Letters to the Editor
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Apparently, Jeffrey R Smith has gone to Washington, because now he is writing letters to the editor about international issues, to wit, corruption in Turkey ("https://alamedasun.com/letters/16662," Feb. 23). I hope this doesn't mean he will no longer inform us about endemic corruption in Alameda's government and school system.
Smith made reference to the film Casablanca. Here's another one: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that corruption is going on in here!" Corruption in Turkey? Say it ain't so, Jeff! Alameda rubes think that Turkey is a paragon of virtue and rule of law.
As I read the letter, I wondered what Turkey had to do with the price of coffee in Alameda. At last Smith dropped the other shoe, writing that the corruption in Turkey "serves as a broader lesson to governments that over-regulate then use the threat of enforcement by politicized Commerce Departments, Treasury Departments and Justice Departments to extort... what are politely called campaign contributions."
Of course, there is corruption, cronyism, and over-regulation in the US, but making that obvious point by way of Turkey is clumsy at best. Smith contradicts himself when he points to violations of building codes in Turkey and then complains about government regulations. If Turkey had followed regulations (building codes), there would have been fewer earthquake deaths.
The war in Ukraine goes on. According to reports on the ground, the strategic town of Bakhmut in the Donbas has fallen to the Russians after a bloody several months. Various commentators are citing a report from CNN that over the course of the war, the Ukraine military has lost 259,000 dead, 247,000 wounded, and 84,000 deserted or disappeared. If the figures are even half this, it is staggering and puts to lie the story that Ukraine is on the road to victory, if only we provide more weapons. Ukraine does not have able-bodied men to keep up the fight. Col. Douglas Macgregor, reports that fifteen-year-olds and 60-year-olds are being forced into service, and many are becoming mere cannon fodder in the meat-grinder.
Friends, wake up! We are not supporting Ukraine. We are destroying Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin were ready to negotiate back in April of last year and Boris Johnson of Britain intervened, flying to Kiev and telling Zelensky under no circumstances to make a deal. Americans are being told fantasy tales about the war, just as happened with Vietnam and Afghanistan.
It's time to end this. Forget party politics. Former President Donald Trump has spoken out forcefully against the war. Several Republicans have sponsored a resolution in the House (H Res 113) calling on ending the funding of the war. Where are the Democrats? Where are the pro-peace members of Congress, Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna? I think they need to hear from their constituents.