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Reason for optimism

Dear Editor:This is a continuation of my Dec. 28 letter, “The state of the world.”The next place we visit is Central America, where there has not been a revolution for many years. One of the reasons is that Castro is so isolated that he can’t make mischief in that part of the Americas. South America is fairly stable and free enterprise has a strong grip. Democracy is continuing to emerge.Our next stop is South Africa. Here again is a miracle in our times. The bloodiest civil war that could have taken place in the last century never happened. Everyone, particularly the whites, came to their senses and realized that the majority should rule. Are there economic and political problems? Of course, but that’s from growth and emergence. While Central Africa is disturbing, the United Nations is moving now to quiet the internal and external wars of the Central African states.Our next stop is Europe and here we find the European Union, which is extremely strong and successful with little likelihood of another German war. The Balkans, which has been an incendiary region for wars, is now occupied by NATO.As we continue on to the Middle East, we see that America has put its big foot in the Middle East. The American Army can look to the west and keep an eye on Syria, to the east, Iran. There is much reason to be optimistic about developments between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel with its new unity government is moving to begin the deoccupation of the West Bank. It is a painful process, but it must take place if there is to be a meaningful, fair and just peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Another cause for optimism is the Arab states. Several years ago, at a meeting of the Arab League, it was announced that when there is a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, they will end their state of war against Israel and recognize its right to exist.I see a glass that’s half full, and for those who see the same glass and tell me it’s half empty and wish to point out to me all of the troubled regions of the world, with distrust and the terrorist activities, I say yes, but numerically, less people are dying, certainly percentage-wise, than ever in the history of the world. Thousands of years ago, all countries were determined to have wars with their neighbors, near or far. They were largely for economic gain, acquiring property and natural resources of their victims and creating slavery. In those days, they didn’t have football, baseball, politics or other things to occupy their minds. What has evolved today is a world more civilized than ever.Another reason to be optimistic about the future of the planet is because the bad guys are dead – Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Arafat (may Allah have mercy on his soul), and Saddam Hussein is in the slammer. There is much pressure on North Korea and Iran to control their desires for atomic weapons.So, my friends, if I haven’t put you to sleep, there is much reason for optimism now and in the future. God bless America and those who seek peace.Richard GoodwinSnowmass Village