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June 9, 2015

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Cape Gazette VIEWPOINTS TUESDAY, JUNE 9- THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 WMDs. But there were other rea- sons for going to war with Iraq; we were enforcing no-fly zones from the Gulf war, and Saddam was in violation and sometimes shooting back; and in 1998 UN inspections teams responsible for disarming Iraq were stymied by uncooperative Iraqi forces. Bring- ing the fight to the Middle East was a difficult decision, especial- ly since Afghanistan was already in the stone-age. In some sense, Iraq won the coin-toss. Mr. Flood finally asserts that the Republican presidential candidates are the ones more likely to lead us into another war. And he is probably right! Should a Republican win, he/she will have an unbelievable democratic foreign-policy mess to clean up. There do seem to be at least two glaring lessons of war - some wars are peren- nial, and appeasement never works. There seems never to be a shortage of people who think they should rule the world. Every few decades one of them forces his way into a position of power where he can start to threaten other nations; these maniacs are not easily deterred. Appeasement can only embolden the enemy and allow them to grow stronger. Cases in point: Iran's Khomeini, Russia's Putin, and ISIS leader, al- Baghdadi. Peace through strength and constant readiness are the only logical conclusions, and conservative Republicans heed those lessons. Armand Careau Bridgeville Flood column ignores Democrats' roles In reading Don Flood's June 2 column, ("We need to heed the lessons of past wars"), I think it was inappropriate that he parlayed a heartbreaking Memo- rial Day letter about Michael lay Massey's death in Vietnam into a political diatribe about Bush's Iraq policy and some Republican presidential candidates' views. I hold no brief for George Bush and his/our feckless for- eign policy or those of neo-con presidential candidates, but Mr. Flood conveniently leaves out for criticism, Lyndon Johnson's ramp up in Vietnam after the phony Tonkin Gulf crisis in 1964 that ultimately led to Michael's death among the 58,000 others killed. Moreover, he excludes the fact that every major slaughterhouse war in the 20th century was led and championed by a Democratic president - Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy as well as Johnson. Total American dead in these bloodbaths totaled more 600,000. Add to that, the hidden civilian killings of our latest terrorist recruiting tool in the 21st century - the drone. Judge Andrew Napolitano recently wrote, "Last month [April], the White House revealed that in January, the government launched its [consti- tutionaliy impermissible] 446th drone into a foreign land, and this one killed three Americans and an Italian, none of whom had been targeted or posed a threat to national security at the time of his murder...Obama's drones have killed more non-targeted innocents in foreign lands than were targeted and killed in the U.S. on 9/1L" Mr. Flood needs to criticise with a broader brush about wars "we had no business fighting." Geary Foertsch Rehoboth Beach DELAWARE CAPE REGION HISTORY IN PHOTOGRAPHS )) DELAWARE BASEBALL AT BUTTONWOOD IN THE 1940S DELAWARE PUBLIC ARCHIVES/DELAWARE HERITAGE COLLECTION THIS IS THE BUTTONWOOD TIGERS team from the community and school by the same name near New Cas- tle. There's a wonderful sense of brotherhood and style among the players. This photo was made in the 1940s. Information included with the photograph explains: "Because local children, both black and white, loved to play baseball together, the sport helped to break down segregation imposed by others." Vietnam vet praises Flood column " Kudos to Don Flood for his June 2column about our lead- ers' recent ill-advised wars and the deceitful spin now being given to history by presidential candidates. Despite the willful delusions of many misguided "patriots," there is no evidence at all that Iraq had any involvement in the 9/11 attacks. There was no "intelligence failure." Both the re- cent Iraq fiasco and the Vietnam adventure of a half-century ago were based on lies, and neither one had anything whatsoever to do with "our freedom." The brave men and women who served in those actions may have ioined out of a noble sense of patriotism, but it turns out that they were deceived. The resuk- ing deaths, injuries and wasted lives were all for nothing. Even worse than that - the Iraq war has made the world a more danger- ous place, and has turned the Middle East into an amusement park for terrorists. The government's past and current treatment of our veter- ans and their families has been negligent and deplorable. But instead of talkingabout that and looking for solutions, our would- be leaders are repeating old and discredited lies about history, and preaching about more "boots on Continued on page 8 t was a week like no other for Delaware. I cannot recall a single instance where Delaware claimed so much of the nation's atten- tion. Such was the outpouring of affection and sorrow at the death of Beau Biden, former attorney general of Delaware, and, of course, son of Vice President Joe Biden. Not only did President Obama attend, but also the Clintons, Senate Maiority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen- ate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, most of the cabinet members and Caroline Ken- nedy. It usually takes a State of the Union address to get this many of our leaders together. (What a day it must have been for Kennedy, a member of perhaps the only political fam- ily more star-crossed than the Bidens. If anyone could under- stand the depth of Joe Biden's grief it was she.) And it was, sadly, another case of Delaware gaining at- tention through an association with death. For 30 years I lived in Dover, and it seemed whenever the city made the national news it was because of bodies being brought to the mortuary at Dover AFB. The tragedies included everything from the ]onestown massacre in '78, the plane crash that killed Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 others in '96, and the many, many flag-draped coffins of American soldiers killed overseas over the years. One of my grimmer memo- ries is of the constant shuttling of helicopters back and forth from Washington, D.C., follow- ing 9/11. But none of those events drew as much attention to Dela- ware as the funeral services for Beau Biden. ! never met Beau Biden, and so I have no personal reminis- cences to add, but the many warm recollections of family and friends speak for them- selves. The family has launched the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, which has already raised $125,000 to help protect kids from sexual predators. Listening to a TED talk on NPR suggested another way to honor Beau Biden's memory. In a stunning case of un- wanted attention, Newsweek in December ran a story titled "Murder Town USA (aka Wilmington, Delaware)." Harsh but not unwarranted. According to the article, Wilm- ington had a violent crime rate of 1,625 per 100,000 people. The national average is 325. Wilmington's crime problems may seem far removed from ours in the Cape Region, but, unfortunately, they're not. Economically, we're all in this together and Wilmington's reputation as one of the most dangerous small cities in the country makes it harder to at- tract businesses anywhere in our tiny state. Ominously, there has even been an uptick of shootings in Dover. Delaware is already limited, compared to our much larger sister states, in what it can do to entice companies to move here. A reputation for violence will make the task that much more difficult. We have to act. The News- week article did mention that Beau Biden had created a Crime Strategies Unit. It was designed to shut down drug dens, clean up graffiti and bring houses up to code. All good ideas, but the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, inhis TED talk, discussed another, even more basic, path to reducing violence. Brown was part of what is sometimes called the "Boston Miracle" of the 1990s. He and other faith and community leaders helped cut violent crime in their city by nearly 80 per- cent. The first step, according to Brown, wasn't hiring more police officers or cracking 'S down on gang members or even preaching to them. The first step, he said, was to listen, to reach out to gang members and learn from them about the problems in their community. He and others learned from the gang mem- bers themselves what help they needed. It worked. The number of homicides dropped from 152 in 1990 to 31 in 1999. Now, in truth, it was no "miracle" and it wasn't easy. It took a lot of people and organi- zations working together. And if the effort isn't sus- tained the crime rate can rise again, as it did in Boston, though not to the levels of the early '90s. But the approach has enjoyed some success in other cities, and launching similar efforts in Wilmington and Dover would be a fitting tribute to the memory of our late attomey general. It's worth a try. If suc- cessful, Delaware would have a more uplifting reason to be in the national news. Don Flood is a former newspaper editor living near Lewes. He can be reached at