Obama should heed general's advice
Soldiers are getting killed. There are massive Taliban offensives.
President Barack Obama's lead general in the region said weeks ago that he needed more troops — or we'd be facing failure in Afghanistan.
Weeks have gone by since then, all while President Obama thinks about it and mulls it over. I guess soldiers, like the ones who died last weekend, can wait while our president continues to put a decision on the back burner. After all, we have to understand he's a busy man trying to keep up his celebrity schedule of flying around the globe with Oprah Winfrey, coming in dead last in the Olympic sweepstakes and trading barbs with David Letterman.
I'm sorry, but it's a no-brainer that you follow the advice of your No. 1 general and send in more troops. If you don't, throw in the towel and get our troops out of harm's way, leave in failure and hand the Taliban a huge victory banner on our way out.
Jim Bullard, St. Petersburg
Before getting "bogged down" any further in Afghanistan, there should be a full public discussion as to what vital American interests are at stake.
The proponents of the war have recycled the old Vietnam Domino Theory: If Afghanistan falls, Pakistan falls, the Taliban or Osama bin Laden invades America.
Thirty years after the fall of Vietnam we are doing business with the Vietnamese and they have still not invaded the United States.
If after expending enormous amounts of money and blood we establish a Jeffersonian democracy in Afghanistan, what is to prevent bin Laden or the Taliban or whomever from just moving to Somalia or some other Third World hellhole.
Let us spend our resources on protecting our borders!
Randell Hafner, Seminole
Blowing billions on a questionable war
I read where Sarah Palin is voicing her opinion on the Afghanistan war. She says it's "not the time for cold feet, second thoughts or indecision." Palin wants to send in more troops. (If Palin is worried about cold feet she should move to Florida.)
Some of our generals keep saying that more troops are needed to win. What else are they going to say? That's their job.
I'd like to remind Palin we sent extra troops into Iraq, spent billions, trained thousands of Iraqis, and what did we win? When President George W. Bush started the Iraq war, he said Iraqi oil would pay for the war. It would only be a short war. The way he talked we should have been able to pay for it with petty cash.
Now the country is broke and Palin wants to continue to spend billions on a war that she knows nothing about.
Dominic Grillo, Dunedin
Don't blame Obama
I do not understand why the media and/or the political right continue to blame President Barack Obama for the war in Afghanistan. The war was started eight years ago by then-President George W. Bush.
Obama has been in office for less than a year, yet the sense of blame toward him could not be more palpable. Rome wasn't built in a day, and he didn't start the fire.
Jenna Partin, Tampa
Ending it would be a patriot's act | Oct. 4, Robyn Blumner column
Butt out consistently
Help! I'm almost agreeing with Robyn Blumner. She and I both think the government's vastly expanded ability to intrude on the private affairs of citizens (via the Patriot Act) is a frightening development.
But then she gets back in character, saying that "principled consistency" is not a strong suit of the "Dittoheads" who favor government butting out of health care while opposing government butting out of snooping into people's lives. But it's "principled consistency" to favor, as Blumner does, the government butting into health care while opposing the government butting into our private lives?
No, "principled consistency" would be to want the government to butt out of health care, and snooping, and a thousand other places where the Constitution forbids it to tread.
Peter C. Ray, Parrish
Nobel Peace Prize
Choice was not the best
Congrats to President Barack Obama for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. He represents a decisive change in the image of America abroad, for peace and multilateral diplomacy. He is an eloquent and captivating speaker.
But talk is different from action. How can a person receive this peace prize when he may send 40,000 or more troops to Afghanistan? How can a person receive this peace prize when he is delaying the closing of the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay? How can a person receive this peace prize when he is still allowing Israel to continue its crimes against Palestinians?
Had the prize been awarded to another nominee who is less well known, he or she could have gained attention along with their issue. Everyone knows about Obama already!
The present Norwegian Nobel Committee should have made a better selection.
Nora Zaki, Lithia
Nobel Peace Prize
Value is diminished
Hope springs eternal and I fervently hope that one day President Barack Obama's actions will be judged worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.
For now, however, the Nobel committee has diminished the value of past and future peace prizes.
Ray Reeves, Largo
Nobel Peace Prize
Outrage on the right
Since the announcement that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I can only imagine Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and other pro-war, pro-torture and pro-Bush Republicans with spit flying out of their mouths as they voice their rage and shake their fists in the air.
Ah, what a wonderful scene that is.
Bill Fanning, Hudson
College for $99 a month | Oct. 4
This is truly an idea for our era. Traditional college is fast becoming a luxury for even young adults with parental support. While there are programs for "experienced learners" at most colleges today, the cost per credit hour and the time required to complete a four-year degree still represent a barrier to many older students seeking to get a degree.
I look forward to seeing more about this interesting option as it evolves.
Cathy Wilson, St. Petersburg
UF to help study the benefits of elderly activity | Oct. 8
Please tell me it was a misprint that $60 million of stimulus money was given to the University of Florida to study the benefits of exercise as we age.
Everyone knows healthy eating and moderate exercise are good — it's been studied endlessly.
How about giving our tax dollars back to us so we can renew our gym memberships.
Dr. Lori Degaetano, Largo