Letters to the editor


It’s time to leave Iraq and get back home

Did President Bush do right when he directed the invasion of Iraq and the assassination of Saddam Hussein? After all, the United States of America had been attacked by a foreign power that allegedly had ties to that country, a country under the leadership of a treacherous, inhumane dictator who we were told aided and abetted in the tragic 9/11 catastrophe and who had weapons of mass destruction in his arsenal.
Iraq was, according to President Bush, part of the “Axis of Evil,” and capable of inflicting further destruction on our country.
When the 9/11 invasion took place, our reaction was disbelief followed with anger and a need for revenge. As loyal and patriotic Americans, we placed our faith in our leadership and supported whatever the president and his cadre felt needed to be done to even the score and bring safety and tranquility back to our nation.
In retrospect, and I urge you to consider my three and a half years of military service as a paratrooper with the Green Berets before you call me unpatriotic. It is my opinion that due to poor intelligence, Iraq and Saddam Hussein turned out to be the scapegoats we were looking for.
No question, even though he was once our ally, Mr. Hussein needed to be ousted and brought to justice for his crimes. We did not, however, have to blast the country to smithereens and kill or maim thousands of innocent civilians in order to accomplish this.
The CIA has operatives throughout the world and constantly monitors hot spots. Accordingly, we take appropriate proactive actions. Americans, by and large, have no idea how many times we have covertly directed or aided in unseating heads of governments that posed potential danger to us without going to war.
In any event, after losing thousands of lives and spending billions, we are told that Iraq is now stabilized or on the verge of being stabilized. The Iraqis are ready to govern themselves and to run their country.
I happen to believe otherwise! We will be in Iraq for a long time to come.  Iraq is, as it has been for decades, a volatile country, comprised of many factions all vying for power and control. The Al-Quida presence makes it all that more difficult for any external force to be victorious.
The real enemy, Al-Quida, is smart, well-funded and well-versed in guerilla warfare. Much like Vietnam, we are fighting an enemy that hits, runs, hides  and assimilates into the general population.
And, what about Afghanistan? Oh yes; another quagmire, another no-win situation that is costing us an arm and a leg and the lives of thousands of brave men and women who are following orders and dying to keep us safe.
In reality, the real benefactors are the greedy entrepreneurs (Dick Cheney’s firm Halliburton and the Bechtel Group to name a couple) who are getting richer by rebuilding what we destroy or by supplying the war. They have no problem prolonging the conflict.
Contrary to what President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Senators McCain, Lieberman, Graham and others believe, General Petraeus is not going to do anything that will dramatically change the untenable path we are currently on. Didn’t we learn anything from the French experience and our own experience in Vietnam?
In summary, the time has come to get our troops out of that part of the world. It is time for us to cut our losses and re-direct our efforts by truly securing our borders, not just the Mexican border, all our borders. We need to spend our money on that endeavor, on better internal and external intelligence gathering, and on technology that will keep foreign enemies at bay.
We have outlived our usefulness in Iraq and Afghanistan, and should concede that we must fight terrorists and their radical way of life in a covert fashion that limits the number of young lives we are now sacrificing by waging conventional warfare.
Besides that, we truly cannot afford to continue spending money as if the source was infinite, especially when we have so many important human issues to address at home.

John Lopez
Bosque Farms

Rule-makers don’t have the oversight
To all those people who have written recent letters saying how we must do something about supporting “green energy” and “capping carbon emissions,” be careful what you wish for. 
If you think Doug Vaughan and Bernie Madoff had good Ponzi schemes, wait until the EPA caps carbon emissions and the N.M. Environmental Improvement Board hits you with their Cap and Trade scam. Vaughan and Madoff don’t hold a candle to these people.
In case you missed it, in June Senators Bingaman and Udall voted against S.J. Resolution 26, which would have restrained the EPA from imposing a heinous carbon-taxing cap on industries such as oil, gas and coal and consequently, on every American citizen. But instead, they voted to let the EPA regulate and tax carbon emissions (CO2). EPA rules are not legislation; they are authority given by the president to an unelected agency with power to bypass Congress.
And guess what? We have the same problem in New Mexico. Our own N.M. Environmental Department and the Environmental Improvement Board is poised to impose a New Mexico-only Cap and Trade on the people and businesses of this state with an effective date of Dec. 31, 2010. 
Again, it’s not legislation, it’s coming from the EIB, an un-elected, appointed by the governor, panel of seven people who have enormous rule-making power with no legislative oversight. Whatever taxes come down to the people from EIB are “taxes without representation,” make no mistake. 
Cap and Trade taxes will be totally crippling to every business and every individual person in this state, and will reduce our standard of living and will do nothing to reduce carbon emissions. 
Moreover, every person on the EIB has personal and professional interests in “renewable green energy” and “environmental issues,” which constitute serious conflicts of interest for serving on this board.
All of this fuss because carbon dioxide is such a villain in “global warming,” “climate change” or whatever the fear-mongers call it. Well, that has not been proven. 
For reference, read “Air Con” by Ian Wishart, just one of many books written proving that anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming is a hoax. CO2 is an innocent victim of those needing a “villain” as a reason for their carbon-capping scheme. 
Cap and Trade means a declining “cap” on total emissions, while allowing “trading” of pollution permits. Well, it just happens that Al Gore’s company, Generation Investment Management, is part owner of a carbon-trading company known as the Chicago Climate Exchange, and they are so hoping that Congress will pass Cap and Trade legislation.
Why? Because guess who stands to make billions and billions of dollars? None of this has anything to do with global warming or saving the planet, but has everything to do with money and power.
We, the people, have not kept our “boot on the necks” of Congress, or our N.M. Legislature. We’ve let Congress and Legislature give away their powers to un-elected boards and commissions, and it’s coming back to bite us.
Come November, just remember that your New Mexico delegation (Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan, Harry Teague, Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall) have all voted in favor of this mess, and it’s time, we the people, put our boots on.

Donna L. Crawford
Los Lunas


Hurricanes thank those who helped
The Belen Hurricane Swim Team would like to extend a huge Hurricane style thank you to the local businesses that helped sponsor the team in hosting one of the district swim meets this year for the Sundance Aquatic Association.
These business sponsors are: The Belen Walmart, Rutilio’s Restaurant, and Water King.
The big event took place on July 22, and their sponsorship helped to ease the costs of some items needed to have a large enough concession stand to host nearly 400 swimmers and their families.
The money raised from our concession stand goes right back to the team with providing swim caps for next year’s swimmers and gifts to all swimmers at our year end party later this month.
The swimmers would also like to send out a Hurricane style thank you to the amazing coaches that led the team this year, the largest team the Hurricanes have seen in several years.
Thank you to head coach Andi Montano, coach Anna Sedillo and coach Jerel Garcia for all the hard work, time and dedication you have given to all the youths on the swim team. Your dedication shows through the swimmers’ personal improvements and achievements.
Finally, the swim team would also like to extend a Hurricane-style thank you to the Belen High School swimming pool.
The high school let the team use its facilities, and also provided the team with lifeguard John Henry, to help keep an extra pair of eyes on all the swimmers to ensure the safety of everyone…

Andi Lea
Parents of the Belen Hurricane Swim Team