Compare the tactics

The Mail Tribune’s editorial on Sept. 17 began by stating that second-guessing the U.S. Forest Service firefighting tactics was “unfair” and “not helpful,” but then went on to encourage a debate that aired all points of view.

Rather than an all-views debate, how about some investigative reporting by the MT? The best way for the public to know the truth concerning firefighting tactics would be solid investigative reporting of facts specific to this summer’s fires in Southern Oregon. The contrast is stark when one compares ODF firefighting tactics versus USFS tactics.

You could start by comparing the total number of fire starts, the total number of acres burned and the average fire size on ODF-protected lands in southwest Oregon versus the same for the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest in 2017. You could research the total amount of money spent by each agency and their safety records.

Of course, no firefighting agency deliberately does a poor job. Nonetheless, it is not unfair nor unhelpful to compare practices and draw informed conclusions about their efficacy. There are facts and data that the MT could report rather than chastising the concerned public with an under-informed editorial.

Mike Backen

Medford

Dismay

Few Americans are aware that presently over 300,000 U.S. military personnel are based overseas in over 150 countries.

Incredibly, 72 years after the cessation of World War II hostilities, 40,000 U.S. troops are still stationed in Japan. Is their presence a calculating sacrificial deterrent to a possible Chinese takeover of Taiwan? If so, it would enmesh our nation in yet another costly involvement in someone else’s quarrel.

Consider this: Would Americans be tolerant of 40,000 Chinese troops stationed in Cuba or Mexico? Or of Chinese naval units prowling the Caribbean as U.S. naval forces do the China Sea? I think not. Inevitably, incidents occur that precipitate armed conflict.

While no end to the Mideast odyssey embarked on in 2003 by “Dubya” Bush is imminent (despite Obama’s efforts to get out), ample proof (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq) exists that our military excursions into foreign countries gain us only the undying enmity of their peoples and huge budget deficits.

In blatantly exposing our dirty laundry to the world, the democratic system we fervently espouse has elevated a prevaricating, chauvinistic, racist boor to the office of president. Unfortunately, our problems are endemic, of long standing and embodied in the persona of Donald Trump.

Bob Warren

Medford

World War III

It's obvious that Trump is becoming increasingly unhinged. First he made the comment, "the calm before the storm," and when he was asked what he meant, he smiled coyly and replied, "you'll see."

For months he's been taunting Kim Jong Un and calling him names. That's a little like teasing a black mamba. The difference, of course, is in the magnitude of the response.

North Korea's entire existence is designed around war. They expect it and plan to somehow survive it. Mass casualties are not a problem. Mr. War Lover Trump doesn't seem to understand or appreciate that.

We may be in very deep stuff here.

Jean Strong

Medford