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Florida must help stop Iran's nuclear plans

Washington, not Tallahassee, should run U.S. foreign policy Dec. 10, commentary

Florida must help stop Iran

America's national security should never become a partisan issue but rather a chance for all citizens to join together in defending our shared values. That is why, as a lifelong Republican and a retired Army lieutenant colonel, I support state Sen. Ted Deutch, D-Delray Beach, and his efforts to increase our leverage against Iran by searching for ways to end their nuclear program.

Floridians must understand the grave threat that a nuclear armed Iran poses to Israel, our most important ally in the Middle East, and more important, to the United Sates. The despotic Iranian regime has never been coy in its intent; they see a world without Israel and a world without the Untied States. Irrational actors should never be trusted with the most dangerous weapon the world has ever seen, and Floridians should never stand by quietly as it happens.

Professor Peter Fitzgerald, in his op-ed to the St. Petersburg Times, is grossly incorrect when he argues that state elected officials — or average citizens — should accept the edicts of the U.S. Supreme Court as the final decision on any issue. I believe millions of Americans stood up against "separate but equal" much to the chagrin of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition, millions of Americans continue to seek action on issues like abortion, the death penalty and gun rights. The Supreme Court is not a robed oligarchy whose edicts are beyond reproach or question. The beauty of our great nation is that any person has the right to challenge the policies they find offensive. Ours is a government shaped by the people, and our ideas can literally change the world.

The right to petition our government for the redress of grievances is basic constitutional law. It is a right that millions of Americans have given their lives to defend and a right under threat from tyrannical, despotic regimes like Iran's.

Richard M. Swier, Sarasota

Defending America | Dec. 9, letter

Self-defeating tactics

Rather than refuting the numerous fallacies of this letter, I comment only on the last sentence: "Our government and military did what they were supposed to do: protect America."

This is so if protecting our nation is best done by the invasion of a sovereign nation (in violation of international law and our own Constitution, and based on lies) which had caused no damage to us and did not have the capability of so doing in the foreseeable future.

This invasion had the effect of depriving proper and legal activities (destroying Osama bin Laden, his network and the Taliban in Afghanistan and elsewhere) of the resources (political, law enforcement, intelligence and military) required to "protect America."


Jack Wilhite, Clearwater

Fatal failure | Dec. 9, letter

Amazing expertise

I was amazed when I read this. The letter writer knew for a fact there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the war started. Truly amazing.

The Russians thought there were WMDs. The Israelis thought there were WMDs. The British thought there were WMDs. The CIA thought there were WMDs. Saddam Hussein's generals thought there were WMDs. But not the letter writer. She knew better. She knew President Bush was lying.

Maybe Barack Obama needs to get her on his intelligence team. She is obviously more qualified in the intelligence field than the Russians, the British, the Israelis and the CIA.

Who would have thought that an average citizen would know so much about a closed country. Although I must confess that when I was a contractor in Iraq working for the Corps of Engineers destroying captured Iraqi ammunition, we destroyed nerve agent dispensers and several rounds containing nerve gas. But what would I know, I just spent time in Iraq.

Les Rayburn, Dade City

Fatal failure | Dec. 9, letter

Saddam's ruse

The letter writer fails to point out that the intelligence services of several other countries thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Even some who had been leading the inspections were convinced. Later on we learned that some of Saddam Hussein's own generals thought there were WMDs.

One reason that Saddam chose to perpetuate this ruse was that it could discourage Iran from getting into another war with Iraq.

It's great having 20/20 hindsight.

Tom Miller, Clearwater

Here's the truth about my life | Dec. 9, commentary by William Ayers

He's no victim

Now we've heard one side of the story — the delusory side. Will the St. Petersburg Times give the families of those victimized by Ayers' group equal time to give their views? It is highly doubtful.

The man got off on a technicality and should be in jail. In the meantime he does share views with Barack Obama, socialist views. Why are we giving this rat who has said they should have done more bombings, and has stood with dirty shoes on the American flag, the time of day let alone the newspaper space to proclaim himself the real victim?

We should be calling for a boycott of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is employed.

Claude Hensley, Clearwater

Here's the truth about my life | Dec. 9, commentary by William Ayers

Cultivating fear

While I agree that the McCain campaign's attempt to link Barack Obama to Bill Ayers as close "pals" was just another example of the irresponsible smear tactics used during the most recent presidential election, I find Ayers' claim that he was not a terrorist to be egregiously self-serving and revisionist.

Yes, during the Vietnam War thousands of America's young servicemen were dying. The country was in turmoil; citizens felt helpless and angry. However, the idea that violence — or a "screaming response" — will somehow serve to abolish violence is dangerous and absurd.

That only those associated with the Weather Underground were killed or injured by the group's actions was a happy accident, nothing more. People who build and detonate bombs with the intention of cultivating fear are terrorists. Bill Ayers was a terrorist and is unrepentant to this day, no matter how he tries to justify himself.

Kim Holland, Safety Harbor

We don't need more partisan sniping | Dec. 7, letter

Look who was sniping

I am amazed at the letter writer's admonishment of Jeb Bush for suggesting a "shadow government" to counter the liberal Democrats, and that for the good of the country we do not need partisan sniping.

Where was the letter writer for the last eight years of the nastiest Bush- bashing partisan sniping by the left-wing liberals and the liberal media that crippled our nation into paralyzed bickering? Now that the shoe is on the other foot you cry foul! Well you will have to learn to live with the partisan monster you bred and nourished, so get over it.

James Robinson, Lithia

Most aspirin now made in China Nov. 25

Hard to swallow

I thought by now someone else would have commented on an item last month in the People's Pharmacy column in the Lifetimes section of your paper.

The item pointed out the fact that most generic aspirin is now made in China. Most people are not aware of this. In addition to generic aspirin, the item also stated that many over-the-counter medications as well as prescription drugs now come from manufacturers in China, India or other parts of Asia.

I am very concerned about this, especially after all the news about the contamination of pet foods and infant formula, not to mention the other contaminants found in products we have imported from China and Asia.

Why does our government allow this? Are there no drug manufacturers in this country anymore? Are we going to allow this to happen until our people are poisoned? I think the government is too lax and cannot test every medication that is imported to be sure it is free of contamination. I don't have the answer. Does anyone?

S. Snyder, Pinellas Park

Florida must help stop Iran's nuclear plans 12/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 15, 2008 2:43pm]
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