Stake in policy

The pre-election attack in Spain seems to prove that the terrorist network is able to effectively plan attacks to achieve political ends. Does that mean (1) they have not and cannot stage another major attack on us here in the U.S. because President Bush has done such a wonderful job of protecting us, or (2) they are waiting until "after" our November election to attack us again, or (3) they will attack us again "before" the November election?

Let me make the case for No. 3. This case assumes that our support of Israel and our war and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq are driving multitudes of young men daily into the fundamentalist Muslim terrorist cause. If this is the case, the terrorist leadership has a stake in keeping our policy with Islam aggressive. The more they attack, the more we attack, and the more recruits they get because we attack. This is what is going on in Israel. It is a situation where religious fundamentalism or both religions grow at the expense of the world's secular ideals.

The situation also assumes we would react to a large pre-election attack with the same anger we felt after 9/11 - that is, that we would re-elect our fighting president, institute a military draft, and then attack Iran.

Charles Brough

Joplin

'Irish' Johnny

I remember "Irish" Johnny Copeland. I had known him ever since we were kids. Johnny never met anyone he didn't like or talk to. He used to hang out at the Plaza Bowling Alley. As the years went by, Johnny stayed the same. I can even remember the last time we saw him, he was that same smiling person.

The years are not very kind to us sometimes, but Johnny was still Johnny. He will be missed, but now I know when the Lord calls me home, Johnny will meet me at the pearly gates, smiling and shaking hanging hands.

Bob Gideon

Carterville

Bush won

Please grant me the courtesy of a response to Gary Porter's letter (Globe, March 14).

(1) George Bush won the presidency through the electoral college - that's in the U.S. Constitution. The Democrats in Florida wanted to keep from counting hundreds of absentee military ballots.

(2) President Bush (and the 50 percent Democrat Congress) went to war against a regime in Iraq funding the training of terrorists in Iraq and all over the world - Saddam Hussein had used WMDs on Iran, Kuwait and his own Kurd people. Intelligence from many nations indicated he was in the process of producing WMDs. Libya, Iran and North Korea have been prompted to negotiations on WMDs.

(3) Hoover was not the cause of America's Depression - it began in Germany and spread, due to loss of world markets, to the whole world. As for job loss in the U.S. today, ask Sen. Kerry's Heinz-heiress wife why her corporation has "outsourced" half of its jobs to foreign countries.

(4) The only revenue accumulated by the government is by taxation. If there was a surplus it was because of exorbitant taxation by a Congress controlled for decades by the Democrats. Congress spends money - not the president. If Congress stopped giving foreign aid to every country on the globe (including our enemies), we would have a continual surplus.

(5) Social Security was never intended to finance full retirement. I paid Social Security taxes from age 14 to 69, but I also lived within my means so as to save and provide myself with a supplement to my Social Security income. Baby boomers today could, with a little sacrifice, live within their means and save, just like my wife and I did. All this whining, and gloom and doom by millionaire Democrats like John Kerry and Ted Kennedy is enough to make me puke!

Paul Butler

Joplin

Al-Qaida

Well, it looks like organized terrorism has bullied its way to a monumental victory in Spain. The new socialist regime that will control Spain will soon send home its peacekeeping troops stationed in Iraq. Millions there are furiously digging holes in the sand to bury collective heads in hopes of hiding from the realities of worldwide terrorism.

What is happening in Spain and in other western European nations - the hysteria, the finger-pointing at America - borders on the realm of insanity. Al-Qaida kills 200 Spaniards and wounds a thousand more in multiple train bombings, and yet the frightened masses blame the United States and its war on terrorism? Instead of coming together as one nation to punish those who actually detonated the bombs - those who should be punished - they instead spit venom at America from across the Atlantic.

By pulling their troops out of the Middle East, the new Spanish leaders hope al-Qaida leadership will give their country a loving pat atop the head for a job well done and leave them be. There's no doubt Osama bin Laden is grinning from ear to ear right now.

It reminds me of 1986, when U.S. aircraft bombed targets inside Libya following a nightclub bombing in West Germany that wounded 60 American soldiers. The strike was severely complicated when France refused to allow our planes the use of their airspace. Many European governments condemned the attack. "Don't blame the terrorists" was their message. "Blame those who fight them."

Here in 2004, the last thing democracy needs in its fight against Al-Qaida is for Spain to tuck tail and hide. It only makes me thank God that we Americans didn't do the same following the horrors of Sept. 11, or the war would have been lost before it could even begin.

Kevin McClintock

Joplin

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