Letters to the editor: Jan. 12, 2008

Venom is misguided

I was taken back by the venom sputter, and hatred toward, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in an article by political columnist Karen Backman (“Protest for peace at a Federal Way corner,” Jan. 9). It is pathetic and misguided information, at best. Yes, Backman is entitled to her opinion, but this goes beyond reasoning.

To say that our president, vice president and Rumsfeld are responsible for the lack of body armor, helmets, etc., is the lack of her knowledge, since her elected representatives in Washington, D.C., are the very ones holding up the funds for these very vital needs to our troops.

So, Backman and her buddies stand on the corner of 320th and Pacific Highway South every Saturday, holding up their signs. My questions to them: When was the last time you thanked a military man or woman for helping to protect you and your family? When was the last time, you can remember, when the terrorists attacked American soil, after 9/11? That is, in the United States?

Backman’s hatred toward President Bush and his administration has clouded her judgment about the very people she voted for in Washington, D.C.

Pat Gee, Federal Way

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Bless your peacemakers

Several letters in The Mirror recently have criticized the peace movement happening here in Federal Way at the corner of Pacific Highway and 320th Street every Sunday at noon.

Each of us who stands on that corner or any other corner of the world has his or her own unique reason for doing so. We don’t all belong to the same party, club, church or organization.

On Sept. 14, 2001, the Friday after the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, I stood on the corner of 336th Street and 21st Avenue with many other people, waving flags, carrying candles and waving to the passersby who honked and cheered. We were a people standing together.

I remember standing there and saying to my husband, “There will probably be a time soon, when some of us will be standing on opposite corners from each other.” I was worried that this tragic event would be used as a call to war.

By March, bombs were falling on Iraq. I cried listening to the radio on my way to a women’s retreat. When I got there, the first big event, included a woman who got up and said “Aren’t you proud to be an American?” The women stood and cheered. I stayed seated. No, I was not proud of what America was doing in the Middle East.

A woman asked me why I stayed sitting. I told her I was against the war. She said “I’ve never met anyone against the war.”

That is one of the best reasons to stand on the corner. There are too many people who will believe that we’re all in favor of the war if nobody takes the risk to say, “I’m against the war.” Some of us take the risk.

There are many throughout history who took the risk to be brave, to stand tall, and stand up for what they believed was right. That is how peaceful change is brought to the world. The Boston Tea Party was a call to action — a speaking out that led to the U.S. breaking away from England. Mahatma Gandhi brought huge change to India because he was brave enough to take a stand and lead people in non-violent action. Martin Luther King stood up for equality and led the non-violent call for civil rights for all. Susan B. Anthony led women to march and carry signs that eventually led to me having the right to vote.

What they and others like them did took courage. Some of them lost their lives in their various causes. We also have courage. We have had very angry people swear at us and even stop their cars and come yell at us up close. It can be frightening.

I am a Catholic Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ — the Prince of Peace who gave his life to teach a new way of life. After 2,000 years of Christianity, I believe it’s time to put an end to war, to beat our swords into plowshares.

And, I feel called to take the risk to stand on the corner and speak out against the war. Blessed are the peacemakers.

Gerry Jones, Federal Way

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Fantasy worlds collide

In her Jan. 9 column “Protest for peace at a Federal Way corner,” Karen Backman accuses political columnist Angie Vogt of being in a fantasy world. I wonder the same about Karen Backman.

In her column, she mentions “Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy” eight times. Does she not know that it has been a long time since Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense? I think she is the one who is in a fantacy world. Get real, Karen.

Leo J. Thoennes, Federal Way


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