Kudos to Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia's recent decision to refuse to return to active duty in Iraq. As The Brainerd Dispatch reported, he was shaken by an incident in which he and others were ambushed and innocent civilians were hit in the ensuing gunfire. In refusing to return to his military duty, Sergeant Mejia stated, "That's one of the things that tells me there is no thing as a fair war, no such thing as a just war."
President Bush insists on such stark us vs. them rhetoric, stating in a recent speech, "There is no neutral ground-no neutral ground-in the fight between civilization and terror, because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death." I don't think Bush has demonstrated he is on the side of "life," gutting public services that address human need at home, to pay for this war in which all of the justified reasons have turned out to be false.
President Bush would do well to acquaint himself with the victims of this war. Another piece of political rhetoric comes to mind, "The ends don't justify the means." I was in Iraq in 1997 and I saw how our sanctions policy crippled Iraq's medical system. Other civilian internationals and U.S. soldiers such as Sergeant Mejia have seen the carnage of this war, have concluded that indeed there is no neutral ground, that, in the word's of Sergeant Mejia, "There is no such thing as a just war." All Brainerd residents should support conscientious objectors and demand a peaceful transition to democracy.
Walz is lauded
On behalf of the Civil Justice coalition, I want to thank Representative Dale Walz for his vote in support of H.F. 480/S.F. 837, the job reference protection bill. This bill has been a long-standing priority for the business community and the coalition, which represents business, schools, non-profits and local governments.
We believe this compromise bill will go a long way in encouraging employers to share important information regarding current or former employees. This exchange is critical so that effective hiring decisions can be made and Minnesota can have safe, productive workplaces.
Over the next months we plan to work across the state to educated our members on how this law, once enacted, will improve their ability to share meaningful reference information.
Again, thanks to Representative Walz for his thoughtful consideration of this important jobs issue and for supporting it on the House floor.
Chair, Civil Justice Coalition
President, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Wake up America
No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. There is a lot of desert sand to be dug up yet. They are finding things buried there, including Russia's most advanced fighter plane. There is a lot more in Syria.
If you find fault with G. W. Bush, I wonder what you think of Kerry calling Vietnam vets baby killers?
If it had not been for the anti-war movement in the U.S., the North Vietnamese would have surrendered. Jane Fonda and Kerry spoke up for North Vietnam.
Now, if you feel so sorry for Saddam, why not write his name in your November ballot. Wake up America, the alarm clock has gone off repeatedly.
Otis W. Lael
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