Letters to the editor

Avoid foreign entanglements

The traditional historic worldview of the Republican Party was to avoid entangling alliances and maintain a strong navy to guarantee trade with foreign nations. Teddy Roosevelt commissioned the Great White Fleet to protect our limited overseas territories like Hawaii. Such possessions were valued for coal refueling stations and their deep ports for our ships. Territorial ambitions were largely confined to the Manifest Destiny ideal of one nation from Atlantic to Pacific.

How, then, did 21st century neocons George Bush No. 43, Dick Cheney, John McCain and Fox infotainment darling John Bolton stray so far from the orthodox GOP position and involve the U.S. in the strategic and military disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan? Answer: They got a lot of inspiration from 20th century Democrats.

Woodrow Wilson plunged the U.S. into the heart of European animosities in World War I by pledging to make the world “safe for democracy” by fighting “the war to end all wars.”

FDR collaborated with Winston Churchill on the Four Freedoms appeal to the vanquished of World War II.

JFK’s inaugural address promised the U.S. would “pay any price, bear any burden to further the cause of liberty around the world.” Kennedy’s successor LBJ tooled all these ideals and escalated our involvement in Vietnam, resulting in catastrophic American losses in lives, money and world opinion. McCain served heroically in that conflict. The same cannot be said for Bush, Cheney and Bolton.

The GOP had begun a foreign policy transformation during the Cold War. Fearing the spread of Communism, more Republicans argued for aggressive foreign policy to stamp out the Red Menace. They embraced the Domino Theory argument that if Vietnam falls, the coast of California will be next. It fell. Any Viet Cong sightings around Malibu or the Golden Gate Bridge lately?

Following 9/11 the neocon pit crew used erroneous assumptions about WMDs and a Mideast welcoming party for our troops. The results are reminiscent of Vietnam.

Republicans would be advised to stick to their roots. America needs more Teddy Roosevelts and fewer George Bush No. 43s, along with fewer Vietnams, Iraqs and Afghanistans.

Ed Engler


Another teapublican tirade

I was encouraged by Millie Grimes’ letter concerning the “economy.” Sadly it turned out to be a tirade on the “teapublicans.”

As to her version of the economy, we are living in the greatest of times. Her recital about the number of jobs which have been dramatically created, 52 months of “private sector” job growth, really makes one feel great to think of how our economy and country are growing. But why do we have 40 million people on food stamps?

According to her, the “teapublicans” are angry because of this upsurge in this Utopian economy. Then I look at my country and feel it is going down the tube. $17-plus trillion in debt. The cost of food keeps going up every week with a hamburger at $4 per pound and milk also $4 per gallon. And to top this off the county wants to raise the sales tax.

Our country is being overrun by illegal immigrants, who are not just Hispanics but from all countries including the Middle East, whose primary concern is to destroy us and our country.

Reality keeps me from enjoying Millie’s world but I am glad that she enjoys the world we are living in today.

Dick Ford