Letters to the Editor

Peace notions aren't square with reality

I read with interest the recent column by Lisa McLeod ("United States should devote more to peace," Lifestyle, Sept. 17). Because McLeod doesn't claim to understand the inner workings of government bureaucracy and obviously doesn't understand men in other cultures, let me break it down for her.

We already have two departments that handle the peacemaking duties of government: the Department of State and Department of Defense. State maintains friendly relations with any nation that will entertain a visit from us or wants money. Handshakes, parties, parades, limos. Very peaceful. Very sexy.

Then there are nations, states and groups that don't really get off on the whole sexy diplomatic scene. See United Nations, Germany, Japan, Soviet Union and al-Qaida. So when diplomacy fails, the Department of Defense steps in and enforces peace. Notice the "force" in enforce. I think the word "enforce" is also written in U.N. Resolution 1441.

We pay our fellow citizens to go do violence in our name, killing as many of them and breaking as much of their stuff as possible. That way they don't come to our cities and peaceful places and breach our peace. You don't have to like it. Nobody does. But it is what it is.

Men don't go off to war to be heroes or because their women have heroic expectations. They do it because here on planet Earth, it sometimes becomes necessary. The men you love aren't hurting each other; they are hurting those that would come over here and saw off your head just because you wrote a letter to a newspaper. And if they don't do it, your children and grandchildren will have to. Reality. Get used to it.

- Sgt. Rich Long


U.S. has obligation to confront evil

The United States should devote more to peace? Americans give more to fight hunger, famine and disease worldwide than most other countries combined. That aside, Lisa McLeod's column ("United States should devote more to peace," Lifestyle, Sept. 17) is devoid of such facts and contains so much naivete that it demands rebuttal.

Venture away from your laptop and your Martha Stewart living room for a moment. There is a world out there chock-full of people - billions in fact - most of them good. Sadly, many are not. Your contention that making peace sexy will inspire world change is completely misguided at best and dangerous at worst. Take this plan to the African continent and share it during a ritual female circumcision of a 12-year-old girl. Take this plan to the Middle East; just cover all your exposed skin. Never mind, you would be killed for talking to men in public. Take this plan to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. Just don't go anywhere without armed escort or you might learn what some crack-starved addict's idea of sexy is.

There is evil in this world. It must be confronted head-on by men and women willing to do so.

In our world there are three kinds of people: There are sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. The problem is most people are sheep and don't realize it. The few that even admit the existence of the wolf believe it simply needs a hug, sympathy and education to mend its evil ways. Then they vilify the sheepdog for performing the distasteful work that needs to be done to protect the herd.

- Gary Wirl