On informed decisions from public discourse
Dear Editor:In a long tradition of American participatory democracy, letters in newspapers permit citizens to view and enter the public dialogue, allowing them to make informed decisions that direct the course of our nation’s future. With this freedom comes the responsibility to speak the truth as we understand it. Criticism of our ideas can be expected, but Rush Limbaugh-style personal attacks and labeling, while amusing, add nothing to the national conversation and only expose the prejudices of the writer.So I respectfully ask my opponents to respond to the issues I bring up in my letters, beginning with proving that the war in Iraq is about anything other than economic gain. I’d be very interested to know exactly how our military is protecting our freedom or spreading democracy. If indeed this is what people believe, let them make a reasonable and convincing argument.For my part, I love being an American and consider myself very lucky. I embrace capitalism wholeheartedly, but not capitalism at any cost, especially not when the cost includes the lives of our soldiers and innocent civilians. I don’t hate the government or anyone in the Bush administration. What I object to is the assertion that the war in Iraq is about WMD or Iraqi liberation or American freedom. Along with many Americans and citizens of other nations, I believe it’s about access to oil and corporate contracts.If the Bush administration would just come clean and tell us the truth, we could debate the real issue. That is; do we enjoy our way of life, the affluence and plenty, the cheap gas, enough to kill and die for it? Maybe we do. In that case we’re on the right track in the Middle East. Or maybe we’d choose to change some things about our country, starting with developing alternate fuels and ending our dependency on foreign oil.In this “government of the people, for the people, by the people,” the choice is ours, but it cannot be made without informed public discourse.Sue GrayCarbondale
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