Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: May 9, 2007

Protesters promote peace

I just looked through the Federal Way Mirror (May 5) and saw the “Don’t glorify treasonists” letter to the editor by L.S. Matson, who was concerned with the high level of media attention given to war protesters.

The writer suggests, actually proclaims, that anyone who opposes our president should be charged with treason. Although I appreciate that L.S. Matson is voicing his or her voice, I find the commentary itself to be unnecessary, uneducated and just plain wrong.

Contrary to (apparently) popular belief, protesters do actually support our troops, our country and our country’s leaders. They’re certainly not promoting treason, or even anarchy. The real war protester is just that — a person protesting against war. In other words, they’re just out there promoting peace.

It’s really not fair to say that those who don’t support our president are committing treason. According to a report on the Fox News Web site on Nov. 10, 2005, only 36 percent of Americans approved of our president’s actions. If only 36 percent of Americans approve of how well the president is doing his job, then why should they support him? Consider the fact that (usually) you get fired if most of your bosses disapprove of your work ethic…

Making the situation even more striking, consider this: Our country was founded by people who explicitly disobeyed their government. Remember the Declaration of Independence? It was written by protesters who were unhappy with their nation’s leaders! That’s pretty significant, and it clearly demonstrates that Americans value the right to protest against injustices (or anything, for that matter).

The next time you pass a protester on the street or see one in the media, remember that they’re by definition supporting peace. You like peace. Peace is a good thing. We teach it to our kids in elementary school.

So since you already agree with what they’re doing, try honking your horn and flashing a peace sign with your fingers! You’ll like their response, since they’ll probably flash a peace sign right back at you, and it will make you feel good about yourself.

The simple fact of the matter is that they’re not committing treason. They’re just out there protesting against injustices and supporting our country, our troops, peace, you, me, and the pursuit of happiness.

Eric Wagenhals, Federal Way

Praise for writers and Bush’s moxie

Recently there have been several topics in The Mirror’s pages that have piqued my interest.

Reported on, and editorialized by readers, are the “impeach” protesters (the few I have seen no doubt competing with transients for the best corners in the city). Several other writers covered that subject quite nicely today (letters to the editor, May 5). Thanks to writers Payne, Wood and Matson; you each expressed my thoughts better than I could.

In mid-April, while waiting for a green light at the always-busy 320th and Pacific Highway intersection, I observed a small handful of sour-faced protesters sporting their “Honk for Impeachment” signs (or similar). I found it amusing that not one horn honk of approval was offered during the long two minutes or so I waited for my green light.

The same bad-tempered look seen on the faces of the protesters is repeatedly illustrated via guest columnist Karen Backman’s resentful and repetitive laments. While I support her right to state her opinions, I am continually amazed at the depth of unhealthy bitterness that is expressed in her musings.

Global warming — there’s another hot topic (excuse the pun).

Bob Roegner’s well-worded column bemoaning the current state of traffic frustrations (April 25) elicited agreement from me.

I, too, have concerns with traffic, especially the inordinate length of time state road construction seems to take.

Because of recent construction delays in multiple locations on my travel route, I began a letter addressing those concerns.

However, before I had a chance to finalize my draft, I received an e-mail from a close friend living and ministering in one of the “stan” countries in the Middle East. He sent me the account of the three Christian husbands and fathers in Turkey who were tortured and martyred in April by men of the region who “took exception” to their witness for Jesus.

Suddenly, after reading the account (and subsequent clarifications) of such horrifying brutality, the petty problems of our traffic hiccups seemed so…trivial.

I am simply glad we have streets we can traverse without needing armor plating and someone to “ride shotgun” as our troops and the indigenous population do in Iraq. Our streets have holes in them because they are being improved, not because of IEDs. My initial complaints now seem more like petulant whining.

I think about the three widows and the five (at least) fatherless children. As these moms comfort their children and figure out new ways to feed and house them, I doubt their primary concern is how much toilet paper the kids use to wipe away their tears. I wonder if they have toilet paper? Or food.

I don’t agree with Ms. Backman, or her embittered “I hate Bush” crowd, because I recognize that it is because of the efforts of presidents, past and present, as well as former Marines, soldiers and sailors that she and I have the privilege of expressing our opinions.

I am thankful that we have both been allowed to be educated so that we have the ability to express our thoughts in an articulate manner; not to mention marry who we wish, divorce if we have to, and leave the house unescorted if we desire. That’s more than the females in Iraq used to have.

But thanks to our President and our military personnel, Iraqi females are being educated. Their lives are improving. Why don’t the Bush haters appreciate that fact? Why don’t the feminists celebrate this fact?

I appreciate living in America. I appreciate a president with, uh, moxie. It’s not the word I would choose, but it is printable in this forum.

I appreciate our troops. What this president and these troops are doing right now may very well be what prevents me and Backman from, in the future, being forced back into 7th-century silence.

I would venture a guess that we both find the other’s opinions often distasteful, certainly disagreeable. We are cut from totally different cloth. But if either of us allows the other to be silenced we will both, ultimately, be silenced…and we all lose.

Yes, we need to continue to write letters and commentary on the subjects that are important in our city.

But I, for one, am allowing the aching haunt of the deaths of these three fine men in Turkey to help me put into perspective the comparatively insignificant minutia we so often blow out of proportion in our daily lives.

Perhaps we each should take a moment to softly whisper “Thank You” for God allowing us to live in this great nation. What mercy.

Harriet Cook, Federal Way

Missing child

May is National Missing Children Month. Let us not forget all those adults also missing in our country.

There is no month set aside for missing adults. Please remember all those adults missing, they are someones a son, father, brother, cousin, friend and co-worker.

My son, Brian Barton, has been missing from Federal Way since May 10, 2005. He is my 27-year-old “missing child.” Wearing a green ribbon (or yellow) will bring awareness to all missing persons. Spread the word. You can check on Brian Barton’s story online at theyaremissed.org.

Maureen Barton, Vista, Calif.

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