Conquest? What conquest?

Please take seriously your responsibility to educate as well as entertain/inform. The recent article "On the Wrong Side in the Middle East" (issue of July 26) was highly biased and omitted some key

Please take seriously your responsibility to educate as well as entertain/inform. The recent article "On the Wrong Side in the Middle East" (issue of July 26) was highly biased and omitted some key facts about the history of the region.

He doesn't even say it was a British Protectorate during the 1900s up to WW II. That is not fair to your readers, especially the younger readers who do not seem to know their history!

Dan La Botz does not have his own Web site (I checked), which shows a surprising lack of professionalism, considering he is a visiting professor at Miami University. (I got on the Internet to find out about him.) His area of expertise seems to be on Central America and social reform. That may be fine, but he seems out of his depth here.

He omitted a few major things about Hezbollah and their deeds of provocation over the years. One, they have been Islamofascists for many years, since the early '80s, killing more Americans than any other terrorist group.

Please print this fact!

Israel is defending herself from them, and even with the events this week, readers should know that Hezbollah first sent suicide bombers into Israel, also missiles into Israel (missiles made in Iran), then kidnapped two soldiers. They have ignored cease-fires so many times, including yesterday (they fired first during the so-called "time out") that one loses count. Hezbollah uses civilians as shields and infiltrates with them and launches rockets from Lebanese neighborhoods. They disguise themselves as civilians! Hezbollah does not send leaflets down, informing civilians that a raid is coming, as Israel does. They have saturated the areas in Lebanon with such warnings. The people are at least given a warning to leave the area.

Hezbollah has stated to the world that it hates the Jews, as has Iran. Both entities have stated that they want to wipe Israel off the map. Where is the moral outrage over that?

Dan La Botz states that we considered in the forming of Israel, "...oil was more important than justice." Note well: There is no oil in Israel. The other countries around it, yes.

Lastly, he seriously is biased when he says the U.S. "conquest and occupation of Iraq." That just is not fair! We are there for the clear purpose to provide democracy and self-rule to that country. Does he forget the elections that we urged, including election of a parliament and prime minister? No, he omits those facts, which is highly unfair and misleading to readers. We would like to withdraw our troops the sooner the better. Let's watch whether, how and when this happens!

I teach at the college level, and I am shocked by how little background my college students have on current affairs. I will not be encouraging them to find their facts in your newspaper unless you print a rebuttal by someone qualified to comment. You might even try Hebrew Union College history professors.

Dem. Chuck Schumer on CNN Sunday at 11 a.m. and last night John Kerry on Fox News said that Hezbollah is evil and Israel must defend herself from their efforts to kill the Jews. Those two men are hardly White House spokespeople! So, please think twice about publishing anything more by this man and please try to get another perspective that is more balanced. Thank you.

— Mrs. Pat Curran VanStone, West Chester Township

Details, Please
How about some follow-up on "One arrest: While a group of Israeli youth performed onstage, a young man wearing a red T-shirt with a large swastika tied an Israeli flag to his shoe and then proceeded to goose-step across the front of the stage. Officers escorted him behind the building, where he was arrested without incident" ("Middle East in the Midwest," issue of July 26)?

Why was a fellow citizen arrested? What was the charge? Do you just ignore our citizens taken away by the police? Have you not learned what happens when the media ignores things like this?

— Dieter Schmied, Walnut Hills

Blackwell on Parade
Thank you for John Fox's insightful, thought-provoking editorial on Ken Blackwell ("Blackwell's Mess Rolling On," issue of July 19). Not a Rolling Stone reader, I didn't have concerns about Blackwell and the 2004 election in Ohio until I read this editorial.

It seems to me that we, as Ohio voters, must see that our state laws are changed so that this kind of corruption will no longer be a temptation. Regardless, Blackwell, even with the law on his side, knew full well his moral duty and ignored it.

Blackwell needs to be sent back to the private sector. He also needs to stop parading in front of the churches in this state and acting like a Christian. He is someone who gives the rest of us a bad name.

Shame on you, Ken Blackwell!

— Nancy Heaton, Cincinnati

Full of Gas
Maybe we need to clear a few issues regarding ethanol and its future ("Ethanol's Truth and Consequences," issue of July 19).

Ethanol is derived from a plant source. Technically I would say any vegetable that forms a sugar could create a fuel. As of now we use corn. Maybe that will change, but the machinery that plants and harvests those vegetables won't.

Tractors and combines are in this day and age most likely diesel-driven, and here lies the beauty of ethanol production. Rudolph Diesel created the power plant with farmers in mind because it can be ran on a fuel derived from soybeans called biodiesel, and within five years I suspect biodiesel will in some form or another be widely used. Hell, used cooking oil from the fast food chains can be reused as a fuel, and this technology is almost a century old.

But just like ethanol technology has to catch up with biodiesel, our fueling stations have to pay someone to install the tanks and pumps, which costs money. Everything moves slowly when money is lost. Those are the facts of life, but change is coming and it's good.

Ethanol might ward off suburban sprawl if it turns out that farmers have more to gain by growing food for fuel. Not to mention that most automotive engines are computer-controlled; and this in turn means that, while on the freeway, an eight-cylinder engine can be run on four cylinders until the need to pass or speed up.

The only reason hydrogen isn't used here is the fear of refueling, which apparently is fairly dangerous. Anyway, we should keep our chin up, as nature and technology might have finally joined forces to make the world a better place to breathe.

— John Goodlett, Middletown

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