Honolulu was one of 71 U.S. cities that had a protest against a war on Iran. I was one of the participants. I resigned from the U.S. government 17 years ago in opposition to the war on Iraq — a war that was based on lies — so it was very important to me to stand as a citizen saying, no war on Iran.
I’m afraid the Trump administration’s claim that it assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani to prevent imminent attacks is another lie, similar to the lies of the Bush administration on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
As a retired Army colonel, my assessment is that the decision to assassinate the top military leader of Iran was an incredibly stupid move done to shore up Presidend Donald Trump’s political base for the 2020 election.
I suspect that many senior U.S. military leaders are aghast at this decision because they know what the blowback is going to be.
Iran will attack U.S. overseas and at home
President Donald Trump has just started a war with Iran. Make no mistake, this direct assault on Iran is an act of war and will be the cause of yet another endless war. I think we can safely assume that, Trump’s threats notwithstanding, the Iranians will attack American interests worldwide. What’s more, Iran will not stand alone in this fight. Other Islamic nations will join Iran.
It will not be just a fight “over there.” This war will come home to America. I think we can expect cyber attacks on our infrastructure, our financial institutions, our electrical grid and our embassies around the world. Oh, and of course, suicide bombings all over the world, including in America.
As for our troops in harm’s way, well, I offer my sympathy and support. I know that many will not return alive to their homes and those who do will be scarred forever. Many will commit suicide. Many already have.
How much war is enough war, fellow citizens?
Waimea, Hawaii island
Iran’s cultural sites belong to humanity
President Donald Trump must not bomb Iran’s cultural sites. They are not just Iran’s cultural sites; they belong to humanity. Many of the ancient cities and sites in the Middle East predate Christianity and Islam. They are our cultural beginnings. These sites are priceless jewels.
Neither President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama thought it would be a good idea to target and kill Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Yet now, while facing impeachment, Trump authorized his killing and never consulted Congress. So far he has not offered any proof that the threat was imminent.
I want to live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. By withdrawing from the nuclear accord with Iran and then employing punitive sanctions, it is like Trump wanted to have a crisis at-the-ready. What better than a war to provide a major distraction?
Majority has spoken: Make fireworks legal
There is one clear and easy solution to stem the use of illegal fireworks: Make them legal. Take a hint from the 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition.
Clearly, fireworks are too deeply embedded in Hawaii’s culture to be ignored. They are a twice-per-year reality that we simply should accept. Just as in Prohibition, there will be many naysayers with very good arguments to the contrary.
Nonetheless, the majority speaks for itself, albeit not silently. Other states have legalized fireworks. Laws criminalizing the behavior of the majority are inherently wrong and must be recognized as such.
Days numbered for tour helicopter business
Most helicopter tour flights are completed safely. But the days of air tourism in Hawaii are numbered anyway. People across the state are sick of the noise, and the however-slight risk of an accident in their neighborhoods.
“Growing air tours crowd isle skies” (Star-Advertiser, Jan. 2), documented the dramatic increase in tour helicopter traffic. Frequent military overflights and emergency helicopter patrols are in the mix of nearly ubiquitous aircraft noise.
The air tour industry could drop out of this mix. It contributes nothing unique, since tourists can have a far better experience of natural Hawaii from the safety of an Imax theater seat.
Social pressure will end the usurpation of our quiet skies by tour helicopters. Flight tour demand will decrease as more people try to avoid unnecessary air travel because of climate change.
For the meantime, we need stronger laws to mitigate the worst effects of aircraft tour operations.
Quiet skies are our natural legacy, no less than clean air and water.
U.S. has long history of supporting dictators
The Democrats and media are outraged over the crisis with Iran. But, with few exceptions, all have been on the war-mongering bandwagon, incessantly echoing hatred for whoever the insiders decide is the “brutal dictator,” “tyrant” or “regime” (Slobodan Milosevic, Bashar Assad, Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Un). The echo chamber is the overture for war.
These crises go back to post-World War I, when England, the U.S. and France carved out “mandates” from the defeated Ottoman Empire.
Few even know the names of the brutal, murderous dictators, drug lords and regimes America has supported, armed and trained. Fulgencio Batista, Augusto Pinochet and the Shah of Iran are a few of the world’s dictatorships the U.S. has supported.
Had we heeded U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ objections to America’s international meddling two decades ago, these crises wouldn’t happen. Of course U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard supported Sanders’ 2016 nomination for president.
We cannot do in others’ lands what we would never allow them to do in America.