The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, April 05, 2017, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
Robert C.
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 Unpublished items are not acknowledged or returned.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
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
Jean Nave
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
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“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
“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
© 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.