Web Letters | The Nation

Build the ark!

Liberals should stop talking and start working. If they are incapable of creating a new party, they should not get involved in politics. Build an ark and be ready. When the people find themselves completely surrounded by troubled waters, they will be looking for alternatives. Although this is very old advice, it is still useful.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Sep 1 2010 - 11:11am

It is in our best national interest to get the Republicans elected this fall

Why? Because the GOP is more incompetent than the Democrats. It means our economy will deteriorate faster under GOP leadership and we will hit the very bottom earlier, which will make us implement structural changes sooner. The Democrats are not as irrational as the Republicans, but they are equally wrong regarding the fundamentals. Under the Democrats our economy will keep falling more slowly, which means that we will hit the bottom probably two decades later. Basically, if Bill Clinton’s successor had been Al Gore in lieu of George W. Bush, we would end up in this crisis in 2020. With the Republicans in control of the White House and the Congress, we could start rebuilding our country two decades earlier. The risk with this scenario is that the GOP might mishandle our economy so badly that we could hit the ground so hard that it would cause permanent damage.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Aug 31 2010 - 10:56am

Mr. Berman, is this a serious question?

Please, let me reiterate the facts.

Two political parties have shared power over the last three decades, which has resulted in across-the-board problems—chronic budget and trade deficits; colossal national debt; even larger unfunded Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare obligations; endless wars in the Middle East (since 1967 and counting…); completely out-of-control illegal immigration; the free press taken over and dependent upon financing by the big business; the lobbyist-run Washington; the electoral system that favors not the best candidates but the richest ones; the judicial system in which the Supreme Court cannot make distinction between a human being and a corporation (both of them are entitled to free speech—what is the next step? Should private property get voting rights too?); the most expensive healthcare in the world; a defense budget equal to the combined military spending of the rest of the world; an  enormous unemployment rate; ever-growing export of US jobs overseas; free trade (do you think we can compete against the people with twenty times lower wages and the same technology?); willingness to share our strategic advantage—the enormous US market—with the rest of the world for free; the political climate in which it's acceptable to say the most despicable things in order to get elected; obesity and drug addiction at alarming rates; deteriorating educational success; public morality tailored in accordance to Hollywood standards, not faith-based; the mass media incapable of making a distinction between useful information and brainwashing propaganda because they are heavily dependent on advertisement income from the mass products that the consumers cannot avoid paying for; and so on and on…

Mr. Berman, if your question was a serious one,  then you believe those two parties deserve another chance, in spite of all those colossal failures. But only a completely new political party can bring the urgently needed changes to our country. Regardless of how you vote this November, nothing will change. Any candidate willing to run as a Democrat or a Republican is obliged to obey the party rules, which means everything will stay the same or get worse.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Aug 31 2010 - 9:10am

Is President Obama capable of learning?

Is President Obama capable of learning?

Words don't count, actions do. Declarations that combat deployments are over and/or that the missions are accomplished don't work. President Bush tried it seven years ago, with no success.

If President Obama believes he has the right to speak in the name of the Iraqis, he is very wrong. The fact that the fighting in Iraq is at very low level doesn't mean anything. There was a similar situation in Afghanistan for several years, which only got completely out of control afterwards.

Having President Obama repeat the same Bush mistakes is extremely disheartening. Reduction of the number of US troops in Iraq only increases the probability of launching insurgent attacks on them. This means the best option is to pull all the troops out of Iraq.

However, such a move would lead to dissolution of Iraq, which is currently without a working government and with four working militaries—the US troops, the Baghdad-controlled Iraqi military, the Kurdish military and the insurgents.

No wonder that after mishandling Iraq for seven years, we find the current prospects to be extremely bleak.

The ultimate result of our Iraqi expedition is the situation in which the locals believe they are entitled to too many rights, without any sense of common obligations. The Shiites believe it is their moment to rule Iraq. The Kurds believe they have the right to declare their own independence. The Sunnis believe they have the right to protect their own interests. That is the outcome of Bush's initial urge to get popular support for the Iraq War by exploiting the ethnic bias and tribal loyalties in creating "democracy" in Iraq. President Bush got a big initial voter turnout and nothing else.

Instead of building the unified Iraqi military and a unified government over the last seven years, the White House exploited internal animosities to rule more easily. However, the longer we have stayed on this course, the less manageable the overall situation has become. Iraq is nearing its boiling point.

If President Obama believes that we have accomplished anything in Iraq, he is more delusional than Mr. Bush when he notoriously declared " Mission Accomplished." The situation is far worse than it was seven years ago. In the meantime, the local Iraqi parties used the democratic process to enhance their ethnic, tribal and religious divisions at the expense of unifying Iraqi patriotism.

In a few years the situation in Iraq will become worse than it is in Afghanistan today. What Iraq urgently needs is a completely new credo, philosophy and approach. Unfortunately, the USA has already run out of patience, time and resources.



Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Aug 30 2010 - 10:11am

How to end 'Ground Zero mosque' hysteria

If a new mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero is not acceptable to the GOP elite, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, it would be nice if all of them came out with a specific location actually acceptable for construction of the new Islamic cultural center. I am sure that a specific proposal would help end an unnecessary controversy that endangers our troops serving in the heart of the Muslim world and waging the bloody wars.

The ongoing hysteria over the  "Ground Zero mosque" falls straight into the hands of Al Qaeda, who claimed for years that the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq is a part of the war on Islam. The current actions of the GOP elite, Limbaugh and Beck do expose the flanks and back of our troops serving overseas by turning the locals against them—which is completely unacceptable.

Actually, it would be very helpful if General Petraeus stepped forward and clarified whether the ongoing bickering and the harsh words are helpful to his Afghan War efforts.

One of the fundamental American credos is that money talks louder than words. If the majority doesn't like a future "Ground Zero mosque," why don't they put enough money on the table to buy back the property from that imam, who could use the resources to buy a new piece of land somewhere else? They should just keep raising the offer.

There are always simple solutions to every problem. Why do we have these days so much trouble finding them?

Hysteria doesn't solve anything. It just complicates the situation.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Aug 30 2010 - 8:32am

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