Benghazi doesn’t inspire confidence
On Sept. 12, 2012, President Barack Obama stood with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Rose Garden. He said the United States condemned the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and vowed to bring the killers of four Americans to justice.
So far, all we have are bungled communications and nothing to support the president’s promise of “justice will be done.”
Now the president seeks support of both Congress and fellow Americans for a targeted military strike against the Assad regime and its use of chemical weapons.
If Obama pulls the trigger on this strike, with or without congressional support, his execution must be better than what’s been accomplished since Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were slain in Benghazi.
Craig Collins, Bennington
Syria debate reflects fractious nation
I love this country and have always believed in our democratic system of electing the representatives who lead this great country. Unfortunately, on Election Day, many Americans decide to shirk their responsibility and don’t participate.
The result is the same tired politicians in positions of power, which in turn means we have a broken system. We are stuck with representatives who make decisions based on the next election, not what is good for this country. Their first loyalty is to themselves, followed by loyalty to their political party.
This is evident in the debate on Syria. Representatives who historically oppose war suddenly support military action, whereas representatives who normally support military action are not supportive because of which party holds the presidency.
We have become so divided in this country that we are starting to dislike friends and family because we don’t agree politically. I blame this on the current leadership, both Republican and Democrat.
The ideal term limits are elections. Since we can’t be trusted to do the right thing and vote out the “status quo,” we need built-in controls to help us out. Too bad the folks who need to put term limits in place are the same tired politicians who love the status quo.
Craig Smith, Bellevue
Diplomacy, war in Syria both perilous
In 1938, the phrase “peace for our time” was spoken by Neville Chamberlain, British prime minister, after he signed the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler. This false sense of peace and miscalculation was one factor in Germany’s quest for war in Europe.
Now we are at a time and place in the Middle East where a wider war is possible. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are meeting this week to seek a verifiable diplomatic solution.
Russia has proposed one solution: removing all chemical weapons from Syria under international supervision. However, Russia already has balked at France’s resolution before the United Nations Security Council.
If the war spreads, it will become a proxy war between two nuclear powers: the United States and Russia. The underlying interests are Israel sending a message to Iran, and the free flow of oil in the Middle East. Russia’s interests are Bashar al-Assad staying in power and access to warm-water naval ports.
The world can only hope that we don’t miscalculate again (a word we’ve heard often).
Stan Tuckson, Bellevue
Omaha leaders should play by the rules
Why do we have so many Omaha leaders who have difficulty telling “right” from “wrong”?
Last year, it was the fiasco with Freddie Gray and the Omaha school board. Now, it’s Jamie Gutierrez Mora and the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority’s residency requirements.
In my book, if you are asked direct questions about residency and you fill out forms saying you live in Omaha but really live elsewhere, it’s a direct lie and this talk about changing the rules is just bogus cover.
Let’s stop the cronyism, folks.
Steve Molini, Omaha
Hands reached across the muddy water
Last Saturday, citizens from Omaha and Council Bluffs worked together to clean up the banks of the Missouri River and its inlets. Removing trash and debris from the area, in spite of the hot temperatures and high humidity, was arduous work.
This is another example of people working for the common good.
Stan Lessmann, Omaha
Yes, abandon Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail
A recent Pulse writer suggests the state could save money by stopping maintenance of the Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska. Yes, this trail has turned out to be a big boondoggle, an example of a government idea that never panned out.
When riding this trail via bike a few years ago, I wondered why it was ever built. It sits in wide-open land with no wind breaks and little scenery. Summer heat makes it hard to use and, of course, no one in his right mind would use it during a Nebraska winter. People in that section of this state seem to have little interest in riding bikes.
State government would be doing taxpayers a good service by stopping more funding of this poor and unused Nebraska venture.
Jerry Freeman, Omaha
OFD extremely deserving of thanks
A very deep and grateful thanks to the Omaha Fire Department. After my recent fall, the firefighters’ immediate rescue was overwhelming.
I am 89 years old. I fell, hit the back of my head on the sharp point of a metal container and then hit the pavement with a bang. I began to bleed profusely and thought I would lose it before the squad arrived.
Unless this has ever happened to you, it is impossible to describe the fear and distress that hits immediately. Blood all over and a fear of passing out are life-threatening experiences.
The rescue crew got me to the hospital and gave me excellent care on the way.
When a firefighter or police officer leaves home for work, he is never sure of a happy return. (My grandson, Sgt. Jason Tye Pratt, was killed in the line of duty in 2003.) I pray every night for our brave men and women who serve us every day here in Omaha.
May God bless them and keep them always in His loving care.
Lee Pratt Buhrman, Omaha