Letters: Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Letters to the Editor

Opposing the Drug War

To the editor: I served honorably for four years in the U.S. Air Force, have a degree in applied science, and have always considered myself a non-partisan conservative. But the war on drugs is something I have been vehemently opposed to since day one. Please let me know if I may lend my voice or support in some way. I’m a singer/songwriter/musician, and I would be more than happy to help out in whatever way I could. Benefit concerts are great at raising awareness of social issues! You can find out about me and download some of my music at home.earthlink.net/~kellyunplugged/. Thanks again for all that you do.

Stephen Kelly


To the editor: Bravo! Well Done!

As the speakers’ bureau coordinator for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, I’m always alerting the media to cover our organization, especially when we are speaking to a civic group like the Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions or Optimists. Often we get yawns, ho-hums, or “we have something else we’re working on ....” How an editor can ignore a legitimate organization of cops that have elected to step up and receive the grief and constant condemnation of their positions is a head-scratcher for me.

Which brings me to Fort Worth Weekly and Peter Gorman. Every single big-city paper ignored our faxes, calls, and e-mails as Howard Woolridge rode across America. The wire services wouldn’t call back, but the Weekly elected not just to report on Howard but to give a broad view of the organization and the issue. Gorman’s prose is a dynamic piece showing the courage of these unselfish officers. Though few of these guys are professional speakers, they all answer my calls to go speak for free to civic groups, veterans, church congregations, retirees, and many others, explaining the issue, offering some ideas, and answering questions.

Many people feel that our position on drug legalization is utopian or Pollyanna-like. Remember though, what U.S. Sen. Morris Sheppard of Texas told the Washington Post in 1930 about the movement against Prohibition that was then gaining attention across the country. “There is as much of a chance of repealing the 18th Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail,” he said. “This country is for temperance and Prohibition, and it is going to continue to elect members of Congress who believe in that.”

Two and a half years later, Congress passed the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition.

Thanks for challenging the “absolutes” and giving a voice to the alternatives.

Mike Smithson

Speakers Bureau Coordinator

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Syracuse, NY

Support the Troops — or Not

To the editor: I “support our troops” even though I do not believe in this war. I believe that whatever promises our country made to Osama bin Laden, when he was spying on Russian forces in Afghanistan for our benefit, weren’t kept, and 9/11 was the result. It was premeditated and was followed through with extremity, or revenge.

We are not in Iraq to help their democracy. How can we be, when we are turning into hypocrites when it comes to our own freedoms? We are losing more of them every day. My husband served in the U.S. Marines from 1976 to 1981 — one of 11 Hurst boys who voluntarily signed up out of high school during the Vietnam War. I do not support our boys and girls dying because of our greed for oil, especially when we have electric cars that our government will not endorse because of greed. This is government by the rich, for the rich.

Bring our troops home before any more of them die senselessly for this country that won’t take care of its own homeless, starving, needy people right here among us, including veterans who’ve already served their nation. Block the borders and take care of those legal Americans who are already here, before a civil war breaks out between the haves and the have-nots. It’s coming — mark my words.

Kellye Rhea Hammond


To the editor: I believe the war in Iraq is wrong, that the administration committed a criminal offense by lying to the American public as to why the troops were sent there, and that using force to remove heads of governments with which we disagree violates international law. That being said, I’m a mom. I ache for those killed in this war and for the under-reported numbers of those crippled, mentally or physically, by this continued policing action. And so I, too, fell into the trap of “oppose the war but support the troops.”

I have tried to speak with as many families and friends of those serving in Iraq as I can. There seems to be a strong consensus among the troops themselves, well presented by the wife of a serving soldier who spoke at the MoveOn vigil held in Burnett Park on Aug. 17. Most of the troops truly represent what is best in America: When exposed to poverty and pain, they want to fix it. As that mom said, the troops feel, “If you burn down someone’s house, you should help them build a new one.” We certainly burned down the house in Iraq. However, those in the military with the best sense of the immensity of that rebuilding job agree that to do the repairs the president has declared we will do in Iraq before we pull out — and that the troops yearn to do — the military would have to undertake a major occupation of the country, as was done in Japan and Germany after World War II. I cannot support this. Those resources are needed at home.

The other sentiment always expressed regarding troop pull-outs is that “all this pain, death, and loss can’t be for nothing.” It was not for nothing. I honor the dead and the bright hope of what they sought to achieve. More dead and wounded, however, will not justify those who went before, but simply will make a greater tragedy. And so I can no longer say that I support the troops. I love them. It may be that with this war, we are killing and betraying the best of this generation. But they are not the Peace Corps. They should be withdrawn.

R. Maureen Tolbert

Fort Worth


Last week’s cover story (“Après le Déluge,” Oct. 5, 2005) incorrectly described the race of a Katrina evacuee identified in the story as Barbara. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.

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