Letters to the Editor

Illness struck too early

I have been thinking about the tragic stories of two Rogue Valley men in the news this past year who were both stricken with highly improbable medical conditions and died. Each ran up over $100,000 in medical bills and did not have medical insurance.

With the medical insurance exchange now available, medical insurance in Oregon will be less expensive, with subsidies available for middle- and lower-income people to make it even cheaper so that medical insurance will be truly affordable.

I couldn't help thinking that it was too bad fate could not have waited until next year to strike our two neighbors when they would surely have medical insurance, and if they had had insurance maybe they would have gone to the doctor earlier, and if they had gone to the doctor earlier, who knows, maybe something could have been done to save them.

At the very least they would have had the peace of mind of knowing that most of their medical expenses would be paid and would not be a burden on their families. — David Beale, Medford

Ivory should be donated

How idiotic of the government to destroy 6 tons of ivory, some of it carved! While the destruction of these magnificent animals for their ivory is abhorrent, the deed is done, and destroying the tusks will not bring them back. This ivory should be donated to museums.

This act of destruction is akin to the Taliban destroying the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan! It is also akin to our predecessors logging 2,000-year-old redwoods. What will stop the poaching of wildlife is not the destruction of their ivory, but making the sale of ivory illegal throughout the world. — Linda Gamble, Ashland

Learn from history

I agree with Mr. Rothschild's reservations about involving our military in the Syrian conflict. To date U.N. inspectors have been unable to confirm Assad's guilt. Amoral al-Qaida elements within the forces challenging Assad are demonstrably capable of executing such a barbaric ploy to ensnare the United States into supporting the various, some questionable, elements battling Assad.

After the fiasco of Saddam Hussein's nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction," Americans are skeptical. Ironically, after our "war of liberation" the religious conflict now raging there between the Sunni and Shia sects creates more danger to Iraqi citizens than they experienced under Saddam Hussein.

Though critical of the president, Mr. Rothschild conveniently omits the rashness of George Bush and Dick Cheney in invading Iraq under false pretenses and compounding such idiocy by committing our troops to a war of attrition in Afghanistan. Thankfully, President Obama pulled the plug on Iraq and set a withdrawal date for Afghanistan.

Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan provide ample evidence of grave miscalculations by our leaders. Let's not continue along the same path. We must learn from rather than repeat history. — Bob Warren, Medford

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