So-called leaders failed us on Iraq

I commend the editorial staff for the great editorial about the truth concerning the miserable, total failure and waste of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the "New Vietnam."

U.S. senators and representatives who voted "yes" to give George W. Bush the official approval to invade and occupy Iraq are as guilty as Bush. They knew better.

They were much more concerned about their image of "being patriotic" and being re-elected than doing what was best for our country by voting "no." They knew that millions of Americans believed all the lies and propaganda Bush and his henchmen used in their politics of fear to beat the drums for invading Iraq.

I am disgusted to no end that all of these so-called leaders of our U.S. government will never be held accountable for its inexcusable, despicable actions. Sept. 11, 2001, should never have happened. One would think that the very successful bomb attack, eight years before in one of the towers, would have raised red flags for our U.S. government.

Dan Orth

Oakland

Moving is one way to escape danger

This is in response to the letter that said, "I live a middle-class life and I am scared to live in Oakland."


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I understand where that letter writer is coming from. I am lucky enough to live in a nice neighborhood in Fremont where I don't have to worry about robberies or living in fear, but I still manage to be cautious about my surroundings. I have heard numerous stories about the neighborhoods in Oakland.

Also the majority of the robbery or gun articles in newspapers are from the surrounding areas of Oakland, if not Oakland, which should be a red flag to the police officers and they should make sure that they keep adding extra patrols in Oakland or come up with a different solution.

But what I do not agree with is where the writer is not willing to support new taxes. Yes, the writer's neighborhood may need extra protection and that should be brought to the police department.

I feel like the tax money does go to the right places, but they do not utilize it in the right places. For example, we may have a lot of police officers patrolling in the wrong areas.

Oakland is a pretty dangerous place to be living right now, so I suggest if things are really that bad, the writer should move to a different neighborhood.

Nikita Bajaj

Fremont

Media also should apologize for Iraq

Upon the 10-year anniversary of the start of the second Iraq War -- and the now almost universal recognition of how massive a mistake it was -- we have been subjected to a media blitz blaming the administration's advocates for the war (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al.) -- and asking, rhetorically whether they -- and we -- have learned any lessons.

But there is very little in The New York Times, or the Washington Post, or on CBS News and CNN addressing the media's own culpability in this respect, and asking whether the media, themselves, have learned any lessons.

Had the media not stood idly by and repeated the lies and distortions that the administration put forward in the run-up to the war ... had the media listened and given equal voice to the views of those who challenged the administration's false assertions rather than suppressing these viewpoints, might not this tragic fiasco have been avoided?

The sad fact is that even those news organizations with a long, highly credible journalistic track record, failed miserably to independently investigate and report without fear or favor.

Instead they (and your organization was no exception) marched in lock step with the administration. It was not journalism's finest hour.

The media asks about what lessons have been learned by others, but it should examine itself, first. Reporting still today does not seem to get past the reiteration of the convention wisdom, or look past those whose voice booms loudest.

If the most respected media cannot expose and serve to accurately inform, you will become increasingly irrelevant.

Robert A. Palgon

Fremont

Simple solution for income taxes

Having just spent hours doing my income taxes, I've decided it's time for a change.

How about this? Every person gets a $5,000 exemption, no other deductions. The first $50,000 for all is taxed at 10 percent, from $50,000 to $150,000 is taxed at 15 percent, and those earning more than $150,000 are taxed at 20 percent.

That's it, simple, clear and everyone pays. If changes are needed, Congress adjusts percentages or ranges of the bands, nothing else.

Everybody wins, except the lobbyists -- and that's good for all.

Wayne Lambert

Walnut Creek