ISIS could hit political, entertainment hubs in US

I agree with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria must be eliminated before the jihadist militia attacks America (“ISIS is one ‘plane ticket away from U.S. shores,’” Aug. 24).

The 9/11 terrorists who flew jet planes into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon wanted to strike at the heart of America’s financial and military greatness. With this thought in mind, the next attack quite possibly could be carried out on our nation’s political or entertainment capitals — the first during a State of the Union address when the president, members of Congress and Supreme Court justices are under one roof on Capitol Hill, perhaps, and the second in Hollywood or Disneyland where, from ISIS’s perspective, U.S. hedonism infects Mideast fundamentalism daily.

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Dirty bombs probably would be the ISIS weapon of choice in either case. However, there is another scenario to consider. What if the Colorado River is poisoned? It carries water across seven states to 40 million people daily. If ISIS could pull that off, it would be an international, geopolitical game-changer. Imagine the panic that would set in if just 5 percent — 2 million — of the people in California, where I live, all of a sudden became violently ill or worse? Local physicians, hospitals and morgues would be quickly overwhelmed by the sick and the dead.

Homeland Security, along with the CIA, NSA, FBI and local law enforcement agencies, all do a terrific job protecting us daily from such calamities. That said, no one person or security plan is perfect. ISIS not only knows this, it is planning on it. 

Any breach of American sovereignty by ISIS would be viewed as a victory in their eyes. We cannot allow this to happen. Let’s stop whispering in the shadows about a possible attack. Rogers is correct when he says it’s time to confront this potential crisis now.

From Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach, Calif.


Let Taiwan participate in Climate Summit

President Obama is working to create a new international climate change accord that would get other nations to reduce their carbon emissions (“WH defends UN gambit on climate,” Aug. 28). 

The world leaders, from government, finance, business and civil society, will meet in New York this Sept. 23 to galvanize and catalyze climate action. Climate change is disrupting global economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion this worrying trend together. The experts are urging the international community to act fast to reduce climate change and we need to act decisively to change this trajectory. 

Obama’s climate team is putting together a deal to nations to cut their emissions, according to The New York Times. Taiwan’s 23.3 million people would very much appreciate U.S. support for Taiwan’s bid to participate in Climate Summit 2014 as Taiwan is prepared and eager to participate in the global climate regime and help safeguard our planet. 

Everyone can step up and take climate action. Let Taiwan join Climate Summit 2014 so that the nation can contribute to climate change dialogue on the global stage.

From Kent Wang, advisory commissioner for the Overseas Chinese Affairs Council of the Republic of China in the United States, Potomac Falls, Va.


Limit police powers

Many people are talking about reforming law enforcement because of the police actions in Missouri, New York and elsewhere. I have a lot of good ideas. Here are two. 

I think that any police officer who kills someone should be retired from law enforcement. It shouldn’t matter if the killing was justified, accidental, self defense or murder. No police officer should have a ‘‘license to kill”. If you disagree with me, then please let me know how many citizens a police officer can kill before he loses his job. 

Another great idea would be to limit all police officers to 10 years on the job. Police officers belong to a special group of public servants that have the right to take away your life, liberty and property. They can end your pursuit of happiness in a heartbeat. If some public servants are going to have that much power, it should be limited.

The police are supposed to serve and protect the people, but it appears that some law enforcement officials consider the people to be suspects and ‘‘persons of interest.” Citizens should place limits on police power, unless they want to live in a police state.

From Chuck Mann, Greensboro, N.C.