Banks County Opinions...

October 10, 2001


Letter To The Editor

The Banks County News
October 10, 2001

Says columnist needs lessons in reporting
This letter is in response to Shar Porier's column on Wednesday, October 3, 2001.
I fully support freedom of speech but irresponsible statements by Shar in her column are evidence of her lack of experience and youthfulness. Remember, Shar: "The pen is might'er than the sword"!
You wonder if the bombing of a desolate country in search of an elusive target is a prudent course of action. Apparently, you have failed, as a reporter, to follow the political negotiations by our political leadership in our attempt to have Bin Laden released to U.S. authority without firing a shot or dropping a bomb. What about all the terrorist being apprehended daily throughout the world. We are not advocating bombing a desolate country but rather specific intelligence targets-a big difference from your column. Do not be so foolish to think we do not know the "good guys" from the "bad guys." Your lack of knowledge is readily apparent!
Yes, Shar, it is worth the cost to keep our troops deployed throughout the world to prevent another attack on U.S. soil such as the Towers and Pentagon attack. You have never experienced war first hand and I pray to God you never do. Further, further we are not solely shouldering the financial burden! What about Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, etc., etc.?
Where have you been Shar? The daily news has been filled with reports of support by our allies since the day of the attack. I am not a news reporter but it is very apparent most all of the foreign countries are supporting us and taking every prudent measure within their country's borders to curb the tide of terrorism. Do you think this is not a financial burden on their economy?
You apparently think, "by sticking your head in the sand," terrorism will go away so "bring the troops back home." Do you realize by following your course of action we are bringing the "war" to U.S. soil and a loss of more innocent U.S. civilian lives. Do you want this on your conscious? Shar, from your column, I know you have never been involved in planning a military operation nor have you been privy to U.S. intelligence gathering operations so why don't you stick to your job of reporting the local facts for The Banks County News and leave the "national arena" to the more experienced. Our commander-in-chief, the chiefs of staff of all the services, the FBI, CIA, and others too numerous to enumerate are doing their jobs extremely well in the fight to eradicate terrorism. Why don't you join the team and support our leadership and our country! Stop planting seeds of doubt in our youth as was done in the Vietnam era!
God bless America.
Sincerely,
Louis E. Sokowoski
U.S. Army Retired
Commerce

Column
By Shar Porier
The Banks County News
October 10, 2001

Normally I don't respond, but...
To Mr. Sokowoski I would like to say, "Thank you." You and the men, including my father, who fought in World War II performed a great service. And for that you deserve honor, as do all the men and women who have served in the military since the beginning of our democracy. I have a deep respect for those who protect our country and our freedom.
But, I do not speak with the voice of inexperience. I have seen enough conflicts, starting with the Korean "War," to have my doubts concerning the wisdom of government leaders and military strategists.
The Bay of Pigs fiasco stands out in my mind as an example of how leaders can be misinformed. Vietnam is another.
Twenty years ago we supplied arms to the very people we're now engaging.
Today we're supplying arms to opium traffikers, otherwise known as the Northern Alliance. Sure, it's been called "an uneasy alliance." Officials know what these rag-tag tribal bands have been doing and are wary of too closely alligning America with them. Yet, we rely on them for information, for experience in the field. That comes at a cost.
It is that kind of relationship that has made so many enemies in the past. It feeds the very fires our nation and the world now find themselves trying to extinguish.
As for the support from other countries, yes, it is there. But is it enough, equal to what we're laying on the line? You know the answer is "No."
The American public has jumped headfirst into an ugly vendetta. In polls, most people thought the government took too long to react. Should have bombed them sooner, some say. Should "Nuke 'em till they glow," say others. I find these statements frightening; just as frightening as the thought of another terrorist attack. (And, no, I don't have a gas mask, or any other protective devices or medicines.)
I find the attacks against citizens of Arab descent appalling. It is fear in its worst expression.
And, incidentally, my conscience is already bearing the most recent burden of 6,000 lives. Why would I, or any American, want the burden of even just one more?
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.

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