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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 8, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Presidential debate

Scott Olson / The Associated Press

Sen. John McCain, foreground, and Sen. Barack Obama share a rare laugh during Tuesday night’s town-hall debate in Nashville, Tenn.

Iraq is no success

Editor, The Times:

During Tuesday’s debate, Sen. John McCain tried once again to pitch the Iraq war as a success story, asserting that victory — a real “mission accomplished” — is right around the bend [“Tension, but little venom,” Times, page one, Oct. 8].

There is no victory cry that can be cobbled together on the backs of this war’s human tallies: nearly 4,200 U.S. soldiers killed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and humanitarian crises stemming from more than 2 million Iraqi refugees.

McCain uses “the surge” as justification for starting and continuing a war that has been wrong from the outset. The United States has dug its heels into Iraq, constructing the world’s largest embassy in a country where our invasion and occupation has wreaked devastation and ruin. We are establishing permanent military bases against Iraqi requests, keeping U.S. military might on the watch and prowl over Mideast oil reserves.

McCain’s position on Iraq does not signal good judgment, nor does his insistence that victory can yet be wrung from the Iraqi soil. It is representative of his penchant to march toward war, and his incomprehension about the desperate need for the United States to practice diplomacy rather than trumpeting the drumbeats and guns of war.

— Nancy Dickeman, Seattle

Debate redundancy

What I saw Tuesday night was a repeat of the first debate.

It doesn’t matter what the question was, the answer from either participant rambled on about this, that or the other thing.

Can we please have a debate? To debate means to argue, not continually give us your ideas on things. (Look up the meaning of the word “debate,” if you don’t believe me.) When will Sen. Barack Obama bring up the Keating 5? Is McCain blackmailing him or something?

It has been drilled into me that we use 25 percent of the world’s oil, but only produce 3 percent. Got it. Tell me something new, or I’m sleeping through the entire next debate!

— Steve Drake, Seattle

Bomb joke not funny, McCain

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Senator John McCain said he was “just joking” with one of his friends, when he sang “bomb, bomb Iran.”

What a great joker!

Someone who thinks he is fit to be president is joking about bombing other countries? Wow!

I would have liked to have seen someone in the room ask him how he would feel if a politician from another country “joked” about bombing the United States.

I am pretty sure he would not like that joke at all and think that those people must be terrorists, according to his definition of terrorism.

This man shows anything but leadership qualities. He sounds and acts like a senile, old man, running around mumbling to himself and calling everyone else stupid.

I hope people of this country can wake up and see the evil they are facing before it is too late. They did not do that eight years ago, but, hopefully, they have learned by now.

— Farokh Talebi, Kirkland

McCain’s policies scary

Sen. John McCain and his logic (or lack thereof) scares me.

During the debate last night, he said that he wouldn’t raise taxes for anyone, but he would lower taxes for some people. He even implied that he would lower taxes for as many people as Sen. Barack Obama will. But the money to run the country — and, hopefully, to start paying off the national debt — has to come from somewhere.

Under the tax plan McCain preaches, where will this money come from? If McCain doesn’t plan to undo President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, we will lose even more revenue. This is not the way to handle the economic crisis.

Another thing he said that frightened me: He clearly stated that nuclear power is clean and safe. Excuse me, but does no one remember the Chernobyl disaster? I hope people don’t buy into his unsupported lies.

Besides these twisted energy and economy policies, McCain said little about his own policies for the future, only saying what he has voted for or misquoting Obama. Sometimes, things he said about Obama were outright lies, with no more grounding in fact than the “safety” of nuclear reactors.

McCain is dangerous. I am grateful to all the war veterans, but that does not make someone suited for the presidency.

— Kelsey Josund (age 15), Lake Forest Park

The candidates needed to heel

After watching the “town hall” debate and seeing the terse, frustrated look on moderator Tom Brokaw’s face as he tried to make something meaningful of the evening, I couldn’t help but think the debate commission should take a lesson from Larry and Kirby.

Kirby is a young, frisky golden retriever, and Larry is Kirby’s owner. They are very loyal to each other. Rather than relying on an electric fence — used in big areas where dogs spend a lot of time chasing deer or getting lost — Larry gave Kirby an electric collar. It took a few times for the dog to realize that getting a little jolt meant stop and come back. Now all he has to do is hear the warning tone, and he gets the message and returns to base.

How much better the debate would have been if Brokaw could have had such a tool when the candidates wandered away from the question!

— Bill Clapp, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Education, Election, Energy, Environment, Health care, Politics

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