Letters To A Smalltown Weekly

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Location: Gualala, California, United States

Alice and I love our life on the Northern California coast and welcome friends and family to enjoy it with us.

Friday, November 16, 2001

Caucasian Octogenarian Female Suicide Bombers?

Friday, November 16, 2001


Regarding Mr. Schwab’s comments (ICO, 11/9/01) concerning the dialogue which has developed over my letters, I would ask readers to remember that two suicide Arab bombers attacked the Cole just about a year ago, and that suicide bombers ply their trade almost daily in Israel. Why then would we not expect Arab suicide bombers to attack us? Apparently, many others share my view.

In Time, Nov. 8 edition, concerning anthrax and the Sept. 11 attack, Time reports that “…the Federal Government was roundly criticized for its failure to imagine the worst.” I am sure that the “worst” was imagined, but nothing effective was done about it because of Arab sensitivities. Terrorist profiling would of course have included examining young Arab-looking males for possible weapons. Why else would we single them out?

I feel certain that Arab suicide bombing was anticipated because, for eight of my 21 years of Air Force service, I and thousands of others were involved in “war gaming,” basically anticipating an opponents courses of action and devising counters to them. Mr. Schwab’s statements only point to his ignorance of threat assessment and countermeasures development. His statement that: “Changing (to a less volatile jet) fuel would have rendered jets useless as incendiary bombs” was ludicrous. First, suicide terrorists would be satisfied to crash the jet and kill the passengers on board. Secondly, even the less volatile jet fuel burns, and the fires, not explosions, brought down the twin towers.

I was pleased by Ms. Harrison’s excellent reply to Mr. Henderson’s bizarre letter, and to see that it included a paragraph concerning the terrorist attacks on us that went unanswered on Bill Clinton’s sorry watch. The ICO editor had excised similar information from one of my previous letters, and it is wonderful to see that “truth will out.”

Let’s roll!

Friday, November 09, 2001

Racial Profiling Makes Sense

Whoa, Ms. Pitocco, take a few deep breaths (RE: your 26 October response to my 10 October letter). My 10 October letter was in part a response to what I took as Ms. Bullamore's very ungracious and personal remarks towards me, in which she endorsed Mr. Lippman's designation of myself as a "hatemonger." For my part, I wrote: "So Ms. Bullamore, we welcome your concern and your participation, and I am sure that you and others equally concerned will participate actively in school board and other volunteer programs. Maybe you or someone else will even oppose us for election."

At no point in my reply to Ms. Bullamore did I make the sort of personal remarks and attacks based on negative assumptions that have been directed towards me. I see in her gracious apology to Alice and I (that immediately followed your 26 October letter) that she and I were equally ignorant of each other's background and both were guilty of not doing our homework.

Now that I know of her experience and qualifications, both Alice and I are especially eager to have her inputs and participation in School Board activities, and we appreciate her continuing efforts. Ms. Bullamore, we accept your apology, and I apologize to you for not knowing of your contributions to education in our community.

To Mr. Lippman, I apologize for my disjointed response titled "Hypocrisy." After comparing what survived the heavy hand of ICO editing ("... this letter was edited for brevity"), to what I wrote, I despair of ever being able to clearly state positions against the eight years of Clinton's inept handling of terrorism. Since the support for my conclusions and positions was excised by the ICO, all that came through were some very general imprecations against leftists. Nothing of real substance was left for you to react against, and for that I am truly sorry.

Now, concerning the racial profiling of terrorists, I support it more now than when I first brought up the subject, and I am not alone. In an October 24 Wall Street Journal column by Jason L. Riley, Mr. Riley reported that 71% of black respondents to a Gallup poll, and 54% in a Zogby poll, said they wanted Arab-looking travelers singled out for extra security at airports. A Detroit News survey found that even Arabs want Arab-looking persons looked at more closely; 61% said that "extra questioning or inspections are justified."

While leftists are not concerned about the thousands of innocent lives that are sacrificed on the altar of their "principles," it is encouraging to see that common sense has no racial bounds. Even most leftists support a form of it, when profiling is called "affirmative action" and is used to award benefits and for income redistribution.

I am appalled that many American citizens are not mad as Hell at the terrorists. The terrorists used our traditions of freedom and tolerance, which are totally lacking in their own countries, to viciously murder thousands of innocent civilians. As a retired military officer, I feel a hot flush of shame, because I feel that we let down our country by our lack of preparedness.

Along with my anger and shame, I am also angry with my fellow citizens who say that our foreign policy justifies the terrorists' attacks on our innocent civilians, or that we should not respond to their violence with violence. Violence worked quite well with Germany and Japan; just as with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, violence was all they understood.

Because of our trust in humanity, we did "give Peace a chance," but that trust was tragically betrayed September 11, and on every day since. Now we need to give a well-targeted sustained air and ground offensive a chance, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq, and not stop until we restore our most basic right, "Freedom from Fear."