6A OPINION FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016 | WEST HAWAII TODAY LETTERS | YOUR VOICE Arrington story questioned Your newspaper acted irresponsibly publishing a slanderous article last Saturday regarding Dr. Clifton Arrington. You should be ashamed for allowing “sensational” malicious journalism that damages the reputation of a beloved doctor and causes hardship for his patients. My sister called me early Sunday morning very concerned because of this article. She lives on the Big Island and Dr. Arrington has been her doctor for at least 30 years. She has always spoken highly of him and trusted him in her medical affairs. Today I learned that he was only brought in for questioning and released. Editor’s note: Arrington was arrested and released pending further investigation, according to the state Department of Public Safety Elizabeth Jameson Honolulu Terminate feral cats like you would rodents In response to the letter to the editor titled, “Feral cats are God’s creatures, too,” I have a question. What about roaches, mosquitoes, flies, termites, ants, rats and mice and what do we do to them? We stomp, swat, trap, poison and all manner of other things to get rid of them. Feral cats are no different and they deserve the same fate as these others of God’s creatures. They are a nuisance and potential health hazard and should be terminated with extreme prejudice. Joseph P. Maria Kapaau Let nature run its course We are always told that something is either on the verge of extinction or needs help to keep it from being lost for good. Mother Nature has her own agenda and no one can fight Mother Nature. If a plant or animal is supposed to live on, I think it will. If it’s not meant to be, then it will cease to exist no matter how hard we try to prevent it. It’s the same as when we try to interfere and divert the path of a river or stream, it can be done for a period of time but in the end, the river or water will flow where it was meant to flow. We spend lots of money trying to change what is happening but why fight what is meant to be? Let nature take its course. Colleen Miyose-Wallis Kailua-Kona No to extended term limits No way! Your article, “Rethinking term limits” is absolute nonsense! The already two consecutive four-year stints are way too long. All these council members get way too comfy-cozy! If they cannot accomplish anything in eight years, they will truly do nothing in 12! This is nothing more than arrogant thinking. Time to go, when it’s time to go. Jan Kahulamu Achay Kailua-Kona MICHEAL GERSON | WASHINGTON POST Anti-Muslim rhetoric profits the enemy WASHINGTON — After the Brussels murders, and the Paris murders, and the San Bernardino murders and dozens of previous, tragic iterations of innocent blood on the sidewalk, the two leading Republican candidates for president propose to finally get tough on terrorism. In Ted Cruz’s view, America is “voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we are.” He would have us “carpet bomb” the Islamic State and “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized” here at home. “Look,” says Donald Trump, “we’re having problems with the Muslims.” He would “knock the hell out of ISIS,” close the border to Muslim immigrants “until we figure out what’s going on,” “do a lot more waterboarding,” and purposely target the families of terrorists (at least until he seemed to backpedal). The argument advanced by Cruz and Trump is straightforward. Out of an excess of political correctness, America has not recognized and confronted the Islamic nature and motivation of terrorism. This, according to the candidates, has hamstrung U.S. law enforcement, counterterrorism and bordercontrol efforts, which should include the heightened scrutiny of Muslims. The migration of Muslims presents a particular, Trojan-horse threat, illustrated by the European experience of segregation and radicalization. “This all happened,” argues Trump, “because frankly there is no assimilation.” The emotional urgency of the Republican frontrunners is understandable, particularly in light of President Obama’s underreaction — a statement about the Brussels attacks of less than a minute, followed by some Cuban baseball. The terrorists — who worship death, fashion bombs out of young men and women and exploit Islam for totalitarian political purposes — deserve our outrage. Tell us about it Do you have a story idea or news tip? Is there a community problem that has not been addressed? Do you know someone unique, whose story should be shared and enjoyed with the rest of the community? We want to know. Call the West Hawaii Today newsroom at 930- 8600 or email@example.com and share the information with our readers. It’s our community — and we care. Letters policy Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less and will be edited for style and grammar. Longer viewpoint guest columns may not exceed 800 words. Email or address letters to: EDITOR WEST HAWAII TODAY PO BOX 789 KAILUA-KONA HI 96745 EMAIL: LETTERS@WESTHAWAIITODAY.COM But here is the problem. Rhetoric that targets “the Muslims” and singles out Americans for suspicion based on nothing more than their faith seriously complicates the war against terrorism, for these reasons: (1) Anti-Muslim rhetoric strains relations with Sunni Muslim countries, which we are trying to convince to do more to combat the Islamic State. “The leadership of these countries,” former acting CIA director Mike Morell told me, “understand American politics enough to know that, for now, this is just rhetoric. But their publics do not get that. And it is the perception that acts to limit what these nations can do overtly to support the U.S.” (2) It amplifies Islamic State propaganda that the West is conducting a religious war against the “caliphate,” which is a source of terrorist morale. “It certainly feeds extremist recruitment,” says Morell, “but it also makes even moderate Muslims wonder if the extremists may be right.” (3) Anti-Muslim rhetoric needlessly disrupts relationships with American Muslim communities that are often the first to recognize and report radicalization in their midst. “From the perspective of American Muslims,” according to former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, “the rhetoric creates a sense of alienation from their fellow citizens and makes them more susceptible to the Islamic State argument that they have no real place in American society — and that their true ‘home’ is in the caliphate.” In a sense, Trump is right. Assimilation is the key. But by what possible theory of assimilation should America declare Islam to be inconsistent with its ideals? If our objective were to replicate Europe’s dangerous social segregation, what would we do? Maybe conduct the war against terrorism through war crimes; screen for Muslims at the airport (by some mechanism that still escapes me); declare the Muslim faith a target of heightened suspicion; occupy Muslim neighborhoods with a heavy-handed police presence; encourage anti-Muslim attitudes that could easily devolve into hate crimes and violence. It is no mystery how resented people become resentful. “This ugly rhetoric risks stoking the kind of alienation here that we have seen in some European Muslim communities,” former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff told me. There is room to strengthen the U.S. immigration system in light of terrorist threats — to tighten the visa and passenger-list systems, and ensure FBI access to information on the smartphones of terrorists. “But let’s not forget that what makes us vulnerable,” says Peter Feaver, a former adviser at the National Security Council, “is not the presence of immigrants in our midst. Rather what makes us vulnerable is the degree of alienation within any community, including immigrants.” Alienating Muslim allies, scapegoating Muslim citizens and resigning ourselves to a global religious conflict would grant the terrorists a victory without a battle. Which makes Trump and Cruz either quite cynical or alarmingly oblivious. Michael Gerson’s email address is michaelgersonwashpost.com. COMMENTARY | NYTIMES The Donald and the GOP’s Oz machines As bombastic, braggartly, and Brueghelian as Donald Trump is, he has performed one valuable service: He’s shown how little influence the GOP’s self-appointed ideological gatekeepers actually have. For years, a coterie of conservative groups and thinkers have worked the levers of their own Oz machines, their amplified presence grumping, growling, and fuming as they pressured Republican candidates to adopt their favored nostrums. Now comes Toto Trump, a fluffyhaired political terrier who, ignoring the fearsome Oz facades, has pulled back the curtain on the would-be guardians of GOP ideology, revealing them as far less potent than they pretend to be. Nowhere has the distress been louder than at National Review, conservatism’s flagship journal, which is incensed with Trump over … well, just about everything. “Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strongman overtones,” wrote the editors in a cri de coeur that anchored its mid- January “Against Trump” issue, which featured 22 conservatives teeing off on the Republican front-runner. Actually, Trump’s success suggests that consensus is neither broad nor deep. Moreover, National Review efforts to torpedo Trump have bounced off his thick hull. They must be just as morose at the Club for Growth, the party’s primary sentinel on supply-side economics. Now, Trump has proposed large income-tax cuts, with big top-rate reductions, a scheme that would balloon deficits and necessitate more budget cuts. Which is to say, he has embraced the voodoo basics. So why the Club’s ire? Well, he still backs progressive taxation, and favors making businesses that repatriate offshore profits pay a tax of — gasp — 10 percent. He once supported a wealth tax and single-payer health care. And he still says the United States should “take care of everybody” with coverage. So upset are the Growthsters that they have been targeting Trump with attack ads. “He’s really just playing us for chumps,” concludes one. Yes indeed; call the club a bunch of trumped, stumped chumps. Sabers have also been rattling over at the GOP foreign policy establishment, and particularly among the neoconservatives. After all, Trump has basically repudiated the interventionist foreign policy they favor. He’s even gone so far as to charge that George W. Bush & Co. lied to push the country into war with Iraq. His election would spell “the death knell of America as a great power,” warns historian Max Boot. In early March, dozens of GOP foreign policy and national-security types outlined their opposition to Trump in a public letter. To no avail. Marco Rubio was, by and large, the neocon favorite. But on March 15, Trump ended Rubio’s candidacy by trouncing him in his home state of Florida. We can’t, of course, overlook the freemarketers who populate the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute — and who thought they had the GOP locked onto a free-trade trajectory. But though Trump occasionally pays lip service to unfettered trade, his actual stance falls into the managed-trade category. He has, for example, called for (and then stepped back a bit from) a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods, as well as for higher taxes or tariffs on goods from US-based firms that relocate manufacturing to other countries. That’s hardly a complete list of his ideological apostasies. But despite the sound and fury of the gatekeepers, Trump’s heterodox views haven’t hurt him at all. Which suggests that, going forward, the GOP may be able to bust loose of long-time conservative correctness and sally freely forth to explore some new ideas.
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