The changing face of Iraq is governed by the realities on the ground and not by the hopes sought in Washington. The miscalculations evident in the Administration assessment for forcing regime change have resulted in the loss of many U.S. personnel and Iraqi civilians.
The proposed Iraqi constitution offers little expectation for ending the insurgency. A fair examination of the document lends credence to the Sunni objections. The federal system envisioned is really a division of the oil proceeds. The Sunnis will be economically disadvantaged as a result while the Shiites and Kurds will enjoy the oil wealth of Iraq. Institutionalizing an unfair division of the oil income insures armed conflict that may intensify from its present levels.
The constitution empowers the clerics to define the legitimacy of any law enacted by the Iraqi parliament. An Iran style theocracy seems likely. The power of the government will be determined by Islamic interpretation of Sharia. The long promised Iraqi democracy has little hope under the circumstances. The domination by religion will triumph the power of the people and the ballot box.
Civil war is closer to a reality than the pacification of Iraq. This outcome has long been feared as a potential result of the U.S. invasion. Iraq holds a critical place in the Middle East. If the result of the U.S. invasion had been the birth of a democracy the heartache and costs in life and finances may have been worth it. U.S. expectations will not be achieved and there is an excellent chance that Iraq will become a threat to world security.
History once again proves that regime change is internal to any nation. Americans fought and won their independence from the most powerful Empire in the world. The peoples of many nations have rebelled against cruel dictators to claim their freedom. The U.S. forcing regime change onto a nation that did not seek it for itself can only be judged as an ill conceived abuse of power by a nation that refused to listen to its world allies. Hubris has a price. Unfortunately, for years to come it appears that we will be paying it.
No To Jets In Park
To The Editor:
Sure, the Queens Civic Congress would like to see the Jets return to Queens, but in the right place—not in a public park.
Fans, and especially elected officials, should back away from the Jets proposal for an 80,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. Clearly, the Jets’ project is a commercial use of irreplaceable public parkland that would permanently displace thousands of Queens residents from the Borough’s largest and most popular park.
The Jets and their supporters need to consider more appropriate venues for their stadium—like Willets Point.
Sean M. Walsh
Queens Civic Congress
Yes To Jets
To The Editor:
There was some positive news in the paper today [Aug. 26, 2005] and that was the raised possibility of the Jets coming back to Queens. A closed door meeting was held with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Jets President Jay Cross and almost every Queens elected official.
The proposal would be that the Jets relocate to Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (to the former site of the “Fountain of the Planets).” I think this would be a great plan for Queens, New York City, and for the state of New York.
It was said at the meeting by Brian McLaughlin who is president of the New York City Labor Council AFL/CIO, that 10,000 construction jobs would be created, 2,000 permanent jobs, $250 million in annual economic impact projected to the region and $1.6 billion in new tax revenue over the next 30 years. This seems to me to be a no-brainer and we hope this comes about and the Jets return to their roots where it all started, right here in wonderful Queens. Like the TV show of the 70s called. “Welcome Back, Kotter,” there was this song by singer John Sebastian which I believe says how we feel about our fabulous Jets. It went, “For the names have all changed since you hung around, but those dreams have remained and they turned around/but those dreams have remained, who’d thought they lead ya back here/back here we need ya/welcome back, welcome back.” Well let me add another line, please come back Jets, ‘cause we really need ya back again. I for one remember being at the last game played in Queens by the Jets at Shea with my friend John. It was a sad day to remember but hope is alive again and we hope that the Jets will again return home where they belong, back again in Queens.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
3rd World Ideas
To The Editor:
Could it be that there might be a glimmer of light seeping through the dark, obtuse cavern within which these Neocons dwell?
Senator, Dr. Bill Frist states openly that he supports expanding the study of stem-cell research. A man of science stating an obvious, almost incumbent support of a study that could benefit all mankind. However, in the rarified atmosphere of today’s version of the Republican Party, no bright thought goes unpunished.
Dr. Frist must pay for his momentary lapse into common sense. He has now been aligned alongside of Bush in advocating the teaching of creationism (intelligent design, or any number of misnomers) along with evolution, in the classroom. Mysticism versus science. How embarrassing! Rather than forging ahead, blazing the trail in research, science and development, areas in which our country had always been the leader and taken well deserved pride, we find ourselves embroiled in mythology and folklore as to how this planet, one among millions, came to be.
Welcome America, to the third world.
First Gifts Of Many
A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
American National Red Cross
2025 E. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
On behalf of the Directors of the Astoria Civic Association, we are pleased to enclose our check for five hundred dollars ($500.00) along with Executive Chairman’s check for five hundred dollars ($500.00), and additional checks to follow totaling ($2,000.00) thus far which we wish to designate for the Katrina Relief Fund.
We hope and trust that this money will help to relieve the survivors of this terrible tragedy as quickly as possible.
Peter F. Vallone
Astoria Civic Association
Use Pork $ For Aid
To The Editor:
"Aid For Katrina Victims Called For" (John Toscano) and your editorial "New Yorkers Flock To Aid Katrina Victims" (September 7) reminded me of initial Congressional plans to approve $10 billion in hurricane relief funds followed quickly by proposals for an additional $51 billion. I wonder how Washington with our Federal FY 05 budget deficit of $400 billion, along with long term debt of over $7 trillion, will be able to find the additional necessary financial assistance. Citizens and the business community across our nation have already begun fundraising on a massive scale. Congress needs to do the same. Here is one way...In 2004, Congress funded 14,040 member items also known as pork barrel projects at a total cost of $47.9 billion. Many of these projects haven't been started and much of the funding remains unspent. The preliminary number of earmarks and dollars in 2005 are on target to be even worse. While some member items may reflect legitimate needs for constituents back home, far too many are blatant pork barrel spending designed to grease the wheels of re-election. Democrats and Republican members on a bipartisan basis in both the House and Senate need to come forward and return to the Federal treasury what they really don't need. Even if they just take a ten percent cut across the board, billions of dollars could become available for reprogramming. This could support the massive rebuilding projects necessary as the result of Hurricane Katrina. Who in our New York State and New York City Congressional delegation to Washington will be the first to step up and give?
Great Neck, New York
To The Editor:
How ironic it was for me to hear that the month of September includes National Preparedness Week. This was especially the case after the blight of Katrina and how unprepared our nation was to face this challenge?
We must be prepared as a borough, as a city, as a state and as a nation to meet any challenge, whether it be due to a natural disaster or attack.
We must not wait until the horse is out of the barn and the barn door is closed.
Town meetings on the local level and TV and radio spots must be devoted to achieving satisfactory preparedness.
Also, I recommend that FEMA become a separate, independent cabinet-level department, as it was prior to making it part of the Homeland Security cabinet level department. FEMA is such a crucial, vital and necessary part of our government that must be funded independently.
If we all work together, other blights will not become realities, causing the loss of so much precious life.
Long Island City
To The Editor:
P.S. 130 is a public school located on the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 42nd Avenue in Bayside. What makes this neighborhood school unusual is that neighborhood children are not allowed to attend it. Instead, they are bussed to several other elementary schools in the area at a large expense to our city. The schools they are being sent to are all operating at over 100 percent capacity. In the meantime, children from other areas are bussed to P.S. 130. It just makes no sense.
Many years ago, P.S. 130 was a neighborhood school utilized by neighborhood children. I know. I was one of those children. The students attending P.S. 130 came from both sides of Francis Lewis Boulevard.
Then, during a city fiscal crisis, it was decided that an elementary school in District 26 had to close. Through political maneuvering, P.S. 130 was selected. After awhile, and through some incarnations, P.S. 130 was reopened as a District 25 school. Neighborhood children were barred from P.S. 130. This was and still is extremely unfair to the residents of the area surrounding P.S. 130. Suggestions for a lottery system whereby some children in the area could attend P.S. 130 is an insult to all our children. We should not gamble with our children’s education. P.S. 130 is a neighborhood school, and should be utilized foremost by the children living around the school. If there is room after local students are accommodated, I am sure that no one would object to having students from other areas use our school.
A school is a focal point in any community. It unites the people in a neighborhood. When children in a community are being divided up and shipped off to different areas to be educated, that is not a positive situation. People who move to a particular area have a right to expect that their children will be educated locally.
It is time that P.S. 130 be returned to local students. There are ways to do this in stages so as not to interrupt the education of the children currently attending the school. However, we who live around P.S. 130 must be united and demand that our school be returned to our community. We must support community leaders and groups who are working to make this a reality.
But each individual resident should also be proactive. Contact Region 3 Superintendent Judith Chin as well as our local elected officials to let your feelings [be] known. Even if you do not have a child attending elementary school, you still have a right as a resident of the local community to express your opinion.
One can also express their point of view at the monthly community board meeting. There is a time set aside at each meeting where the public can voice their concerns on any neighborhood issue. You just need to register to speak by calling the community board in advance. Community Board 11’s number is 718-225-1054.
Become more active in your local civic association. Attend meetings, if possible. The Auburndale Improvement Association’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 20, at 8 p.m. at the Reception House in Flushing.
Acting together, we can make positive changes for our children and our community.