Letters to the Editor for Dec 10, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
MISSING THE TARGET
Both Paul Wilner in his editorial (“Finishing the Job,” Dec. 3-9) and Robin Urevich in her article (“Tough Love – NPS Professor: Is the U.S. doomed to replay the Vietnam War in Afghanistan?’’ Dec. 3-9) make the same mistake many opponents of the Afghan War make by focusing on whether U.S. goals in Afghanistan are achievable and not asking whether achieving those goals are even desirable.Rick Reyes, the anti-war spokesperson quoted, best expresses this attitude when he compares the U.S. to a drunken uncle who means well but creates havoc.
Aside from the abandonment of journalistic objectivity involved, assuming that our government’s goals in Afghanistan are benevolent only serves to make its behavior more incomprehensible. After all, if our government’s goal is to protect us from those who plotted 9/11, why are our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of in Saudi Arabia (home of most of the 19 hijackers) or in Pakistan (where, according to Obama’s speech, al-Qaeda has established a safe haven)?
If one assumes instead that the real goal is to control oil revenues and trade routes in the Middle East and Central Asia, both Bush’s and Obama’s actions begin to make more sense. Of course, it would be much harder to find soldiers willing to fight and die for that. --Phillip Crawford | Monterey
BAY VIEW VIEWS
Thank you for your piece on the proposed closure of Bay View (“School Maze,” Dec. 3-9). However, I was disheartened that the first thing to catch my eye was the pullquote: “The school loses a quarter million dollars a year.” Your piece would have been better served had it included some of the more compelling issues surrounding the possible closure of Bay View Elementary School; the many missteps, erroneous calculations, and maneuvering that district administrators have been conducting in trying to convince Board members that Bay View is a financial liability. You might want to further explore how or why it is that this school continues to perform in the top 25 percent of elementary schools statewide despite discrepancies in per-student funding within the district. Perhaps you might want to find out how it is that the MPUSD can honestly claim that it will only cost a measly $50,000 to convert Monte Vista, a school site which the district closed over five years ago and is currently leasing to the Army as office space for a whopping $340,000 annually, or how the potential loss of this stable revenue stream throws all their already-erroneous budget projections into even further doubt. --Matthew Binder | Monterey
The wrong phone number was given for Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (“Feed The Need,” Nov. 25-Dec. 2). The correct number is 758-5718. The piece on NPS professor Thomas Johnson (“Tough Love – NPS Professor: Is the U.S. doomed to replay the Vietnam War in Afghanistan?”) stated that Johnson graduated from USC with a doctorate in anthropology. He completed his graduate work, but did not defend his thesis.