Letters to editor: Aug. 30

August 30, 2013 

Let's be honest about civilian cost of strikes in Syria

The given reason by our British friends for potential military action in Syria is to protect civilians from further harm. Of the many lessons I learned in Iraq, one that is particularly relevant to Syria stands out: We simply do not have it within our power to keep the promise of protecting civilians.

Combat is unpredictable. Once it starts, you can't be sure which way things will go or how it will end. That's true for unit level forces and nations.

In Syria, many civilians are involved in the conflict. They have family or friends who are actively fighting for President Assad or the rebels, in some cases both, and like most of us they tend to help their family and friends.

Civilian involvement, even indirectly, makes it impossible to distinguish clear cut lines between good guys and bad guys. Especially when good guys and bad guys are neighbors living next door to each other.

From an American perspective, the only thing that would justify the use of force in Syria is a direct threat to our security. To date, no evidence has been presented that such a threat exists.

But if eliminating a security threat is our rationale for initiating military operations, we need to be honest: More civilians will be killed in Syria, not less.

As we make this decision, we need to be honest with ourselves and the world about the consequences.

Jason Belcher


Troubling message

I could not believe my eyes when I read the large sign at Jessie Clark Middle School. It was placed in front of the sports fields and was directed to the student body and public in general. It read, "NO EXCUSES JUST WIN."

I can understand the manager of the Chicago Cubs telling his players something like this. They are, after all, paid professionals.

But to have this attitude toward any amateur player is inappropriate and hateful and not what I want taught in my public schools.

May I suggest a better message to send to our students. "PLAY BALL HAVE FUN."

Larry Grannis


Pick qualified judge

It was with great concern that I read your article regarding state Sen. Kathy Stein's potential appointment to family court judge in Fayette County.

I was very concerned that no other options for filling the position were even mentioned. It is discouraging that a primary qualification appears to be Stein's close relationship with Gov. Steve Beshear.

Individuals pursuing cases through the family court need judges with experience, not close friendships in high places. It seems the governor, and the people of Fayette County, would want someone with recent and relevant experience with family law and the family court to assume this position.

I certainly hope the governor sees this position as one to be filled by the best-qualified individual rather than a niche in which to place a political ally. Our children are more important than that.

Cynthia K. Matthews


Unfair to Webb

I found an Aug. 21 letter reprehensible as it attempted a character assasination of a person I doubt the writer personally knows.

I have known Dudley Webb since childhood, and the writer's envy of him is evident. Webb just buried his brother and the writer was out of line criticizing Webb's plans for the CentrePointe project.

Maybe the letter writer could start a fund to buy the property, let it remain a beautiful green space and donate it to the city.

Also, wasn't Webb's work of saving Victorian Square and helping build Triangle Park beautiful additions to the city?

Anna Daniel Hall

Whitesburg and Lexington

Publish more prices

On July 17, you published an article in the market basket survey for second quarter 2013. The average for 40 basic grocery items was quoted as $112.70.

It states prices fell 3.1 percent from the first quarter, lowest since 2010. Would it be possible to please publish prices of all 40 items in your paper? I, along with many more readers, am curious to see prices. Every time I shop, prices have risen — to the point we will soon all need to go on a very limited type of menu.

Georgette Noon


The right choice

In response to the question posed by an Aug. 13 letter — "Do we really want Alison Grimes to replace Mitch McConnell?" — the answer is a very emphatic "Yes!"

Wini Yunker


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