Quantcast
Advertisement

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, May 21, 2006

European and Mideast editions

(EDITOR’S NOTE: These are the letters that appeared in each edition of Stripes on this publication date. Click here to jump ahead to the Pacific edition letters)

This Mustang no lemon

I read “ ‘Lemon’ Mustangs leaving a sour taste” (May 17) with interest as I am the proud owner of a 2005 Mustang GT. I also bought mine from the Ramstein’s Exchange New Car Sales. I, too, had the refueling problem ... right from the first fill-up. I took mine to the Schwaben Garage (Ford dealership in Vaihingen, Germany) and they installed a new gas tank. I have not had a single problem refueling since. In fact, I have had this car for about 15 months and it has performed flawlessly since the fuel tank was replaced.

My experience with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service New Car Sales at Ramstein was very enjoyable. This Mustang is the third car I have purchased from AAFES since arriving in Germany as a contractor in 1999 (a 1999 Mustang, a 2002 Mustang GT and the 2005 Mustang GT). I thought you would enjoy hearing from someone who had a positive experience with this issue.

John Tucker
Stuttgart, Germany

South deserves respect

I am a soldier currently serving my second tour in Iraq, and I am willing to give my life for my country. While the writer of the letter “He’s not a peace symbol” (May 10) makes some great observations about the anti-war movement, he cannot resist attacking the South. “Jim Crow” laws also existed in 14 northern states for those “80 years.” Slavery and racism are just as wrong north of the Mason-Dixon Line as they are south of it.

If the War Between the States was only about freeing slaves, why wasn’t a new government installed in Richmond and the Confederate States of America allowed to keep its independence, like here in Iraq? If the occupation of the South after the war was all about ending slavery and racism, how come those aforementioned northern states were not occupied by U.S. forces?

How come the South gets repeatedly bashed over slavery and racism, and a free pass is given to northern racists, slaveholders and slave traders who profited from slavery? How many more southerners have to serve and shed blood on behalf of the U.S., in addition to the millions who already have since Reconstruction, before we are accepted in American society as other ethnic groups are? When can we be allowed to celebrate our heritage, just as other ethnic groups do (such as Native Americans, who were also at war with the U.S. and were almost wiped off the map) without being harassed by bigots?

If we are that hated, why keep us in the Union? Is it so we could provide “y’all” with a group of Americans to legally bash and despise? How about practicing the tolerance you preach?

Staff Sgt. William A. Cole
FOB Liberty, Iraq

Constitutional view off base

“If the Founders had imbibed the strong gun-rights ideology that drives today’s gun debate we would all be drinking tea and singing, ‘God Save our Gracious Queen.’ ” So claimed Professor Saul Cornell in his May 12 Opinion column “Determining the upshot of the Second Amendment.”

Ignoring the obviously pernicious bromides contained within the piece (the specter of “gun violence,” etc.), anyone with a basic grounding in American Civics could point out our Founders made clear distinctions within the Bill of Rights when referring to “the People” and “the State.”

For example, if Cornell’s interpretation of the Second Amendment were valid, then the First Amendment’s “right of the people peaceably to assemble” would only pertain to National Guard meetings. Or does the Fourth Amendment’s “right of the people” to “freedom from unreasonable searches” only guarantee the security of National Guard facilities? Lastly, how would one determine the 10th Amendment’s division of power if we accepted Cornell’s tortured reasoning? “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Integrity demands the troops be provided a balance to such intellectual dishonesty. Might I suggest running in Stars and Stripes one of the many pieces Professor John Lott has penned on the Second Amendment, as opposed to anachronistic attacks upon that which we defend?

Gary S. Morris
LSA Anaconda, Iraq

Uniform shortages not fixed

My unit started receiving the new Army Combat Uniform in the summer of 2005. We were told the priority went to units about to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan. Initially, we were not allowed to wear them in garrison due to the fact that the wear and tear on them might be substantial and there were no replacements available at the time.

However, not everyone in the unit received them due to odd sizes or hard-to-find sizes. Some people received only the pants, or maybe a hat, but were told to wait until more came in before they could get a complete set.

Fast-forward to May 2006 and here we are in Iraq. Many people in my unit still don’t have complete uniforms.

Now the supply system has caught up and replacements for the uniforms that have already worn out are here, but the original shortages from a year prior haven’t been filled. How is it that I can see civilians here wearing them, or Iraqi interpreters wearing them, but we still can’t get them down to the soldiers? Am I missing something?

Timothy Gray
Camp Taji, Iraq

Pacific edition

Constitutional view off base

“If the Founders had imbibed the strong gun-rights ideology that drives today’s gun debate we would all be drinking tea and singing, ‘God Save our Gracious Queen.’ ” So claimed Professor Saul Cornell in his May 12 Opinion column “Determining the upshot of the Second Amendment.”

Ignoring the obviously pernicious bromides contained within the piece (the specter of “gun violence,” etc.), anyone with a basic grounding in American Civics could point out our Founders made clear distinctions within the Bill of Rights when referring to “the People” and “the State.”

For example, if Cornell’s interpretation of the Second Amendment were valid, then the First Amendment’s “right of the people peaceably to assemble” would only pertain to National Guard meetings. Or does the Fourth Amendment’s “right of the people” to “freedom from unreasonable searches” only guarantee the security of National Guard facilities? Lastly, how would one determine the 10th Amendment’s division of power if we accepted Cornell’s tortured reasoning? “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Integrity demands the troops be provided a balance to such intellectual dishonesty. Might I suggest running in Stars and Stripes one of the many pieces Professor John Lott has penned on the Second Amendment, as opposed to anachronistic attacks upon that which we defend?

Shame on ‘religious’ protests

I am the widow of a veteran of the Navy (two wars, WWII and Korea) and both of our sons have been military, one 11 years in the Air Force, the other 20 years in Coast Guard and now a civilian employee of the Coast Guard in Sitka, Alaska.

I am so proud that the oldest son has joined the Patriot Guard in Sacramento, Calif. He was outraged at these so-called “religious” protests. I have viewed their [Westboro Baptist Church] Web site, filled with Bible verses, even charts listing all the people killed by God for their wickedness. In all their quotations, I found none that give them, or anyone else, the right to act as judges of others, or to assume that God had appointed them to be his instrument of vengeance against “sinful” America in this shameful way. I doubt they will “convert” any gay people in this way. They have certainly repulsed me from their so-called cause.

My husband died from injuries suffered on a job after an industrial accident. If he had come home deceased after military duty, and people like these had insulted him and our family in the ways of the WBC, I think we would have been terribly distressed. I am so sorry for the pain of these victimized families. They have done nothing to deserve this sort of abuse.

While I am not in favor of the gay lifestyle in any way, or of weakening the Constitution where anyone's freedoms are concerned, I am proud of the Congress for their action, and also of the Patriot Guard.

It is such a tragedy that the WBC folks fail to see that these men died so they can have the freedoms that they enjoy. I have an opinion of what God must think as he observes their actions. Thanks be to God for all our military.

Carolyn McElrath
Nocona, Texas


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement