2 Wednesday, April 5, 2017 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon O P I N I O N Robert C. Koehler Letters to the Editor… The Nugget welcomes contributions from its readers, which must include the writer’s name, address and phone number. Let- ters to the Editor is an open forum for the community and contains unsolicited opinions not necessarily shared by the Editor. The Nugget reserves the right to edit, omit, respond or ask for a response to letters submitted to the Editor. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items are not acknowledged or returned. The deadline for all letters is noon Monday. To the Editor: Perhaps all of us who live in and love this community could pause for a few moments and consider leaving national politics to the national press. Isn’t it a lot nicer to read let- ters and stories about what is going on in the community when we read this wonderful local paper? TV and larger papers are filled with the national debate, why bring it here? I’m sure we are missing hearing about local good deeds and positive happenings because people are instead focused on national politics. When is the last time you changed anyone's mind about a political position? When I was a kid, which was soon after a terrible World War II, people kept politics out of conversations because they didn’t want to hurt feelings and make others mad. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring that back to our beautiful town? Jean Nave s s s To the Editor: I want to thank Skydive Awesome for having the courage to start a business in our small community. It takes guts to believe there are enough adventurous people here to keep something as thrilling as a skydiving operation afloat. It saddens me that some members of the community continue to be hostile toward this venture and its owners. I thought surely the visceral letters of last summer would wane and people would be kind again. Yet here we are: a new year, a new season, and the same old angry letters. So, the time is ripe for some- one to say something nice. See LETTERS on page 19 Sisters Weather Forecast Courtesy of the National Weather Service, Pendleton, Oregon Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Mostly Cloudy Chance Showers Showers Likely Chance Showers Chance Snow Chance Showers 60/38 55/39 55/36 48/29 49/30 49/na The Nugget Newspaper, Inc. Website: www.nuggetnews.com 442 E. Main Ave., P.O. Box 698, Sisters, Oregon 97759 Tel: 541-549-9941 | Fax: 541-549-9940 | firstname.lastname@example.org Postmaster: Send address changes to The Nugget Newspaper, P.O. Box 698, Sisters, OR 97759. Third Class Postage Paid at Sisters, Oregon. Publisher - Editor: Kiki Dolson News Editor: Jim Cornelius Production Manager: Leith Williver Classifieds & Circulation: Teresa Mahnken Advertising: Karen Kassy Graphic Design: Jess Draper Proofreader: Pete Rathbun Accounting: Erin Bordonaro The Nugget is mailed to residents within the Sisters School District; subscriptions are available outside delivery area. Third-class postage: one year, $45; six months (or less), $25. First-class postage: one year, $85; six months, $55. Published Weekly. ©2017 The Nugget Newspaper, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. All advertising which appears in The Nugget is the property of The Nugget and may not be used without explicit permission. The Nugget Newspaper, Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for information contained in advertisements, articles, stories, lists, calendar etc. within this publication. All submissions to The Nugget Newspaper will be treated as uncondition- ally assigned for publication and copyrighting purposes and subject to The Nugget Newspaper’s unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially, that all rights are currently available, and that the material in no way infringes upon the rights of any person. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return or safety of artwork, photos, or manuscripts. “The wooden carts that residents use to carry veg- etables and other wares in the once-busy market area instead ferried out cadavers recovered from the rubble last week.” And so . . . another “precision” bomb strike in America’s war against ter- ror. This was the scene in Mosul earlier this month, as reported by the Washington Post. Possibly more than 200 civilians died, bur- ied in the rubble of several buildings, which had been jammed with terrified resi- dents of Iraq’s second-larg- est city who were seeking shelter from the war. Words fail me. So I bor- row some from Air Force Brigadier Gen. Matthew Isler, who told U.S. News and World Report in the wake of the Mosul strike: “The density of the local fighting for those ground forces has changed. What has not changed is our sup- port, our diligence in mak- ing sure we are taking the appropriate levels to make sure we are avoiding any harm to innocent civilians.” The article, which addresses the controversy that President Trump has “relaxed” the rules of engagement in the war against ISIS, causing an increase in civilian casual- ties, goes on to note: “Isler specifically said the risk cal- culus — the number of civil- ian casualties acceptable to war planners, at times including the president, when considering missions — has not changed.” Of course, there’s nothing surprising here. This is how war works, especially today, when battlefields are coter- minous with civilian living and working space. Innocent people are unavoidably taken out along with the “enemy.” This is the collat- eral damage that comes with every decision to wage war. But still, how is it pos- sible for human life to be measured and weighed in the same moral framework as abstract strategic calcu- lation? This is the question that pulses like a heartbeat in these cold words — almost as though the soul of war itself lays suddenly exposed. Take away the bland termi- nology of public-relations- speak and the general is say- ing something on the order of: Killing a high-ranking ISIS guy is worth the lives of no more than two chil- dren, max, and if we take out more it’s not our fault. The terrorists are using civil- ians as human shields. Or whatever. “Meanwhile,” as Barbara Ehrenreich writes in her excellent book, Blood Rites, “war has dug itself into eco- nomic systems, where it offers a livelihood to mil- lions, rather than to just a handful of craftsmen and professional soldiers. It has lodged in our souls as a kind of religion, a quick tonic for political malaise and a brac- ing antidote to the moral tor- por of consumerist, market- driven cultures.” But there’s more to it than this. The morality of war is indeed a serious mat- ter, embedded as war may be into our economic and politi- cal systems. Viet Cong body counts, for instance, were an enduring part of the Vietnam War — an indication of our prowess and success — until the war utterly unraveled in defeat and two-plus decades of “Vietnam Syndrome”: the public’s disgust with the war machine. The war profi- teers, military industrial- ists and neocons eventually succeeded in rebuilding a national war mentality, but it required eliminating the draft so that most Americans were not personally affected by it; and all the blood and gore were removed from the PR of war. What I’m trying to say is that the public truly lacks the will to wage war and has already begun abandoning it as a religion. Disengaging from it economically is more complicated and probably cannot begin until the media begin reporting on war with raw honesty, from the point of view of its victims, not its planners. © 2017 Tribune Content Agency, Inc. Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.