard

Spokane, Wash.

Quotes & amp; Notes will return next week

Publication date: 05/20/04

American Original: The Life and Work of John James Audubon @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 19
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