I enjoyed reading the three stories about the U.S. withdrawal of its last troops from Afghanistan (“Leaving Afghanistan,” Star-Advertiser, Insight, April 25). I appreciate the authors’ insights and their sentiments about the sacrifices of U.S. troops and the consequences of the pullout for our Afghan allies, including comparisons to Vietnam. It’s a sad situation.
What is truly tragic, in my opinion, is that strategically speaking, both the U.S. wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan were unwinnable. The precedent of the Korean War is crucial for understanding my point.
All three wars had unique aspects, but the borders with China in Korea and Vietnam, and with Pakistan in the Afghan war, could not really be controlled.
In Korea, some leaders reportedly wanted to bomb China with nuclear weapons, but the U.S. wisely refused.
I still hope we can learn from the lessons of history.
Country polarized by contentious issues
Bob Lamborn contends that America isn’t actually “systemically racist” (“Evidence abounds that U.S. isn’t a racist nation,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, April 23).
We are, however, “systemically polarized” and drowning in a morass of contentious issues that unnecessarily divide our great nation. The controversies abound: vaxxers vs. anti-vaxxers; racial divides; CNN vs. Fox; pro-Trump vs. anti-Trump; catastrophic COVID-19 statistics; Black lives/Asian lives/all lives matter; defund police vs. exploding crime rates; socialism vs. individualism; immigration, and more.
All these drive wedges between Americans. As we turn on one another, our global adversaries rejoice. Our flags continually fly at half-staff, making us a nation in perpetual mourning. The whining woke “cancel culture” seeks to destroy those expressing opposing ideas.
These discussions are certainly worth having, but the incessantly negative focus of broadcasting oligarchs, social media provocateurs, urban rioters, etc., create a divisive effect rather than furthering any true healing.
Stop polarizing everything! Let Hawaii’s diversity set an example for all America.
Bradley A. Coates
Affirmative words work better than negative ones
Say the word “hate” repeatedly and see what happens to your mood.
When protesters chant, “Stop Asian Hate,” it’s no surprise that their faces and voices become distorted by anger. Is that what we want?
At a public swimming pool, let’s post signs that read “Walk” instead of “Don’t Run.” As a daily affirmation, “Relax” is better than “Don’t Stress.” “Love Each Other” is more positive than “Stop Asian Hate.”
Words have power. Instead of using words that imprint and reinforce what we don’t want, let us choose words that promote the desired result.
Let UH sports fans control video cameras
I suggest the University of Hawaii Athletics Department use technology to enhance the “cut-out” spectator experience. It can put a camera in the cut-out and sell those to ticket holders. With the two-way cameras, the “spectator” could also cheer on the team.
If the camera could also be controlled by the spectator, it would be like being there. They could have a bank of thousands of them at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex for UH football games.
If not individual cameras, season ticket holders could have special access to several cameras around the stadium, allowing them to use those cameras and be able to switch views to give them an enhanced experience during this odd season. They could switch between 50-yard-line or end-zone views.
Make it special enough so they would renew the season tickets for this season.
I hope everyone supports UH athletics through these difficult times.
Go Warriors! Go Bows!
Unions should pay for cost of bad cops
With all of the police issues nationally and at home, the one thing missing is shared responsibility between municipalities and the police unions.
You can make all of the reforms you want, such as defunding the police, but that would not change anything. At the core is the fact that the police unions will still fight for police officers, good and bad.
The only thing that will change this is shared fiscal responsibility.
If the police unions are partially financially responsible for bad cops, I guarantee they will be more assertive in helping get rid of the bad apples and working more in conjunction with municipalities toward the common goal of proper policing guidelines.
Restoring Natatorium would be wasteful
In response to Alvin Wong’s letter regarding the restoration of the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial (“City needs to restore Natatorium memorial,” Star-Advertiser, April 27): There are many of us old-timers who prefer that the memorial plaque be moved inland or, as has been suggested, to the Hale Koa area, rather than to restore the pool.
With the probability of sea-level rise, would we still have access to the pool in its present location? Also, the cost of restoration plus the cost for maintenance, personnel and insurance would be prohibitive.
Instead we could have more actual beachfront.
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