Dear Editor:The Paul Cummins letter “Unwinnable Wars” reads like a Harry Reid speech of a year ago in that he remains determined to declare defeat in Iraq while seeing no value in ridding the Middle East of its most murderous dictator and establishing a democracy in the only (and most important) Arab country ever to be governed by leaders who were elected in free and fair elections. These “gloom and doom” predictions are supported by only mentioning foreign policy failures over the “past several decades” while ignoring such successes as victory over the Soviets in Afghanistan, the fall of the Soviet Bloc in Eastern Europe the reunification of Germany, the defeat of leftist revolutionaries in Central America, and the victory over Saddam Hussein the Gulf War. (Is it a coincidence that these events took place when we had Republican presidents or that the Korean War ended and the hostages in Iran were released when a Republican replaced a Democratic president?).We only have “unwinnable wars” when we conduct them in an incompetent manner and enough Americans get weak and give up. Yes, we lost more than 4,000 soldiers during five years of war in Iraq. We also lost more than 6,800 soldiers during one month of fighting over eight square miles of Iwo Jima. Which conflict is considered a “victory” or resulted in a greater benefit to the world? Why are casualties in Iraq mentioned while the numbers that Saddam Hussein killed are ignored? Why is every Iraq death seen as the fault of the Americans instead of an inevitable cost of defeating Saddam (and his two sons) and establishing a democratic form of government in Iraq? Whether or not the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are “winnable” remains to be seen and the ultimate outcome is not entirely within our control. We gave them a chance to have a country where leaders are elected and girls are allowed to go to school. We cannot guarantee success because that is ultimately to be determined by the people who live in those countries. But we can guarantee defeat if enough of us decide to agree with a view of world history espoused by Mr,. Cummins.James L JacobsonSanta MonicaDear Editor,Habemus Gleam Davis! If the City Council really wanted to elect a new Councilmember with the same values, style, and opinions as those of Herb Katz to fill his seat on the City Council vacated by his untimely death, then it did exactly the opposite by choosing Gleam Davis. Do we need another lawyer and SMRR pro-tenant advocate on the Council? I do not think that Mr. Katz would have given his vote to this candidate. Monika Bialas Santa Monica, CAcc: All Letters were forwarded to the Editor Dear Council members Genser, O’ Conner and Bloom, I am very disappointed that none of you would nominate Ted Winterer to the City Council. As the non-elected candidate with the highest number of votes, he would be the most logical appointment – chosen by the voters; your constituents! You have been elected to represent the people of Santa Monica, not your own personal interests. If the people want Ted Winterer, who are you to appoint someone who did not even run for the office in 2008?Shame on you! Your actions speak for themselves and I have become very skeptical about your motives on the city council. You must rise above whatever political issues you have and do what is right for the people of Santa Monica – especially when they have told you what they wanted.Outraged but still,Respectfully,Aaron FurlongSanta Monica, CADear Mr. McKeown, Mr. Genser, Mr. Bloom and Ms. O’Connor,I feel betrayed as a voter that the results of the election, held just months ago, meant nothing to you. Ted Winterer received more votes in that election than any of the remaining candidates. And I dare to speculate that if Mr. Katz had not run, Mr. Winterer might be seated on Council already. And yet Ms. Davis is now given a seat she did not come close to winning during a legitimate election.Filling this seat was a choice far more important than the vote on any one issue that comes before you. Therefore, you will never receive my vote in an election again. And judging from the level of anger among other voters, your incumbency will mean nothing when they head to the polls next time. In fact, incumbency can breed corruption, and you’ve all demonstrated how special interests trump my vote in your eyes.Good luck with that attitude.Siobhan SchenzSanta Monica Resident
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