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Everybody's Column

>Republicans are worried solely about political careers

The Republicans are laughing at the Democrats and their futile attempt to require a vote in the Senate that they would easily win, since even a few Republicans now support finding a more rational policy than throwing away young American lives in Iraq.

For six years, the United States has occupied two Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), issued threats against two more (Iran and Syria), made thousands of arrests of Muslim immigrants in America who have been completely innocent of any wrongdoing and abused and tortured, sometimes to death, Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

Photos of torture have been published worldwide and, in Muslim countries, television screens show daily scenes of death and destruction caused by United States military operations.

So, it is not surprising that Muslim peoples hate us; what would be surprising is if they did not. And what is surprising, even astonishing, is that no one in the Bush administration is interested in changing the stupid, arrogant, failed policies which have led us into this quagmire, or about finding more effective methods to deal with al-Qaida and protect our country than bullying, threats and invasions.

And in the Senate, no one on the Republican side of the aisle is concerned about the will of the American people. They are concerned only with preventing a vote which would express the will of the majority. That is what Republicans call victory in the Senate.

Nicholas Read



>Energy is misplaced in a fruitless war

A recent report from U.S. counterterrorism analysts indicates that al-Qaida has recovered to its pre-Sept. 11 strength. Despite these frightening findings, President Bush has deemed this information irrelevant while he continues to send troops to Iraq.

Iraq has served as a deadly distraction from the real threats we face. The administration's report of progress in Iraq demonstrates the depth of its denial. Our efforts should be focused on al-Qaida. The Iraq war never should have been authorized.

Samuel A. Herbert



>Work on a better truck alternative

If Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins are giving up on shared border management, I challenge them to continue to work to for us in another way. Bring in the Ambassador Bridge folks and see if they are still willing to partner with the Peace Bridge Authority and do the next best project -- cars only at the Peace Bridge and trucks at the International Railroad Bridge, which is much farther from a residential neighborhood. If we must have trucks, let's at least put them where they will make us the least sick -- in body and economy.

We already know that the trucks don't provide any economic benefit to our city. Truckers don't eat here, stay here overnight or visit our attractions. Heck, they are not even getting gas here. Their first stop after the Peace Bridge is the Batavia rest stop and then it's off to points south out of New York altogether.

Absent shared border management, the best way to make this expansion project a success for our community is to move the trucks to a location where they won't continue to hurt us. Creative solutions and putting egos aside are what we need here. Petty disputes must be put aside. We need our elected officials to broker a solution that will benefit our city.

Joy Wrona
North Tonawanda


>Democrats are engaged in political theater

With the most recent failure of the Senate's all night slumber party, desperation seems to be setting in among Congressional Democrats to lose the war in Iraq before any more progress is revealed. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who already announced our defeat in April, seems to be struggling with our most recent successes in Anbar and Diyala provinces and will be in an awkward position should our most recent reinforcement strategy gain any more momentum or actually attain victory.

Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's actions have undermined our efforts in Iraq for some time now, but it is just recently that their veiled calculations should now become so obvious. They know that any success in Iraq would hurt them in the elections in '08, so their efforts to surrender at any cost become more apparent.

How monumentally disgusting, selfish and sad is it when factions of the U. S. Congress are willing to lose a war, and make the profound sacrifice of thousands of our service people and much treasure worthless simply to effect political gains for themselves.

Ray Wozniak



>Report on salary cuts read like tabloid news

Alan Pergament's July 12 "commentary" on salary cuts at Channel 7 of two longtime anchors were offensive. I was apalled at the tone and nature of his commentary.

If it was Pergament's intention to write an article about business hardships and issues at WKBW-TV and other local stations, he missed the mark greatly. Instead, his commentary was nothing more than a public notice of the private circumstances of two highly skilled and loyal local citizens. This article read more like something in a gossip magazine and I'm highly disappointed that the editors of The News allowed this to go to print.

Certainly Pergament is entitled to his opinion, but his opinion is extremely short-sighted. I do not know Murphy but, as a longtime enthusiast, I can speak for Randall's "leverage." Randall is not only the most certified weather anchor in the entire upstate New York area, he is a true local talent. He has performed his magic and puppet shows and his wonderful Mark Twain show for years for multitudes of local charities, all of which have benefited WKBW greatly. He has a long and loyal fan base of not only local citizens but local companies, organizations, schools and libraries.

Amy Murphy



>Talk of cell phone bans begs practical questions

With all this talk and legislation on banning talking on cell phones while driving and now banning text messaging while driving, next we'll be banning computers and e-mails while driving. Why don't we just make anything but driving a car, while driving a car, illegal? This could cover present and future problems, plus give our elected officials more time to get re-elected.

John Powalski


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