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Hurrah for France, Germany

I find it ironic that France and Germany, the two countries in all of Europe that have been ravaged by war the most, oppose it, yet the United States, which has not been invaded since 1812, is the strongest proponent. Yet we denounce them as betrayers and cowards.

France and Germany have seen war. Even today their countries bear the brutal scars. Yet we call them cowards for not supporting us.

However, true cowardice is blindly following authority and caving in to external pressure. True courage, on the other hand, is proven by standing up for one's principles and integrity. France and Germany are not the cowards, they have stood strong in the face of threats and insults.

The cowards are those who join the war hawk bandwagon in fear of U.S. reprisal. Any demagogue can spread hysteria and propaganda to encourage a war; it takes great courage to resist one. And by the way, I don't think that France cares that some restaurants no longer say french fries. ' Michael Stout, Ashland

War can be good, but not now

War is bad. It causes terrible destruction and suffering. However, there are instances when war is a mitigated evil that will eventually do more good than harm.

Therefore, it's irrational to reject the idea of war against Iraq because war is bad. We must instead look at who would be helped, and weigh the benefits against the drawbacks.

With the American economy in dire straits and the budget deficit skyrocketing, it won't benefit the American people to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a war that will increase the enmity of the fanatical Middle Eastern minority and increase rather than decrease the chances of another terrorist attack on American soil.

Our short, primarily air-based assault on Afghanistan killed thousands of innocent citizens. A prolonged ground-based war will be certain to kill, not benefit, the citizens of Iraq. Should we presume an American victory it is still not clear how the Iraqi people will benefit, as our administration has not made their plans for a postwar Iraq public.

I see very little good that will come from an attack on Iraq, and so I reject the idea. Not because war is wrong, but because this war is wrong. ' Tai Pruce-Zimmerman, Ashland

All the assist we need

As I hear more and more horror stories about the elderly being forced out of their living arrangements because they don't have enough income to pay their rent, and more and more about people utterly dependent on medications that cost in excess of their income, I better understand the impact of the failure of Measure 28.

I recall when Ronald Reagan denied food stamps for the elderly as one of his last acts as governor of the state of California just before giving himself the most expensive inauguration in history as president of the United States.

I have to wonder how many elderly starved to death as a result of that. Now I wonder how many poor among the elderly will die because they cannot get the medicine or the medical attention they need. Governors seem to be unanimous in viewing the elderly as expendable.

We don't really need physician-assisted suicide. The state is giving us all the assist we need. ' Barbara Kimball, Grants Pass

Dog pulling abusive

I recently read the article on the St. Bernard weight pull in Grants Pass. I am absolutely appalled that any group of people that claims to love their breed would dare put a dog through such an abusive event.

What's the purpose of this activity? Sounds like cheap entertainment. Please go to a tractor pull instead.

Anyone who tells me these dogs love 1,850 pounds strapped on their backs needs to have their head checked. Better yet, they should try dragging this weight and tell me how much fun it is.

I can only imagine the stress of the dogs' internal organs. I would like to remind you people that these are dogs, not horses. Please find another way to entertain yourselves without animal abuse. ' Geri Landeros, Medford