1. Opinion

We shouldn’t be at war with the truth

Here’s what readers had to say in Wedneday’s letters to the editor.
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter takes off after dropping soldiers in Bagh village of Khakeran Valley, Zabul province, Afghanistan. [TOMAS MUNITA  |  AP]
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter takes off after dropping soldiers in Bagh village of Khakeran Valley, Zabul province, Afghanistan. [TOMAS MUNITA | AP]
Published Dec. 10, 2019

Americans need to hear the truth

In Afghanistan, a U.S. war on truth | Dec. 10

“American officials spoke glowingly of making progress. They were not, and they knew it — but continued to deliberately mislead the American public” is how the secondary headline put it. As Yogi Berra once said, “Déjà vu all over again.” As a product of the Vietnam era, I grew up with this same message about our government constantly misleading the American public about “making progress” while young American boys kept coming home in body bags and more and more families were devastated with the loss of loved ones.

Yet after almost two decades of help to the tune of $83 billion from Washington, the Afghan army and police are still too weak to fend off the Taliban, the Islamic State and other insurgents without U.S. military backup. Anybody who has ever studied the Vietnam fiasco can’t miss the deadly parallel. The only winner in this costly and deadly nightmare is the military-industrial complex. Will we ever learn our lessons about trying to force our morals on a people who really don’t want us there? They just want our money.

At Christmas, with more empty places at the dinner table because of family members taken in the deadly corners of this world where we are not wanted, we have to ask ourselves: Do we want to do this again?

Peter Barton, St. Petersburg

A war without end

In Afghanistan, a U.S. war on truth | Dec. 10

As I read this article, I was reminded of what our government told us during the Vietnam War — and Afghanistan is dragging on even longer. When we entered Afghanistan, I was afraid of this.

Rita Nelson, Hudson

Embarrassed for my party

Rancor erupts as lawyers testify | Dec. 10

Democratic staff attorney Daniel Goldman, right, and Republican staff attorney Steve Castor testify as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) [SUSAN WALSH | AP]

I took a break to rest my ears from the impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives, and I have to say, as a long-time Reagan Republican, I am embarrassed to say I am a Republican today, given the behavior of Reps. Doug Collins, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert and Jim Jordan as they shouted their way through the hearings like little bullies in the schoolyard. I am embarrassed for them, and my ears hurt. What has happened to dignity and decorum among the members who represent “we, the people”?

Ed Coursey, Tampa

Dislike isn’t impeachable

Rancor erupts as lawyers testify | Dec. 10

What happened to treason, bribery and extortion? Democrats have abandoned the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for impeachment in favor of the partisan and vague articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In other words, Democrats are impeaching the duly-elected president of the United States because they disapprove of his behavior and disagree with his policies. Good luck convincing the American people that an impeachment inquiry that denied President Donald Trump the right to confront his accuser was what the founders intended.

John Whelan, Dunedin

Wear a life preserver

Out for a spin | Photo, Dec. 10

From left: Trista Billig, Alora Billig, 4, and Devin Griffith, 14, of Tarpon Springs, race with Benny Wegge, 17, of Woodbury, Minnesota, Luna Billig, 4, of Tarpon Springs, and Alexus Griffith, of Woodbury, Minnesota, on a pair of water trikes while visiting Fred Howard Park on Monday, December 9, 2019, in Tarpon Springs. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | TImes]

In the photo of those six kids, two of them toddlers, racing on water trikes at Fred Howard Park, not one of them had a life preserver on. Not good.

John Waitman, Tarpon Springs


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