To the Editor:
Terrorists have the means to wreak havoc on the United States by using equipment readily at hand to disperse deadly biological organisms and nerve agents. Most of the equipment used for the spraying of pesticides, such as trucks and planes, are located in areas that can easily be accessed. Pesticide trucks sit in unsecured city and county parking facilities. Many crop dusters are not even located in airport settings, where security measures can be employed, but sit near farm fields all over the U.S. Surely this has occurred to terrorist organizations. Has it occurred to the presidential team, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency?
I would like to respectfully suggest that the agencies responsible for national security consider what steps need to be taken to create security measures to protect the American public from terrorist activities that may consider these mechanisms.
Ashley S. Hotz, Monticello, Florida
To the Editor:
A military response, particularly an attack on Afghanistan, is exactly what the terrorists want. It will strengthen and swell their small but fanatical ranks.
Instead, bomb Afghanistan with butter, with rice, bread, clothing, and medicine. It will cost less than conventional arms, poses no threat of U.S. casualties, and just might get the populace thinking that the Taliban doesn't have the answers. After three years of drought and with starvation looming, let's offer the Afghani people the vision of a new future. One that includes full stomachs.
Bomb them with information. Video players and cassettes of world leaders, particularly Islamic leaders, condemning terrorism. Carpet the country with magazines and newspapers showing the horror of terrorism committed by their "guest." Blitz them with laptop computers and DVD players filled with a perspective that is denied them by their government. Saturation bombing with hope will mean that some of it gets through. Send so much that the Taliban can't collect and hide it all.
The Taliban is telling the Afghani people to prepare for Jihad. Instead, let's give the Afghani people their first good meal in years. Seeing your family fully fed and the prospect of stability in terms of food and a future is a powerful deterrent to martyrdom. All we ask in return is that they, as a people, agree to enter the civilized world. That includes handing over terrorists in their midst.
In responding to terrorism we need to do something different. Something unexpected, something that addresses the root of the problem. We need to take away the well of despair, ignorance, and brutality from which the Osama bin Ladens of the world water their gardens of terror.
Kent Madin, Memphis
To the Editor:
I am appalled, disgusted, and dismayed by the rhetoric I have heard in the wake of the events of September 11th.
I have heard our nation's leaders say that proof of culpability is not necessary before we make war on another nation. I have heard a preacher say that hating bin Laden and wanting him dead is not wrong in the eyes of God. I have heard otherwise rational people speaking of the prophecies of Nostradomus and Revelations. I have heard Christian leaders say that feminists and liberals have brought the wrath of God on our nation and that we must begin a religious war.
Lunacy and tyranny are loose in our nation and we have welcomed them in. The war is already over. The terrorists have won.
Michael B. Conway, Memphis
To the Editor:
I read with interest a letter to you last week by Michael S. Williams referring to my recent book Playing For a Piece Of The Door. Williams maintained the information conveyed to me by his uncle, Bubba Williams, who was the leader of Shadden & the King Lears, was incorrect. In gathering information for any book, you have to trust the validity of your sources. I found Bubba Williams most trustworthy. As far as incorrectly placing Shad Williams in Arkansas, had the writer of the letter read my book, he would have known that incorrect information was mentioned only in the Flyer article.
Any father would be thrilled to have a son like Michael Williams, who is proud of what his dad has done with his life. Just as my sons were proud of me after tracking down 250 band members and trying to accurately document events that occurred 35 years earlier. He and his family should be proud. Any ministry is a tough gig. You've got to be good to last 34 years, and I applaud him.
In closing I would like to say to Williams that I saw your dad perform several times and always got my money's worth. In your life you've obviously seen an equally impressive side of him. Where and when he left the band should not have any bearing on the thoughts any reader of my book will have in your dad's honor. I'll be doing another book signing at Burke's Books October 4th and I would be honored to meet your dad there.
Ron Hall, Memphis
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