Let’s remember who we’re mad at. Our common enemy is a runaway virus that is sickening, killing and disabling us by the hundreds of thousands.
Each person the COVID-19 delta variant infects can infect up to seven others. Yet without a human host to infect, COVID-19 can’t survive, much less mutate. We’ve developed reliable defense weapons to protect us and those around us from becoming hosts or spreaders in this war: face masks, distancing, vaccination, testing, quarantine. Let’s arm ourselves.
Anyone has the right not to be vaccinated. But rights carry with them responsibilities. To remain unvaccinated responsibly during a spiraling pandemic means accepting huge limitations. You would need to avoid all contact with other unvaccinated and vulnerable people including children, even in your own family. Wear masks everywhere, work from home, eat and drink alone, get tested frequently, and refrain from obstructing those who are trying to protect the community.
If freedom is the main reason for declining vaccination, you’d sacrifice many other freedoms to maintain that one.
Case threatens Biden’s reconciliation bill
I am stunned by U.S. Rep. Ed Case’s decision to insist that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have the House of Representatives vote on the Senate’s infrastructure bill prior to taking up the reconciliation bill.
This would effectively kill President Joe Biden’s plan to expand Medicare coverage, offer help with caregivers for working families with elderly parents and small children, expand educational opportunities for children, provide funds to counter climate change that would protect Hawaii’s low-lying areas, all paid for by requiring corporations to pay their fair share and by increasing taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 a year.
My only uncertainty is whether Case opposes the programs included in Biden’s plan, or he opposed the increased taxes to be paid by corporations and wealthier Americans.
I believe the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink and late U.S. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye would be appalled by Case’s decision to torpedo Biden’s plan.
Former chairman, Democratic Party of Hawaii
Biden’s blunders will weaken U.S. for years
It was hard to believe the front page featured the fish population at Hanauma Bay as the Taliban took over Kabul (“Fish fewer since reopening,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 16).
Leaving Afghanistan is justified; it’s how we leave, Mr. President. No leader could be proven more inept. A controlled retreat based on the Taliban meeting the conditions that they agreed to, but failed in doing, should have stopped the withdrawal process, as any intelligent person would recognize.
Now, America’s diplomatic authority has been weakened for years to come as our reliability has been put into question and the Afghan people who helped us are destined for slaughter.
President Joe Biden is a failure and a disgrace. To say he will not pass the problem on is a laugh; he has guaranteed this problem will be passed on to the next president, and perhaps the one after that.
Biden didn’t learn from U.S. mistakes in Iraq
President Joe Biden failed to learn the right lesson when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president.
Obama withdrew American forces from Iraq. Shortly after that, the radical Islamic State routed the Iraqi army and seized much of the country.
The United States was forced to send troops back in to help retake the country. The cost of that mistake was great in lives and property.
Much the same is happening now in Afghanistan. Biden has been forced to make an embarrassing reversal and send troops back just to protect embassy personnel who are evacuating.
This withdrawal is a huge mistake that will cause great suffering.
Carl H. Zimmerman
Afghans threatened as U.S. facade drops
A news image of Afghans falling off a departing U.S. plane, after their president had fled, is sadly reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975. Both happened faster than all the U.S. money, weapons and training had indicated. But what those poor people really fell off was a facade.
It is not the fault of President Joe Biden, or even President Donald Trump (who reduced troops there and intended to pull the rest by May 1). The U.S. invaded Afghanistan on the dubious pretexts of revenge for 9/11 and catching Osama Bin Laden, who got away with local allies’ help. Many analysts agree that power in such a diverse region is continually negotiated among myriad local stakeholders.
The 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan did not intimidate the Taliban. Even when the Soviets pulled out in 1991, fighting was minimal, because everything was prearranged. I feel sorriest for the women and children who believed in the U.S. facade.
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