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The Public Pulse, September 7

The Public Pulse, September 7

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Hard to be sure about anything Syrian

The current crisis in Syria brings to mind five things we know and don’t know (with apologies to World-Herald sportswriters for borrowing the phrase):

We know that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a ruthless totalitarian whose removal we should welcome. His regime represents a minority segment of the Syrian population. He should be held accountable for large losses of civilian life since the rebellion in Syria started in 2012. He is an ally of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, and chemical weapons have been used against the Syrian people and will likely be used again.

At the same time, we don’t know if the Assad regime will be toppled by limited U.S. military actions. If such actions will increase support of the regime by Hezbollah, Iran, Russia or China. If the rebel leadership succeeding Assad will respect and further human rights for all Syrians. Or whether an ousted Assad regime will be taken in by a wayward nation and shielded from international legal accountability.

Finally, we also don’t have the answer to an increasingly important question: Is democracy as we know it even possible in the Middle East outside the confines of Israel?

Paul Berg, Bellevue

Kerry’s Syria stance conflicts with past

Isn’t it ironic that the Vietnam War protester who asked at a 1971 U.S. Senate hearing, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”, threw away the medals he earned and protested the war with “Hanoi Jane” Fonda is now advising the president and Congress that it’s time to jump into a war in Syria?

How can U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wake up in the morning and look at himself in the mirror? It appears he will do anything or say anything necessary to further his political ambitions.

Ken Krzycki, Papillion

Congress’ Syria vote a challenge for Terry

Has Congressman Lee Terry painted himself into a corner on Syria?

At an Aug. 29 town-hall meeting, Terry told his constituents that President Obama needed to consult Congress before attacking Syria and that he is “reluctant to involve the U.S. military in the civil war in Syria.”

Now, House Speaker John Boehner has come out in favor of allowing the president to attack Syria. So will Lee Terry finally break with his party? This will be interesting.

Jay Grabow, Omaha

Impeachment dream a hateful waste

There is not a hint of “high crimes” or “misdemeanors” on the part of President Obama. Yet, there are those in the House of Representatives who waste their time trying to gin up reasons for impeachment.

It becomes more and more obvious that this impeachment talk, as well as the cry of the “birthers,” is motivated solely by racism. There are those who just cannot stand the fact that an African-American man, whose mother was a white woman from Kansas, could have won two elections and is the president of the United States.

Don’t people see that this is destructive to our nation? It is hurtful to all of us. Whenever we try to limit one group, we ultimately limit all.

The pall of hatred and prejudice must stop. People should contact their representatives in Congress and ask them to stop the nonsense and to implore their fellow congressmen and -women to do the same.

There is work to be done, and some of them foolishly spend their days not only on this impeachment nonsense but on obstructing every effort on the part of the president to govern. They are committed to seeing him fail, thinking it will make them look good. It makes them look like fools.

Peg O’Dea Lippert, Papillion

Solution is enforcement, not reform

The Aug. 30 World-Herald had an article, “Midlands bishops join call for changes in immigration.” We have long had immigration laws, just as we have gun laws. The problem is that the laws are not enforced.

Our elected officials love to create laws and look busy. What a waste if the laws are not enforced. Just another example of government inefficiency.

Diane Davis, Omaha

Stop slide toward legalizing marijuana

Every parent in America should be outraged by the Obama administration’s new promotion of marijuana (“Marijuana policy shift: States get federal green light to create their own rules,” Aug. 30 World-Herald).

When the U.S. Justice Department disobeys federal laws and treaties and encourages marijuana to be regulated like alcohol and tobacco, it completely ignores the fact that society cannot and has never been able to effectively keep alcohol or tobacco away from vulnerable children. Why would the administration want to encourage even more children to try another dangerous and addictive drug?

Even as today’s scholars and scientists scoff at past generations for blindly accepting the outrageous marketing lies of the tobacco industry, why is the heavily funded campaign of the marijuana industry somehow now believable?

Some will scream that we have lost the war on drugs anyway. But we must remember that the marijuana industry has become more and more relentless in its promotion and marketing of its addictive drug. Very few resources are left to fight this industry.

As parents face the loss of a new generation of children to the real dangers of marijuana, should we not also ask if campaign contributions by marijuana legalization supporters such as George Soros are being paid back by this lame-duck administration?

Susie Dugan, Omaha

Drug prevention consultant

Family appreciates end-of-life care

The staff at Methodist Hospital, Estabrook Cancer Center, Life Care Center of Elkhorn, Millard Good Samaritan Home and Westgate Assisted Living gave amazing care to my dad, Bob Antholz, this year.

They were all professional, caring and knowledgeable. They helped ease Dad into his final transition and come to terms with the end of his life.

We appreciate everything that they did, even though it wasn’t always easy to care for him. While we all would have loved to have had him around longer, we are comforted to know that he was surrounded by such caring professionals during his last days.

Marty Antholz, Omaha

For the family of Robert D. Antholz

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