Case to attack Syria has not been made

Build a military machine and excuses will be found to use it. Once the missiles are fired, there is no pulling them back.

The fact that chemical weapons were used in this Syrian civil war is basically undeniable, but who unleashed their use and why has not yet been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Reportedly, sarin is not particularly difficult to manufacture; highly structured laboratories are not necessary.

Those moved by radical militant Islamic inspirations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, have commonly shown no hesitation to impose massive civilian casualties and mortalities to advance their extreme fundamentalist agendas. What better way than to goad the military power of their greatest enemy — the United States of America — to promote their objectives?

War is terrible, and the use of chemical weapons is heinous and deplorable. But equally terrible are all weapons of mass destruction designed to simply maximize human casualties and collateral destruction.

The critical unanswered questions are: Where is the unequivocal evidence to prove the type of chemical weapon being used and, equally important, who was responsible for the weapon’s use?

Stu Luttich, Geneva, Neb.

U.S. should stay out of Syria’s civil war

The Syrians are involved in a civil war. Let them work out their differences and decide their own fate without American intervention.

Why isn’t it clear to our elected leadership that American military intervention over the past 50-plus years has been mostly unwanted and unsuccessful?

I understand that the use of military force is an extension of a country’s political aims, but I don’t think that America can, in good conscience, afford to continue down a path of failed military interventions. We have spent billions of our tax dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan with little return on our investment.

Afghanistan is a virtual deja vu of our Vietnam experience, in that we have propped up a regime of criminals who appear to be more interested in lining their pockets and preparing their golden parachutes with American taxpayer money than building the infrastructure necessary to improve the lives of their own people.

Hamid Karzai’s regime will surely fall out of power once coalition military forces leave Afghanistan.

If any country feels strongly enough to intervene in Syria, let it be France or a coalition of European countries, but not the United States.

Jeffrey S. Bird, Omaha

New military sex assault laws not needed

An Aug. 28 Pulse letter stated we need a new piece of legislation to stop sexual assaults and harassment in the military.

We have plenty of laws on the books covering that. Enforce them.

It seems whenever there is a new hot- button issue, everyone demands a new law or the senators and congressmen state they are going to draft a law to combat the issue.

If anyone took a minute and looked, there is a very high probability that a law (or several laws) exists but is not being properly enforced. Making speeches and passing laws is easy. Actually enforcing them seems to be far more difficult.

Terry Adams, Bellevue

Immigration law hurts Nebraskans

Outdated immigration policies have hurt those we care about: our parents, our friends, our co-workers.

I’d like to share the story of my two friends who are from South Sioux City, Neb. Their family brought them to the United States at a young age in search of a better life and more opportunities. The biggest adversity they had to overcome while growing up was assimilating to their community, not because of the language barrier but because of their immigration status. Their parents pushed them to get an education and told them that it was a promise of a better life.

People shouldn’t derive their self-worth from their immigration status. They shouldn’t live in fear and anxiety. They shouldn’t be viewed as second-class citizens. These people who live in the shadows are no different from you and me. They are hardworking Nebraskans doing their part to help their families get ahead in life.

Let’s look back to the history that molded America. It was once OK to own slaves and for women not to vote; eventually those policies/laws became outdated.

Current immigration policies are outdated and only hurt our communities and this great nation. I ask our lawmakers for common-sense immigration laws with a clear and attainable path to citizenship.

David Pacheco, Lincoln

NRD provides bang for taxpayers’ buck

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District is doing it right.

This government entity has reduced its tax levy by 3 percent over eight years and still provides flood control, wildlife habitat and free public recreation opportunities while reducing soil erosion, all for an average cost of $32.75 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home. As a taxpayer, I could only hope other local, state and federal governments could do the same.

Some of our cities and counties are raising their tax rates higher this year alone than the NRD can even tax. No question, the best value in government anywhere is the NRD.

George Nielsen, Omaha

Prosecutor did not seek jail time for DUI

I found it troubling to read an article in The World-Herald and a subsequent Public Pulse letter lambasting Douglas County District Judge Mark Ashford. The judge sentenced Paul Mosher to in-patient treatment and probation for driving drunk, then plowing his vehicle into the home of Brooke Sutton and severely injuring her.

Mosher had no prior legal issues. He is a college student who works, attends AA meetings and fulfills pre-sentencing obligations. Mosher’s probation officer, who has observed Mosher since his arrest, recommended to Ashford that Mosher was a good candidate for probation. Furthermore, the deputy county attorney did not object to Judge Ashford’s sentence.

Even though Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine’s own deputy did not ask for jail time, Kleine told The World Herald that he wished “there was more of a consequence from the standpoint of some sort of jail sentence upfront. For him to not spend a day in jail is a little disappointing.”

It should be noted that if Mosher does not comply with probation, he will go to prison. As it stands now, he will spend his life as a convicted felon, which is no picnic.

Larry Goldstrom, Omaha

McDonnell deserves thanks for service

I want to thank outgoing Omaha Fire Chief Mike McDonnell and his family for their dedicated service to the City of Omaha.

The McDonnell name has been associated with the Omaha Fire Department for more than 50 years. They served with pride and dedication to the people of Omaha.

Mike McDonnell certainly deserved better. He gave up what he loves most (next to his wife and children) in order to protect his men and do what is right.

Frederick Ferguson, Omaha

Credit Stothert with shooting straight

James Rawlings (Aug. 23 Pulse) says Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert sends the wrong signals regarding her gun ownership and went on to question if “next there will be an armored Humvee.” No, she apparently is very satisfied with her own car, one not paid for nor maintained by the city.

The Aug. 23 Pulse also had Tom Prohaska asking, “Was it necessary for the mayor to announce to the public that she owns a gun?” Remember, Stothert maintains that she will be open and transparent, and she is exactly that.

How about supporting our new mayor rather than questioning every move she makes?

Sister Mary Hlas, Omaha

Rescue crews work, train to save lives

Erin Duffy wrote a very good story about La Vista’s volunteer firefighters (“Dousing the fire of volunteerism, La Vista firefighters answer last calls after city’s outsourcing decision,” Aug. 24 World-Herald).

These professionals have served the area very well, especially as call volume increases and volunteerism diminishes. Please note that many firefighters and others have trained very hard to achieve EMS certification and provide the best possible medical care. We are sometimes stuck with an impression that we are merely “ambulance drivers.”

Please remember the long hours of training and many hours of continuing education each year to provide high-quality care in EMS. Many are EMTs or paramedics, yet we are usually called ambulance drivers.

Bill Fish, Carroll, Iowa

Critical care paramedic

Sometimes it’s best to leave Fido at home

I attended the Millard Days Car Show on Sunday. Some of the people walking though the event brought their dogs.

The problem is that the dogs don’t belong at the event, and it is especially troubling that some of the dogs were in distress from the heat and humidity. One little dog didn’t know where to stand as its paws were being affected by the hot pavement. A bulldog threw up near my car.

For the best interests of the dog and the car owner, please do not bring your dog to these events.

Jack Urban, Omaha

Football preview was built for speed

Every year I look forward to the Sunday World-Herald’s college football preview. This year we saw the themes of speed and auto racing incorporated into all the articles.

Props to all the writers, editors, photographers and artists for putting together another amazing edition this year. Creativity and cleverness can only describe these editions.

You will read these informative articles with a smile on your face. I know of no other paper in the country that puts together a football preview like The World-Herald does. I wonder what they have in store for next year.

Pete Menks, Omaha

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