Time to build up this nation
The U.S. invasion/occupation of Afghanistan has gone on for eight years now and the situation is getting worse by all measures. Rather than face this fact, our military/political machinery alters the mission.
The generals and their civilian enablers trot out platitudes like women’s lib and human rights as justification for their bungling and ignore the fact that they are in bed with one of the worst collection of corrupt narco-state human rights abusers on the planet — quislings who can’t even rig an election in the commonly accepted style. The Afghan population knows this.
That is why the Taliban is gaining so much ground. The Taliban are home grown. Al-Qaida and the United States are foreigners. Both are despised by Afghans.
Like the Soviet Union, the only way this empire will withdraw is when our economy has been so thoroughly bled out that it collapses. That process is unfolding.
Maybe it’s time to salvage what is left of our vitality and do a little nation building right here at home.
LANNY CARPENTER, Olympia
Multiple holidays collide
Mildred Kavanaugh is correct in her letter that the word “holiday” is derived from “holy day.” But she is wrong to assume that people who greet each other with “happy holidays” are trying to remove Christ from Christmas.
Using the holiday greeting acknowledges that the season is one that includes celebrations from faiths other than Christianity. Prominent among them are the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, but also including Kwanzaa and the Muslim feast of Eid-ul Fitr (end of Ramadan), all of which occur within weeks of each other.
And as long as she is insisting on original intent, we must remember that Christmas trees (which some call holiday trees nowadays, a neologism which I agree is meaningless) originated in pagan customs and were appropriated by Christians in an effort to quash that belief system.
So let’s all gather around the pagan tree and break our Ramadan fast together. ’Tis the season to spin the dreidel!
CHRISTINE MADSEN, Olympia