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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, June 10, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Midway deserved its special praise

Your Memorial Day edition contained an op-ed by David Broder on the new World War II memorial. In his commentary, Mr. Broder noted that "many battles are named along the bases of the twin arches, but only the battle of Midway is singled out for praise."

In his excellent commentary in the October 2003 edition of Naval History, former secretary of defense James Schlesinger points out that our Navy's spectacular victory at Midway permitted President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to carry out their grand strategy of getting rid of Hitler first.

If we had lost that battle, the United States would have had to concentrate its resources on the war in the Pacific and as a result, "there would have been no D-Day on June 6, 1944."

It has also occurred to me that President Truman may have then felt it necessary to authorize the use of several additional atomic bombs to bring the war to a close in 1946 and thereby minimize additional U.S. and allied casualties.

Our Navy's victory at Midway on June 4, 1942, is one of the three or four great naval battles, going back to the victory of the Greek naval forces over the Persians in 480 B.C., that turned the tide of history. I am very glad that our new World War II memorial calls particular attention to our Navy's finest moment at Midway.

Alan Lloyd
Volunteer historian, USS Missouri Memorial Association

President had to act against a failing policy

David Shapiro's piece demanding accountability for Iraq in the June 2 paper is proof positive that columnists shouldn't write while spitting mad. Contempt and anger seldom achieve anything useful.

While Shapiro may be correct that the Bush administration poorly planned the war and its aftermath, this point is totally buried by one illogical, unsupported assertion after another: "presidential dishonesty" (where's the proof of that?), "Vietnam-like quagmire" (differences between Vietnam and Iraq are many and obvious), and, worst of all, "a conflict in which we had no compelling national interest." Rarely has a compelling national interest been clearer.

When Bush came into office, our containment of Iraq was on a short road to failure, thanks to our "allies," the French, Russians and Germans with support from the Chinese and the U.N. managers of the corrupt Oil for Food program. The suffering of the Iraqi people and the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia inflamed the religious zealots throughout the region and most certainly aided al-Qaida recruiting.

Presented with a failing policy, the Bush administration had two choices: withdraw from Saudi Arabia or take action to finally end the 1991 Gulf War. If we had withdrawn, who in his right mind would argue that Saddam would not have gone on to re-establish his WMD stockpiles and to build nuclear weapons? He definitely had the money and scientific programs in place to do both, and, given Iran's efforts to obtain nukes, he would very likely have done so out of self-protection, if nothing else.

The probable end result of this race for nuclear arms between a Stalin wannabe and Iran, a certified terrorist state, would have been an unbearable degree of instability right on top of most of the world's proven oil reserves.

It makes more sense to fight before our national survival is at stake.

Jeff Pace

Pedestrians must look out for own safety

Moke Strassberg (Letters, May 28) wrote, "A crosswalk is an area in which pedestrians should certainly have a realistic expectation that they are safe."

While streets are made for cars, I realize pedestrians have to use them, too. However, pedestrians should use common sense.

I remember police officer William Smith's words to our precinct club 50 years ago: "Teach your children to look when they are crossing the street. Tell them that just because they are in a crosswalk, iron bars will not suddenly come out of the pavement and protect them. Teach them to look."

Olga Waterhouse

Open Kolekole Pass

Regarding a second way out of the Wai'anae Coast: I think Kolekole Pass should be opened. It's about time the military and government stopped being so paranoid. There are no terrorists over there. Finally, the view of the Leeward Coast from the top of the pass is probably great. And, there's no road around Ka'ena Point.

Clyde Starbuck

Lingle has a right to be proud of her heritage

Following your editorial condemning Gov. Linda Lingle's trip to Israel and a slew of letters for and against your position, please allow me to add a few thoughts on the subject.

It is a virtual rite of passage for an ethnic politician in the United States to travel back to the country of his or her ancestry.

Usually the trips are unremarkable except for the photos beamed back home showing a political figure wearing a silly hat, smiling weakly while forced to dance a long-forgotten, yet mandatory, folk dance. But not this time and not this governor.

I could not recall condemnations about Gov. Ben Cayetano's trip to the Philippines, a country known for official graft and corruption as well as ongoing civil war with both sides accusing each other of atrocities. Equally, I missed your editorial condemning Gov. Ariyoshi's visit to Japan. Remember Pearl Harbor?

Foreign policy is a responsibility of the State Department. Individual states as well as private citizens are expressly verboten by the law (look it up — the Logan Act) to engage in foreign policy on behalf of the U.S.A. So why the bile and venom directed at the governor? In the absence of any rational explanation, it's because she is a Jew. Jewish politicians should be required to hide their ancestry and to be ashamed lest they be condemned by the anti-Semitic fringe.

It is sad to see how the radical left is becoming a home for the anti-Semitic venom. The governor has a right to be proud of who she is and act accordingly.

Gregory G. Sheindlin
Salt Lake

Disciplinary action procedure lacking

Regarding Peter Fong, the Kaiser doctor who pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for importing illicit drugs from Canada: Being interested in what kind of disciplinary action the medical board is taking, I checked into the history of complaints on his medical license through the Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO). It shows a still-pending complaint filed in 2002.

I called the RICO office and was told the complaint was filed by a consumer and has been turned over to the legal section for investigation. No further information is available while the matter is under review (which I understand), but what disturbs me is that this complaint had to be filed by a consumer.

I called Constance Cabral, executive officer of the Hawai'i Board of Medical Examiners, because I was concerned the matter wouldn't have been addressed at all if a consumer hadn't complained. She said complaints go through RICO and the board only sees what RICO passes on to it, and that the medical board may not ever have the chance to review a case if RICO closes it.

She said she was aware of the Fong case, but she couldn't be specific while the investigation is under way. She stated she didn't know of any procedure RICO follows to initiate an investigation when a doctor is accused or convicted of a crime and a consumer complaint has not been filed. She referred me back to RICO, but no one there seemed to know either.

It's scary that unless a consumer happens to read the paper that day and file a complaint, there may be no RICO investigation and our Board of Medical Examiners may never review the offending physician's competency to continue practicing medicine in the state of Hawai'i.

Cristy Wolf
Administrator, Kaiser Papers Hawaii

Several reasons for soccer, basketball

Regarding the June 3 article on the NFL youth clinic: The reasons 10 million U.S. kids play soccer and basketball versus 2.8 million for American football are both economic and demographic:

  • Both sports require minimal equipment.
  • Both sports have worldwide popularity.
  • Both sports provide excellent aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.
  • Both sports are essentially nonviolent in nature.
  • Both sports are fun.

Paul Perretta

Enlightenment needed

The state needs to educate people about roundabouts before fights erupt.

While I was driving through Salt Lake's new roundabout, another driver forced his car in front of me, then stopped and screamed, "We're supposed to take turns, (profanity omitted)!"

How difficult is the concept of yielding to traffic on your left? Maybe the state's driving test should be updated to include a roundabout situation.

Ryan Fujikawa
Salt Lake

'One-stop' plan deserved fate

Thank you for your editorial regarding the mayor's proposal for a "one-stop" homeless center that is no longer being funded in this year's city budget.

As chairperson of Partners in Care, O'ahu's homeless continuum of care coalition, I would like to join Rebecca Anderson of Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i and Lynn Maunakea of the Institute of Human Services in expressing my belief that the proposal should not have been funded and that we must work toward a more permanent solution.

First, the mayor's proposal emphasizing emergency and temporary shelter flies in the face of accepted best practices and local planning. Recent national research is showing that emergency shelters are not the best solution for moving chronically homeless individuals and families off the street and into permanent housing.

In the last few years, research demonstrates that even severely mentally ill individuals can be successfully moved from the streets into their own homes with the proper support. PIC and the Homeless Policy Academy, two local planning groups working to end homelessness, have developed plans emphasizing permanent housing. This emphasis conforms to priorities of federal funding, which increasingly stress that municipalities must prioritize permanent housing and give additional funds to cities that do.

Second, the proposed homeless center included no dedicated funding for operations. Currently, all sources of federal and state funding for homelessness are completely committed to existing projects. So, where would operating funds for this project have come from? They would have had to come from existing programs. The mayor's center would not be added to the existing array of services, but would, in fact, take funding away from already existing programs.

It is time for all sectors of the community to work toward permanent solutions to the ever-growing problems of homelessness and lack of affordable housing within our communities.

Darlene W. Hein
Chairperson, Partners In Care