The Journal Gazette
Sunday, January 19, 2020 1:00 am

Letters to the Editor

Senate sure to acquit like Dems did in 1998

Whether we are rushing recklessly or wandering aimlessly toward impeachment, toward the Senate we go. It gives both sides ample opportunity to show how the opposition has flip-flopped from the last time we went through this in 1998. Countless videos show both sides now condemning the position they themselves held last time.

Before my friends on the left get too excited about all this, you can surely count on the right to switch and adopt the strategy employed by the left in '98. Why? Because it was a winning strategy!

You can count on the acquittal without regard to any evidence (in '98, not a single Dem bothered to even visit the evidence room). You can count on a victory lap (In '98, the Dems celebrated their decision to OK the president committing perjury and suborning perjury rather than face the prospect of a President Gore).

One thing I have learned from the left is that winning is the only thing that really matters.

Mike Larkin

Fort Wayne

Attack on Iran looks like wagging the dog

Twenty-five years after Hollywood produced a film based on a “fictional” president whose political troubles led to a “wagging of the dog,” America stands on the brink of heightened Middle East tensions as a result of the poorly calculated actions of a “reality” leader, Donald J. Trump.

There is no sympathy to be expressed over the death of a ruthless despotic Iranian army general. Yet, in the wake of his death, there is an overwhelming need for caution and forbearance on the part of our national leaders, including and especially the commander-in-chief, whose order to strike down the general has now led to this disturbingly unknown path of confrontation between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Heated rhetoric has stood out in the early stage of this protracted conflict. Seasoned judgment must emerge if cold-steel-emblazoned words are not to be followed by hot armed engagement.

Trump is not the first president facing the political turmoil of impeachment and subsequent Senate trial. President Bill Clinton in late 1998, following the voting of articles of impeachment against him, launched military action in Somalia and Kenya, questionable and indeed as controversial as Trump's actions may yet prove to be.

In short, we do not need to be wagging the dogs of war in any region where historically the doves of peace are illusionary and elusive.


Fort Wayne

Vote, and hold our leaders accountable

Thank you, Marty Lemert, for your knowledgeable rebuttal (”Self-impeaching,” Jan. 9) of Warren Mead's portrayal of the president in a Jan. 2 letter. Even presidents must abide by the law.

Consider the words and deeds of this president, which have and continue to put the United States in peril. Are you and your beliefs really being upheld? Do you feel safer than ever before?

If not, I urge everyone of voting age to first register if you have not done so. Then read about and listen with discernment as you investigate the local, state and national candidates and their platforms. Use your own instincts, and don't just do what someone else tells you to or parrot others' words.

Vote in the primary to pick those who will best represent you. Do not vote for someone just because you recognize the name (some people are perpetually on the ballot but are not serious contenders). Then please vote in November.

Gail Hamm

Fort Wayne

Taking lives puts us on slippery moral slope

Why can I shoot and kill someone, Dad? My father tried his best to explain my string of justification questions when I was drafted. His words were the best he could do to reassure me that “it is sometimes OK with God.”

Though not his logic, I had lost his words – until recently, when I heard what Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said when interviewed by NPR's Mary Louise Kelly on Jan. 7.

She asked him: “Does Iran consider the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani an act of war?” Adding: “We have heard from Iran that Iran will suspend compliance with the remaining limits in the nuclear deal. Is this the end of the deal?” Also: “Iran has sent weapons that have killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. You know this?”

These all reminded me to now ask Dad, “Was killing Qassem Soleimani OK with God?”

The Iranian minister's eventual answer to her string of questions was similar to Dad's long-lost words. Zarif stated, verbatim, “Well, it's not good news. Certainly not. And we're not happy about this, but it's a remedy. When you execute somebody or you imprison somebody for committing an offense, you certainly are not happy for depriving somebody of their life or their liberty. But you have to do it because it's a remedy that the law has provided in order to prevent lawlessness. This is a remedy provided in the deal.”

Dad is probably still discussing this with God his father, because the rule that the end justifies the means has never sat well with either of us. The saying “the end justifies the means” intends to convey that if a goal is morally important enough, any method of achieving it is acceptable. So, now I ask: Dad, God, when is enough enough?

James Bugert

Fort Wayne

Impeachment stances telling for lawmakers

The early church members in Corinth were identified as “letters.” Their lives were considered a letter that anyone could read. The visible part of their lives was like a letter “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Holy One.” See 2 Corinthians 3.

On Dec. 18, President Donald Trump was impeached due to (1) his personal request of the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation of Joe Biden, a political rival, to enhance his own political election in 2020 while withholding military aid to Ukraine, and (2) his directive forbidding cabinet-level staff members from testifying in Congress, and also refusing to honor numerous legal subpoenas seeking evidence concerning critical issues before the U.S. Congress.

During the vote on impeachment, 197 congressional Republicans voted no on both of the articles of impeachment. The “letters” of these representatives truly testified to their personal party commitment over that of their solemn pledge to support and honor the U.S. Constitution.

The president's character, racial rhetoric and rampant immorality issues are having a serious effect on not only our political leaders but on the temperament of our American way of life. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are good examples of this. At the highest level of government, they have announced they will personally be supportive of Trump throughout the Senate trial; consideration of crucial facts or his fitness for the presidency will not be a factor in their decision.

I strongly encourage our two Indiana U.S. senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun, to support inclusion of relevant and incriminating testimony in the Senate trial to provide impartial justice. This will allow for truthfulness, honesty and righteousness to be reflected in their respective “letters.”

If the Senate decides not to call vital witnesses to testify under oath, then we will continue to be subjected to lies, hate, illegal actions and the intolerant moral character of this president in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Marvin O. Ross

Fort Wayne

Ukraine rationale not convincing

So President Donald Trump was worried about corruption in Ukraine, so he held up the money. But in 2017, before money was released to Ukraine, did Trump seek an investigation into corruption in the 2016 election? In 2018, before Trump released money to Ukraine, did he seek an investigation into Ukraine and the 2016 election?

Yet in 2019, right after Joe Biden joined the race, all of a sudden Trump decides to hold up the money to Ukraine – because he was worried about corruption in the 2016 election (and the Bidens). Does that make sense to anyone other than a fervent Trump supporter?

Vince Lochbihler

Fort Wayne

'One person, one vote' not part of republic

In response to George Bauman's Jan. 13 letter (“Democrats not to blame for electoral inequities”), may I remind him of high school civics class? We are not a democracy. We are a republic. “One person, one vote” is not one of the main tenets of our electoral process, although Democrats would like to rewrite history and lead you to believe so. I have been seeing more and more references to our “democracy” – that is simply not true. I would like to give our Founding Fathers a little more credit than that.

Kevin Workman

New Haven

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