As we commemorate the 3,000 Americans who died in al-Qaida’s attack and the 7,000 U.S. soldiers killed in our war on terror, let’s reevaluate our response to Sept. 11, 2001.
Not only did our “war on terror” bring destruction and death to thousands of innocent Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians, it also destabilized the Middle East at great cost to the United States while achieving few of the promised results.
Now we face a much more deadly and terrifying enemy than we did 20 years ago: climate change. The years 2020 and 2016 tied as the two hottest on record. We see frequent evidence of climate change with catastrophic heat waves, wildfires, droughts, flooding and other disasters that threaten to destroy our way of life.
This environmental threat is coupled with the economic and social erosion of opportunities for lower- and middle-class families due to income inequality, the high cost of child and elder care, the lack of affordable housing, and many other serious problems.
Soon Democrats in Congress will propose investments to address our environmental and economic crises. After wasting $2 trillion to destroy Afghanistan, I hope we unite to spend $3.5 trillion to build our own country back better.
There is a common expression “to lay something at someone’s door,” meaning to assign blame or responsibility for some action or inaction.
Well, the country is in crisis once again. We thought the pandemic was nearly over. Now, hospitals are filling up with critical COVID patients. Many of the sick and dying are children. How could this have happened? Is there anyone or thing to blame?
We could lay the blame on the door of the virus for its mutation into something more deadly. However, it may not have had the chance if the CDC protocols were followed religiously. So, that door is unlikely.
In my opinion, there are two other doors that make the most sense and share the blame. At one door, some people refuse to wear masks and adhere to the other guidelines. At the other door, Republican governors refuse to issue mask mandates.
My only explanation for this behavior comes from a line in a famous movie: “Madness ... madness!”
There is no doubt that the Afghan war had to end sometime. The loss of military equipment is large, but let us not forget that it all happened before.
Drop back to the Vietnam War and you will find the same thing happened then.
President Biden will have to take the heat for these losses but he ended a war that was started when President George W. Bush was in command. Yes, this war started for a good reason: 9/11. It is said that the war in Afghanistan cost us at least $1 trillion ($300 million per day, according to The Associated Press), many lives (more than 2,400 service members killed) and many more injuries. It dragged on for far too long.
President Nixon and President Ford ended the Vietnam War much the same way President Biden just did in Afghanistan.
Many memories are either short-lived, never learned or never lived.
If anyone wants to take any stand, I ask that you also become a student of history before you venture an opinion.
David Jon Hager
As we witness the raging Caldor wildfires and Hurricane Ida’s lethal destruction, one in three Americans is now affected by climate change. On Sept. 5, 2020, worldwide health journal editors issued this alert: “Call for Emergency Action to Limit Global Temperature Increases, Restore Biodiversity, and Protect Health” (Read more at https://tinyurl.com/v4r3y5x8).
They emphasize that many governments have utilized unprecedented emergency funds for our COVID-19 pandemic and that extreme climate change threats need a similar, if not greater, response. We will need enormous funding, yet such investments will produce huge beneficial economic and public health outcomes offsetting the costs of reducing global carbon emissions with associated catastrophic environmental collapse.
Furthermore, the editors underline that the biggest threat to our health is the continued failure by the world’s leadership to halt the global temperature rising by more than 1.5 degrees C to save the biodiversity needed for our survival and to urgently usher fairer environmental social changes for a healthier general population.
In their own words, “We, as editors of health journals, call for governments and other leaders to act, marking 2021 as the year that the world finally changes course.”
Yes, STAT! This is a call for all hands on deck! And carbon pricing legislation is our best and fastest tool.
Minta Phillips, M.D.
Why we must investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot:
We never had a president incite violence against his own people to attain a personal political goal. We never saw this with Clinton, Bush or Obama, or any other president in our history.
But lawless and violence-promoting behavior was commonplace with Trump. He even recruited people for, and incited, that insurrection at our nation’s Capitol! We all witnessed it.
That tragic event would not have happened but for Donald Trump’s words and actions. Incredibly, Trump watched it on TV for hours without attempting to stop the riot.
Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Indeed ...
We had a president direct an attempt to get Congress illegally to change the count of the country’s electoral votes for president to his favor. The mob he created stormed those Capitol steps, vandalized our nation’s Capitol and threatened the lives of senators and congressmen — and our democracy.