Time for a change, Marks misunderstands history — Letters for April 2, 2022

Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on these and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Critical of the System

I realize that the fawning article about Bill Meyer and Rob Ward (the “Dynamic Duo,” Siuslaw News, March 30) was intended to honor these men who’ve put in a lot of time in local government, but I have a different take:

The article reaffirms that Florence is ruled by a small, close-knit group of good ol’ boys. Meyer and Ward show that every potential conflict (port vs. city) can be ignored. I don’t mean to criticize these gentlemen; I’m only critical of a system in which the cozy (and conservative) clique makes all committees, commissions and councils in its own image.

You don’t have to be old, white and male in order to serve the city or the port (though it helps), but you definitely have to demonstrate that you’re eager to get along — and go along — with the status quo. E.g., if you’ve ever sent a dissenting letter or email re: a developer’s plans in Florence, good luck getting a seat on the Planning Commission.

Thank goodness King Joe Henry has anointed his successor, so we don’t have to think when we cast our ballots in November. (Sarcasm intended.)

If Henry, Meyer and Ward really wanted to build a better future for Florence, they’d step aside and let a younger generation take a turn.

— Bruce Hadley, Florence

President Has Responsibility to the People

Joel Marks’ March 19 column “Ukraine and American History” (Siuslaw News Community Voices) seems to excoriate Joe Biden and other recent American presidents for “giving away” our nation. He states, “The Ukrainian tragedy should never have been commenced but for weakness and timidity” on the part of the United States.

Mr. Marks’ tenuous grasp of American history is illustrated by his reference to “the loss of China and the Korean War by Mr. Truman.”

It is true that President Biden is “weaker” than Putin. We have checks and balances on the executive branch and the president is responsible to the American people. Putin is an unstable dictator responsible to no one except his own ego.

With his terrible responsibility, Biden of all people is aware that U.S. entry to the war in Ukraine could set off nuclear war with Russia, probably starting with Russian tactical nuclear weapons within Ukraine and ultimately progressing to exchange of ICBMs and World War III.

A more benign view might assume that active U.S. participation in Ukraine war would not lead to nuclear war but “only” to a protracted, bloody conventional conflict ending in stalemate and a negotiated settlement. Is that what Mr. Marks wants? How many American soldiers’ lives is Mr. Marks willing to sacrifice in such a cause?

As the English journalist and World War I veteran C.E. Montague said, “War hath no fury like a non-combatant.” Nothing has changed.

— Jim White, Florence