Letters for Sunday, March 11, 2007

• Pilot fought for lives

• Postman rings more than twice

• An old soldier’s opinion

Pilot fought for lives

As a former Army helicopter pilot who flew AH-1G Cobras, I can appreciate the difficulties that Joe Sulak may have experienced flying without hydraulic assistance. If the pontoons were inflated at the time, this may have added to the difficulty of controlling the helicopter. I truly commend him for being able to return to the airport under extreme conditions. His actions surely saved the lives of the survivors. My condolences go out to the friends and families of the victims of this tragic event.

Bob Mandap


Postman rings more than twice

We’d like to thank our Kawaihau Road postman for his long-time excellent service which includes an attitude our whole household very much admires.

This postman really takes his work seriously.

The Kapa‘a Post Office staff recently perservered and found a valuable “lost” item that did not make it through U.S. customs very well — thanks guys.

You gave us a reminder of great “aloha.”

Karen Navratil


An old soldier’s opinion

I was a rifle company platoon leader in World War II in General Patton’s Third Army, fighting in France and Germany. I have firsthand knowledge of the horror of war but realize the necessity of militarily confronting and defeating our enemies.

Politicians who believe it is politically expedient to promise to pull our troops out of Iraq are wrong. This is not the answer to the conflict with worldwide terrorism. Certainly, I understand that Americans don’t like war. We don’t like to see our soldiers dying. But Americans are not quitters. We do not like to fight, but we fight to win. Our brave young men deserve our total unqualified support.

Some of us saw the growth of the Nazi and Japanese Imperial Army prior to World War II when our country chose not to become directly involved. We sat by until we were rudely awakened by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Then we became involved too late.

The current war in Iraq is just a phase in the worldwide war against radical Islamists whose announced intention is to destroy those of us who do not subscribe to their beliefs. Osama bin Laden has stated that the main battlefield of this war is in Iraq. If they can get nuclear weapons they would use them against us and kill hundreds of thousands without hesitation.

We should brace ourselves for a prolonged conflict with these misguided Islamists. In the meantime we should resolve the Iraq problem by remaining steadfast on our commitment to a democratic Iraq. These terrorists who are prepared to die to perpetuate their beliefs are not unusual. In World War II we saw the German soldier who was ready to die for Adolph Hitler and the Japanese soldier who was prepared to die for the Emperor. In World War II we were told by General George Patton that we were not expected to die for our country. He said our job was to make the other S.O.B. die for his country. That still applies.

We should support our President George W. Bush who is doing his best to keep our country safe from terrorist attacks by carrying the war to the enemy. A lot of the anti-war propaganda circulating is aimed at destroying our faith in our president’s leadership. We must awaken to the fact that we are in the initial stages of World War III. Like it or not, it has begun.

Ernest A. Smith

Hilo, Hawai‘i


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