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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 3 years ago

LETTERS: Readers respond to ISIS editorial

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Observer Media Group CEO Matt Walsh asked last week on this page: ‘Never again?’ It was referring to the Holocaust and implied that Islamic terrorists’ atrocities resembled those of the Nazis. We said it was time for the U.S. to act forcefully. OMG readers responded — forcefully. 

+ Act now, act without mercy

Dear Editor:

I am glad to have read the editorial concerning ISIS.

People need to know.

As most Americans go about their daily lives they seem to forget that what ISIS can and might do to our nation is real.

As the wife of a career retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel (Vietnam and Desert Shield veteran), and myself being an honorably discharged U.S. Navy reservist, we are watching and we are worried.

We are grandparents. When we look upon our grandchildren, we wonder: Will our nation’s elected officials always stand up to terrorism as well as protect our borders?

Lukewarm, namby-pamby reactions to terrorism doesn’t cut it in our opinion. I agree that we must act and act now and act without mercy.

Thank you for publishing the editorial and graphic photos, because it is time.

God bless our America.

Linda Urban

Windermere

+ Honesty appreciated

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to thank the editor for writing the “Never Again?” article. I thought it was not only informative and moving, but so courageous of the paper to tell it like it really is for Christians and other victims of terrorist acts in the Middle East. I showed it to my high schoolers and they were left speechless by the photographs, as it all became very real for them. I also gave the article to our high school Bible teacher who was planning on discussing it with her class.

So appreciate your honesty in reporting this.

Mary Ellen Murray

Foundation Academy, Winter Garden

+ We need to wake up

Dear Editor:

Well, finally, a media source that is trying to make a difference. This makes me like the Plant City Observer even more. It is the job of the president and our elected officials to protect us and our country. We need to insist on it now! Thanks for this much-needed editorial. I pray people wake up before we have no freedom!

Carol Bridges

Lakeland

+ Inappropriate for children

Dear Editor:

While I agree with your views, this editorial was hidden inside the paper with little or no warning. Your paper is dropped off to local elementary schools weekly. 

My 10-year-old son found himself reading an article in the back seat of the car and looking at pictures that my adult brain struggles to make sense of. He was horrified. It opened up the door for some real conversations about acceptance, witnessing and choosing God even when it seems hopeless. (My 5-year-old’s take on it: “You have to choose Jesus even when bad guys don’t.” My 10-year-old’s view: “We live in a big world, and there are bad guys. We just have to remember to plant a seed.”) While I feel they were able to talk this out, I wasn’t planning to share this kind of information yet. 

I ask that you continue to stand firm in your beliefs, but please don’t deliver issues such as this to elementary schools.

Patty Baxter

Plant City

+ Aggressively eliminate them

Dear Editor:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Finally, someone had the nerve and clear view of the EVIL in our world that is like a cancer that no one is treating.   

To say that this EVIL is confined to a few Muslims and that Islam is the religion of peace is pure baloney. You have only to study Muslim aggression in history and the true life of Muhammed to see what we’re facing.

Compare the lives of Jesus and Muhammed. 

How can we get serious about this threat to the entire civilized world and let known terrorist camps operate in this country? We must call them what they are and aggressively eliminate them. Period.

Just a patriot … 

Phil Stewart

Bradenton

+ Act on your message

Dear Editor:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Your castigation of the president and Congress is so on target. 

And, as you mention, we all seem to be content with talk and no personal action.  

Like you, I have urged those who are outraged by what is going on to write to their elected officials and demand accountability and action. 

Thank you for taking what is an unusual stance for a publication such as yours. We need to hear your message and act on it!

Sandy Savin

Lakewood Ranch

+ Contact your representative

Dear Editor:

Bravo to you for your editorial regarding terrorism. I hope it helps bring people to their senses.

It’s refreshing to see someone call it like it is and put forth a call to action by the people.

It is frightening that our president continues to release terrorists and defend them while innocent people are being crucified, beheaded and burned.

Perhaps you could craft a template letter that people could print, sign and send to our representatives.

Amber Suka

Lakewood Ranch

Ms. Suka: Send the editorial page to Congress. Or email your representative a link to it: yourobserver.com/news/longboat-key/Opinion/0204201538528/Our-View-Never-again. — Ed. 

+ Make our voices heard

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the article on the terrorist attacks that have become alarmingly more frequent and horrendous.  

It took courage for this little newspaper to report out-of-the-box commentary, atypical for the usual community news you deliver to us each week.  

I also appreciate your noting that Obama is totally unwilling to step up and take a stance on this impending doom that will surely affect us in the United States.

It’s a scary world we live in; I feel for the innocent children being born every day.

I, for one, intend to write to my congressman as you suggested. Hopefully more people will do the same before it is too late.  

It’s a shame that our government is not more involved in wiping out these vile zealots. We, the people, need to make our voices heard!

Audrey Carroll Smith

Bradenton

+ Thanks for your guts

Dear Editor:

FINALLY! A paper that has the guts to print the truth about what is REALLY going on regarding our current administration’s unwillingness to identify an enemy that has but one mission: to destroy America and all who believe in what we as a country stand for.  

It’s shameful to see that we, the people, have spoken (and loudly) in the results of the mid-term elections and yet the POTUS turns a deaf ear to the wishes of THE PEOPLE!  

Our military has been stifled by the State Department. We are now on our third Defense Secretary! We are in serious danger by “leading from behind.”

We must change our position of inaction and support those Arabic countries that are now moving forward to destroy ISIS. 

There isn’t any other nation but ours that can take these barbarians on, and if we cooperate with our allies who need us now more than ever, we can once again be the moral source for the entire world.  

Thank you for printing real news! Thanks for finally making the Observer just that — a good observation for its readers!

Joseph A. Massimilla

Lakewood Ranch

+ Editorial belongs in trash

Dear Editor:

I object to your statement that the president refuses to identify radical Islamic extremists and that his response is “feckless.”

Are you saying he should have already committed ground troops in the fight against ISIS?   

We just got out of two different wars!

I want to remind you there is a presidential election next year, and you are welcome to run for president. I have always enjoyed the Observer up until last week’s editorial. 

We already have Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity stirring up fear on Fox News every night, and now we have you trying to defame our president.

I object to your article. It belongs in the Tampa Bay Times or St. Louis Post-Dispatch, not a neighborhood newspaper. 

If you continue to have offending opinions like this, I’ll remove the paper from my driveway and deposit it directly in the trash can.

Jerry Signaigo

Lakewood Ranch

+ Powerful and so true!

Dear Editor:

Your Feb. 5 editorial is so powerful and so true!  

This is something that is seldom written in our local newspapers, and it SHOULD be! I really hope the American people will wake up! 

Please continue to write these excellent and informative articles. Thank you.

Joan Eveland

Lakewood Ranch

+ ‘I applaud your stand’

Dear Editor:

I’ve never commented about your paper since we moved here almost seven years ago and became a loyal reader. But your Feb. 5 Opinion page really got my attention. I loved it. 

Thanks for showing the reality of what these Islamic nut jobs are doing. Perhaps the armchair liberals won’t be so tolerant of this intolerance if they are presented with FACTS. 

There are so few media outlets that present the truth. It takes courage, and I applaud your stand.

SueAnn Carpenter

Bradenton

+ It’s just like pre-WWI

Dear Editor:

The question you pose is indeed a serious ponderable, with no clear answer.

There is no doubt that the ISIS and other related Islamic pathological criminals are heinous, of the same ilk as the Nazis were, maybe worse.

Often it is stated that the situation in the world is analogous to 1939 in terms of ISIS aggression, and no aggressive counter balance from world governments.

I believe it is more like the first decade in the 20th century prior to WWI when European countries were colliding with each other, and Germany behaving like Russia is today.

All European countries agreed to spend 2% of GDP to provide a military capability. To date, only four countries are doing that. Thus, their impotence in addressing ISIS, Russia or Iran.

European countries have, for the most part, been protected by the U.S. military since the end of 1945.

The issues of clear and present hostility and danger to the U.S. are multiple. Russia is arming and posturing for war. China stealthily is arming at a rapid rate. Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

Terrorism both domestic and foreign will continue well into the future.

ISIS is going to  have to be resolved by a coalition of countries in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, because of a deliberate policy by the current administration over the past six years, the U.S. military has been compromised in capability and capacity. Military resources are substantially stretched and need to be rebuilt and restored in every regard.

Congress needs to demand and appropriate funds to start immediately the process of rebuilding and expanding the military.

Bottom line: Because of a void in leadership within the U.S. government and administration, the multiple perils threatening the U.S. are extremely serious.

Elections have consequences — do they ever! We are presently living the results.

Vic Cameron

Sarasota

+ Stick to Cops Corner

Dear Editor:

I write with no illusions of seeing this in print. Nevertheless, I was so upset by your editorial calling for all-out war that I had to respond.  

Your “Never Again?” editorial went way beyond the expected limits of an advertisement-laden, local weekly. It is wrong on so many levels that I don’t know where to begin.  

To compare ISIS or any other fringe terrorist group to Hitler’s Germany is not only out of proportion with history, but it diminishes the deaths of millions of innocent, Jews, Slavs, gypsies, homosexuals, intellectuals and others who were slaughtered by a tyrant who has no equal in infamy.  

Yes, we had 9/11. Yes, there have been gruesome beheadings. But most of the killing has been Arabs killing Arabs, which has been going on for centuries.

 Your call to arms is frightening. Pumped up by jingoistic quotations from Army officers, you call for all-out war, risking the lives of thousands of young American soldiers to fight a battle that you are thousands of miles away from.  

Why don’t you and your family move to the Middle East and publish your paper there? Because you, personally, have no intention of putting yourself in harm’s way. It’s easy to throw spitballs from the comfort of your safe office. You even pay homage to that great American Spiro Agnew by using one of his favorite words — nattering. 

The president is “feckless,” the Congress “afraid.” But not you and your warrior friends. The answer is always war. 

My advice: Stick to Cops Corner and condo ads. If you have to vent, write a letter to the Times. You can’t turn the Longboat Observer into a bully pulpit when all you have to offer is bull----.

Jeffrey Meltzer

Longboat Key

+ You said it like it is

Dear Editor:

Bravo for taking such a stand against the Islamic terrorists.

Your “Never Again?” editorial is a must-read for everyone, and I mean everyone.  

We are at war. Make no mistake about it, and you took it upon yourself instead of writing about local news to warn our country that we must take action now.  

There is no one: “No other nation with the might, the ingenuity or the ability to muster the will, courage and commitment to do whatever is necessary to end the slaughtering of innocents, to destroy this mortal enemy of Western values and civilizatiion.” Because, as you said, “If not we, then who will stop them?”

What a courageous person to say it like it is.

Gloria Max

Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Volusia & Flagler Counties Inc.

Ormond Beach

+ Yes, never again!

Dear Editor:

I cannot commend you highly enough for your bravery, your honesty and the courage it took to print “Never Again?”  

I am sure your readership expects a weekly stance on the usual: construction on a roadway taking too long; or a plea for money for school sports, etc. For you to boldly state what many of our citizens think, and make a plea for action on our part, as well as our state and federal leaders, required courage. Congratulations.

We watch in horror as the radical Islamists destroy civilization, brutally murder and degrade, and yet nothing is done. 

Those in government are there through our generosity; we, in the small communities, are the voters. We sent them there. They are required to do OUR bidding, not satisfy their own petty agendas, living in their own self-satisfying world.

Yes, you are correct: Never Again! Yes, you are correct: If not us, then who?  

Can we possibly be so naive to think it will not come here? It has in the past, and it is only a matter of time before it comes again.  

And if not for us, do we stand by as it happens on the other side of the ocean? 

The world did that before, and shame on us for that.

Yes, Never Again. It has been argued that we are not the policemen of the world, let someone else do it.  But there is no one with the power; no one with the moral standards backed by such power. It has to be us.

On behalf of Jews, Christians, non-radical Muslims, any peace-loving people, we must all shout “Never Again!” And let our politicians know we mean it, before it is too late.

Eleanor Fella

Palm Coast

+ Stick to local news

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your apparently deeply felt, though not so deeply thought, opinion. 

Your title is “Never Again?” which was born as a pledge, by the Jewish Defense League, that the Holocaust must never be repeated. The Holocaust, you say, is being repeated. Your evidence is several horrific, murderous and barbaric photographs of ISIS atrocities. As horrendous as these atrocities are, can the scale be compared to that of the Holocaust? I, for one, am not convinced.

You say that the president has refused to identify this latest incarnation of ultimate evil, but you do not provide evidence of this refusal. Has Obama not intensified those policies, including an exponential increase in drone warfare? Has the expenditure in American lives and treasure not increased since the departure of Mr. Bush? Has all of that loss increased the security of the American people? Again, I find the evidence unconvincing.

You have enumerated the perpetrators and have included Vladimir Putin. What are your criteria for inclusion? No doubt, some members of your list are murderers and barbaric and warrant inclusion. However, how does Putin qualify? Hamas and Hezbollah, in some circles, are classified as freedom fighters. Remember that Palestinians are members of our community. 

You do not mention Israel’s open air prison, otherwise known as the Gaza Strip. Thousands have died and the living have been reduced to utter misery. Your silence about this speaks loudly. 

You quote Gen. Keane regarding the explosive growth of al Queda. Many see that growth as a result of disastrous U.S. foreign policy blunders based on the use of military force as the only option.

 There is much evidence that ISIS was a monster created as a result of [our] mistakes in Iraq. Al Quaeda, though still dangerous and growing, is not clearly an ally of ISIS and may even be its enemy. There is now more than one al Queda. Where did that come from — another escapee from the War On Terror?

Your description of the president is a litany of negatives but no evidence is stated.

The heart of your polemic is that you urge us to be afraid of the menace that is threatening our wives, our children, our very civilization. It worked. You have made me very much afraid of people like you. 

You say our public servants’ top priority is to protect you “from harm and from being enslaved and slaughtered by foreign invaders.” Have we not prepared ourselves well enough with our permissive gun laws?

I will not let my public servants hear from me, for I do not know where to find them. Washington is filled by servants of corporations and moneyed interests who surely do not serve me and mine.

You prefaced your editorial by saying it was a departure from your “...focus on local news … You do those things quite well, and I would hate  to have to do without your reviews and other information. However, I would strongly advise you not to venture too far into unfamiliar territory as you did with your editorial.

Frank LaLuna

Sarasota

+ Applause for editorial

Dear Editor:

I applaud you for the strong statement made in the Feb. 5 edition.

The barbarism committed by the Islamic extremists continues unabated and, for some reason, our inept president refuses to take a strong leadership position. His most recent statements at the National Prayer Breakfast were shameful! It appears that he is intentionally missing the target!

Sal N. Bonfanti

Sarasota

+ Step up, take the lead

Dear Editor:

It is really refreshing to see thoughts almost identical to mine appear in a newspaper editorial.

It is so frustrating to know the mistakes that led up to World War II are being repeated and a major portion of the world population is ignorant of what is happening.  

In addition, our government, most notably our president, and the major news media seem to be ignorant of the long-term effects of current events. If the problem is not tackled now, it is likely to grow until the consequences are much greater.  

I agree; the United States should step up and take the lead against the threat. With good leadership, I believe this country could establish a coalition of countries to crush terrorism wherever it arises.

Jerry Chiddister

Palm Coast

+ Shout the truths

Dear Editor:

I am writing to highly commend the Observer. The courage you have exhibited to print the article “Never Again?” is extraordinary.

These truths need to be shouted from the house tops of every country in the free and civilized world if we are to remain free.

I am the granddaughter of German Jews who realized what was coming in Germany and were able to escape before it was too late. They were fired from their jobs in universities and cultural arenas. Family and friends were murdered. My great-grandmother was taken from her home when she was 81 to be burned in the ovens of Treblinka. 

The losses and trauma experienced eventually culminated in my grandparents taking their own lives. 

There was a man by the name of Zvi Jabotinsky who went around Europe telling my people “the ground is burning under your feet.” Now it is burning under the feet of all who do not adhere to this diabolical, evil and barbaric agenda. 

As a famous sage of Israel said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for  myself, what am I?” If not now, when? We will find ourselves having to take a stand, hopefully sooner  than later. Thank you again.  

Iris Sadove

Ormond Bech

+ President deaf to threats

Dear Editor:

My compliments on “Never Again?”

You are correct; unfortunately, what you say falls on deaf ears in the White House.

Our country is sinking in so many ways, including our prestige around the world and our military/defense here at home.

Dr. Len Indianer

Ormond Beach

+ Truth about terrorists

Dear Editor:

Bravo and three cheers and more for finally speaking out the truth about the Islamic terrorists and what we need to do about it. I had just about given up on getting any truth from the U.S. press.

I have contacted my senators and congressman with my comments to your editorial. I am not sure it will do any good, but if enough of us care enough to do the same it may help. 

Gail St. Pierre

Palm Coast

+ Israel won’t let it happen again

Dear Editor:

Good editorial. I wrote this before I read your editorial:

Recently, I read a letter to the editor that seemed to be saying anti-Semitism is decreasing or holding steady and anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise. Duh!

Just because certain Muslims cut off heads, burn people alive, stone women, want to kill us infidels and do some other really bad things in the name of a religion that is actually a political ideology doesn’t mean we are prejudiced against Muslims.

I read a recent letter from a woman who said: “Once and for all, criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism are not the same thing.”

Israel is a Jewish state. Curse Israel, and you are cursing the Jews. People had better realize one thing: It’s not going to happen again. They’ll fight back, and they are damned good at it! They have a leader who has fought before and will do it again. Wish I could say the same about our leader.  

Douglas Glover

+ Let your voices be heard

Dear Editor:

Kudos are insufficient. What a powerhouse of a piece and “right on.”

Thank you for printing your editorial. I can only hope others who read it will do as asked — let their voices be heard before it is too late.

Having left Warsaw in 1938 with my parents, I know all too well what a Holocaust brings. The fact that it could happen again in any shape or form  should frighten the entire world into action now — not during or after the fact. Once was enough.

It seems the world does not choose to stop killing, but another Holocaust such as this must be stopped. 

The comments by Col. Ralph Peters need to be heeded, and our Congress needs to stop thinking of this as simply a pre-election year. Enough is enough! Thank you for your courage.

Dana Williams

Palm Coast

+ America, wake up

Dear Editor:

Thank you for printing “Never Again?” in the Feb. 5 edition.

How many have to be beheaded, crucified or burned alive in a cage before people start to question this evil that is taking over the Middle East.

Too many people are living in a bubble in America and Europe.

They think that it won’t happen here. Sorry, but it can happen here, and it can happen in Europe.

Why are people so detached? It seems we are following the same attitude of the people during the rise of Hitler. Everyone knew what was happening, but preferred to look away, because it was not happening to me or to my country. It was in Germany, Poland, France and  Italy, and in so many countries, yet no one thought to say, “This could be me, it could happen here, to me, my children, my loved ones, my friends and my neighbors.

People of America, wake up. If you love America, it’s time to realize  that if we do not put pressure on our government, we will not have the freedoms we now enjoy for much longer. It will happen here, perhaps sooner than later.

Barbara Capuano

Palm Coast

+ Editorial on target

Dear Editor:

I have read this article and looked at these pictures and having traveled to Germany and seeing one of the concentration camps and photos of the heinous crimes that were committed in those camps,  Matt is exactly correct.  This is the beginning of basically the same thing that went on in the 1940’s but  only in Germany at the time.  Now it is happening all over the world.  What do we do?  I am not a politically correct person but I will say that in my opinion we should do the very same thing we did to Japan.  Blow them to Hell.  As Army Lt. Col. Peters said, go in take care of business, get it done and get out.

 We also need desperately to get down on our knees and start doing some serious praying because we have all forgotten that God is watching and he is allowing us to make these constant mistakes and leaving him out of our lives.

 That said, my question to you is who do we contact and how do we contact them?  I totally agree that we have simply let our lives continue on as tho nothing that is going on is effecting us, but it is and we had better take heed.  Please give those of us who don’t know who to contact and how to contact them some help, we need some leading from someone that knows.

You share with me and I will share with all those I know and your name and business will never be mentioned in order to protect you and yours.

Please help!!!

I sincerely thank you!

Billye Boyd-Jones

Palm Coast

+ God help us

Dear Editor:

Thank you for getting me on my “High Horse.” I did as you so urged in your editorial Never Again?”

I let my representatives and senators know I am looking to them to defeat ISIS as I have no hope that unless they act nothing will change. What next horror perpetrated on innocents will it take to give our President and government the will to act and plan to defeat an ideology that aches for heaven? God help us, if we do not stop ISIS now, our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be fighting this evil by whatever name it chooses to call itself.

Faith Kaskisto, RN

Palm Coast

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