Syria column long on claims, short on facts

Whatever happened to the days when reporters wouldn't just throw some meat on the table expecting us to wolf it down just because they put it there? Are there no facts to report today?

We were gifted with an editorial recently telling us how poor President Obama had to work so hard to get his attack on Syria approved. Said editorial claimed it was a given that Assad used chemical weapons on his own people yet presented no evidence of same. Are we to assume that because the columnist and the president said so, it must be true? We were also told that, unlike George W. Bush's war in Iraq, this war was just.

I am astounded. Every politico in the country (except perhaps Barbara Lee) agreed that Saddam had WMDs, used them on his own people and had to be dealt with. There was compelling evidence then to condemn Saddam. The only drawback was that the Democrats, as Arianna Huffington put it, "would never go to war over it." There simply wasn't the fortitude on the other side of the aisle to do anything more than wring their hands about it. Now it appears the Democrats and their media minions are all gung-ho warmongers. What?

Where are the facts today? Who actually used the WMDs in Syria? There has been presented no compelling evidence of this to date. Where are said WMDs now? There is no evidence of this either. So what will President Obama attack? Perhaps this columnist will volunteer to be a forward observer and point them out to our military? Perhaps Bill Clinton can point them toward an aspirin factory.


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Where's the beef, Times?

Michael K. Hurder

Livermore

Hollywood's silence on Syria is deafening

Have you noticed a remarkable quiet lately? Hollywood types such as Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, and Barbra Streisand constantly spoke about how terrible the war in Iraq was -- and how misguided President Bush was for pursuing it. But we haven't heard a word from them about Syria.

Not only is the president proposing to "declare war" on Syria, but Hollywood apparently has forgotten Saddam Hussein killed more than 10 times as many Kurds with chemical weapons than died in Syria. And yet -- silence. Can you say "hypocrite?"

It should also not be surprising that Britain rebuffed the president's plans. Not only did the United Kingdom get burned over bad intelligence, but they no doubt remember that President Obama is the one who removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House, that he publicly stated France was America's "strongest friend and ally," that he sided with Argentina in the dispute over the Falkland Islands (and keeps insisting on calling them "the Malvinas"), and that he gave the Russians secret and sensitive information on Britain's nuclear capabilities to induce them to sign a treaty with America.

Who voted to re-elect him, anyway? And why?

Mike Heller

Danville

Let's not start yet another war

Please do not support more war! We have not the right to police the world. Our adventure in Iraq a second time was unfounded ... Afghanistan is still going.

I grew up in World War II. The propaganda was: This is the last war. No more wars. Since then we have been in war with Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Somalia, Iraq (twice and still going) Afghanistan, perhaps more.

Spend our money on policing our inner cities immersed in crimes and constant shooting of innocent people, with Oakland among the worst! Spend our money on education, studying disease, space, feeding and providing for our poor and homeless.

Obama, get real! Killing more people (whether limited, only the military people, presumably) or whatever the parameters is crazy and wrong.

Stop War! War is wrong ... we must develop ways to negotiate other than war to get along with others and they with us. Let's put up signs, wear pins, blast the media with "No More War" signs. People do not want war! Stop war!

Kate Ann Scholz

Dublin

No to Plan Bay Area

NO! Plan Bay Area's lame reason for pushing stack and pack housing: curb "greenhouse gases" (e.g., automobile emissions).

A far better way would be to foster unified rapid transit -- with BART around the Bay, to the Golden Gate and Carquinez bridges, to Brentwood, and to Livermore and over the Altamont, with lots of station parking.

Include a joint BART-Capitol Corridor station at Interstate 880 and 7th Street in Oakland, then bring the plan to the voters of all five counties ringing San Francisco Bay.

Half a century ago voters passed a similar measure that brought us BART.

And bnnex Santa Clara and San Mateo counties (getting BART extensions) to the BART district: voters, taxes, and all. Let the voters decide.

Update the monumental SFBARTC 1957 "Report to the Legislature", which led to the 1962 BART bond measure.

Bust the Metropolitan Transcportation Commission's ill-considered regional rail plan.

Robert S. Allen

Livermore

Contributions of PG&E should mitigate penalty

As an energy-efficiency consultant I've witnessed PG&E's commitment to innovation. Increasing the amount of green and renewable energy resources available to their customers is only part of that commitment.

I have worked with PG&E on several energy-efficiency jobs. The emphasis on promoting energy efficiency in lighting and through other emerging technologies has been an integral part of their work. While attending energy-efficiency training programs throughout Northern California, I have learned about PG&E's innovation initiatives, including unused sources of green energy. Working with the agricultural sector, methane gas was captured that would have gone into the atmosphere and contributed to greenhouse gases. PG&E scientists also examined the feasibility of harnessing ocean currents for an alternate energy source.

As the CPUC considers the penalty associated with the San Bruno accident, it is important to take into account contributions PG&E has made and will make to the residents of California. Innovation requires the level of commitment PG&E has shown to help us get to cleaner, greener, more efficient power sources.

Toby Brink

Livermore

Obamacare options have been put forth

Several people have written to say that those of us who oppose Obamacare have not proposed any alternatives.

I have heard several alternatives from doctors, those in Congress and others. Mike Huckabee laid out a very good plan on his Fox News TV program last month. I would hope those who are interested would check out this plan.

Patricia Veith

Dublin