Fighting them there doesn’t lower risk of terrorism here

Can we, once and for all, put to rest the nonsense that “we’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here”? There is nothing about America’s military presence in Iraq that prevents, in any way, would-be terrorists from attacking Americans. Terrorists don’t need to physically crawl over American troops in Iraq to get to America.

Those who would attack Americans aren’t distracted from, or attracted to, attacking American soldiers in Iraq instead.
Those who are fighting our troops in Iraq won’t “follow them home”, à la the boogeyman, any more than the Viet Cong followed American soldiers home from Vietnam.

American troops in Iraq didn’t prevent terrorist bombings in England and Spain, and after those bombings, England and Spain didn’t respond by sending troops in defense of their countries “to the front” in Iraq. That this administration would resort to this type of illogic to defend the indefensible is typical. That a (fortunately dwindling) number of Americans accept this nonsense is disappointing. That our increasingly delusional president would spout it is frightening.

~From Bernie Nofel, San Diego

GAO cooperating with union organizers

The July 10 article “GAO, union group still at odds on make-up of bargaining unit” was misleading with regard to an aspect of the meeting held July 3 among the Government Accountability Office, the GAO Employees Organization, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), and a Personnel Appeals Board (PAB) judge.
The article stated that GAO had failed to provide relevant information or to share data with union-organizing representatives of IFPTE.

In fact, IFPTE made no document or information requests prior to that status conference. At an earlier meeting, held among the parties and the Personnel Appeals Board General Counsel (PAB/GC) on June 14, IFPTE raised a question whether GAO would entertain the voluntary production of documents. The PAB/GC indicated that the matter could be raised with the PAB judge. IFPTE made no subsequent request for documents or information until the July 3 conference.
GAO is in the process of responding to that July 3 request.

GAO intends to cooperate with the PAB and IFPTE in holding a fair election in as timely a manner as possible.

~From Paul Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, Government Accountability Office, Washington

Stop punishing small farmers

Congress has the opportunity to significantly improve the livelihoods of small farmers around the world, including here in the United States, by instituting reform in the farm bill. Considered once every five years, the farm bill is in desperate need of change and this year is our time to act.

The current farm bill encourages American farmers to overproduce and flood world markets with crops sold at artificially low prices, making it almost impossible for small farmers at home and abroad to sell their own crops. By reforming the farm bill, we have an opportunity to significantly decrease the level of world poverty in conjunction with the Millennium Development Goals!

The current system does not even primarily benefit America’s small farmers. Reforms should also provide better support for U.S. farm families of modest means as well.

As a member of the ONE Campaign, I urge Congress to make the necessary changes to the farm bill — smart trade reform helps everyone.

~From Mary E. Curtis, Vienna, Va.