to more war
Editor of the Reformer:
Instead of bombing Syria, it would be more prudent to give the so-called "Free Syrian Army" stocks of sarin nerve gas -- or the ingredients for making same -- like we did for Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War (1980-88), when Saddam gassed tens-of-thousands of Iranians (without a peep from us because Iran, of course, was our enemy) and thousands of Kurds.
Although the regime of Bashar al-Assad is brutal, nevertheless, it did protect the Christians, not to mention his own Alawits, plus the Shia and Ismaili sects of Islam, against the intolerant fanaticism of many of the Sunnis, especially of the Shafii persuasion (other Sunni sects, such as the Hanafi, Hanbali and Moliki, follow a more tolerant theological line); considering the alternative, many of the latter have sided with the al-Assad regime.
It is pure folly to involve ourselves directly in this civil war. If our senators and congressman vote to give Pres. Obama and the military-industrial complex a carte blanche, then we should remember to hold them accountable several years down the line, after the situation has spiraled out of control and ignited the entire region in a general war. By then, hundreds-of-thousands of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters will be on the ground, and bogged down, in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, etc., and the price at the pumps will be $7 to $10, or even more, per gallon.
It is better to stay out of this fratricidal civil war. The world of Islam now seems to be going through the process we did during the 15th through 17th centuries, when the struggle between Protestantism and Catholicism became so murderous that whole regions of Central Europe were depopulated. It was only when both sides exhausted themselves, and the struggle degenerated from a purely religious to a largely political basis, that both sides came to a de facto truce. We can better use our own resources in researching and developing alternative and renewable sources of energy.
Michael N. Landis,
Guilford, Sept. 4
Editor of the Reformer:
You have heard the story before -- about Irene and what sometimes happens when catastrophe strikes once isolated communities. Especially in Vermont.
Was it only two weeks ago Rock River neighbors were joined by their community friends from Newfane and further afield in the second (now annual) celebration of a remarkable recovery from Tropical Storm Irene, back in 2011? Brought together again by Chris Triebert and Carol Ross to honor the emergency responders on-the-spot, Fire Chief Steve Jones and his Assistant Todd Brown with so many others from the town’s crews including neighbors helping neighbors, it was a wonder that there was anyone left who was not already participating in the "revival" parade itself or in the musical celebration following the parade on land donated for this gathering of friends next to the old South Newfane Community Schoolhouse. Here was a larger community that once again regathered, people from several different valleys of residence and of thinking , who had come to each other’s rescue. The day was splendid, unlike that of two years ago.d
Last weekend a similar deluge of rainfall hit a more isolated section of the Rock, repeating there some of the same catastrophic damage created by Irene. This time the isolated nature of the devastation was not immediately known except by residents caught above the washed out roadbed and town crews. Once again Mother Nature has not been kind, especially since the larger community of helpers cannot help. The extreme vagaries of our new weather patterns should not pull us apart from one another.
South Newfane, Sept. 3