December 06, 2005

Dopey WNJ Letter(s) of the Week

It's virtually a tie this time out. First, we have William Persinger of Wilmington whose letter is titled "Union busters and trade agreements ruined industry" and says

How ironic that some Americans are blaming current economic conditions in this country on labor unions. Unions have done more to raise the standard of living than any other labor movement.

Let's put the blame where it should be placed. Start with union buster Ronald Reagan. By lifting import quotas and taxes on imports of steel and autos, he sounded the death knell for these once strong American industries. Steel towns have become ghost towns. Cities built around the auto industry are in a state of decay.

Blame politicians for passing every free-trade agreement that comes down the pike. The only things free are jobs shipped out of this country!

Blame the millions of Americans who are pumping billions of dollars into Japan's economy.

As a retired auto worker, I say thanks to all of the above. Many of my colleagues will not have the opportunity to retire as planned.

Bill, what a shame. You started off making some sense (about unions once raising standards of living) but then quickly fell off a cliff. In your own field of endeavor, automaking, when Ronald Reagan came into office US automakers were putting out some of the worst pieces of crap ever to be set on four wheels. The average American consumer thanks Reagan for lifting those auto quotas so they could drive reliable (mostly Japanese) cars to work and vacation. I saw friends and family alike suffer from the lemons you put out (anyone remember the Plymouth Horizon? The GM Vega? Ford Torino? Just wanted to cover all the Big Three, to be fair). And what did the government have to do to save Chrysler's ass, Bill? Boy, how 'bout them K-Cars, huh?

To be sure, US carmakers did get their act together; they had to because they were getting their asses kicked by the Japanese. That's the nature of competition, Bill. By the tone of your letter, you'd rather have had the Japanese kept out of the US market so your fellow Americans would have no choice but to purchase your lemons. Yeah, that's mighty nice of 'ya, pal. I personally stayed away from US cars until about ten years ago, when I took a chance on a Dodge Stratus. Conveniently, a mere four months after the three-year warranty expired, the head gasket was shot. Head gaskets should normally live the normal life of the car it's in. Hence, when I took the car to the dealer he informed me he would "cut me a break." It turned out that it was more like corners that were cut. A few weeks after a supposed "new" gasket was installed, the problem resurfaced. This time, I was informed I'd have to pay the full $800+.

Seeya. I traded the damn thing in -- for a Nissan Altima.

Our next winner is C. Norman Boehm Jr. also of Wilmington. His letter is titled "Palestinians didn't have say in original Israeli partition" and he says:

I feel a responsibility to react to a Nov. 22 letter headlined "Historically, Palestinian territories never existed."

The West Bank of the Jordan River was assigned to Jordan to administer, and the Gaza Strip in Egypt. The Jewish portion was contiguous. However, the Arab portion was in three separate areas. The Jerusalem area was assigned a separate permanent trusteeship, making it the fifth area.

On May 15, 1948, the Israeli war of independence began when Arab armies invaded Palestine. Israel won a victory and secured its independence. The war was horrific. Jordan annexed the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip. By the war's end, Israel had increased its controlled area from 44 percent to 77 percent.

Um, why exactly did the Arab armies invade, C? Why did Jordan annex the West Bank and Egypt Gaza -- instead of granting them to the Palestinians as originally planned?

The writer's statement that Palestinians refused this U.N. solution is misleading.

No, it's actually right on the money. According to the UN's own website on the issue, they state:

The Jewish Agency accepted the resolution despite its dissatisfaction over such matters as Jewish emigration from Europe and the territorial limits set on the proposed Jewish State. The Plan was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs and Arab States, on the grounds that it violated the provisions of the United Nations Charter, which granted people the right to decide their own destiny.

Unfortunately for the Palestinians and surrounding Arab states, that "destiny" was attempting to obliterate the new Jewish state and then setting up some kind of state on their own terms.

Palestinians never had the opportunity to express their majority opinion on this issue. Although Palestinians were not involved in the 1948 war (they had no infrastructure or nationhood), they suffered the start of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Arabs from their historic homeland.

Wrong again:

On 14 May 1948, the United Kingdom relinquished its Mandate over Palestine and disengaged its forces. On the same day, the Jewish Agency proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on the territory allotted to it by the Partition Plan. Fierce hostilities immediately intensified between the Arab and Jewish communities. The next day, regular troops of the Arab States entered the territory to assist Palestinian Arabs.

The writer's statement that "Israel gained more land only by defending itself in a war of annihilation launched against it by the surrounding Arab states" is incorrect. Israel won the Six Day War of June 1967 and gained control of the Occupied Territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip). At the war's end, Israel had increased its controlled territory from the original U.N.-awarded 44 percent to 100 percent.

How did the letter writer C is addressing contradict himself? Just because Israel gained a lot of territory in the '67 Six Day War doesn't mean it wasn't defending itself against annihilation -- 'cause that's exactly what it was doing! And, as it has continued to do so since it was founded. When the one adjacent Arab nation that finally made peace with Israel (Egypt) -- surprise! -- it got its Sinai Peninsula back.

C must be getting his "facts" from someone we've seen around Colossus from time to time.

Posted by Hube at December 6, 2005 05:09 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Isn't this a glaringly obvious place that WNJ could use their website to foster some interactivity/community?

Why not use each op/ed and letter to the editor as a thread for discussion? IMNHO it would be a good starting point and keep the threads fresh.

Posted by: Duffy at December 7, 2005 09:39 AM

Still citing me are you, Hube? Still feel stung?

Let's recall that I challenged you to a public debate about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and you turned me down.

If I am wrong, why are you a chicken?

Posted by: Dana Garrett at December 13, 2005 10:06 PM

Subject: C. Norman Boehm Jr’s .Responsibility to React to a Nov. 22 Letter Headlined “Historically, Palestinian territories never existed.”

I wish to support Mr. Boehm’s response re what must be termed the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab triple tragedies. First, because of the systemic historical paucity of reliable factual information and opinions concerning the true situations occurring for these two peoples prior, during, and following the 1948 War, it is still very difficult to conduct a discussion based on specific facts. However, a much clearer general understanding is now, after 58 years, starting to emerge. The 1948 War was the beginning of what Palestinians call their “Nakbah” or The Great Catastrophe.

This War caused thousands of native Palestinian civilians to be expelled from their villages, towns, and cities by Jewish armed forces into: Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands more fled in fear. The War created 750,000 Palestinian refugees whose descendants continue to live in sub-standard camps. The Six Day 1967 War increased the number of refugees. The Jewish purpose has been to create a pure Jewish state, ethnically cleansed of the original inhabitants who had lived there for centuries. Jewish forces carried out more than 50 massacres during the summer of 1948. Palestinian village water wells were poisoned generally with typhus or dysentery bacteria to make certain that the refugees would not return. David Ben-Gurion, the founder of Israel is quoted as saying in 1949 “We must do everything to ensure they the Palestinians never do return. . . . The old will die and the young will forget.”

It must now be patently obvious that the young Palestinians have never forgotten! Successive Israeli governments have continued this basic clandestine policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians over the past 58 years. The Palestinians have experienced the latest and longest colonization in modern history.

Bob A.
13th June 2006

Posted by: Bob A. at June 13, 2006 08:30 PM

Nice try, Bob. Doesn't address a single point made in the post. My favorite: You say "the 1948 War" and the "Six Day 1967 War" as if they just happened in a vacuum. If I was you, that's all I'd say, too. 'Cause the real causes don't bode well for your POV.

Why did they happen? I know you and others always wish people would overlook these inconvenient facts, but it impossible to. Until you, C. Norman, and countless others come to grips that it is NOT Israel's fault for the current situation in the mid-east, that the Palestinians HAD a state and was overrun by their Arab neighbors, etc., then you're really just wasting everyone's time, not the least of which is mine.

Posted by: Hube at June 14, 2006 08:39 AM

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