Letters The challenge of democracy is ahead

To the editor:

Many of the WWII veterans remember the dignity and respect America was accorded in world politics; this due to her inherent obligation to the preservation and defense of democracies world wide.

As we trod the world stage in leadership roles, the United Nations felt obliged to lean upon us during times of duress. This was never more evident than the Korean War.

Time and again America has been called upon to preserve the integrity of world peace; enlisting the support of our most able and surest allies, Great Britain and Australia. The liberation of Iraq becomes a critical, yet positive turning point in America's (and surely our allies) position before the world.

Make no mistake. These nations, as a coalition, are the standard bearers for civil reform, government by the people, for the people and of the people, a right that ensures freedom from repression. As was the intent of our forefathers and most assuredly is the future of the United States, we will defend and support democracy wherever it chooses to flourish.

This is not patriotic fervor. This is the intent of such great men as John Adams, John Jay and the rest of our Constitutional founding fathers. Democracy rose from insurrection against tyranny.

Iraq is a fabled piece of ancient history, closely linked with the development of all civilizations and now can accord her position as a cornerstone of Middle Eastern peace processes; she will be setting the model for Arab democracies.

Japan, growing from a feudal military state to a world power as a democracy is example enough of how democracy can change ideology.

We have stood before the indignation of countries such as France, Russia and Germany, themselves no strangers to tyrannical governments. As predicted, we have found "unique" levels of support provided to Saddam Hussein by these governments during the economic sanctions employed by the UN.

Yet it is only our belief in democracy that gives us the wherewithal to countermand their political scheming within the United Nations. By moving without the immobile girth of the United Nations were we able to cause a captive nation freedom.

Now we truly see the enforcement capability of the UN and how economic sanctions cannot bring a tyrant to the bargaining table. No longer must we accept the indignation except for what it is, political histrionics to prevent discovery of embarrassing and potentially illegal actions.

The challenge lying ahead will be to facilitate the spread of democracy and support the fledgling Iraqi administration. Afghanistan, a like model has shown that the brunt of troops arising against coalition forces are not Afghani, rather are third country terrorists, enlisted by the former administration to further their own agenda of repression.

As nations taste freedom, the intoxicating capabilities of terrorism loose their appeal. There will be growing pains. We must never forget the numerous times America nearly collapsed in her infancy. Democracy can survive only with the support of a strong partner of like principles.

Posturing with the UN is unacceptable. While we must remain an active member of the UN, we can never forget their reticence about Iraq. This is not indicative of a group of nations dedicated to democracy.

Only by leading the world in the protection and establishments of democracies can the UN fully meet its obligations as a protector of the oppressed and provider of humanitarian assistance.

There is no greater humanitarian assistance than the removal of the yoke of tyranny. We have shown how committed this coalition is to democracy. The time has come for the United Nations, not the U.S., Great Britain or Australia and the host of nations who have supported our battle for Iraqi liberation, to choose whether they truly believe in the freedom of a people to govern themselves.

Jim Larsen


It's time to move forward

To the editor:

First, I want to thank everyone who was able to take the time to vote on Tuesday. We now have the election behind us and the citizens of Vermillion have made their choice by casting their votes at the polls. With the majority of voters making the choice to cast their vote "for proceeding" with Chestnut Street, I want to say that the very next step should be for all of us to pause and take a deep breath and reflect on where we go from here.

With the vote being affirmative to proceed, I would suggest that we all take a minute to really think about the project and not the personalities involved for or against the design of Chestnut Street. By majority vote, the city will now proceed with the bid process and will eventually make an award to the lowest bidder. The street, as proposed, will be constructed to the design specifications that have been approved. I would recommend that we concentrate on how we make Vermillion better and avoid directing our thoughts toward trying to find all the reasons for not wanting this approved design.

Contrary to what some believe, there was a review of alternate plans and there was consideration given to several different options within each design during the many years of planning and review. In the end, there was a compromise required by everyone because we did not have all the land necessary to construct our first choice, did not have sufficient funds to implement other more costly options, and we were forced to deal with extreme environmental conditions that were beyond anyone's control. In the end, it's not the council's first choice and it is not the first choice of any individual citizen � but it is the approved choice that the majority believes is the best street for the most reasonable amount of funding that is available for this long overdue project.

Let's all move forward from here and concentrate our energies on making Vermillion the best place to be.

Thank you,

Roger L. Kozak, Mayor

City of Vermillion

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